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Video Game / Monster Party

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David Cronenberg's The Fly plus Red Lobster equals...

"'Let's mix it up!' says Medusa. Well I guess this game's version of mixing it up is making things slightly normal, because this Medusa fish is the most standard thing I've seen so far."

Monster Party is a 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System game that follows the adventures of Mark, who embarks on a journey at the request of the alien/bird/dragon Bert to the Dark World. En route, the two fuse together; you play as Mark, but can shift into Bert's form by popping pharmaceuticals. The game is known for its huge number of bosses, many of whom make no goddamned sense whatsoever.

It was developed by Human Entertainment, makers of the Fire Pro Wrestling and Clock Tower series, and, oddly, never saw release in its country of origin. A prototype of the cancelled Japanese release finally found its way into the hands of ROM dumpers in July 2014.

No connection to the 2018 horror thriller film.


Tropes Associated with Monster Party:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Round 2.
  • Action Bomb: Dynamite hands in the final level.
  • Affably Evil: Royce, who politely introduces himself to you before his battle. Also Torigaran, who apologizes for already being dead.
  • All Just a Dream: After Mark opens Bert's presents and receives his surprise, he wakes up.
    • Or Was It a Dream?: And when he leaves for school, he finds Bert waiting for him at the door. With a bat.
  • Already Done for You: Torigaran (a creature from an obscure toy line made by Bandai) is dead on arrival. And he apologizes for it.
  • Attack Reflector: Mark's baseball bat.
  • Background Boss: The last boss.
  • Batter Up!: Again, Mark's baseball bat.
  • Big Bad: The Dark World Master is the leader of the monsters terrorizing Bert's planet.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Round 6. Doubles as The Maze.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The biggest one is Royce. Who rolls.
  • Bowdlerise: The US version removes the horror movie parodies from the game.
  • Advertisement:
  • Breath Weapon: Bert's attack.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The final level.
  • Cartoon Creature: Just what is Bert supposed to be? The graphics make it hard to tell.
  • Covers Always Lie: The box art features a bunch of archetypal movie monsters, but the only one of them who actually shows up in the game is Medusa.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Round 1 and 8.
  • Dancing Pants: Round 6 features wandering pants as an enemy.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Bert looks frightening, but is actually a good guy.
  • Dark World: After passing the big green haniwa in the first level (now you know what it is) the scenery takes a turn for the... Worse.
  • Dem Bones: One of the enemies in Round 3.
  • Directionally Solid Platforms: First and seventh stage have the most of them.
  • Dirty Coward: One of the bosses in the first level politely asks you not to pick on him, just before he starts attacking you.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Chameleon Man is a bloody face hiding in a room wallpapered in bloody faces along with three decoy bloody faces. Bloody faces.
  • Dreadful Musician: The punk rock torso who attacks with, and quoted straight from the manual, "bad-playing guitar."
  • Dub Name Change: From the Japanese prototype: Hiroshi to Mark, and Baryuu to Bert. Also, the game's full title in Japan is Parody World: Monster Party.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The final boss, a face who seems to be watching you with many many eyes, strewn throughout Round 8.
  • Eldritch Location: Technically, the whole game as you are on an alien planet. The levels progress with no rhyme or reason to them. The scenery often changes radically from happy to grotesque, not only the first level but several of the boss rooms are more macabre in nature than the levels.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Absolutely everything. Deep-fried seafood, for example.
  • Exact Words: When you enter the Boss Room with the dancing zombies, they say "Watch us dance!" That's all you have to do to win.
  • Flash of Pain: Bosses briefly turn white when hit. As for the regular enemies, it depends on the enemy type to determine which color it turns into when hit.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: One boss still says "Oh boy! Mark soup!", even if you are currently playing as Bert.
  • Giant Spider: Two of the bosses. There's only one in the Japanese prototype, based on The Thing (1982)
  • The Grim Reaper: One of the less baffling bosses.
    • He was originally a Xenomorph as seen in the Japanese prototype.
    • Except that he is the one who says "Hell." See above.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Once more, Mark's baseball bat. Also, Round 7 contains evil umpires.
  • Irony: This game has several Japanese ghosts (One of them being the Bancho Sarayashiki legend) in it, yet it never got a release in Japan.
  • It Came from the Fridge: Shrimp, and onion rings, and kabobs... OH MY!
    • All covered in tempura, no less.
