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Video Game / Power Pro-kun Pocket 3

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The One Where... you dismantle Mazinger Z with your bare hands.

Power Pro-kun Pocket 3 is a 2001 Baseball simulator + dating sim developed by Diamond Head and published by Konami for the Game Boy Advance. The game uses a new engine for the Baseball simulator, but only comes with a single Success mode. The Minesweeper minigame from 2 does return as an unlockable, but it is just an Endless Game without story.

Custom characters made in this game are compatible with Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyū Basic Edition 2001 for the Nintendo 64.

Success Mode: Cyborg Edition

At the end of the original game, Hero 1 led a team of rookies to glory in a Baseball tournament. Then he got forced to marry a stalker over ten years his senior. And then he died in an accident. 終? Not quite.

Some years later, Kameda retrieves Hero 1's brain and resurrects him as a cyborg. This isn't out of kindness, though. Kameda has turned rotten after his own experiences of being revived as the Propeller Team's robotic minion, and sees his old friend as a slave for helping with the establishment of his own criminal Baseball organization. Can "Hero 1.3" overcome those adversities and take control of his life back?

This game features the following tropes:

  • A.I. Breaker: The CPU will often fumble around when a batter performs a bunt, leading to the strategy of winning matches doing nothing but bunts with any player who can't reliably score home runs.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Hero 1.3 remembers nothing upon being brought back from the grave due to his state as a disembodied brain and Kameda's tampering. The goal of the third year is keeping the Memory gauge over 80%, and in the end he finally recalls the accident that killed him. Failing to do this locks you into the bad ending where Hero 1.3 becomes a minion for the Neo Propeller Team.
  • Ass Shove: The animation that plays when you recover Hero 1.3's health shows a cord plugged to his butt recharging him.
  • Big Bad Friend: Kameda Mitsuo has become twisted from his near-death experience in the first game and his time in the Propeller Team in the second. In stark contrast to other "Glasses Clan" members in the series, he spends the whole story bullying and hindering Hero 1.3. Aiming to make his own shadowy organization under supposedly righteous motivations, he can potentially attack the protagonist with a giant robot at the end — and if you lose the fight Kameda will enslave the poor guy.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Hero 1.3 defeats Kameda and resumes his Baseball career but Dr. Karasawa, the scientist that brought him back to life, is canonically assassinated by former agents of the Propeller Team.
    • If Teraoka is the chosen girlfriend for the playthrough and dies, the epilogue shows a sad Hero 1.3 looking over the horizon, hoping that at least her research will be put to good use.
  • Bland-Name Product: "Gundar Robo" (ガンダーロボ) is a term for Gundam and Mazinger Z parodies that's been used various times for other games and toys but is largely associated with the Pawapuro and Pawapoke series.
  • Brain Transplant: Hero 1.3's brain is put into a shoddy mechanical body to revive him, and is later placed inside a cloned body to turn him back to normal.
  • Call-Back:
    • You can visit the school from 1 and meet some old faces there. Good for keeping the Memory gauge filled on year 3.
    • In Satomi's good ending, Hero 1.3 is shown looking fondly at a group picture depicting himself standing next to her, his old friends and Kameda trying to photo-bomb the shot.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you fail the story you'll need to start over from the beginning. You can reset the GBA, but the game punishes this with stat losses and will just erase the save file if you do it over three times.
  • Darker and Edgier: A notch darker than the second game, with the protagonist being treated like a slave by his former friend and featuring an high number of game over conditions and possible downer endings.
  • David Versus Goliath: The story canonically ends with Hero 1.3, a cheaply-made cyborg, destroying a Humongous Mecha with his bare hands. The developers have downplayed this by claiming Gundar Robo was very poorly-designed as well no matter how much money Kameda spent on it.
  • Demoted to Extra: Norika, Hero 1.3's widow, is only mentioned in passing on certain random events through the story. Just hearing about her gives the amnesiac Hero 1.3 shivers.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Finishing the story with neutral karma means a potentially very difficult fight against the Gundar Robo. Winning nets you a large sum of money to boost your custom character with, but losing breaks some of your items, sets your money to zero and leads to a bad ending.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: The more money you earn, the more Kameda rips off from you. And the more money he gets, the stronger his Gundar Robo will be should you face the final fight.
  • Drop the Hammer:
    • One minigame requires you to kill mice with a hammer, except for the ones who've eaten bombs.
    • Another one has Hero 1.3 using a hammer to knock zombies back inside the shelves of a morgue.
