UNIPON is a game released for the NES, developed by Mega Studios and released to North America in 1989, and Japan and Europe in 1991. It marks the first appearance of the character Unipon and became a cult-classic title of the end of the Nintendo Entertainment System's lifespan.
The game opens in a dark cave, shown as a completely black screen until tremors are heard coming from far away. After the tremors briefly subside, a cone glows a bright blue in the room and slowly ascends to the center of the screen, finally materializing into Unipon, who makes its way through the ruins as torches light the way.
After getting out of the cave, Unipon is met with an intense rainstorm while making its way to the top of the sierra and its rushing waterfalls. Upon reaching the summit, Unipon is only able to take note of the view of the moon and clouds for a brief moment before being ambushed by Haoron, a dragon who claims that Unipon is his archenemy. The two duel for a bit, only for the tremors to appear one last time as a spherical spaceship appears from beneath the clouds and stops in the middle of the sky to very quickly suck up a dangerously high amount of water with immediate effects on the local ecosystem.
Without hesitation, Haoron soars towards the spaceship to successfully weaken it, but is shot down and ultimately crashes right on top of Unipon, crushing the mountaintop and sending himself and Unipon, now reduced to just a horn, back to the mountain's base. At this point, the dragon abandons Unipon and heads off once again in order to stop the spaceship as soon as possible.
|Unipon||A pure child who can do no wrong.|
|Flimsy||A self-proclaimed 'notorious' thief. Though thinking highly of herself, she is very frail and does not put up much of a fight, as much as she tells herself otherwise. Even after stealing from Unipon's resting place and committing various other atrocities, she temporarily sides with Unipon for a bit to stop the Celestial Coma before going back to her old ways.|
|Haoron||A large dragon who is constantly upset at all things and utterly despises Unipon for no real reason. His ego transcends all, feeling he can defeat anything and everything at once.|
|Palmtree Plains||1||A relaxing, easy world that takes place in plains with several beach-like elements to them. Loosely based on the Polynesian islands.||
|Vine Volcano||2||A rocky world full of trees. Most levels in this world are focused on moving upward. Loosely based on the highlands of Bolivia.||
|3||A submerged world taking place on a sunken city abandoned mid-construction. Both sea-life and construction hazards appear as enemies. Heavily based on Greece.||3|
|Dry Sky||4||A sandy but cloudy world. The later levels in this world take place in a massive factory. Loosely based on the Arabian Desert.||6|
|Shiver Street||5||A bustling city that is always covered in snow. Some levels also take place around mountains, in snowy fields, and above frozen lakes. Loosely based on London.||7|
|Bamboozle Ruins||6||An eastern-inspired world filled with dragons and bamboo. The last level takes place in a temple. Directly based on China.||4|
|Phantom Fair||7||A dark, spooky carnival filled with delicious food and ghastly ghouls. Loosely based on France.||6|
|Boil Ocean||8||A lava-filled ocean world. The sky is bright, and dragons live around the world's many castles. Loosely based on both Germany and Japan.||7|
|Operation OCEAN||9||A spaceship which has absorbed nearly the entire ocean of Tissmanthia for use as a shield and weapon.||6|
|RADICAL ZONE||X||An incohesive bonus world filled with special challenges for super players.||16|
Unipon has access to a set of ten different power-ups based around colors and themed around a specific element called Spectrum Powers. Each Spectrum Power has four different moves, each divided into a class based on what buttons are pressed to use them.
- Standard Move - Used by pressing the B button while grounded.
- Aerial Move - Used when B is pressed while Unipon is airborne.
- Crashing Move - Used when the down button on the D-pad is pressed in midair.
- Barrier Move - Used when the down button is pressed when grounded.
