Game Center CX Season 12 – Back to Contents
Arino-kun and "Kakefu-kun no Jump Tengoku Speed Jigoku"
For this episode, Arino takes on an original Famicom "classic," Vic Tokai’s Kakefu-kun no Jump Tengoku Speed Jigoku, which came out internationally as "Kid Kool." Kakefu-kun was a real-life kid celebrity, and his game looks like a regular platformer, with seven worlds to complete.
Arino starts the game, and sees that Kakefu-kun starts slow and gains speed as he runs, like Sonic the Hedgehog. And of course, Arino runs straight into the game’s first enemy, and loses a life. On the second try, he uncovers Wicky, Kakefu-kun’s animal pal that can be used as a projectile. Shortly thereafter, Arino stops in front of a large gap. He attempts to jump up to the small platform above it, but instead he just takes a flying leap over the whole thing. Funny, but welcome nonetheless.
Stage 1-1 ends, and 1-2 opens with another large gap, but Arino doesn’t clear this time, and it’s Game Over. After a goofy postgame cut-scene where the king (who needs curing from the SEVEN WONDER HERBS) is told Kakefu-kun has died, Arino continues right from 1-2, and there he clears a path to successfully leap across that first big pond.
But the next obstacle is a crumbling bridge that also has enemies on it, and Arino needs a few tries before he can clear it, but he also needs to jump over a series of pillars precariously placed in more death water. The game is really proving its difficulty now, as Arino takes over 23 tries to get past the obstacles.
Finally, he gets through that section, but more funky athleticism awaits. Arino learns how to run over the water and jump from it, which is another move needed to get past the next obstacles. Then the game introduces "swing poles," which Arino must use to fling himself across the stage. Stage 1-3 isn’t any kinder, of course, as platforms get smaller, not to mention harder to reach. This early on, the game is already taking its toll on Arino, as the controller buttons make a dent in his thumb.
Arino almost runs right off the bridge again, but jumps to safety before it completely collapses. Unfortunately he runs righ off the edge in his attempt to jump on it, but soon, he’s sprinted across the entire stage and meets the boss of world 1, the Wooly Phantom. Arino’s killed easily, but on the second try, he jumps on the weird pump behind the boss, which actually hurts the Phantom each time he lands on it. A few repetitive jumps later, and the boss is gone.
And so, onto world 2. Now the level design is just getting evil, with enemies placed in the trickiest places where Arino just runs right into them. A final leap of faith sends him right to the goal, though, which is nice.
This world is dotted with little air blowers, that can either lift Arino higher or bump him into a trap. They’re mild annoyances until stage 2-2, where Arino needs use them to help him get across yet another long stretch of pillars and water.
By now, the timer in the corner of the screen has ticked by three hours. At this point, AD Emoto enters the room. He tells Arino that he needs to clear the game in three days to get the good ending — days, in the game’s case, pass every hour. So, by now, Arino’s already past the limit to get the good ending, and will have to reset. It’s all in the game’s name — the "Jump Heaven" and "Speed Hell" refer to the game’s two biggest gimmicks — there’s lots of jumping to do, but Arino has to "speed" to the end by the allotted time to see the good ending.
Arino uses the whiteboard to set a time goal for each stage, then resets. He speeds past stage 1-2 in 51 seconds, and by 2-1, he’s already up to 30 minutes. We return to stage 2-2, which was giving Arino trouble earlier, and yep, it still is. After one too many deaths, Arino resets again. He reaches 2-2 in 40 minutes, but just dies once more.
Emoto comes back after a while, this time delivering Arino a fax. It’s from Kenji Sagara; Kakefu-kun himself! He’s written to give Arino some hints to the game, especially the 1-UP loop trick, which requires hopping on and off a swing pole. Oh, and P.S., Sagara is now doing just fine with his family and owning a convenience store.
Arino studies Sagara’s instructions, and heads to the nearest swing pole in the game. He jumps straight up off the pole, then lands right on top of it, and watches as Kakefu-kun repeatedly jumps up and down off the top, getting a 1-UP every time until the maximum of 255 lives is reached. Unfortunately, Arino is told by producer Kan that he has seven hours left in the challenge, so after those 255 lives are gone, so too, will be the challenge.
