Konami would be known for as the originator of the Cute em’ up- shooters that use adorable characters instead of spaceships and aliens. And the one that started it all was 1982’s Pooyan.
The player controls Mama Pig, whose babies have been kidnapped by a pack of wolves and who must rescue them using a bow and arrow and slabs of meat. Controls consist of a two-position up/down joystick, which moves an elevator in which Mama Pig rides; and a button, which fires arrows and throws meat.
Each level consists of two rounds. In the first, wolves descend slowly from a high ledge using balloons, which the player must shoot in order to drop them to the ground. Any wolves who reach the ground safely will climb up a set of ladders behind the elevator and try to eat Mama Pig if she moves in front of them. During the second round, the wolves start on the ground and inflate balloons in order to ascend to a cliff on which a boulder is resting so they can push it toward the edge. Airborne wolves throw rocks in both rounds, trying to hit Mama Pig. In addition, the balloon carrying the last “boss” wolf of the second round must be shot several times in order to defeat him; if he reaches the cliff, the player must defeat additional enemies before facing the boss again.
A slab of meat occasionally appears at the top of the elevator’s range of motion. Picking it up allows the player to throw it, distracting any wolves on/near its trajectory and causing them to let go of their balloons and crash to the ground for bonus points. Stray balloons and dropped fruits can also be shot for extra points.
After every second round, a bonus screen is played. The first such screen requires the player to defeat a group of wolves using only meat, while the second awards points for shooting fruits thrown by the wolves. These two screens alternate after each level.
The player loses one life if Mama Pig is hit by a rock, eaten by a wolf on the ladders (first round only), or crushed by the boulder if too many wolves reach the cliff and push it over the edge (second round only). When all lives are lost, the game ends.
The first Stern cabinet not stenciled… I like it! Also, a new cabinet design.
How many piglets can you rescue from the clutches of the evil wolves?
There were lots of ports of Pooyan- my favorite was the Atari computer version!
You can now play the arcade original on your modern systems through the Arcade Archives. No relation.
Have you ever Played Pooyan? Have you ever saved all the baby pigs?
Let me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!