The arcade flyer for Chack'n Pop.
|Platform(s)||Arcade, FM-7, Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801, X1, SG-1000, Virtual Console|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating|
|Display||Raster, standard resolution|
Chack'n Pop (ちゃっくんぽっぷ Chakkunpoppu) is an arcade game released by Taito in 1983, it is considered to be the spiritual predecessor of Bubble Bobble due to the shared characters and similar game structure. The arcade rom set also contains unused graphics for the mechanical wind-up "Zen-Chan" that later appeared in Bubble Bobble. Although now considered obscure, home conversions of the game exist for Sega SG-1000, MSX, Famicom, NEC PC-6001 and NEC PC-8801, and the arcade emulation is included in Taito Legends Power-Up for the PSP and Taito Legends 2 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PC.
The Sega SG-1000 version is notable for featuring extended introduction and ending sequences and a small additional training stage before the first.
Chack'n, a small yellow creature (later recolored green) with extendable legs must traverse a series of single-screen mazes. He is capable of walking on floors or ceilings but not walls. He can climb steps and traverse high walls by extending his legs until he is tall enough to pass onto the next step. He is capable of throwing hand grenades to his left or right which, after a short period, explode into a cloud of smoke. Separate fire buttons control rolling to the left or right. Chack'n is killed if caught by the explosion cloud.
Each screen is played against a time limit, marked by a Mighta pushing a boulder along the top of the screen. The Mighta reappears in Bubble Bobble as a recurring enemy.
Chack'n's aim is to reach the top of the screen before the time limit expires. He is delayed in this process by a series of solid walls. In order to get past the walls, he must free hearts from cages using his hand grenades.
A further obstruction comes in the form of Monstas (same creatures to appear in Bubble Bobble) hatching from eggs. Hand grenades can also be used to destroy the creatures or the eggs producing them (however, the player will get bonus points after completing the level for not destroying any enemies). Later levels include moving platforms and, reminiscent of Bubble Bobble, water bottles that when blown up flood the level with water. The water does not destroy anything or in any way inhibit the movement of the enemies, but it allows Chack'n to swim to otherwise unreachable platforms.
Once all the levels are completed, Chack'n is able to marry his girlfriend, Miss Chack'n.
Cameo appearances in other games
Although Chack'n Pop was not a great success, several other Taito games have featured cameo appearances by Chack'n or other content from Chack'n Pop.
In addition to inheriting the Monsta and Mighta enemies, Bubble Bobble level 29 is a duplication of an early Chack'n Pop level, and level 43 is based on the appearance of the character himself. Chack'n also appears in the centre of the heart power-up that makes Bub and Bob invincible for a short period. At the end of level 93, all bubbles on the screen will turn into Chack'n sprites.
The Fairyland Story
The design of level 37 in the MSX version of The Fairyland Story is based on the appearance of Chack'n.
World 10 pays homage to Chack'n Pop, as not only are there Monstas and Mightas in every stage, but there are also evil Chack'n enemies, and the first round of that world is a recreation of Chack'n Pop's first stage. Chack'n also briefly appears in the 'good ending' of the game.
Chack'n is one of the classic Taito characters that sometimes appears to help the main characters upon collection of a book power-up.
Chack'n appears as an enemy, attempting to kill the player with his grenades. Miss Chack'n also appears as the design of round 35.
Chack'n appears as the breakable block design of stage D-4.