One Mil­lion whys


■ pub­lisher: UMC ■ Year: 1993

Quiz games were a pretty pop­u­lar fix­ture in the ar­cades of Ja­pan in the Nineties. They’d take over an hour to com­plete, with the ex­pec­ta­tion be­ing that play­ers would keep putting their money in when they got a game over so they could see more of the plot un­fold, and then they’d come back an­other time to go down an­other of the plot’s branch­ing paths. We can’t say whether or not that trend ever reached Tai­wan, but One Mil­lion Ways is a quiz game with a story. The story sees a girl get­ting kid­napped by some mon­ster in the sky, and the player takes on the role of her dog, try­ing to res­cue her.

For some rea­son, ev­ery­one and ev­ery­thing you en­counter wants to stop you from do­ing that, whether they’re hu­man, an­i­mal, or inan­i­mate ob­ject. They’ll ask ques­tions, promis­ing re­wards for right an­swers, and in­stant death for in­cor­rect ones. Even stranger still is that we’ve only en­coun­tered ques­tions about plants. The first en­counter, a talk­ing tree, says it’s go­ing to ask you ques­tions about plants to test your abil­ity to sur­vive in the for­est, so we as­sume it’s some kind of glitch, or maybe a mix-up in trans­la­tion that causes ev­ery other char­ac­ter to also ask about plants. On the sub­ject of trans­la­tion, it’s ac­tu­ally quite im­pres­sive that UMC in­cluded both English and Chi­nese op­tions on the same car­tridge, though maybe the amount of ROM space that takes up could also be an ex­pla­na­tion for the shal­low ques­tion pool. All in all, this game’s mainly proof that the Ga­mate could prob­a­bly have han­dled an RPG, if any com­pany would have wanted to in­vest the re­sources needed to make one.

it’s quite im­pres­sive that UMC in­cluded both english and Chi­nese op­tions on the same car­tridge

[Ga­mate] Judg­ing by the game’s pool of ques­tions, it seems it was made for a very spe­cific au­di­ence.

[Ga­mate] Try and use one of your items (ac­quired by an­swer­ing ques­tions) at the wrong time and be mocked by this ker­mit looka­like.

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