[source: http://hw001.gate01.com/otimusya/barunfight.htm]

[translated by: Ragey]

Balloon Fight

(FC 1985 January 22, Nintendo)

「Balloon Fight」

A game so famous that people who weren't even around in the Famicom generation are aware of it. Become engaged in fierce airborne battles, taking place in the starry night of unknown lands, equipped with only a pair of balloons and your wits to face the onslaught of enemies... The night sky is filled with dangerous lightning, and in the pond below lurks an insidious man-eating beast; you must conquer your fears and focus on the war, as you are a daring explorer of the skies. Despite the simplistic controls and gameplay, the unique manner the player is controlled can take time to be mastered, catching the interest of both gaming novices and experts alike; the squat little balloon man and his game have become idolised by many.

And here he is - the main character of「Balloon Fight」.

He hasn't got a name, so I just call him the『Balloon Man』.

'Cause he's got two balloons hanging from him, see.

Take a good look at them, though:


Are those two balloons attached to his head?

(Or maybe he's Mickey Mouse?)

That's totally irresponsible and dangerous...

It should be common sense that when you're flying,

you should not support your whole body with balloons tied to your neck.

"Don't you attach them to your back?"

If you want to do it correctly, you tie them to your shoulders, not to your head!

If you were to try and fly using the tied-to-your-head method...

You might be flying head-first.

Or even just suffocate yourself.

With a neck like that he could give some tribal chiefs a run for their money.

So, what, is this guy's neck super tough or something?

I'm gonna be training my neck everyday, that's for sure.

The balloon man strengthens his neck day and night, like a boxer the night before facing Tyson.

(Artist's illustration)

The balloon man is ready for anything after his lengthy training.

It is a majestic sight to see a man accompanying the birds in the sky, all thanks to a balloon strapped to his head.

But the power of flight actually comes from his hands.

Well, that, or maybe he's clearing the air of a stinky fart.

... well, at least he's doing us a favour.

The balloon man strides care-free across the ground, regardless of how much of a dork he looks.

However, there are people who wish to oppose our balloon-wearing hero.

Half-man, half-bird creatures that wander the night sky aimlessly.

Creatures of unknown origin, they are the 「Mysterious Birdmen Group」

Pink birdman!

His half-baked green palette swap!

And the most alien colour scheme of all!

I don't know what resentment they hold for the balloon man,

but they will attack him on sight.

When the birdmen have popped all your balloons,

gravity rears its ugly head.

I admit I shouldn't have taken such a risky path, though.


The man is powerless without his balloons.

He looks pretty clumsy while plummeting to his death...

「Life & Destiny」

... no, there wan't any deep meaning to that.

「Fiery Passion」


However, these birdmen are different from our human protagonist→ as they only have one balloon.

Therefore, you're still safe even if they pop one of your balloons - they need to pop the second one to knock you from the sky.

「"I've got room for error; s'no big deal, man."」

... it's rather generous of the game to give you two balloons, don't you think?

The birdmen may only have one balloon, but they've got parachutes for emergencies.

No matter what, they always open on time."If there is an impending disaster, you must be prepared for it."

Our balloon man has no such precaution, and must be crapping his pants in fear the whole time.


His nose is too droopy.

Not to mention he suddenly looks like a panda being strung up in the air from this angle.

I can't see how that nose can burst a balloon with that kind of limpness...

力満たん / ショボーン
Strong and virile / impotent

Get your mind out of the gutter!

You mustn't take pity on the defenceless little fellow,

as once he lands he will begin to inflate another balloon and take to the skies again.

You're best destroying the parachute before they land.

You won't get sympathy from me!


suddenly a creature appears from the depths of the pond and swallows him whole. For some reason.

Really, the title 「Balloon Fight」 seems a little unfitting.

It seems to be more about ending the lives of these birdmen as cruelly as possible.

You'd think a giant man-eating catfish

would choose a better habitat to live in than a pond.

It isn't picky, though; it eats man and birdman alike when they get within range of its jaws.

"If I don't fall in the pond then I should be safe..."

Tough luck! You might think you're safe, but then you'll be gobbled up like candy!

The ill-mannered catfish leaps up and eats you whole just for invading his space.

Your life isn't safe at low altitude...

An obvious but cruel end.

But giant catfish aren't the Balloon Man's only natural threat, though.

In the night sky lurk threatening thunder clouds that spurt lightning bolts.

Being struck by lightning isn't a barrel of laughs.

There are also these bizarre traps of unknown purpose.

The mystery trap (a dumbbell?)

It bounces you away when touched, which can be very dangerous when the battle is confined to a small space.

It can change the tide of a fight entirely.。

The best part about the game is that it supports two-player co-operative.

With twice the balloon power, those birdmen don't stand a chance!

A co-operative birdman massacre, caught on camera.

Mind you...

In 「Balloon Fight」, when I hear the words

"Co-operative mode"

Sooner or later someone is going to say:

"Don't worry, I'm not gonna fly into you!"

When you are told that, you just know sooner or later you are going to be betrayed.

Even if someone is killed accidentally, it will start a fearsome, unstoppable feud.

People say good friends play co-operatively; those fools don't know what it's like to be backstabbed!

There are a few interesting tricks you can try in this game, though.

It's not wise to do them when playing seriously; there's a high mortality rate when attempting them.

Totally useless tricks

One of Nintendo's many amusing but worthless tricks...


(return to Random Hoo Haas)

「This content is the property of Otimusya. I have merely translated them for an English audience. For details, see the disclaimer.」