Released in 1989, A Boy and His Blob is the only game David Crane created exclusively for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Mr. Crane is most known for creating Pitfall!, one of the best-selling video games for the Atari 2600. Though sharing some of the same elements - open-ended exploration, treasure collecting, subpar graphics - A Boy and His Blob never came close to matching the success of Pitfall!, perhaps because the game's concept was too far ahead of its time. A Boy and His Blob is a "trial and error"-type game involving a boy who must rely on the shape-shifting powers of a blob to progress through underground caverns and the blob's home planet. Despite being named best of show at the 1989 Consumer Electronics Show, most gamers couldn't get past the overall weirdness of the game (plus its corny sense of humor). The game even won a Parents' Choice Award in 1990, showing once again that sometimes parents just don't understand.
Best 100% time: 0:11:30 by Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen on 2007-06-14.
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It's Friday night, and once again, Boy was at home with nothing to do and nobody to see. Though he and his mother had moved to the area well over 2 years ago, Boy has yet to make any friends. Every time he'd try to start a conversation with his classmates, or join in on any of the games they played during recess, he'd get mocked. Nobody liked him, and nobody pretended to ... not even his parents. There is no better evidence of this than the fact that his parents never even bothered naming him, figuring he wasn't worth the effort. As you can see, Boy has had it rough since the day he was born. It doesn't help being a total spaz either.
Tired of spending the evening reading comics in his room, Boy figured he'd sit on the front porch with his notebook, the one in which he draws his friends, imaginary though they are. Grasping a pencil in his right hand, he began doodling when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a shooting star.
"I wish I had a real friend," he whispered with tears welling in his eyes.
Just then, amazingly, a creature fell from the heavens and landed with a thud in front of Boy.
"What!? I don't believe it! It worked! It worked!!!" Boy screamed as he studied the blob-like creature before him.
Within moments, Boy recalled how he drew something like this just like this a few days ago. Rifling through his notebook, Boy soon came across a picture of an alien blob. Underneath he had written "Blobert."
"Um ... are you Blobert?" Boy shyly asked.
"Why yes I am," Blobert replied, "but please call me Blob. I've traveled many galaxies to find someone suitable to assist me in my mission."
"On the planet I'm from, Blobolonia™, an evil emperor has assumed power over my kind. He forces us to eat nothing but sweets and won't allow us to consume healthy things like vitamins."
"'Nothing but sweets' sounds great!" Boy said smiling.
"It's not a laughing matter. We're in dire straights. I need to get vitamins to my people soon or they will die."
"Even you?" Boy asked, regretting what he said earlier.
"Yes, even me," said Blob. "Will you help?"
After wiping his eyes, Boy puffed out his chest, looked proudly at Blob, and proclaimed, "You can count on me ... friend. But, why do you need someone like me? Why did you come to Earth?"
"Why not someone like you?" Blob sympathetically asked. "We have learned that your planet is the closest source of the vitamins we so desperately need. If only I knew where to find some."
"The health food store down the street sells lots of vitamins. Their prices are really, really high though. But it's now the only place on Earth to get them - "
"So they've decided to take advantage of you humans by inflating their prices to insane levels, knowing full well a person would pay anything if they're so desperate. Hmm, sounds similar to my planet's situation. Can we somehow break in?"
"Break in!" Boy gasped. "That's illegal! Besides, the owners - Dave and Rick - are crooks who wouldn't think twice about killing us both."
"Ok," Blob thought aloud, "we'll just need to acquire the proper funds. I don't suppose you know where we can get enough money. Maybe your family could help?"
"No, we're poor. That's why we had to buy this tiny house right next to the subway. And, I doubt my mom would help me anyway ... hey, I just remembered! I've heard that below the subway, there's a cave with lots of treasure. I tried finding it myself when I first moved here but ... I'm sorry Blob."
Blob then hopped over to Boy's feet, looked in his eyes, and said, "Ah, but that was before you met me. I'm going to tell you a secret."
"A s-s-secret?" Boy stammered.
"I'm a magic blob," Blob whispered, "but don't tell anybody. Do you have any jellybeans?"
"Jellybeans? Um, yeah, I just bought some after school. They're inside the house. Hold on," Boy said as he raced up to his room.
Boy found the jellybeans and before leaving told his mother he's going to spend the night at the subway with his friend Blob. She didn't bother responding. Boy then left.
