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Chack'n Pop (ちゃっくんぽっぷ Chakkun Poppu?) is a game developed and released by Taito for arcades in 1984. The game centers around Chack'n, who must reclaim the stolen Hearts from the Monstas. The gameplay involves Chack'n manuvering through various mazelike rooms, defeating Monstas with smoke bombs and freeing the Hearts from cages.

It is considered to be a spiritual predecessor of Bubble Bobble due to the similar game structure, and the characters from Chack'n Pop would later be integrated into the cast of the Bubble Bobble series. Home ports were released for the SG-1000, MSX, Famicom, Sharp X1, NEC PC-6001 and NEC PC-8801. The arcade version would later be included via emulation in Taito Legends Power-Up, Taito Memories Pocket, Taito Memories Gekan, and Taito Legends 2. The Famicom version recieved a port on the Wii and Nintendo via the Virtual Console, while the arcade version was later released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch by Hamster Corporation as part of their Arcade Archives series of releases.

Gameplay[]

Chack'n Pop is an platform arcade game. The player controls Chack'n, a small yellow creature with extendable legs, through a series of single-screen mazes. Chack'n is capable of walking on floors or ceilings, and can climb steps and traverse high walls by extending his legs until he is tall enough to pass onto the next step. He is also capable of throwing bomb to his left or right which, after a short period, explode into a cloud of smoke that will instantly defeat enemies.

The goal of each level is to free the Hearts from their cages. Doing so will destroy the blocks that cover the exit of the stage. Monsta eggs are present in each level, attached to the ceiling, and will hatch over time if not destroyed with a smoke bomb. At the top of the screen, a Maita is present, acting as the timer for each level. Over time, the Maita will roll a boulder towards the level's exit. Once the enemy gets close enough, a number of other Maitas will appear to aid it in pushing the boulder, and they will eventually manage to roll it to block the exit of the stage, giving the player a game over.

Items will spawn if the player defeats more than one Monsta with a single smoke bomb. Typically, the player will recieve a Bonus Fruit that can be collected for points, but depending on the stage, defeating multiple Monstas at once with a certain number of bombs will spawn a Super Heart, which the player can collect to become invincible, being able to defeat Monstas by touching them. The amount of bombs needed to make the Super Heart spawn varies from level to level, but from Maze 2 to the final maze, Maze 14, the number needed follows the digits in the value of Pi, with Maze 2 requiring three bombs, Maze 3 requiring one bomb, Maze 4 requiring four bombs, and so on.

Certain stages will contain Water Bottles, which the player can break to flood the maze with water. Chack'n is able to freely swim through the water, and flooding the stage is often required to reach the exit. However, smoke bombs do not work underwater, meaning the player is unable to defeat any Monstas that while underwater.

A total of fourteen mazes are featured in the game, with Maze 1 serving as a practice round to instruct the player on how to play the game. After clearing Maze 14 and viewing the ending, the game will being to reuse maze layouts, starting with Maze 2. The player can continue to play the game after this point until they recieve a game over.

Plot[]

The game begins with Chack'n and Miss Chack'n together and in love, with numerous hearts appearing over their head. Suddenly, several Monstas appear, stealing the hearts and taking them away. Miss Chack'n asks Chack'n to retrieve their hearts, and Chack'n sets out to Monsta's Castle in order to reclaim the precious symbol of their love.

The game features a variety of intermission animations in-between levels, similar to those featured in many other arcade games at the time, such as the "coffee break" animations in Pac-Man:

  • The first intermission features Chack'n chasing after a group of eight Maitas, jumping atop their heads one by one and flattening them. However, before he can jump on the last Monsta's head, it quickly dashes away, causing Chack'n to fall on his side instead.
  • The second intermission shows Miss Chack'n being chased by three Monstas before a giant-sized Chack'n falls down on top of them from above, flattening them. Miss Chack'n thanks him, and a number of hearts appear over her head.
  • The third intermission depicts Chack'n, under the effects of a Super Heart, chasing after four Monstas. However, the Monstas fuse together into a giant-sized Monsta, who quickly begins to chase Chack'n, capturing him in its mouth and chewing on him before spitting out what appears to be Chack'n's skeleton.
  • The fourth intermission features Chack'n and Miss Chack'n being chased by four Monstas. A heart-shaped balloon flies down, and Chack'n grabs on the balloon's string while holding Miss Chack'n's wing. The two float out of reach of the Monstas, who look on from below.

The game's ending, depicting the wedding of the two main characters, occurs after reclaiming all of the captured hearts, the last two of which are acquired on Maze 14. The ending depicts Chack'n and Miss Chack'n clad in a tuxedo and wedding dress respectively, with the words "Happy Wedding" displayed above them as hearts surround them in a larger, giant heart-shaped pattern. The player recieves 50000 points, and an arrangement of the "Bridal Chorus" is played as a line of seven Maitas dance below.

Characters[]

Playable characters[]

Non-playable characters[]

Enemies[]

Items[]

Main article: List of items in Chack'n Pop

Special items[]

  • Super Heart
  • Green Apple (Console versions only)
  • Yellow Apple (Console versions only)
  • Purple Apple (Console versions only)
  • Blue Apple (Console versions only)

Objects[]

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