He again pushes ahead to 2-2, but repeatedly gets cold feet and/or generally has trouble timing his jumps with the air blowers. Jump after jump, and death after death. But he takes things slow the entire way, and it really better to be safe than sorry, as Arino does make it past the trouble part. But man, if the end isn’t coming up soon, he’s going to flip. Good news: it is!
2-3 is next, and Arino’s taken 46 minutes this time. He’s about six minutes over his own prediction, but nevertheless, he keeps going. The stage soon goes underground, much like a Mario game, but once he gets back to the surface, Arino contends with more air blowers and tricky enemies before finally facing the second boss, Dixie Joe. Fortunately, all Arino has to do is hop on the boss’ head like the pump with the Wooly Phantom.
But five worlds still remain, and time is ticking — it’s already been nine hours since the start of the challenge. Stage 3-1 is all underground, and filled with more death-defying jumps. When Arino passes it, he shows us his dented thumb once more. 3-2 is a relative cinch, and then it’s on to 3-3.
3-3 has air blowers and annoying enemies in abundance, and Arino keeps dying. Emoto comes in as a "pinch hitter," and tries to get past that one annoying part of 3-3 for Arino. He fails, and then AP Nakayama takes over. He does worse after one try, and Arino just sends him away. But then a third appears: good ol’ camera assistant Ban! He does good hopping across water, and easily jumps out of the air blower part. Of course, he does die a couple of seconds later, but with the pinch hitters all out, it’s up to Arino to do this on his own.
After an inderminable amount of time, Arino finally gets through the entire stage and meets the third boss, Hopping Dragon. He lives up to his name, but he’s defeated just like the Wooly Phantom — jump on the pump and away he goes. And Arino’s thumb still isn’t healing.
World 4 is a desert land, but has one defining (and infuriating) characteristic: staircases that flip down into slops periodically. Arino gets to the middle of a big staircase and rests on a platform, then jumps up and notices enemies coming down the side. But each time the screen changes, one enemy disapears, so Arino uses this to his advantage to get rid of the enemies without even trying.
By now, it’s been a hellride, and Arino isn’t only past three hours, but also has three lives left. Unfortunately, they’re all wasted in short order thanks to a gauntlet of enemies and staircases.
And then, Arino’s ultimatum: Give up, or try it later? He does the math on the whiteboard, thinking how far he could get by now… and decides to give up.
As such, he passes the torch to Emoto to keep playing the game and show us the good ending. Emoto plays throughout the night (and day!), getting past world 6, and up into world 7 when the sun finally comes up. Just like when former AD Urakawa took all that time to beat Adventure Island. Finally, after 12 hours, Emoto completes the game and gets the good ending.
Arino heads out to visit Niconico Hompo, a little shop in Akishima-shi, just a little bit from the Higashinakagami station, and suggested by camerman Abe. Outside of the shop are some mechanical games, including the old standard flipper game Car Race. Arino is clearly used to it, because he ends up winning a 20 yen voucher.
Inside is a tiny videogame cabinet that houses a Neo Geo setup with four games inside. Arino gets AP Nakayama to join him for a game of Metal Slug 4, but he ends up selecting Stakes Winner, a horse racing game. Sadly, Arino loses the race.
Arino then tries out a fun little activity called katanuki, where you try and scrape out a pattern on a small wafer of sugar board with a pin. It’s not easy, as he keeps breaking the board, and even fffffffffffffffffffffffff
But then it’s time for monjayaki. Arino picks his ingredients, and then he and AD Watanabe partake of the finished product.
A Waste of Color
The first game Arino picks out of the bag this time is Burgertime Deluxe, complete with beaming white girl on the label. The game itself is a visually enhanced version of the arcade classic. Despite dying from rogue wieners a couple of times, Arino finishes the first level just fine.
Next up is a nice throwback: Red Arremer, a.k.a. Gargoyle’s Quest, the predecessor to Red Arremer II, which Arino played way back in season 6. Of course, it’s a very similar game: RPG mixed with platforming action stages.
Finally, Arino plays the first ONI game (or as Arino mistakenly calls it, "On 1"). It was a long-running RPG series for Game Boy that never made it out of Japan — maybe because it was made by Banpresto. In the end, Arino chooses Burgertime to "remake" into a drawing.
Game Collections: 1989: Late December