Maka Maka

Maka Maka was developed by Office Koukan and published by Sigma Enterprises.  It’s infamously terrible.  Of course you can’t entirely blame development, since due to bankruptcy, it was published without bug testing.  These bugs range from the unsurprising memory overflow bugs to a bug that results in unreadable end credits.  It came out in 1992.

The town graphics are plain, but there's worse out there. The hero looks very annoyed.

The plot, as best I can tell, is a simple reincarnation plot.  Your hero’s girlfriend is a reincarnation of the wife of an ancient hero.   Of course, he is a reincarnation of an ancient hero.  You can unlock your past lives and transform into them for strong attacks.  An ancient enemy from the past has to be destroyed.

The world map in Maka Maka uses some Mode 7 zooming.

Graphically, the game is brightly colored.  The sprite artwork is by Koji Aihara much like Idea no Hi, which lends a distinct style to the graphics.  It’s not particularly pretty, but it’s competent.  You do get some interesting mode 7 zooming on the world map, as shown in the screenshots above and below.

When you bring up a menu on the world map, the map zooms outward to show more of the world.

So, the bugs.  You can have your stats roll over to zero randomly during level ups. If you use the magic system in the game, you can have your magic set to zero, preventing use of magic.  You can create some cascading bugs where your party members are replaced with clones of other party members and fighting graphically glitched enemies. Certain boundaries aren’t set properly, so you can wander outside of the ‘walls’ of certain caves, leaving you trapped in darkness.

There’s also curious stuff that you can’t tell if it is bugs.  For example, your first party member is a lazy reincarnation of a Greek philosopher.  He’s a cheerful man wearing an orange crate.  You have a plane that splits apart and crashes.  It zooms off screen to the upper left, and then zooms back on from the lower right, implying that you circled the entire world before crashing.  The end boss doesn’t really attack you.  There’s climatic situations, but your companions say absolutely nothing to you when you try talking to them.

The status screen in Maka Maka.

In the end, Maka Maka is remarkably bad.  It aims for comedic elements, but between the bugs and the general awkwardness of the game, dramatic moments just seem silly.    You can see attempts to make a unique game, but it’s hard to say if the programmers could have made it a good game.

  1. SolarBoyMatt’s avatar

    Despite it numerous flaws, I still really liked this game for some reason. I can’t really explain why I enjoyed playing through it, I guess it just so bad it’s good.

  2. Rav’s avatar

    I played up to the rather unfortunate village where the plane crashes, and stopped. The battle system (ignoring the bugs with the special abilities) was pretty impressive, and I thought the map zooming was pretty nifty. So I can see why someone would enjoy it? What I’ve seen of the end game sounds like it gets amazingly weird, much like Idea no Hi.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. SolarBoyMatt’s avatar

    It doesn’t get too much stranger, seeing as the game is already so strange to begin with it, can’t really go much further. It has you traveling back to the past where the characters meet their past selves, then resolving a war between two ancient civilizations.

    But really it’s not a whole lot stranger than being eaten by a morbidly obese cannibalistic princess, transforming the male main characters into women to by jumping into a magical fountain in order to sneak into a women’s bath house to get a key, the aforementioned plane crash, the main character gaining the ability to fly across the world map by flapping his arms, the main character being defenestrated while naked, or being attacked by toasters, anthropomorphic banana-men, giant walking noses, pyramids, half naked women, etc… I think you get the point…

  4. Rav’s avatar

    Idea no Hi also has the “what were they thinking” enemies. You have assorted ones spelling out infantile naughty words (think something akin to being attacked by the massive letters of “weenie” if it was in English.) There’s the terrifying “ruined man” who stands around sighing, and then suddenly hangs himself, killing a party member. There’s Judd’s area where he learns to be a master thief where the main enemies are zombie chickens.

    I do find that ridiculous games tend to have charm to them. For example, at the end of Judd’s area, there’s a book of porn tucked in bed with the dead master thief. A serious game probably wouldn’t do that, but in a game like Maka Maka or Idea no Hi –

  5. skyrunner14’s avatar

    I’m playing through this right now, though I’ve kinda lost interest at the moment… I’m up to that dungeon where you get the Plasma Ring after. I think I might just wait for the translation to come out and start over then. That way, I can actually understand the story as I play.

  6. Rav’s avatar

    I think KingMike’s doing pretty well on the translation but I don’t know when it will come out. Hopefully you’ll enjoy playing through it then.

  7. skyrunner14’s avatar

    Is there anywhere I could see the progress on the translation? Because from the way you worded that, apparently there is… I’d like to see it.

    Also, I went ahead and started a page for this game on TVTropes. If you’d like to add anything or help out, it’d be appreciated. Is it OK to provide a link?

  8. Rav’s avatar

    KingMike posts occasional updates on : http://www.romhacking.net/
    His main website is : http://kingmike.emuxhaven.net/

    Mostly, I’ve heard him comment about kanji, and the occasional debate if trying to fix the bugs is worthwhile, or if he should preserve the original experience.

    If you’d like to link me to the TVTropes website, feel free?

    If you’d like another site, try ” http://hitobasi . hp . infoseek . co . jp/” removing the spaces as needed. The first link with the text 1 and SFC RPG is a section on Maka Maka, with a large bug catalog. I think he may be moving off of infoseek. If so, there seems to be “http:// hitobasira . buzama . com/” – again the first link is Maka Maka. The Buzama site seems to have text encoding issues, so you’ll need to set it as Shift JIS for it to look normal.

  9. skyrunner14’s avatar

    Here’s the link to the TVTropes page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Maka-Maka

    I actually got some help from another fan of this infamous game… funny how we’re fans of such a terrible game, eh?

  10. Jeremy’s avatar

    I too am also a fan of this awful game, mainly due to Mitsuyasu Tomohisa’s music to the game as well as its battle system. However, I feel that Sigma Enterprises, Inc. made a very foolish mistake by omitting bug testing.

    I like how Office Koukan made the battle system in this one. In all honesty, I feel that this game can be translated and be released, if someone can find a way to debug the entire game without it crashing, of course. The game has to be entirely debugged, and or translated if I have any chance of playing it.

  11. Rav’s avatar

    KingMike is translating it, but I don’t know if he’s planning on preserving the bugs or just letting people “enjoy” the full experience.

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