Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

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Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by KBABZ » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:22 pm

So I was watching Did You Know Gaming's latest episode today, and apparently Alex Kidd on the Master System was originally supposed to be a Dragon Ball game!

https://youtu.be/3T4o06mWNcQ?t=334

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Marco Polo » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:26 pm

Also the first Donkey Kong was supposed to be a Popeye game

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:30 pm

Learn something new everyday.

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by 90sDBZ » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:53 pm

Wow that's a surprise. Alex Kidd was one of the first games I ever played and all these years I never knew about that connection to Dragon Ball.

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Yuli Ban » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:03 pm

When I first saw the Japanese boxart for "Alex Kidd in Miracle World," I thought, "Something about this reminds me of early Dragon Ball." Of course, Doki Doki Panic had a similar cutesy, quasi-Toriyama look to it so I didn't immediately assume they were all related.

I also recall a French video from many years back that also noticed some similarities, but it was French so no one cared.

Lo and behold, all our suspicions were confirmed, way back in 2017 or 2018 IIRC (there was an interview that confirmed it, and I believe I mentioned it once or twice before on the forum). I'm almost compelled to play Alex Kidd now.

Edit: For those who've never seen the Miracle World boxart...
Image

To my eyes, it really does look like a fusion of Dragon Ball and Super Mario Bros & Doki Doki Panic.
May or may not be writing a Dragon Ball-inspired serial.

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by VegettoEX » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:39 am

Yep yep, it's all true. I actually did some extra digging and translation work (well, Julian did the translations...) that I've been plugging into the respective (forthcoming) wiki article, but might as well share some of it now since the topic is getting extra attention.

Here is one of the fan videos made in 2016 that attempted to draw a lot of connections.

Hardcore Gaming 101's "The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Volume 3" from 2018 includes an interview with Kotaro Hayashida regarding the game's development, which touches on the DB connection-
Well... Hmm, I might get this a bit wrong after all this time, but... At first, Sega were planning on making a Dragon Ball game... I guess this happened long enough ago that it's okay for me to talk about this! The project began as a Dragon Ball title, not as a direct competitor to Super Mario Bros.
...

But when we were told we could not use the Dragon Ball license any more, we were forced to come up with our own ideas instead. For example, when it was Dragon Ball, Goku fought with his Power Pole, but we changed that to a punch attack.

It was only after we came up with the plan to restart the project as Alex Kidd in Miracle World that we started thinking about Mario, and looking for ways in which to differentiate the title from it.
An old interview on Sega's own website regarding the game also includes an interview with Kotaro Hayashida (under his pseudonym "Ossale Kohta") where he gives up another one of the DB connections-
We were originally planning on having the main character use the Nyoibō as a weapon, but because he became an original character who used martial arts, it ended up being an action based on a punching attack. Because of things like that, we had to rewrite our game design document over and over, and that is how it ended up the way it did in the end.
This is one that we did an original translation on for ourselves, but Shmuplations also has their own translation in full up on their website.

One other thing I'd drop isn't really revelatory but is just super fun, and it's from the All Systems Goku podcast (episode two) last year-
Goku getting to this master and then having to, like, tell him a joke to get training, getting to this, like, boss-looking character... it reminds me of the boss fights in Alex Kidd where you have to get through, like, get through all these fucking... all this platformy bullshit, then you get to the end, and they're like, now we're gonna play rock/paper/scissors motherfucker.
Also: Bear With Sword™.

Image

I guess I can also drop that I've been wanting to do a podcast episode about all this for a while, but I guess I missed my best chance to do so :). Oh well! Topics never really go away...
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by KBABZ » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:17 pm

Awesome Vegetto! And don't worry, technically ALL topics like this belated in the context of the actual information! Master System came out 35 years ago soooooo...

Also, on the claim of it being influenced by King Kai's initiation, Goku met Kai(oh!) in February 1989, while Alex Kidd in Miracle World came out in November 1986. So... nope! But also, irony since it foretold that event in the story three years in the future!

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by gokaiblue » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:00 pm

So....when are we going to have that Dragon Ball Alex Kidd reskin, hackers? :wink:

In all seriousness, it's pretty cool to think that one of SEGA's major mascots was almost Son Gokū.
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by KBABZ » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:03 pm

gokaiblue wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:00 pm
In all seriousness, it's pretty cool to think that one of SEGA's major mascots was almost Son Gokū.
Makes me wonder how strange the video game landscape would be if Sega got those rights and then Goku was Sega's big mascot instead of/alongside Sonic the Hedgehog and thus he became a highly associated video game character too!

