Mappy

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Mappy
Mappy arcadeflyer.png
North American flyer
Developer(s)Namco
Publisher(s)
Artist(s)Hiroshi Ono[4]
Composer(s)Nobuyuki Ohnogi
SeriesMappy
Platform(s)Arcade, MSX, Famicom, Super Cassette Vision, Sharp X1, Game Gear, FM-7, PC-88, X68000, Mobile phone, iOS
Release
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Mappy[a] is an arcade game by Namco, introduced in 1983 and distributed in the United States by Bally Midway. A side-scrolling platform game featuring a mouse protagonist and cat antagonists, it runs on Namco Super Pac-Man hardware modified to support horizontal scrolling. The name "Mappy" is likely derived from mappo (マッポ), a slightly pejorative Japanese slang term for policeman. The game has been re-released in several Namco arcade compilations. It spawned a handful of sequels and a 2013 animated web series developed by cartoonists Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub.

Gameplay[edit]

Mappy launches a push wave at a pair of Meowkies (arcade version).

The player guides Mappy the police mouse through the mansion of the cats called Meowkies (Mewkies in Japan) to retrieve stolen goods (such as the Mona Lisa or a TV.) The player uses a left-right joystick to move Mappy and a single button to operate doors. The mansion has six floors of hallways (four or five in some other versions) in which the stolen items are stashed. Mappy and the cats move between floors by bouncing on trampolines at various places in the house. Both Mappy and the cats can land on a floor on the way up, but not on the way down. When Mappy passes cats in the air, he is unharmed, but if he runs into a cat anywhere else, he will lose a life except if the cat is temporarily knocked down due to opening of the door. The trampolines break when Mappy bounces on them four times in a row, and the trampolines change color depending on how many times Mappy has used them without a rest. In addition to the Meowkies, the boss cat Goro (Nyamco in Japanese) also roams around. He is faster but less aggressive than the Meowkies. Throughout the levels, Goro hides behind the different recoverable items. If Mappy recovers an item which Goro is hiding behind, the player receives 1000 points in addition to the score for the item. Items come in pairs; retrieving the second item in a pair immediately after the first multiplies the point value of the second item (x2, up to x6).

Opening and closing doors is an important feature of the game. Doors only open towards their doorknobs. Hitting a cat with a door will score 50 points and stun the cat (knocking a Meowkie down or Goro backwards). Meowkies and Goro can open doors but will get stunned unless the door opens away from them (doorknobs away), and they can walk through opened doors. They cannot open blue doors. Blue doors, when opened, blast a slow moving "microwave" in the direction of the doorknob that will trap any cats it touches and remove them from the board when the wave reaches the edge of the screen. The more cats caught, the more points gained. If Goro is trapped by a wave, the score is doubled. Cats removed in this way return shortly from above.

A round is completed when all the loot is retrieved. If the player takes longer than usual to clear a round, a "Hurry" message appears after which the music speeds up and the cats move quickly and aggressively, and more Meowkies are added (two will appear ready to drop as the Meowkies normally do immediately following the "Hurry" message, and more Meowkies can arrive later on). If the player takes much longer after this, a green disc with Goro's face on it named the "Gosenzo Coin" will drop onto the top-middle platform and chase Mappy more effectively than the Meowkies as it can kill him while jumping. The Gosenzo can open doors and cannot be stopped by microwave doors or any objects.

The third round and every fourth round after is a bonus round. Mappy, unbothered by the cats, must bounce across a series of trampolines, popping fifteen different suspended red balloons (200 pts), with a "Goro" (2000 points) along the way. A bonus (5000 pts) is awarded if all the balloons are popped before the music ends. After every bonus round, a new feature is added to the gameplay, such as bells that freeze cats. The "Hurry" message will also appear sooner.

Starting with round 12, a number of portion of a floor that changes its color rapidly is present. Mappy has to pass by onto that in order for its purpose to take effect. After which, when Goro or a Meowky passes by on that, that will change into a hole and Goro or Meowky falls onto it and gets temporarily paralyzed onto the fallen lower floor and recover afterwards. That hole remains open until Goro and all Meowkies on that floor fall onto the hole. That hole will turn into normal floor afterwards.

There are 256 rounds.

Ports and sequels[edit]

Reception[edit]

In Japan, Game Machine listed Mappy on their June 1, 1983, issue as being the third most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[12] It also topped the Game Machine chart for new table arcade cabinets in June 1983.[13] In 2015, Hardcore Gamer included Mappy on their 200 Best Video Games of All Time.[14]

Legacy[edit]

As part of Bandai Namco's ShiftyLook initiative, an animated Mappy web series, titled Mappy: The Beat was made.[15] The series was written and directed by Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub, who also performed all of the character voices, and presented by using limited animation in the style of their Blamimations series. The story follows Mappy, now working a thankless job as a security guard for his former foe Goro's company Nyamco. He is accompanied by his friends and fellow Nyamco employees, the laid-back digging-obsessed Dig Dug and the dim but good-natured Sky Kid, along with other Bandai Namco characters working at the office.[16] Mappy: The Beat premiered on ShiftyLook's YouTube channel on July 22, 2013, and ran for 13 episodes, each roughly eight minutes in length, with the final episode released on January 20, 2014. Kurtz also made a guest appearance as Mappy on the concurrent Bravoman animated series, with Bravoman in turn appearing in the final story arc of Mappy, portrayed by guest voice Dax Gordine. Following the closure of ShiftyLook, their channel was removed from YouTube, making the episodes no longer officially available.

A costume based on Mappy is featured in LittleBigPlanet 3 as a part of the Namco Classics DLC.

A medley of tracks from Mappy is available to play on the Pac-Land stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as being featured in one of Pac-Man's taunts.

A theme based on Mappy, featuring the game's characters, is featured in Pac-Man 99 as special DLC.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: マッピー, Hepburn: Mappī

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Akagi, Masumi (October 13, 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971–2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971–2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. p. 125. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ "Mappy (Registration Number PA0000216647)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Video Game Flyers: Change Lanes / Mappy / Battle Cruiser M-12, Orion (Germany)". The Arcade Flyer Archive. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Scullion, Chris (October 18, 2021). "Legendary Namco pixel artist Hiroshi 'Mr Dotman' Ono has died". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  5. ^ "ナムコ、iモード「マッピーDEパズル」を配信開始". game.watch.impress.co.jp.
  6. ^ Mappy: Namco's Forgotten Follow-Up to Pac-Man
  7. ^ "ナムコ・ゲームス - バンダイナムコエンターテインメント公式サイト". www.bandainamcogames.co.jp.
  8. ^ Brett Alan Weiss (1998). "Mappy - Review". Allgame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  9. ^ Whitehead, Dan (April 12, 2009). "Virtual Console Roundup". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  10. ^ M. Thomas, Lucas (April 1, 2009). "Mappy Review". IGN. Archived from the original on April 29, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  11. ^ van Duyn, Marcel (March 26, 2009). "Mappy Review (VC Arcade)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on April 29, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 213. Amusement Press. June 1, 1983. p. 29.
  13. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 214. Amusement Press. June 15, 1983. p. 27.
  14. ^ Kalata, Kurt. "HG101 Presents: The 200 Best Video Games of All Time – Hardcore Gaming 101". Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  15. ^ Johnston, Rich (July 14, 2012). "ShiftyLook Moves Into Cartoons – Bravoman, Jim Zub, Scott Kurtz And More". Bleeding Cool.
  16. ^ "There's A Cartoon Parody Of Namco Characters Working At Namco Bandai | Siliconera". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013.

External links[edit]