Frogger was released by Konami in June 1981 in Japan; it became a runaway hit.
1981 was a big year in video games. A lot of companies were putting some pretty popular games on the market and it created a very competitive atmosphere as to what company was putting out the most popular ones. In addition, 1981 continued on the trend of the 'cute' type games such as "Ms. Pac-Man
", and a host of Pac-Man clones. Konami was already becoming a force to be reckoned with in the video gaming world. With such hits as "Space War
", and "Super Cobra
", Konami was making its mark.
The sound that can be heard when a coin is inserted into the machine was sampled by producer Richard X for the Sugababes' song, 'Freak Like Me' (and is the very first sound on the track).
Frogger has numerous bugs, although many of these are not immediately apparent to the average player :
1. Sections of the music will occasionally cut out, although the main melody will continue to play.
2. On occasion, Frogger displays a somewhat haphazard approach to collision detection. One side effect of this is that the player can sometimes make a perfectly legal and safe jump and still lose a life. Another side effect of this is that the player can jump up onto the first row of turtles, and then immediately jump back. This will place the player 'off the grid', and it is now possible to jump right off the side of the screen, leading to a loss of life.
3. There are several other odd jumps that can be made as well. Firstly, the player can 'hang off' the left side of a turtle, but attempting to do the same on the right side results in death. If the player jumps onto a home base with an alligator (and the 'gator vanishes after you jump, but before the player lands), Frogger will be killed, but he will ALSO make it home. Finally, left and right jumps on the top row of logs are sometimes much slower than usual - this is more likely to occur after previously eating a fly.
4. Another in-game bug is that the lady frog will sometimes be invisible, but will flash red when the player jumps onto the spot where she is.
Mark Robichek holds the official record for this game with 442,330 points.
A Frogger unit appears in the 1999 movie 'Magnolia' and the sitcom 'Two and a Half Men'; Season 5, Episode 2 (People Who Love Peepholes).
Frogger inspired a catchy hit song by Buckner and Garcia called 'Froggy's Lament' released on the 'Pac-Man Fever' album.
The TV show, Seinfeld, has an episode named 'The Frogger'. George and Jerry are in Mario's Pizza which is closing down, and they find a Frogger game still there. They realize that the high score of 860,630 points has George's initials GLC [George Louis Costanza]. They reminisce about the night it happened : "I was unstoppable!... Just the right amount of grease on the joystick". George decides to buy the Frogger machine to immortalize his high score, but Jerry informs him that unplugging the game will erase all of the scores. Later, George tries in vain to call an electrician to help : "I need a guy that can rig a Frogger machine so that I can move it without losing power, 'cause I have the high score. H-hello?". Kramer suggests an electrician who can help. George says, "Kramer, listen to me. I'm never gonna have a child. If I lose this Frogger high score, that's it for me". George assembles a team and hatches a plan to salvage the game. But when he arrives, he finds the team playing the game, which has only three minutes of battery life left. They can't get it back in the closed pizzeria, but there is an open pharmacy across the street where it could be plugged in. George decides to push the machine across the highway, and an overhead shot of this feat looks much like the Frogger game itself, and the music from the game is played. At the end, George is unable to push the game onto the sidewalk and it gets destroyed by an oncoming truck.
MB (Milton Bradley) released a board game based on this video game (same name) the same year, 'One Wrong Leap Will Get You Squished And Splattered' : in this version of the game, 2 players face off, each with their own army of frogs, logs, and automobiles. Each turn, a player spends his movement points either moving his frogs toward their goal (the other side of the board), or moving logs and cars in an attempt to block or squash the other player's frogs. Complete with 'bonus points' for landing on flies, this is actually a pretty faithful interpretation of the video-game, but far too simple to have any long-lasting interest. More of a curiosity for video game enthusiasts than anything.
Frogger also spawned a cartoon series of the same name : Ruby-Spears Productions. Produced By Joe Ruby, Ken Spears. Originally aired September 17, 1983 as part of 'Saturday Supercade' on CBS.
Michael Jackson used to own this game. It was sold at the official Michael Jackson Auction on April 24, 2009.
The main character appears on the 2012 animation movie "Wreck-It Ralph" from Walt Disney Animation Studios.