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Flicky Arcade poster.jpg
North American arcade flyer
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Yoji Ishii
Platform(s) Arcade, SG-1000, Sega Genesis, FM-7, MSX, PC-8801, Sharp X1
Release date(s) Arcade
Sega Genesis
Genre(s) Platforming
Mode(s) Single-player
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Sega System 1

Flicky (フリッキー Furikkī?) is a platform game developed by Sega and originally released for the Sega System 1 arcade platform in 1984. Bally/Midway manufactured the game in America. The player controls an eponymous blue bird and must gather all the Chirps in each round and take them to the exit. There are cat and lizard enemies which can kill the player, although Flicky can use items to protect itself from danger. Flicky was later ported to various home computer systems in Japan, and in 1991 was ported to the Sega Genesis, the version which has been re-released in several compilations of Sega video games. Many of Sega's later games have given homage to Flicky, most notably within the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The gameplay of Sonic 3D Blast features many similar characteristics to Flicky, and the small bird characters in the game are explicitly named "Flickies".


Flicky being followed by a trail of Chirps

Flicky is a platform game in which the player takes control of a flightless blue bird named Flicky. The game consists of numerous rounds in which the objective is to save small yellow birds entitled "Chirps". With only the ability to run side-to-side and jump, the player must collect all the Chirps and guide them to the exit to clear each round. The first two rounds have six Chirps and every round thereafter has eight. Bonuses are available for bringing multiple Chirps back at the same time. Additionally, there are also bonus rounds in which Flicky will need to catch as many falling Chirps as possible in a net. Catching all the Chirps will result in a "Perfect" bonus score.[1]

There are two enemy types in the standard rounds, house cats called Tiger and green iguanas called Iggy. These enemies can be simply avoided by running and jumping away, but can also be killed with throwable items, which are available only on certain levels. These items include telephones, flower pots, cups, and bottles. Flicky can pick up an item by walking into it, and throw it by jumping. Sometimes diamonds may appear, which cannot be thrown but rather provide bonus points.[1]

There are 48 proper rounds in Flicky. Completing these yields a "Congratulations" message, followed by the possibility of playing through the game again at a faster speed. These levels are numbered 49, 50, and so on, and levels which previously did not contain an Iggy now do contain it. Furthermore, some items are replaced with different ones. Once the game has been completed a second time (passing level 96 = fast version of 48), the game repeats again, but there is no speed increase (i.e. level 97 is identical to level 49). The game simply carries on in this fashion until after the 256th level, when the game starts over at level one.


Flicky was designed by Yoji Ishii and first released for the Sega System 1 arcade platform in 1984. It was later ported to home computers in Japan including the SG-1000, MSX, Sharp X1, Fujitsu FM-7 and NEC PC-8801. In 1991, Flicky was ported to the Sega Genesis and released in both North America and Europe. The Genesis port has been included in the following Sega compilations:


The Flicky birds in the Sonic the Hedgehog series are derived from the Flicky character. This is most obvious in Sonic 3D Blast (Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island) , where the birds not only resemble but are explicitly named "Flickies". They also follow Sonic around after being found in the same way the Chirps would follow Flicky in this game. Other mechanics were also similar, such as losing Flickies that happen to touch an enemy or hazard, or losing them all if Sonic died (though unlike Flicky, Sonic could, depending on the circumstances, survive a hit). The point system carries the same principle as well, featuring extra points awarded for rescuing Flickies together instead of one at a time.

In Tails Adventure, the island that Tails visits is inhabited by Flickies. Also, in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Tails' super transformation has four super Flickies surrounding him, who attack any enemies near Tails, including bosses. In Sonic Adventure, there are three birds of the Flicky species. They are different from the other small animals collected for use in the Chao Gardens. One follows Amy Rose in her story line, and two more are found inside robots in E-102 Gamma's story line (one inside Gamma itself and one inside of E-101 MKII), who later come to meet Amy's rescued Flicky. These Flickies can not be collected and taken to the Chao Gardens.

Flicky also has made cameo appearances in other Sega games. The bird appears in two Tetris-like arcade puzzle games, Flash Point and Bloxeed, as well as in the bonus rounds of the arcade version of Teddy Boy, which was made by the same staff. Gunstar Super Heroes has a stage based on Flicky in which the player rescues Chirp-like creatures. Shenmue II for the Dreamcast and Xbox features an in-game poster advertising Flicky in the Pine Game Arcade. Flicky also made a cameo appearance during a Sonic: Lost World trailer.


  1. ^ a b Flicky Instruction manual. (Sega Genesis, 1991)

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