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Video Game / Monster Party

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"'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.

Provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: After Mark opens Bert's presents and receives his surprise, he wakes up. 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 allows him to bat enemy projectiles back at their direction.
  • Background Boss: The last boss is a giant Nightmare Face that makes up the entirety of background, with its weak point being its nose.
  • Batter Up!: Mark uses a baseball bat as his primary weapon since Bert took him right when Mark was returning home from a game of baseball, with bat in hand. Bert even actually believes it to be a weapon during their first meeting, ignoring Mark's explanation that it was just a baseball bat.
  • Big Bad: The Dark World Master is the leader of the monsters terrorizing Bert's planet.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Round 6 takes place in the giant haunted house, with living furniture and pants as enemies. Doubles as The Maze.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Royce, the boss of Round 7, is a humongous caterpillar. And he rolls.
  • Bowdlerise: The US version removes the horror movie parodies from the game.
  • Breath Weapon: Bert attacks by firing projectiles from his beak.
  • Cartoon Creature: Just what is Bert supposed to be? The graphics make it hard to tell.
  • Company Cross References: The "Sorry, I'm dead" boss references Gegebomajuu, a toyline of model kits with gross-out features Bandai made a year before developing this game, specifically being based off the Torigaran toy.
  • 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.
  • The Dead Can Dance: The first boss of Round 5 is a group of dancing zombies. Before the fight, they even say "WATCH MY DANCE."
  • Dem Bones: In Round 3, skeletons appear as the enemies.
  • 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. Many of the bosses also count, from a semi-humanoid cyclopic monstrosity with far too many hands to a giant mass of grotesque, bleeding faces whose 'true' face is constantly moving and hiding.
  • 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 are giant spiders who threaten to suck out all your blood. In the Japanese prototype, they are replaced with the monstrous head based on The Thing (1982).
  • The Grim Reaper: In the Round 7, one of the bosses is a giant grim reaper who, after greeting him with "WELCOME! ENTRANCE TO HELL.", attacks Mark by firing souls at him. He was originally a Xenomorph as seen in the Japanese prototype.
  • Stalactite Spite: Round 3 has falling stalactites appear as obstacles.
  • 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.
  • 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's theme is in a 10/4 time signature.
  • Underground Level: Round 2 is set inside an Absurdly-Spacious Sewer, and Round 3 is set in the huge underground cave.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: 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: 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"
  • Welcome to Hell: The Grim Reaper boss greets Mark with the phrase "WELCOME! ENTRANCE TO HELL."
  • 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.