Friday, February 12, 2016

Manual Stimulation (KiKi KaiKai, PC Engine)

That little peek into KiKi KaiKai's manual a couple of days ago--in my most recent "Nice Package!" post--wasn't enough, was it?

Don't be shy. I also didn't think it was enough. I couldn't just fill that write-up with photos of this PC Engine game's instruction booklet, though, could I? Thankfully, I have another series that's pretty darn suitable for such things.

Speaking of which, let's take a more thorough look at this Taito title's manual, shall we?

KiKi KaiKai's cover illustration sure is snazzy, isn't it? I especially like that there's more perspective and movement to it than a lot of its counterparts from the same era.

The art style used inside KiKi KaiKai's instruction manual is quite a bit simpler than the one used on its cover, but I don't see that as a negative. In fact, I'm a big fan of the illustrations that fill its handful of pages.

That's a very good thing, as without those wonderful drawings, KiKi KaiKai's manual would be nothing but a bunch of text, some squiggles and a couple of black-and-white screenshots.

Not that such a product would be the worst thing in the world, mind you. But who wouldn't prefer to look at pretty illustrations while learning how to play their brand-new (back in 1990), ball-busting PC Engine game?

My only complaint with this particular pamphlet: the same accomplished (and adorable) depiction of Sayo-chan--this is the name of KiKi KaiKai's protagonist--that appears on its initial pages also pops up a few more times as you flip through it.

Oh, well, you can't have everything, right? Anyway, speaking of Sayo-chan, she's a young Shinto shrine maiden living in Feudal Japan, in case you didn't pick up on that in the manual's opening salvo.

KiKi KaiKai's story can be summed up as: a handful of "Lucky Gods" (whatever that means) surprise Sayo-chan one day and warn her of impending danger. Shortly thereafter, they're ambushed by a group of thuggish goblins who whisk the deities away to a far-off mountain range.

Being the rather bold gal that she is, Sayo-chan chases after them--with this colorful HuCard's contents cataloging her ensuing adventure.

Some of the baddies she--and you, as the person who controls her in-game--encounters along the way can be spotted in the illustrations showcased above and below.

And here (below) are the bosses who do their best to impede Sayo-chan's progress. Not that I have any experience battling a good number of them. As I've surely said before, KiKi KaiKai regularly kicks my butt, so I've rarely made it past this overhead smhup's third or fourth stage.

How about you? Have you ever played either the arcade original version of KiKi KaiKai, this PC Engine port, or even some other iteration of this vaunted--if not exactly long-running--series over the years?

Even if you haven't, what do you think about the manual made for its PC Engine release? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section that follows.

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts

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