Posted on January 25, 2013
My Top 100: #27 – Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
Of all the people that read this blog on a regular basis, only one of them truly knows what the hell this game is doing on my countdown.
Somehow, the smallest and most out-of-the-way corner stores always had the widest variety of games available for rent. There were big video store chains in Fredericton, like Major Video and Blockbuster Video, as well as grocery and convenience stores that carried a decent collection. However, it was the tucked-away Video King downtown that had some of the rarer games available, as did the little Scholten’s Esso… or Ultramar… or Shell… or Petro-Canada… depending on the year, it was always different.
Rural New Brunswick seemed to be the best spot to find video game oddities. In Baie-Sainte-Anne, which today boasts a population of about 1,600 people (but was much less than that 20 years ago), there was always a handful of places to choose from if I wanted to rent a game. But there was one store, tucked away in the back woods on a narrow chipsealed road, that I preferred more than any other.
Le Day-and-Night Variété! I loved the name of it!
Forget going to Blockbuster and having someone beat you to the game you wanted. Nope. Not here. The Baie area was so small that chances were pretty good you’d be walking out of the Variété with a great game! They also had much rarer games, including ones from Japan. They weren’t always fun, but they often looked strange judging from the cover, and were always worth a shot.
I’ve spoken to other gamers who grew up in smaller towns and outskirts, and they too had played some rare games when they were younger. 31-in-1 was a compilation cart that was fairly common around the Maritimes (apparently), as were 52-in-1 and 101-in-1. There was one that I kept going back to, though, but not just because I was getting the most games for my mom’s buck.
It was because Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa was an incredibly fun game that kept me occupied for the duration of our trips.
The Bio Miracle name, I actually didn’t know about until about seven or eight years ago. Variété’s staff had apparently had enough of people not knowing enough about the game to rent it, so they wrote “MARIO BABY” with a big black marker on the side of it. Until my friend Jordan mentioned a game he rented once that also had “MARIO BABY” written on it, I had no clue that it went by an entirely different name!
The game itself is one part Super Mario Bros., one part Bubble Bobble, and one part Kickle Cubicle. Upa, the main character, uses his magic rattle to kill enemies in a particularly gruesome fashion; when struck with this seemingly harmless toy, foes expand like balloons and start floating away. You can then jump on them and use them as an elevator to higher platforms, or use them offensively by nudging them into the opposite direction. When you do that, they’re sent flying out of harm’s way, possibly taking a few other enemies with them.
Sounds like a painful way to go!
The music, the controls, the variety… it was all so much fun! It was released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in 2008, so I was finally able to own “MARIO BABY” for myself.
Ribbon not included, unfortunately.