Marsupilami is the XXth centuryís scientific enigma. Itís a mammal with a belly button and it lays eggs. He can move on the ground as well as jump from one tree to another. And last but not least, he is an amphibian. Strength and resistance combine with an extraordinary mobility.
— official Marsupilami website


It's a shame, really. A unique character, liked by many, beloved by some, surely, and without the vocal capacity to verbally endorse a product, whose only enduring legacy in the English speaking world is a miserable spof like this.

Yes, comments on every picture!
Gosh, what a non-threatening title. Just look at those bouncy, chummy letters. Also note the inconsistent case. Who would suspect such a thing of being capable of acts so cruel, atrocities the likes of which being as I am about to describe?


The lies start early. The very first thing you see Marsupilami (guess which one that is by the page's motif) doing is a thing you are not allowed to do in the game. This is up there with Earthworm Jim playing accordion.


In contrast, the notorious Spip merely sleeps on the letters, which I consider much more appropriate.

I'm aware, too late, that some Internet Explorers choke on that animation. I say if you can't even get past that you might as well give up, because this page is a root canal.


It might seem strange that the game's default language option is English, which, to my knowledge, the source material isn't even available in, but considering that you couldn't form a coherent sentence with all the words in the game, that's far from a major issue. I've seen this game's major issues, and they're worse than that.
By the way, that translucency there is the only special effect in the game.

Am I surprised that it was made and successfully sold? Not at all. It's a well documented fact that before the introduction of Amigas the only video game you could buy in mainland Europe was Fantastic Dizzy, so people were not able to develop standards by the time 16 bit titles began showing up.

Les Personnages

Marsupilami, a since 19xx, unmentionable in the context spinoff from the Spirou ET Fantasio series, which, as we have seen, has its own video game made by a completely different group of total idiots poor overworked souls not given adequate time or money to produce a decent product.

According to legend, Andre Fran Queen, the cartoonist, devised the name of our pock-pelted poltroon as a portmanteauae of several words. Mars, his favorite candy bar, sup, as in supper, his favorite meal of the day after he became ill eating 40 Mars bars for lunch, and ami, aka Sailor Mercury, his favorite member of the Sailor Senshi Scouts.

Broken down less so, the creature's name is occasionally abbreviated with the first two syllables, "Marsu," but I prefer to abbreviate it with the last two syllables instead, und so we get Lami, or Lamey. Middle syllable Pill comes along when you get depressed from playing this game and you realize how appropriate my preferred name is.

THEY would have you believe the "ami" means "friend" in "French," but that creature is not my friend! They might as well call it Marsupil-kun, because no kuns are my friends!


The two Irish jungle children who appear to smell something they don't like mark the ends of levels and are supposedly allies of our hero. They are named, respectively (though I have no respect for them), Bip, AKA Beep, as Babelfish likes to say, and Sara. This is more a problem with the writer of the comics than the video game, but how does the place that conceives of "bip" also come up with "sara?" it doesn't make sense. Something here eventually is going to make sense, right?


This guy is called Bring M. Backalive. Ha ha, get it? Because he wants to bring, 'em, back, alive. Not only is that a clever sequence of words, it sounds like a name a real person would have, so, although he's never referred to in the game, I can only think that if he was, the joke would never get old. Supposedly he is the great villain involved, but he is actually the least of your worries, since he never appears until after things have been entirely ruined by


Lamey's constant companion, Petita Retardo, the world's smallest and dumbest elephant.

Wiccapedia names an elephant "Stewie." However, the pertinent entry subection has no picture, credits the fabled cartoon series to Disney (whose name is entirely absent from all the many places it would have been in this game if it were in one), and most importantly, did not exist at the time when I wrote most of this page, so I will disregard it. Everyone's trying to leech off my fame. Anyway, I like Retardo better, so that says plenty.

I'm glad the cartoons didn't work out, because, even lacking a legitimate long-term Disney contract, the only other Frenchy animation project to gain fame in this country was The Smurfs, which would mean this one would have to be at least as reprehensible to achieve success. And if Disney was involved beyond an initial distribution deal there'd be straight to dvd cross-franchise freakery coming out to this day with names like Pooh, Marsu and American Dragon Jake Long Too!

