Wagyan Land 3 is a very intuitive platform game with puzzle elements. The sprites are cute and the stages are very colorful and has a lot of variation. There are also LOADS of stages! 24 to be exact ^_^ and 16 bosses!
I have Wagyan Land 1 & 2 for the Famicom as well, and they’re ok.. but in this third one the platform elements were just a lot more fun and took a lot bigger part in the game compared to the previous Wagyan games.
Instead of fire power and hordes of enemies this game uses the colorful platform stages and gravitation to create interesting, variational and most of all fun stages! Usually Wagyan has a standard high jump, but on some stages the gravitation has been lowered so you can jump even above the screen, this also makes him move slower which makes it more challenging to dodge flying enemies or hazards.
In other stages if you hold the jump button Wagyan will flip gravitation completely so you will be walking in the ceiling, this makes it tricky when avoiding holes both in the floor and the roof. This particular type of stages have gameplay that can be compared to the more recent game VVVVV.
In some stages you will have to push buttons in order to flip gravity instead of just holding the jump button, these buttons are of course put in tricky spots where the timing of your steering has to be precise. In another stage the walls are bouncy like a pinball table, Wagyan will only jump diagonally and you will have to predict the landing point so that you will bounce off walls in the desired direction (and hopefully not into a hole in the ground) ^_^
One touch of an enemy kills you instantly. You can shoot out “ギャ” and “ド” signs but they don’t make the enemies go away, they just freeze them temporarily. Depending on how much power your “gya”-sounds have the longer the enemies will stay frozen. The only items to pick up during stages are stars for points (which might lead to an extra life eventually) and little Wagyans which increase your power when shouting “GYA” ^_^ If you reach 4 in your Power meter you will become invincible :D After it wears off however your Power meter will be back down to 1…
There are 16 bosses in total and this is where the puzzle element comes in. There are three different types of boss fights which I will explain here. Most of them are quite easy but some do require some knowledge of basic japanese language.
Boss fight: Find-the-number-game
It’s basically what it sounds like, you get a screen with a bunch of numbers and you have to go click the one that the boss tells you to. In all of the bosses except for one (stage 12) the numbers start at 1 and go up, 2, 3, 4 etc.. but in the one on stage 12 he gives you random numbers which makes it a bit harder to predict where to go. It’s still pretty easy though since the boss is extremely slow to react and beat you to it. I only lost a few points when the boss was already standing on the number I was looking for basically ;D
Boss fight: Memory
This is just memory, the boss always starts and gets to pick two cards, then it’s your turn to pick two. If they match you get a point. The trick here is to find the pattern. The patterns are usually pretty easy once you get them. Try looking for pictures right next to each other. Here are some examples of the layouts I got, and as you can see the images are almost always either right next to each other or in a predictable pattern diagonally:
Boss Fight: Picture-word-game
This is the tricky one.. You basically need to be able to read a bit of japanese hiragana, and it’s even easier if you know some japanese names for random stuff. In the beginning you just need a few points to win so you can make a few trial-and-errors but after a few boss stages it gets harder. The objective of the game is quite simple, if the boss chooses a picture of a “Lemon” it ends with a “N” then you have to pick a picture of something that starts with a “N”, like “Nail”, then the boss has to choose a picture of something that starts with “L” and so on.. but with japanese Hiragana instead of roman letters ;D Every time you get one right you get a point.
In the beginning I was just guessing and thinking the picture had to be related before I figured out the real objective. I actually made it all the way to the second to last boss before I started having real trouble and actually “got it”. After that I recorded all my attempts and made a guide to help myself through it. I read hiragana and katakana fluently, but my vocabulary in japanese is not that good. My picture recognition is though :D So here’s the guide and this is how you use it: I made a list of all the hiragana letters, the boss will always show which one you are looking for (i.e. 『い』), either you read it or just recognize the symbol and skim through the list, next to the letter I’ve listed all the pictures that can be a correct answer for that letter. Some pictures can have several names, like a “horse” could also be called an “animal” or a “pony”, therefore a picture can be listed under several letters.
There’s another guide I made in the beginning, it helped me in the first couple of word-stages, but it wasn’t very useful at the end where the possibilities were bigger and pictures changed more frequently. In this guide however you can look for a picture, and the picture below it is a correct answer. This helps if you don’t know how to read hiragana, then you can just look for images instead. However, sometimes that particular correct picture might not be on the screen.. This list isn’t complete since I switched to the other one which was more helpful for me.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you might pick a picture that ends with a letter that doesn’t have a corresponding picture, in this case you win! :D Except for the last boss, he will just challenge you again and it will start over… As long as you get the required amount of points (get past the bar on the left) then you win.
You get a password after every single stage! This is generous, and great if you wanna get to a certain stage, like the jetpack stage which has great music! ^_^ And in case anyone gives the game a go and get stuck somewhere, then here is the complete list of stage passwords:
Stage 2 password: 4C4 888E8 888A
Stage 3 password: 4A0 77747 7779
Stage 4 password: 27C 77387 717F
Stage 5 password: D5A 55445 5655
Stage 6 password: 27D 77387 707F
Stage 7 password: A55 11001 111D
Stage 8 password: 250 33343 333A
Stage 9 password: 939 77507 7577
Stage 10 password: DDB 55405 5449
Stage 11 password: 210 33333 333D
Stage 12 password: 8DO FFF0F FFFA
Stage 13 password: 2A9 66586 6566
Stage 14 password: 5C4 88868 8982
Stage 15 password: 130 333A3 3431
Stage 16 password: 484 88888 8A86
Stage 17 password: FFF 77337 7677
Stage 18 password: 501 BBBBB BCBC
Stage 19 password: 651 FFF1F F0F1
Stage 20 password: E3C 331B3 3C3B
Stage 21 password: 7AB 66516 6B66
Stage 22 password: E9A 55455 5A69
Stage 23 password: 106 00000 020C
Stage 24 password: 2C6 000C0 010E
I really enjoyed this game, it was a fun challenge to try to beat all these bosses and good practice for my japanese language skills ;D