Circus Lido [Model JP91001]

NEC PC-Engine HuCARD published 28 years ago by Uni Post

Circus Lido [Model JP91001] screenshot

Emulated in MAME !
Information for the following ROM(s): circusld


サーカスライド © 1991 Uni Post Company.

(Circus Lido)

Circus Lido is a quirky puzzle/action game by Uni Post Company and Planning System. Like most action/puzzle games, the goal of Circus Lido is both deceptively simple and dauntingly complex. The star of the show is a green and cute chameleon-like creature called "Leon" who must progress through devilish levels, killing all the crawling (or flying) insects that populate them in order to reach the exit. The levels are not timed though, and the core gameplay has an unique and challenging twist - although the Chameleon can shoot his tongue to capture enemies, he can't actually eat them... instead, he must carry the captured foes in his mouth and spit them out into carnivorous plants scattered around each level. This particular technique has also many other useful applications, and the chameleon can spit an enemy at another in order to stun them, or use a stunned bug as a temporary platform... Additionally, the green lizard comes with another serious limitation - he can't jump. So the only way for Leon to reach higher grounds is to use his retractable tail and to shoot it upwards in an attempt to wrap it around special logs/legdes. Once all the enemies are defeated, the exit door unlocks and the chameleon can proceed to the next stage. Circus Lido consists of forty levels and a password system allows the player to save his progress.


Game ID: JP91001


Released on April 06, 1991 in Japan for 5400 Yen. Circus Lido is notoriously known among classic game enthusiasts, not for its qualities as a puzzle game, but for the unusual circumstances of its release. Although the game was (quietly) advertised in several Japanese video game magazines at the time, it was nowhere to be found in stores and went completely unnoticed. Because of this, Circus Lido was considered as one of the rarest PC Engine HuCard in the late 1990s, and the few rare copies that surfaced on the collectors' market snapped up for thousands of dollars (some even argued that the game was never commercially released).

However, in 2000, this situation was about to change dramatically. For what seemed like obscure reasons, an increasing number of Circus Lido began to appear and the game's inflated value started to melt away... And the truth, being finally revealed in 2001, is one of the most memorable moment (and most painful for some) of PC Engine collecting history. Although Circus Lido was virtually impossible to find in the wild, several Japanese forums started to leak out that the game was available for its original retail price (5400 Yen) on Amazon Japan! To fully understand and explain this unexpected twist, we have to go back to 1991 - in reality, Circus Lido did see a commercial release, yes, not in toy/game stores but in libraries. It is not really clear as to why Uni Post company decided to only release this game in libraries, but this certainly explains why it went completely unnoticed and was nowhere to be found... until 2000, when someone discovered that Amazon Japan still had a large stock available at the original retail price. Circus Lido shows how incredibly volatile the collectibles market can be, and how speculation can cause the mighty to fall.

Interestingly, a special medal/key chain was made to commemorate the release of Circus Lido. 500 were made and given away to the first players (as long as they ordered it) who cleared the forty levels. It is however hard to tell how many were actually given away, considering how badly the game sold...
Goodies for Circus Lido [Model JP91001]
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Level Passwords:
Level 01 - AAAA
Level 02 - DRMH
Level 03 - NEOT
Level 04 - ESCR
Level 05 - EETE
Level 06 - HRSY
Level 07 - TSOA
Level 08 - STPL
Level 09 - RHIP
Level 10 - EGND
Level 11 - HIUO
Level 12 - TRTO
Level 13 - OLHG
Level 14 - ELGY
Level 15 - HAIR
Level 16 - TMLE
Level 17 - DEYV
Level 18 - NTPA
Level 19 - ASOE
Level 20 - AYCR
Level 21 - SSGA
Level 22 - UGNU
Level 23 - GNIO
Level 24 - IIYY
Level 25 - ANA!
Level 26 - SNLS
Level 27 - AAPN
Level 28 - MLRO
Level 29 - IPUI
Level 30 - JDOT
Level 31 - AEYA
Level 32 - TTRL
Level 33 - FIOU
Level 34 - FMFT
Level 35 - AIUA
Level 36 - TLOR
Level 37 - SYYG
Level 38 - DNDK
Level 39 - EANO
Level 40 - VPAC
Boss - ZYMA

Game's ROM.
Game's description by Laurent Kermel;