There was another cartoon made without Disney input in 2002, which, according to imdb.com, has Lou Bega to thank for its theme song. I'm not sure who that reflects badly on. The only words in that song are a baritone non-Began man saying "houba houba," so at least it improves upon his past work. He is growing as an artist.

But, the elephant...? ah yes, Retardo, is there because after the programmer had Lamey's basic abilities down and got the fairly complicated (for a Genesis game) tail animation to look right the group realized: uh oh, this will be too much more fun than the other bande desinee inspired video games. We must insert a few horridly executed gimmicks to balance things out.


I remember, fardling about in the first level thinking "could this not be as bad as I assumed it would be?" The only other Genesis exclusive title featuring a largely paper confined stupid looking animal was the Garfield game, which is about as good as I'm sure you imagine it is.


Calm down, you know I wasn't talking about you.

I fiddled with the "stair" skill unsuccessfully for a while until the mortifying realization struck me that it was for the left-and-right-pacing elephant at the entrance to climb on, not the character I was controlling. Oh, it's one of those games. A mortifyinger realization struckered when I realized the elephant needed to climb the stairs again immediately after but would not wait for the stairs to move.


Would you believe it's less impressive than that?

It's not always evident if such game dominating procedures aren't working because they are being used one pixel off from the right place or because they're never going to work.

But how did we get here? Who is responsible for all this?

What can only regard itself as the story is told through a series of wordless images which float past the title screen:


What is going on here took me several minutes to figure out, far longer than the two seconds it normally appears on screen with "press start" blinking over it, but I think this means the two are playing some crude basketball-like game, which makes no sense. Why would any South American exotic jungle animal which hasn't seen civilization since the early 1960s be playing basketball with the dumbest elephant in the world? There must be some monkeys or birds or dead frogs in the vicinity who would constitute more able opponents, perhaps something actually indigenous to the continent. Thus we enter into a world of utter confusion and befuddlement.


It is not so surprising, then, that they were apprehended by employees of AC Slater*. Or possibly the manufacturers of RC Cola. It's hard to say, as Windows XP doesn't much like bitmapped fonts. At any rate, I can't imagine either having a use for these goods. Lamey, meanwhile, practices for the upcoming Vogue magazine cover-shoot.

*If you want an idea of how long I've been putting off finishing this page, Mario Lopez actually became a timely reference again and fell back into semi-obscurity.


This scene teaches us that Mr. Backalive purchases all his maps from Captain Hook and that no one in Brazil owns a boat.


Here we learn that, having not done so during the 12,000 mile trip, it must have taken our chartreuse shanked shenaniganer a really long time to figure out how to do that. Probably even longer to learn to bake poison cookies.


Errr... they use funny looking locks in France?


Finally, marsupilami attempts communication with elephant for the very last time.

And so here we are, acting as nothing more than an underappreciated tour guide. In every level, numbers of mostly stationary men are present who must be beaten mercilessly to allow the elephant to pass.


I've heard of dogs getting killed just for biting people who threw stuff at them and lived. I say forget the elephant and save yourself, you taco-shell toned tunabrain, before Lou Bega orders his staff of Baja Men to let the dogs out. But what's this?


“I didn't do the attacks, no evidence.” Every non-boss foe in the game, and even some of them, no matter how large, eventually succumb to this bizarre condition. Before that, though, they may be heard to exclaim a very painful sounding "aw!" for each lash they receive. The amount of times you'll hear the depressing and haunting cry of agony before the person de-evolves into a tiny cloud of smoke can range anywhere from 3 to 8 times. Each. And this is a Megadrive game, so they have emphysema too. Haven't they suffered enough?


After the guards, there are jugglers. They must be beaten also.


Once this is done, their juggle balls bounce around all-haphazard like and cause much damage. This would be an amusing bit of realism if a dropped juggle ball would actually hurt or if it was realistic in the least for human beings to dematerialize after being whacked by a tail.

