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.
Found the last Um Jammer Lammy NOW! (Youtube, 12 minutes)
Um Jammer Lammy NOW!- 4K Arcade Cutscenes & Attract Sequence (Youtube, 23 minutes)