Wonder Momo

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Wonder Momo
WonderMomo arcadeflyer.png
Arcade flyer
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Composer(s) Kimio Yudate
Platform(s) Arcade, PC Engine, Wii (Virtual Console), Android, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP February 24, 1987[1]
PC Engine
  • JP April 21, 1989
Wii Virtual Console
PC Engine
  • JP February 27, 2007
Arcade
  • JP June 16, 2009
Android & Windows
Spring 2014
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Upright, cabaret, and cocktail
Arcade system Namco System 86
CPU 2x Motorola M6809 @ 1.536 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63701 @ 1.536 MHz
Sound 1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,
1x Namco CUS30 @ 96 kHz,
1x Namco 63701X @ 6 MHz
Display Horizontal orientation, Raster, 288 x 224 resolution

Wonder Momo (ワンダーモモ Wandā Momo?) is a 1987 fighting arcade game that was developed and published by Namco exclusively in Japan. It was the company's last 8-bit game (and the last that ran upon their System 86 hardware), and was ported to the PC-Engine in 1989, with both versions of the game later ported to the Wii Virtual Console. It's also included in Namco Museum Encore for the Sony PlayStation. The game inspired a webcomic series in 2012, an anime series in February 2014, and a reboot game by WayForward Technologies (planned for 2014).

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of Wonder Momo (arcade version).

Wonder Momo is a loose parody of a typical Ultraman-style superhero series, and utilizing a then-rare female protagonist. When the game is first started, players are treated to a parody of the MGM logo featuring Momo instead of a lion and a "Modoki" instead of a mask. The game then cuts to a scene of a theater stage, where a play begins starring Momo Chan, a young woman who gets super-powers. At this point the game puts the player in command of Momo. Rather than playing a hero who needs to save the world, the setting is that of a live stage show (set at the "Namco Theater"), and the player is actually controlling an actress who is merely playing the role of Momo/Wonder Momo. The game also features voice samples (in Japanese).

As Momo, she can only attack using kicks, and in doing so builds up her "Wonder" meter. When she touches a tornado icon, or spins around by herself, she can turn into Wonder Momo and can also attack using the Wonder Hoop, which can be reused as long as she is Wonder Momo. After the Wonder Hoop is thrown, she won't be able to throw anymore, while she'll have to wait for it to bounce back to her. She can also shoot small waves of energy in whichever direction she faces (while she is crouching), which is based on the similar move by the Ultraman characters. Her most powerful attack is the Wonder Typhoon - a more powerful version of her small energy wave attack which shoots numerous amounts of small energy waves towards the left and right sides of the screen simultaneously, while she is spinning.

The game is notable for featuring some slightly risqué content for the time, in the form of fanservice (at Momo's expense). When Momo jumps, the player can visibly see her panties. Momo also needs to be wary of photographers in the theatre audience, who are determined to get a peek under her miniskirt. If one is successful, Momo will get "embarrassed" (stunned) for a short period of time. Additionally, one of the images that appears on the theater curtain (at the beginning and end of some acts) is Momo wearing only a towel.

Ports and related releases[edit]

Front cover of the PC Engine version.

Wonder Momo was later ported by NEC Avenue for the PC Engine in Japan on April 21, 1989. This specific version was later added to the Virtual Console on February 27, 2007. The original arcade version was later added to the Virtual Console on June 16, 2009. Other than the Virtual Console, the arcade version was included with six other Namco arcade games in the seven-game, PlayStation compilation Namco Museum Encore, and was released exclusively in Japan on October 30, 1997.

The titular character made numerous appearances outside of her video game, mostly in Namco's other video games. Both Momo (and Wonder Momo) appeared as one of the playable characters in the Japan-only, strategy RPG title Namco x Capcom, partnering with Beraboh Man. The character often covered herself, alluding to the original game. Some artifacts, models and costumes based on her appeared in some other Namco titles. She appeared as a magnus card in the Namco RPG Baten Kaitos, made a cameo appearance as one of Anise's dolls in Tales of the Abyss, had her normal self appear as one of the various floats that appear in the bonus stages of Marvel Land, and had her "Wonder" costume appear in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 and in Catalogue 4 in the Xbox 360 game The Idolmaster.

Besides appearing in video games, J-pop singer Haruko Momoi released an album influenced by the video game fully titled as WONDER MOMO-i〜New recording〜 (a pun combining her last name with the name of this game). It utilizes both the game's main gameplay theme and the "henshin" (transformation) theme. Yujin released a gashapon figure of Momo as part of the "Namco Girls" collection. Her latest appearance lies in the PSP strategy RPG Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos.

On March 15, 2012, Wonder Momo was resurrected as an internet comic strip on Namco Bandai's comic strip website, ShiftyLook, with the title Wonder Momo: Battle Idol. The series focuses on Momoko, an idol who, after failing a TV show audition, encounters a race of aliens who give her Wonder Momo's powers and afterwards, she begins battling evil aliens as well as rival hero Amazona, who is actually a popular idol named Akiho Mazo who was inspired by the original Wonder Momo (Momoko's mother). Wonder Momo has also made several appearances in Shiftylook's Bravoman webcomic and webseries.

Anime[edit]

On January 28, 2014 Bandai Namco Games announced a revival of the Wonder Momo franchise, based on the story from the 2012 ShiftyLook webcomic. The reboot consisted of an anime series produced by Graphinica, which began streaming on Niconico and Crunchyroll in February 2014, and a side-scrolling action game developed by WayForward Technologies titled Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster, released for Android devices in March 2014, for iOS in May 2014, and for PC at a later date.[2][3] The anime series spanned 5 seven-minute episodes, which aired between February and March of 2014. The voice cast includes Yuka Fujiwara as Momoko, Misaki Komatsu as Akiho, and Haruko Momoi reprising as the original Wonder Momo.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]