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Retro Game Challenge (a.k.a. Game Center CX: Arino's Challenge) is a Nintendo DS game based on the Japanese TV series Retro Game Master. In the game, your character is pulled back in time to The Eighties and the childhood of one Shinya Arino (based on the host of the show himself), and are tasked with meeting the challenges of his evil-self-from-the-present by playing eight different 8-bit games, which emulate the style of actual Family Computer games of that time. Only then will you be able to return to your own world.

Each of the eight mini-games comes with its own fully colored and illustrated (in-game) manual, and Kid Arino will periodically buy game magazines that contain cheat codes (which you are allowed to use against his future self) that you can browse while playing.

Absolutely no marketing in America led to poor sales, which means that XSEED didn't bring the sequel to America. But have no fear: a Fan Translation is in the works.


Styles emulated by the mini-games:

Cosmic Gate provides examples of:

Haggle Man 1 and Haggle Man 2 provide examples of:

Rally King and Rally King SP provide examples of:

Star Prince provides examples of:

  • Combining Mecha: One of the minibosses. Defeat it before it completely links up to get a technical bonus. Since the whole game is a big Shout-Out to Star Soldier, this miniboss is a joke on Lalios, a miniboss from Star Force who behaves in the exact same way and offers the same opportunity for a technical bonus.
  • Deflector Shields
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups
  • One Up: Hidden beneath certain tiles.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: The "Spark Shot", which fires shots in all directions when you absorb three enemy bullets with your barrier. It even makes you invincible for a moment, making it excellent for use as a point-blank weapon.
  • Smart Bomb: Available by, get this, shooting a powerup instead of collecting it.

Guadia Quest provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Dragon Quest.
    • There's a multilayered joke in an item that only someone who's played Dragon Quest will get. In Dragon Quest, the 'warp to town' item is called a Chimera Wing. In Gaudia Quest, the equivalent item is called a Naga Wing... and the monsters labeled "Chimeras" look suspiciously like nagas.
      • The layout of the first town is almost identical to Corneria
  • Bag of Sharing: The party as a whole has 63 item slots to share among them, equipped weaponry and your journal included.
  • Beef Gate: If you cross a bridge to another landmass, you can expect to be beat down by disproportionately powerful foes, which serves only as a way to keep you corralled in the area where the game progression wants you to be.
  • Bond Creatures: The Guadias, whom you must defeat in a random battle if you want to earn their services. However, unlike usual Summoned Monsters, Guadias will act automatically after building up their attack for a few rounds.
  • Bonus Boss: GameGuadia, represented by Arino's disembodied head.
  • Development Hell: An In-Universe example; the game's original planned release in September 1986 gets delayed all the way to September 1987, possibly lampshading how major RPG releases got delayed back in the day (and still do).
  • Downer Ending: Even though you vanquished the Dark Scream, you still killed the Dark Lord and Holy King on his orders, violated the treaty, and completely shattered the peace between the three worlds. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. It is inferred that for all you did, you at least brought hope, and that the people's desire for peace could still lead to something good in the long run, "but that is a tale for another day."
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Celestial Tower, the "reaching infinitely into the sky" type.
  • Everything's Better with Chickens: Seems to be parodied, in that everyone everywhere keeps ducks.
  • Money Spider
  • Monster Allies: Part of the gameplay in Guadia Quest is to make pacts with special "Guadia" monsters, who then pop in during battle to do attacks. Some Guadias are better suited to certain foes, making getting the best Guadia for the job part of the strategy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
  • Schedule Slip: Guadia Quest's release date gets pushed back twice.
  • Shout-Out: A twofer - one of the towns has a duck hanging out in the graveyard, which only says "Aclaf!" when you talk to it - a reference to both the old Aflac Duck and Castlevania II's infamous "graveyard duck" reference.
  • Something Completely Different: The games up to this point have no save function and are basically endless play. Guadia Quest introduces a lot of new mechanics.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The king's excuses to send the scions off his various errands get flimsier as the game progresses, but you still have to do them.
  • With This Herring: The party starts out woefully underequipped despite being sent off to do the king's will.

Haggle Man 3 provides examples of:

  • Bottomless Pits: Combine these with non-linear levels full of one-way paths to earlier rooms, and screens with a never-ending barrage of enemies just waiting to knock you off whatever platforms you have available, and it's possible to go through the entire game dying only from falling in pits.
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Distaff Counterpart: Haggleman Lady
  • Fighting Your Friend: Haggleman Lady challenges you after your victory.
  • Genre Shift: Haggle Man 3 looks and plays vastly different than the first two Haggle Man games, resembling something closer to the NES Ninja Gaiden titles.
    • Took a Level In Badass: The title character, able to upgrade himself, use a sword, able to take more than two hits, and overall looks cooler.
  • Powers as Programs: Hagglegears are equipped this way.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Imperial Regalia of Japan serve as the game's Plot Coupons

Retro Game Challenge in general provides examples of:

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