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Mischief Makers, known in Japan as Yuke Yuke!! Trouble Makers (ゆけゆけ！！トラブルメーカーズ lit. Go Go!! Trouble Makers?), is a side-scrolling 2D platform/puzzle video game developed by Treasure, and published by Enix in Japan and by Nintendo in America and Europe for the Nintendo 64. It was released in 1997 as one of the first 2D side-scrollers on the Nintendo 64. The game's protagonist is the Ultra-Intergalactic-Cybot G Marina Liteyears (generally referred to as just Marina) who is a robotic maid of the absent-minded Professor Theo.
While visiting the planet Clancer, Professor Theo, a self-proclaimed 'genius in robotics', is kidnapped by the Empire, acting upon orders from their evil emperor and estranged twin brother of Theo, who wishes to fill the world with hate and despair. Upon realizing Theo's abduction, his robotic maid Marina Liteyears sets out to rescue him. Every person, animal and inanimate object on the planet (including the planet itself) has an identical "face", seemingly belonging to a species called 'Clancer'.
The game sets through five stages on Planet Clancer, each one containing approximately 10 levels. The first stage that Marina will have to confront is full of theme parks, whacked deserts, and local gangsters. Here we meet King Aster (the leader of resistance against the Empire), Teran (a young boy attempting to get into the resistance) and other secondary characters, such as Calina, Marina's enemy and copycat.
Marina then manages to enter a world of volcanos and hot magma, where Migen kidnapped Professor Theo following the orders of his superiors. After defeating Migen Sr. and his son, Marina Liteyears goes to a cold world near a frozen mountain, where the local town is waiting for the Clancer Athletic Festival. Marina gets into a fight with Lunar (the first boss of the Beastector, a powerful trio of justice fighters who believe Marina is a criminal), a robotic humanoid wolf with a machine gun and several explosives, but eventually defeats him.
Marina participates in the Clancer Athletic Festival and wins the prize, Professor Theo. Suddenly a Clancer Kitten attempts to "fight" Marina but as he's too weak, he loses and as was stipulated, the Clancer Kitten takes Marina to the first boss shrine in the game: Cerberus Alpha, which is basically Lunar on a mechanical wolf that can transform into a motorcycle. The Clancer Kitten helps Marina in this fight, and is later dismissed by her after defeating Lunar and his wolf.
Again at home, Theo gets to be kidnapped again by Calina. So Marina has to save him again.
Meanwhile, the Empire is secretly watching Marina's steps, as she enters another world with huge mountains and rock slides. There, she will meet Taurus (later, Sasquatch Beta), a mechanical monkey-man with huge strength. Later in the game is beaten by Marina.
Marina saves Professor Theo and takes him home, just to be kidnapped by other Clancer minions.
The last level takes place inside the Empire. Marina must now defeat Merco, a handsome eagle-man with an array of lance and shield techniques. Merco later transforms to Phoenix Gamma and fights Marina in a flying level.
After the Beastector is beaten, Marina must destroy the Emperor Leo and later the final boss of the game, a giant robot which turns out to be a combination of the former Beastector.
The game ends showing the Clancers celebrating the end of the Empire. Teran attempts to escape, claiming that he's not a kid, but a hero that came from the sky. Two paths are opened here: one that shows Teran escaping after punching Marina, and another where Marina grabs Teran by his arm and tries to calm him down. In either one, Teran ends up shedding a tear next to his younger sister, who tells him that he always be part of the Clancer family.
The credits (or bonus), shows the human form of the Beastector (as long as all the Gold Gems were picked) and finally, the human form of Marina Liteyears.
Marina's main way of attacking is her grab move. She is able to take hold of enemies, objects, weapons, and even some enemy projectiles or attacks, which can be thrown or shaken, depending on the object. When certain objects are shaken, items such as crystals might appear. When Marina shakes some other objects, a secondary effect may be activated.
Later on in the game, Teran is available to play in two levels. His moves includes a standard punch, upper punch, low kick, and a block move. He also has the ability to hang from ceilings. His signature skill is the ability to jump up to three times consecutively.
Hidden within every stage is a gold gem. These gems are used in the final cutscene of the game with every gem adding one to three seconds to the ending. The extended ending adds character development to the villains, among various other things. The way the gold gem appears differs from stage to stage. For example, the gold gem will only appear on some boss stages if the boss is defeated without Marina being hit.
The four types of gems in this game are Red, Blue, Green, and Gold, all providing various amounts of health for Marina, red being the lowest, and Gold being the highest. Each stage follows a Super Mario Bros pattern (Such as 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, etc.). The Worlds follow various elements (World 1 is grasslands/desert, World 2 is fire, World 3 is snow, etc.). Cutscenes occur from time to time before, or after a stage is complete. A glowing green/blue star is usually the exit of a level.
If Marina grabs hold of a Clancer ball, she can "throw herself" off of it, and aim towards another ball. Clancer pots can store items inside it, if you have the right items, you can create some very interesting items.
Mischief Makers was the first game that publisher Enix produced with Treasure. Enix's decision to work with this developer company was motivated by the popularity of their action games. Masato Maegawa, president and chief executive officer of Treasure, accepted the offer as he had fond memories of Enix, having applied to them as a student. The game was one of Treasure's first titles not developed for the Sega Mega Drive or Sega Saturn, as they felt the hardware functionalities of the Nintendo 64 had become the best choice for their future projects. The developers originally had difficulty developing for the console due to the new interface and lack of finished development tools, and switching from the Saturn's CD-ROM-based development to cartridge-based development was challenging. While the switch to cartridge provided various conveniences for the game, such as data being loaded with no load times, the developers disliked the higher cost involved with it.
Several members of the game's development staff, including the main programmer and the character designer, had also worked on Treasure's shoot 'em up game Gunstar Heroes. Instead of following the same design as the previous title, the developers wanted to make Mischief Makers unique with a gameplay based on grabbing and catching, though it was harder for them to implement.
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The game drew mixed reviews. IGN said that the game "is a welcomed addition for fans of the genre, and certainly Treasure fanatics worldwide will love it," but heavily criticized the sound, giving a 6 out of 10 and stating that it is "Japan's last word on midi music. Not terrible, but a little boring." Similarly, GameSpot said, "For what it is, MM is a solid title, but the terseness of the game and the limited graphics and sound make evident that it could have been so much more, transcending the decent game it is now to become a truly excellent one on another medium."
- "Nintendo to Publish Mischief Makers". IGN. 1997. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
- Theo: I've been captured by the Evil Empire? What are you gonna do to me? / Evil Clancer: We were ordered to take you to our Emperor! That's all we were told!! Treasure (1997-10-01). Mischief Makers. Nintendo 64. Nintendo.
- "Treasure Talks Yuke Yuke". IGN. 1997-04-14. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- McCall, Scott. "Mischief Makers Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "Mischief Makers". Game Informer. November 1997. p. 82. Archived from the original on 1998-01-22. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
- Bartholow, Peter (1998-04-17). "Mischief Makers Review for Nintendo 64". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Casamassina, Matt (1997-10-01). "Mischief Makers Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "Mischief Makers Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- "Mischief Makers Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-05-25.