The power-ups are used once Unipon breaks open a Spectrum Orb, which can drop from enemies or be found in boxes.
|Form||Standard Move||Aerial Move||Crashing Move||Barrier Move|
|Horn Tackle - Unipon dashes forward with its horn, skewering anything in its path.||Bi-Blast - Unipon releases two flashing orbs from its horn, each in parallel arcs, which do massive damage to all enemies at the cost of being difficult to actually hit anything with.||Cone-Crash - Unipon loses all vertical momentum and speeds down to the ground horn-first, impaling enemies and causing the screen to shake upon contact with the ground.||Violet Barrier - Unipon creates a large shield in front of itself, which reflects projectiles. It will shatter when it takes too much damage or is used for too long.|
|Blaze Burst - Unipon blasts forward in a burst of flame about ten blocks width before cooling down. The ignition and any impact this attack makes send small flames in all directions.||Flame Cannon - Unipon fires off a fire ball projectile into the sky at an angle. The size and power depend on how much charge is built off in the Sol Charge attack.||Meteor Stomp - Essentially a vertical version of the Blaze Burst. Once Unipon makes contact with the ground, two flame pillars are created which go left and right.||
Sol Charge - Unipon conjures a stationary, compacted star about the size of most small projectiles to serve as protection. What it lacks in range is made up for in sheer power, as the small star destroys most enemies in one hit and as it absorbs hits and projectiles, it grows in size. The attack is fired off in the Flame Cannon attack.
|Seed Shot - Unipon fires five seeds at varying velocities in an arc pattern. When they land, occasionally a plant-based enemy will grow and serve Unipon as an ally for a brief moment.||Petal Confetti - Unipon shoots a flurry of rainbow-colored petals into the sky for as long as the button is held. The petals fly up for a brief moment before drifting to the ground slowly. They do minimal damage but can cover most of the screen at once.||Beanstalk Bounce - Unipon shoots three powerful seeds to the ground in a straight line. Once all three have reached the ground, a beanstalk grows out, which serves as a temporary platform and trampoline for the player.||Pollen Shield - Unipon bears a large shield in front of itself. Once the shield is struck, a spray of pollen is released, which can hit almost everything on screen.|
|Speed Thunder - Unipon summons an electrical barrier around itself and zooms about half a screen's width in less than a second. The barrier lingers after the move ends. Though it does minimal damage, it is a great move for speeding through levels as fast as possible.||Lightning Rod - Lightning strikes Unipon's horn from above, briefly immobilizing Unipon both vertically and horizontally but emitting several sparks and lighting its body. Once the attack ends, Unipon is sent upward, giving it the ability to reach new heights. The lightning bolt is obstructed by walls and ceilings.||Tri-Thunder - An enormous lightning ball speeds down onto Unipon, electrocuting its body and sending three smaller bolts to the ground.||Conductive Cloud - Unipon hides in a thundercloud, which sends a bolt of lightning out every few seconds. Projectiles are absorbed.|
|Reckless Circulation - A tornado engulfs and picks up Unipon. The tornado is controllable in any direction and is not affected by gravity, but it moves way faster horizontally than vertically and Unipon has little control once the move ends, leaving the player as a sitting duck and open to enemy fire or to be dropped into a pit.||Wind Pillar - Unipon creates a pillar-shaped tornado that covers the entire vertical width of the screen. Sending Unipon upwards very quickly and causing massive damage to any enemy unfortunate enough to walk into it.||Kamaitachi Crash - A sharp barrier of wind appears to protect Unipon. Enemies caught in it are blown off screen.||Kamaitachi Shield - A kamaitachi similar to Kamaitachi Crash's appears around Unipon, but only for a fraction of a second. Unlike other shields, it cannot be held.|
|Achoo! - Unipon sneezes. Four projectiles are released which, while small and short-range, are incredibly powerful and poison enemies.||Nuclear Pulse - Three slow, powerful, yellow projectiles are released from Unipon's body, quickly followed by three quick, weaker, black ones.||Acid Drip - Unipon releases an acidic blob from its horn, which splits into bubbles that can attack enemies from a distance. Sometimes it will create a gelatinous blob which will function as an ally to Unipon, slowly following it and destroying enemies.||Virus Block - Unipon forms a toxic polyhedron around itself, which upon absorbing any projectiles creates a more powerful green projectile fired in the direction from which the original came.|
