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Allen-chasing Mutant-busting Tumble-popping Action!!
Tumblepop was an Arcade Game made by Data East Corporation in 1991 which is now considered something of a Cult Classic, since it received only one port for Game Boy and nothing else. It features a couple of kids armed with vacuum cleaners who travel around the world to defeat various creatures and monsters: they suck the monsters up into the canisters of their weapon and then release them at high speed to create big balls of creatures that tumble around the levels, knocking down everything in their path...
It's a Widget Game and therefore easier to play than to explain.
The game contains examples of the following tropes:
- Batman Can Breathe in Space (After you complete the main map, the last two levels have you fighting in outer space and on the Moon. You don't need any equipment to breathe and walk around, and gravity is not an issue)
- Circling Birdies (If you stun an enemy, that is, hit it with the beam of your vacuum cleaner but not actually suck it in, he'll have little stars circling its head)
- Circus of Fear (Russia is set up like this, complete with fire-eating strongmen and conjurers)
- Combat Tentacles (The giant, almost realistic octopus at the end of the USA level is one of the hardest bosses because his tentacles come out of the water every now and then and take large portions of the screen)
- Cyber Cyclops (The boss of the French stage)
- Dem Bones (There are a few skeletons among the enemies)
- Eternal Engine (France, which is set inside the Eiffel Tower filled with conveyor belts and other hazards, and for some reason is populated only by robots)
- Gotta Catch Em All (Alphabet letters are scattered in some levels, you need to complete the word TUMBLEPOP with them to gain access to the bonus stage)
- The Greys (In the space-based levels)
- Invisible Monsters (The conjurers in the Russian stages, you only see a top hat, white gloves and shoes)
- King Mook (A couple bosses are huge versions of regular enemies, such as the Russian Monster Clown or the double-mouthed giant venus flytrap at the end of Australia)
- Lethal Lava Land (Brazil is more or less this, what with all the fire-based enemies and the huge dragon made of fire at the end)
- Mook Maker (The majority of stages have some magical cauldron/pot/whatever that spews forth other enemies every now and then)
- Palette Swap (Quite a few: snowmen (white) / mudmen (brown), turtles (green) / kappa (teal), octopi (red) / aliens (green), and so on)
- Platform Game (A single screen example, much like Bubble Bobble)
- Prehistoria (Australia, complete with anachronistic cavemen and dinosaurs)
- Recurring Riff (The background melody is always the same one, but arranged in order to match the music of the countries the levels are based on. For example, the Egyptian stages sound Arabian, the USA stages have a nice 50s-sounding rockabilly, and so on)
- Standard Snippet (The melody in the French stages begins with the first few notes of La Marseillaise)
- Shifting Sand Land (Egypt)
- Shout-Out (from various Data East games)
- The setting and enemies of the Australian stages are basically ripped off from Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja, released by Data east that same year. That series would later "return the favor" with its last installment "Joe and Mac Returns", which plays exactly like Tumblepop.
- Karnov once again makes a cameo appearance in a Data East game, this time, fittingly, as the Russian circus strongmen.
- The spacemen from the final series of stages are Chelnov AKA Atomic Runner.
- The second-to-last boss is an alien robot that looks like the Flatwoods monster.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World (Antarctica)
- Spikes of Doom
- Spin to Deflect Stuff (Some enemies spin like tornadoes in order to jump up or down the platforms, and are invulnerable while doing so)
- Spiritual Successor (Tumblepop has no sequels but the later arcade game by Data East Diet Go Go is basically the same thing, only you have to turn enemies fat, throw them and let them bounce against bumpers and other enemies. As noted above, also Joe And Mac Returns)
- Stalked by the Bell (A devilish character appears if you take too long to finish a level)
- Weapons That Suck (Duh!)