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The Simpsons (Arcade)

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Title Screen

The Simpsons

Developer: Konami
Publishers: Konami (INT), Veltmeijer Automaten[1] (NL)
Platform: Arcade (Custom)
Released in JP: August 1991[2]
Released in US: April 1991[3]
Released in EU: 1991
Released in AS: 1991


AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


While doing his totally-usual routine of robbing a jewelry store, Smithers bumps into the Simpson family, causing one of the diamonds to fly into Maggie's mouth. Rather than just taking the jewel out of her mouth, Smithers and his bone-stupid henchmen (that obviously he's always had but you never see on the show) kidnap Maggie! The Simpsons must get her back.

Unused Graphics

Most of the unused content can be viewed by modifying the RAM addresses, 4A44 for Character ID, 4A45 for Sequence and 4A47 to view them frame by frame (strangely, the first frames start at value FF). This will modify the first player's sprite data and makes it possible to see how the animations of the unused sprites were supposed to be played out, including the more assembled characters. In some of them it's required to use a different method by modifying one of the enemies' sprite data instead (5044 for Character, 5045 for Sequence and 5047 for Frame). Optionally, it's recommended to also modify the address 4D6A and set the value to FF, which will stop the time limit if the player stays in place for too long.

SimpsonsARCSkinner1.gif SimpsonsARCSkinner2.gif SimpsonsARCSkinner3.gif It's Clean-Up Time!

SimpsonsARCSkinnerMop1.gif SimpsonsARCSkinnerMop2.gif SimpsonsARCSkinnerMop3.gif

Character ID: (Skinner: 3D) (Mop: 06) Sequence: (Skinner: 00-04) (Mop: 00,01)
Principal Skinner was meant to be a supportive character by handing a mop to the players, but this was dropped for some reason. His walking animation is used during the ending only in the Japanese version, but everything below his head is mostly obscured by the other characters who help the Simpsons throughout the game, so it's not fully seen. The latter animations of Skinner without the mop were included from the tileset.

SimpsonsARCHenchmanBlock.gif SimpsonsARCHatHenchmanBlock.gif SimpsonsARCFatHenchmanBlock.gif SimpsonsARCHammerHenchmanBlock.gif SimpsonsARCUmbrellaHenchmanBlock.gif SimpsonsARCMopHenchmanBlock.gif

Character ID: (15,19,16,1A,17,18) Sequence: (12)
It seems that the henchmen were able to block the player's attacks at some point in the development, all of them sharing the same index for the animation.

SimpsonsARCHenchmanLooking.gifSimpsonsARCHatHenchmanLooking.gif

Character ID: (15,19) Sequence: (21)
An animation of the regular henchman looking left and right, which his hat variant also has. Purpose unknown.

SimpsonsARCFatHenchmanWait.png SimpsonsARCFatHenchmanStandUp.gif SimpsonsARCFatHenchmanGrab.gif SimpsonsARCFatHenchmanKick.gif

Character ID: (16) Sequence: (31,22,2E,30)
Unused sprites of the fat henchman with some of them being similar to the thin henchmen, like kicking the fence in Stage 1 and coming out from Moe's bar in Stage 4. Along with the animation of trying to grab the player (or pushing similar to regular henchman) and the sprite of the fat henchman waiting for his turn when 2 enemies already gang up on each of the players, which in this case he uses a standard idle sprite instead.

SimpsonsARCPhoneBooth.png

Character ID: (0F) Sequence: (03)
A phone booth meant to appear in Stage 1 or 2 (given how both of these stages share the same color palette), as a heavy pickupable object similar to the police car or a sprite priority decoration.

SimpsonsARCMilhouse.gif

Character ID: (3C) Sequence: (03)
Unused sprites of Milhouse doing slight jumps. Maybe this was meant to be displayed right after getting the hammer from him?

