The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy

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The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy
Transformers Mystery of Comvoy Famicom box.png
Famicom box art (note the misspelling of "Convoy")
Developer(s) ISCO
Publisher(s) Takara
Designer(s) Hiroshi Okamoto (programmer)
Platform(s) Family Computer
Virtual Console
Release date(s)
  • JP December 5, 1986 (1986-12-05)
  • JP June 10, 2008 (2008-06-10)
(Virtual Console)
Genre(s) Run and gun
Mode(s) Single player
multiplayer
Distribution Cartridge

The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy (戦え! 超ロボット生命体トランスフォーマー コンボイの謎(ナゾ) Tatakae! Chō Robotto Seimeitai Toransufōmā: Konboi no Nazo?, lit. "Fight! Super Robot Life-Form Transformers: Mystery of Convoy), is a 1986 Famicom video game developed by ISCO and published by Takara exclusively in Japan. It is based on the popular toyline Transformers.[1] The game was made available on the Virtual Console on June 10, 2008.[2]

The game stars Autobot protagonist Ultra Magnus. The titular Mystery is the identity of Optimus Prime's (referred to in the title as "Convoy") killer, as the 1986 film did not see a Japanese release for another four years. Thus, Optimus Prime's death was not adequately explained to the Japanese audience; this game was intended to capitalize on that gap.

Although the game title is The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy, "Convoy" is misspelled as "Comvoy" on both the game box and the cartridge (see above).

It was also highly requested by many people to be featured in a DVD Special episode of the hit Japanese television show GameCenter CX (known outside of Japan as Retro Game Master), which was seriously accepted by the show's staff. Tele Tele TV Magazine ran a contest in their December 1986 issue to win an exclusive limited edition silver plated cart of the game. Only 50 were made and given to the first of those 50 who sent in a postcard with their name, address and favorite Transformer. The only change to the game itself was an extra ® Registration to Takara 1987 over of the 1986 one.

In collaboration with the 30th anniversary of Transfomers, as well as the 35th anniversary of Choro-Q, a flash anime adaptation of the game, produced by DLE, will air in Japan in January 2015. The studio also produced a smartphone app, titled Q Transformers: Return of the Mystery of Convoy (キュートランスフォーマー 帰ってきたコンボイの謎 Kyū Toransufōmā Kaettekita Konboi no Nazo?), which was released for iOS and Android devices in August 2014.[3]

Plot[edit]

Ironically, The Transformers: The Movie was initially released only in the Western market. The movie details the final epic battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron, during which Optimus sustained fatal injuries. As a result, he passes the Autobot Matrix of Leadership on to Ultra Magnus before passing away. The third season of the animated series picked up where the movie left off, and was aired in both the United States and Japan (where it was retitled Transformers 2010). However, since the movie was not yet released in Japan, the Japanese audience was left to wonder about the fate of Optimus Prime. This is the premise of the game, in which Ultra Magnus goes on a solo mission through various Decepticon strongholds to find out exactly what happened to Optimus.

Gameplay[edit]

The player controls Ultra Magnus, who must shoot his way through 10 horizontally and vertically scrolling levels consisting of various Decepticon enemies, with a boss fight at the end of each level. He can transform into a car carrier, which makes it easier for him to avoid enemy attacks, drive through narrow entrances and shoot enemies that are flying above him. Along the way, he can also pick up various power-ups which can give him wider ranging firepower or even the ability to fly. There are two Warp Zones within the game; they can be found by rescuing Bumblebee from the Decepticons.

The bosses for each level consist of mostly large Decepticon symbols, along with Megatron and Trypticon (known in Japan as Dinosaurer).[4]

Another playable character in the game is Rodimus Prime, who can be unlocked by collecting the letters that spell Rodimus. One is hidden, sequentially, in levels 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. However, though his vehicle mode has its own graphics, his robot-mode sprite is Ultra Magnus in Rodimus's palette.

Reception[edit]

In a retrospective, 1UP.com called it the "perfect example of a shameless tie-in." They criticized the game for its high level of difficulty, the game's implementation of the transforming ability and how the ninth stage loops infinitely unless a specific pattern is followed.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]