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Penguin-Kun Wars
Box artwork for Penguin-Kun Wars.
Japanese title ぺんぎんくんWARS
Developer(s) UPL
Publisher(s) ASCII Entertainment
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Arcade, Famicom, MSX, Game Boy, Fujitsu FM-7
Players 1-2
Followed by Penguin Wars 2
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Penguin-Kun Wars was an amusing action game developed by UPL for the arcades. It pit a Penguin against a variety of animals in a shoot-out of sorts that combined Dodge Ball, Pong, and Billiards. Each player stood on one side of a table, starting out with five balls and sixty seconds on the timer. The goal was to get every ball on your opponent's side of the table, or be the player with the least balls on their side after sixty seconds. Of course, if you got in the way as a ball was about to land on your side, you would be knocked down for a number of precious seconds, giving your opponent plenty of opportunity to load your side up with more balls.

The game isn't extraordinarily unique, but its playful presentation, and near frantic pace made it quite fun and enjoyable to play. The game was ported to the Famicom, MSX, and the FM-7 computer system. It was later ported to the Game Boy with a two-player head-to-head option that was missing from the original game. Outside of Japan, this version was known as Penguin Wars in the United States, and King of the Zoo in Europe (which was published by Nintendo of Europe). A sequel known as "Penguin Wars 2" was based around the same basic game, but included an overworld map and a variety of new opponents in a host of new venues. It was only published for the MSX.

Controls[edit]

  • Joystick: Use the two-way joystick to guide your penguin to the left or to the right. You can only travel as far as the extent of the table.
  • Throw: Press the throw button once when you are standing in front of a ball to pick the ball up. Press the throw button a second time to release it and throw it towards the other side of the table. You can move between picking up and throwing the ball. After a certain time has expired on each stage, you can begin to use the joystick to throw the balls at a slight angle to the left or to the right. The time at which this occurs changes between stages.
  • 1-2 Players: Press these buttons to start a 1 or 2 player game.

Cast[edit]

Player[edit]

Penguin-Kun Penguin.png

Penguin: At all times, you control the Penguin against a host of other mammal opponents. You have to ability to pick up one ball at a time, and throw it to the other side of the table. If your ball hits another ball along the way, they will bounce off one another, and one will most likely be reflected back at you. If any ball hits you when it arrives at your edge of the table, you will become stunned for a couple of seconds, unable to stand up and throw any balls. You can nudge yourself to the left or to the right while you are stunned, but if you are hit again, you will become stunned for additional time. You can also stun your opponents if you manage to hit them with a ball, and you can keep them knocked down if you continue to hit them with more balls.

Opponents[edit]

Penguin-Kun Mouse.png Penguin-Kun Panda.png Each of you opponents follow the same basic principals. They all attempt to get rid of their balls as quickly as possible. They all attempt to get out of the way of the balls that you throw. And they all attempt to throw more balls at you while you are stunned. The only difference between any of the opponents is their skill level. As you climb up the tournament ladder, their skill increases. This means they get rid of their balls faster, dodge your throws more effectively, and throw balls at you more consistently. Once a highly skilled opponent knocks you down, it's very difficult to recover. Penguin-Kun Koala.png Penguin-Kun Gopher.png

How to play[edit]

Among the animals, a Thundster from Ninjakun can be seen in the crowd.
  • Each round begins with 60 seconds on the clock, and five balls on either player's side of the table.
  • The goal is to get every ball on your opponent's side of the table or to be the player with the fewest balls on their side of the table after 60 seconds.
  • The first opponent to earn two victories will win that leg of the tournament and advance to the next leg.
  • If a ball hits either player, they will be temporarily stunned for a brief period of time. If they are hit again while stunned, that time is extended.
  • After a certain amount of time, an obstacle will appear in the middle of the stage and move back and forth across the table. When a ball hits this obstacle, the ball will ricochet off the obstacle.
  • After a certain amount of time, both players gain the ability to throw the balls at a slight angle in either direction in addition to throwing the ball straight.
  • If both players have five balls on their side of the table at the end of 60 seconds, an extra match is played with ten balls and a bomb for 30 seconds. The player with the bomb after 30 seconds loses, regardless of how many balls either player has.
  • Additionally, if the bomb remains on player's side for too long, it will explode, and that player will lose instantly.
  • Between each stage, the player has an opportunity to play in a bonus round for extra points.
  • After winning a full tournament (four stages), the game continues with a new tournament. In the second tournament, the obstacle that appears in the middle of the stage is different for some rounds.
  • In the third tournament, you will face double opponents, which means they can toss over twice as many balls to you as you can to them.

Bonus Rounds[edit]

There are three different types of Bonus Rounds which can occur between tournament matches:

  1. Bumper Ball: You and your opponent each hold a ball bumper in front of them. Up to two balls can occupy the table at any one time. The goal is to get as many balls behind you opponent and let as few get behind you. If you press the throw button, the bumper will light up, increasing the force at which the bumper returns the balls. Bumper Ball can have an obstacle or even a third bumper in the middle of the table.
  2. Gopher Bomb: Like the "Whack-a-mole" amusement park game, there are a set of holes that a few gophers will stick their head out of. You have five bombs that you can throw at the gophers. You must hit as many as you can in 20 seconds.
  3. Bomb Match: Each player starts with five bombs. Every time you throw a bomb over, the bomb will explode. If it hits the opponent, it will knock the opponent around, giving you time to throw more bombs over. When one player is out of bombs, the round ends, and you earn points for every bomb that hits your opponent.

Stages[edit]

The numbers in the Angled throw column indicate the time displayed in the timer at which angled throwing is allowed. The numbers in the Obstacle column indicate the time at which the obstacles appear.

Match Opponent Angled throw Obstacle Note
1 Mouse 15 20
2 Panda 20 25
3 Koala 30 30
4 Gopher 45 40
5 Mouse 15 60 Special Obstacle
6 Panda 30 60 Bumper Obstacle
7 Koala 44 20 Bomb round
8 Gopher 60 60 Special Obsatcle

Home conversions[edit]

Here are some images of home conversions of Penguin-Kun Wars.