Konami would make another “event style” game in 1984. It’s a cute game, but looks are deceiving- It’s just as tough! I’m talking about the first clown of fun, and one of my favorite games- Circus Charlie!
In the game there are six regular stages (plus an extra stage) of differing tasks that are to be completed by Charlie. Grabbing money bags, performing dangerous tricks, avoiding enemies, completing stages, etc., earns Charlie points. After the sixth stage is completed, the game starts over again but with a faster pace and more difficult (but exactly the same in terms of task to be completed) levels.
Charlie also races against time. Bonus points are awarded according to the time remaining, but running out of time will cost the player a life.
The standard Arcade version has 6 levels in total. Levels 1, 2, 4 and 5 have 5 sublevels. Level 3 contains 7 sublevels. Each sublevel gets more difficult. Level 6 also has 5 sublevels, but repeats as long the user has lives.
- Level 1: ride on a lion and jump through flaming rings.
- Level 2: tightrope walking whilst jumping over monkeys.
- Level 3: Jump between trampolines and beware the knife throwers and fire breathers. In sublevel 3 and 6 the trampolines are placed in a swimming pool and the knife throwers and fire breathers are replaced by jumping dolphins. This level is not present in the MSX and Famicom/NES ports of the game.
- Level 4: Jump from ball to ball.
- Level 5: Ride a horse and jump over trampolines and walls.
- Level 6: Swing from one trapeze to the next.
There’s even a game setting where you can select what level you start on!
Another Centuri looker.
Let’s head down to the center ring and watch Charlie do his thing!
There were ports a plenty for Circus Charlie! sadly, most were Japan releases only until 1999- When Konami Arcade Classics was released on the PS1 and Nintendo DS.
You can now play the arcade original on your modern systems through the Arcade Archives. No relation.
Did you ever play Circus Charlie? Did you ever get kissed by Charlie’s girlfriend? Let me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!