Hebereke no Popoon (Hebereke's Popoon) is a two player puzzle video game developed and published by Sunsoft. It is based on the Hebereke series. Hebereke means drunk or untrustworthy. Popoon is an onomatopoeia for the sound made by the game pieces when they explode.
According to the Video Arcade Preservation Society, via their website Killer List of Video Games, the arcade machine itself is very rare, if it still exists in cabinet form at all. The game is playable in emulation form using the MAME system and it was also ported to multiple consoles.
Hebereke no Popoon is a block-grouping game closer in style to Dr. Mario than Tetris. There are eight playable characters, each having different abilities. In one-player mode, the player is forced to choose Hebereke and must play against Oh-Chan. After defeating Oh-Chan, the player is allowed to choose between Hebereke and Oh-Chan in the next match against Sukezaemon, and so on, until the player has "unlocked" all the characters. Each match consists of a single-round. A defeated player may elect to resume play by using a continue. In two-player mode, all characters are immediately available to either player and each match is the best of three rounds. Players can also select a handicap level (from 1 - 5) to increase or decrease the difficulty of the game.
In each round, pairs of Popoons of various colors (the set of colors varying with the character(s) chosen by the player(s)) descend from the top of the screen. These can be rotated and placed by the player. The immediate aim is to create groups of three blocks of the same color arranged either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. When such a group is created, the member blobs blow up, disappearing from the screen. Any blobs above the disappearing group then drop to fill any resulting empty space.
Each time a player successfully creates a group, a piece resembling the head of the player's character will drop on the other player's screen in a random position. These "heads" can be removed by the second player by placing a blob of the same color as the head such that it touches the head either horizontally or vertically. Both the head and the blob will disappear from the screen, in much the same manner as group of blobs, though no head will appear on the first player's screen as a result.
A player can sometimes cause multiple groups to disappear. This can happen simultaneously if the placement of a pair of blobs immediately causes two groups of blobs (or heads) to form or it can happen in a chain reaction, as the formation and disappearance of one group causes the dropping of any pieces above it, which can result in the formation of another group, and so on. If the groups in either process are of different colors then this is said to be a combination or "combo." The colors in a combo (or even a group) appear as small tiles in the lower of two panes in the middle of the screen and above the score-box.
While a combo of one color (simply an ordinary group) causes a single head to appear on the opponent's screen, a combo of two colors causes a full row of heads to appear on the opponent's screen. Combos of three and four colors are much more dramatic, the precise effect depending on the player's character. Upcoming heads or special effects are kept track of by logos placed by the players' characters in the upper of two panes in the middle of the screen.
A notable feature in Hebereke no Popoon is the constant bevy of sound effects as each player's character celebrates each group or combo by making nonsense sounds or yelling Japanese phrases.
Characters' Combo Abilities
When the player makes a combo of three or four colors different effects occur depending on the player's character:
Hebereke: Blue Hatted Penguin-Like Character & Troublemaker
- Head Color: Blue and White
- 3 colors: Head flies towards opponents screen attached to body via a tether. Creates a double row of heads on the opponent's screen.
- 4 colors: Flies off the screen on fire. The player's pieces are removed and a proportionate number of heads are dropped on the opponent's screen.
Oh-Chan: A Cat
- Head Color: Orange
- 3 colors: Uses magic electricity to turn pieces on opponent's screen into "frozen blocks" that can never be removed.
- 4 colors: Oh-Chan appears and whisks away the bottom few rows of the player's pieces. A proportionate number of heads are dropped on the opponent's screen.
Sukezaemon: A Small White Ghost
- Head Color: Pink and White
- 3 colors: A giant hammer smashes through the player's pieces removing them from the screen. A proportionate number of heads are dropped on the opponent's screen.
- 4 colors: Hammers himself in the head popping his eyeballs out. Turns some of the opponent's pieces into heads.
Jennifer: A Puking Frog
- Head Color: Green
- 3 colors: Causes opponent's screen to freeze up for 10 seconds. All the heads from all the groups the player made are dropped at once on the opponent's screen at the end of this time.
- 4 colors: Jennifer pukes. A single iridescent blob descends from the top of the player's screen. Wherever this blob is placed, several rows disappear and a proportionate number of heads are dropped on the opponent's screen.
- Head Color: Light Purple
- 3 colors: Appears on the opponent's screen and turns it into an elevator which rises up and away. The opponent's screen returns with many blobs having been turned into heads.
- 4 colors: A dragonfly flies from the top of the player's character's head to the top of the opponent's screen. The beating wings of the fly force all the opponent's pieces to drop at the maximum rate.
- Head Color: Yellow
- 3 colors: Appears in a spaceship on opponent's screen and drop several men (copies of himself?) which proceed to walk around for a moment. Opponent's controls switch "left" and "right" for 10 seconds.
- 4 colors: Takes out a laser gun and fires a blast into the opponent's screen. The laser blast ricochets around several times, turning many blobs into heads.
- Head Color: Purple
- 3 colors: For 10 seconds the opponent's screen is filled with an image of the sleeping child which obscures the opponent's vision.
- 4 colors: For 10 seconds the player's character sings and dances on the opponent's screen randomly permuting all the blobs and heads.
- Head Color: Brown
- 3 colors: Spins in place in a "shield" or "hamster wheel" on the player's screen preventing the player from doing anything. While this is happening, any heads that would have dropped on the player's screen drop on the opponent's screen instead.
- 4 colors: Shoots a rocket from his hat which blows up all the pieces on the opponent's screen and replaces them with a proportionate number of heads.
- Hebereke no Popoon at Arcade-History.com