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Popeye NES

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Was playing Popeye on the Nintendo Entertainment System last night...Hyperkin Retron 5, cartridge. Always enjoyed that game. 

 

Thought occurred to me: would love to see the game updated for the Switch. Popeye could be replaced by Mario, Bluto could become Bowser (think that's the villain in the Mario universe), and Olive cold be the Princess. I don't know if there is a witch character in Mario world, but I assume there is, so that thing could replace Sea Hag. The couple other characters in the game could be easily replaced, as could the soundtrack. I assume everything else could be the same (heart collecting, etc.). We've discussed before whether this would imply any licensing issues, and I believe it was considered perhaps-ambiguous-to-no. I would like to see the arcade-version graphics (for some reason, even though the gameplay is most important, I do like those colorful graphics in the original and the lesser resolution does impact it for me; that did not happen with other NES adaptations such as Contra, strangely) and maybe the addition of three more levels. No total remaster, though.

 

Of course, if it could just be Popeye (with extra screens!) as is that would be great, but I assume that won't happen (I don't actually own a Switch, so for all I know maybe it is on the Virtual Console; I know I never saw it on Wii VC, which I do own). Turning Popeye into Mario seems the easiest solution. Doubt this is on Nintendo's radar (I should start one of those online petitions, but I'm not industrious enough), but you figure it would be. I mean, why not, right? Has to be some nice incremental revenue there. 

 

Remember playing this at a seaside arcade near me. Just a cool game...

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The Popeye arcade game was actually made by Nintendo, so you'd think they'd be all over releasing Popeye on the Switch after doing it with the arcade version of Donkey Kong. But I tend to believe that King Features Syndicate is probably asking for too much money for the license, or the legal technicalities are just too complicated around Popeye and the other characters.

 

And incidentally, I also have fond memories of playing the arcade game at a seaside arcade, during a vacation back when I was a kid.  :) 

 

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Stories online say Donkey Kong was originally supposed to be Popeye themed, not sure if that means Donkey Kong we know of with Popeye characters, or the game that we know of as Popeye, but licensing took too long...and blammo...Donkey Kong. 

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Thanks for all the replies. 

 

@Pixelboy Cool to hear you had a similar recollection. There was just something about the nautical theme of Popeye, the sounds and the location of the arcade that gives me such nostalgia. That, and the meteorological background of a warm summer while playing. Those were the days, my friend...and yes, I suppose technical considerations are a factor, although I further suppose one would think a small team of programmers/artists might get around that fairly quickly. I am not a programmer, though, so I honestly wouldn't know...

 

@The Usotsuki If Namco does own them, hope that means someday we see a licensing of the arcade version, as that company seems to be more prone to doing that sort of thing. Would still love to see some extra screens, but that part of my wish is probably the most pipe--dream aspect...

 

@doubledown That's a good question about that story. I don't know the answer. I'm glad we eventually got Kong, of course. But I would have liked to have seen more done with Popeye by Nintendo, maybe sequels and so forth... 

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Another member did a review of all the versions of Popeye recently, including the Java remake...

 

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/256137-battle-of-the-ports/?do=findComment&comment=4330850
 

8 hours ago, doubledown said:

Stories online say Donkey Kong was originally supposed to be Popeye themed, not sure if that means Donkey Kong we know of with Popeye characters, or the game that we know of as Popeye, but licensing took too long...and blammo...Donkey Kong. 

Maybe very early on from a conceptual point of view, but since Nintendo didn't program Donkey Kong themselves it's unlikely that anything Popeye-related ever existed in concrete form in regards to Donkey Kong.

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I remember playing the Popeye arcade in front of a grocery store way back when.  No seaside for me... too far inland.

 

Also, for the Sea Hag character, maybe one of the wizard looking guys from Super Mario World.

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There are suggestions that the same contractor that programmed arcade Donkey Kong, also did arcade Popeye.  Nintendo designed the Donkey Kong characters but it could mean the background graphics in Popeye don't belong to Nintendo (assuming Namco did not get Nintendo's permission to do their java version).  I notice that the Namco java Popeye does not have the background tune of the original arcade game.  Maybe nintendo created that tune.

Edited by mr_me

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I like Popeye too. It's been so long I've given up on an official re-release, but never considered swapping out the registered characters. That would be a great solution, akin to changing Punch-Out, but a lot more involved. 

