Thursday, August 04, 2016

Be still, my Fukio Mitsuji-loving heart: Tengen prepped Magical Puzzle Popils ports for the Famicom and PC Engine way back when

If this is the first time your eyes are coming across the name Fukio Mitsuji, please take a seat.

In short, Mitsuji was a brilliant Japanese game designer and artist who helped create a number of outright classics during his unfortunately short career. (Sadly, he died in 2008.)

Specifically, Wikipedia credits him with having a hand in just nine games within the span of seven years (1985 to 1991).

Of those three games, I personally consider three of them to be among the best games ever to see the light of day. One is Bubble Bobble, another is that game's sequel, Rainbow Islands, and the third is Magical Puzzle Popils.

Don't worry if you've similarly never heard of that last title. After all, Magical Puzzle Popils was made for Sega's Game Gear--and only for Sega's Game Gear. (If you want to learn more about this puzzler, which was called Popils outside of Japan, check out its GameFAQs entry, its Wikipedia page or this previous post of mine.)

Or so I thought until yesterday. That's when I learned (via that, at some point in the fairly distant past, developer and publisher Tengen prepped Famicom and PC Engine ports of Magical Puzzle Popils.

It's also when I came across footage of these previously unknown console ports. The PC Engine version can be seen in the video above, while the Famicom version can be seen here.

None of what's showcased in these clips looks tremendously different from what can be found in the Game Gear original, although the stages appear a smidge larger and some of the intermission graphics seem unfinished. (Or maybe the latter are just oddly rough?)

Still, I'd hand over a week's salary to buy physical copies of these long-lost conversions so I could play them on real Famicom and PC Engine hardware. How about you?

See also: a couple of photos of Magical Puzzle Popils' Japanese Game Gear box and my 'Manual Stimulation' post devoted to this 1991 title

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