Mischief Makers

released on Jun 27, 1997

Mischief Makers is a Single-Player Video Game for the Nintendo 64 that was released in the United States on October 1st, 1997. The protagonist is the Ultra-Intergalactic-Cybot G, Marina Liteyears. She must protect the clumsy and lighthearted Professor Theo from the evil emperor. While visiting Planet Clancer, the Professor is suddenly kidnapped by the empire, and thus starts our game. The player must travel to different worlds and utilize widely innovative and different modes of gameplay to save the professor. To get 100% completion one must collect a golden gem in each stage and achieve super fast completion ranks.


Released on

Genres


More Info on IGDB


Reviews View More

having a hacked wii u is pr cool cuz you can play this game without having to pay hundreds of dollars for a cartridge

That stupid fu**ing 100m dash Gold Gem took years off my lifespan.

4.5/5 A new favorite! If they removed that particular Gold Gem from the game it would be a 5/5.

This is another N64 game I bought a fair while ago but just never got around to playing. It’s one I could never beat growing up, and it’s also one of the favorite games of a close friend of mine, so I thought it’d be a load of fun to show them the Japanese version of a game they know really well in English. Having the N64 hooked up again seemed like as great a time as any to finally play through this, so I did! It took me about 6.5 hour to play through the Japanese version of the game on real hardware, and I got 27 of 52 yellow crystals doing it (to see as much of the ending as you’d normally want to).

Mischief Makers (or as the Japanese title calls it, Trouble Makers) is a very oddball story about Marina, a powerful, happy, ditzy maid robot for Professor Cambell. However, on their visit to Planet Nendoro, the professor just can’t seem to stop getting kidnapped, and it’s up to Marina to save him again and again xD. The game is very silly with tons of horrible disaster weirdos everywhere (on both the heroes and villains sides), so the dialogue is always a joy to read. It’s not trying to do anything particularly daring with its narrative, but it’s written in a very fun way and also does have some genuinely sweet moments here and there. It does a more than serviceable job of setting up the action at hand, and it augments it significantly with just how much more fun and memorable it makes the adventure you’re playing through~.

The adventure in question is very much what you’d expect of a Treasure game. Almost playing like a spiritual successor to Gunstar Heroes, Mischief Makers is a 2.5D (but mostly 2D) side scrolling action game, but instead of guns like Gunstar Heroes has, you have a very expanded throwing ability. Marina can pick up, shake, and throw (or at least deflect) damn near anything enemies can throw at her. She can also dash in any cardinal direction by double-tapping the D-pad or pressing one of the corresponding C-buttons (though the C-buttons are a little bit slower than using the D-pad). All of that certainly has a not insignificant learning curve attached to it (especially when it comes to platforming), it still makes for a very satisfying and fun experience. Particularly great and Treasure-ful are the boss fights, some of which are (unsurprisingly) balanced a bit too hard, I’d argue, especially with bosses closer to the start of the game actually being a fair bit harder than most bosses in the back half of the game, but they still make for intense and enjoyable fights regardless that have some wicked cool set pieces and just feel awesome to play through. There are some problems here and there with level design in that some levels have puzzles that are just very needlessly plodding or mean, and some bosses just aren’t quite clear enough on how they’re actually fought, but those aren’t issues nearly big enough to dampen the overall experience.

There are also the yellow crystals I mentioned earlier. Crystals (other than red ones) are generally your health pick ups. Red crystals, on the other hand, are more like money, as they can buy hints from certain NPCs as well as revive you when you die. Pay more red crystals and you come back with more health bars (or just quit the game from the game over screen and it’ll bump you back to before you even started that level, meaning you never actually lose any money at all from up until that point scrapped attempts, which is a very odd development oversight). Yellow crystals, on the other hand, aren’t just huge health pick ups, they’re also special. There is one in every stage, and they can be hidden anywhere from at the end of a difficult platforming challenge or locked behind defeating a boss without taking a single hit, but collecting them is what gets you the game’s ending. Every one you grab will unlock a few more seconds of the game’s ending, with about 24 or 26 of them being needed to see the “normal” ending, and anything after that unlocking extra gags or silly moments after that. While the overall game is probably one of the easier 2D platformers Treasure has put out over the years, getting all of those crystals is absolutely what makes this game Treasure-levels of hard, and it really isn’t for the faint of heart. Thankfully, getting 20 or so is a relatively manageable thing (especially with a guide pointing you towards their hiding places), so seeing the normal amount of narrative conclusion is far from an insurmountable task.

Aesthetically, this game is absolutely gorgeous. Unsurprisingly for a Treasure game, the levels and particularly characters are absolutely oozing with style, and it’s hard not to love them. While both the English and Japanese versions both have character portraits and dialogue in addition to little bits of voice work here and there, something only the Japanese version has is little mid-battle speech bubbles that will appear from enemies, particularly bosses. It gives the overall game just that much more vibe of a gag manga, and it adds a ton of fun character silliness to an already delightfully put together experience that had me laughing a ton. The music is also absolutely excellent, which talking about a Treasure game from the 90’s should also come as no surprise.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. While there are a few bosses that are a bit tougher than they should probably be and a couple levels that just kinda suck, this is regardless an all-time classic on the N64. Though a relatively early game on the system (and one that uses the D-pad rather than the joy stick), it still succeeds at being an excellent 2D action game well worth playing. If you’re a fan of 2D action platformers, and especially if you’re a fan of Treasure’s other work, this is yet another Treasure master-work that is well worth your time despite the generally 3D-focused console it happens to find itself on.

Simply kino, there isn't enough fast side scrollers that embrace skill expression.

What a great and unique game. A bizarre mixture of platforming, combat and a strange shaking mechanism. The graphics and music are top notch. The bosses are all amazing and I can safely say that the final boss is one of the best in whole gaming.
Btw Marina's "Shake! Shake!" and "Through fire justice is served!" live rent free in my head even today.

Mischief Makers is a 2D platformer from respected developers Treasure. It received glowing reviews for its originality, including a 90% from N64 magazine. Unfortunately, the game didn’t click with me, but I can definitely see why people would love it.

Mischief Makers is made up of lots of short platforming levels, each one focusing one a single gimmick. What’s impressive is that these levels are extremely varied and feel unique. The main move that levels are based on are Marina’s ability to grab and shake objects – mainly NPCs, enemies and balls. These will cause various actions that you need to figure out how to use to progress. There’s also a secret gem hidden in each level that’s very difficult to find, unlocking the final cutscene if you get them all.

The biggest issue I had with the game was the controls. Most of Marina’s movement abilities are performed by double tapping the D-pad. At first, I praised the game because the c-buttons were used as shortcuts to these abilities, providing a great extra way to perform these abilities, but then discovered that the c-button versions are less effective than tapping the d-pad, which is probably why I struggled with some really basic jumps.

I would love to see an updated re-release of Mischief Makers, making the c-buttons function the same as double-tapping the d-pad, plus higher details sprites. The game definitely deserves a new version.