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Mr. Gimmick!

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Title Screen

Mr. Gimmick!

Also known as: Gimmick! (JP)
Developer: Sunsoft
Publisher: Sunsoft
Platform: NES
Released in JP: January 31, 1992
Released in EU: May 5, 1993 (SCN)


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.


NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page
ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

Hmmm...
To do:

Mr. Gimmick! is an action-platformer that was released late in the Famicom's/NES's lifespan. Despite the game's cute appearance, it is punishingly difficult, but has gained a following due to its overall polished presentation and rewarding-to-master star attack that doubles as a platform for finding items necessary to get the game's good ending.

Unfortunately, the only international release was in the Nordic countries, though at least one prototype has been found for the planned US release.

Sound Test

Strange Memories of Music Sampler.

To access the music sampler, hold Select and press Start at the title screen. It contains every track in the game, with the exception of Evidence of My Life (later named in a separate OST) and an alternate version of Cadbury with slightly different instruments.

The round cursor color depends on bits 1 and 2 (a total of four different colors) of some music data, which don't frequently change and remain at zero most of the time with the exception of two music tracks: Strange Memories of Death and Paradigm. This color change only occurs in the Japanese version.

During Paradigm, the cursor will blink orange during the intro of the song. After the intro, the cursor will turn green during certain parts of the song.

For Strange Memories of Death, the cursor will remain green during the whole intro of the song. Before the song loops, the cursor will turn green during three measures of eight, high-pitched notes.

There is not much connected to it; the developers just selected not-so-frequently-changing data to highlight the cursor. If they had selected another piece of data, it may have been much more interesting.

Disabled Debug Features

Using Game Genie codes will re-enable some debugging features, which differ slightly between versions.

For the Japanese (NTSC-J) version, use both ZEETLZPS and PAVVTZAA Game Genie codes to activate the functions below, and, for the Nordic (PAL) release, only PAVVTZAA is necessary.

In the Japanese version, pressing Select on Controller 1 will refill your HP. On Controller 2, pressing A + B will increase lives. Using the D-Pad on Controller 2 will warp to one of the four checkpoints in a level and pressing B will complete the current level and return you back to the map. The level skip function will result in the bad ending, unless the player collects the special item in each level before using it. Holding A and pressing B will enable the good ending.

In the Nordic version, all functions are done using Controller 2. Pressing A will refill all items and HP. The other functions work the same.

(Source: CaH4e3)

Unused Music

The second track in the NSF, "Strange Memories of Death", goes unused in the game proper. It can be heard in the sound test, though.

Anti-Piracy

MYSTERY ADVENTURE END.

The game has a copy protection routine which is triggered if the intro code is tampered with (as is the case with the pirated version, Shui Guan Pipe) and the player makes it to the secret Stage 7. This prevents unsuspecting players from being able to advance to the final boss and see the good ending. The message displayed is a reference to Atlantis no Nazo, an earlier Sunsoft game.

Using the Game Genie code PAZAOY (Japanese version) will change the value at address 8F21 to 01, which will trigger the message; Simply access the final level and walk close enough to the castle for the routine to be executed. Conversely, the Game Genie code IALEUN will maintain a value of 0D at address 8F3B. Even in instances of tampering, the result bypasses the copy protection routine and allows the bug in the final level to load properly.

See the Notes page for a detailed description of the copy protection code.

(Source: BMF54123)

Playable Enemy

One strangely still Ohagi in the interior portion of Stage 2 can actually be controlled using Controller 2. (No hacking required!)

On Controller 2, Left and Right makes it walk, and A makes it jump.

Be forewarned that, like any other enemy, the Ohagi will still do damage, if it runs into the main character. Unfortunately, it cannot defeat enemies, and the Ohagi cannot be guided into any other area of the stage.

Unused Graphics

Yumetarō

Are you speculating yet?

This is found with the ending cutscene graphics of Yumetarō and the girl running away from the crumbling castle.

Text Characters and Symbols

Time to learn your roman alphabet. This comment is copyright ME... ... and I registered trademark'd this one.

A variety of unused text characters and symbols. The letter "A" takes up two tiles, and was intended to be used in a scrapped intro screen, documented below.

Unused Text

The Nordic version of the game contains two unused intro text strings that were (mostly) overwritten in the Japanese version, which is rather odd, given the fact that the former is a later build of the game.

CK ENTERTAINMENT TEAM

Found at 0x37C43. This string was partially overwritten by the "AUTHENTIC ENTERTAINMENT" string used in the intro. The "CK" would seem to imply that it once said "GIMMICK ENTERTAINMENT TEAM".

     A
TOMOMI SAKAI
GAME

Found at 0x37C5A. Note that this uses a different spelling of designer Tomomi Sakae's last name. The letter "A" used in the first line is actually comprised of two tiles, both of which are only present in the Japanese version!

Only a small portion of this string, "TOMO", remains in the Japanese version; oddly enough, the aforementioned anti-piracy routine actually checks for the presence of these unused characters.

Regional Differences

Lives

The Japanese version and US prototype start the player with four lives, whereas the Nordic version offers eight lives instead. After the player scores 10,000 points, another life occurs at every subsequent 20,000 points rather than 25,000 points in the Nordic version.

Music

Japan Nordic / US prototype

The Nordic version and US prototype have minor alterations to the music to make up for the missing extra sound chip. As an example, Strange Memories of Death seems to suffer from this change the most.

Title Screen

Japan Nordic / US Prototype
Look closely below the logo to see the Katakana, aaand- Yup, you got it. What would YOU have put in place of the Katakana?

This bit of Japanese text on the title screen—the only Japanese text in the entire game—was translated.

Miscellaneous

Finally, it's not Shui Guan Pipe!

The Nordic version shows a "LICENSED BY NINTENDO" screen when booting up the game that was completely absent in the Japanese version.

Revisional Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Compare the ROM data too

In addition to the original Japanese Famicom version, the Nordic PAL release, and the (unreleased) US prototype, Gimmick! was made available on the Sony PlayStation (and, later on, the PlayStation Network) through メモリアルシリーズサンソフト Vol. 6 (Memorial Series Sunsoft Vol. 6). This two-game compilation, predictably enough, was only available in Japan, and its version of Gimmick! appears to be based on the Famicom original; The Katakana on the title screen is present, and the player starts with three lives. However, the Sony PlayStation version features some changes that make this release arguably inferior. First, the visible area has been cropped on all four sides, but it is most notable on the top; As a result of this change, ceiling hazards appear to be floating, and it's slightly harder to notice the entrance to Stage 6's secret area.

Famicom Sony PlayStation
Gimmick famicom01.png Gimmick psx01.png

Second, this version features significantly altered instrumentation, resulting in high octaves that deviate from the Famicom compositions. This affects both the soundtrack as well as the sound effects.

Famicom Sony PlayStation

The above comparison uses the track "Just Friends" as an example. This track plays in the secret areas hidden throughout the game. In this example, the harmony is over-emphasized in the Sony PlayStation version, overwhelming the melody.