Translations from Game Lab Vol. 202 -- June 2012 Issue


Photo caption: It's crazy!

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic Game inferno

~Part 15~

Mana's Hardware Collection

Crazy Climbing

Company: Bandai
Release Date: 1981
Retail Price: 8,200 yen

"Crazy Climber" Brings About a Revolution in Joysticks

This time I will introduce an extremely memorable item for me that had me in deep thought about the current state of games.

When I was a child, A game with unique looks using only 2 joysticks was suddenly introduced into the market as an arcade game. I'm not exaggerating when I say I received a shock from the game "Crazy Climber" that was sent out to the world by the company Nihon Bussan, or commonly known as Nichibutsu.

The impact that "Crazy Climber" had on me when I played it for the first time at the arcade scorched such a vivid memory that it still remains in my head today.

Attacking the dreaded obstacles one by one

As for the contents of the game, you have to operate a reckless climber determined to get to the top of a modern building and cross obstacles while climbing.

The obstacles are things like vases, iron bars, and signs that fall in a pattern -- basically various things appear but the worst thing is a big neon sign. In the middle of the building is an electrical cord that swings back and forth that goes to a beautiful neon sign, but you have to find a way to skillfully pass through it. You have to protect yourself from getting hit by the neon [sign] or else you can expect to be electrocuted to death!

Terror takes on a different meaning when a "shirake bird" comes flying by from time to time. Then he poops on you from high up in the sky!! In a worst case scenario, if it hits your body directly you'll fall from the building covered in dirt.......

Furthermore, King Kong is also on this building. He aims punches straight at the player! Why is King Kong always on tall buildings??? Its quite puzzling.

Speaking of puzzling things, I think the most puzzling is how come such dangerous things are falling in the first place. Perhaps because its the feared "Crazy Climber" (laughs).

Once you get into it you can't get out of this extremely unique operation

So let's explain what about this game fascinated me so much making this mystery such a mystery. This game adopted two joysticks on the right hand side and left hand side that you use to control the climber during the game. By skillfully going up and down [with the joysticks] you climb a building. So that was the main point of the ground-breaking input device, "Crazy Climber". It had to have been the industry's first [device] where human hands operated two joysticks. I became captivated by the two joysticks, in fact I kept going back to the game center day and night.

However, since you had to practice with the joysticks, a lot of people in those days would just throw the game down before they could get good at operating it. Its sad to say I remember there were only a few people who became captivated by this game in my area. But that was no concern of mine as I disciplined myself by practicing with it every day. As a result I completely mastered moving the climber's hands and feet. I certainly felt like I became one with the climber in the game. If you could get good at operating it, you couldn't help but get interested in the game! I notice now I became completely addicted to Crazy Climber…….

Mana-Sama's addiction was cured with the Bandai-made LSI version

As it turned out I couldn't help but want to bring "Crazy Climber" around with me to play even at home. Before I became a victim of withdrawal symptoms Bandai got consent from Nihon Bussan to sell an LSI version of the game "Crazy Climber".

First of all, the design of the component was in the shape of a building, which was amazing. With a chic silver basis it looked like a Manhattan, New York skyscraper. Since LSI games had lots of colorful designs intended for children, this chic design had my heart racing. Also when you turned out the lights in your room there was a back light that would shine through of the building for "Crazy Climbing" that created a romantic night scene. There were even attacks from the room interiors.

The contents of the game basically followed suit to "Crazy Climber". However, it couldn't be helped that the screen was quite narrow making it weak in comparison to the display in the arcade. Some of the original traps were omitted so it was a little sad. Although being able to use 2 joysticks anywhere you go at any time was the most enjoyable thing about climbing the buildings.

Anyway, Nihon Bussan really thought up an innovative device by using 2 joysticks. You could say "Crazy Climber" was a monumental item that changed appearances with "the concept of joysticks" resulting in a brilliant achievement for the gaming industry.

Footnote:

To my digression [for not mentioning it earlier] I also have the board game version of "Crazy Climber". It contains a 3D paper building that stands up and a climber person that hangs off the windows. Up until then board games only had planar surfaces that you usually had to put on a level surface, but this item broke that barrier. "Crazy Climber" is an endlessly innovative game. (Mana)

Translations by Sarah @ Mana-Sama.net