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=====
Sections:
Introduction | Game Basics | Gameplay & Controls
 Game Tips | Finding The Game | Game Screenshots
=====

Introduction:

In 1990, just before the Super Famicom (Super NES) game console hit the Japanese marketplaces, this little ditty of a game was released for the Famicom (8-bit Nintendo/NES).  It was never issued domestically, because for one thing, 'Pizza Cats' didn't exist here on our shores, and Nintendo probably felt the game would be too awkward for us American audiences.

It was released by Tecmo, the same company that brought us the highly successful "Ninja Gaiden" series of NES classics, and more recent hits like "Monster Rancher 1 & 2" for the PSX console.  It is a very hard cart to find if you happen to get to Japan and start trying to hunt it down, and highly collectible if found fully intact.  (Meaning the box, game cart, and instructions are all there and in mint condition)

The only way to play this game here in the USA is by use of an NES emulator.  More on this later though.  Right now we'll take a look at the game's plot, basic info, screen layout, and I also have a few tips to pass along.

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Game Story and Basics:

The story is this:

The Big Cheese has devised yet another plot to take over Little Tokyo, and it's up to the Samurai Pizza Cats to save the city once again from his evil schemes.  To do this, they must go through 12 levels, each taking place in a different part of Little Tokyo.  Only when they beat the final large robot, will they restore peace to Little Tokyo, and send the Big Cheese packing.

Pretty basic plot huh?

The game is mainly a side-scroller, with a few vertical shafts squeezed in for good measure.  You have the 3 Cats, Speedy (Yattaro), Polly (Pururu) and Guido (Sukashi) and the 4 Rescue Team members at your disposal to advance through the game's 12 stages.  In-between stages are little cinema scenes that feature the SPC themselves & other SPC members, and carry on the story of the game. Once you get past level 3, you can choose which level you wish to tackle (3 at a time).  Each one gets progressively harder than the last, and to get through each level, you'll have to use ALL the Cats at some point to get past a rough spot.

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Gameplay:

If you've ever gotten the chance to play the NES "Mega Man" series, the SPC game is sort of like that in style.  The game screen is laid out like this:

The top portion is your playing field (duuuh!).  The subscreen (bottom portion) is a bit trickier to understand, so I've laid it out for you in a chart, seen below:

LIFE:  If this gets empty, you lose a life. SCORE: Your current score. Players Remaining
You Start with 5 Cats....lose 'em and it's Game Over
HELP meter This drains down whenever you use one of the Rescue Team Members' powers.  If it reaches the left side, you cannot use their powers any more until you get an item that replenishes this power.
Special Weapon Select this by hitting 'Select' then choosing which weapon you want your selected Cat to use by using L or R on the Ctrl Pad.  These will drain the NINPO meter NinPo: (Ninja Power)This is drained each time one of the Pizza Cats uses his/her special weapons (those weapons are described in the 'Good Cats' page of the SPC section).  Let this get empty and that's it for the Pizza Cats' powers until you get items to replenish it.

The game controls are like this:

(Note: refer to your keyboard or joy pad setup for whatever emulator you're using to correspond with the NES's original contols)

Control Pad: Move your character left and right, use up and down to climb ladders.

A ButtonJump

B Button: Attack with sword (Umbrella in Guido's case)

B Button + UP (Control Pad): Attack with Special Weapon or use a Rescue Team Members' Help function.  Be sure to watch the "HELP" and "NINPO" meters when using these special maneuvers, especially those of the Pizza Cats....don't let it get TOO low.

Start: Starts the Game and Pauses 

Select: Select "Start" or "Password" at the title screen.  Also hit Select to choose which Pizza Cat / Rescue Team member you wish to use during gameplay, or whatever weapon you want to use.

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Some Tips to Get You Going:

I did have a chance to play this game.....it was way back in my 'newbie' on-line days when I was into video game emulation.  This was the first game I tried, and I've discovered a few things that I should pass along to you if you happen to get the chance to play it as well.  If these tips still don't seem to get you out of a jam, feel free to e-mail or IM me and tell me where you're stuck.  

-- First of all, know the Cats and their powers.  This'll prove crucial when dealing with the boss robots at the end of each stage.  One Cat's powers may be stronger against the bosses than another's.

-- As I stated above, watch that "NINPO" meter at all times.....this is your Cats' Special Weapon attack power, and each time you use one of Speedy's (Yattaro's) Cat's Eye Slashes, for example, this meter will drain until it's down to nothing.  I HIGHLY suggest saving this for the bosses at the end of each level.

-- Use the Rescue Team members to get out of a spot that may seem like a dead-end, but really isn't.  A few hints.....Meowzma is good at crushing through hard rocks, while Bat Cat is good for getting across long gaps in the air.  Be sure to keep an eye on the "HELP" meter.....this will drain each time you use a B-Team member's special maneuver.  If it gets down to nothing, you'll be stuck forever unless you go back a few screens and destroy some Ninja Crows for items to replenish lost power.  This goes for NINPO power also.

-- This game, unfortunately, doesn't have a SAVE feature on it, so be sure that before you close up shop for the day, select "Get Password" and WRITE DOWN THE PASSWORD!!  (I don't know how many times I've had to stress that to people).  You lose your score and any lives you gained, but you can continue from the last level you completed.

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To Obtain The SPC Game:

It's not too tough really.  Just do 2 searches on just about any search engine like 'Google', 'Dogpile' or 'Alta Vista'.  You could try Yahoo or any of those directory-based search portals.....but getting directly to what you're looking for may take a bit longer, but you won't run into nasty porn sites or stuff like that.

You're going to be searching first for 'Samurai Pizza Cats, video game'  (that query usually gets me right to a page with the game ready to be downloaded).  What you'll be downloading is the game's ROM file.  This is the file in which all the game's information is stored.

However, you're going to need software to play this, and that comes in the form of an emulator designed to mimic the functions of an NES game console.  Try searching for 'nesticle' in this case.  I know for sure, that emulator will play the SPC ROM with no bugs whatsoever, because that's what I used to play it.

Now I'm going to give you folks a fair warning.  Other than the SPC game ROM, I highly suggest that you refrain from downloading other ROM files for games that have been 'officially' released here.  It doesn't matter how old they are (most are over 10 years old), but most of the respective companies that still exist today, still hold copyrights on most of their games that were released for the NES, and thus, it is 'technically' illegal to download and run these ROMs on your PC without actually OWNING the game in its issued format (that of a game cartridge).  This however, forms a grey area, like that of MP3 files, because its still perfectly legal to have ROMs on your PC, just AS LONG as you don't make dozens of copes of the ROM and port them so they will work on an NES console, and sell them.  

One more thing.....I AM NOT, and WILL NOT be responsible for your actions when you leave this site to go searching for the SPC game.  You're on your own when it comes to respect and responsibility.

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With that said, have fun! :)

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Pizza Cats Game Screenshots:
(Thumbnailed for faster loading time...click for larger version)

KNT_NES2.gif (3382 bytes)

KNT_NES3.gif (10455 bytes) KNT_NES1.gif (7122 bytes) KNT_NES4.gif (11003 bytes)

KNT_NES5.gif (7594 bytes) KNT_NES6.gif (7927 bytes) KNT_NES7.gif (6261 bytes)

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