SimpsonsARCKrustyIdle.gif They don't pay him enough for this. SimpsonsARCKrustyAttack.gif SimpsonsARCKrustyDefeat.gif
Character ID: (3E) Sequence: (00-12)
The fat henchman disguised as Krusty in Stage 2 has a complete set of sprites for performing every one of his actions without the mask. In the actual game, this enemy only reveals himself when he's defeated.

SimpsonsARCUmbrellaHenchman.gifSimpsonsARCMopHenchman.gif

Character ID: (17,18) Sequence: (06)
The umbrella and mop variants of the henchman have the animations for shuffling near the player, but in the game these enemy types are not shy to attack.

SimpsonsARCPetrolBomb.gif

Character ID: (15) Sequence: (3B)
The petrol bombs thrown by the thin henchmen were meant to have a unique and more accurate effect where the flame would come out from the cracked bottle when it hits the ground. In the game, it uses the same explosion effect made by Smithers' bombs.

SimpsonsARCZombieRippingHead.gif SimpsonsARCZombieMove.gif SimpsonsARCZombieIdle.gif SimpsonsARCZombieMove2.gif

Character ID: (26) Sequence: (14,16,19,1A)
There are animation sequences for the male zombie in Stage 3 ripping his own head off and holding it. These were probably unused because it was considered to be too graphic for a game intended for all ages.

To the book depository! You big meanie!
Character ID: (45) Sequence: (00,01)
These speech bubbles are stored near the dialogues spoken by enemies, with the first one definitely meant for Stage 3. No voice clips for them can be found.

SimpsonsARCElevatorSigns.png

Character ID: (5B) Sequence: (00-13)
Unused sprites of the signs seen during the elevator segment in Stage 3 but for the opposite side. Both sides contain the frames to display up to 10 floors, which in the final game only goes up to 6.

SimpsonsARCBigMobster.gif SimpsonsARCSmallMobster.gif

Character ID: (59,58) Sequence: (0A)
Unused sprites intended for the secondary idle animation of the mobsters fought at the end of Stage 3, sharing the same index for the sequence. One of the frames for the smaller mobster was later compressed and used in the DOS port.

SimpsonsARCMoe.gif

Character ID: (33) Sequence: (05)
Moe was meant to give the player a pie personally, but in the game it just lies on the bar right below him when he's talking on the phone.

SimpsonsARCBarney.gif

Character ID: (21) Sequence: (12)
There's a third variant animation for Barney... well... being Barney.

SimpsonsARCBilliardBalls.png

Character ID: (04) Sequence: (0A-17)
Multicolored billiard balls meant to be placed on the pool table in Stage 4. Only the green one made into the game.

SimpsonsARCBigRock.gif

Character ID: (05) Sequence: (37)
The big rock found only in the Japanese version contains sprites for the rolling state, because it was going to be a pickupable object which the player could throw at the enemies.

SimpsonsARCRock.gifSimpsonsARCTreeStump.gif

Sprite Tiles: (Rock: 7B6C-7B6F) (Tree Stump: 26F4-26F7,79EC-79EF)
The gray rock and tree stump remain static when the player throws them, but there were plans to make them animated.

SimpsonsARCBigfootHomer.png

Sprite Tiles: (4ABA,4ABB)
Unused tiles of Homer's head covered in mud are stored near the graphics for the Bigfoot enemy. This are probably just filler tiles, since this enemy is based on the episode The Call of the Simpsons where Homer got mistaken for a Bigfoot.

SimpsonsARCSmallBear.gif SimpsonsARCBear.png

Character ID: (37) Sequence: (07,0E)
The sprites of the small bear can only be seen partly, because the bottom part of the body is covered by a background. Strangely, this bear doesn't have its own character index, meaning that either it was probably supposed to be the same bear fought at the end of Stage 5, or the placement was just coincidental. The second sequence of the bear lying on the ground is stored among the rest of the frames used when it's encountered before the boss fight, so it was probably intended to be used in Stage 2 when it's in the cage before breaking out.