"Blob, Blob, I found 'em! What do you want me to do?"
"Just hold on to them for now," said Blob, "I'll show you once we get to the subway. Would you please lead the way?"
Boy stuffed the jellybeans into his backpack and ran toward the subway, excited about the adventure he and his new friend were about to have.
"Blob, where are you!" Boy yelled up the subway stairs.
"I'm sorry, I can't move that fast, on account of me being a blob and all," Blob huffed as he made his way down the stairs. "Quick, feed me a punch jellybean."
Boy reached into his backpack and tossed a jellybean towards the bottom of the stairs. With perfect timing, the jellybean landed in Blob's mouth as soon as he stopped. Boy watched as Blob proceeded to morph into a flat circle.
"Whoa!" Boy excitedly exclaimed, "Jellybeans make you change shape! Awesome!"
"Now you know why I'm a magic blob. In fact, each jellybean flavor turns me into something different. If you want to turn me back into a blob, just whistle," Blob explained. "Now fall through the hole I just created."
"I'm scared," Boy cried, wondering how Blob's new shape melted away the subway floor.
"Come on!" Blob snapped. "Oh, um, I mean, don't be scared; you can trust me."
Boy crossed his fingers and fell through the hole, whistling on the way down. He saw a blue bag full of blue coins on a ledge a few feet away.
"Blob, we did it! We found the treasure!" Boy gleefully exclaimed. But as he excitedly ran towards the ledge, he let slip a jellybean from his fingers. Miraculously, Blob appeared where the jellybean landed.
"How ... how did you do that?" Boy asked.
"Magic," Blob slyly replied. "You must have some Ketchup beans in your bag. That only happens with Ketchup beans."
"Why would there be Ketchup jellybeans? That's disgusting," said Boy with a sour face.
"Looks like someone played a joke on you kid," Blob said, trying not to laugh. "Enough chit-chat, feed me a licorice jellybean so we can get that bag of treasure!"
Soon, after climbing the ladder the licorice jellybean had caused Blob to morph into, Boy held the treasure in his hands, marveling at how the coins weren't the usual gold color he was used to seeing.
"This should be enough to buy those vitamins," Boy said. "How do we get back up?"
Blob stared at Boy incredulously. "One measly bag of coins isn't enough for my people. And you know what they say: 'Why take one bag of treasure when you can take them all?'"
Boy was confused. "Are you ok Blob?" he asked.
"Yeah ... um, yeah ... uh, we really should find more treasure if we want my mission to be a success."
With that, Boy and Blob were on their way. After clever utilization of another ketchup jellybean followed by a punch, Boy and Blob found a chest full of treasure guarded by a giant snake.
"Please do exactly as I tell you," Blob insisted. "First, feed me a vanilla bean; it'll save time later."
"An umbrella? How is that going to help us with this snake?" Boy asked.
"It's not; we'll need it for the jump we'll have to make."
"Wait. What jump? How do you know what's ahead."
"Um ... never mind that now," Blob said at a loss for words. "Now! Run!"
Within moments, they were past the snake and gently floating down through the air.
"Hey, look at that giant spider web," Boy directed.
"I see it," Blob replied. "We'll need to burn through it."
"Can't I just knock it aside with my hands?" Boy asked.
"No," said Blob. "Drop me, grab that treasure over there, and feed me a cinnamon jellybean."
Boy did just that and used the resulting blowtorch to scorch the web.
"That was good," Blob said, "but you shouldn't have drifted so close to the wall. We would've saved two seconds had you dropped me closer to the ledge we just jumped from."
Looking ahead, Boy and Blob saw boulders as big as Boy's head raining down. "This could be trouble," both thought simultaneously.
At Blob's suggestion, Boy turned Blob into an umbrella again and used it to protect his head from the rocks. As Boy ran through the area, Blob watched as Boy's feet kicked out from under the protective field of the umbrella.
"Why are you kicking your feet so far out in front of you!?" Blob yelled. "If one of those rocks hits your leg, you'll be crippled!"
Seeing one about to do just that, Boy wasted a second doing a quick stutter-step to avoid it. Once they were past the rocks, Boy used a strawberry jellybean to turn Blob into a bridge, which he crossed to get to the next treasure chest while avoiding another snake. However, after whistling to change Blob back, Boy could've ran through the gap a bit earlier since only the snake's head can harm him, not the rest of its body.
