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Circus Caper/Regional Differences

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This is a sub-page of Circus Caper.

Hmmm...
To do:
Screenshots.

The Japanese version is based on the anime Moeru! Oniisan (Burn! Older Brother, known internationally as The Wild Burning Man). The game features levels in a different order, completely different sprite changes, and some levels have you playing with different characters. Also, the final boss (named Dra Gon) is played in an RPG-style combat system. The music was also completely redone to fit the NES version, however, the Bonus Game songs, boss songs, and game over songs, as well as various jingles were kept the same.

Characters

In the US version, the player only gets to play as Tim. However, in the Japanese version, you can play as other characters, depending on the stage. The characters are not selectable, however, and do not have any stats and are just mere graphic changes. In Stages 1, 2, 4, and 5, you play as the main character, Kenichi Kokuhou. In Stage 3, you play as Rocky Hada, who also appears in one of the pre-final boss mini-games. In Stage 5, you play as Gai Hidou, and in Stage 6, you play as Akira Shiranui.

Weapons

Hmmm...
To do:
Add screenshots of weapons. Also, properly translate the Japanese items.

In the US version, you have a disposal of weapons. In the Japanese version, your character uses speech bubbles for weapons, though all have the same effects as they do in the US version. The first weapon in the Japanese version is different depending on who you play as, but has the same effect.

Japanese Version (Speech Bubble) US Version (Weapon) Effect
あうっ! (Auh!) (Kenichi)
ジャナイ (Janai) (Rocky)
ダァー! (Dah!) (Hidou)
ブッ (Buh) (Shiranui)
Hammer Shoots straight across the screen, damaging/killing any enemies it touches.
ギュー! (Gyuh!) Soccer Ball Similar to the hammer, but drops down when thrown in mid-air and moves across the floor.
ダン (Dan) Brick Acts as a platform to reach higher areas.
ドン! (Don!) Bomb Acts as a smartbomb and kills all enemies on-screen.
マモレ! (Mamore!) Yo-Yo Revolves around the player, damaging/killing any enemy that touches it.

Health Items

The US version localized the sushi to a piece of pie.

Stage Order

Both the Japanese and US version use the same stages, but in a different order. The US version (obviously) reskins the levels to have a circus theme.

Japanese Version's Order US Localization's Order
1 3
2 1
3 2
4 5
5 4
6 6

Stage 2

Hmmm...
To do:
Add screenshots.

The second stage (JP)/first stage (US) has two parts. At the end of the first part in the Japanese version, you must jump down into the pit to access the next level. In the US version, you must get to the next level by using a Brick item and get up to the top-right of the screen to move on.

Boss Order

The order of the bosses was also swapped. Again, the bosses were reskinned to appropriate the localization of the US version. In the Japanese version, the bosses are known as the Horafuku Gods (ホラフク神).

Japanese Version's Order US Localization's Order
1 - ホッテケ・チャン (Hotteke-chan) 1 - Clown
2 - テンニョ・チャン (Tennyo-chan) 5 - Bear On The Ball
3 - エルビス・チャン (Elbis-chan) 6 - Mr. Magic
4 - ダイコク・チャン (Daikoku-chan) 3 - White Tiger
5 - ビジャモン・チャン (Bijamon-chan) 2 - Tightrope Dancer
6 - ベンザ・チャン (Benza-chan) 4 - Lion Trainer

Though the third boss's name could translate to Elvis and is an Elvis impersonator, the background while facing him reads "ELBIS ON STAGE".

Dice Game

Hmmm...
To do:
Check if the US version has unused text for if the player doesn't beat the clown.
Japan US
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Dice Game 1.png Circus Caper - NES - Dice Game 1.png

After the player starts the game, in the first cutscene, the player must play a dice game. In the Japanese version, it was to determine whether the outcome of the dice was going to be odd (ばん) or even (ちょう), the player aiming for the opposite to roll. If the player chose the roll that comes out to the one they selected, they get a game over before even getting to play the first level.

In the US version, a clown offers the children to roll higher than him to get a ticket. However, it was reprogrammed so that you always win. The game doesn't appear to check whether the number is high enough, so the dice may be just for show.

Minigames

Hmmm...
To do:
Add screenshots and descriptions for minigames and their differences between the two versions.

Final Boss

Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Final Boss.png

After beating the stage 6 boss, the player is brought to a few minigames before facing the final boss against Dra Gon. This battle is done in an RPG-style combat system. In the US version, the game forces you to face all the previous bosses in much weaker form. Then, it faces you against Mr. Magic, a reskin of the stage 3 boss (as mentioned above).

Music and Sound Effects

Hmmm...
To do:
Upload music and sound effects.

The title, cutscene, and stage themes in the Japanese version are different. The Japanese version uses the anime's theme music "Dreamy Dreamer" as the title music, played in the key of B major, rather than D major. The US version reworked the title, cutscene, and stage themes to have a more circus-like approach. The mini-game, boss, final boss, and jingle themes have been left untouched, although the US version has an alternate jingle for when you lose a minigame. The US version adds a second cutscene theme, as well as an ending theme, while the Japanese version only has one cutscene theme. The Japanese version's staff roll uses the title music.

Some of the sound effects were also altered in the US version.

Staff Roll

A staff roll was present in the Japanese release and was omitted from the American release.

Image Translation
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 01.png Staff
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 02.png Executive Producer
Junichi Tsunoda
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 03.png Producer
Kazuhiko Yamamoto
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 04.png Original Configuration
Kenji Terada
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 05.png Chief Programmer
Toru Nakagawa
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 06.png Director
Tsutomu Nagai
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 07.png Game Design
Takashi Wachi
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 08.png Art
Yuko Morita
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 09.png Art
Marina Takase
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 10.png Horafuku Gods Design
Hideki Ishikawa
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 11.png Music
Osamu Kasai
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 12.png Music
Masaaki Harada
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 13.png Message Converter
Hiroyuki Yamamoto
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 14.png Special Thanks To
Character Converter
Moeru! Oniisan - FC - Staff Roll 15.png Special Thanks To
Sound Routine Ver. 4

Interestingly, the game says the name of its sound engine. The only other NES game to do so is the Japanese version of Tecmo World Wrestling.