Jeff Gerstmann was doing his weekly NES ranking show today, and one of the games under review was Chubby Cherub, an obscure title where you're a demented-looking little angel going around avoiding cute dogs who shoot "B"s at you (to symbolize their little barks) while scarfing down food Adventure Island-style. The game's originally from Japan, so the food, of course, includes dango and rice balls. Naturally, they're not labeled as such in the U.S. manual, and while this is a predecessor to a long line of later properties adapting Japanese dishes as jelly donuts and hamburgers, well, does this look like a hamburger to you?

Maybe the seaweed looks like a wrapper if you squint.

Even Alex Kidd back then had the good grace to replace the sprite.

Breaking radio silence after one day, but it's "low content mode," not "no content mode." I was searching through Maximilian's posts for playthroughs of old games like his Zelda LP and hit upon this Mega Man 2 which he starts with Flash Man, the mad lad. (Can't say it didn't work out well for him, though.) When called out by the chat, he asks if this is not the obvious pick and questions if the honor doesn't belong to Bubble Man instead. (Oddly, this isn't, I don't think, the first time I've heard about Bubble Man as first pick, but though I recall the source was from way back - like, from the era of How to Win at Nintendo Games, which I checked, but no dice.)

As a convert to the church of Metal Man, I hit up the manual and found out that the conventional wisdom that Air Man comes first evidently originates with a suggestion from the U.S. manual, which provides a walkthrough of his stage and boss fight. (It's even worded to help the presumably-younger player follow the printed instructions during gameplay: "Push the START button to pause at the end of each section. (Remember: You must push START again to return to the game.)")

I was going to ask at this point, "well, if this originates with the U.S. manual ('cause it's not in the Japanese one), then how does this explain 'Airman ga Taosenai'?", but a rewatch explains it: the hapless player in the song can't get past the disappearing blocks in Heat Man's stage and is trying to get Item 2 to bypass them, but he needs to beat Air Man to get Item 2 and finds out...well. Then he tries to beat Wood Man for the Leaf Shield but can't do that either. Maybe he should have started with Flash Man instead.

Please enjoy this rendition from the U.S. manual of a 1-up:

Someone really liked tracing the Japanese art with a chunky marker:

(Oddly, the art for the Robot Masters is presented in the manual inviolate and untraced.)

Fake ETA: Upon a reread, I discovered that the manual gives somewhat contradictory advice about which robot to face first:

I suppose that's not surprising, though, since it can't decide whether the "Man" in the robot names is separate or not, either. In fairness, neither can I.

Not that that's been hard to guess, but I put a formal notice on my translation site, so I might as well put one here. I have tons of half-finished posts I wish I could push over the finish line, but I also have: a big project that needs my immediate attention on several fronts right now; a terrific upcoming job opportunity; some legal stuff to wrap up regarding an honest-to-goodness IRL stalker I got over the last couple months; and a big decision to make that's unrelated, largely, to the previous items. Something has to give for a bit, and that "something" is my other internet work, so as much as I enjoy writing for this place, it's gotta go on the back burner for at least a few more weeks.

That's all from me. Please enjoy this image from the Products That Think '70s/'80s tech catalog of a novelty tech executive with, among other products, an '80s Pac-Man phone.

If you follow otome games, you may have seen a certain...announcement regarding Angelique recently. An extremely...preliminary announcement.

If you've followed Angelique for a certain time, you may be familiar with Koei's...reputation in certain areas, particularly regarding its otome franchises. Koei had this...reputation when Angelique was in its heyday and a license to print money, but there is little reason to test the waters if you are engaged in certain projects, let us say.

Finally, if you follow gaming in general, you may be familiar with the fate of many similar...projects that were unwisely publicized prematurely, before a finished form was available, which prompted this wise and venerable advice from one Woolie Madden:

Longform argument here.

Now: Given the above realities, I advocated heavily for strict adherence to the Woolie Madden protocol, which I was promised.

And then, four days ago, someone blew up social media with...announcements.

So: If...something happens to this project before it's released: I gave fair warning.