By: Terry

On: December 29th, 2007


You’ve probably already seen this on Tim’s new indie games blog, but it’s so wonderful that it really deserves another mention. Tekkyuuman (freeware.remakes.org mirror) is a new game by quirky Japanese developer Ikiki. And it’s one of his best yet.

As usual, you play as an armed naked guy, though this time your weapon is a little unusual – a mace on an elastic chain. There are twelve single screen levels to progress, with bosses every third level. That’s basically it – what really makes it, though, is just how well designed those levels are, and how how much character each of those bosses have. It’s addictive as hell, and quite hard! (If you’re stuck, I’ve got a full video playthrough up on YouTube which might help.)

I was under the impression that Ikiki had given up on game design (earlier this year Ikiki’s site went down and the frontpage was replaced with something suspisiously like a goodbye message – though babelfish insists that it’s got something to do with “Fat bowls”). Speaking as someone who only found out about Ikiki’s existance earlier this year with Xander’s Nikujin post, I really hope that this game is a sign that we can expect to see more from him. (And if so, what a magnificent comeback it is!)

5 Ikikis out of 5!

(Something I wonder about: what’s the Japanese indie gaming scene really like? Is there a Japanese TIGSource, for example? Did Japanese indies get as excited about Knytt Stories (say) as we did about Cave Story? Is there a Japanese version of Derek trawling through all of Cactus’ old games? Definitly something we need to DISCUSS.)

  • raigan

    jon talked to omega and kenta cho, he probably heard about the japanese freeware community…

  • http://www.freegamearchive.com Marrak

    maybe best ikiki game ever for me :-) i love this one!

  • Alan Gordon

    Judging by my limited experience with Japanese, it’s definitely a closing message. He talks at great length about how he hates ‘fat meat’ and that’s somehow related to why he has to close the site, but I can’t tell how.

  • http://www.tscreative.net BMcC


  • Radix

    Ouch ouch fuck this is the first time I have been injured by a game. First I punched myself, then later pulled a muscle by shaking with rage. I will kiss ikiki.

  • Bob

    Ikiki put fat in his pockets after school? Eww.

    Oh, and everybody knows that the Japanese just translate TIGSource with BabelFish.

  • Lamppost

    I’ve translated the message on the site:

    “Shut Down

    The fact is, since I’ve hated fatty meat since nursery school, I’d always come home with it stashed in my pockets.

    In elementary school, I’d fiddle with the fatty meat in my curry with my chopsticks. It was impossible to get rid of it completely.

    I put up this site to conquer this hatred of fatty meat, but I really can’t take it any more. This is notification that I’ve decided to shut it down.

    Goodbye, everyone.
    Let’s meet again sometime.

    October 10, 2007
    “Fatty Meat Bowl” Proprietor Uuta”

  • simonc

    A lot of the Japanese indie game scene is based around dojin titles and events like Comiket, of course – but it’s slightly different because there are stores in Akihabara that actually sell the fan-made titles on CD-ROM.

    (That’s not quite the same as the freeware scene, mind you – but I believe that’s where a lot of the best non-pro ‘indie’ material lives, and it’s more difficult to source/discuss in the West because it’s delivered on physical media.)

  • Tantan

    There’s a simple explanation for all of this. Japan is a parallel universe physically manifested on our plane as an island nation in the pacific.

  • http://www.awesomenessinabox.com oranda

    The indie scene over there is somewhat different, yeah. I can’t say as I’m super knowledgeable about it because I don’t have any friends on the inside, so to speak, but just from perusing the stores and trolling the websites I’ve learned a bit.

    The big difference being that copyrights aren’t enforced the same way over there as they are here. I’m pretty sure that most doujin games (doujin means “people working together”, loosely) are actually illegal, but nobody would ever think of shutting them down, as they are really the unofficial farm teams for the big, corporate players. A very great many developers (and artists, musicians as well) get their start doing doujin work, and then later move onto professional careers. So while doujin games are sold for profit without the permission of the copyright owners, the benefits to the corporations that hold said copyrights far outweight the costs, I think. Not only does it provide a lot of free “buzz” and help feed more fans into their properties, it also provides them with a wealth of self-trained, highly skilled people ripe for employment.

    Of course, a lot of said doujin work is actually pornographic in nature. I tried finding a copy of some of Zun’s Touhou games in Osaka last March, and most of the doujin shops I checked were largely stocked with fan made porn.

    Not all doujin games are based on corporate properties, though. There are quite a few people (such as Zun) who make original games based on original characters to sell in doujin stores, online, at Comiket, etc.

    Outside of the doujin scene, there are the freeware makers, who are people like pixel and Ikiki. There are a very great many sites dedicated to collecting the better specimens of these games in the same way that TigSource and Indygamer do. Most of the ones I visit don’t really separate between what we would call freeware and other types of free games, such as free MMORPGs and such.

    If you’re interested in checking out some of the free game portals, drop “??????” into a google search sometime.

  • Stwelin

    Controls are downright shitty. On stage four i am doing fine, sliding down the wall towards the button, and suddenly my man lets go for NO FUCKING REASON.

