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Title screen
Binary Land
Box artwork for Binary Land.
Japanese title バイナリィランド
Developer(s) Hudson Soft
Publisher(s) Hudson Soft
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Famicom, Mobile, MSX
Players 1
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Binary Land is a very simple action title for the Famicom with an interesting twist. You control, not one, but two penguins at the same time. While you are in direct control of one penguin, you indirectly control the other penguin, who moves in mirror image fashion from the original penguin. When you move your penguin left, the other moves right, and vice versa. The goal of the game is to move both penguins from the bottom of the screen to either side of the caged heart at the top. There aren't too many enemies to worry about, mostly spiders and their webs, and they are easily dispatched with the ray gun that both penguins fire simultaneously.

Binary Land was never released outside of Japan. A conversion of the original Famicom game was released on the Game Boy Advance in Hudson's compilation, Hudson Best Collection Vol. 4. It was also redeveloped and released for play on Java capable mobile phones with updated sound and graphics.

How to play[edit]

  • Select one penguin or the other to be in direct control over and start the game.
  • You will begin each stage with both penguins at the bottom of the screen on either side of the center column.
  • You must steer both penguins to the top of the stage and have them arrive at the heart at the exact same time in order to advance to the next stage.
  • You must avoid every spider and fire, or you will lose one chance. If both penguins end up captured inside spider webs, or if you fail to complete the stage within the alloted time, you will also lose one chance.
  • At any time, you may fire rays that extend one square in the direction that each penguin is facing. Rays can destroy spiders and webs.
  • If one penguin gets trapped in a spider web, the other penguin can rescue the trapped penguin by reaching it and using the ray on the web.
  • No matter what one penguin is doing, the other penguin will continue to move in a direction if it is allowed to. So even if one penguin is blocked in a certain direction, the other penguin can continue to move.
  • Even if both penguins occupy the top row of the screen, it is important to get them to the heart at exactly the same time. Use other pathways to stop one penguin while the other moves into the opposite column.
  • If the top row is wide open, the best way to complete the stage is to push both penguins to the far sides first before bringing them back together to meet at the center at the same time.
  • A bonus stage occurs on stage 3 and every five stages thereafter.

Controls[edit]

  • Neutral dpad: When you start you game, you select which penguin you wish to be in control of, Gurin (green) or Malon (pink). Which ever penguin you choose, you will be in direct control over it, moving it in any of the four cardinal directions. The other penguin will move in mirror image fashion. Even when one penguin can't move due to an obstacle, the other will continue to move if it is unobstructed.
  • A button or B button: Press either button to fire out a ray that will destroy any spider or web that is immediately in front of the direction that both penguins are facing. You can hold the button down for as long as you like.
  • Start button: Pauses the game.
  • Select button: No function.

Characters[edit]

Gurin and Malon[edit]

Binary Land Gurin.png
Binary Land Malon.png

Gurin and Malon are the two penguins that you must help guide to either side of the caged heart at the top of every stage. The penguin that you choose at the start of the game follows your every instruction, while the other reverses lefts and rights. Since the maze is not symmetrical, it will take a little coordination to help both penguins reach the heart at the exact same time. The penguins can not touch spider and fire, or you will lose one chance. If one walks into a spider web, it will become trapped until the other can be directed over to the rescue. If both get trapped, it's lights out.

Child[edit]

Binary Land Child.png

If, in your attempt to help Gurin and Malon, they cross paths multiple times, there is an increasing chance that a child will appear as a result. While this toddler penguin is cute, it wanders around the maze randomly, and you will lose a life if the child hits a spider or flame, so it is more of a liability than anything else. You get no bonus for making a child appear.

Spiders[edit]

Binary Land Spider.png
Binary Land Web.png

Spiders are the penguins' primary threat. They wander around somewhat aimlessly, and are merely an obstacle to the penguins' ultimate goal. If a spider catches a penguin, their life is over. Along with the spiders, spider webs are strewn about each stage. If one of the penguins hits the web, they will become stuck in place unless the other penguin can provide some assistance. Both the spiders and the webs can be dispatched by the penguins' rays. As time begins to run out, each spider will speed up, one by one.

Birds[edit]

Binary Land Bird.png
Binary Land Bird2.png

The birds are not a threat to you, just a nuisance. If you hit the bird while it is pink colored, Malon and Gurin will swap places. You will still be in control of the penguin you were originally in control of, it will just be where the other one was and vice versa. After the bird swaps you, it will turn green for a little while, during which it is harmless until it becomes pink again. The bird first appears on stage 9.

Fire[edit]

Binary Land Fire.png

Fire is more of a threat than Spiders are. They wander around just as aimlessly as Spiders do, but they can not be eliminated with the penguins' ray. So they must be avoided entirely. The only thing that can remove the fires from a stage is the whale invincibility card. Once you pick it up, you can run through the fires and destroy them for points for as long as your invincibility lasts.

Items[edit]

There are two types of items, Enemy items and hidden tiles. Enemy items are items which appear when spiders are defeated. Only one spider per stage will make an item appear upon defeat. The only exception is the Whale Card, which appears somewhere on the bottom of each stage, whenever seven webs have been destroyed. The Whale Card is a valuable tool, and will not remain on the stage for a long time. On the other hand, hidden tiles are bonus items that are stored somewhere on the stage beneath one of the existing tiles. There is one per each stage, and the location is constant in each of the 16 stage types throughout the game.

Enemy Items[edit]

Binary Land Cake.png Cake 500 points
Binary Land Umbrella.png Umbrella 1000 points
Binary Land Harp.png Harp 2000 points
Binary Land Card.png Card 5000 points
Binary Land Whale.png Whale card Invincibility &
Super Speed

Hidden Items[edit]

Binary Land Candle.png Candle 1000 points
Binary Land Planet.png Planet 3000 points
Binary Land Violin.png Violin 5000 points
Binary Land PenguinTile.png Penguin Extra Life &
7000 points

Stages[edit]

Bonus Stage[edit]

Bonus stage

During bonus stages, one penguin starts out trapped in a web, while the other is free to roam. There are a number of hearts scattered around the stage, each worth 800 points. The ultimate goal is the same as a normal stage, you must get both penguins to reach the caged heart at the top of the stage at the same time. There are no enemies in the stage to slow you down, but you have extremely limited time to complete the stage. If you complete the stage and gather every single heart in the process, you will be awarded 50,000 bonus points. If you finish the stage without collecting every heart, you will be awarded 10,000 bonus points.

Regular Stages[edit]

Each regular stages is composed of 2 half-stages; one for the left part of the stage, one for the right part. There are only 16 different half-stages. The 100 regulars stages are generated using different combinations of each half stage. The placement of the hidden tile stays consistent across each combination of stages. The images below show you the position of the hidden tile in each 16 stage cycle.