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Video Game / The Adventures of Willy Beamish

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What if you were nine again, knowing what you know now?

A Dynamix Adventure Game from 1991 that ended up ported to Sega CD a year later. It tells the story of Willy, a typical '90s kid who is all set for the summer, particularly a Nintari game tournament. However, a last-minute bad grade gets Willy's gaming privileges revoked, keeping him from practicing. This little setback is minor compared what is to come as Willy tries his best to get to the competition.

Willy Beamish is very under-the-radar game if there ever was one, with very adult humor. If you should happen upon the game, count yourself lucky and give it a try. For more information on it, go here. For a review, go here. The game itself is available for purchase on

The Adventures of Willy Beamish provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: Willy, especially moreso on the fourth and final day when it comes to saving the frogs and his father Gordon.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Besides adding actual voiced lines, the Sega CD adaptation also changes Willy's Monster Squad game from a cutscene to an actual minigame.
  • All Just a Dream: The vampire babysitter. After defeating her, Willy wakes up in bed with some pack on his head, although the mother does afterwards say "don't let the bats, er bedbugs bite". However, the bat does cause a game over if not dealt with in time.
  • Anonymous Public Phone Call: Willy tries to enter the Golden Bowl Tavern again on day 4, but Ray doesn't let him in. He calls Golden Bowl on a public phone and asks to speak to Ray, then plays a message from an astrological hotline recorded on tape. Since Ray's superstitious, he falls for it completely, letting Willy enter without him in the way.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Many of the adult customers in the pizzeria don't react to the bully Spider grabbing and picking up Willy like a ragdoll, with the intent of doing him harm.
  • Animal Talk: Willy's dog, Duffy, can be heard speaking English now and then, as can Horny, Gigi, and Turbofrog. They never try to communicate across species, though. The exception is Arthur the Parrot who can also sing his own lyrics, set to the tune of songs the intended audience of this game was not expected to know. (Namely Rod Stewart's Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?)
  • Babysitter from Hell: Willy's babysitter turns out to be a vampire. He even drops the trope name.
  • The B Grade: Willy has all A's and B's, but somehow the C grade he got is a huge deal that he's afraid to show to his parents. The subject is Music Appreciation, which is normally considered less academically significant.
  • Big Ball of Violence: If the Cripes catch Willy. Also their rumble with the family of ninjas.
  • Big "OMG!": Tiffany's reaction to finding out about Gordon's termination.
    "Oh my gawwwwwwwd! Daddy has been pink-slipped?!"
  • Bland-Name Product: Willy's Nintari console and portable Game Buddy.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: An example involving both genders; the three Beamish children consist of Tiffany (Blonde), Willy (Brunette), and Brianna (Redhead).
  • Boys Like Creepy Critters: Willy has a pet frog named Horny that he can use to freak out various characters, among them his teacher Ms. Glass and his older sister Tiffany. Part of the game's plot has Willy entering the Annual Tootsweet Frog Jump to win enough money to head to a video game championship.
  • The Bully: Spider lives to make Willy's life miserable and always extorts him for prized possessions.
  • But Thou Must!: After Willy gets home from detention, he's railroaded into helping his mom out with either preparing some carrots for dinner or playing with his sister Brianna. Picking the latter makes Sheila still ask for help with the former, so the player needs to deal with him cutting his thumb with a knife and the resulting need to bandage it up.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Averted at first, then exaggerated later. Taking one ferry token from the fountain is mandatory to progress with the game. Taking a second token gets you instantly hauled off to jail for life.
  • Console Cameo: The Sega CD version changes Willy's Game Buddy to look like a Sega Game Gear.
  • Copy Protection: One of the later puzzles references a picture of a newspaper clipping detailing a hypnosis school that was only available in the manual with the game.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Tootsweet Corporation controls a good amount of Frumpton's economy, and its owner, Leona Humpford, has designs on opening her own theme park.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Awesomely, the Lemony Narrator is one of these.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: You use a nudie calendar to get by the striking plumbers blocking the Sludgeworks.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Later in the game, Willy has to sneak around Humpford Mansion and in the dining room you can see two people...apparently doing something that looks very inappropriate for a game aimed at kids. Shortly after that scene we get to see a close-up, and it's Leona and Louis, the latter giving the former a perfectly g-rated horsey-ride. In front of a bearskin rug.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Spider is rather appalled at Willy passing gas in the pizza place. He considers it poor table manners.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: On the inventory screen, the player can skip one hour at a time to get to key events. However, be careful not to skip too far before certain actions are taken, or you might get a Have a Nice Death.