    • This manages to be both Pun and It Came from the Fridge. Shrimp, onion rings, Seth Brundle's teleportation device... Yes, you are fighting The Fry.
  • Kid Hero: Mark is a young boy who helps Bert fight the evil monsters.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: None of the monsters on the cover art are actually in the game as mooks or bosses except Medusa.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The unreleased Japanese prototype had several enemies and bosses based on famous fictional characters, many of which were modified to avoid lawsuits in the game's limited American release. Examples of the bosses include a singing potted plant that uses musical notes as projectilesnote , an ape-man on horseback who fights with a ruined Statue of Liberty appearing in the backgroundnote , a grotesque head on spider legsnote , a Mogwai that turns into a Gremlin as the boss fight startsnote , and a Xenomorphnote .
  • Let's Play: Including one by none other than DeceasedCrab, who got his screen name from the already-dead boss.
  • Light Is Not Good: The final level resembles (or is) heaven, but is home to an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Lost in Translation: The US version removes the references to horror movies, making it unclear that this is a parody game.
  • Made of Explodium: Every regular enemy. Oddly, not the bosses, who just disappear.
  • The Maze: Round 6.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Mad Javelin Man is a combination of a haniwa statue and a Gundam. In the Japanese prototype, he's based on titular character from the Daimajin trilogy.
  • Monster Mash: The game is about a boy teaming up with a gargoyle to fight all sorts of monsters, including ghosts, dancing zombies, a minotaur, a gorgon, and a Giant Spider.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Mark wakes up to find the entire adventure was a dream. Then Bert knocks on the door.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Most of the game's entertainment value comes from the sheer lunacy of the enemies it throws at you. Burning Japanese schoolboys! Angelic sticks of dynamite! Joseph Merrick, for crap's sake!
  • Pun: The Giant Bull Man boss says: "Mooove it!" You know, because... Yeah. Also, a rolling, Giant Caterpillar is named "Royce" because he... Yeah.
  • Recurring Boss: The Giant Spider, or the Thing in the Japanese prototype.
  • Scenery Gorn: The later half of Round 1 is a textbook example of this trope. Also, the title and game over screens and several of the boss rooms.
  • Segmented Serpent: One of the Round 8 bosses.
  • Self-Deprecation: The samurai boss admits he's a slowpoke.
  • Sequel Hook: ...Maybe.
    Bert was there, and he whispered to Mark: "Let's go again!"
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Just let the zombies finish their dance in peace. If you attack them, you'll just prolong their unlives.
  • Shout-Out: From Little Shop of Horrors to Gundam to obscure Japanese ghost stories.
  • Skippable Boss: And you'd better; if you beat every boss of Round 7, you'll lose the key that lets you leave.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Happy music plays during the game over screen, with skeletons in a pool of blood.
  • Spikes of Doom: At first in Round 1. Then they change a bit.
  • Stalactite Spite: Round 3.
  • Temple of Doom: Round 4 is set in an Egyptian tomb, complete with scorpions, sculptures of Anubis, hieroglyphs, etc. What it doesn't have are the game's two Egyptian-themed bosses, who appear in other levels...
  • Tennis Boss: Most bosses shoot projectiles that you can knock back with Mark's bat. You do NOT want to face them as Bert.
  • The Dead Can Dance: "WATCH US DANCE."
  • Unbuilt Trope: The change in Round 1 from relatively normal, lighthearted retro Nintendo game to a dark, twisted version of itself is oddly prescient of Eversion, right down to happy face blocks turning into nightmarish ones.
  • Uncommon Time: Round 4 theme with 5/10 time.
  • Underground Level: Round 2 and 3.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: One nasty and cruel example, depending on if you watch the key icon or not: Killing 2 bosses in Round 7 gives you a key, but killing the final one takes the key away, forcing you to restart the game. The Japanese prototype only has 2 bosses, making this seem like a case of lazy programming.
  • Ventriloquism: The serpent dragon's speech bubble is pointing toward the right side of the screen, but it's on the left.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: One of the nastiest examples out there; there are 3 bosses in Round 7, and you'll get the key to leave by killing 2 of them. Kill the 3rd one, and he takes the key with him, forcing you to restart from the very beginning.
  • Visual Pun: The Shrimp Attack boss is a pair of telepods that throws tempura and onion rings at you. In other words, it's "The Fry"
  • Zero-Effort Boss: One of the bosses on level one says, "SORRY, I'M DEAD." He does nothing at all and you can leave with the prize just a second later.
    • Another boss has two zombies requesting for you to watch them dance. If they finish their dance, you get the prize. If you hit them while they dance, they'll fall apart and then regenerate to start the dance again.


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