Super Dodge Ball (NES)
|Super Dodge Ball|
Also known as: Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu (JP)
Super Dodge Ball follows the respected, world-renowned Olympic sport of hurling a volleyball at some poor jerk's head and hoping he's not conscious enough afterwards to return the favor. One of the few Kunio-kun games released in the west, this one underwent relatively minimal changes during localization, as all the developers had to do was swap the nationalities of some of the teams in order to have the U.S. team be the main one, because anything else would have been unpatriotic. Also, the Soviets are the final opponents in the U.S. version, since this was the late 1980's and Cold War tensions were still going on.
This graphic of Kunio is very similar to one that appears in the intro of the original Japanese arcade version of the game, Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu.
4-Player Bean Ball
The Japanese version, Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu, was the first Famicom game to support up to four players simultaneously through its Bean Ball mode. This was made possible through the use of Hal Laboratory's Joy Pair peripheral, a device which allows two controllers to be connected into the Famicom's expansion port at the same time in addition to the standard hardwired controllers (two similar devices, the Twin Adapter and the 4 Players Adaptor, were later released by Hori that provided the same functionality, the latter allowing two additional controllers to substitute the standard Famicom pads). Since no equivalent peripheral was available for the NES at the time (the Four Score and the Satellite wouldn't be released until 1990), the U.S. version of the Bean Ball minigame is limited to only two players.
With the Game Genie code GEUOLZZA (or with a patch), it's possible to restore these options and play Bean Ball with 3 or 4 players on an emulator. However since the multi-controller adapters for the NES are wired differently from their Famicom counterparts, the two additional players are uncontrollable on an unmodified Four Score or Satellite.
The "Quality Up" version of Super Dodge Ball included in Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle restores the 4-player Bean Ball functionality.
The title screen was given a friendly makeover. The copyright text was also updated with a new font.
The stage order was slightly rearranged for the US release.
The US version displays national flags for each team, while the Japanese version does not. The US version also calls each match an "Elimination Round", while the Japanese version uses "Stages".
In the Japanese version of the World Cup, the first match is between the player's Nekketsu High School (ねっけつこうこう) and its rival Hanazono High School (はなぞのこうこう) to decide whose dodgeball team represents Japan on the world stage. In the US version, it is between the player's Team USA and the "All-Stars" to decide who represents the United States.
The US version also swaps data between two teams to make the player's team American. It gives the Team Japan of the Japanese version the name, formation and color palette of Team USA (あめりか), the game's final opponents, and vice versa while keeping the team captains' faces the same. It also swaps the original Team USA's stats with those of Team USSR (それん) to turn the latter into the game's final match. Note the letters marking each player when comparing their stats in the images shown.
Consequently, the "home turf" where you compete against the All-Stars and its associated background music are swapped as well. It was switched with Team USA's original court and music, and became the new Team Japan's court and music.
In the Japanese version, Kenya is called "Africa" (あふりか).
As mentioned above, bean ball mode, called "club activity" (くらぶ かつどう) in Japanese, had support for up to 4 players in the Japanese version. This was reduced to 2 players for the US release.
The Japanese version allows players to define custom team and player names for both Players 1 and 2 by pressing Select at the main menu. The Name Entry screen has two pages: one for Team A (Player 1) and one for Team B (Player 2). When both pages are completed, the names will appear in all three gameplay modes. World Cup will use Team A's names, Versus Play will use Team A and B for Player 1 and 2 regardless of which teams are picked, and Bean Ball will use Team A's player names. This feature is not accessible in the US release: pressing Select in the main menu causes a selection sound to play, but nothing happens.
See if this feature can be reenabled in the US version with a Game Genie code.
The Name Entry screen uses a version of the Shadow Team's theme without the intro (track #12 in the NSF), which consequently goes unused in the US version.
Pressing the Reset button during a match will return the game to the main menu in either version. In the Japanese version, however, the game plays a voice sample of the Nekketsu series' catchphrase, "Namen na yo!" (なめんなよ！ / "Don't mess with me!") before showing the menu. There are two possible clips, which the game switches between each time the console is reset during a match. If the game is then reset at the main menu, it will repeat the clip before the menu is shown. Neither clip remains in the US version's data.
Hiro Ishikawa was added to the end of the US staff roll as executive producer.