Tired of waiting for Blob to catch up, Boy threw a ketchup jellybean to teleport Blob in front of him. Then, Boy tossed Blob a tangerine jellybean so he could grab the diamond floating above.
"How is that diamond just floating in the air like that?" Boy asked as he jumped on the trampoline.
"I don't know," said Blob, "but if you didn't walk so clumsily, you could've jumped on the trampoline a tad faster."
"Why are you being so mean Blob?" Boy quietly asked after falling down with the diamond.
"Oh, I'm sorry kid. I didn't mean to upset you. Forget I even mentioned it."
Within seconds, Boy found a room with more treasure and another snake. Even though Boy could've reached the treasure faster by sliding his feet, he figured he didn't want to risk the snake biting him so he just waited patiently for a clear path.
After grabbing the treasure and whistling for Blob, Boy fell through the nearby hole, threw a ketchup jellybean to make Blob catch up and then climbed him to get a treasure on a ledge high above. Once that was done, he fell through the ledges until coming to an open area.
"Where do we go now?" Boy asked.
"Up," Blob said. "Turn me into a trampoline again."
"You mean way up there," Boy said as he pointed. "That's way too high!"
"Don't worry. You'll be fine. Come on, let's go."
Boy feed Blob a tangerine jellybean and after a few jumps, was near the ceiling of the cavern.
"Jump toward the ledge and use ketchup to teleport me up there after you land!" Blob yelled.
"I'll never make it," Boy screamed.
"Yes you will!" Blob yelled with a slightly annoyed tone. "Jump! Now!"
With great apprehension, Boy jumped toward the edge, and wondered, as he fell through the air, if he had made a terrible mistake.
Boy closed his eyes and held his breath as he made the jump. Before he knew it, he felt solid ground beneath his feet. He couldn't have been closer to the edge if he tried.
"Woohoo!!!" Boy shrieked.
He then followed the rest of Blob's order and used a ketchup jellybean. Then after grabbing another treasure, asked Blob where to go next.
"There should be a treasure directly below us," Blob mused. "Time for a punch."
"How do you know?"
"Like I said before, you don't need to worry about that."
The location where Blob morphed into a hole was so perfect, Boy was able to grab the next few treasures without moving his legs.
"Ch-ching!" Blob enthusiastically cried out.
A minute later, after grabbing a few more treasures and floating through the air with the umbrella, Boy and Blob came to an underwater area.
"Use a cola jellybean to turn me into a bubble," Blob explained, "then get inside the bubble and float down to the water."
"But how can I get inside the bubble without popping it?" Boy asked.
"Jeez," Blob muttered. "It's magic kid, it's always magic."
As they made their way through the caves beneath the water's surface, Boy began asking Blob about his home planet.
"Try not to talk much kid; you'll run out of oxygen," Blob lied.
After grabbing several more diamonds and another chest of treasure, which Boy could've snagged two seconds faster with better control of the bubble, they were ready to get back to dry land. Boy changed Blob into a bridge to cross the next gap while avoiding yet another snake. Then, after Blob morphed back into his normal form, demanded Boy feed him a cinnamon jellybean.
"I don't see anything nearby to burn," Boy said, confused.
"You won't be burning anything. You'll need to turn me into a trampoline just ahead to reach the area above us, but before doing so, you'll have to position me in the right spot. This will be a lot easier if you carry me as a blowtorch, then drop me where you want the trampoline to go."
"Why can't you just hop into position?"
"Because, sigh, I'm not too accurate with my jumps; I have trouble controlling them," Blob dejectedly admitted.
With that, Boy succeeded in changing Blob into a trampoline in the perfect spot; mere inches in either direction and Boy would've either hit his head on the ceiling above or fell to his death trying to reach the ledge. Boy used this cinnamon strategy once more after making his way up through the rest of the caves to end up at a manhole leading to the surface.
"Excellent, just excellent," Blob proudly stated. "We've found every treasure. Let me remove this manhole cover and let's get out of these stuffy caves."
Boy gave Blob an apple jellybean, which turned Blob into a jack. Blob then proceeded to lift the cover off, exposing them to the night sky. Boy whistled to change Blob back so he could feed him a licorice jellybean and get out. However, they were both in for a surprise.
