Rompers (video game)
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Virtual Console|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Cabinet||Upright, cabaret, and cocktail|
|Arcade system||Namco System 1|
|CPU||2x Motorola M6809 @ 2.048 MHz,|
1x Motorola M6809 @ 1.536 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63701 @ 1.536 MHz
|Sound||1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,|
1x Namco CUS30 @ 96 kHz,
|Display||Vertical orientation, Raster, 224 x 288 resolution|
Rompers (ロンパーズ Ronpāzu) is an arcade game which was released by Namco in 1989, only in Japan; it runs on Namco System 1 hardware, and was designed by Akira Usukura (who had designed Splatterhouse the previous year).
The player must take up control of Chap (チャップ Chappu), a gardener wearing a straw hat, who must collect all the keys in sixty-one maze-inspired gardens in order to rescue his girlfriend, Rumina (ルミナ Rumina); he can push the walls in the gardens over to crush the various enemies that pursue him, but they shall immediately be resurrected in the form of eggs which hatch after a few seconds. Each round also has a preset time limit to ensure that the player does not dawdle - and once it runs out, a green-haired female vampire known as Tsukaima (使い魔 Tsukaima) (who cannot be crushed by the walls) shall appear in search of Chap's blood, as the Yamaha YM2151-generated song (and all the enemies) speed up. The game's enemies include white blobs known as Pyokorin (ピョコリン Pyokorin), pink Triceratops-esque creatures known as Kerara (ケララ Kerara) which can breathe flames, armadillos known as Gororin (ゴロリン Gororin) which can roll over Chap, purple seals known as Todorin (トドリン Todorin) which can breathe ice, sponges known as Bekabeka (ベカベカ Bekabeka), which can push walls onto Chap, turquoise blobs known as Fumajime Pyokorin (ふまじめピョコリン Fumajime Pyokorin), which occasionally pause to take a long drag on their cigarettes, helmet-wearing creatures known as Nachibo (ナチ坊 Nachibō), which take two crushes to kill, wolves known as Taggus (タッグス Taggasu) which can throw bombs at Chap, spiders known as Oogumo (オオグモ Oogumo), which can spin webs for Chap to run into - and this game's main antagonist, an evil scientist named Gurerin (グレリン Gurerin) who only appears on the final round, where players not only have to collect all the keys, but also push the walls onto his four clones (two of whom can breathe fire, but the other two can breathe ice).
A cutscene called "The Rompers Show" also appears after every tenth round, and once Chap has rescued Rumina at the end of the game, they both go back to free Tsukaima (who, ironically, is trapped under a wall, given that she cannot be crushed by them in the game), and wrap her feet up with bandages; Chap then starts to carry Tsukaima off on his back, which angers Rumina as he went through a lot to save her.
At the time of its release, Rompers was never ported to a home video game console, nor was given an official North American release, possibly due to one of the enemies, Fumajime Pyokorin, being involved in drug use, and the Japanese voice samples; the game's soundtrack was released in two compilation discs known as Namco Video Game Graffiti Volume 5, and Namco Video Game Graffiti Volume 6, which included soundtracks for other Namco games as well. The first official home conversion for the game was in Namco Museum Encore, the series' only Japanese-exclusive installment (which also featured Wonder Momo and was released on the Sony PlayStation) - and in 2009, Rompers went on to appear on the Nintendo Wii's Japanese Virtual Console market.