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Chiki Chiki Boys (Genesis) artwork

Chiki Chiki Boys (Genesis) review

"Capcom were the masterminds behind the lost sword slashing and magic casting classic, Chiki Chiki Boys. Taking RPG elements from Sega's Wonder Boy in Monster World, they mixed these aspects with a hint of arcade action to create this title. Unfortunately, the effort fell on deaf ears and remains today a little-known Capcom game, one that should have received a truckload of love but instead was thrown into the deep, dark pit of obscurity amongst other forgotten treasures. "

Capcom were the masterminds behind the lost sword slashing and magic casting classic, Chiki Chiki Boys. Taking RPG elements from Sega's Wonder Boy in Monster World, they mixed these aspects with a hint of arcade action to create this title. Unfortunately, the effort fell on deaf ears and remains today a little-known Capcom game, one that should have received a truckload of love but instead was thrown into the deep, dark pit of obscurity amongst other forgotten treasures.

Chiki Chiki Boys is set in the charming 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 has given birth to twins, two adorable boy scouts! Unfortunately, the kingdom's celebrations have to go on hiatus as an evil fat clown, Riepohtman, and his army of demonic beasts have invaded the land. The reason for this violent attack was to crush peace, happiness, and all things cute and fluffy (the usual evil plot). With the tranquil kingdom no match for this fat ass clown, the citizens have decided to wait a few years and allow the king's kids to grow up, with the hope that they could trash him.

Before you start your quest, you are allowed to pick one of the two twins. We have the older, blue-armoured twin that is a dab hand at sword fighting, thrusting faster and more furiously than his brother. Unfortunately, his magic skills are not so hot, as they manage to wipe out standard enemies but only seem to chip away the health of larger foes. His younger, red-armoured brother is the exact opposite. This sibling's sword skills are okay, though not the best for monster slaying, but his magic skills will wipe the floor even with bosses. This 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 to adventure. At first you can walk through the lush, green forests, filled with rude trees, a variety of really cute monsters that want to kill you, and little gherkin men that puke out seeds like there's no tomorrow. There may be tons of them but they are no match for your kick ass blade and repertoire of magic. After strolling through this 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 award you a nice magic present. The next levels are set in heaven, where you'll don a feather cap and soar through the sky, doing battle with two-headed turtle-dragons and clashing magic with a deity that wishes to put your combat skills to the test.

After this you'll plunge into the briny sea, chop up crabs, slice fish and do battle with a lean, mean pink angler fish that has an army of mini-anglers at his beck and call. When you finish each of these stages you will be given a 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'll open a portal to the monster castle, home of Riepohtman and his top generals, including a skeleton warrior and a cloaked vampire. Firstly, you'll have to piece together the map of the castle by defeating various guardians, such as the ones just mentioned, as well as some palette-swapped (groan) versions of the previous bosses, such as 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 should you succeed banish the fat clown forever.

Bosses are tough and take a ton of hits. Playing as the blue boy will ultimately make it easier if your magic stocks are low, as his magic can take a good chunk of the life bar of bosses and his rapid sword movement can chip 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 your sword can only chip it away, meaning it can take ages to bring one to his knees. 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 these bosses can be bastards. Always stock up on cash to make sure you can buy that new continue at the end of each stage.

Speaking of cash, you'll be showered with gold in every stage of the game. Jump forward and a treasure chest will fall out of 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 stone 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 to improve your attack/defence or the chance to stock up on different magics. 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, or you'll 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 the 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 changing to that of determination as he swings his sword. When he has been beaten to a 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 I refused to slay 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 its design is 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 get you in the mood for battle, and it can be pretty intimidating when the gigantic boss creature comes out of its 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 wicked clown. The mix of platform action, RPG elements and arcade-like levels create a unique experience from most other games. This title's fairly obscure for the Mega Drive, and the Turbo version even more so (I got lucky when I found my copy). If you ever come across it, buy it immediately. It's a lost treasure just waiting for you to dig it up.

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Community review by goldenvortex (March 30, 2005)

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