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by gokaiblue » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:07 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:03 pm
gokaiblue wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:00 pm
In all seriousness, it's pretty cool to think that one of SEGA's major mascots was almost Son Gokū.
Makes me wonder how strange the video game landscape would be if Sega got those rights and then Goku was Sega's big mascot instead of/alongside Sonic the Hedgehog and thus he became a highly associated video game character too!
Would make him a better contender for Smash Brothers. Wonder how long it would have taken for the anime to come to America in that alternate timeline too....
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Any information regarding the stations that carried the origin Dragon Ball in the USA
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by KBABZ » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:13 pm

gokaiblue wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:07 pm
KBABZ wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:03 pm
gokaiblue wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:00 pm
In all seriousness, it's pretty cool to think that one of SEGA's major mascots was almost Son Gokū.
Makes me wonder how strange the video game landscape would be if Sega got those rights and then Goku was Sega's big mascot instead of/alongside Sonic the Hedgehog and thus he became a highly associated video game character too!
Would make him a better contender for Smash Brothers. Wonder how long it would have taken for the anime to come to America in that alternate timeline too....
I'm sure Kunzait will come here to say anime was a known and watchable thing in the Master System days, but as for major exposure, I'm unsure given that there's always a disconnect between a popular thing and its source material (see: "DBZ is an anime, not a manga").

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Bebi Hatchiyack » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:27 pm

Headcanon Alex Kidd being in the Sega Universe is in fact the Universe closest to the one of Dragon Ball linking through a special wormhole both Universe meaning that the Super Sonic is explained through Alex Kidd. :mrgreen:

Ok now on a serious note what the heck Alex Kidd was suposed to be a Dragon Ball game and wtf Donkey Kong was suposed to be a Popeye game oh gosh the more you know MIND = Blown !!!! :shock:
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:35 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:13 pm
I'm sure Kunzait will come here to say anime was a known and watchable thing in the Master System days
Alex Kidd was released in 1986, which funny enough was about the same year that the earliest official anime licensing companies were first starting up in America and releasing anime titles onto the VHS market. So yeah, right around that point you could just waltz into most any major or local video store and pick up subtitled/unedited anime VHS tapes.

I mean, by the late 80s into the turn of the 90s you had everything from Akira to Devilman to Lupin III to Bubblegum Crisis to Gunbuster sitting right there on most American video store shelves for anyone to rent or purchase: they kinda stuck out like a sore thumb, especially back then at the time. And it only grew even more so from there.

It wasn't that hard to find this stuff back then folks! Plenty of people at the time certainly noticed and became fans; it certainly wasn't just solely relegated to myself, a random dumb 1st grade kid back then. You just had to not be 100% beholden strictly to children's television and not stick solely to the Disney section of any given video store: which most people back then were not. Really wasn't that complicated or deeply hidden away from view the way everyone here seems to think it was and makes it sound like.
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:43 pm

Anime certainly beat the Master System in Mainstream availabilty! You could count the ones that had it in the west with one hand. Only in Brazil was the Master System a major hit.
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Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by gokaiblue » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:45 pm

On this issue, you kinda miss the point. Yes, it was available, but it didn't become a huge global phenomenon until much later. It was just a niche thing. It's like saying yes, the music of The Beatles was available to Americans before 1964, but Beatlemania in the US didn't truly hit until they landed here.
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:50 pm

Actually, while Kunzait might resent this, anime was really mainstream too back then! In the form of the DREADED KIDS TV ANIME. Voltron was the number one syndicated kids show and if that's not enough it sold no less than 3 million VHS tapes and not bootleg ones mind you!
AnimeMaakuo wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:38 am
Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by gokaiblue » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:00 pm

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:50 pm
Actually, while Kunzait might resent this, anime was really mainstream too back then! In the form of the DREADED KIDS TV ANIME. Voltron was the number one syndicated kids show and if that's not enough it sold no less than 3 million VHS tapes and not bootleg ones mind you!
I stand corrected. Still, while it was mainstream, I'm not sure it was quite the multimedia juggernaut it later became (re: Pokémon).
Looking for these rare items/information:

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Any information regarding the stations that carried the origin Dragon Ball in the USA
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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:02 pm

You said "Mainstream" not "Major Juggernaut". And Voltron was indeed seen by more people than those who had a Master System.
AnimeMaakuo wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:38 am
Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by gokaiblue » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:06 pm

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:02 pm
You said "Mainstream" not "Major Juggernaut". And Voltron was indeed seen by more people than those who had a Master System.
I said global phenomenon and referenced Beatlemania, which was essentially the 60s version of the Pokémon/anime craze in terms of how much cross promotion there was. You're right on the money with that second point though.
Looking for these rare items/information:

Any information or recordings pertaining to Dragon Ball Z's syndicated run on WAWB
Any information regarding the stations that carried the origin Dragon Ball in the USA
Dragon Box (any deals would be nice)
Shonen Jumps with Dragon Ball in them

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Re: Alex Kidd was a Dragon Ball game?!?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:11 pm

Voltron was a major phenomenon abroad too.
AnimeMaakuo wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:38 am
Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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