Flicky is an arcade game made by Sega. First released in arcades in 1984, Flicky was also released at the time for the SG-1000, and then ported to the MSX and Japanese computers Sharp X1, Fujitsu FM-7 and NEC PC-8801. It was later ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1991. Flicky was designed by Yoji Ishii, who was with Sonic Team until August 1999, when he formed Artoon, his own company.
Flicky has since been re-released as part of the Sonic Mega Collection for the Nintendo GameCube, Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 where it was an unlockable extra game, and in Sega Genesis Collection (Sega Mega Drive Collection outside of North America) for the PlayStation 2 and PSP. It has also been released for mobile phones.
In the game, the player controls Flicky, a bird who has to save the Chirps (Piopio in Japan), from housecats.
The player has to collect all of the Chirps and guide them through the exit. The player has to avoid the cat, Tiger (Nyannan) and the green iguana, Iggy (Choro). They can also be killed by throwing items at them. Tiger tries to catch Flicky by jumping on platforms or running, while Iggy owns the ability to climb walls and crawl fast along the floors. He debuts in round 10.
There are also bonus rounds after every three rounds. The object of the bonus rounds is to catch the chirps that are flung into the air. You have a net and every chirp caught gives you one thousands points. If you manage to catch all twenty of them you will receive a bonus twenty thousand points.
Players start with two lives and can gain more lives by acquiring certain scores; however there is a maximum of five lives they can attain.
There are 48 proper levels ("rounds") in the game. Completing these yields a "Congratulations" message, followed by the possibility of playing through the game again at a faster speed. These levels are numbered 49, 50 and so on, and levels which previously did not contain the Iggy now do contain it. Furthermore, some throwable items are replaced with different ones. Once the game has been completed a second time (passing level 96 = fast version of 48), the game repeats again, but there is no speed increase (i.e. level 97 is identical to level 49), and the game simply carries on in this fashion until after the 256th level the game starts over at the very first level and continues from there. If you hit the enemy, the player will lose a life. When all three lives are gone, your game will end.
Appearances in other games
The Flicky birds in the Sonic the Hedgehog games are derived from the bird in the Flicky arcade game. This is most obvious in Sonic 3D Blast (subtitled Flickies' Island in Europe and Japan), where the birds, who not only resemble but are explicitly named Flickies, follow Sonic around after being found in the same way the Chirps would follow Flicky in this game. Other mechanics were also similar, such as losing Flickies that happen to touch an enemy or hazard, or losing them all if Sonic died (though unlike Flicky, Sonic could, depending on the circumstances, survive a hit). The point system (extra points awarded for rescuing Flickies/Chirps together instead of one at a time) had the same principle, as well.
In Tails Adventures, the island that Tails is on seems to be inhabited by Flickies. Also, in Sonic and Knuckles, Tails' super transformation has four super Flickies surrounding him, who attack any enemies that are surrounding Tails, including bosses.
In the Sonic Adventure, there are three birds of the Flicky species, they are of a different variety than the other small animals collected for use in the Chao Gardens, although two are found inside robots in E-102 Gamma's story line (one inside Gamma its self and one inside of E-101 MKII) and one follows Amy Rose in her story line. These Flickies can not be collected and taken to the Chao Gardens.
Flicky also makes a cameo in an arcade Sega game called Flash Point and Bloxeed, two Tetris-like puzzle games, as well as in the bonus rounds of the arcade version of Teddy Boy, which was made by the same staff. Gunstar Super Heroes has a stage based on Flicky in which the player rescues chicks.