Mole Mania

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Old MacJinbe had a mole ...

A Game Boy game developed by what is now Pax Softnica, and a mostly-unknown work of Shigeru Miyamoto.

Muddy Mole and his family normally live a quiet life, with Muddy doing the daily raid of crops for food, but an evil farmer known as Jinbe decides he's had enough of moles ruining his land. As a result, Muddy returns home one day to find that his wife and seven kids have been kidnapped, and Muddy must fight Jinbe to get them back.

The game uses a top-down view and amounts to an action-puzzler. Muddy can dig holes through soft ground and throw/push/pull objects to proceed. Despite his simple arsenal, Muddy finds himself working his way through seven levels of Jinbe Land to take down the bosses, which is naturally full of spikes, Mooks and other dangers that shouldn't be plaguing a cabbage farm.

It was released with little notice (for different reasons) in both Japan and the USA, leading it to become one of the most obscure-yet-enjoyable games of its time.

A more-detailed article at Hardcore Gaming 101 is here for you to read, until this page is beefed up.

Tropes used in Mole Mania include:
  • 100% Completion: Each of the levels keeps a score (out of 100 points) based on how many cabbages you collect, items you collect, rooms you visit, and whether you beat the bonus game. Getting 100% on the later levels amounts to sheer hell.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Funton, among other bosses.
  • Badass Normal: Muddy. He's killing things with cabbages and throwing freaking bombs the same size as him over his head.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: As you can see
  • Boss Rush: The final level.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Kangaroon, the World 1 boss. He doesn't punch you directly so much as throw boxing gloves at you, then jump around for a bit.
  • Excuse Plot: More or less. You're fighting a farmer with seven ridiculous henchmen, who kidnapped your family because he was pissed from all the crop damage.
  • Improbable Weapon User/Improvised Weapon: You can kill Mooks with cabbages lying around the stage, for crying out loud!
  • Moral Dissonance: In World 5, you face off against Big Mama and her children, which appear to be hedgehogs that can go underground like you can. Muddy is obviously going through all of this to save HIS family, and chances are you're killing another family to do just that. Something's not right about that.
    • It's also heavily implied that Muddy and his family were stealing cabbages from Jinbe's farm before the game starts (with a cutscene showing Jinbe kidnapping everyone save Muddy and Grandpa Mole). Granted, Jinbe holding the rest of his family for ransom is a dick move, but the moles aren't completely in the right.
  • Papa Wolf: Holding Muddy's family hostage is a bad idea.
  • Puzzle Boss: All of them, natch. What else do you expect from a puzzle game?
  • Spikes of Doom: You start encountering these from World 2 onward; Muddy can't cross them above ground. However, they don't affect pushed or thrown items.
  • Tunnel King
  • Video Game Pestering Punishment: Go ahead. Keep bugging Grandpa Mole.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Muddy can suplex throwable items, though not enemies directly. It's the only way to move throwables across a single hole.