Alas, this amber-arsed assassin won't even be a suspect in these slayings, as another reading from the book of marsupilami.com/en declares:

Marsupilami is characterised by his real dynamism. Only measuring 130 cm (50.7 inches) and weighting 25 kilos (34,93 kilograms) Marsupilami is the only creature that develops such a physical strength. He despises the use of violence as an end. Any fight is a creative game always ending in laughs.

That's one of the scariest things I've ever read.

Beyond the brutality, and unlike the sound effects, this video game has some of the least intrusive music I've encountered. You could play through it twice and not recall a single level's tune. That is not necessarily a bad thing.


The actual objective is sort of like Bubble and Squeak, except without enough time to finish the task. Time is very important, because if you take too long, some guy (I believe we've been introduced) with an opaque net shows up and harmlessly taps the elephant with it in one of those backgroundless non-commital "death" scenes so characteristic of trashy licensed games from the 1990s.

A perfectly good question which you probably would not have bothered to ask was why I (I being me) would be drawn to this video game at all. As the legend goes, I recall having seen just such a yellow-bellied sap bouncing around as bumper animation for some cartoon or block of cartoons, but I was not watching intentionally and only just passing the vicinity.
Ehhh, around the same time I convinced me I was too mature for cartoons, and so would have had nothing to do with something like this. It was only years later that I recognized Marsupilami, whose name I did not know, in an anachronistic background gag of an Asterix comic (comics I somehow was not too mature for) that I thought "oh, it's that thing from the bumper animation on those shows you weren't watching, before they replaced it with a live-action trained duck that you also weren't watching. This means it's not American in origin and somehow worth your time to seek information about now, in 2005." By the way, I address me as you when you are not here. I also have terribly flawed reasoning methods. So then I sought such information, and none of it mentioned the video game. So now I am mentioning the video game.

I would describe its base premise as sort of like Lemmings (nevermind that I already reported it to be "sort of like" something else), except all the lemmings merged together to form a giant ultra lemming with the net stupidity of the entire clan. The game is actually more like Krusty's Super Fun House, because you control a mortal, weird looking character rather than a financially pressed god, but if I think about it like that then I become greatly disappointed when there isn't a particularly gruesome yet supposedly g-rated demise waiting for the grey one at the end of each level.


Why, at such small scale it doesn't even matter how lousy an artist Matt Groening is.



I discovered, only after I'd played through the game as many times as I was going to that I was using a hacked version of the European rom, one altered to run on NTSC hardware. Because why I can't even imagine (NTSC is what the Japanese and us N. Amelicans use, and its letters are irrelevant). Due to the crude way it is sped up, for some reason unknown to me this confuses whatever internal process controls the tail's animation, making it skip a lot of frames, so it not only looks terrible, it makes performing most actions unpleasant, including the ones that weren't unpleasant before. Clown abuse should be fun for the whole family.


Supposedly these circus folk are being struck by the coccyx protrusion, but due to bad programming, bad emulation, or both, they seem merely to be terrified to the point of turning into smoke by the mere sight of the thing. Can you blame them, really?

In the official NTSC release, whose existence baffles me even more than the fake one, the animation looks correcter and, shock of shocks, the levels are slightly less sadistic to compensate for the increase in speed and also because ha ha ha stupid Americans. And also! They added lines through the zeroes on the score screen.

But don't worry, it's still very horrible!


This is the pot The Olive Garden prepares fettucini alfredo in. I just thought I would tell you.


As you can see, the people have shown up in drovelike fashion to watch the mustard-modeling monkey lead the midget elephant around. Some of them more than once.


Do you remember when an object other than a cannonball getting fired from a cannon used to mean something? Projectiles like these are pretty much canon now. I realize a joke like that belongs on a page about an Asterix video game, but thus far I haven't made one, and cannons didn't exist in 50 bc anyway.


This is Noah, the clown. Oh, you knew that. The clown part. He is the only clown that doesn't need to be blown up, and yet, I have to think, if I was a silly looking animal trying to escape my captors, the last person I'd trust would be someone named after a guy known primarily for taking animals and locking them in a boat.