SimpsonsARCDonutWait.gifSimpsonsARCSaxWait.gif

Character ID: (4C,4D) Sequence: (Donut: 15) (Saxophone: 16)
Both the Donut and the Saxophone enemies from Stage 6 have sprites for waiting for their turn to approach the player. The Donut does wait, but it uses a different sprite for that, while the Saxophone always stays active.

SimpsonsARCSaxIdle.gifSimpsonsARCSaxMove.gifSimpsonsARCSaxSpit1.gifSimpsonsARCSaxSpit2.gifSimpsonsARCSaxSpit3.gif

Character ID: (4D) Sequence: (0D,01,07,10,15)
The Saxophone enemy has many unused sequences which hint that it was planned to behave differently than it does in the game. The enemy contains sprites for idling, moving and has 3 variants for spitting notes; while the penultimate sequence appears in the game, it's played too quickly, making the rest of the animation after it's done spitting the notes unseen.

SimpsonsARCImpIdle.gifSimpsonsARCImpStab.gif

Character ID: (5C) Sequence: (07,02)
In a case similar to the Saxophone, the Bart Imp has sprites of him idling or taunting even though he always stays active. There's also an unused attack of him stabbing the player with his pitchfork.

SimpsonsARCExplosion.png

Character ID: (66) Sequence: (06)
An explosion graphic can be found among the assets after defeating the Stage 6 boss. The colors seems to be off, but that's the correct palette index according to the game.

SimpsonsARCWJoystick.pngSimpsonsARCJoystick.gif

Character ID: (0E) Sequence: (3D,3E) Sprite Tiles: (Joystick: 7FC8-7FCB)
The second Bonus Stage was planned to focus on wiggling the joystick to wake the players up. While moving the joystick horizontally would indeed capture the feeling of the slapping movement more closely, this was changed to button mashing similar to the balloon Bonus Stage, probably after receiving negative feedback about the controls from playtesters. The graphics for the joystick itself are present in the tileset, but it's not implemented into the game.

SimpsonsARCNinjaJump.gifSimpsonsARCNinjaTaunt.gif

Character ID: (36) Sequence: (1B,25)
The ninja seen in the later half of Stage 7 has unused sprites for doing a short jump stored right before the jump kick, implying that they were suppose to be able to perform a jump kick in a similar way to the thin henchmen without performing a high flip jump. There's also an alternate take for one of the taunt animations.

SimpsonsARCStage7End1.gifhidden assets from a cancelled Atari 2600 port

Character ID: (39) Sequence: (0D-11)
The sprites meant for the cutscene after beating Stage 7. This cutscene uses a hardware-based scaling effect to shrink the sprites when the helicopter flies to the Nuclear Power Plant, but the smallest variant of the sprites went unused as the game doesn't scale down the characters that far.

Unused Used
All caps is threatning!
No all caps means that world is all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

Character ID: (31) Sequence: (15)
An alternate version of Smithers' introductory speech bubble in Stage 8. It's made out of completely unique graphics and is in all caps, while the others used in-game are made of separate graphics for the text and the speech bubbles.

SimpsonsARCMrBurns.png

Sprite Tiles: (5BC8-5BCB,5BE0-5BE3)
Sprite tiles of Mr.Burns' upper body and arms located near his standing sprite without a robot suit, meant for a scrapped animation when he's "paralyzed with rage". There's not enough tiles to remove his hands entirely from the original stand pose however.

SimpsonsARCMaggieArm2.gifSimpsonsARCMaggieArm.gif

Character ID: (13) Sequence: (01)
During the ending, where Maggie puts a pacifier into Mr.Burns' mouth, her arm has 3 frames holding it. In the game, only the first one is displayed.

SimpsonsARCToBeContinued.png

Character ID: (46) Sequence: (02)
An unused string saying "TO BE CONTINUED...", most likely used in the location test version.

Energy get!
Character ID: (09) Sequence: (01,03,05,07,09,0B,0D,13)
This sprite is stored in every single food item as a second frame, being displayed right above them. Since the Simpsons already have unique reaction for picking the vital items, this may have been considered to be redundant.

