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Video Game / Power Pro-kun Pocket 1

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Power Pro-kun Pocket is a 1999 Baseball simulator + visual novel developed by Diamond Head and published by Konami for the Game Boy Color.

The Baseball gameplay in this and the following game is rather primitive, with outfielders and runners being automatically controlled by the CPU. However, that's not exactly the point of the game.

As had been done in the main Live Powerful Pro Baseball games since 3, the game features a two hours long "Success" life simulator mode in which the player must both manage the protagonist's routine as the story goes on and win Baseball matches at critical moments.

It has several possible endings, and a successful run awards the resulting character to be used for build extra teams. Those characters can also be transferred to Pawapuro 6 on the Nintendo 64. The game and its sequel received a compilation remake in the engine of Pawapoke 6 for the Game Boy Advance in 2004.

Success Mode: Gokuaku High School Edition

"Hero 1" is a high schooler who dreams to make it big in Baseball. However, the school he transfers to, Gokuaku High ("極亜久高校", meaning something like
"Heinous", "Badass" or "Extreme" Highschool), is run by nefarious delinquents who sabotage their opposition.

When their decrepit club collapses, the senior staff are sent to the hospital and Hero 1 becomes the new captain. He must then convince his classmates to join his team and take them to victory at Koshien, all while dealing with a criminal conspiration involving the Propeller sports organization.

