There’s a game ebook bundle going on at StoryBundle, with a collection of posts from Set Side B on it! But more than that, it has books on Mortal Kombat by David Craddock, books on beat-em-ups and horror games from Hardcore Gaming 101, on early arcade history from Andrea Contato, and books from Boss Fight Games on Parappa the Rapper, Goldeneye 007 and Minesweeper! It’s got just five days remaining.
You can get all 10 books for $25! It’s gone up lately but it’s still really worth it! All of the books have no DRM and can be read in most any reader, including Amazon devices! They can read EPUBs now! At last finally surprisingly at this late date!
StoryBundle is a wonder, they always present so much interesting stuff. I’m rather surprised they keep asking me back, so I try to make my own weird little contributions to it worth your while.
Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.
Did you know there was a Parappa anime? It was released in around 2001, around the time Parappa the Rapper 2 for PS2 was released.
Parappa creator Rodney Greenblat said, in a Gamasutra interview in 2005, that other than character designs he wasn’t allowed to be involved with producing the anime. I it shows, especially with the focus on the new characters Matt and Paula. They feel like the writers included them because they wanted to write to their personalities, maybe because they didn’t want to step on the toes of the developers of the games by writing for their characters. It’s not an awful show, but it’s not what a Parappa show should have been.
An episode that ties in with the games a bit more than usual is Episode 13, which involves Parappa’s karate teacher Tamanagi-sensei, known to English speakers as Chop Chop Master Onion. He sounds a lot like he does in the game, even speaking Japanese, and it’s great to hear him get more lines.
News flash: there is one UmJammer Lammy Now arcade machine remaining in the world!
News flash: by the way, there used to be an UmJammer Lammy arcade machine!
The news of both comes to us from the account of Youtuber UnEricYockey (12 minutes), in the form of a short documentary on the game’s history and, due to poor performance on location test, what is probably its sole surviving unit:
We recently posted about Rodney Greenblat’s early obscure Playstation title Dazzeloids, made a year or two before his and Nana-On Sha’s breakout hit Parappa the Rapper. Parappa became something of a media franchise, spawning a much-overdue sequel on the Playstation 4 and an anime series. UmJammer Lammy was Parappa’s original sequel, that brought the same kind of call-and-response gameplay to guitars.
UmJammer Lammy starred Lammy, an insecure young lamb and front-woman for the band Milkcan, who becomes a rock goddess when a guitar is in her hands. Play structure is similar to Parappa, giving the player a series of increasingly unlikely situations that they have to escape somehow by playing music: a dream, putting out a fire, taking care of babies, flying an airplane, making a chainsaw sculpture, and escaping Hell itself (or, getting off an island, in overseas versions), before ending with the most dire situation of all: a public performance in front of a stadium full of people. Yikes! You can do it Lammy!
Production values were a bit less than Parappa, but Lammy and her friends were, indeed are, still engaging and wonderful, and the PS1 game is worth giving a try if you’re at all a fan of Parappa and his world. You can play as Parappa in an unlockable mode after you win, and all of the game’s tracks were mixed as funky remakes! Sadly I can tell you that Parappa’s lines had nowhere near as much flow as they did in his first game, but speaking as one of the few US players who bought a copy of UmJammer Lammy, jamming with her is a great time.
That should be enough information on Lammy’s game. But, how did UmJammerLammy Now come about? The video tells us that the Namco System 12 arcade board is pretty much an original Playstation in an arcade format, and Namco wanted to get some games in Japanese arcades quickly to compete with Konami’s rhythm game dominance.
While the gameplay of the arcade version is similar to the PS1 edition, there are some notable differences, including a surprising number of extra cutscenes featuring the various business ventures of Joe Chin, the antagonist of Parappa the Rapper. The arcade game has been dumped for preservation purposes, and all of its cutscenes are demonstrated in a Youtube video, also on UmEricYockey’s channel (23 minutes):
There’s so much weird Parappa lore in this weird and obscure arcade game! And Lammy’s crippling social anxiety truly makes her a heroine for our age.
Warning: slightly NSFW for depiction of sheep birth.
What are the Dazzeloids? They’re characters created by Rodney Alan Greenblat, the character designer of Parappa the Rapper! They were made for a multimedia Playstation game released in 1994, two years before Parappa. I call it a game, but it seems more to have been one of those early multimedia products that’s mostly video clips given a loose connecting story, only in Dazzeloids case, the clips are very weird. The Dazzeloids (not Dazzleoids, as you might expect) have as their mission the liberation of minds and use creativity as a tool to that end. It’s all very nineties kids TV. The Dazzeloids are very obscure now, and don’t even appear on Rodney’s website, which is kind of a shame.
All of the Dazzeloids have a dream sequence on the disk that introduces them and tells you what they’re like, and the video above is the one for Stinkabod the Sheep, who might be the character on Lammy’s shirt. The video is very weird, but engaging, and definitely a Rodney Greenblat creation. The characters are of the same style as Parappa, and it doesn’t seem impossible that Stinkabod and his friends could exist in the same world.
Rodney’s creations are a bit more popular in Japan than in the U.S., where Parappa got an anime series and a line of merchandise. While you’re diving down this internet rabbit hole, you might also check out Rodney Greenblat’s personal site Whimsyload!