Beyond Beeps: A Boy And His Blob
February 06, 2008
Today's installment of Beyond Beeps is from one of the most disappointing yet most intriguing games from the Nintendo Entertainment System library. Absolute Entertainment unleashed A Boy and His Blob back in 1989 and somehow managed to score heavy coverage in Nintendo Power, leading me to believe it was a fantastic game eventually resulting in my paying $49.95 of my saved allowance for it. The concept is interesting enough: boy meets blob, boy feeds blob jellybeans, blob turns into useful tools depending on which kind of jellybean he eats, boy uses tools to help overthrow despot on blob's home planet, The End. The game sports only four pieces of background music and, lucky you, you're about to hear them all. Oh, and this may be a good time to remind you that game music doesn't necessarily have to be good in order to fit on my list of favorites. Now then, let's start with the title screen theme.
Pressing Start at this point takes us into the game itself which is basically divided into two parts.
First of all, get used to this theme because if you play A Boy and His Blob, you'll be hearing it a lot. An awful lot. For the entire first half of the game, actually. The Boy (that's you) must fulfill his destiny and travel to The Blob's planet. Before departing, however, it's best to explore the subways and underground caverns of Earth to collect diamonds and additional jellybeans. Following a long, frustrating slog through the underworld, The Boy eventually surfaces back to the street, cashes in his collected treasures in exchange for vitamins which can be fired from the Vitablaster gun, and (with the aid of The Blob's root beer rocket form) blasts off for Planet Blobolonia. This takes us into the second half of the game with its own theme...
... which sounds a hell of a lot like the other main game theme. A two'fer! Note the up-tempo swing midway through the song, as if the game is trying to say "Ho now, I'm rocking!"
Now The Boy must journey past screen after screen of murderous marshmallows, bloodthirsty cherry bombs, killer Hershey's kisses, and other such deadly delights. At the end of it all is a locked door that can only be opened with the aid of the lime jellybean (which can only be found in Earth's underground, so if you came straight to Blobolonia without exploring the caverns, then you'll be stuck at this point and forced to backtrack all the way home). Open the door and solve the game's final jellybean-related puzzle to win the game and hear the ending theme...
... which is just the main title theme again. So why have I directed you to such a short and unremarkable game? Considering the lack of musical variety to be found in A Boy And His Blob, it shouldn't come as a surprise that if you spend a decent amount of time with it, the two main themes will loop again and again until they become seared into that part of your brain that retains game music. The songs will slide right into place between Snake Man's theme from Mega Man 3 and the daytime town music from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. They'll stay rooted in place for years until you manage to expose someone else to them. Now that I'm free of the boy and his blob by passing them on to you, it's time to wrap things up with the "lost a life" music. Next time I'll have actual good gaming tunes for you. I promise.
Oh, and those vitamins? Yeah, it turns out you don't actually need those for any particular reason after all. So what was the point of collecting treasures in order to buy them? Some questions just don't have answers.
(Images via MobyGames)