Mickey Mouse on the Game Boy: A Complicated Story

Mickey Mouse on the Game Boy: A Complicated Story

Mickey Mouse on the Game Boy

A few issues ago we printed a reader's text about a Mickey Mouse game on the Game Boy in our Nintendo magazine N-ZONE within the community and letters to the editor. And Katha's doorbell rang: She had also owned this game! Even as a child, the game seemed somehow strange to her, not much Disney-like, although the iconic mouse was obviously the hero of the adventure. Anyway, a note followed that maybe a bigger article could be made about it - and here we are!

Table of contents

1 Mickey's confused story 2 Brand, switch 3 Mickey busters! 4 The epic ends 5 What else? Recommended editorial content At this point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration.

Mickey's confused story

The cat Karlo pollutes the air in Mickey's Racing Adventure. Source: Moby Games The game described at the beginning is called Mickey Mouse 2 - or Mickey Mouse, for the European release the number was dropped because the predecessor was only released in Japan. In this side-view adventure, the Disney hero climbs a tower or fights his way through a castle level by level to free his beloved Minnie. The mouse can only jump on special fields and has to collect keys to lock an area. Pretty simple. Today it is easier to name why the game looks so strange:

Rare were allowed to run too: They developed two fun racers for the Game Boy Color. Source: Moby Games Instead of well-known ducklings, the opponents were the card soldiers from Alice in Wonderland, or the ill-tempered Stromboli from Pinocchio. The chief villain and the kidnapper of Minnie was the horned king from Taran and the cauldron. Yes, these are Disney characters, but they have nothing to do with Mickey. Why this strange collection of figures? Presumably because the developers did not necessarily have a lot of love for the raw material at work, but were concerned with economic efficiency: A game with Mickey Mouse in the lead role? Will sell, no matter how much sense the combination of opponents makes.

Brand, change yourself

In Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge, the hero is kidnapped into a dream world. Source: Moby Games Kemco's business acumen was evident elsewhere when it came to Mickey Mouse. The Japanese only had the Disney license for publications in Japan, whereas in North America it was the construction site of the (also Japanese) company Capcom. Therefore Kemco swapped all Disney characters with characters from Looney Tunes for the USA release of the game and renamed it. Result: Mickey Mouse (2) on the Game Boy and The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2 on the Game Boy are exactly the same game! As if that weren't enough, Kemco messed up the title for the Game Boy in Europe again in 1996 with the character Hugo, who was mainly known from the interactive TV show at the time.

The next part of Mickey Mouse - The Kemco series for the Game Boy was shot through the licensed meat grinder in the same way. While the Disney hero was looking for keys again in Japan, the overweight tomcat Garfield took over in Europe. And in the USA? There the Japanese used the Ghostbusters cartoon as a brand. The result was logically not that convincing. According to the end of Garfield Labyrinth - that's the name of the German version - Garfield and Odie are lovers, they pose in front of a pixelated heart.

Mickey Busters!

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge was developed by Way Forward (Shantae series). Source: Moby Games You just replaced Mickey and Minnie from the Japanese version with a dog and a cat. And although ghost hunter Venkman has a proton beam, he cannot damage enemies with it, he can only destroy blocks on the ground. How come? Because in the Japanese original Micky has a jackhammer and not a gun and enemies can only be made harmless with bombs. There is a particularly piquant reason why the gameplay stipulates that you have to remove stones from the ground and Micky is handling a pneumatic tool: Kemco's entire game is a brazen copy of a two year older C64 title called P.P. Hammer and His Pneumatic Weapon. The Japanese simply copied the level design and the puzzles, they were never prosecuted.

And to close the confusion even more confused: Kemco's very first Mickey game, which was only released in Japan, is a porting and secondary utilization. The original came out in 1989 for the Famicom and was starred by Roger Rabbit. For the US release, they grabbed Bugs Bunny - obvious, after all, it is also a long-eared figure.

Source: Moby Games Source: Moby Games Source: Moby Games

The epic ends

Mickey's Ultimate Challenge features fairly simple puzzles and riddles. Source: Moby Games With the fifth and final part of the Mickey series from Kemco, a turning point occurred - it was the first Disney game from the developers that was allowed to keep names and characters in the USA! For us it was called Mickey Mouse: Magic wands !, it was playfully similar to its predecessors: Search a castle to save your kidnapped friends, this time the mouse collects individual parts of the portraits of Goofy, Pluto and so on.

In In Japan the game was only called Mickey's Chase - the word dangerous was dropped. Source: Moby Games Although the Crazy Castle chapter is closed, Kemco has another Mickey game for the Game Boy on the kerbwood, albeit only as a publisher: Mickey's Dangerous Chase from 1992 (in Japan the title one year earlier on the market). The developer was the Now Production studio from Osaka. They obviously took a little more trouble with the licensed material, the adventure begins in Duckburg, and the cat Karlo steals a gift from Micky or Minnie, depending on which character you choose. In terms of gameplay, they were inspired by the veteran Super Mario, it is a simple platformer. Blocks that you have to jump from below to get items, including. The fact that Mickey's Dangerous Chase was not developed by Kemco itself probably saved it from panhandling and dozens of international re-releases.

What else?

Aside from the Kemco games, there are a few other Mickey games on the Game Boy, with relatively boring, because normal, release stories: Mickey's Ultimate Challenge is a puzzle game by Way Forward that appeared on the Game Boy in 1994. Tokyo Disneyland: Mickey no Cinderella Shiro Mystery Tour, which was only released in Japan in 1995, is a platformer with Mickey in the lead role, but who does not have a jackhammer but a balloon to float with him. And on the Game Boy Color, only the studio Rare Micky, known to Nintendo fans, did the honors by creating two Mario Kart-like racing games with the titles Mickey's Racing Adventure (1999) and Mickey's Speedway USA (2001). And what is Kemco doing today? Mobile Games.

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