Crazy Climber

screenshot

The [Coin-Op] Arcade Video Game by Nichibutsu [Nihon Bussan Co., Ltd.] [Osaka, Japan]

DESCRIPTION
[Coin-Op] Arcade Video Game

Crazy Climber © 1980 Nichibutsu [Nihon Bussan Company, Limited.].


Crazy Climber is a 2-D, strategy style game. The game is strategic in the fact that you must plan your moves as you climb up the building and anticipate the hazards that await you. You start out the game at the bottom of a building to be scaled. As you climb up the building, you will be assailed by bald people throwing flowerpots, signs with loose electrical wires, very large apes, falling signs, trash and barbells, and a bird that likes to drop bad things on your character. Your goal is to make it to the top of the building and catch the helicopter, which will transport you to the next building to be scaled. Of course, you will be rewarded for quickly making it up the building by getting a bonus (that is as long as you can catch the helicopter). The things one does for publicity.
TECHNICAL
PICTURE :
1
Crazy Climber machine
Click to enlarge (members only)
The game was released in several different cabinet styles. Taito licensed the game from Nichibutsu and released it in the US in a generic orange 'Taito' cabinet with Americanized artwork. A cabaret version of the game was also created.

Nichibutsu's standard cabinet was shaped similar to the Taito cabinet, but it had a plain white exterior with the Crazy Climber logo from the marquee on the kick plate and diagonally on the sides. The marquee and monitor bezel art are very vibrant, using many custom fluorescent colors. The control panel is black painted metal with artwork painted on in orange, white and red. The marquee had no backlight.

Nichibutsu's deluxe cabinet was taller and had a very unusual control panel. The panel attached to the front of the cabinet separately and was metal covered with a curved piece of plexiglass. Full color artwork of the climber scaling the outside of a building is silkscreened onto the curved plexi. The instruction sheet was moved from its position on the standard cabinet's monitor bezel to a window on the control panel. The deluxe cabinet also used several Nintendo parts, including the same type monitor (Sanyo 20EZ) and the same style of coin mechs used by games like "Donkey Kong", "Donkey Kong Junior", et. al.

Prom Stickers : CC

Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)
Sound Chips : General Instrument AY8910 (@ 1.536 Mhz), Discrete circuitry

Screen orientation : Horizontal
Video resolution : 256 x 224 pixels
Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz
Palette colors : 96

Players : 2
Control : Double 8-way joysticks
TRIVIA
Crazy Climber was released in October 1980. It was Fujiwara's first game.

The names of each building to climb in the game are 'Nichibutsu', 'Nichibutsu Leisure', 'Nichibutsu U.K. Ltd.' and 'Nichibutsu U.S.A Corp.'.

Some of the musical themes used in the game are 'Baby Elephant Walk', 'The Pink Panther Theme' and 'The Entertainer'.

Jim Wright holds the official record for this game with 487,150 points on July 5, 1982 with three starting lives.
Jason Cram holds the official record for this game with 301, 950 points on November 21, 2003 with four starting lives.

A Crazy Climber unit appears in the 1982 movie 'Rocky III'.

Bandai released a board game based on this video game (same name) : This game has you playing cards to move to the top of a building. Like in the arcade, there is the peril that people seem to drop just about anything out their windows at random times. Each card allows you to move to a particular position relative to where you currently are (for example, a choice of straight up two squares or up two squares and left or right one). However, there must be an open window that is not occupied by another player for it to be a legal move. Whenever a player passes certain checkpoints, the spinner is spun to see if anything falls from the windows. If you're hit on the head, you drop down to the next open window. There is also a gorilla that knocks you all the way down if you're unfortunate enough to be hit by him. First one to get to the top of the building and escape on the helicopter wins.
SCORING
Each building has a STEP POINT heading. This indicates how many points you get for each window you successfully climb to. You also start out with a certain amount of bonus points per building. On buildings one and two, they decrease by 100 about every 2 seconds while on buildings three and four they decrease by 200 points about every 2 seconds. Below are listed the STEP POINT and BONUS
RATE points :
Building 1 - Step Point : 100 - Bonus Rate : 10000
Building 2 - Step Point : 150 - Bonus Rate : 20000
Building 3 - Step Point : 200 - Bonus Rate : 30000
Building 4 - Step Point : 250 - Bonus Rate : 40000

NOTE : You will only collect the remaining BONUS RATE if you successfully grab the helicopter at the top of the building. If you fail to grab the helicopter after it has made two passes, you get a consolation bonus of 3000 points regardless of what the BONUS RATE remaining is.