    Downloaded, played for <10 minutes, deleted. <= description of a good game? Nay.

  • TeheMcGee

    “sliding down the wall towards the button”

    LOL Epic fail.

    You suck.

  • Stwelin

    This is not 4chan. Try a little harder though, little child, you will be liked one day!

  • Turniper

    Stwelin, you just do not seem to get an idea. Basically, people cannot slide vertical walls, escpecially when they are dressed in a bucket helmet and armed with a lethal mace half-size of a grown-up man. But Tekkyuuman, being an Ikiki’s game, defies some of physical laws. However, it does not mean that protagonist is supposed to slide the walls forever; I would say that, metaphoricaly speaking, he gets tired of sliding down the wall with über-deadly mace on elastic chain.

    Talking about the button, you are supposed to activate it with already mentioned über-deadly mace on elastic chain.

  • http://www.shotbeakgames.za.net/niche Tr00jg

    When someone says “jap indie” I think crazy, super-fast shooters with a huge amount of bullets and doujin games…

  • Radishlaw

    and it is different from shooters here with a lot of bullets and games pulling ideas from movies and other games because…?

  • Pixel Mort

    Controls are perfect, this is what I like about this game. You die beacause of your own mistakes, not because of bugs or unresponsive controls. Someone has to make a proper Tekkyuuman speedrun now : )

  • Trotim

    Huh… this game, great? I just don’t know o_o

  • Turniper

    This game reminded me of Kusariman, wich also has to be mentioned. It is like Teppoman + Tekkyuuman. You have a mace on elastic chain. Thid game is not so fast and action-packed as Tekkyuuman, but you can use your mace as a grappling hook, which is cool! (can be found in ikiki zip archive)

  • Turniper

    Oh, and chain length can be regulated by up and down arrows.

  • Turniper

    Apon playing some more time, I would say that Kusariman is more like Nikujin in terms of very difficult jumps =]

  • Stwelin

    Hm, see, “you don’t seem to get the idea” is the same thing the kids in english class tell me when they find out i dislike Halo.

    The problem here is that the difficulty curve is all over the place. The GOOD part about this game is the third stage. You hit the boss repeatedly when he is down at the very beginning, and then suddenly he jumps up and smashes you to bits! Well, you’ll learn never to do that again. And then when you get him down to about 10%-ish health and he charges his attack again, instead of just slashing at you, he RUNS at you, and the only way to avoid the attacking is jumping on the wall behind you to safely make it over him. These are good aspects of the design, because you feel like you deserve it. The next go around, you know that you don’t want to try and kill the boss as fast as possible, because if you beat him up in smaller segments, he won’t perform an attack that is hard to avoid. <= THIS IS GOOD. The game is teaching the player how the game works. Then we arrive at the fourth level, and this is where the game has gone to shit. It has become less a matter of learning what needs to be done, and more a matter of hitting buttons at PRECISELY the right time to execute a trivial action: pushing a button. See, when you learn the bosses behaviours, the next time you tackle the game you KNOW what to do. You have played the game and you understand what is going to happen. The fourth level requires mere stamina/motorskills. Game like counterstrike, halo, all of that. They are based on motorskill. How fast can you put a person's head in the middle of your crosshair? I am not saying this game is crap. In fact, I am retracting my statement about the controls, but I am iterating a statement about the level design: It should not be based around how well the player can perform physically, you only lessen the amount of people who will enjoy it. This does not mean the game has to be easy, take a look at frustration games, they are not necessarily hard, but they are filled with so many things to screw up the player that they become "hard" - you just have to know what to do in the game (not necessarily within 2 given milliseconds) to win. THERE.

  • http://www.distractionware.com Terry

    Stwelin: It sounds to me like you just suck at games. Maybe you should find a different hobby? I hear reading is good.

  • Snake

    This game is additive but sick too.. Stwelin comment describes it at best

  • Turniper

    Well, Stwelin, one can see your point. But the lesson we have learned today is that different people like different kinds of games, and maybe if one can’t make it to the 5 level, it is not about bad controls but about personal preferences.

  • Melly

    I just don’t see how a game that prizes motorskills instead of pattern memorization is bad. Tekkyuuman has both in good measure, I believe, but if you look at it, pattern memorization is starting to become a bit stale. Sure, the first few times it’s good, but after the second time you beat the same boss he just starts to be boring and look stupid. The button pushing/throw firey mace on vines/etc parts actually feel more exciting even after the fourth time you’ve been through the level because you can find new and more effective ways to do them, while with pattern-heavy bosses you just have to beat them once and they become boring.

  • Stwelin

    I’m not saying that all games should be spiritual successors to ‘Simon,’ but at a certain point, if pure motorskill becomes to deciding factor of the game, it has lost my interest. This is just my opinion. I am not trying to say “the less a game relies on the player’s motorskill, the better it is.” On the first boss, motorskill is definitely required, but it is more based around figuring out how the boss attacks. You could either take him down relatively slowly, and avoid the running attack, or if you are more skilled with the wall jumping, you can finish him off faster. But when the game makes you play through those three levels over and over again just to lose another 6 lives trying to reach a button on a hard (well, i think it’s hard) jump, it’s sort of a let down.

