10.27.2007

Lost Gems 8: A boy and His Blob, NES 1989

Lost Gems 8: A Boy and His Blob


So sorry for having a few months on inactiveness but I am back. And today at GVN we are going to have a look back at one of the oddest and most original games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, A Boy and His Blob. A game that as the years passed, more and more people became aware of this game but still forgot about.

Back in the late 80’s when the NES was the king of the console market, a man by the name of David Crane work on and released a boy and his blob in 1989. The company he worked for was Imagineering, which sadly, is no longer around. David Crane however is most famous for creating Pitfall on the Atari 2600.

A boy and his blob is a very unique, complex and bizarre game. Starting off with the story as the “boy” and his friend, Blobert, set out on an adventure to save Blobert’s home planet of Blobolonia. First I want to point out the oddity of the boy not having a name but the blob does. Anyway, it would appear Blobolonia is under rule of an evil emperor and it’s up the “The Boy” and Blobert to save the day.

And how did they plan to do so? Why with Jellybeans of course. The odd gameplay in A Boy And His Blob involves the management of jellybeans and the affect that each one have on Blobert. The jellybeans, when consumed, allows “Blobert” to transform into many kinds of helpful tools to making it through your adventure.

There are a grand total of 14 jellybeans ranging from flavors of licorise to tangerine to ketchup. The tools that your blob transforms into depend on which jellybean he consumes. Throwing him a Strawberry flavored bean makes the blob transform into a bridge and a Lime bean transform him into a Key (Get it? Key-Lime?). And it is only through the power of jelly beans that you can beat the game.

Well that and throwing vitamins down the throat of the Emperor to beat the game. And not being able to jump, or punch. But forget about the oddity and inconsistency of this game. This game was fun, at times it can be rather hard to control but it was fun. In fact when David Crane showed the game at CES in 1989, it won best of show.

In 1990, the game was published by Jaleco in Japan. When it arrived in japan, there were a few changes made to the game. For one the game was renamed to Fushigi na Blobby: Blobania no Kiki which translate to Mysterious Blobby: The Crisis of Blobania. The other change made to the game was to the boy’s sprite. Instead of a tall skinny pale white boy the sprite was change to a manga style school boy. The final change was to the games title screen which was more abstract and colorful as opposed to the dull title screen of the American version.

The same year the game was released in japan a sequel was released for Nintendo’s new handheld, The Gameboy. The sequel was called The Rescue of Princess Blobette and the premise of the game was pretty much the same. Instead the plot revolves around the boy and the blob running around a castle trying to rescue the Princess of Blobolonia from an evil Alchemist. The game play was the same and had no additions added to it whatsoever. The game however was more frustrating than the NES version and it eventually lead to many people putting the game away.

After The Rescue of Princess Blobette was released no more sequels were announced. David Crane’s company went brankrupt and the license disappeared. However in 2005, Majesico made the surprise announcement at E3 that they were working on a sequel that would run on the DS. The game was going to have 3D graphics but still play on a 2D plain and would use the stylus for managing the blob’s jellybeans. The game was slated for a late 2005 release but it never came.

One of the speculated reasons that Majesco never released it was because of the company’s financial problems. Majesco was known for publishing games like Bloodranye which were good but didn't sell well and in the end caused problems for Majesco. Rumor has it that the game was completed but was trashed. It is safe to speculate however that we may still have a chance to see a sequel. It’s just a matter of when.

1 comment:

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