  • Early Game Hell: Buying enough stat increasers for the first year's goal can be very difficult, especially without borrowing from Kameda on the last turn. In the second year, however, clearing the four minigames nets good money for the life battery goal on top of recruiting teammates for the baseball matches. Then the third year's goal of raising the memory gauge isn't so hard — simply entering Gokuaku Highschool even when it runs out of events will raise that stat.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Contrary to later games in the series, no loss in a baseball match in Cyborg Edition leads to a game over. Which is a relief due to how difficult the game already is.
    • The inventory system for enhancing Hero 1.3's cyborg body is exclusive to this game, though it is transplanted for building "baseball dolls" in the Inner Successes of the next few entries. There's also no way to view the love interest's relationship values, but if they're in love with him they'll start blushing tomato-red on the end of dating scenes.
    • With enough luck and planning, you can clear the routes of multiple heroines at once. The latter stories in the series only allow to pick one.
    • The game uses sound effects for good and bad results in events, such as a mocking voice mimicking Losing Horns, that were replaced in the following installments.
    • The game is a rare instance in the series of lacking any kind of celebration scene when you clear the final tournament in the story. Instead, it dedicates an illustration for when the Propeller base bursts into flames. The good ending scene isn't a generic A Winner Is You illustration and doesn't have the "Clear" message.
    • This is also the single installment in the series with a mode, the Minesweeper game, that lets you enter the same custom character over and over. Therefore, it is the only installment where it is possible (but very, very difficult) to fully max out a character's attributes without glitches or cheats.
    • There is no This Is a Work of Fiction disclaimer, and neither does 4. 5 only brought it back as a Call-Back to 2, which it is directly tied to, and from then on it became a series' staple.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending:
    • Skipping the final boss by keeping the Karma Meter fully on the good side is easier than encountering it by ending the story with a neutral value. If you then screw up the fight against Kameda you'll be saddled with the worst ending in which he enslaves Hero 1.3. Same goes for getting the evil ending, since you have to deliberately pick the jerkass choices throughout the story.
    • Getting the epilogue where Hero 1.3 becomes a wandering loner requires you to ignore the events for the recruitable characters and the love interests, which makes the game considerably harder in a number of ways.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After everything went wrong in the first game, the canon ending in this one is Hero 1.3 defeating Kameda and forcing him to restore his humanity. Any other details, however, are left for the player to decide.
  • Easily Forgiven: If Hero 1.3's karma is high on the good side, the game ends with him forgiving Kameda for everything that happened. He says he's grateful to Kameda for being given a second chance at life, and to be able to make friends and play baseball again. Kameda comes to his senses upon hearing this, ceases hostilities and apologises by turning the protagonist back into a human.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There's a message on the title screen that is only visible via hacking.
    • On the menu for viewing your custom character list, note the slot at the very bottom that has a dog on it. It displays the truck crash cutscene and every game over screen you had in previous playthroughs.
  • Evil Former Friend: Kameda was Hero 1's best friend in the original game, but now he acts like a major jerkass and will sell Hero 1.3 off if he fails to pay rent or in certain circunstances will outright kill him for failure.
  • Final Boss: If your Karma meter is neutral at the end, you get a Sequential Boss quick time event minigame fight against Kameda and his Gundar Robo. The more money Kameda ripped you out of throughout the story, the more difficult the battle will be. Fail and you'll get the worst ending.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: What with Kameda being an antagonist, his opaque glasses and constantly frowning with Big Ol' Eyebrows make him look menacing instead of just mischievous. Even though he looks the same as he always did and about the same as any other guy in his clan.
  • Funny Background Event: In the first game, the Jump Scare cutscene for getting hit by a truck had Kameda in the background looking worried. In this game, he instead looks like he's laughing at Hero 1.3's misfortune.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The scene where a mortally wounded Miki is turned into a cyborg is known to crash the game.
  • Game-Over Man:
    • Every time you get Hero 1.3 killed, the Baseball God shows up after the "終" screen to offer a hint or to comment on certain characters.
    • The game over screen for dying of battery failure in the second year shows the Arai brothers reciting a haiku about your failure in a mocking tone.
  • Gratuitous English: "Team Propeller" is shortened to "PROPELA/PRO-P・E・L・A" whenever it is said or written in english during the story.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • It's hard to tell what triggers most of the event lines in the story, and there are several obscure luck-based factors involved.
    • The Gundar Robo battle is normally incredibly hard, but if you happen to have certain items in your inventory you'll be able to deal 5 HP worth of damage at once in the beginning and hit for double damage afterwards.
