Mikie, known as Shinnyū Shain Tōru-kun[a] in Japan, is an arcade video game developed and released by Konami in 1984. The object of the game is to guide a student named Mikie around the school locations to collect hearts which make up a letter from his girlfriend while being chased by members of the school staff. In Japan, the game's setting was changed an office in order to avoid controversy, while the original version of the game was released internationally. Centuri distributed the game in North America.

Mikie
Mikie arcade flyer.png
International arcade flyer
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Arcade Ports
Imagine Software
Platform(s)Arcade, Amstrad CPC, Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, SG-1000
Release
Genre(s)Action, maze
Mode(s)Up to 2 players alternating

GameplayEdit

The game starts at Mikie's classroom. Mikie must bump the students out of their seats to collect the hearts they're sitting on, while simultaneously avoiding the classroom teacher. Once all hearts are collected by the player he is allowed to leave the room and enter the school corridor.

The school corridor is where Mikie will be chased by the janitor and his classroom teacher, who follows him outside. This is the way to gain access to the rest of the school building, each room representing a different challenge or level. Mikie will be cued to the proper door to enter by a large, flashing "In" - opening any other door will result in Mikie being punched by a coiled boxing glove or hairy foot, stunning him. One of the doors, however, contains a scantily clad girl: opening this door is worth 5,000 points. Mikie can also pick up extra points by picking up lunch boxes and opening a grate that contains a burger and soda. In addition to head-butting, enemies (the janitor and the classroom teacher) can also be stunned by slamming doors in their faces.

The second room is the locker room, where the objective is to break the lockers to get the hearts, while being pursued by a janitor, a cook, and the classroom teacher. In addition to the head-butting, there are three bins of basketballs located around the room, which Mikie can pick up and throw using the action button. Each bin holds three basketballs.

Room three is the cafeteria where Mikie is pursued by two cooks and, again, the classroom teacher. One cook who stands at the top of the room occasionally throws a leg of meat directly at Mikie. On each table are roasts (3 per table) which Mikie can hurl at his enemies.

Room four sees the student in the Dance Studio, where he must avoid dancing girls who stun him, as well as the dance instructor and, yet again, his classroom teacher.

The final stage has Mikie avoiding football players in the garden outside of his school, who are guarding the hearts he must collect, attempting to reach his girlfriend Mandy.

ReleasesEdit

ArcadeEdit

Mikie initially underwent location testing in Japan under its international title, with the same graphics and high school theme that would be used for the game's overseas releases.[4] However, Konami chose not release Mikie as is in Japan due to the game's premise of having a protagonist sneaking out of school after incidents of school violence at the time.[5] As a result, an alternative version was produced for Japanese arcades titled Shinnyū Shain Tōru-kun (新入社員とおるくん, "Freshman Employee Toru"), which replaces the school setting with a workplace. The classroom in the first level becomes an office and the teacher into a manager; the dance studio in the third level becomes the OL office; the other levels (the hallway, the gym, the restaurant and the outdoor garden) are mostly unchanged aside from a few graphical modifications, but the football players in the final level are instead security guards.[6]

The game's soundtrack, which features chiptunes rendition of The Beatles songs "A Hard Day's Night", and "Twist and Shout", had permission granted by JASRAC in Japan, with a license displayed on the instruction card and printed circuit board.[6]

In North America, the game was distributed by Centuri, which had distributed Konami's previous arcade games in the region.[1] In Europe, Konami debuted the game at London's Preview '85 arcade exhibition in November 1984.[2]

A revised version of the game, titled High School Graffiti Mikie, provided less violent action, in which Mikie's physical attack was changed from a head butt to a paralyzing shout, while his "death" animation was changed from rolling around on the floor to sobbing in contrition.[7] The glass jars, which Mikie had to head butt three times to retrieve the heart inside, were replaced with bundles of three hearts, providing the same effect without requiring the player character to head butt glass. In the first level, the writing on the blackboard reads "Failure Teaches Success", instead of "E=MC2". Mikie's shout has no effect on his classroom teacher. After each completed "step" (the loops of the game) in this version, the speed of the enemy characters increases, with some of them even gaining new abilities.

Home conversionsEdit

Mikie was ported to various home computers by Ocean Software subsidiary Imagine Software, with versions released for the Amstrad CPC, Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. An SG-1000 version of Shinnyū Shain Tōru-kun, was also released exclusively in Japan by Sega.

ReceptionEdit

In Japan, Game Machine listed Shinnyū Shain Tōru-kun on their December 1, 1984 issue as being the second most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[8]

Computer and Video Games reviewed the game in December 1984, calling it "a weird game" and "one of the most bizarre games around." They noted "the story is a little more complex" for an arcade game, and that a "certain element of skill is needed to collect and deliver" the messages and for "escaping from the powers above" but said it's "not a game to set the adrenaline running" compared to a shoot 'em up and that the "Japanese must have a very odd idea of what American boys study at school".[2]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Japanese: 新入社員とおるくん, Hepburn: Freshman Employee Toru

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Akagi, Masumi (October 13, 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971-2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971-2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. pp. 113, 122. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ a b c d "High School Pranks: Mikie". Computer and Video Games. No. 39 (January 1985). 16 December 1984. pp. 38–9.
  3. ^ "Mikie (Registration Number PAu000679621)". United States Copyright Office. September 27, 1984. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Mikie High School Graffiti". Flyer Fever. October 2014.
  5. ^ "受付嬢と食事に行くことに! どうか秘策を!(39歳 会社員) - コミニー[Cominy]". Famitsu.com (in Japanese). July 3, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "コナミ「新入社員とおるくん」インストステッカー". レトロゲームグッズコレクション〜Retro Game Goods Collection (in Japanese). February 27, 2014.
  7. ^ Retro Gamer, issue 76. Retrorevival ... Mikie (pages 90-91).
  8. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 249. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 December 1984. p. 31.

External linksEdit