Boy, Enix sure did make some weird games

Par for the course I suppose

Japan and weird games isn’t particular news to anyone, but the other day I was perusing the list of games published and/or developed by Enix before they merged with Square and found a lot of them to be quite odd.

Some games like Mischief Makers and Ten Made Jack are certainly odd, but not so removed from the typical oddities we find in everyday video games. Here are the some of the oddest I found, whether Enix developed or merely published them, and no I’m not the first to point these out but it’s hard to ignore them. In no particular order:

Segare Ijiri and Zoku Segare Ijiri

OK I’ve tried watching several videos of these two games and still not entirely sure what’s going on. Seems there is some platforming in a house reminiscent of Chibi-Robo as an arrowhead–not the tool, but a guy with a literal arrow as a head. However, other parts seem like WarioWare with mini-games flashing in and out with weird imagery such as human faces on cows and robot giraffe heads.

Ø Story

Pronounced “Love Story,” this is Enix’s second FMV game after Murder on the Eurasia Express, which was about solving a murder case on a train full of high school girls portrayed by idols. I considered that for this list, but it seems interesting actually. Ø Story is about a guy who dies but is able to come back to life if he can make a girl named Rina fall in love with him. Sounds pretty tame right? 

The oddity is best understood just by watching it. You basically haunt the poor girl by throwing water at her, writing messages, and shoot cupid arrows at her while watching ridiculous acting and special affects. In the section seen above, she is attacked and the player attempts to save her by hitting the guys with sticks and orbs, then dowsing him in sand and a surge of water from the ocean. It’s the effects and acting that push this over the line.

Super Galdelic Hour

This along with Segare Ijiri are bit more well-known as weird Japanese games than the others, but there’s no way I could not list it. It features four girls in four alien-like leotards with a ’60s vibe and color scheme going on that makes you think it’s all a deleted scene from Austin Powers. That, or the sexy girl version of The Teletubbies, or both. It looks to be a collection of mini-games including pie throwing and the butt battles you may know from Dead or Alive Xtreme. It’s strangely captivating, and you won’t need and drugs to go on a trip.

Suzuki Bakuhatsu

Another game that makes use of FMV and requires you to protect a girl. This time it’s not from thugs, but from bombs. This Suzuki girl is quite unlucky, as she constantly encounters bombs hidden in everyday items like oranges, cell phones, and robots. That’s earned her the name “bakahatsu,” which means “explosion.” The player must find and diffuse the bombs to protect her with a time limit.

I don’t think it’s too outlandish to theorize that the reason Japan is known for a lot of weird stuff is because everyday life is so mundane and because it’s a society that values being “normal.” Just as Japanese fiction is far more sexual than real-life Japanese society, perhaps peculiarity is catharsis from being forced to be normal and serious all the time.

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Cory Arnold
Pretty cool dude in Japan. 6/9/68
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