PuLiRuLa

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Pulirula cover.jpg

A surreal Beat'Em Up arcade game from Taito, released in 1991. PuLiRuLa revolves around two children, Zac and Mel, living in the magical kingdom of Radishland. When a sinister figure steals the "Time Keys" that control the flow of time, Zac and Mel are given magic rods by an old man and tasked with recovering the keys and saving the kingdom. They accomplish this by running around beating up robots and other extremely weird enemies with their rods.

Tropes used in PuLiRuLa include:
  • Alien Geometries: The backgrounds in stage 6 are a Shout-Out to M. C. Escher.
  • All There in the Manual: The final boss has a name "Jack O' Colson".
  • Between My Legs: In the Japanese version of the game, when you walk by the doors near the start of stage 3, out of two of them come a pair of disembodied female legs. If you open the one in the middle, a freaked-out pink elephant comes running out of a black void opening into outer space. The US version censors this, but the female legs can still be seen in the montage of stills during the ending credits.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Sample dialogue from after you beat the stage 3 boss: "Also, this town, there is not that doll. Where it has gone."
    • "That town is so head that no persons can live in."
    • "A fellow called 'YU-YU' sucked up all rains."
  • Cephalothorax: The second boss.
  • Cute Witch: One of the most normal enemies.
  • Demonic Dummy: The first boss.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The enemies have to be seen to be believed.
  • Eye Pop: Done by the fourth boss to attack you.
  • Fish People: There is a bonus level between stages 5 and 6 where you have to whack as many "reverse mermaids" (fish with human legs) as possible.
  • Mind Screw: The entire game is an example of this. Examples include a room with walls covered with human eyeballs, a gigantic realistic human head that can lick the player (and make him/her lose health), and enemy designs that all screw with your sense of reality.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Many enemies are this. For example, the fourth boss looks like a snail with spider legs and a bird head.
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: Stage 3 is apparently the result of "the dream of a megalomania" influencing the town.
  • The Runt At the End: One of the possible effects of the Smart Bomb is a stampede of animals, and after them a single, very slow snail. However, if an enemy gets in the snail's path, he will suffer a lot of damage.
  • The Scream: The final boss parodies Munch's well-known painting when you hit him enough times.
  • Smart Bomb: Your "Magic" ability conjures up a (very) random effect that damages all enemies and makes you briefly invincible.
  • Time Stands Still: When the main villain steals the Time Keys, time itself is frozen, except for the main leads, enemies, bosses and random pedestrians that you come across.
  • The Walls Have Eyes: The final boss area is a dark room, which sometimes lightens up to show lots of twitchy eyes on the walls.
  • Widget Series: One of the Widgetiest. Even the stage that's a literal nightmare come to life is only slightly more weird than the rest of the game.