|Frost Unipon||Snow Ball - Unipon is encapsulated in a ball of ice. The ball moves forward at a fast pace until the B button is released. Once impact is made with an enemy or projectile, the ball shatters and Unipon jumps out, briefly immobilized.||Frost Shot - Three slow projectiles are created from Unipon's horn. When they touch an enemy, the enemy is encased into a block of ice.||Powder Stomp - When the move is first used, nothing stands out from the Cone-Crash. However, when contact is made with the ground, anything from a small flurry of snow to an avalanche can occur from the top of the screen.||Snowman - Unipon creates a tower of snowballs above itself, which collapse onto it and form a borderline immovable snowman. Though nearly invincible, the attack makes Unipon completely immobile and the attack is still weak to hazards like lava and spikes.|
|Surf - Unipon creates a slab of water below its foot, allowing Unipon to speed by at a pace slightly faster than the normal walking speed.||Water Wings - Unipon grows a pair of liquid wings on its back, allowing Unipon to triple jump until the wings dissipate.||Splash Strike - Unipon quickly dives to the ground. Once contact is made with the ground, several weak bubbles of water are sent in all directions.||Sea Sphere - Unipon creates a ball of water around itself. Once it is used, Unipon can slowly regain health at the cost of not being able to block enemies. Projectiles are still absorbed.|
|Candy Cannon - Unipon throws a piece of candy at enemies. The type of candy is randomly generated and the properties of the projectile depend on what is actually thrown.||Rainblast - Unipon forms a small rainbow from its horn that circles Unipon's body and disappears. It has lackluster range but is incredibly powerful, giving massive damage to most enemies and bosses.||Bubble Blast - Unipon creates a constant stream of bubbles from its horn for as long as the button is held. Individually, the bubbles are weak, but combined they can be a force to reckon with.||Floss Cushion - Unipon creates a barrier of cotton candy around its body to hide. When the barrier is touched by a projectile or small enemy, they are absorbed and Unipon is healed.|
|Sound Strike - Unipon fires a sound wave. When it hits an enemy, the wave multiplies into three waves fired in a spread shot. If those three waves hit anything, they will also multiply, as will any other tertiary waves fired off.||Triple Cacophony - Unipon fires three waves upward. Unlike the Sound Strike, these waves do not multiply once they hit anything.||Hertzquake - Unipon falls to the ground, horn first. Once contact is made with the ground or an enemy, several large circles of sound expand from the center of the impact.||Compression Bomb - Unipon creates a large ball of energy in front of it, which will then take time to compress and retract in size. Once the ball it struck by a projectile or enemy, it explodes into several sound waves. The waves are more powerful when the ball is at its smallest.|
|Boom Barrage - Unipon throws a random type of bomb, ranging from missiles to fuse bombs.||Spectrum Ignition - Unipon creates an explosion of fireworks around itself, propelling Unipon upward and creating a ring of projectiles in the form of the fireworks themselves.||Mini Mine - Unipon tosses a mine to the ground that explodes when an enemy is near or after about two seconds.||Boom Ball - Unipon engulfs itself in a translucent, slate gray orb. Once the orb is struck, it combusts, causing massive damage to most things on screen at the cost of Unipon taking recoil from the explosion.|
The game includes a list of enemies in-game, detailing their abilities and weaknesses.
|Name||Image||In-game Description||HP||Other Notes|
|Tappy||...can you even call this an enemy? It can't hurt you, all it does is bump you around. It's doing its best, at least. A for effort.||1||N/A|
|Diddle Dand||Dandelions that blow seeds at you to slow you down. Attack them from a distance.||2||Can be summoned by Unipon's Seed Shot attack.|
- Famously, the game has placeholder data for characters nothing like Unipon, the only one who ended up as playable. Notably, leftover data for a playable Flimsy exists within the game, along with unknown characters who play similarly to Mario and Mega Man who appear as garbled bunches of tiles. The purpose of these remains completely unknown.
- The game was originally slated to be released on the Game Boy as well as the NES. A near-complete prototype for this version of the game exists, but was never released. A group of fans have developed a full recreation of this port using unfinished data and leaked concept art. More information on it can be found here.