Thursday, August 24, 2017

Manual Stimulation: Onyanko Town (Famicom)

My last post focused on Onyanko Town's lovely packaging. This one, as should be obvious (assuming you read the headline above), focuses on that Japanese Famicom game's manual.

Sadly, I can't say I find the Onyanko Town instruction booklet as stunning as its outer box or cartridge label. That's mainly because it's painfully short, but it's also because its small handful of pages tend to be covered in text and little else.

Thankfully, its cover sports a rather nice illustration of the game's main characters. Sure, the art was recycled from Onyanko Town's box front, but that's hardly surprising given we're talking about a 1985 release.

Granted, you could say it's hardly surprising given we're talking about a game, period. I mean, how many games released in recent years come with manuals that feature a unique piece of art?

Things take a bit of a dip once you venture inside the Onyanko Town manual, however. I'm not even sure what information its first page, below, shares with readers, to be honest, but even if it reveals the game's deepest secrets, it would be hard to argue it's anything more than visually boring.

The same is true of the next page, although at least it passes along some important info about the game's controls.

Should you ever play Onyanko Town yourself, here's how things work: your controller's directional pad moves the protagonist (Mirukii), while its A button causes her to jump and its B button prompts her to flip a nearby manhole.

Speaking of Mirukii, she's introduced on the third page of the Onyanko Town instruction booklet, as is her son, Michael (the kitten in the lower-left corner of the scan below), the "nasty dogs" (upper-right) that wander each stage and the fishmonger (lower-left) who chases you if you snatch one of his wares.

Unfortunately, that's all I can share with you about this game's cast of characters, as my understanding of the Japanese language remains limited. I can't imagine the blurbs to the right of their precious, hand-drawn portraits offer up anything interesting, though.

On a far more positive note, I can share with you what's said on the last page of the Onyanko Town manual (see below--and don't forget to click on that scan or any of the others included here if you want a closer look at them). Basically, it educates interested parties as to how many points they'll receive for completing various actions while playing the game

For example, if you cause one "nasty dog" to tumble into an uncovered manhole, you nab 100 points. Two nets you 400 points, and three awards you 800 points. (I'm guessing this is per dog, but don't quote me on that.)

Also, you earn even more points if you pick up some of the random accoutrements--such as the dress, shoes or ring depicted in the scan above--that pop up while scrambling around each stage.

Like I said earlier, the Onyanko Town instruction booklet isn't exactly amazing. It gets the job done, though, and also offers up some nicely realized illustrations along the way, so it's hard to complain about its ho-hum-ness too loudly.

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts about the Famicom Disk Writer version of Bubble Bobble, Donkey Kong, Mother (aka EarthBound Beginnings), Super Mario Bros. and Yume Penguin Monogatari

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