    Terry: Couldn’t say i didn’t see that coming. Is the reason you play games because you are illiterate? :) Why not enjoy both?

  • Turniper

    Sttwelin, let me iterate: you are not supposed to jump on this button. It is activated by hitting it with a mace while standing on the lowest platform. It is not counter-strike. It has puzzle elements, meaning you have sometimes to think how to reach something, not just jump.

  • cactus

    The game could’ve offered a few continues, so that people with less skill could also enjoy it. That’s the only fault I can find.

    In my opinion the level design is very good. It requires a lot of thinking sometimes. There are quite a few places where you need good reflexes but with some practice, nothing seems to be too hard really.

    Are you sure you’re doing things the right way Stwelin? Have you looked at the video walkthrough?

    Either way, if this was a few years ago, before I’d played Ikiki’s earlier games, I’d probably have agreed with you about this one… :P

  • deadeye

    Dear Stwelin,

    People like you are the reason games are too easy now-a-days.

    Games like this have always been about practice and skill. So you can’t beat it in less than ten minutes of playing… well, guess what? You’re not meant to.

    So ditch this notion that games should be geared towards the Pavlovian masses with simple pattern recognition. Some of us have the hand-eye coordination to play these kinds of games, and we don’t want you dumbing them down.

    If you want easy rewards for your pattern recognition skills, go to PopCap.

  • Stwelin

    deadeye: Did i not state in my last comment that it was merely my opinion? I did not find the game amazingly fun, get over it! I wasn’t able to beat FlyWrench in one minute, but it didn’t make me start the whole fucking game over when i failed three times!

    It’s just my opinion, and you are entitled to yours. I an not saying that everyone should dislike the game. I am just making an observation, and you can disagree, but being an asshole doesn’t get us anywhere.

  • Stwelin

    Also, i’m sick of fucking ramps everywhere. Everywhere i go there are ramps; I just want stairs, what the fuck? I don’t want to walk up a ramp, people in wheelchairs need to grow up so they can just enjoy the stairs like the rest of us. Fuck ’em, i say!

  • TeheMcGee

    This is not 4chan. Try a little harder though, little child, you will be liked one day!

  • Stwelin

    Caution: troll x-ing

  • TeheMcGee

    Thanks for warning us about yourself. :)

  • Turniper

    Double yeew to all the flamers.

  • Lim-Dul

    Well – without flaming on my side. I also don’t like Ikiki’s games. No, it’s not the difficulty curve – I can play them just fine. It’s just that they don’t appeal to me… I tried virtually every single one that people were raving about on various indie sites and I didn’t quite like any of them although I CAN understand why they COULD be loved…

    I won’t try to rationalize my dislike for the games – I simply don’t like them – finito. Maybe I have a strange taste, different when compared to most people and don’t feel the urge to jump on any bandwagons…

    Well – actually I wouldn’t say that it’s something I should be ashamed of. ;-)

  • Dan MacDonald

    I found this game to require a little less of it’s player then nikujin did. Still difficult but not as refined IMO. I’m glad to see Ikiki doing new games though!

  • rndll

    The moment I saw the naked guys on the screen, I knew it was one of Ikki’s games. Naked guys with helmets running around with medieval weapons and guts flying all around the place – only in Japan.

  • Bob


    I like reading and tekkyuuman. Am I a freak?

  • Turniper

    Bob: no, you are just a legend, one of those mythic gamer of the past, who were able to read.

  • Pixel Mort

    Actually that switch in Level 4 doesn’t even requires to jump, it’s easier to simply run on it…I think the whole game is “pattern heavy”, the first time you play it it’s like a puzzle game, then after dying you’re speedrunning to get back to that level that just humiliated you and the earlier levels seem suddenly very easy when you know what to do, which is cool cause it makes you feel invincible (also, I like the fact that you can still play 10 seconds after destroying that spiky green thing, especially on the first two levels as you can kill poor survivors just for the sake of it : ) Again, sorry for my english.

  • Krishh

    Actually, like Turniper said, the safest way to hit that switch is to stand on the platform in the lower right corner and hit it with the mace.

  • http://www.distractionware.com Terry

    Yeah Bob, I was clearly implying that reading and playing games are mutually exclusive. To be able to do both – why, that must make you SOME SORT OF GOD

  • Bob


    Then, as a GOD, I condemn you to a lifetime of MONOCLE-WEARING. You can redeem yourself, though, by (gasp)BECOMING LITERATE.

  • Turniper


  • Zmann

    I’m kind of convinced from this and other threads that Lim-Dul doesn’t actually like videogames.

  • Turniper

    Zmann: It could even turn out that Lim-Dul likes reading!

  • Lim-Dul

    Well, I do! :-D

    The thing is that I usually comment on things that I don’t like or which, in my opinion, could be improved…

    The funny thing is – indeed, I started started disliking video games the moment they became my job (I’m actually a video game journalist here in Poland =).

  • Melly

    I guess many things you start to dislike the moment they become a job.