Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Manual Stimulation: Bikkuriman World (PC Engine)

A little warning before you start scrolling through this post: Hudson Soft's Bikkuriman World was one of the very first games released for the PC Engine.

Keeping that in mind should help you appreciate, or at least accept, the generally ho-hum nature of this 1987 game's instruction manual.

Given the title's pedigree, you could be forgiven for thinking it's a bit strange that Bikkuriman World's booklet can be described in such a way.

Specifically, Bikkuriman began life in the 1980s when Japanese candy-maker Lotte introduced a chocolate-and-peanut snack of the same name. Each package included a Bikkuriman sticker that children could use to play a tag-like game.

The stickers, especially, became a big hit--so much so that both manga and anime series featuring the Bikkuriman characters followed. As did, of course, the PC Engine game discussed here.

Hudson Soft didn't create Bikkuriman World from the ground up, by the way. Instead, the company took Westone's Wonder Boy in Monster Land and altered some of its sprites (the bosses, mostly) to look like figures from the Bikkuriman franchise.

Some of those figures can be seen on Bikkuriman World's cover art, above. Others can be found on the first couple of pages of its manual.

Oddly, that's all the space the Bikkuriman cast are given in this booklet's handful of pages. Most of the rest of its acreage is devoted to black-and-white screenshots and explanatory text.

We do get a few nice illustrations of weapons, armor, items and power-ups near the end, at least. Still,  would it have killed Hudson Soft's artists to crank out a couple of enemy drawings? I guess so.

Oh, well, at least Bikkuriman World's old-school platforming gameplay is strong enough to make this little slip-up a lot easier to take in stride.

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts about Dungeon Explorer, Parodius Da!, Son Son II and Valkyrie no Densetsu