Teddy Boy

12/24/2012 12:34:11 AM

By Tommy

Teddy Boy was one of the first games I got for my Sega Master System, and it was also one of the first games ever made for the system. In fact, it was a launch title when the Sega Mark III was released in Japan on October 20, 1985, released as a card game ("My Card" with red box).



Download theme which can be used in RetroCopy v1.0:
http://www.retrocopy.com/blogimages/teddy-boy.zip (1,98 MB)

The Japanese title of the game was "Teddy Boy Blues", and it was a port of an arcade game, released by Sega that same year (the arcade game can also be played in RetroCopy). What was pretty unique about the game, was that Sega in Japan had made a deal with the popular singer Yoko Ishino, who in 1985 had a hit with a song called "Teddy Boy Blues". You can hear her sing a short version of it in this TV performance:



Or you can listen to the full studio version of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdaNVpdwviE

This song was also used as background music in the game - or perhaps I should say an 8-bit instrumental version of it. I like it though, and it has even made me check out some of Yoko Ishino's other songs, which are quite catchy. Check her out if you get the opportunity.

So, Teddy Boy Blues was ported from arcade to the new Sega Mark III system in Japan, and although looking a bit cheaper than the arcade version (which had much better hardware), it still looks very good for 1985 standards. The perhaps most notable change, was that the bonus levels had been replaced. In the original arcade game you could actually play as Yoko Ishino in the bonus levels, or play as Teddy Boy, which would give a different type of bonus level. In the Mark III version of the game, you didn't have the option of playing as Ishino in the bonus levels, and the levels themselves weren't as interesting as the ones in the arcade version (just shoot at random dices and get some objects).

In 1986 the Sega Master System was launched in the US and some countries in Europe (at least the UK, other countries later), and Teddy Boy Blues soon got released in those regions as well. The game had however been changed a bit - first the title was now just "Teddy Boy". Perhaps a reason for this change was that Sega had only made a deal with Yoko Ishino to use her song in Japan, and not the rest of the world? Whatever the reason was, the "Teddy Boy Blues" song was not in the game anymore, and new music had been written for it. This new music is the one I grew up with, and in my opinion it's even better than the original music used in the Japanese version. It has a nice, catchy tune, and is more upbeat than the Ishino song. Still - both are great in their own way.

But, it's not only the music which is great. I love Teddy Boy! I love his bizarre world with colourful backgrounds and strange enemies (ninjas and snails??) and weird physics where up gets you down, and going left makes you end up right. The box text calls it "a video dream", and if it's a dream, it's a strange one. The Teddy Boy world is probably where you end up if you eat those funky mushrooms or experiment with that oddly well smelling glue. But we don't need an explanation for all this weirdness. No story is necessary. Teddy Boy is just there, firing at his enemies that come out from their big dices, making sure he kills everyone before time is up. And it's fun!

As a kid, I was never able to finish all 50 (!) rounds of the game - I probably never got any further than round 20. That was of course until I read in the manual for the game (after I had started to understand some English) about the cheat that makes you able to select starting level. I was amazed by this when I found out about it, and was even more amazed that the manual told us about such a cheat.

This theme I had quite a lot of work with. The background is of course taken from the first level of the game, which I think shows a good visual representation of the image I get when I think about Teddy Boy. I just knew I had to use the first level of Teddy Boy in some way, as the background for this theme. To make it stand out, so it doesn't look too similar to the background when playing the first level of the game on the screen, I put a pattern on it, and used some lightning effects, to make it look cooler.

The right item is of course Teddy Boy, which I have to admit is a picture taken from the world wide web, done by someone else. I know the origin of the picture though - it can be seen in the Japanese manual for the game, and this manual is also where I found the image I used to make the left item - a ninja (?), which of course is the first enemy you encounter in the game.



As you can see the Japanese Teddy Boy Blues manual was not printed in colour - or perhaps you could say it was. It was printed in just one colour - red! So I had quite a lot of work turning the image found in the manual into the finalized version you can see in the theme. I like the way the theme turned out though.



Download theme which can be used in RetroCopy v1.0:
http://www.retrocopy.com/blogimages/geraldinho.zip (2,06 MB)

In Brazil TecToy released Teddy Boy twice! It was released as simply Teddy Boy, being identical to the version found in America and Europe, but they also made a new version of it, replacing Teddy Boy with a popular comic book character in Brazil called Geraldinho, made and drawn by cartoonist Glauco Villas Boas (who sadly ended his life in 2010 when he was assassinated). Other than the fact that you play as Geraldinho instead of Teddy Boy, the game is identical.

My Geraldinho theme is also identical to the Teddy Boy theme, except that Teddy Boy has been replaced with the Geraldinho drawing found on the Brazilian box art, and of course the title has been changed.

It seems it was not only TecToy who liked to hack this game; there exists lots of fan made hacks of Teddy Boy as well, most of them originating from Brazil (there are 11 Teddy Boy fan hacks in the RetroCopy Master System game database). Hacks don't get their own themes though, so you will just see the normal Teddy Boy theme if you play any of these hacks.

Also worth noting, is that a Mega Drive version of Teddy Boy Blues exists, released some years later. I'll write more about this if I ever make a theme for the Mega Drive version.

And it's soon Christmas! So to end this blog post, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, and then (a week later) a Happy New Year. Hope to see you in 2013 as well for more retro game fun!

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