    • The Minesweeper minigame unlocks without warning after clearing Cyborg Edition three times.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You start out by giving the protagonist a name and role as usual, but this is actually integrated into the story. The last confirmation prompt shows an old picture of Hero 1 and various documents Kameda is using while reviving him.
  • The Hero: Hero 1.3, the single Power Pro-kun who gets to star in a second game.
  • Humongous Mecha: Kameda uses the rent money he gets from Hero 1.3 throughout the game to build himself a real Gundar Robo from the "Space-Time Warrior Gundar Robo" Show Within a Show. According to the game's developers, however, the mech amounted to a glorified wrecking ball crane and had no real use as a weapon for world domination.
  • I Work Alone: The recruitable NPCs are optional in this game. If you manage to finish the story without them you'll see Hero 1.3 wandering the world while declaring he doesn't need any friends.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Downplayed, but from this game on each love interest is associated with a special skill. There are 5 for pitchers and 5 for fielders, each one is represented by a kanji and they're always active in matches. Three of them can potentially break the cap of the character's attributes, which is something the normal skills can't do. However, they are exclusive to this series and can't be transferred over to the Pawapuro games.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Your inventory has 30 slots. If it is completely filled you will miss out on rewards from various events.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure:
    • There are several game over death scenes and each one comes with an unique illustration such as Hero 1.3's getting drowned, dumped on a junkyard or locked to death inside a box due to leaking radioactive waste. The "終" (meaning "End", in the sense of "Death" given the context) screen even has a children choir mocking the player.
    • Most of the love interests except Anne and including The Not-Love Interest Yukari can die depending on how the story goes, with miserable epilogue scenes of the protagonist mourning them. While Satomi getting shot to death doesn't get an epilogue scene, the outcome where she becomes a heartless criminal does.
    • In the worst ending, Kameda beats Hero 1.3 half to death and turns him into his permanent slave while becoming some kind of shadowy dictator as the leader of the Neo Propeller Team. While this isn't a game over, you will lose several items and all your money.
    • Losing in the Minesweeper game gets your custom character trashed. The game rubs this in your face with another voice clip of a child mocking you, a screen that lets you see all the stuff you lost and an unique game over screen showing your Pawapuro-kun lying severely injured on the floor.
  • Joke Character: It's possible to make the password function produce custom characters with blank stats. They'll be ineffective in play and affected by visual glitches such as batters facing the wrong way.
  • Just Following Orders: At one point Tsuyoshi notes a lot of the staff serving the Propeller Team are unpaid volunteers who think they're doing good for the sports world. He tells the protagonist that most people involved in evil organizations are ordinary and even fundamentally good but thoughtlessly give or follow orders like it doesn't affect them just to make ends meet.
  • Karma Meter: The Good/Evil gauge is an important element of the game that affects several events. In particular, it determines the main ending: if it is neutral, you get a final boss. If it is filled on the good side, you skip it. If it is filled on the evil side, you also skip the final boss and you get the evil ending.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Hero 1.3 can meet a girl named Yukari who suffers from a terminal disease and needs three million yen for treatment. If you don't want to be visiting her grave at the end of the story, you'll need to manage his health and work schedule very well to earn that much money. Unfortunately, she's never heard of again for the rest of the series.
  • Look Both Ways:
    • Beware the "lovestruck" status, as it can cause Hero 1.3 to space out and get run over by a truck. And stop laughing in the background, Kameda.
    • It is possible for the recurring dog to suffer a traffic accident and get turned into a cyborg afterwards.
    • Miki, one of the love interests, can also be hit by a truck after pushing Hero 1.3 out of its way. If your friendship stat with her isn't high enough, she will die. However, if your Karma Meter is evil, then Hero 1.3 will spend a lot of money and equipment to ask Dr. Karasawa to turn the mortally wounded Miki into a cyborg.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Many happenings in the story mode are outside of the player's control, including which jobs are available at a given time or how likely it is for Hero 1.3 to get hurt or stressed out from the various random events. Surviving the first year will likely require borrowing a ton of money from Kameda on the final week just to break even with the stat requirements to join the Kaiten Octopus team.
  • Made a Slave: Kameda treats Hero 1.3 like one. Furthermore, if the worst ending comes to pass he goes as far as installing a self-destruction device and a Slave Collar on him.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three main endings and then a bunch of possible epilogues as usual.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The Minesweeper game reuses character portraits from 2 when you meet the shopkeeper. This means your character suddenly gets a M mark on the cap instead of a K or no mark.