  • Finger-Snapping Street Gang: The Cripes introduce themselves by snapping their fingers, and are the villains of the third day. They're stopped by a Japanese ninja family.
  • Fission Mailed: After liberating the frogs within Humpford Manor, Willy gets caught by Louis and Leona and made to drown... but Turbofrog, Horny and optionally Gigi come to his rescue.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After Willy gets home from school, he can check the house's answering machine. The final message left is from an employment bureau calling for Gordon. Then at dinner, Gordon reveals his termination.
  • Gambit Roulette / Evil Plan: Leona Humpford and Louis Stoole's plot to make the plumbers go on strike, interrupting Tootsweet's processing of sludge and bring Frumpton to their mercy while pinning the blame on their choice of Unwitting Pawn, a newly hired PR spokesman for Tootsweet... that being Gordon Beamish.
  • Game Within a Game: Willy's Nintari has a Monster Squad cartridge in it that can be checked out via clicking on it. In the PC version, it's relegated to a cutscene of a generic monster-themed Mario clone; in the Sega CD version, it's fully playable and consists of a weird cross of Space Invaders and Tetris.
  • Hufflepuff House: At the Frog Jump, the entry table is occupied by Horny, Willy's frog; Turbofrog, The Rival; optionally Gigi, Dana's frog; and finally, an anonymous blond bearded man who the narrator makes a point of saying both he and his frog don't stand out at all.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Stated verbatim in one of the It's a Wonderful Failure screens.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Game events are driven by an in-game clock. The clock is advanced by waiting or by some time-consuming actions, and missing certain events could advance the trouble meter or cause a game over.
  • Japanese Tourist: They turn out to be ninjas.
  • Jobless Parent Drama: Gordon losing his job kicks off the rest of the plot, with Willy needing a new source of money to attend the Nintari championships, and Gordon himself falling for Leona and Louis' evil plot regarding the Tootsweet Corporation.
  • Karma Meter: The trouble meter is shown in they style of a thermometer, increases one step on bad actions, or all the way at critical points. It's off to Military School when it reaches the top.
    • The Let's Play points out that occasionally the "correct" answer is counterintuitive — for example, if you refuse to give your dog table scraps (which any dog-owning kid would reasonably expect his parents to disapprove of), he'll start acting up and your mom yells at you; give in to his demands, and Sheila will express disapproval, but it won't affect the meter.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Expies of Marge Simpson and Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons appear at the jumping frog contest.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The Sega CD version, which even shipped with a screensaver known as "Laser Balls" that could be called up at will and played with while the game spooled up a new scene.
  • Military School: In endings involving a maxed trouble meter or certain types of bad behavior, Willy ends up shipped to a military school for the summer.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The final area, which has Willy running through the Tootsweet complex, has several computer terminals that have to be manipulated. You're not given very many hints as to what to DO with them, though.
    • The very last puzzle of the game requires you to neutralize the bad guys before they can get to Willy. You're supposed to use the yo-yo that's been sitting in Willy's inventory since the start of the game to knock them down into the vat of Sludge below. What pushes this into Moon Logic Puzzle territory is that you most likely have an actual weapon in your inventory as well, the ninja star you got from the Japanse tourists, yet it's a Useless Item and trying to use it to stop the bad guys does nothing.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Sheila Beamish. She wears tight fitting pants, has an exposed midriff and looks good for a mother of three children.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Several. Notably, Leona Humpford resembles Leona "Queen of Mean" Helmsley.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: At one point in the game, you have to navigate a tram through some tunnels to reach the final area. One tunnel takes you to The Twilight Zone. Another takes you to one of the EmWay stations in Rise of the Dragon.
  • Nuclear Family: A perfect example. The breadwinner Gordon; his homemaker wife Sheila; their children Tiffany, Willy and Brianna; and their dog Duffy and cat Mr. Snickers; all living together in a big suburban house.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: The reason Leona hires Gordon Beamish as her head of PR.
