Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru
|Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru|
|Release date(s)||Game Boy
Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (カエルの為に鐘は鳴る?, lit. "The Frog For Whom the Bell Tolls") is an action role-playing video game developed by "Team Shikamaru" of Nintendo's Research and Development 1 division, in cooperation with the external company Intelligent Systems. It was published by Nintendo for the Game Boy and released in Japan on September 4, 1992. The title is a play on Ernest Hemingway's famous novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. which is itself an allusion to John Donne's famous Meditation XVII.
In a land far away, the two princes—Richard (of the Custard Kingdom) and the game's main protagonist (prince of the Sablé Kingdom)—have shared a friendly rivalry since they were small children. They often compete, although it usually ends in a tie or close win. In Fencing however, Prince Richard is always the victor. One day a messenger arrives from a small neighboring kingdom, warning the princes that the evil King Delarin has invaded the Mille-Feuille Kingdom and captured the beautiful princess Tiramisu. In yet another boastful attempt to best the Sablé Prince, Richard grabs a boat and rushes towards the kingdom. The Sablé Prince is left trying to catch up. While on his journey, he and Richard (and many others) are transformed into frogs in an attempt to reveal the true happenings in this kingdom.
- The Sablé Prince (sometimes referred to as Prince Sabure, Prince of Sabure, Prince Sablé, Prince of Sablé, Prince Sable or Prince of Sable) - The main protagonist of the game (named at the beginning by the player). He is a good-natured and kindhearted boy, though he's not educated in the ways of world. He always loses against Prince Richard when they fence. Carefree in nature, they remain friends nonetheless. The kingdom of Sablé, being the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the land, has provided him with a comfortable life so far; he has never had to worry about money. This upbringing has had the side-effect of giving the Sablé Prince the idea that any problem can somehow be solved by tossing cash at it, which he does many times in the game. Through strange events, he gains the ability to transform into a frog and a snake and must use these transformations to progress the story.
- Prince Richard - He is the prince of the Custard Kingdom. The Sablé Prince is his good rival and childhood friend. During the course of the game, the Sablé Prince and Richard will both compete to save Princess Tiramisu first. Through strange events, he is transformed into a frog, along with his entire army.
- Princess Tiramisu - She rules the Mille-Feuille Kingdom. The legend of her unequaled beauty has spread far and wide through the land. Seeking her hand (forcibly) in marriage, King Delarin and his minions, the Croakians, have invaded the countryside, laid siege to the castle and kidnapped her.
- Jam - A thief from the town of A La Mode. He was hostile to the Sablé Prince at first, thinking he was a member of the Croakian Army. Their second meeting involved him stealing all of the Sablé Prince's money. Eventually the two realized the misunderstanding, and became friendly with each other. He wears an eyepatch and resembles a pirate. At one point, he is also transformed into a frog.
- Mandola - A witch who wears glasses. She alone knows how to destroy King Delarin and restore the kingdom. She has an Asvogel, a condor-like bird named Polnareff as a pet. She also knows how to brew magic potions.
- King Delarin - He is the title's antagonist. He has captured Princess Tiramisu and released the Croakian army to wreak havoc within the Mille-Feuille Kingdom. It is later revealed that he is in fact a snake and plans to round up all the frogs in the kingdom for a feast.
The Sablé Prince only gets stronger through the use of items, thus placing the title as an "Action-Adventure" game, the same as the Legend of Zelda series.
The game's movement is divided into two ways:
- Bird's-Eye Scrolling - A top view that only is shown in villages, towns, fields and other similar areas. Like The Legend of Zelda franchise, moving up, down, left, and right on the D+Pad will move the Sablé Prince in that direction. Enemies are visible, and the player can begin battle by bumping into them.
- 2D-Platforming - A side view that is shown only in dungeons, caves, castles, and other similar places in the game, similar to Metroid and other side-scrolling platformers. The D+Pad moves the Sablé Prince left and right, while up is reserved for jumping and climbing ladders. As in the overhead view, enemies are visible in this perspective; the player can begin battle by bumping into them. Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus were the only previous games of Makoto Kanoh, this game's producer.
