Genre: Action/RPG Developer: Sega of Japan Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1 Released: 1992
Capcom were the masterminds behind the lost sword slashing and magic casting classic, Chiki Chiki Boys. It took the RPG elements from SEGA’s Wonder Boy in Monster World and mixed it with a hint of arcade action. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears and remains today as an obscure Capcom game which should have received a truckload of TLC but instead was thrown into the deep dark pit of obscurity along with many other forgotten treasures.
Chiki Chiki Boys is set in the lush world of Alurea, a land of green meadows, lush running rivers and blue skies full of puffy white clouds. The ruler of this magical world, King Chiki Chiki is overjoyed to find out that his wife had gave birth to twins, two boy scouts! Unfortunately, it seems like the kingdom’s celebrations would have to go on hiatus as the evil fat clown, Riepohtman and his army of demonic beasts have invaded the Chiki Chiki land. The reason for this violent attack was to crush peace, happiness and all things cute and fluffy, the usual evil plot. The peaceful kingdom was no match for the fat ass clown so they decided to wait a few years and let the king’s kids grow up so they could go out and trash him.
Before you start your quest, you are allowed to pick one of the two twins. We have the older blue armoured twin who is a dab hand at sword fighting, thrusting faster and more furiously than is brother, unfortunately, his magic is not too hot, it wipes out standard enemies way but it only seems to chip away the health of bigger enemies. His younger red brother is the exact opposite, his sword skills are alright but aren’t the best for monster slaying but his magic skills will wipe bosses across the floor. The balance creates the perfect difficulty setting, those who are inexperienced at the genre and wish to have it easy will select the blue fighter while seasoned veterans will pick the red guy.
You can choose three areas of adventure, at first you can walk through the lush green forests, filled with rude trees, really cute monsters that want to kill you and little gherkin men who puke out seeds like there’s no tomorrow. They may be tonnes of them but they are no match for your kick ass blade and magic repertoire. After strolling through the forest, you’ll enter a cave, do battle with a nine foot, fire spewing, fist extending rock monster and meet up with a half-dressed goddess who’ll give you a nice magic present. The next levels are set in heaven, where you don a feather cap and soar through the sky, doing battle with two headed turtle-dragons and clashing magic with a deity who wishes to test your combat skills.
After this, you’ll plunge into the briny sea, chop up crabs, slice fish and do battle with a lean mean and pink Angler fish, who has an army of mini-anglers at his beck and call. When you finish these stages you will be given new magic item that you can use in the next world. After merging all three of the items you have received from the gods, you open a portal to the monster castle, home of Riepohtman and his top generals, including a skeleton warrior and a cloaked vampire. First, you’ll have to piece together the map of the castle be defeating various guardians, such as the ones above and some palette-swapped (groan) versions of previous bosses, like the dragon and the scorpion. After you’ve collected all the pieces and survived a few more flying levels, you’ll fight Riepohtman, twice, and banish the fat clown forever.
Bosses are tough and take a ton of hits, playing the blue boy will ultimately make it easier if your magic stocks are low, as his magic can take a good chunk of the health of boss and his rapid sword movement can chip the health away. However, if you’ve been saving your magic for the boss, you can wipe him away with the red twin. Bosses have a medium level of vitality but you sword can only chip it away, it can take ages to kill a boss and since you only have two continues you have to be extra careful. The chances are that it will take you a while to finish the game because the bosses can be bastards. Always stock on cash to make sure that you can buy a new continue at the end of each stage.
Speaking of cash, you’ll be given a shower of gold in every stage of the game. Jump forward and a treasure chest will fall out from nowhere, giving you more and more gold. Some rocks have gold spurting out of them like a fountain. If you hit them with speed and precision, more and more gold will shoot from the rock and land in your pocket, the size of the coin indicates its value. When you finish the world you are on, the lovely princess will offer you a selection of goodies: stronger swords and shields improve your attack/defense and you can stock up your magic. If you’ve been vanquished in battle you can always buy a new continue, you’ll know if you’re in trouble if the Chiki head in the shop is flashing. Never leave the shop without a full pocket of continues, you will regret it later.
When I first clapped my eyes on Chiki Chiki Boys, I was fascinated by the bright visuals, detailed characters and rich backgrounds. The main thing I liked was the anime style that game followed, even the cover art looks like a still from an anime, the reasonably large sprite of each Chiki is packed with detail, his happy face changes to that of determination as he swings his sword. When he has been beaten to pulp by the barrage of enemies, he’ll look pretty amusing; his eyes rotate all over the place and his tongue sticks out like a moron. The beasts that the boys have to banish look more comedic than evil, the white monsters look so cute and cuddly that I refused to kill them when I was younger. Chiki‘s backgrounds are also quite sleek, the giant demon shadow in the underworld and the castle in heaven are two that really stand out, the detail on the castle is awesome while the demonic shadow looks great despite the fact that it’s very basic.
The sounds of Chiki are also a pleasure, the jolly tune of the character selection screen and the marching music of the first level are tunes that are really entertaining and extremely memorable. The dark and threatening boss music really gets you in the mood for battle and it can be pretty intimidating when the gigantic boss creature comes out of his hiding place.
Chiki Chiki Boys may be hard to find nowadays but it is an essential part of any Genesis collection. Its charm entices you to clash swords with the enemy and retake the land of Alurea from the clown. The mix of platform action, RPG elements and arcade like levels create a unique experience from most other games. It’s fairly obscure for the Mega Drive and the Turbo Grafx-16 version is probably even more so. I got lucky when I found my copy so if you ever come across it, buy it immediately. It’s a lost treasure waiting for you to dig it up.