FGC #187 Chiki Chiki Boys / Mega Twins

Hmph. These articles are usually about a thousand words or so, which is equal to one picture, so let’s get a few paragraphs out of the way and spend this post looking at pretty pictures.

Chiki Chiki Boys is the Genesis port of the Capcom arcade game Mega Twins. The game sees the Kingdom of Alurea conquered by a murder clown, but, oh no, the people of Alurea of are too peace-loving to even know how to fight back. But the Chiki Chiki Boys are a pair of twins that are also princes or something, and they’ve got magic swords and Goddess Palutenia (with a perm) on their side, so it’s time to venture forth and stab a whole lotta goblins.

Mega Twins is a pretty damn fun game, actually. It’s one of those rare 2-D action arcade games that seems to follow the mechanics of Mega Man or alike, but maintains a beat ‘em up mentality of constant progress (and danger). Bosses are big and colorful (and quarter killers), powerups are interesting and plentiful (here’s a whole new way to kill everything on the screen!), and there are even health refills hidden about, which is the sign of an arcade game that doesn’t absolutely want you to suffer. Combine this with Capcom’s signature bright and colorful graphics, and Mega Twins is quite worthy of your hard-earned quarters.

And the Genesis Port, Chiki Chiki Boys, isn’t… all bad. It severely limits your credits, which is absurd in a game that is not rebalanced at all to compensate for being designed to empty your pockets. But aside from that and the sad loss of two-player simultaneous mode, it’s a pretty fun port of an arcade game that you only ever saw because some poor arcade manager mistook it for Mega Men or Mario Twins.

But enough about the game, let’s judge a book by its cover!

MEGA!

First we have the box for the Japanese Genesis (Mega Drive) port.

Take a moment to breathe in that whole thing. By my count, Chiki Boy Blue appears on the cover no less than three times, and, I think, drawn by a different artist every time. We’ve got “cool with a sword” to the right, “flying anime” on the left, and friggen Superman right below the “BOYS” logo. Similarly, Chiki Red appears thrice, but he’s just exploiting his shield to varying degrees each time. Look, art design, I get that you want the main characters on there, but I feel like this may have gone a little overboard.

And speaking of overboard, we’ve got…. let’s see here… looks like six different boss monsters smooshed into various sections of the cover. Additionally, there are quite a few random “general” monsters haphazardly tossed into the periphery of the area. Do we really need an angler fish steering its young into a volcano? Or that teeny tiny urchin hanging around Blue’s shoes? And there’s a beehive hovering over everything. What does that even mean!?

At least that one dude from Ice Climber gets to put in another appearance.

Box Rating: 6/10. Too busy, dammit.

MEGA!

Next up is the NA Genesis Box. This is good stuff! This appears to have been drawn by one specific artist, and doesn’t feature the same characters drawn three different ways. Hooray! There is one (1) boss, and one (1) random enemy. And they’re both distinctive and vaguely iconic (who doesn’t like bean baddies?). This little image is obviously just one part of the Japanese box, but it works so much better without all the extra clutter.

But what’s most important is that it instantly tells a story. Here are two (Chiki Chiki) boys, and they’re fighting a dragon in the sky. Red is serious and maybe a luchadore, and Blue is having fun with it. Dragon and Bean are afraid of the heroes, because they’re strong and have really angular swords. Dragon is literally crying! Adventure is happening!

This is the game you’re going to grab when you’ve played through Sonic the Hedgehog too many times.

Box Rating: 8/10. It only loses points for not having the kickass Blue sword of the Japanese box.

MEGA!

Chiki Chiki Boys had a Japanese PC port? Alright, let’s take a look at this box.

Oh, it’s Dragon Ball. Cool.

