Linkle Liver Story
|Linkle Liver Story|
Linkle Liver Story (リンクルリバーストーリー) is an Action-RPG developed by Nextech and published by Sega in Japan in 1996 for the Sega Saturn video game system. Although never translated into any other language, the game gained some popularity outside Japan because its relatively simple gameplay made it playable even by those who did not fully comprehend the text.
The story takes place on the planet Mamuuna (マムーナ), a world populated by anthropomorphic animals. In this world, new life is created by the "Mother Flower", which lives at the bottom of the ocean. Someone has kidnapped the Mother Flower. The player takes on the role of Kittchu (キッチュ), a rather reluctant hero who is persuaded to go on a rescue mission by the village chief.
Kittchu is accompanied by Puchimuku (プチムク), a round pink seed-pod who insists he is not a pig. In battle, Puchimuku lunges at enemies from a distance, while Kittchu engages in hand-to-hand combat. The two travel around the world via a tornado-like wind that carries them from continent to continent.
Linkle Liver Story features a rather novel system of weapon upgrades. To gain more powerful weapons, the player must find weapon seeds, then grow these using droplets of water left behind by defeated enemies. Recovery items are obtained by watering special trees to produce fruit.
The game is also notably reminiscent of an earlier game from the same developer, Crusader of Centy (US) / Ragnacënty (JP) / Soleil (EUR) for the Mega Drive / Sega Genesis. The games are similar in artistic design and gameplay, and both have an animal theme, although there is no connection in terms of storyline.
The game's unusual title has been the subject of much discussion. In Japan, it is popular to give products English titles. As most of the population does not speak English, it is not a requirement that the words actually mean anything, as seems to be the case with Linkle Liver Story. This type of nonsensical English is often derisively referred to as "Engrish" or "Japlish".
When the game first came out, many assumed that the title was merely a misspelling of "Wrinkle River". This is doubtful, since the story is not about a river. In a 2001 usenet posting, Victor Ireland claimed that the game's producer told him that "Linkle Liver" was intended to mean "the people that lived in Linkle". While it is conceivable that a non-English-speaking person could make that grammatical error, there is no place named Linkle in the actual game.
Aside from the title, the game does not contain any other notable examples of "Engrish", although a few screens do display English words.