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Plump Pop

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Plump Pop

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Taito The NewZealand Story hardware)
Released in JP: 1987


DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Plump Pop is not a game about a fat father ("Fatfather", by the way, being the name of my rejected MAD Magazine submission), but is instead a Circuslike with a cutesy animal theme and a much larger variety of balloons.

Kumagaya Easter Eggs

PlumpPopRound41.png
Taito Kumagaya Laboratory developed this game; the proof of this is that there are two hidden company logos. To see the first one, get to Round 4-1 and get a game over. Do not hit the green balloon or this will not work.

PlumpPopKumagaya1.png
Then, after inserting a credit, hold 1P Button 1+2P Button 1 and press 1P Start. The logo should appear in the bottom-left corner.

PlumpPopKumagaya2.png
To see the second logo, defeat the final boss and hold 1P Button 1+2P Button 1 until the ending screen appears. The bear will show up to steal the glory from the rest of the cast.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Scene Select

When the game was being developed, if Dip Switch A1 -- the one labelled as "Unknown" in MAME -- was flipped, and the player either started a new game or completed a stage, they'd be sent to a scene select. Before the game was released, though, the call to this subroutine was dummied out. Put this code in plumppop.xml to re-enable this check:

  <cheat desc="Enable Scene Select">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@2C9D=99CD</action>
      <action>maincpu.mb@2C9F=6E</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@2C9D=0000</action>
      <action>maincpu.mb@2C9F=00</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

PlumpPopSceneSelect.png
Use 1P Dial to select the round, 2P Dial to select the scene, and press 1P Button 1 to go to that scene.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Objects

Balloons

Give me the gray balloons, please, I'm going to a gathering on the Neutral Planet.

These plain, boring balloons are defined in the game's ROM but not used by any of the game's stages, probably because they're plain and boring. Put this code in MAME's plumppop.xml cheat file to see them in Round 1-1:

  <cheat desc="Change Round 1-1 Balloon">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0xADCB">Red</item>
      <item value="0xADF3">Pink</item>
      <item value="0xAE1B">Orange</item>
      <item value="0xAE43">Yellow</item>
      <item value="0xAE6B">Gray</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@4915=param</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@4915=4BB0</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

There's something here from somewhere else.
All five of these balloons use the same graphics, it's just the palette that changes. This is the only object in the game that does that. Guess that makes them a little interesting.

☹

There's one more unused balloon; it's a yellow variant of the blue smiley balloons used by Monzaemon in Round 4-4. Put this code in plumppop.xml to see it:

  <cheat desc="Yellow Smiley Balloon">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@4ADA=B4BC</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@4ADA=B4AC</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Not a Digimon.
Blue or yellow, they're still annoying and in the way.

Wizard

Get off my lawn.
While in the final game there's only one helper character -- the tennis ball seen in Rounds 4-2, 6-2, and 8-2 -- there's another in the game: It's the Wizard from The Fairyland Story|! It's partially coded, but its subroutine isn't called anywhere in the game's code. Put this code in plumppop.xml to replace the tennis ball with Wizard:

  <cheat desc="Wizard!">
    <script state="run">
      <action condition="(maincpu.mb@B065==CD)">maincpu.mw@B066=6416</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action condition="(maincpu.mb@B065==CD)">maincpu.mw@B066=63F5</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Got off his lawn.
He doesn't do much, though. Once the player collects him, he just shuffles off to the left and disappears. He can't even pop balloons.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

Early Final
PlumpPopBubbleLettersEarly.png PlumpPopBubbleLettersFinal.png

Early versions of the F, C, and exclamation point characters that are lacking in drop shadows.

PlumpPopBubbleQuestion.png
This question mark isn't used at all, not that there'd be a reason to use it.

PlumpPopBombBalloon.gif PlumpPopBunnyBalloon.gif PlumpPopLightningBalloon.gif
Three more unused balloon types. Unlike the balloons in the previous section, these don't have graphics data set up in the main CPU. The lightning balloon is based on the lightning bubbles from Bubble Bobble.

PlumpPopHugeBalloon.gif
This big yellow balloon, even larger than the green balloon used in Round 4-1, doesn't appear in any scene and has no code or graphics data in the ROM.