SimpsonsARCTVHand.gif
Character ID: (0F) Sequence: (1E)
Unused sprites of the hand that appears during the Bongo scenes before the stages and high score screen.

16!
Sprite Tiles: (2380-23FF,1230-123F)
These repeated tiles are used as filler for the player graphics.

Okay. Wait a minute.
Sprite Tiles: (41C0-41FF)
These are the filler tiles for the first half of the object graphics.

Fine, I won't.
Sprite Tiles: (4F9C,518F,52E3,533E)
This 2x2 filler picture of Krusty is used in the latter half of the object graphics. The correct palette is unknown and may not exist in the ROM anymore.

SimpsonsARCFoodItems.png
Sprite Tiles: (Banana: 2BFF) (Ice Cream: 7835,7837)
Two food items which didn't made into the game. The banana was found among the other fruits dropped from trees, while the ice cream was most likely meant to spawn from the Krusty Ice Cream box in Stage 2, which acts more like an obstacle in the final game.

I'll show you inanimate!
Sprite Tiles: (2BCC-2BCF)
This inanimate carbon rod is found with the rest of the thrown item graphics, but it's not found anywhere in the actual game.

That ain't a bowling ball.

Background Tiles: (0190-01BF)
Located near the character portraits are what appear to be status icons for the bomb, bottle, soda can, and slingshot items. No icons for the rest of the game's items can be found.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Animations

SimpsonsARC2BombsPick.png SimpsonsARC2BombsThrow.gif SimpsonsARC3BombsPick.png SimpsonsARC3BombsThrow.gif SimpsonsARC4BombsPick.png SimpsonsARC4BombsThrow.gif SimpsonsARC4BottlesPick.png

Character ID: (04) Sequence: (2E-33,3A)
This animations appear to be from an unused mechanic where players would be able to stack up to 4 items of the same type to build up more effective damage. The status icons mentioned above were probably related to this!

SimpsonsARCDonutSpawn.gifSimpsonsARCSaxSpawn.gif

Character ID: (4C,4D) Sequence: (Donut: 16) (Saxophone: 17)
The donut and the saxophone have animations to spawn in the same way as the Bart Imp.

SimpsonsARCBowlingB1-04.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB1-0D.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB1-07.gif

Character ID: (4F) Sequence: (04,0D,07)
The animations for the 1st and 4th phase of the giant bowling ball, the Stage 6 boss. Contains sequences for looking from behind, spinning with its mouth open, and launching bowling pins, which in the finished game it only does during the 3rd phase.

SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-00.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-01.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-0D.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-0E.gif
SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-02.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-03.gif SimpsonsARCBowlingB2-0C.gif

Character ID: (50) Sequence: (00,01,0D,0E,02,03,0C)
The 2nd phase has many unused animations, including bizarre ones like the tentacle coming out of bowling ball's eyes, which it then consumes. Yeah...

SimpsonsARCBowlingB3-09.gif

Character ID: (65) Sequence: (09)
Only one unused sequence was found for the 3rd phase, meant for the transition to the last phase. The game uses the animation when the boss is knocked down instead.

SimpsonsARCSmithers-08.gif SimpsonsARCSmithers-14Used.gif SimpsonsARCSmithers-14Full.gif

Character ID: (31) Sequence: (08,14)
Smithers has a sequence of throwing bombs while holding Maggie, either for a cutscene or for a planned encounter in the middle of a stage. The latter animations show an used sequence of him greeting the player near the end of the game, but this sequence goes on much longer than how it appears in-game before it cuts to the fight. The middle animation shows how much can be seen, while the last one contains the full sequence.

SimpsonsARCMrBurns1-0C.gif

Character ID: (61) Sequence: (0C)
An unused animation of Mr. Burns spinning his arms vertically during the 1st phase. Either meant to be a separate attack or a transition for launching his arms from both sides. In the Japanese version, this sequence was replaced by a new one for game balance reasons, where he insteads takes a few steps back while taking damage.

