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Mappy

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Mappy (マッピー Mappī?) is a 1983 arcade game by Namco. In the United States, it was manufactured and distributed by Bally/Midway. Mappy is a side-scrolling platformer that features cartoon-like characters, primarily cats and mice. The game's main character itself is a mouse. Mappy runs on Namco Super Pac-Man hardware, modified to support horizontal scrolling. The name "Mappy" is likely derived from mappo, a Japanese slang term (slightly insulting) for a policeman.

Gameplay

The player guides Mappy the police mouse through the mansion of the cats called Mewkies (Meowky in the U.S. version) to retrieve stolen goods. The player uses a left-right joystick to move Mappy and a single button to operate doors. The mansion has six floors of hallways in which the stolen items are stashed. The items are:

  • Radio (100pts)
  • Television (200pts)
  • Computer (300pts)
  • Mona Lisa (400pts)
  • Safe (500pts)

The items come in pairs; should Mappy get paired items one after another, the point values of the second matching item gets a multiplier. The more the player retrieves matching items without dying, the bigger the multiplier gets. Therefore, ideally a player will start with the lowest value item (100 + 100 × 2) and proceed to the highest value items (500 + 500 × 6) in order to get the highest value items with the biggest multiplier, for a total of 8500pts. The second item of a pair will blink if retrieving it will yield a multiplier.

Mappy and the cats move between the floors by bouncing on trampolines at various places in the house. Both Mappy and the cats can only land on a floor on the way up, but not on the way down. When they pass in the air, Mappy is unharmed by the cats, but should Mappy run into a cat anywhere else, he will lose a life.

The trampolines will break if Mappy bounces on them four times in a row. The trampolines change color depending on how many times Mappy has used them without a rest: green (zero bounces), blue (one bounce), yellow (two bounces), red (three bounces). A red trampoline will break if Mappy attempts it again. If a trampoline breaks and there is another trampoline below, Mappy will live. If there is either nothing or a floor under the broken trampoline, Mappy will lose a life. To reset a trampoline, Mappy must touch a floor. Bouncing on a trampoline is worth 10pts.

File:Mappy In-Game.png

In addition to Meowkies, the boss cat Nyamco also roams around. The name "Nyamco", besides being a play on "Namco", comes from nyanko, the Japanese equivalent of "kitty cat". Nyamco was renamed "Goro" in the U.S. release. He is faster, but less aggressive than the Mewkies. Throughout the levels, Nyamco hides behind the different objects to recover. Should Mappy recover an item which Nyamco is hiding behind, the player gets a bonus of 1000 points for having caught Nyamco in the act. He only hides behind an object for three seconds, though. Nyamco is always a single cat in each level, but the Meowkies appear three to a group for the first set of levels before the first bonus stage, four to a group for the next set of levels in between bonus levels, five to a group for the next set of levels, and so on.

Many of the hallways have doors which Mappy can slam open or shut to temporarily knock out the Mewkies or Nyamco. Some of these are special "microwave doors" which release a wave which sweeps away any cat in its path off the edge of the screen and out of the house. The first two Mewkies are each worth 200 points, and each additional Mewky beyond the second is worth 400 points; Nyamco counts as a Mewky plus a multiplier of two. Any cat that is swept away reappears after a short while, jumping from the top center opening in the roof.

A level is completed when all the loot is retrieved. If Mappy tarries too long, a "Hurry" sign appears after which the music and the cats speed up, and more Mewkies are added (two will appear ready to drop as the Mewkies normally do immediately following the hurry message, and more Mewkies can arrive later on). If the player waits too long after this, the "Gosenzo" coin (a blue disk shape with Nyamco's face on it) will drop onto the top-middle platform and chase Mappy in a manner similar to the Mewkies, but more effectively. The "Gosenzo" coin can harm Mappy even if he is in the air.

The third level and every fourth level after that is a bonus round. Mappy, unbothered by any cats, must bounce across a series of trampolines, popping fifteen different suspended red balloons, with a "Nyamco" along the way. A bonus is awarded if all the balloons are popped before the music ends, at which time the level will end as long as a player has not previously fallen through a trampoline onto nothing, which would abruptly end the bonus level. The Nyamco balloon will break any trampoline and will grab one balloon above him for Mappy. In addition to 10 points for each trampoline bounce, each red balloon is worth 200 points, the large blue Nyamco balloon is worth 2,000 points, and collecting all of the balloons is worth a bonus of an additional 5,000 points.

After every bonus round, a new feature is added to the gameplay. After the first bonus round (Level 3), the attics of the houses are available for Mappy to run inside (though there aren't anything in them). After the next bonus level (7), the following levels (eighth to tenth) have bells, which Mappy can hit so that it temporarily freezes any cats below, for 300 points each (1,000 points for stunning Nyamco). Starting from these stages, the "Hurry" sign will also appear earlier and earlier. After the third bonus round (11), small "rainbow floors" appear in some of the hallways. After Mappy runs on these mini-floors, they vanish, leaving a hole in the hallway. If the meowkies, Nyamco, or even Mappy runs over this newly formed hole, they fall down to the level below and die (because there is no trampoline below to catch them). In addition to these rainbow floors, dead-end hallways are also created. On both the left and right side of the houses, one hallway leads to a safe to retrieve, as well as the wall. If Mappy tries to get the safe but is cornered by a Meowkie, Mappy is assured certain death.

As there are 256 rounds, like in Pac-Man and other 8-bit arcade games, the last round's play is normal, but harder than usual. When the player finishes the round, which is also known as "round 0," the first round appears again.

Ports and sequels

A Japan-only port of the game was released for the Famicom (Japanese version of the NES) and MSX in 1984. This was followed by a video game console-only sequel called Mappy-Land in 1986 (released in the United States by Taxan). In 1998, it was released as part of Microsoft Revenge of Arcade for the PC. Mappy also had several Japan-only sequels, including Hopping Mappy in 1986 for the arcades and Mappy Kids for the Famicom in the late-1980s. There is also a version called Mappy Arrangement which was released in 1995 as part of Namco Classics Collection Volume 1 for the arcade. The Famicom version of the original Mappy was re-released in Japan as part of the Famicom Mini Series in 2004. Mappy is included on the Ms. Pac-Man collection manufactured by Jakks Pacific. It is also featured in Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Collection, released on Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PC, and PlayStation 2 in 2005 (did not appear on the Game Boy Advance version), and also appears on Namco Museum DS. Mappy is playable in the PlayStation Portable version of Namco Museum Battle Collection, and there is a Mappy game for the Palm OS, by NI. Mappy was included as a Dot-S set. It is also one of the first Arcade titles to have been released on the Virtual Console.

References to Mappy in other games

External links

ja:マッピー

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