This game features the following tropes:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Every so often in a Success run, you will run into Dr. Daijōbu (literally "Are you okay?"; renamed "Dr. Goodjob" in MLB Power Pros) who offers to perform a experimental surgery on you. The reward for a successful surgery might seem tempting, but the penalty for a failed surgery is devastating and can ruin a success run.
  • Banana Peel: Played for Drama; the Gokuaku students try to injure Suzumu by making him slip on a banana peel but on top of that he gets hit by a speeding truck afterwards.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Borders on a Downer Ending because despite Hero 1 leading his team to victory, his friend Kameda dies and he is forced to marry Norika, a stalker who's much older than him. He even dies by falling off a cliff between this game and 3.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Thanks to having been experimented on, the opponent captain for the final match in the story excels in both pitching and batting. It's pretty much impossible to build a character like this in actual gameplay.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you get a Game Over you'll be forced to start over from the beginning. You can reset, but the game punishes that with stat losses and will eventually just erase your save file.
  • Continuity Nod: Pawapoke 1 was intended to be a Gaiden Game for Power Pro 5. Its story starts off at Power Pro 5's year 1 month 10 week 1 where Tetsuo had lunch before the match only to find out his bento has been poisoned. It also shows on certain cameos and details like Kameda's father being part of Akio's family line. However, this connection is largely disregarded since then, as characters from the main series eventually stop appearing at all.
  • Covers Always Lie: Hero 1 has a G mark on the hat (and eyelashes) and the dog is an Advertised Extra.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the main Power Pro games, this game and its sequels are more prone to drama, violence and sexually suggestive content. Failing the various story routes often result in tragedies right out of an Utsuge, and at least two bad endings are canon in this installment.
  • Demoted to Extra: Regarding characters from Pawapuro 5:
    • Tetsuo Toi and Akio Yabe are never actually seen on-screen.
    • Brothers Susumu and Mamoru Ikari have a significant role in the story, but only Susumu is seen again after this game, as a doctor in 7.
  • Due to the Dead: There's a couple bad epilogues where the protagonist is lamenting a friend's death at a cemetary. Endings and game overs like this can be found across the entire series.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • From here to 3, there is a visual gag on the new game/load icons that changes if all save slots are in use. From 4 on, the menu style changes and this is unfortunately removed.
    • No license to use real life teams, no Inner Success mode, no Pennant mode...
    • The dialogue portraits resemble those of Power Pro 4 instead of the style established by 5.
    • There's no Baseball God yet in either the story or after the game over screen.
    • There's a brief exchange between the protagonist and his opponent on the title card before and after any match in the story, exactly like in Power Pro 5. No other game in the series does this and it isn't preserved in the remake.
    • The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue scenes for your teammates play for all of them as a short narration at the end of the story, so they don't have associated Modular Epilogue illustrations.
    • There's no gallery, so you can only review endings through each custom character on your collection. After the gallery was added in Pawapoke 4, the custom character menu lost that function, which rather lowered the sentimentality players could feel for their previous Power Pro-kuns.
    • Clearing one of the girlfriend sidequests is important for building a strong character, but on this game and the next they are not yet associated with a unique always-active perk. This is preserved in the remake, but Norika is made into the wild card girlfriend that lets the player choose between any of the 5 perks.
    • This side series is tied to the setting of Pawapuro 5, but from Pawapoke 4 on no characters from the main series appear again except for Susumu in 7.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The rather spiteful canon endings where Hero 1 gets married to Norika and Kameda is blown up at Team Propeller's base aren't something you'll stumble on or get by mistake. In fact, you're unlikely to even see Norika in a casual playthrough.
  • Extended Gameplay: As a visual novel, part of the appeal in the series comes from discovering every possible story outcome, be it good or bad. Through strategy and luck, players can also raise top-grade Power Pros who are free from bad traits and pit them against other players.
  • Funny Foreigner: Albert Anjou Aznable is a blonde American guy who keeps getting injured in accidents every time he is seen, and he's present on every game in the series. His stats in Arrange Mode tend to be very high, but are combined with several bad perks.
  • The Hero: The Power Pro-kun known to fans as "Protagonist/Hero #1".
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You start out by giving Hero 1 a name and a role on the team he's about to join.
  • Gaiden Game: The game is a What If? of Power Pro 5, from the perspective of a team that were antagonists in the original story.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Two of the mandatory minigames require knowledge of the Japanese language.
    • When you beat the remake version, the sequel doesn't immediately unlock and there no hint of how to do it. The player is left to presume they'll need to replay Extreme High School three or more times to get that done.
  • Ill Girl: Timesu Asuka, who suffers from heart disease. If Asuka becomes your girlfriend and you managed to reach the Koshien finals, her condition will take a turn for the worse and will face certain death unless certain conditions were met.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure:
    • Some bad endings are just depressingly messy. A few even show Hero 1 paying respects at a cemetary should you let certain people die. It doesn't help that at least two of those are actually canon to the sequels.
    • The remake has the Pennant mode from 6 with a different game over screen. It shows the depressed protagonist sitting by a river while somebody tosses a can on his head and a dog pees on him.
  • Kick the Dog: The Gokuaku team's sabotage accidentally causes Suzumu to get hit by a truck and sent into a hospital. The Proppeler Team then kidnaps the boy and remodels him into an evil cyborg. The process greatly increases his physical abilies but ruins his eyesight.
  • Look Both Ways: The Lovesickness status doesn't just cause Hero 1 to waste turns dating, but also adds a chance for him to get run over by a truck after the date.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The story has several luck-based aspects which generally apply for all the next 14 games.
    • Training can fail and injure Hero 1 depending on his health meter, though the failure chance never reaches 100%. Injury causes increasingly harsh penalties and will result in a game over if it happens toward the end of the story.
    • Attempting to remove a status effect can fail.
    • Random events can apply bad traits to Hero 1 or remove his good ones.
  • Multiple Endings: There are several possible outcomes for the story. Some of the worst are canon.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Propeller Team, which give you sponsorship but are really a criminal organization that seeks a complete monopoly of sports entertainment.
  • Negative Continuity: Averted, in contrast to the main Power Pro series. From this game to Pawapoke 14, we follow a storyline that spans over 30 years.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics:
    • Strangely, some of the interface graphics and animations from 6 are needlessly reused in the 1&2 remake.
    • Pennant mode in the remake is mostly unchanged from 6, but has an unique game over screen.
  • No Name Given: In the franchise's single exception, the Pawapuro 5 protagonist is given the name of Tetsuo Toi. Otherwise, all other Power Pro-kuns and Power Pocket-kuns are left unnamed and are given simple "Hero/Protagonist (X)" nicknames by fans.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Norika, due to being 30-something years old and a creepy stalker, is depicted in a ugly-cute way, with a unique, blockier head shape and dot eyes.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you get injured from training during the Koshien tournament, the game ends prematurely. If it happens before the first match, you get a game over with a Bittersweet Ending epilogue scene showing Hero 1 got laid off his team but is trying his luck on American Baseball. If you mess up training on the semi finals or finals but have a good reputation, the stardard ending plays out (albeit missing certain scenes) and you get to register your custom character.
  • Press X to Not Die: One reflex-based minigame has you dodging attacks from a martial artist for a minute, but the directions are given in Kanji. What's worse is that the player is required to input the opposite direction on the d-pad. Many western players would therefore consider it as a Guide Dang It! moment.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Tetsuo Toi, the protagonist from Power Pro 5 who gets named here, and the original Glasses Clan member Akio Yabé, appear as opponents but have no dialogue.
  • Red Is Heroic: The protagonist's team wearing red is nothing unusual for the franchise, but if you look back at Power Pro 5 you'll notice a small retcon: the Gokuaku team wore purple in it. Then in later installments they're portrayed in purple again.
  • Relationship Values:
    • You need to befriend your teammates to increase their performance level on Baseball matches.
    • Hooking up with the love interests generally requires a high friendship value, but across the series it often is not enough to get a good ending with them.
  • Save-Game Limits: Three save files for the Success mode can be kept at once.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Certain events and choices will apply good and bad traits on Hero 1 that modify his stats when certain conditions are met on a baseball match.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Arai siblings all display stalker behavior, but Norika takes the cake as she canonically drags Hero 1 into an unhappy marriage.
  • Standard Status Effects: Bad statuses are divided between physical and mental ("kokoro", or heart in the figurative sense) illnesses. Each will prevent Hero 1 from training or starting events properly and can only be healed one at a time. Worse is that there's no guarantee that attempting to heal him will actually work.
  • Stars Are Souls: The epilogue scene after Kameda is blown up while trying to rescue Satomi shows Hero 1 lamenting his loss while staring at the sky.
    "I still can't forget Kameda-kun. I think I could have helped Kameda-kun, but nothing can be done about it now. He will never come back." (He does.)
  • Start Screen: The title screen has Hero 1 and the recurring dog character leaping towards the screen, and no background music. The title screens for the entire series rarely get any more detailed than this, in stark contrast to the main Power Pro games which eventually got animated openings and voiced theme songs.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: At the beginning of the story, it is revealed that the old baseball club regularly attempts to sabotage the opposing team by poisoning their bentos. Hero 1 is beaten up for knowing the truth, and then karma ensues.
  • Timed Mission: The first phase of the game involves getting Hero 1's classmates to join his team, and a game over will happen if he takes too long to do so.
  • Tool Assisted Speedrun: Such speedruns for this series involve managing everything just right and manipulating RNG so that bad events never happen, the hero gets maxed out stats, a truckload of good perks and as many good epilogues as possible for that playthrough.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: You are required to clear 4 different minigames to convince certain characters to join your team.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Suzumu from Power Pro 5 was hospitalized due to a traffic accident and was abducted by the Propeller Team during his stay. He was subjected to many surgeries which boosts his ability as a pitcher and batter considerably. You will see him again donning the persona of Yakyūmasuku (roughly translates to "The Masked Baseballer") serving the Holy Emperor High School, the game's Final Boss.


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