SimpsonsARCMrBurns2-0D.gif

Character ID: (62) Sequence: (0D)
An animation of Mr.Burns moving his hands during the 2nd phase. Perhaps a transition before a standard melee attack or a taunt.

SimpsonsARCMrBurns3-0B.gif SimpsonsARCMrBurns3-0D.gif SimpsonsARCMrBurns3-0C.gif

Character ID: (63) Sequence: (0B,0D,0C)
Unused attacks meant for the 3rd phase. The first is of Mr. Burns raising his hands up if the player attempted to jump over him, and the second is firing some sort of projectile from his arm cannons.

SimpsonsARCMrBurns4-02.gifSimpsonsARCMrBurns4-0A.gif

Character ID: (67) Sequence: (02,0A)
Sequences for the 4th phase of Mr. Burns removing his shield and presumably calling for backup, along with a firing animation similar to the one from the previous phase.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Palettes

The big goon bosses in Stage 3 have multiple unused palettes that are the same as the regular enemies, possibly meaning that they were meant to be more common enemies since they watch the Simpsons in the first two levels.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Music

This track isn't available in the game's built-in sound test, but you can listen to it by loading the ROM in M1 and playing sound code 0xA9. It's possible this was meant to be for the Smithers boss fight, which reuses the Stage 3 boss theme in the actual game. Plus, every time this song loops, it starts to play a little bit faster than before.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Sound

A voice clip spoken by the 1st boss, Professor Werner von Brawn, but pitched up, implying that the sound was intended to be recycled by another enemy.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

The later-released Japanese set is markedly different than the ones for other regions, with most of the changes being to fix the balance issues. The PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade re-release for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 offers the option to play the Japanese version, and so it features all of these differences.

International Japan
TheSimpsonsArcCreditBubbleINT.png TheSimpsonsArcCreditBubbleJP.png

The credits bubble on the 2-Player sets had its palette changed from blue to an almost-black shade of purple.

Scoring

Enemy Points Enemy Points Boss Points
Henchman 100 Umbrella Henchman 300 Werner Von Brawn 2,000
Hat-Throwing Henchman 200 Bart Imp 500 Krusty Balloon 2,000
Fake Bongo 300 Bigfoot 500 Bouncer Brother 1,000
Fat Henchman 300 Donut 500 Drunk 3,000
Female Zombie 300 Logger 500 Bear 3,000
Fireman 300 Radiation Suit 500 Ball Lord 5,000
Krusty Impersonator 300 Saxophone 500 Kabuki Master 5,000
Marge Shrub 300 Zombie 500 Smithers 10,000
Ninja 300 Robot 1,000 Mr. Burns 20,000

On international versions, every enemy defeated is worth just 1 point. The Japanese version has a more dynamic scoring system: two trailing zeroes are added to the score and certain enemies are worth more, as are bosses.

International I don't think that 108 is a coincidence.
Japan Pointless zeroes make me feel better.

To accommodate for the new scoring system, the ranking screen was adjusted by moving the character heads from the score to the rank number and the red background surrounding the heads was taken out.

Gameplay

Christmas bonus!

  • The Japanese version gives players a vitality bonus at the end of each level.
  • The players regain their health back when completing a stage in the Japanese version, which is not the case in the international versions.

Krusty brand Fun Balloons! Warning: May contain explosive materials!

  • The two bonus games have time bonuses in the Japanese version. They aren't present in the international versions.
  • Despite showing a "Player Bonus" number afterward, the bonus games don't actually give points in the international sets, only 50% of health if the player wins. In the Japanese version, they give points, as expected.

Exteeeeend

  • It's possible to extend health past 100% in the Japanese version by picking up food while at full health, it's possible to extend it even further (200%+), in which case the bonus health will be in green.

Death from below! Wait, that's not it... d'oh!

