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Video Game / Mole Mania

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Old MacJinbe had a mole...

Holey moley! Muddy Mole's entire family has been abducted by that malvolent mole-napper, Jinbe! It's a terrible predicament for the mild-mannered mammals, but the scene is set for the most challenging puzzle-action game since the Adventures of Lolo series for the NES. As Muddy Mole, you must use your sharp sense and expert mole hole-digging ability to clear the many rooms that stand between you and your anxious family. Time's running out—dig in!

A Game Boy game developed by what is now Pax Softnica, and a mostly unknown work of Shigeru Miyamoto.

Muddy Mole and his family normally live a quiet life, with Muddy doing the daily raid of crops for food, but an evil farmer known as Jinbe decides he's had enough of moles ruining his land. As a result, Muddy returns home one day to find that his wife and seven kids have been kidnapped, and Muddy must fight Jinbe to get them back.

The game uses a top-down view and amounts to an action-puzzler. Muddy can dig holes through soft ground and throw/push/pull objects to proceed. Despite his simple arsenal, Muddy finds himself working his way through seven levels of Jinbe Land to take down the bosses, which is naturally full of spikes, Mooks and other dangers that shouldn't be plaguing a cabbage farm.

It was released with little notice (for different reasons) in both Japan and the USA, leading it to become one of the most obscure-yet-enjoyable games of its time, though its Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release gives it a wider audience.

This game contains examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Muddy with his tie and sunglasses and his wife with her bonnet.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Funton, among other bosses.
  • Asteroids Monster: The snowlem.
  • Badass Normal: Muddy. He's killing things with cabbages and throwing bombs the same size as him over his head.
  • BFB: Used by the final boss.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Muddy has one, as you can see.
  • Block Puzzle: Sort of behaves like them at times but the objects come in many shapes and can be thrown and pushed down holes with impunity, as well as block enemies.
  • Border-Occupying Decorations: Playing on the Super Game Boy fills the borders with dirt, with Muddy's arms in the bottom corners and the logo at the top.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Kangaroon, the World 1 boss. He doesn't punch you directly so much as throw boxing gloves at you, then jump around for a bit.
  • Boss Rush: The final level.
  • Cool Shades: Muddy wears a pair of them.
  • Critical Annoyance
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: You can only throw in the four cardinal directions.
  • Efficient Displacement: MacJinbe leaves this behind through a wall.
  • Excuse Plot: More or less. You're fighting a farmer with seven ridiculous henchmen, who kidnapped your family because he was pissed from all the crop damage.
  • Father's Quest: The plot revolves around Muddy Mole having to save his wife and kids from Jinbe.
  • 100% Completion: Each of the levels keeps a score (out of 100 points) based on how many cabbages you collect, items you collect, rooms you visit, and whether you beat the bonus game. Getting 100% on the later levels amounts to sheer hell.
  • Improbable Weapon User / Improvised Weapon: You can kill Mooks with cabbages lying around the stage. Jinbe also uses a garden hoe. It does make sense against a mole though.
  • Never Smile At An Alligator
  • Papa Wolf: Holding Muddy's family hostage is a bad idea.
  • Player Versus Player: In multiplayer mode the two players take turns playing as Muddy trying to steal cabbages and as Jinbe trying to stop him. Each round lasts a minute unless Muddy's health is depleted or all of the cabbages are taken.
  • Puzzle Boss: All of them, natch. What else do you expect from a puzzle game?
  • Puzzle Reset: It's pretty important to be able to do this, since digging holes in the wrong places can make rooms impossible to finish.
  • Rolling Attack: Used by the snowlems.
  • Spikes of Doom: You start encountering these from World 2 onward; Muddy can't cross them above ground. However, they don't affect pushed or thrown items. You also use spikes of doom to defeat a couple of bosses.
  • Spin Attack: Used by Won Ton Fun, making him bounce around like a curling iron on ice.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Go ahead. Keep bugging Grandpa Mole.
  • Three-Quarters View
  • Tunnel King: Not all surfaces can be dug through, solid rock being the first of them.
  • Villain Has a Point: As excessive as it was for Jinbe to kidnap the entire Mole family, Muddy did invade his garden and stole his crops.
  • Wrench Whack: One boss, the Mad Wrencher, throws wrenches at you. In order to beat him, you need to use the pipes scattered around the room to redirect the wrenches back at him.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Muddy can suplex throwable items, though not enemies directly. It's the only way to move throwables across a single hole.