In Yume Penguin Monogatari (Or Dream Penguin Adventure), you play as Penta. He’s on a quest… not to save his girlfriend, oh no. It’s a quest to lose weight because the love of his life is a shallow whore. Not able to stand Penta’s fat ass anymore, she goes for the hot stylish gang leader. Ginji, however, is very sporting. His girlfriend, on the other hand, is just awful.
Ginji goes on about how he’s given Fat-B-Gone™ to his gang members, and Penta can try to get some from them… IF HE DARES! What lies ahead is an amazing adventure across all terrain. From the seas to the desert to the giant cake that is under repairs, there is no place Penta will leave untraveled for his ladylove.
Gameplay is simple but interesting. You travel from left to right (as per usual for NES platformers) and try to avoid food while murdering enemies for extra time and Fat-B-Gone. A few other power-ups await, including the standard invincibility and a helicopter beanie.
As for Penta, there are 3 forms of fat; Chubby, normal, and thin. When you’re chubby, all you can do is flop on the enemies, leaving yourself wide open to attack if you miss. Normal lets you use a mighty kick, killing practically any enemy in one hit with a small amount of cooldown. Thin allows you to shoot the word “PEEP” across the board, giving you ranged fire. Enemies tend to take more than one hit, but it’s rapid fire and you’re a pretty safe distance away from them. If you become as skinny as possible, you’ll be invincible for a short amount of time.
Unlike you, your foes really aren’t out for blood; they’re just looking to feed you.
Throwing apples, rice balls, and other foods are pretty much their weapons of choice. Each bite of food makes you a little fatter, and if you’re too fat by the end of the level.. well, she doesn’t want you, bro. SLIM UP! Other than running out of time, that’s the only way to really lose. There are no lives lost and no real penalty, you just start at the beginning of the level. Upon reaching the end of the level, there’s a phone for you to call your girl.
Speaking of levels, the game does a very good job of keeping things interesting by alternating between a platformer.. and.. a shooter, of all things. Yes, enemy planes and whatnot still shoot fruit and snacks at you. All while making that classic Contra “PING PING” sound as you hit them!
There are only 6 levels in this game, so it’s over very quickly. I beat it blindly in less than half an hour, and have seen speed runs of 10 minutes or so. Not much longer after you start, you’ll find yourself at the final confrontation. After a quick jaunt through the arctic, you hop into a plane, chasing after Ginji.
The game now turns into what is essentially a third person shooter, and the final showdown begins. He isn’t the most difficult boss by far, and will go down very quick. Penta rescues Penko, and they fly off into the night sky, finally together and mutually attracted once more.
So, that’s all she wrote. You can go on to do a second lap through the levels, but I haven’t spent the time yet to beat it. The major difference is that you need to be skinnier by the end of each level, but other than that I didn’t see anything. Maybe the ending is different? (I will edit it, someday, if it is.) Oh yeah, there is also a bad ending if you’re too fat by the end. She thanks you for saving her life, but laments your corpulence and leaves you. I hate you, Penko.
All and all, it was a lot of fun. I never felt that the game was unfair, in fact it often felt too easy. The graphics are very well done and I never once experienced NES slowdown during play. The music is catchy and easy to listen to, but ultimately forgettable. The controls were perfect, Penta never performed an action that I didn’t want him to do. I would definitely suggest this to anyone who enjoys platformers, it’s short and sweet and the perfect game to just sit down and playthrough. The only thing really keeping it down was how short it was, but even that could be taken as a plus. As much as I complain about Penko, the story of the fat penguin trying to slim down for his love is quirky enough to enjoy, no matter who you are. Find and play this game!
If you’re too lazy to play through it yourself, you can watch me beat it here.
Thanks for the fun, Konami.