ContestOn the back of the manual is a contest for people to send in ideas and sketches for a new character to Activision. ("Mondu Challenges You to a Draw!", which ended April 30, 1990.) There is a slight hint that either a sequel or update was planned- "...we'll decide if your challenger is outrageous enough to be on the Fight Palace's next fight card."
Dos versionTongue of the Fatman originally shipped with both 5.25" and 3.5" disks in the package. But in an effort to keep the price of the media down, they eliminated the digitized sound samples from the 3.5" version to fit it on a single disk. So people without a 5.25" drive were not treated to the early sampled sound. The 5.25" version also featured additional background scenery during the fights and several different screens, such as when the player begins the game or dies.
On that note, Tongue of the Fatman was one of the very first games to support the digitized sound output of the Sound Blaster. The Sound Blaster support is extremely limited; it's not advertised anywhere, the board must be on its default settings (port 220, IRQ 7, DMA 1), and there's only two sections of sound that last about 3 seconds each ("Mondu welcomes you to the fight palace!"), but it is indeed there.
Tongue of the Fatman featured off disk copy protection which required looking up a statistic about one of the fighters. The statistics were listed in the form of trading cards printed throughout the manual. Mondu The Fat was the only character to have an actual color card included in the box, the picture on the front of the card taken from the MCGA version of the game.
In other programming observations, Tongue of the Fatman was also one of the first games to use pure MIDI files for all music. All the *.MUS files are really MIDI files, and can be renamed to *.MID and played.
Genesis versionThe Sega Genesis version of Tongue of the Fatman had, according to VideoGameSpot, "incredibly smooth animation, unique music engine that created different variants of the songs every time you played, and digitized voices." Clearly, the makers of Tongue of the Fatman had some time to improve the game before porting it to the Genesis, as these enhancements are not in the original PC version.
The Genesis version- as Mondu's Fight Palace- did indeed get released. This title was also used on some versions for other systems, such as the European C64 release.
ProgrammingThe programmer Darren Schebek writes:
Having written the C64 version of this game, I should point out that the game was written originally on the PC and was called "Tongue of The Fatman". The C64 version was written (not ported) at about the same time and involved me having to convert all the animation frames from huge 256-colour MCGA down to rather less-huge three colour bitmaps, which were then sliced up into sprite images. It took a very long time (I didn't have an artist on the project so I had to do all the art touch-up as well as the programming. The C64 version was called "Mondu's Fight Palace". I don't know why they changed the name. The genesis version was released some time after the PC and C64 versions hit the shelves. Although the game is rather dated, I was quite happy with it at the time. The computer opponent AI used a system much like that of a simple chess program: a prioritised set of rules that started with "If I am lying on the ground, then get up" all the way down to "Can I make any move whatsoever?". Opponents also had reaction times for each move you performed - each time you performed an attack move, the opponent would (temporarily) get slightly better at avoiding/defending against that move. So, if you just did the same move over and over, the opponent would eventually defend against it 100% of the time until you started mixing up your attacks. Well, it's trivia, so on the off-chance that you might possibly be interested... other projects I wrote include Envision for the Atari XL/XE, DES-Tracker for the Amiga, Road Raider for the C64 (my first game), Pele II for the Genesis (just the front end), Eurit for the SNES (unreleased - just wrote the front end), and NHL Powerplay 98 (wrote the rink surface rendering code).
TitleThe title Tongue of the Fatman arose from the original titles Red Belt and Mondu's Fight Palace. The title was based on one of the most memorable boss fighters, a sumo-like alien who had a tongue come out of his tummy!
One of the original cover art comps simply showed a tipped over chinese food box with a tongue sticking out!
The title Red Belt represented an "illegal to-the-death" fight, which was the original concept of the game. It then took on a more wacky form when the challengers became aliens with special powers, and you could buy "bio-boosts" to increase your stats in the game.
Information also contributed by Darren Schebek, Robert Morgan, Servo, and Tony Van