Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
Upa is a baby prince, doing regular baby things, until he accidentally knocks over an urn that contains the soul of the evil demon Zai. The villain quickly sets about taking all the souls of the adults in the kingdom, as well as kidnapping all the babies except Upa. To that end, he must navigate seven different themed worlds in order to save the kingdom. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa’s contribution to the platform genre is that it forces you to think and plan your moves in certain parts of the levels. The main gimmick comes from Upa’s magic rattle, which can stun enemies and turn them into floating platforms. These platforms, in turn, are often necessary to get over various obstacles. Further, you’ll also need to use inflated enemies as weapons against bosses. This is easy at first, but the later levels have strategically placed bosses where you have to pull off some tough angled shots in order to hit them. Despite the cute veneer, it can be quite a difficult game. Luckily there are hidden items that make the game easier, the most important being hearts. These are generally easy to find, and for each one you collect, you increase your life bar up to five units. There’s also a power-up which lets Upa walk on two feet (he normally crawls), which looks really, really bizarre. Overall, the graphics are done very well, as is the music, which has a dance-y, samba-like style. There are some interesting levels, too, such as a water zone where Upa can swim, as well as cake-filled stages where he must dig through the strata by eating it. Konami re-released this game in cartridge format in 1993. The main difference is the addition of a difficulty select. Due to the Famicom lacking the FDS's extra sound channel, the music arrangements are different. The game was actually brought to the USA and Europe through the Wii's Virtual Console, but there’s no Japanese in any version outside of the title screen. There were also rumors that Konami had attempted to publish this game in North America – referred to unofficially as “Baby Mario” – but may have been denied by Nintendo. Upa also appeared as a playable character in Wai Wai World 2 for the Famicom, and in the shooter Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius for various platforms.