PlumpPopLetterBalloons.gif PlumpPopBalloonLetters.png

The first five letters would be used to spell "EXTEND" and would presumably give the player an extra life, as it does in Bubble Bobble. Not sure what "PAVI" would be used for, though.

PlumpPopUnusedScores.png

The score values for fruit maxes out at 3200, leaving this 6400 graphic unused. The 1P and 2P 1UP graphics are probably related to the EXTEND balloons.

PlumpPopBigStar.gif
A quadruple-sized version of the flashing stars seen in the game.

PlumpPopHardHatBig.png PlumpPopHats.png
Many unused hats. The first is an early version of the hardhat power-up, while the others are alternate extra life graphics. The first two hats are player exclusive, while the pink and blue hat could be used for either 1P or 2P.

PlumpPopUnusedItems.png
Many unused power-up graphics. The first and fourth are alternates for the clone power-up, the second and third are different versions of the flashing stars, and the sixth seems to be yet another attempt at an extra life graphic. The fifth one is a bit hard to make out...

PlumpPopJumpers.pngPlumpPopTrampolineSmall.gif

Two more helper characters, these with no code or graphics data in the game at all. The first would be an additional jumper character, and the second is an extra trampoline.

PlumpPopAltClouds.gif
What looks to be like sunset and nighttime versions of the cloud platforms. Possibly scrapped because the bouncy clouds don't have similar variants, and it would look odd if one of the cloud types changed and the other didn't.

PlumpPopPumpCloud.png
An unused cloud platform type with an air pump and a red balloon. Seems to be missing some of the frames that would make this work.

PlumpPopGreenCloud.png
This cloud is green. They're normally not green, but this one is green. It is not used and it is green.

PlumpPopMoleSquish.png

This hardhatted mole shows up in the game over sequence, but these animations of it being squished suggest it was meant to appear as an obstacle in the game proper.

PlumpPopTinySnowman.gif
The mini-Monzaemon have an unused infuriated animation.

Region Flag

Alternate Coinage

The first bit of the region flag will change the game's coinage settings. Put this in MAME's plumppop.xml cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Alternate Coinage Setting">
    <script state="run">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=01|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~01)</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=00|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~01)</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
Original Altered
1 Coin / 1 Credit 1 Coin / 1 Credit
1 Coin / 2 Credits 2 Coins / 1 Credit
2 Coins / 1 Credit 3 Coins / 1 Credit
2 Coins / 3 Credits 4 Coins / 1 Credit

The altered settings allow the operator to really milk the player's money...maybe even their milk money.

(Source: MAME tnzs.cpp driver)

Export Warning

The second bit will disable the export warning screen. Put this in plumppop.xml:

  <cheat desc="Disable Export Warning">
    <script state="run">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=02|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~02)</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=00|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~02)</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
(Source: MAME tnzs.cpp driver)

Copyright String

The third and fourth bits change the copyright string on the title screen. Put this in plumppop.xml:

  <cheat desc="Set Copyright String">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x04">Taito America Corp.</item>
      <item value="0x08">Taito Corp. Japan</item>
      <item value="0x0C">Licensed to -------</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=param|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~0C)</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=00|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~0C)</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
USA World Licensee
© 1987 TAITO AMERICA CORP.
   ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
© 1987 TAITO CORP. JAPAN
  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
© 1987 TAITO CORP. JAPAN
  LICENSED TO -------

The third string would have been used by a potential licensee like Romstar or Electrocoin.

(Source: MAME tnzs.cpp driver)

English Graphics

The fifth and last used bit enables a couple of English language graphics. Put this in the usual place:

  <cheat desc="Enable English Graphics">
    <script state="run">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=10|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~10)</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>sub.mb@7FFF=00|(sub.mb@7FFF BAND ~10)</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
JP EN
PlumpPopMissJP.png PlumpPopMissEN.png

The first graphic is used in the Pretty Cook boss fight when the player doesn't get a match on the slot machine. すか, which in this context means "Miss", was translated to "BLANK".

JP EN
PlumpPopEndJP.png PlumpPopEndEN.png

The second graphic is used in the game's ending. おしまい, "The End", is now "HAPPY END". Hooray!

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Hidden Text

The following text is in the sub CPU at 0x02D0:

TEST MODE KEY WORD AT KUMAGAYA

This isn't referenced anywhere in the game code, but it was probably used while the game was still being tested.

(Source: Original TCRF research)