  • In the international versions, the hammer and mop are not very reliable mid-air weapons as the jump cycle continues as normal and airborne enemies can only be hit when in extremely close proximity, making it hard to hit when jumping. In the Japanese they work differently: using them mid-air makes the player diagonally dive into the ground just like when being unarmed, making them much more useful for mid-air use.
  • The behavior of the hats thrown by the purple suit hat-wearing goon was changed: in the international sets, they fly straight a bit and then come back to the enemy like a boomerang. In the Japanese set, they fly straight until they go off-screen and they don't go back, making them less dangerous.
  • The bosses are less dangerous in the Japanese version, having fewer invincibility frames, less health, and doing one-frame surprise attacks less frequent.
  • In international versions, the players automatically pick up food items when walking to them. In the Japanese version, the player must press the attack button in front of a food item to collect it, just like the weapon items.
  • The slingshot was buffed significantly. In the international sets, it's about as strong as a normal attack. In the Japanese set, it will kill anything in one hit!

Level Changes

Stage 1

Well someone doesn't like video games.
An atomic bomb was added in front of the Noiseland Video Arcade. These nukes are items that only appear in the Japanese version: when thrown, they'll kill any nearby enemy and possibly damage the player if they're within range. The sprite for this item is used in all versions of the game though: they're thrown by Mr. Burns' robot suit in Stage 8.

International Japan
TheSimpsonsArcStage1EndFoodINT.png TheSimpsonsArcStage1EndFoodJP.png

The hamburger at the end of the stage was changed to a hot dog.

Stage 2

International Japan
TheSimpsonsArcStage2EndFoodINT.png TheSimpsonsArcStage2EndFoodJP.png

The hot dog at the end of the stage was changed to a hamburger, the opposite of what happened with Stage 1.

Stage 3

Mmm, hidden hamburger.
A hamburger was added behind this tree.

Gotta nuke something.
Another nuke, this one in front of the moon.

Something blue.
A bomb was added at the end of the cemetery.

Bombs, bombs, bombs.
Two bombs were added to the boss area.

Stage 4

Moe's has really been spruced up.
A bomb was added to the start of the level.

That looks like an Olympic torch to me.
A mop was added in front of the counter.

The arcade bomber strikes again.
A nuke was placed near the arcade cabinets.

Don't waste food! Geez...
Two hotdogs were added just before the boss area, they're dropped from the barrels held by the fat women if they're hit before they throw them.

Stage 5

I would like to buy your rock.
An extra rock was added at the start.

The boulder! A bushel of apples packed in every rock.
Another boulder was added to the area before the waterfalls. This larger boulder is unique to the Japanese set, and lifting it up reveals a pile of fruit!

Stage 6

Don't accidentally confuse a bomb with an apple.
A bomb was added at the start. Also, this is the first instance of the Japanese-exclusive feature of doing jump attacks on certain areas to make items fall from the background: two apples are dropped from the eyes of the Krusty-like moon.

TheSimpsonsArcStage6FlagApplesJP.png
Two apples were added in front of Springfield Elementary School, they're dropped from the American flag.

TheSimpsonsArcStage6EndBowlingBallJP.png
A bowling ball was added to the boss area, dropped from the Simpson mailbox.

Stage 7

Mmm, floor food.
A nuke and two food items were added here.

International Japan
TheSimpsonsArcStage7AlienAreaFoodINT.png TheSimpsonsArcStage7AlienAreaFoodJP.png

This corn pickup was changed to a hamburger, the corn does not appear at all in the Japanese version.

Stage 8

Mmm, inexplicable edibles.
A hot dog and turkey are hidden in the fixtures by Mr. Burns' portrait.

Mothers, lock up your daughters.
When Smithers is defeated in the Japanese set, an assortment of fruit flies out of his body. Make of that what you will.

Ending

International Japan
A family-only reunion. Hi, we're here now.

More characters were added to the post-Mr. Burns sequence: Principal Skinner, Milhouse, Nelson, Sherri, Terri, Santa's Little Helper, and Snowball II.

(Source: Original TCRF research)