When players make the Sablé Prince touch an enemy, the game does not shift to a battle scene. Instead, it kicks up a dust cloud as the battle ensues out of sight. As a further separation from the RPG genre, the player does not select from a series of menu commands. Instead, the player just watches the battle. This causes a back-and-forth loss of physical strength while the Sablé Prince and the enemy engage each other. If the Sable Prince is significantly stronger than the enemy he faces, the enemy will run away, essentially letting you skip that battle. Victory or defeat in a typical battle is gauged by the Sablé Prince's strength, attack speed, armor and defense, and the opposing enemy stats. For bosses, the player must fill up the Sablé Prince's life bar and have the most powerful items found at certain points before battling each boss in order to win against them. If the Sablé Prince is victorious, he will gain money, hearts or other items. If he loses, he will restart from a "hospital" in the town he last visited, but will retain the money he had when he perished. Upon being revived at the hospital the prince will only have 3 hearts, requiring you to pay for healing or leave the town to seek hearts elsewhere.
As the story advances, the Sablé Prince will have the ability to transform into a frog, then later on, a snake. Frogs, Snakes, and Humans each have their own special abilities- some of which are required to switch to in order to progress through the storyline.
- Human - The form the Sablé Prince starts with. Human has a greater amount of attack power than the other two forms. If the prince attempts to enter water as a Human, he will either drown or will transform into a Frog (only after drinking Mandola's potion). To transform back into this form, the Sablé Prince must eat a Joy Fruit, or die. He is reverted to Human form upon waking at a hospital.
- Frog - After Mandola gives the Sablé Prince the frog potion, the Sablé Prince will be able to transform into a humanoid frog by entering watery areas. This form has the highest jump height. Using this form, the prince can enter water safely as well as talk to real frogs and some soldiers (without fighting them). While in the frog form, if the prince touches an insect-type enemy, he will not engage in a fight - rather, he will "eat" it, regaining a heart. This form cannot fight snakes or other foes than insect-type enemies, and snakes are attracted to it. Prince Richard, the Sablé Prince, Jam and many others can take this form.
- Snake - Apparently, through a strange series of events, only the Sablé Prince can assume this form. When the Sablé Prince eats a HotSprings Egg, he will transform into a snake. It allows the Sablé Prince to pass through tight holes and talk to real snakes without fighting them. While this form cannot fight, you may bite weak enemies, changing them into blocks. Snake form has the lowest jump height. Also, if the Sablé Prince encounters a frog while in the Snake form, he'll terrify it, making it flee and move off the screen.
- "Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru" was released in Japan as a downloadable Virtual Console title on the Nintendo 3DS on September 5th, 2012. The game's price is set at 400 Yen.
- Two official CD albums given out by Club Nintendo Japan have one song from Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru. One album is the Peach - Healing Music album, which has a slow-remixed version of the overworld theme created by the original composer, Kazumi Totaka. The other album is the Luigi - B-Side Music album, which has the original overworld theme.
- The famous song known as Totaka's Song, created by Kazumi Totaka, can be found in this title. To hear it, the player must return to the port town following the third quest in the castle, then go left, up, and into the shop next to the boat, and wait for three minutes and 30 seconds.
Other appearances in media
- Several characters and things from Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru, including Prince Richard, make cameo appearances in the Game Boy title The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
- Dr. Arewostein (Dr. Knit Witt in the fan translation), the "Nintendo" employee from Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru appears in Wario Land 4 as a fellow explorer in the bonus rooms, and as a projectile.
- It is possible to collect a "Sticker" of the Sablé Prince (Referred to in-game as the Sabure Prince) in the vault section of the Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- An "Assist Trophy" of the Sablé Prince exists in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
- "Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Composer Information". Portable Music History. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- Nintendo Co., Ltd.; Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd (September 4, 1992). "Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru". Nintendo Co., Ltd. Scene: staff credits.
- Nintendo Co., Ltd (April 1, 1998). "Famicom Tantei Club Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shōjo". Super Famicom. Nintendo Co., Ltd. Scene: staff credits.
- ゲームソフト (in Japanese). Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- Daiker, Brandon (July 11, 2011). "How exotic! For the Frog the Bell Tolls". N-Sider.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Fan Translation Project". Romhacking.net. July 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the protagonist of Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru appears as an assist trophy, and is referred to in-game and promotional material as the Sablé prince.