Name: Flicky 128k. Version
MAME name: flicky
Cloned by: Flicky 64k. Version.
Clone MAME name: flickyo
Flicky is one of those frighteningly addictive games which you could quite easily spend hours pumping 10p coins into. The concept, as every with good arcade games, is very simple. You control Flicky, a blue bird who runs and jumps around various levels to collect the Piopio (little birds which are scattered around the levels). The aim of each level is simple: coollect all the Piopio and take them to the flicky door (which you enter the level through). When you have taken all the piopio to the door, the level ends, you are awarded points according to your time of completion, and the next level begins.
But of course, nothing is that simple. Some enemies are out to stop you from getting the piopio to the door - these are called Nyannyan by the game. The first enemies of the two types that I have encountered are cat-like creatures which run and jump around the platforms, attempting to either touch Flicky (which results in you dying and starting that stage again) or to touch the chain of Piopio that steadily accumulates behind Flicky. As you pick up more Piopio you get them following you round in a chain. This has great benefits: the more you take to the Flicky door at once, the more points you get (take one at a time, and each will net you 100 points, take the maximum a level has and each consecutive Piopio will get you more points, until the last one gives you 5000 points. This is A Good Thing.). However, when you have 10 Piopio in a chain behind you, any time an enemy touches the chain the link it touches will break, and all the Piopio behind it on the chain will fall off and start to wander around the level (Before you first collect Piopio, they stay in one place, but once you have caught them and they have fallen off the chain, they will walk and sometimes run around the level randomly). Since you have to collect every Piopio to exit the level, you have to balance out the difficulty of getting all of them at once with the chance of an enemy touching the chain. This decision is very dependant on where exactly the Flicky door is located (top or bottom of the level).
The other type of enemy I have come across is a sort of worm creature which move very quickly around the level walking round all the platforms, and sometimes spinning a web up or down to move to different platforms. This can be quite hard to avoid, but since there are only a few enemies in the level at once (usually two of the cat creatures and one worm thing) it is possible to keep an eye on them all. The enemies spawn from holes set in the walls for each level, and if you kill one, another one of the same type will respawn a few seconds later. You kill enemies by firing one of the numerous weapons scattered around the levels at them. These take many different forms, as do the colour schemes for the levels - sometimes Christmas Presents, sometimes Baby's Bottles, sometimes Hammers. You pick one up by walking over it, and then it is fired in the direction you are looking when you next press the jump button (there is only action button per player to press). Killing an enemy nets you 200 points (killing two in one shot gives 200 then 400, and killing all three in one shot gives 1400 (200+400+800)) but the respawning can then easily catch you off guard, so it is not always advisable. Dead enemies sometimes leave diamonds behind, which give points when picked up.
Special mention must go to the levels, which are effectively one screen wide, but go on forever in both directions. The screen simply scrolls round and round: if you see an enemy disappearing off the left hand side of the screen, he will immediately appear on the right. If the Flicky Door is near the left hand side of the screen, then walk to the right until it scrolls away and it will appear on the right side of the screen. This means that most of the time you have a choice as to which direction to go to get to the Door. Which one you take depends on where the enemies are located.
The game starts off easy (with the Flicky Door located usually at the bottom of the level) but becomes very difficult (with Flicky Doors which are high up and require precision jumping to get to), very quickly, but with practice it is possible to get very far into the game without losing lives. Each round is numbered (with a bonus round every so often, which involves Flicky holding a net and having to catch as many as possible of the 20 Piopio which fall from above), but at around the 60 or 70 mark some of the level layouts start to repeat themselves. I am not sure how far the game goes: the furthest I have got is round 92. It might stop at 100, or it might not. I'll update if I ever get past it.
The graphics and sound are predictably not that great, but if you care about this then you are missing the point of this game, and missing the point of classic game emulation in general.
If the concept of this game is familiar to you, that's because it was revived by Sega back in 1996 in the unlikely form of Sonic 3D Blast on the Genesis and Saturn. If it rings any bells, bear in mind that the PAL version of the game was called Sonic 3D: Flickies Island... This game had Sonic running round in an isometric view collecting Flickies (No sign of the Piopio) and taking them to a big golden ring. You could take them one at a time or all at once... They would form a chain after you once collected... If you got hit then they would detach and wander round the level... Exactly. It's effectively the same but with a Blue Hedgehog. If you have already played and enjoyed that game, it may be worth tracking this baby down. I have no idea about actual cabinet availability (as TheBooBooKitty, resident E2 arcade game expert) but I suspect that most cabinets will not work any more. Therefore it would make sense to get a Rom of the game, pick up the relevant version of MAME for you, and get down to some serious gaming.
For any of you who are in the VideoGames usergroup and are participating in the high score contest, then my current best on the game is 925310 points. I am not playing it any more. I have played enough. I see little yellow bird things every time I close my eyes. I would dearly love to shoot Flicky with some sort of painful bird torture gun.
And they say video games make you violent.
Servo5678, ever present mine of knowledge that he is, has informed me that "Flicky is also included in the Sonic Mega Collection in its Sega Genesis incarnation (along with Sonic 3D Blast)." I must confess I had not heard about a Genesis version before - thanks for pointing this out.
fondue informs me that Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, coded Flicky, and so that's why the concept was re-used, and why the game was remade and included in the Sonic Mega Collection. Thanks for pointing this out.
yerricde has informed me that ""Piopio" is the sound that a baby chick makes in Spanish, and "Nyaa" is the sound cats make in Japanese." - Thanks a lot for this info.
According to TheBooBooKitty, Flicky is an exceedingly rare game because it came out at the time of the great arcade crash. It was also released in two forms, with Midway selling dedicated cabinets, and Sega selling conversion kits. The dedicated cabs were designed to be used for conversion (since arcades were going down the drain, arcade owners were obviously wary of spending too much cash), and for that reason hardly any original Flicky cabs survive today. Thanks for the info!.
Playing the game using MAME (http://www.mame.net)
* - Specs taken from startup screen in MAME
Information on other versions of the game taken from MAME32
Other information from mame.dk (http://www.mame.dk)
Thanks to TheBooBooKitty for suggesting the VideoGames group high score challenge.
Thanks to Servo5678 for suggesting this game for the challenge.