The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

A first look at Ningyou Tsukai

Finally I dug up a copy of Ningyō Tsukai (人形遣い), and guess what: My suspicions are confirmed. Metal & Lace is indeed a very different game, and Ningyō Tsukai, just like its sequel, is indeed a straightforward fighting game with no power-ups and strategy elements. Here’s a first look at it, using the Neko Project II emulator.

Ningyō Tsukai comes on three disks. One is the program disk and has to remain in the drive all the time, the other two are the data disks and have to be swapped as necessary. Directly after the Forest logo you get the following menu:

The bottom option is a two-player game where one player controls Mimi and the other Sync. Sync is a Mimi with slightly altered graphics, it was named Sun C in Metal & Lace. This a good way to practice moves and get familiar with the controls without pressure. Before the battle starts, the key assignment are shown, but there seems to be no way to change them. Here they are:

The game is designed for a joystick: directions and two buttons. In a single player game, the buttons are ZX (not so hot if you have an AZERTY or especially a QWERTZ keyboard) and the directions are the numbers. The buttons are punch and kick respectively, up is jump, down is crouch, left and right are movement in the appropriate direction. Mimi automatically turns to face her enemy, when up is combined with left or right she can jump half a screen in both directions. The stages are two screens wide.

G•mode is the photoshop. The two top options are story mode and vs mode. Story mode gets you the intro. First you see this screen, accompanied by the sound of keyboard tapping:

Maybe someone with knowledge of Japanese can translate this? Then comes the well-known animation of the Mimi being armed, but interrupted twice to show a girl working at a computer:

When the Mimi is fully armed, the girl goes into an animation typical for someone who has just finished a difficult and exhausting task:

After the title and the battle doll graphic (in Metal & Lace, it is the backdrop for the story) comes a single dialog screen that again I hope someone will be able to translate:

Then come the stats of the next opponent, again with some dialog:

If you select vs mode, you jump directly to the next fighter bit. The dialog is a bit different here, but that may be because it’s a different enemy:

Before the fight starts, a fully dressed pic of the opponent is shown. If Mimi loses the battle, the protagonist (the girl with the glasses) is undressed. Her pics were used for Barbara in Metal & Lace. In Ningyō Tsukai, some of the backdrops of the babe pics are animated. Metal & Lace got rid of these animations.

The battles themselves are not different in the two games, only the backdrops are different. It seems that Ningyō Tsukai has only two backdrops, this is the one for standard fights:

The other one I’ve only seen in screenshots so far, and not very often. I suppose it’s used for the final (third) round with each opponent:

But of course I’ll only know for sure if I get good enough at this game to actually get to this stage…

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2 responses to “A first look at Ningyou Tsukai

  1. Nyaantucket November 22, 2011 at 10:05

    I’ve recently become fascinated by Ningyou Tsukai 1 and 2 via secondary sources (such as this one!), but my search for the games themselves has been fruitless. Do you know where I could find the PC98 versions for download?

    • Gonnagan November 23, 2011 at 03:47

      I’m not aware of any website offering these games at the moment. There’s a collection of PC98 games here, but you’d have to download it complete, it doesn’t say which archive contains what. Your best bet is probably bittorrent.

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