Normally, when one comes across a rom that needs to be translated,
it's usually one that needs to be translated from Japanese. The
Belgian video game market is not exactly flooded with titles. I was
therefore intrigued when I came across one that had been translated
from the original German, and I became even more interested when I
considered the title of the game: Banana Prince.
the game's overall look, it was originally released in Germany, only
to later be released in the land of Nintendo. It tells the story of a
young member of the royalty of the Banana Kingdom who sets out to
recover the symbols of the Kingdom's past, stolen by the evil Big
Pepper, a sort of anthropomorphic bell pepper in stylish breeches.
And so, our Prince sets out alone to tame the savage wilderness and
recover the artifacts. He receives some minor help along the way from
his buddy, the Dragon Master, but not in a way that involves the
manipulation of dragons. He does hover over the Prince's head, so I
suppose you could say that he was flying like a dragon, perhaps?
Yep. Dragon Master.
his bald friend, the Prince is a master of something useful:
claims that the Prince starts off wielding a "stone axe" but that axe
sure looks suspiciously banana-like to me. The Prince can also slide
along the ground on his hairless chest, but even more impressive is
his command over the plants themselves:
the power to summon a beanstalk, er, bananastalk, at will! It's strong
enough to support his full weight AND it makes for a handy-dandy
springboard, allowing the Prince to tuck himself into a ball and hurl
himself at his hapless foes. Speaking of which...
enemies in the game are vegetables, leading one to wonder whether this
whole game is just some strange German PSA about nutrition.
Personally, I'd take a banana over an ear of corn (sorry, Nebraska),
but I don't think they're necessarily evil. Bad-tasting, sure, but
evil? Whatever your beliefs on the subject, pounding these nefarious
veggies with your banana axe (your "bananaxe," if you will) will cause
them to keel over and toss out flowers, birds, bananas, and even
currency of the Kingdom is rings. Not like Sonic the Hedgehog rings,
actual jewelry-style rings. There's a steep exchange rate, too. It
costs ten rings just to buy a measly stone axe, leading one to wonder
about the economic future of the Banana Kingdom. Maybe the inhabitants
of the Kingdom are all ascetics who consider jewelry to be a valueless
personal adornment that pales in comparison to the essentials of life
(a single banana costs fifteen rings, for example). Rings do have
their uses, however:
strange melon-headed fellow will offer to send you on a trip to "Bonus
Island" if you slide a few cubic zirconias his way.
to say, I think the Banana Kingdom might be in some dire straits after
seeing their preferred method of travel.
Anyway, your travel agent's comments that the island is "a crazy
place" are somewhat exaggerated. I can't say I've ever considered
board games to be particularly "crazy". I suppose you could make the
case that winning power-ups via a scratch-off lottery ticket is a
little crazy, but for my money, my rings that is, the craziest part of
the whole island are the numbered squares.
a burly fellow tells you that you must answer questions as part of his
quiz show. Then, he asks you several gradeschool-level questions like
"where are the bananas in the groceries?" which you must answer or be
banished from Bonus Island to your eternal shame. Most of the
questions aren't that hard to figure out, but a few seem to have lost
something in the translation, and you get questions like this:
answer to this one was "name". The burly man and his strange
philosophical questions aren't the least of your worries on Bonus
Island, however. Each visit to the island gives you the chance to
confront a boss, a trivia master at least twice as smart as the surly
trivia guy. Consider the first trivia "boss":
excuse me. I believe monkeys say "ook", not "ooh". The talking monkey
subjects you to no less than five confusing trivia questions before
surrendering one of the missing pieces of the Banana Kingdom's
history. Just do that three more times and your friends will be decked
out in the finest the Kingdom has to offer:
sweet, guys. I wish those things did something, but still, I'm glad we
were able to take them from those stuffy quiz-lovers. That'll teach
them to insist that the Alps are higher in elevation that Mt. Everest.
Anyway, once all has been said and done, and the evil bell pepper guy
has been slain, the four accessorized characters return to the Banana
Kingdom with their stuff and have a good laugh about the whole
experience. And then everyone in the Bell Pepper Kingdom is
exterminated for bringing war to the peace-loving Bananites. The
latter isn't mentioned in the ending, but I think we can all safely
assume that that is what truly happened. After all, they never made a
sequel to Banana Prince, so it stands to reason that all of the
Prince's enemies were cut down. Even those ruddy bastards in the Apple
Kingdom. Their quiz show technology was years behind that of the
Banana Kingdom. And so, the Banana Prince conquered the world, and
people everywhere were free to use bananas to enrich their diets and
make innuendo at the same time. The end.
Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Dr. Boogie
*** You too can play Banana Prince! ***
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BANANA PRINCE!]
Note: to play this game you'll need a NES emulator.
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