Yume Penguin Monogatari

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Famicom cover.

Yume Penguin Monogatari is a multi-genre video game developed and published by Konami for the Famicom on 1991-01-25. The game combines elements from a traditional platformer, a platform shooter, and a scrolling shooter into a single action game. You play Penta the penguin from earlier Konami titles like Arctic Adventure and Penguin Adventure who, after binging on candy, has become obese, and your girlfriend Penko has left you for the debonair Ginji. Penko gives Penta an ultimatum to lose weight if he wants to see her again, and you have to try and collect diet drinks across several stages in order to slim down and win back the affection of Penko. Unfortunately, Ginji's minions are trying to trick Penta into eating more food and staying fat. The game has only ever been released in Japan in Japanese, but a translation hack for the ROM has been made.

I heard about this game from my friend Ryan who suggested it after I posted on Facebook about beating two penguin-themed games back to back. Assuming I was purposely playing penguin games, he told me about this game, and, I was glad he did because it's really a gem that I probably wouldn't have consider playing otherwise. I played and beat the Japanese game on my first attempt, but, unable to read Japanese, I didn't know there was an unlockable hard mode afterward. So, I got and English translation patch to play it through again and then beat the hard mode, also on my first attempt on 2019-11-24, enjoying it more since I was able to read the actual story.

Status

I don't own this game, but I have beat both passes and had a prefect weight at the end.

Review

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8 6 8 7 4 66%

Best Version: Famicom

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game is quite creative. The story is certainly original, and the different settings and bosses in each stage are unique.
  • The weight mechanic is quite interesting. When Penta is chubby, he's more difficult to control and bad at attacking, but, as he slims down, he becomes faster and more powerful.
  • The game uses wonderful cartoon art which has been very competently converted into graphics by Batten Takaki and Gonzalez Shindo.
  • The music by Katsuhiko Suzuki and Atsushi Fujio is enjoyable and perfect for the game and makes great use of the DPCM channel.
  • It was certainly an enjoyable change for Konami to make a game that doesn't kill you every few seconds.

Bad

  • Although I like the fact that the only way to "die" in the game is by running out of time, and you have infinite continues, this means a dedicated player is pretty much guaranteed to beat the game after only a little effort. I would have liked it if there was a bit more challenge to the game.
  • The hard mode run doesn't add anything new to the game. It just weakens the power-ups and increases the damage. I would have preferred if the developers either added more content to the second run or simply made the first run longer and more difficult. Also, by showing the complete ending on the first run, there's nothing left to show for the players who beat the hard mode run. The designers should have made a simple ending for the easy victory and moved the complete ending to hard mode.
  • The hit box for Penta seems to be a bit too large. I guess you could argue that he reaches out to try and grab food because he's so hungry, but it does get a bit frustrating when you're pretty confident you're going to avoid an apple only to have it hit you.
  • Rather than have apples make you fat, the game probaly should have used junk food instead.

Ugly

  • The game is too short and too easy. I'm not even that good at platformers, but I beat it in about 20 minutes on my first attempt, and around 40 minutes total for hard mode, also on my first attempt.
  • The game is certainly unapologetic in it's fat-shaming, which sends a pretty terrible message to children. I do like the play mechanic of the game, but I think they could have been a bit more sensitive about it.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Graphics

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
Japanese 夢ペンギン物語 Yume Pengin Monogatari Story of the Dream Penguin

Links

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