Mr. Gimmick

aka: Gimmick!
Moby ID: 17964
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Description

Mr. Gimmick is a little doll with a life of its own, that's given to a girl for her birthday. The girl's other toys quickly become jealous of the attention given to Mr. Gimmick, and they decide to carry her away to a mystical land. Mr. Gimmick goes after them to bring his owner back.

The game Mr. Gimmick is a platform game where you take control of Mr. Gimmick over the course of six levels. You defend yourself by throwing bouncing stars that take a second to form and are then thrown downward. You can also ride the stars thrown to gain access to higher platforms. The inventory you have allows you to store bombs, potions, and fireballs.

The game has two endings. The easier way is to just run through all of the levels. Each level has a treasure hidden that can be a bit difficult to get, and finding all of these gives access to an extra level. But if you lose all of your lives and have to continue, the game will take all of your treasures away, and not allow you to get to the final level.

Spellings

  • ギミック! - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (NES version)

7 People (4 developers, 3 thanks)

Game Designer
Programmer
Character Designer
Graphics Designer
Sound Composer
Sound Programmer
Special Thanks
Director

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 76% (based on 6 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 1 reviews)

A wonderful game that looks cute, but that fact is insane

The Good
Gimmick (or Mr. Gimmick in function of the region of the game) is a platformer game released by Sunsoft in the early '90s. Despite the fact that more modern console were out, the game was developed for the NES and take the system to it's extreme limits, which is always a cool thing to see even nowadays for anyone who played lots of various NES games.

The story is pretty simple, yet quite original. A little girl receive a doll for her birthday, and as he immediately become her favourite, her other toys got jealous, and captured the girl in another world.

You control the little doll which has apparently no other name than "Gimmick" in order to rescue the girl. It's very weird that the hero of a game is a doll, and that is a very cute doll ! I really love him, he's all round and has enormous eyes, it looks like he's always trying to look serious but somewhat completely fails at it and this is very cute (exactly like animals). All enemies are various enemy toys and dolls as well, this make the game have it's own particular look and graphics style.

Unfortunately, the only weapon available to Gimmick seems to be one of the worst I ever seen in any platformer : He has (and only has) the ability to slowly create a star over his head, and throw it in a totally unpractical and unpredictable trajectory. Once a star has been created it's impossible to re-create another before the first vanishes. This makes the game very hard because it's hard to hit enemies, and this method of attacking is slow and weak. You can ride a star as well to reach places you can't just reach by jumping, but this is very risky as it moves weirdly. You can also collect 3 types of items, bombs, fireballs and potions, and all of them have a one-time use, and you can't get more than 3 items altogether. Those additional types of attacks are also slow and unpredictable, and you can only use them once so it's really hard relying on those.

As previously mentioned, the graphics of Gimmick seems really good compared to other NES games, it's very cartoonish and childish and very cute. It's quite a lot detailed. The sky with clouds looks almost real, and you even see birds moving in the horizon, something you don't usually see on the NES. Graphics still lacks variation sometimes and they flicker a lot.

The music in Gimmick is really excellent for the most part, and doesn't sound like most NES games does. It mirrors perfectly how the game is, a little childish and a little insane/vicious at the same time. The boss music is really noticeable (if you can survive long enough to hear it). Also the Japanese version of the game has enhanced music as opposed to the PAL version, because the cartridge has special sound hardware.

The Bad
Nothing really, the game is rather short (only 6 levels), but some levels are long, and it's damn damn hard !! The bosses are almost impossible without save states, even the bosses close to the beginning of the game. One particular boss fight requires you to constantly walk to a direction, else you're projected in water and this is instant dead (no, Gimmick can't swim). And add to this that you have to avoid the enemy's attack, and try to shoot him with the slow and sluggish star.

So save states are highly recommended if you don't want your nerves to break, else the game is absolutely perfect. Some people may dislike the childish feel tough, but remember it's only a way from programmers to hide the insane challenge of this game.

The Bottom Line
Although the game is old and probably not very popular (if at all), and I guess cartridges aren't common (the game weren't even released in all countries), but yet it's still one of those classics that could rival with any game of their time. Everyone is talking about SMB3 even today, but nobody talks about other NES games that are at least as good if not much more better. Why ?

Bah if you're still reading this you should probably download the game into an emulator and play it, you are almost guaranteed to like it (unless you hate platformer genre, or cute graphics for some reason). If you do that be sure to pick the Japanese version (don't worry there's no text in Japanese thanks god), so that you can get the best version of the music. And yes, the music is that good.

NES · by Bregalad (937) · 2008

Trivia

Cancelled US release

The game was only released in Japan and Scandinavia in limited quantities, an American version was ready for release but cancelled.

Copy protection

The original Japanese version of Gimmick! has a rather insidious form of piracy protection. If the intro text or copyright notice are removed or modified, the game will still play... until the player reaches the final stage with the possibility of seeing the game's true ending. Upon reaching the final stage, the game will hang on a black screen with the message "BLACK HOLE". This is a reference to the infamous "42th Zone" in Sunsoft's own Atlantis no Nazo, which is an inescapable bottomless pit with the words "BLACK HOLE!"

Regional differences

The original Japanese version uses an extra mapper chip (Sunsoft 5B) with audio hardware used only in this game, providing extra sound channels for the music. The PAL release doesn't feature this chip, and instead has the music modified to use the base NES sound hardware.

The PAL release is still highly unusual in that it also uses a custom mapper chip called the Sunsoft FME-7. This chip is the same as the Sunsoft 5B but without the sound hardware. It is unusual because Nintendo didn't normally allow developers to use custom mapper chips in western releases, instead requiring them to reprogram their games for Nintendo's own MMC mappers. This is because Nintendo manufactured all cartridges in the west. Mr. Gimmick and Batman: Return of the Joker (which uses the same FME-7 mapper chip) are the only two official western NES releases to use custom mapper chips.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Freeman, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, . ,, Angus Beer.

Game added June 3, 2005. Last modified February 21, 2024.