Game Center CX Season 3 – Back to Contents
Raiding "Takeshi Castle:" "Totsugeki! Fu-un Takeshi-jou"
In season 1, Arino went up against Beat Takeshi’s draconian action game Takeshi no Chousenjou. Now, he attempts another Takeshi-branded game: Fu-un Takeshi Jou (Takeshi Castle), based on the obstacle-course TV show that was brought over here as the dreadful MXC. The player must compete in all of the show’s trademark events before reaching the end, where they face off against Takeshi himself.
Takeshi Jou is played with the Family Trainer mat, otherwise known as the Power Pad. Arino pulls out the box, lays down the mat and opens up the game box. The first event begins with a wall jump. Arino must run in place, then hop at the right moment to clear the wall. It takes him a few tries, and each time he fails, he has to walk in place on the rear buttons on the mat to walk back to the start. Eventually he takes too long, the event times out and the game moves on to the next.
Now Arino must hop on stones in a stream. The stones are set in rows that correspond to the middle row on the mat. Once again, he can’t seem to get the hang of it, and the event times out again. Next is walking a bridge while a pellet gun fires at you. Arino must duck the shots by putting his hands down on the front buttons to hit the deck. He does better at this than the other events, but after a few minutes his legs start getting sore. Eventually he clears it, at the expense of his thighs.
The event "Beach Boys & Girls" is a faster-paced version of the last event, as the player rides a sled through a series of overhangs. Jumping is part of it, too, but as usual, Arino can’t get the jumping down. Eventually this event times out, too, and Arino gets a Game Over. He does well on the next event, but fails the one after that. After a long sigh, he decides to reset again. More failure. The next new event features a bumper car with a pellet gun that Arino must navigate through a maze. Arino times out again and resets once more. This time he starts out at the wall jump again.
Needless to say, things aren’t looking good. To get to the end of the game, Arino must successfully complete eight events in each of the three stages, and at the rate he’s going, he’ll probably drop dead before the seventh. He times out on the wall jump, scrapes by the bridge-walk again, and finally gets to the point where he takes off his jacket.
He gets to the wall jump again, and this time actually clears the event! But more events and more resetting to ensure perfection takes its toll. Arino finally slumps down in a chair to take a breather. He does some stretches, then gets back to it. The shoes are off and the sleeves are rolled. Arino gets back to the bumper car event, which should be the end of it all. He times out, but still qualifies and moves ahead — finally! — to Takeshi’s castle. The road there is paved with multiple bumper car enemies, and Arino doesn’t have a whole lot of health.
As he slowly slides across the lot, he manages to avoid being hurt too badly, and he reaches the end to face Takeshi himself, who’s in his own bumper car! Unfortunately Takeshi wastes Arino within seconds, ending the entire game. He’s visibly defeated in real life. And sore. And sweaty. AD Urakawa steps in with some muscle pads and a towel to try and soothe the poor section chief. He grudgingly starts over from the beginning to challenge Takeshi once more.
Arino tries placing a chair behind the mat, then stomping on the mat from there to try and ease up on the lower-body stress. It doesn’t work out for very long, though, and Arino is back to standing up. After a very long (and very edited) journey, Arino reaches the final stage once more. Luckily he has a health boost, a speed boost and an extra weapon, so getting to the end is no problem. Arino fights Takeshi with the same spread gun he has, and dodges rather well for someone sitting on a Power Pad trying to control a bumper car. But it’s not enough: Takeshi wears down Arino’s health, both in and out of the game. Arino collapses on the floor and relaxes himself.
Director Sasano steps in and offers to help Arino get back to where he was. He gladly accepts and watches Sasano do his thing. Sasano gets past the first eight events, and then takes a break before he collapses. Arino then sends Urakawa in. Urakawa has a clever technique in the bridge-walk, hopping on the mat to "crouch crawl" to the end. But he’s pretty worn out after that, so it’s time for Arino to return to the fold.
Using Urakawa’s technique is effective, but it ruins Arino’s legs more than ever. The touching music heightens as we’re given another fast-forward through his attempts. He enters the final stage once more, with full health and just as much power. The final battle commences. Arino fights well, but the two combatants’ health meters reach almost the same low point. With a sliver of life left, they line up against each other in a final duel.
Arino’s hit does it! Takeshi is down, and the ending screen rolls. The only hitch is that Arino was playing with Sasano’s named file, but whatever, it’s all done!
Today’s adventure is at Natsukashi Yokochou, a small, homely, multi-purpose convenience store in Odawara with a selection of retro games in the back. Arino starts with a tabletop Head On, one of Sega’s earliest video games.
He moves on to the coin-flipper games, including Kerokero Pakkun, recommended by one of the little girls around the store. Then it’s on to a janken game featuring a scary clown doll, and an electronic chance game that another little kid schools Arino on. Finally, the kids crowd around Arino as he wastes the rest of his money on an electronic roulette game. He comes so close to winning (multiple times!) but eventually he gives up.
And yet, just as he’s about to leave and hands his business card to the proprietor, the kids yell from the back. One of the older boys won and got a handful of coins. Yet Arino’s stuck with a measly 5 yen. Before he leaves, he peels back a gummy candy that has a prize on the wrapper, and he wins 20 yen! For the 3,000 he spent there, it’s not necessarily the end of the world.
The adventure in mediocrity continues. This time Arino has a few ergonomic mats and a fashionable lamp to brighten up his hovel. More importantly, he has a stack of new postcards from viewers.
Game Collections: 1985: April-July