September 06, 2020

[Game 070] Ganbare Goemon Gaiden: The Missing Golden Pipe (NES - 1990)

Translation by Adventurous Translations

Another day, another JRPG, this time from the popular Goemon franchise in Japan.  However, since it has nothing to do with giant mecha or martial artists shooting pure energy at each other, I know nothing about this series at all.  My only experience with Goemon in any way was back in the day playing Legend of the Mystical Ninja (for your Super Nintendo Entertainment System) for some hot co-op platforming action, though at the time I didn't realize it was connected to anything else.  I do remember always wanting to be the pudgy ninja chap and was not disappointed to see him in the prologue.

Just nonchalantly leanin' against a wall,
no fucks being given.  Dude's so cash.

Whoa!  Nevermind.  What the hell's
wrong with this guy?

The main quest for this game is contained right in the title; Goemon's favourite golden pipe (pipes being his main weapon proficiency) has gone missing so it's off to track it down.  Will this involve visiting villages filled with quirky characters, delving dungeons that have nothing to do with pipe finding, and beating up goofy looking randoms?  You bet your sweet bippy it will!

Everyone in this game looks like they've just
taken a massive shot to the nutsack whenever
they take damage.  I fuckin' love it.

Unsurprisingly, the quests follow the standard, linear JRPG formula — go to town, talk to NPC, get MacGuffin from nearby dungeon, and return.  NPCs also fill their standard role with lots of flavour text but little in the way of useful information — well, the human NPCs anyway.

Th-that's actually a really helpful tip, doggo.
Who's a good boy?  WHO IS THE GOOD BOY?!

What a great mechanic for the simplistic dungeons that JRPGs like to have.  No more exasperated sighs whenever a dead end comes into view and then angrily turning around to retrace one's steps and bear the burden of even more shitty random encounters.  Even when a true dead end happens in GGG (and that's still most of them), I don't even get mad because at least there's a chance of something happening.  The loot is always optional (thus far) as well; there is no dickish hiding of MacGuffins or anything like that.  This is a good example of the kind of little touches that I like to see developers putting in their games.  Another nice touch I'd like to see more often is having an entire village populated by cats and... what's this?  Why, GGG hath dun read my mind!

Well, yeah, if licking your groin for five minutes
straight is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

OMG!  So adorbs!  They even make a little mew sound whenever talked to!  Squeee!  GGG then doubles down on the cute and has one of the cats actually join the party.

Having "owned" many cats, I can attest that
they all come with this jutsu pre-installed.

The quirkiness of these types of JRPGs is easily the best part of the game, so I'm going to focus on the things that tickled my fancy instead of a play-by-play of each quest.  The quests are fucked anyway, obviously being generated by a blindfolded developer throwing darts into a quest dartboard.  For example, blocking the way through a mountain pass is a giant blue stone wall creature who wants to eat some grapes before letting the party through.

Shouldn't you at least be wanting something
like peaches or cherries or plums instead?

Okay, anyway, so each town has a place where the party can rest and refresh their stats, as one would expect, but in GGG it's not just the classic room at the inn.  Sometimes it's going out for a fine meal, or perhaps taking a steam at the local sauna, where Ebisumaru will take a peek over the male/female divider like a total creep.

And, bless his heart, he looks
every.  single.  fucking.  time.

So, for readers who don't know the details of the Goemon universe, does the above pic stick out at all?  Did you think, based on what we've seen so far, that the setting was decidedly feudal?  Yeah, so did I.  Modernity bursts onto the scene whenever the hell it feels like, even if it means a fast food joint located out in the middle of BF Nowhere.

mm-MMM!  Hey baby, do fries come with that
chicken — uh, I mean, sh — DAMMIT!

The juxtaposition of the two settings is a little jarring, but given the quirky nature of GGG, I'll just try to roll with it.  Especially when the quirkiness results in some seedy port town offering a peep show for only a few bucks.  With the party fund in the thousands, I could easily afford to watch this show at least ten times and... what?  No, to get screenshots, you sick fucks, not to sit there and play with myself.

Though, obviously, I did that too.

I thought this would be a one-off but was titillated to find another building later on with similar signage.  The man at the entrance also promised me a good show in that *wink**wink* *nudge**nudge* kinda way, so I gathered all my boners in what I could only imagine would become known as Acocklypse 2020 for eons to come.

Instead, I got a burning and undying
hatred for magicians of all kinds.

Welp, that killed any desire to continue on since 95% of my motivation to play is the minuscule chance that I'll get to see some pixelated... um, boo... boobies.  Still, there's hope since the party has acquired two swappable females, Yae and Lin, for the fourth member slot.  Then again, maybe not since the first time Yae was met, she beat the crap out of the entire party (case of mistaken identity).  And, come to think of it, Lin is like a level 5 kung fu warrior so she's likely to have her inner whore under complete control.

Yes, Ebi.  I, too, would also like to bang both of them.

Damn it, my only hope is for another skin show, so I guess I gotta keep playing.  ♫ Venture ooooonnn, braaaave soldier ♪