Unlike the John McCain 2000 presidential campaign, finding the black baby is not necessarily bad news. Three small animals in cages appear in seemingly random levels, and much like the rainbow jewels or whatever in the first Sonic Hedgehog game, there's not much reason to search for them. Although, the cheap trick of an alternate ending you get as reward kind of works in there, because it is beatable, in under three hours, and occasionally is fun, and that game doesn't give players level passing codes which prevent the full goal from being met if used. Also, it may be considered feasible that someone might actually desire to play through that a second time. Thankfully, I'm told many of those problematic elements were retconned in the recent release Sonic Genesis to bring it up to Sega's Marsupilami standard.

Anyway, the beasts deserve to suffer.


What are you waiting for? Get out of the cage, dumb animal! Arrrgh, I shouldn't have saved that one!

As with every game I mention, the points in this one have no effect on anything. The most notable aspect of this tally screen is the presence of alternating number fonts.


Ah, the ski lift level. This is notable for being the last time Retardo stands still on a moving platform. Whoever said elephants never forget was a simplistic fool, quite regardless of whether that has any pertinence to this situation.


Hey, er, Beep, don't you think it's a bit cold to be dressed like that?


Not the most inspired bosfight ever. Really, this sort of attack strategy is used all the time outside 16-bit console games. What I wonder about are why the alpine residents are so hostile toward someone who so strongly resembles swiss cheese.


I remember hearing about this. One of the primary reasons construction of the famous "Chunnel" took so long was because Marsupilami kept blowing up all the workers. It was an international tragedy.

I hate this level. I hate them all, sure, but this one is especially loathesome, for from this point onward, every enemy takes like seven hits and the elephant forgets how to stand still like it was doing in the ski-lift zone. I think Gutsman must have had some part in this level's design. Also: construction sites in general remind me of Old Navy stores, though this level is slightly less annoying than their ads. Yes, I actually preferred the days of Lady with the Big Glasses, Magic and the Smothers Brothers.

Marsupilami, you jaundiced jungle jackass, with your persistent smile, constant gleeful screams of ghhhouba!" and what is surely


the meanest game over screen i've ever seen, it almost seems like you want me to fail. I don't like the elephant either, but I wouldn't put one in my game.


Please tell me how it makes sense to take a wrecking ball to a structure you haven't even finished building yet. Don't say you're only using it to fight pesky animals, a device like that shouldn't be at the place at all. I will be writing you a letter about this!

Hey, guy. I'm pretty sure your job is to block entry, not exit. Once that happy hopping hulkamaniac gets inside, you've failed.



Hmmm, what time is it?



Oh, right. Time to tackle elephants. You'd think they were a normal occurence around here.



Oh fiddlesticks, my attempts have been thwarted. Hnnnyuuuah. When's lunch?
I wish the people who animated this game had programmed it.


Uh oh, didn't Operation Dumbo Drop begin like this? It seems strange that the workers have orders not to let the elephant enter the dock, but have no problem with exerting themselves to bring it aboard the ship. Not only that, they wait for our leopard-printed lollygagger if he is late.


The ship is the best level. Not that such a thing says much. And so have I also little to say about it.


I'm not sure if this means the ship is sinking or just some other graphical feature not being emulated properly. I think tradeoffs like this are well worth the price I paid to get video games like this.


I wonder why the elephant won't walk into the ocean. Really, it keeps me up at night.


The shark level. I don't know where the elephant is. I'm hoping inside the shark.


in this level, the goal is to rescue the precious boots, tires and anchors, beseiged in their natural habitat by scoundrelly fish and sea-weeds. Given some of the hastily abandoned "recycling is cool" gimmicks of the 1990s, it's possible this is supposed to be part of some environmental awareness theme, but I prefer to think that our Smoggies-smiting tangerine-tinted touftouf just collects tires and boots.


Naturally, this occurs immediately after the shark level, in which the liquid substance is lethal. It ought to be noted that gathering garbage is more fun than leading Retardo around.


The punishment continues...