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Everyone should play Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls


did their best!
You know that guy from Link's Awakening, Richard? He's got all the frogs in his house, and you do like a golden leaf quest or something for him?
Well. Turns out the reason he's in the game, is that he's the best frenemy from the game Link's Awakening's engine is based on: Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls.

Frog Tolls is great. It's a comedy adventure RPG exploration platformer frog and/or snake simulator. It uses its lightweight core mechanics to make the Zelda-y overworld and the Igavania-y castle central to the game's plot fit right in next to each other. It's got really simple automatic "combat" where you exchange blows with any enemy you touch until you win or try to run / use an item via the B button, and it consequently serves more as a test of whether you've been exploring off the beaten path or not. It very quickly introduces a mechanic where you can change between human prince, frog prince, and snake prince more-or-less at will, and all three have drastically different abilities that you sometimes need to use in conjunction for the game's platforming sections in the castle. And while there's stuff to buy, because the combat is so breezy and deterministic perhaps, I've never seen a game more generous with money. The whole game maintains this humorous atmosphere, the plot being a comedy of errors from the first moment you start exploring. Even though Princess Tiramisu is in danger, it's less about saving the princess than the princes' competition to find out which prince will save the princess first, which is obviously complicated when almost all the heroes are turned into frogs semi-permanently. Note that being frogs does not stop them from staging dramatic infiltration missions. As frogs.

It's sad we never got it officially in English, but it's probably because all of the wine and hallucinogens that serve as common consumables.

Everyone should play it.

In the above image, Richard is the frog with a cape on the right, accompanied by his loyal soldiers (also frogs). The prince in the middle is our protagonist, the Prince of the Kingdom of Sable. Richard is the Prince of Custard Kingdom, don't forget it!
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I agree. Everyone totally should play it. I did a few years ago, and had a lot of fun with it.

I don't really remember much about it, except that it's a good, fun time.


hardcore retro gamin'
Agreed, it's a very good game. I even imported a copy even though I can't read it, 'cause it's just that good.


did i do all of that?
This is one I keep meaning to play through but never get around to. I have the fantranslation on my flashcart! Just haven't booted it up...


I cuss you bad
I'm actually playing it now! It's genuinely funny and charming. It's a real shame it never came out over here, although I suspect its glee in being weird may not have gone over well back then.


Staff member
I like this game very much. I dig the puzzle battle concept. It's kinda like an adventure game. The professor in it is the same guy from the bonus rooms in Wario Land 4. Wild!


Red Plane
I started playing this last night, I just got turned into a frog and it’s great so far. I love that you start with ten million coins, then immediately spend nine million to buy a boat, and the other million on a bottle of wine (that sells for 25 in a later shop). Then the prince pulls out another million from nowhere and says money doesn’t matter to him.

I was expecting it to play more like Link’s Awakening, but I think it has more of a hydlide feel to the combat. It seems like a series of puzzles - how far can I get with the HP I have and what can I do when I get there?

Anyways, looking forward to more of it.


Red Plane
I have played some more. The villager rescue sequence is pretty brutal - a lengthy series of platform challenges over instant death that sends you out of the dungeon and several screens away after a slight mistake. It’s also annoying that the form change items are in limited supply. I haven’t run out yet, but I’m reluctant to change too often in case I do. They’re cheap and you can carry heaps of them, so why limit them at all? Maybe I’m expecting too many mod cons from a game that’s almost 30 years old.

Still enjoying the comedy and the plot. Just got through the Nantendo sequence.

Richard seems quite different in this to his Link’s Awakening character. In the other game I read him as a spoilt aristocrat begging for the guillotine. Here he seems kind of ok.


did their best!
You only feel that way because Froggame has you, too, playing an aristocrat. You see, Froggame is actually deep social commentary about, uh, snakes or something?


Red Plane
I finished it. Have to retract my claim re: the brutality of instant death in lengthy dungeon sequences - I hadn’t realised you resume from where you left off after saving. I’d assumed it was Link’s Awakening style back to the start of the dungeon.

Really enjoyed the final boss fight. I’d forgotten what the item you use for it did, so I took a guess and used it and it summoned the power suit, which almost defeated and then fully healed the boss. Good stuff. I must also revise my revised opinion of Richard after he sent all his followers to futile deaths, one after another. Even if they were all actually fine, that’s poor form.