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
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.
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.
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:
The game controls are
(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.
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.
the Game and Pauses
"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.
Some Tips to Get You
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
-- 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
-- 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.
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.
With that said, have
Pizza Cats Game
(Thumbnailed for faster loading
time...click for larger version)