The balloon shows up during buildings two and three. You don't get points, perse, for grabbing the balloon. Instead, your character will get lifted up approximately ten stories and avoiding any hazards they may contain. You will get STEP POINTS for these bypassed stories as if you had actually climbed them. In addition, it will give you a bigger bonus since it is quicker going up the building like this.
TIPS AND TRICKS
When you start the game, your climber will climb a couple of steps. Then it will be up to you to guide him to the top of the building. The hardest aspect of this game is developing a rhythm with the controls to enable your climber to climb smoothly. This is something that takes practice. Fortunately, once you've developed this rhythm, the game is much easier to play. The basic rhythm is :
1) From the bottom ledge, reach up to the next ledge (left or right joystick).
2) Once you've got a hold on the next ledge, pull back on the joystick to bring your climber to the next ledge.
3) Use the opposite joystick to reach for the next ledge. Then pull yourself up.
4) Continue this rhythm for fast, straight climbs.
5) This also works for climbing diagonally. Instead of reaching for the ledge above, reach for the upper right or left ledge diagonal from your climber.

You can move your climber from side to side just by pushing both joysticks to the right or left. As long as windows are open along your path, you can execute this move. Good for avoiding objects dropping on you such as signs and garbage.

All the buildings have the following hazards :
1) Windows opening and closing : You cannot climb on a ledge if the window is closed. On building 1, they open and close slowly while on building 4, they open and close quickly.
2) Bald people throwing flowerpots out the windows : You cannot climb on a ledge if a person is in the window. Also, if a flowerpot hits your climber, you will get one hand knocked off the ledge. If you were only holding on by one hand, your climber falls.
3) A pesky bird flies over dropping nifty things on your climber (only building 3 doesn't have this bird) : Again, not much trouble if you are holding onto a ledge with both hands.

If you are holding onto a ledge with both hands and the window closes, your climber will fall. This is why you need to either quickly move up the building or learn how to move diagonally to avoid the window hazards. In addition, you will have to move diagonally when the building configuration is 4-2.

BUILDING 1 : Besides the above hazards, there is only one other hazard to deal with...
1) The bird shows up when the building configuration goes from a 6-2-2 to a 6 for the second time.
2) People will drop flowerpots on you when the building goes from 6-2-2 for the first time to 6-2-2 the second time.
3) King Kong will be at the point where the building goes to 6-2 the second time. To get by Kong, just go up the windows on the opposite side Kong is on.

BUILDING 2 : The usual hazards exist along with another new one.
1) The bird shows up when the building configuration goes from 6-4 the second time to the middle of the 4 configuration.
2) People drop flowerpots when the building goes to 2 until it goes to 2-4.
3) When the building goes 6-2-2, there is a Nichibutsu sign with wires coming out of either side sparking away. The best path is the right one under the sign.
4) Try to get the balloon which appears midway on the final 4 wide configuration.

BUILDING 3 : There is yet another new hazard along with a couple of old ones.
1) People drop flowerpots from the first 6-2-2 configuration to the second 6-2-2 configuration.
2) Right after the 6-4 configuration, Crazy Climber signs will bounce toward your character. There are a couple of methods of dealing with them :
a) First, just slide left or right to avoid them.
b) If they can't be avoided, get both hands on one ledge and pull the joysticks back. This will bring your climber for a hanging position to one where he is resting on his palms. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Also, right when the sign is about to hit him, pull back on the joysticks.
3) Another King Kong awaits where the building goes from 4 to 2. Use the Building 1 method to scoot by him.
4) Again, try to get the balloon which appears midway on the final 2 wide configuration.

BUILDING 4 : There is another hazard in addition to the above. Plus, things happen quickly on this building.
1) In the middle of the first 6-2-2 configuration, is another sign with electrical wires. Use the method from Building 2.
2) The bird appears at the 6-2 configuration and leaves in the middle of the first 2 configuration.
3) From the 2-6 configuration to the middle of the 6 configuration, people are dropping flowerpots on your head.
4) When you come to the final 4-2 configuration, it is usually better to go to the left. This is because the Crazy Climber signs usually come down the right side. Of course, this isn't always true. Use the methods in Building 3 to deal with them.
5) Throughout your climb up this building, various manners of barbells, trash. There is no real defense against these except hold on tightly.
6) Once you complete this building, you are transported back to Building 1 to start again.

Secret Password : Enter the name 'jordan.ltd' in the high score table and you get two free credits. This only works on the Japanese and bootleg versions of the game (although the password code is still present in the US version, the high score table entry has been crippled to only allow 3 letters, so you can't enter the code).
SERIES
1. Crazy Climber (1980)
2. Crazy Climber 2 (1988)
3. Hyper Crazy Climber (1996, Sony PlayStation)
4. Crazy Climber 2000 (2000, Sony PlayStation)
STAFF
Designed and programmed by : Shigeki Fujiwara
PORTS

Consoles:


Atari 2600 (1982)
Arcadia 2001 (1982)
Nintendo Famicom (1986)
Nintendo Super Famicom (1995, "Nichibutsu Arcade Classics")
Sony Playstation (1995, "Nichibutsu Arcade Classics") includes the original game and a updated version named "Crazy Climber '85".
Bandai WonderSwan (1999)
Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Oretachi Geasen Zoku Sono 2 - Crazy Climber")

Computers:


Sharp X68000 (1993)

Others:


VFD handheld game (1989, "Crazy Climbing") released by Bandai.
VFD handheld game (1982) released by Entex.
LCD Keychains handheld game (1997) released by Bandai.
SOURCES
Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc

Page last modified on August 13, 2012
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