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Video Game / The NewZealand Story

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The NewZealand Story, or Kiwi Kraze in the US, is a 1988 Arcade Game by Taito. The story goes as such: Wally, a leopard seal, kidnapped all but one of the kiwis from Auckland's Zoo, including Phee-Phee, the girlfriend of Tiki (the one who managed to escape). He's selling his friends to various zoos throughout the country. Armed only with a bow and arrows, Tiki goes to the rescue!

The New Zealand Story is a cutesy Platform Game with very extensive and maze-like levels, quirky enemies and obstacles, and some features which were not very common at the time (and still are not today, of course the world of videogames has changed a lot), such as Tiki's ability to pilot a wide variety of vehicles and to come Back from the Dead by escaping Heaven.

It received a "remaquel" titled The New Zealand Story Revolution for Nintendo DS in 2007, which was basically the same thing, except for various minigames that took advantage of the double screen. Also, you had to first find the key for your fellow kiwis' cage and then the cage itself, which led to much annoying backtracking. This game was not well received.


The game provides examples of:

  • Amusing Injuries: If Tiki gets killed by an enemy projectile such as a rock or a hatchet, he will remain embedded in his head. Even when he goes to Heaven...
  • Artistic License Biology: Tiki looks nothing like a real kiwi bird. Lampshaded when in the background there are posters with the silhouette of a real kiwi.
  • Artistic License Geography: Played with - the game does actually feature real New Zealand place names in the right locations, although the locations are far more embellished than in real life.
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: When Tiki dies in certain conditions his soul will rise to Fluffy Cloud Heaven. Here, the gameplay is the same than in the rest of the game (but both he and the enemies have a Holy Halo on their heads!), and if Tiki dies he will get a Game Over. However, there are ways to escape from Heaven and get another chance to rescue Phee-Phee...
  • Collision Damage: Played with. Most enemies actually do not harm Tiki by touching him, only their bullets and, in case of the spiked creatures, their spikes do.
  • Damsel in Distress: Phee-Phee is captured by Wally Walrus and Tiki must save her from his clutches.
  • Difficulty by Region: If playing in the arcade, there are three major versions. The initial Japanese version starts easy, the newer World version rearranges the initial stages to make them a bit more challenging (but still fair), but the older World version puts the player in immediate danger in 1-1, and scatters spikes throughout the maps. Most console ports are based on the original Japanese version, thus preventing any worry.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Magician summons other random enemies.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The first boss in the remake appears to be this, when it swallows you there's all sorts of junk in its stomach including a car.
  • Flying Saucer: The UFO, one of the vehicles you can hijack and ride. Unaffected by gravity unlike the other vehicles, almost indestructible, very fast, and carries a mean laser gun whose beam is longer than the screen!
  • Mood Whiplash: Any boss encounter, as the normally cheery level theme is abruptly interrupted by the sinister boss theme.
    • The Bonus Level of Heaven, since it is a Non Standard Game Over that can catch you by surprise the first time it happens and the level music has a melancholy tone to it that contrasts with the aforementioned standard level theme.
  • Mook Maker: Aside from the background doors that release mooks, there is the following:
    • Franky, an orange spiked waking ball that spits out copies of itself from time to time.
    • Microbs, which creates copies of itself as it travels along the ground (up to 7, the ones at the tail disappear).
    • Magician, which throws a blue star upward, creating an enemy once it stops in place.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The bosses. The first one is described below in the Womb Level example. The second boss is a floating octopus made of stone which spits ink globs that turn into swarms of bats. The third one looks like a robotic matrioska (Russian nesting doll) that shoots homing missiles. And of course Wally himself, a big leopard seal hanging on a balloon and shooting you with a mortar.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If you die, go to the Bonus Level of Heaven and manage to stay alive... undead... whatever, eventually you will find "The Goddess" (an Expy of the Virgin Mary) and, after a message about Tiki going to sleep forever, the game will end.
  • One Bullet at a Time: The bow, bomb and laser don't exhibit this, but if you pick up the Fire Staff, only two fireballs are allowed on screen. These fireballs bounce off walls, making them last a bit of time.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Getting hit by an enemy once instantly kills Tiki.
  • Oxygen Meter: Every time Tiki goes underwater, there's a meter that runs out the longer he swims.
  • Science Fantasy: Among the weapons you can find and use there are a magic staff that shoots bouncing fireballs and a ray gun.
  • Sigil Spam: All the doors in the game (e.g. the ones before the boss chambers) and some background elements bear the likeness of Wally Walrus.
  • Smoking Is Cool: One of the kiwis in the intro is seen smoking before being kidnapped by Wally.
  • Spelling Bonus: To gain an extra life, you can spell the word E-X-T-E-N-D in big colorful letters, just like in Bubble Bobble (released a couple years before this game).
  • Spikes of Doom: Lots. There are many sections in the levels where you have to navigate between rows of these using one of the vehicles, and one level where you navigate a maze filled with spikes. Also, if you float into a ceiling with some vehicles, you can get hit by the spikes along the floor above. As a touch of realism, enemies are harmed by them as well.
  • Stalked by the Bell: If you can't find the exit of a level quickly enough, the "Hurry Up!" message will appear and after a while a cartoonish little devil will chase you. While the devil eventually becomes faster than Tiki, staying alive long enough results in a second "Hurry Up!" message.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Phee-Phee sports pink shoes and a big polka-dot bow on her head, otherwise she's identical to all other kiwis.
  • Universal Driver's Licence: Tiki can pilot balloons, hot air balloons, zeppelins, UFOs and so on. The 2007 remake adds roller skates and a car.
  • Womb Level: More like a Womb Boss. The first boss is a pink floating snowflake-spewing whale encased in ice that, no matter what you do, will swallow Tiki. You then will find yourself into its stomach, and you'll have to shoot at its walls while avoiding the gastric fluids dripping, to make it explode and thus finish the level.

 
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Tiki meets the Goddess (New Zealand Story)

On the heaven level that you access if your last life is taken under specific situations, if Tiki touches the goddess before escaping from there, he will rest in peace and abandoning his quest of saving his friends

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