Release Date: 1985 (Japan Only, Famicom System)
First Played: 1989
Status: DEFEATED, July 26, 2014
Adamus Prime – I. HATE. FLAPPY.
Reader – What; Flappy Bird? What’s wrong with that? I thought it was fun!
Adamus Prime – No no no no no no no, not Flappy Bird……..
Or I should say, more accurately, this…
This is a shot of level one (or side 001) and in case you haven’t guessed, FLAPPY is that naked man seemingly floating in mid-air. FLAPPY is a puzzle game, the purpose being to get FLAPPY to push that blue boulder on top of the blue bricks. Simple right? So why all the hate?
When First We Met…
Just like #25 on my list (Wrecking Crew, see last blog!!), I found this game on a 110 game cartridge my brother and I got for Christmas in 1989. I remember seeing the title on the list. “FLAPPY”…….FLAPPY….so maybe this is a flying game? Like, flapping your wings? I select it. Suddenly the room is alive with fast paced, high pitched noises; I don’t think I can call it music. I legitimately thought I broke the system for a second. The start screen says “FLAPPY!!! Press Select” Not start? Select? Ok…which brings me to a password entering screen…except, I just started playing, so I don’t have any passwords. Ok, now I definitely broke it! Not knowing what to do, I press start. Thankfully the first level starts, but what I come across is the picture shown above. No bird, no flying, just this naked man (with a room full of other naked men in the top left corner waiting for…..I didn’t want to know). In the right corner is a….unicorn? Sock puppet? Whatever it is, it’s just twitching back and forth. It’s then that I notice my head hurts…I realize it’s because of the inane music that started to play. I think there’s a rhythm, but really it’s just various high pitch notes smashed together! Gah! It’s ok, I can do this…
My gamer intuition tells me that I need to move that blue ball onto the blue bricks. I discover that I need to use the brown boulders to create a type of bridge to roll the blue bolder around on. FLAPPY’s awkward movements make this next to impossible, not to mention that FLAPPY can destroy these brown boulders very easily, thereby screwing you over. I have no choice but to go over to the Unicorn and get him to run me over. After you die, another naked man is slowly birthed from the naked man room above and you start again. I went through many naked men trying to make this first bridge; I got really frustrated once and just mashed buttons. Apparently by pressing start and select, you’re able to kill yourself! I’m 100% serious! ISN’T THIS FUN KIDS??? SUICIDE??!? FLAPPY!!!!
Through painful trial and error, I’m somehow able to get past 4 levels; it’s at side 005 that I meet my match. NOTHING I DO WORKS! A new enemy appears; a disturbing looking frog, who matches my movements and kills me mercilessly no matter where I go. I would use the suicide buttons just so it wouldn’t get the satisfaction of the kill! It was at this tender age of 6 that I discovered what true hatred was. I. Hated. FLAPPY. I tried to like it, I even tried to use my imagination to replace the naked men with transformers characters, I was Bumblebee collecting energon for the Autobots! Nope, still didn’t work. Needless to say, I eventually gave up on trying to beat side 005. I pushed it out of my mind and moved on to something else…where I would run into less naked men…hopefully.
Meanwhile in the PRESENT…
I’ve had a good 25 years to contemplate FLAPPY. Looking back, I believe my discovery of FLAPPY is similar to discovering a Hellraiser cube (or Lament Configuration). It may appear interesting at first, puzzles are fun, right? It’s shiny, and promises to keep you busy for a while…..then BOOM!! Deformed sadomasochist rape monsters! Well, no, there’s not, but it sure feels like it!
“I found it rather delightful!”
Thanks to technology, I’m able to research FLAPPY in more detail. The Wikipedia page for FLAPPY gives this as the story, which I did not edit at all. This is just copy and paste…
The beautiful planet of Blue Star, home-planet to a young boy named FLAPPY, is invaded by Dark Emperor Ngalo-Ngolo. The proud inhabitants of Blue Star, wanting neither war nor the invasion, self-destruct along with the planet on a path of self-determination. FLAPPY, however, is boarded onto an escape capsule headed for neighboring Planet Seviras by his father and so survives. From his capsule he sees fragments of the exploded Blue Star rain down incessantly on Planet Seviras.
Wandering aimlesslessly about Planet Seviras, FLAPPY reaches an oasis where he suddenly hears a voice from the sky saying, ‘Gather up the fragments of Blue Star, the Blue Stones, to this Blue Area. When all of them have been gathered…’ FLAPPY, believing a miracle has just occurred, begins on a journey to gather all the Blue Stones.
This Ngalo-Ngolo guy doesn’t sound so bad! He probably wanted them to turn down the God damn music and just stop sucking so much. Maybe it’s just me, but this back story sounds a hell of a lot more interesting then FLAPPY pushing a bunch of rocks around. WHY NOT MAKE THAT THE GAME!! But I digress. Further digging brought me to a walkthrough for FLAPPY! A huge shout out to Andrew Schultz for creating it (http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/578234-flappy/faqs/44656 ). Your sacrifice was not in vain. The only thing more painful than playing FLAPPY must be writing out step by step every single movement you need to make in all of its…..200 LEVELS??????????? 200 levels…………..the horror….the horror………but with this information in hand, I was ready to tackle FLAPPY once again and face the dreaded side 005.
I was able to get to side 005 quickly, and I just as quickly went to the walkthrough when I reached it. The bridge I am supposed to build requires me to ignore everything I have ever known to be true. Apparently, round boulders can rest on the very edge of other round boulders without rolling off! Silly Adamus, common sense and general laws of nature have no place in FLAPPY!! So, side 005 was beaten easily…almost too easily. What came next was actually a refreshing surprise. A bonus stage! There are no boulders to push, no bridges to build. The simple purpose is to KILL EVERY ENEMY ON THE SCREEN. Those Unicorns and jabbering scorpions (those things I thought were frogs are actually scorpions so says the walkthrough, picture below) that could kill you so nonchalantly can now be killed!
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
SO, the tables have turned!! Eat vengeance!!! I feel a growl issue from my throat and I have at them! Nothing is left after my fury has subsided. After the carnage, I’m awarded bonus points and a password!! So that’s what that screen was for! But, here’s the kicker, that password you get lets you start at any of the past 5 stages….NOT stage 6. ………………..ggggrrraaaAAAAAFLAPPYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily the walkthrough gives me all the passwords, which made it much easier to play through this game.
I’m proud to say that I only resorted to looking at the walkthrough for solutions a handful of times; I’m going to say less than 10. But that’s why it took me two and a half weeks to beat. And what happens at the end after 200 levels?? Remember the story, the voice that FLAPPY hears that tells him to collect blue stones…” When all of them have been gathered…” this happens….
CongratulaTION!!!! Not plural, just one! Hey FLAPPY! You made a really big 200 from the chunks of your dead planet!! Oh Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!!!! Well fuck.
Would I recommend FLAPPY? Lord no! Not to my worst enemy! The only positive in this game are the killing spree bonus levels that happen after every fifth stage, which allows you to get out all your pent up FLAPPY aggression. I beat it to put it out of its misery….but it didn’t stay down. Apparently there are SEQUELS!
That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die……NNNNOOOOO!!!!!!!
So what do you think? Do you want to play FLAPPY? Have you played it?? If so, come over for coffee, we’ll console one another. Sound off in the comments below!
Stay tuned for #23 where I will play a game that is a perfect example of exploiting a popular franchise. It’ll be tough, but I’ll beat it by CROM!