  • Punny Name: Louis Stoole is a plumber; think about it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: After the Frog Jump, Leona has every competing frog — including Turbofrog, one of the most prolific animal athletes in the game's world — rounded up and taken to her mansion with the intent to eat their legs. And she somehow gets away with this until Willy shows up at her mansion and frees them.
  • Sadist Teacher: Ms. Glass. Who is given a Gross-Up Close-Up in the opening cutscene.
  • Scenery Porn: Lots of attention was drawn in the past to the fact that the backgrounds were drawn up by former Disney artists. And it shows.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Surprisingly averted. You can continue the game as normal if you only manage to make second place in the Tootsweet Frog Jump, as its prize is $2500 (enough for the Nintari championship) as well as the jet scooter you need to progress.
  • Sequel Hook: In the Sega CD version at least Willy turns to the player and says to keep an eye out for his next game, since they saved his bacon in this one and he wants them around for all his other adventures too.
  • Sequence Breaking: Willy can put off saving Horny from Humpford Manor in favor of going to the Golden Bowl Tavern and giving its owner the (winning) lottery ticket; Horny shows up in the cutscene anyway.
  • Serious Business: The annual Tootsweet Frog Jump offers $25,000 as first prize, and giving your frog Slam Dunk beforehand, or another frog flies, disqualifies you. Of course, if you 'intended' on giving your own frog flies, but another one were to take the jar from you before you did so...
  • Shmuck Bait: Chances are if your job interview consists entirely of being asked whether you can handle making "obscene amounts of money" in an office with a "drop dead view", the offer isn't entirely above board.
  • Shout-Out: The narrator says that Tootsweet Pavillion was formerly the Penn & Teller Building.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Gordon reveals that he's been fired.
    Sheila: How are we supposed to make the mortgage and car payments? How are we going to pay for Brianna's gifted preschool program? Or the credit cards, or my facials, or my nail wraps!?
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: Despite not being a sitcom, the Beamish Residence matches most of the traits listed.
  • Step One: Escape: Subverted. Once you gain control of Willy, he's in detention. His initial task is getting out of the classroom and then school by sneaking past Ms. Glass when she falls asleep, tricking Coach Beltz with a fake hall pass in the hall, and bribing Spider in the bathroom. However, it's possible to just wait the detention out and leave a little later, though he'll discover his report card has already been taken.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: The Japanese tourists will give you a smoke bomb and a shuriken as a gift. It's later revealed that they actually are ninja in disguise.
  • Take Your Time: Averted. The game's events are driven by an In-Universe Game Clock.
  • Timed Mission: Certain sections of the game need to be done under a stricter time limit. First is the day 2's antagonist, the cripes gang on Day 3.
  • Toilet Humor: Pretty much the entire scene with Spider in the pizza place, from fart gags all the way to an exploding toilet.
  • Tomboy: Dana paints herself this way, and it works enough that Willy doesn't consider her a "girl" in the same sense he does his sisters.
  • Traumatic Haircut: The cadet school ending finishes with Willy's head being shaved.
  • Unconfessed Unemployment: Being unceremoniously fired from your employment without warning, when everybody (including your whole family) was safely assuming you'd be promoted instead, and your position given to someone younger.
    Gordon: (thinking) I'm a failure... Nearly 40 and out of a job. What am I gonna do?
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • During the sequence where you are trying to rescue your frog, the puzzle with Chef Childish is based on your system speed, so if your computer is too fast, you won't be able to complete the puzzle. MoSlo or DOSBox to the rescue here.
    • The fire hydrant puzzle has a similar problem. If your computer is too fast, the bullies will be upon you before you can turn the hydrant on.
  • Unwinnable by Design: This being a Sierra game, there are numerous ways you can leave something behind or otherwise screw things up.
  • You Get What You Pay For: Willy and friends get a free pizza with a coupon. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with their choice of topping, and it gives Willy a bad case of gas that gets him in trouble with the school bully sitting at a nearby table. The girl sums up the situation with "you get exactly what you pay for..."
  • Younger Than They Look: Gordon Beamish is mentioned as "not even 40 yet", but his hair has already grayed, coupled with receding hairline. The narrator says he's undergoing a midlife crisis, so presumably stress is taking its toll on him.


Video Example(s):


The Adventures of Willy Beamish

In the middle of Day 3, Willy meets a family of Japanese tourists who want to take a picture and give him ninja weaponry in return.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / JapaneseTourist

Media sources: