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Kitty Cat Clan (called Koneko Clan in Japan) is a European/Japanese video game franchise with the first produced in a joint venture with Infogrames Europe SA (now Atari), Nintendo and Fuji TV in Japan. The first game was released in Europe on June 14, 1988 for various personal computers with a US release the following year. They have sold over billions of units as of 2011.
Giovanni (Yoban in Japan) - the leader of the quartet, an orange tabby. He is one of the most lazy characters in the franchise, but he easily springs into action when he has to. In the first game, he works for the toy company along with the three cats in the team and is threatened to be fired if he does not come up with a toy idea likely to get the toy company out of a financial crisis. His love interest is Bianca.
Giuseppe (Yojefu in Japan) - the sensible member of the group, he is a light grey cat. In the first cutscene, he is shown to reason with the boss of the toy company they work at that they may not win competition with other popular toys. He is a distant cousin of Bianca
Francesco (Furan in Japan) - the smallest member of the group, he is a multi-color cat. In spite of his height and usual state of mind, he is generally happy and naive, he gets overly agitated when annoyed and, as a result, his uncontrollable anger is used as a weapon in the games.
Bianca (Margerita in Japan) - the sole female in the group, she is a white cat. She is a distant cousin of Giuseppe, and is very selfish, vain and cares more about her looks to care about the predicament they're in though she is sometimes noble and well-meaning at times. She is Giovanni's love interest.
GamesKitty Cat Clan - Fantastic Balloon Island (Koneko Clan - Yume no Barun no Shima in Japan) is the first video game in the franchise which was released in 1988. The game was first released in many parts of Europe, including the UK, Ireland, France, West Germany and Spain on June 14, 1988 for Commodore 64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, IBM PC, Atari ST and Apple II. The game was released in Japan on July 6, 1988 for the MSX, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, IBM JX, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, FM-7 and the Famicom Disk System (NES) with a 1989 release for the FM Towns with each copy at 2,423.40 JPY in Japan, 19.52 CAD in Canada, 14.54 GBP in Britain and 27.32 DEM in Germany eventually selling more than 30,576,679 units as of May 1990. The plot involved the quartet being forced to come up with a decent toy idea or else they will be fired. They come across the Dream Balloon Island where they must conquer the Pinmaster, who threatens to puncture every balloon (the only means of transportation in Dream Balloon Island) on the island and build environment-threatening vehicles.
The game's soundtrack was composed by Charles Callet and released on a CD that came with copies of the game.
Pasta - bowls of spaghetti that serve as health for the characters, similar to Mushrooms in the Super Mario Bros franchise
Mailboxes - these mark the point in the game where the player returns if they lose a life
Blimps/Hot Air Balloons/Helium Balloons - These serve as transportation for the characters
Balloon Bubbles - These work like the P-Balloons in Super Mario World. They inflate the character like a balloon. However, they do not wear off and require contact with two more bubbles to return to normal
Milk Bottles - These are points in the game where the player saves the game
Kitty Cat Clan - Save Bianca! (Regionally edited)
This game was released in Europe for the Game Boy in April 1990 before being released and edited in Japan and North America as Ranma ½ - Cat Fist! The game is remarkably similar to Donkey Kong in that, during boss levels, the character has to climb tall structures to save the damsel-in-distress (Bianca in the original, Akane Tendo in the Ranma version)Kitty Cat Clan - Journey to Mars
Due to the reception caused by the first game, a sequel was produced by Infogrames and Nintendo. The plot of the sequel was that, after the victory in the first game, the Kitty Cat Clan are asked to travel to Mars where an alien plots to take over the galaxy.
However, during the rocket ship ride, the alien's henchmen invade the rocket and kidnap Bianca. There are 8 levels in total (with the last two taking place on Mars) some of which resemble Donkey Kong.
Charles Callet only provided the music for the DOS and Apple II versions of the game and some versions had music composed by Jeroen Tel instead.
The game was released on May 22, 1990 for Apple II, IBM PC, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Atari 7800, NES/Famicom, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, MSX, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, IBM JX, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, FM-7 and FM Towns with critical acclaim and high sales. It has been considered one of the greatest video games of all time.
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