  • New Game Plus: You can enter a custom character from Cyborg Edition on the Minesweeper minigame and potentially max out his stats. It is much more likely you'll trip on a mine and lose it all, though...
  • Once an Episode: The shot of Gundar Robo emerging from a crumbling building is recreated several times throughout the series, especially in the Inner Success stories.
  • Powers as Programs: Stats and skills must be brought and installed in a limited inventory space where you also keep equipment for unlocking certain jobs. Negative perks can be deleted, but at a cost. Annoyingly enough, certain events will gleefully break your stuff at random (perks seem thankfully spared from this).
  • Press X to Not Die: The fighting Quick Time Event from the previous games returns for the battle against Kameda and the Gundar Robo. It is still in kanji.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Hero 1.3 has an Anger gauge you must manage. If it fills up he wastes a week throwing a temper tantrum that depletes his health to critical condition while not depleting as much from itself. The standard way of relaxing drains the Memory gauge, so instead you should spend an occasional week on dating someone.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The main menu theme is from Pawapuro 2001.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Hero 1.3's eyes glow red during the fight against Gundar Robo.
  • Running Gag: Funny Foreigner Albert is The Ace when it comes to Baseball, but he always gets injured in accidents before he can take part on matches for the Kaiten Octopus team. In fact, despite having high stats his player data in the games also has several negative traits.
  • Sequential Boss: Kameda and the Gundar Robo are fought back-to-back.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Albert's sister Anne is the only female player in the Kaiten Octopus team, which is mostly made up of male generic henchmen. She is one of the few Pawapoke characters who made recurring appearances in the main Power Pros series. Ironically, in a 2022 Denfaminico Gamer interview, the developers confessed to avoiding the portrayal of mixed-sex sports after Pawapoke 3 out of purism, no matter how inclusive the Power Pros games became over the years.
  • Some Dexterity Required:
    • 3 of the four minigames for recruiting people from the Propeller team are reflex-based.
    • Defeating Kameda and Gundar Robo in the quick time event minigame at the end is no easy task. Especially if you end up fighting a fully powered Gundar Robo with 15 HP.
  • Spoon Bending: One of the 4 minigames is a quick time event chain where you have to bend more spoons than a psychic man. Amusingly enough, even though the minigame's title card shows Hero 1.3 doing it with his mind, in the actual minigame he twists the spoons with his hands instead.
  • Status Effects: Eight of them, divided between 5 body conditions and 3 mental ones. You can only try to heal one at a time. Some of the worst in detail:
    • "Lovesickness" can force Hero 1.3 to spend a turn dating someone. On the way home, he might then get hit by a truck, which deals severe damage and destroys random items in the inventory. This is the last time Lovesickness has this additional effect.
    • The "Mania" (addiction for purchasing toys and nerdy merch) status is here to randomly waste turns and your much needed money, but it actually can be healed and isn't associated with a bad ending.
    • The "Leak" status is associated with the nuclear reactor item and causes Hero 1.3 to leak radioactive waste. If the status reaches level 3 (how long it takes is random), you will get the game over from Kameda locking Hero 1.3 inside a container until he dies from a meltdown. The only way to heal this status if you purchased the reactor for its benefits is to pay to discard the item.
  • Tilesweeper: The Level Goal-based Minesweeper mode does return as Heart-pounding Landmine Panic, but it was rushed to get the game finished due to the developers having no experience with the new hardware and it has no storyline.
  • Timed Mission:
    • First year: Gain a certain amount of stats (amount depends on whether you're a pitcher or a batter) to get drafted into the mafia, or they flipping murder you.
    • Second year: Save enough money for a long-life battery, or you'll die.
    • Third year: Keep the Memory gauge over 80% filled, or Kameda will enslave you after the Propeller tournament.
  • Title Scream: The "Pawapuro-kun Pocketo!!" shout appears for the first time. By pressing a certain key you can enter the main menu without hearing it.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: To recruit 4 characters during the second year you must clear their associated minigames. In the end you might get a final boss fight against Kameda that's portrayed as a Quick Time Event minigame.
  • We Can Rebuild Him:
    • Kameda revives Hero 1 as a cyborg, but with supressed memories and cheap enough materials that you have to spend the second year saving money for a new battery.
    • Turning Miki into a cyborg after she is mortally injured by being hit by a truck is portrayed as a morally ambiguous action and requires an evil Karma Meter to work.
  • We Can Rule Together: If Hero 1.3's karma is low at the end, he stays a cyborg and helps Kameda establish the Neo Propeller Team.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Should the player fail Yukari's storyline, Hero 1.3 visits her right after she died and, in shock, starts asking why under his breath. The other kids in the room shout that she died because he broke his promise to help her.
  • Yakuza: The Kaiten Octopus baseball team belongs to the Kaiten Company, a front for a dangerous Yakuza gang.