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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. As had been done in the main Live Powerful Pro Baseball games since 3, the game features a two hours long "Success" story mode with several possible endings that awards a custom character upon completion. The player can then use those characters to create custom teams. The game and its sequel received a compilation remake in the engine of 6 for the Game Boy Advance in 2004.

Success Mode: Extreme 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 (meaning "Extreme" or "Badass"), is so decrepit that the Baseball club collapses on top of most of the club staff, sending them all to the hospital. Can Hero 1 convince his classmates to join his team and then take them to victory at Koshien?

This game features the following tropes:

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  • Awesome, but Impractical: Every so often in a Success run, you will run into Dr. Daijōbu (literally "Are you okay?") 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, the connection between the two series is largely disregarded since then.
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  • Covers Always Lie: Hero 1 has a G mark on the hat (and eyelashes) and the dog is an Advertised Extra.
  • Darker and Edgier: The selling point of the Pawapoke series in general compared to the main Power Pro games. Characters can die and some of the worst possible outcomes are canonized by the sequels.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • No license to use real life teams, no Inner Success mode, no gallery, 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 Yabe appear as opponents.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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