"AAAAAHHHHH!!!!" Blob screamed in agony.
"What happened to you Blob?" Boy asked, frightened. "You look all glitched up."
"The pain is unbearable!!! Argh!! Hurry, whistle again. Hurry!!!"
Boy whistled and Blob was back to his usual self. Neither had any idea what just happened.
"Whew," Blob exhaled, "I'm ok now. Let's go up."
As soon as they reached the surface, Blob demanded that Boy feed him a root beer jellybean.
"Hop on kid. I can't get back to my planet without your help." Blob declared.
So, Boy sat on the rocket and held tight as it rose into the air and raced towards Blobolonia™.
"Oh man!" Boy cried as the rocket hit his house, "look at the damage!"
"It's barely a scratch," Blob reasoned, happy he successfully did what he came to Earth to do.
"Wait a minute!" Boy yelled as they traveled near the speed of light. "Weren't we supposed to buy vitamins?"
"So this is Blobolonia? Looks like Earth," Boy reflected.
"That's Blobolonia™, with a TM. The creator of our world felt it necessary to trademark my planet's name," Blob explained. "I don't know why; I highly doubt anyone else wanted to use it."
As Blob was talking, Boy absentmindedly threw some jellybeans. After the fourth one he threw, Boy suddenly had a vision of the future.
"Whoa, that was weird," Boy said as he stared at Blob. "I just saw a room with a huge, evil-looking blob standing next to a cage."
"Weird indeed," Blob said as they made their way across the grasslands, "but not as weird as my whole planet being deserted. I wonder what happened. Perhaps the Emperor had something to do with it. Let's go find him."
Boy raced ahead of Blob, past the marshmallow factory, and into the chocolate caves. Boy then threw with pinpoint precision a ketchup jellybean at the edge of the pit.
"Couldn't you have teleported me any closer to the edge?" Blob sarcastically asked. "We're almost at the Emperor's chambers. Let's cross this gap and confront him."
Soon, they came to a locked door.
"We've made it kid. There's only one way to open this door. You'll need to feed me a lime jellybean to turn me into a key."
Boy did that and used the key to get into the next room, where he saw the Emperor had set a trap.
"I should've known you'd do something like this Emperor" Blob proclaimed, "but you'll never stop me as long as I have my friend over there!"
"So, you've made a friend, huh?" the Emperor bellowed. "I wonder what lies you told him to make that happen."
Boy was confused. "What does he mean Blob?"
"Don't listen to him. I have a plan. Feed me an apple jellybean."
Putting his trust in his new friend, Boy threw Blob the jellybean and watched as he turned into a jack. Then, Blob jacked himself up, knocking over a huge bottle of vitamins that sat on the shelf above the cage. Before the Emperor could get out of the way, he was engulfed with the vitamins.
"NOOOOO!!!!" the Emperor cried out. "I'm dying!"
"Blob," Boy asked, "what's going on? Why are the vitamins hurting him? I thought you needed them for your people."
Blob thought fast. "Well, you see - "
"Blobert lied to you son," the Emperor stated as he breathed his last breaths. "Vitamins are poisonous to all blobs on this planet. I had some to protect me in case someone ever broke in here and tried to take my life ... as I knew Blobert would try to do. But I would've given him just one, which would've knocked him out long enough to transfer him to prison. Any more and he would surely die, just as I am about to now."
"B-b-blob, is this true?" Boy stuttered.
"Man, you really are a moron, aren't you? You think I traveled to your planet because I needed your help 'saving my people?' I used you to steal your planet's treasure."
"Used me?" Boy asked, heartbroken.
"Hey, what can I say? That's what a pirate does. Sorry kid."
"But, you were never my friend?"
"Friends with you? Don't make me laugh. Perhaps if we spent more time together, and if weren't such a spaz, then maybe we could've developed a friendship. But for now, I'm glad our time together is over."
"Why Blob, why!?"
Nobody except Boy and the former emperor knew Blobert's true intentions, but the former emperor was now dead, which everybody figured was an accident, and Blobert threatened to do the same to Boy if he said one word to anyone. Blobert used his stolen riches to claim the emperorship for himself, hired an unwitting behemoth of a bodyguard to protect him, then sent Boy back to Earth with memories that will forever haunt his nightmares.
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