FLY!There is one section in Chiki Chiki Boys wherein the boys ride clouds and climb what appears to be Dragon Ball’s Korin Tower. Yes, it is very reminiscent of one of Goku’s great deeds, but that whole story was based on Journey to the West to begin with, so maybe it’s a random bit of traditional Chinese Mythology. I know DBZ didn’t invent Fujin and Raijin that also appear in that same level, and you’re dealing with Greece’s Poseidon shortly thereafter. The Chiki Chiki Boys are drinking deep of an eclectic stew of mythologies here, so they’re bound to slurp up a few chunks of other stories.

But here we’ve got blatant pandering to Toriyama’s fans, complete with Blue’s Saiyan hair. Red seems to be softened from “serious shielder” to “Krillin”, and I’m pretty sure panicking vampire in front of the hydra is doing his best to simulate any given DBZ mascot character. It cannot be a coincidence that that blimp appears only on this particular cover.

Box Rating: 4/10. Show some originality!

MEGA!

And now we have the NA Mega Twins PC box.

Oh my God!

It’s Mario! And he’s got a knife!

I’m just going to go ahead and list this one:

SKELEMAN!1. In game, the twins are blue and red, not red and yellow.

2. Yellow don’t shiv.

3. Gee, there are a lot of mushrooms for a game that contains approximately zero fungi.

4. Owls, squirrels, bees, bunnies, worms, and frightened mice. … Okay?

5. There is absolutely nothing even remotely like a slingshot in the game.

6. Angry Trees do appear in the first level, so ya got one thing right.

7. And that skull looks vaguely menacing, and there is a skeleton monster running around.

8. But don’t think I didn’t notice that the hat that says “MEGA” conspicuously only features the “M”!

Box Rating: 1/10. We do not tolerate disparaging the good name of Mario in this house.

… Hm… I think this article may have wound up being a thousand words anyway…

FGC #187 Chiki Chiki Boys / Mega Twins

  • System: Sega Genesis, Arcade, and PC, apparently.
  • Number of players: Two, but only simultaneously in the arcade. This is sad.
  • Pick your poison: You have your choice of completing the three opening levels in any order before tackling the final castle. Sound familiar? The level labeled “Level 2” seems easier and more fun than its brethren, so that’s my recommended starting point.
  • You gotta have a sense of humor: Like a lot of older Capcom games, Chiki Chiki Boys seems to be incidentally funny at a number of points. There’s a skeleton knight that has problems with his boxers, and a Vampire that is down to his skivvies and “flashing” every time he opens his cape. Actually, maybe the only LOOK AWAYjoke Capcom understands is underwear based
  • Murder Clown: The big boss of the game and leader of the horde of monsters is officially named Dire Clown. Couldn’t they have just gone with Pennywise?
  • Did you know? Like a lot of early Capcom games, the credits for this title are indecipherable. The “scroll design” was created by “Zummy & Ziggy”? I’m not sure if that even could be a name. That said, the sound design was by Hiromitsu Takaoka, the dude behind Final Fight and Super Buster Bros. There, that’s one credit out of the way.
  • Would I play again: It’s fun, and it’s on the PSP Capcom Collection, which means it’s on my Playstation TV, which means it might get fired up once in a while. The Genesis version will be eternally ignored, but you can’t beat two player dragon slaying action.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Goldeneye 007 for the N64! Duh duh duh DAAAAAAAH! Please look forward to it!

One Response »

  1. Oh man, that PC cover. They look like some dumb kids doing bargain bin Mario cosplay who think they’re hot shit ‘cuz they swiped some daggers their dad bought at a flea market. Terrorizing cartoon animals today, getting the everloving crap kicked out of them by bullies and being tossed in the school dumpster tomorrow.

    Speaking of covers, given the tendency to purge anime art in favor of contenders for Worst Box Art Ever in the 80s and 90s, I’m surprised that Chiki Chiki Boys used part of its official art for the Genesis cover. Only other cartridge game I can think of at the moment that used its own anime art for its US cover was King’s Knight on the NES.

    And those in-game screens are all from the Genesis version, right? I’m sure arcade looks better, but I’m still impressed by how good this game looks.

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