 

Here's an all-original homage game to play in the meantime. 

https://store.steampowered.com/app/384990/Gon_EChoo/

 

I always liked the NES port, close enough to be fun. The Intellivision version was the one I played the most, because that's what I had. The music was maddening. 

 

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I'm still crossing my fingers that Hamster is working behind the scenes to get this one out on the Switch.

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Funny game I  actually played recently lol. I prefer the Atari 5200 version over the NES though.  

 

ColecoVision version is also better because it has Wimpy while the NES version doesn't.

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The arcade version has been something I've loved for most of my life.  I keep an authentic jamma pcb connected to my supergun + Sony PVM, or I'll stick it in my MK3 cab for a "true" experience.  

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When I was a kid I was kind of known by my friends as the one who was "Good at Popeye" :lol:  Although to be honest I could pass the 3rd stage and that was about it, and then I wasn't interested anymore. It's a fun game in short bursts but I think the play wears thin after a while.

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11 hours ago, lushgirl_80 said:

ColecoVision version is also better because it has Wimpy while the NES version doesn't.

The computer versions (A8, C64, TI99) all have Wimpy also.  His omission from the NES port is another thing about that version I didn't realize until recently (the different ladder orientation in the first stage being the other).

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1 hour ago, Cafeman said:

Wonder why Wimpy was cut? ROM space? Seems odd.

Same old story... while he's fine paying you Tuesday for a hamburger today, wants his royalty payments right away.   🤣

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1 hour ago, Cafeman said:

Wonder why Wimpy was cut? ROM space? Seems odd.

It is odd.  Especially since he barely moves at all in the coin-op and is a completely static graphic in the other versions that do include him, so how much ROM space could he really have taken up?  You would expect the NES port to be more accurate than the home versions that preceded it.  But of course NES Donkey Kong is also missing the conveyor belt screen that was present in the A8/C64/ADAM versions, so go figure.

Maybe whoever was porting these games to the NES was using the earlier console versions as a reference instead of the coin-op and the exclusions were a conscious decision?  Or just laziness and they figured no one would notice.

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The NES ROM was 16K in size, so it was probably a memory constraint. Those early NES games in the black boxes were just a small step up from the pre-crash 8-bit systems. 

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Loved Popeye back in the day, ColecoVision, arcade, and even 2600.

 

One arcade always had it blasting, and when a heart hit the bottom of the screen, the whole place knew it.

 

That "better grab the heart soon" tune is forever in my head.

 

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 I’ve told this story before, but one year there was an arcade behind an ice cream shop while I was camping for two weeks at a lake. I learned that if you jiggled the coin slot it would give you free credits! So I played and I played and got real real good. 😀

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I love me some Popeye! I grew up on the Colecovision port, so that one will always be my favorite, but I also had extended play time with the 2600 version as a kid, which is surprisingly good. I didn't get the NES version until much later when Gamestop was clearing in-store NES inventory back in the early-00's. Since it was such an early game, they did leave out some things here and there, and I'd love to see an enhanced homebrew NES port at some point.

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I think the first time I ever saw a Popeye arcade machine was at a little hole in the wall arcade that had started up in this little strip mall.  The place didn't last long, but it was cool because it was pretty close to home and my stomping grounds.  It was small, but had more games than 7-11, and didn't require a trek to the other side of town.  But it was probably the dingiest and sleaziest arcade I'd been in during that era.  I remember they also had Turbo, which I played every time I went in.

 

Anyway, I saw this Popeye game, and at the time it looked like the cartoon had been ripped into videogame form.  I pumped a few quarters into it.  I'm not sure if I got to the boat.  Anyway, the reason I remember this is that someone ran in and yelled that the school was on fire.

 

The middle school (6-8th) which I was attending at the time was nearby.  A utility building had caught fire.  I remember leaving the arcade to watch the spectacle as well as hang out with other students.  We shot the shit about how the fire had gotten started and wondered whether school would be held the next day.  The fire department put out the blaze in short order.  Everyone started to disperse.  It was getting late, and I didn't have many quarters left, so I decided to head home.

 

I played Popeye a few more times at that arcade.  Like I said earlier, the place didn't last long.  I don't think it was even in business for a full month.  Other than that, I maybe played Popeye at a Safeway.  Or was the building was a Winn Dixie by that point.  I don't fully recall.  But I do think I finally got to the boat while playing it there.

 

In terms of home versions, any of the NES, 5200, and CV ports are servicable.  I think I like the 5200 and CV versions a bit more than the NES port.  The NES port looks better, but IIRC the 5200 and CV versions play a bit better.

 

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