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Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

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For the 8-bit version, see Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (8-bit).

Mean Bean title.png

Fast Facts on Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Compile
System(s): Sega Mega Drive / Genesis
Genre: Puzzle
Released in US: November 1993
Released in EU: November 1993

Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a Sega Mega Drive / Genesis puzzle game, based on the earlier Japanese puzzle game Puyo Puyo.

Contents

Basis and release

The game is based on the earlier Japanese puzzler Puyo Puyo. It was released to the North American and European markets in November 1993. Though not a commercial success initially, it became more popular with time. It was later also released in various compilations and other forms; see #Also released on below.

It was also released by Samsung in South Korea under the name Dong Gu Ri Te Chi Jak Jeon. For whatever reason, some number of cartridges (between only the first run and half of the entire production) was produced by taking a Puyo Puyo cart, sticking the Dong Gu Ri label on, and placing it in the Dong Gu Ri packaging and selling it as is — meaning that South Korean copies of the game will either contain the correct Korean version of Mean Bean Machine or will actually be Puyo Puyo.

It was only released in Japan as part of an import collection released on PCs in 2000, Sega Archives From USA Vol.2.

An 8-bit version was later released for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear in December 1993. As the Mega Drive version was based on that system's version of Puyo Puyo, the 8-bit version was based on Puyo Puyo for the Game Gear. It contains an extra Puzzle Mode, which was based on the just-released Nazo Puyo.

A lot of the music in Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine was reused, albeit remixed and/or resynthed by sound engineer Masanori Hikichi, from Masanobu Tsukamoto's (and possibly, though not likely, Einosuke Nagao's) songs from the original Puyo Puyo score:

  • Brave -> Stage 13 intro (arrangement)
  • Final -> 2P VS theme (the intro was removed, some notes are missing), Warning theme (arrangement)
  • Memories -> Password Screen theme (the entire third section was removed)
  • Sticker -> Exercise theme (slightly modified bassline), Continue theme (arrangement of the first part)
  • Sunset -> Staff Roll (identical; in fact both songs shared the same purpose in their respective games)

Additionally, nearly straight arrangements of Brave and Theme are in the game, but unused, and the ending cutscene music is inspired by Theme's structure. Also though Naofumi Hataya is credited as "Masayuki Nagao," he and Einosuke Nagao are completely different persons.

Storyline

Unlike other Sonic the Hedgehog games, this one occurs in the universe of the show Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and features its version of Dr. Robotnik and many of its other characters including Scratch, Grounder and other badniks). The only other reference to said series was in the bonus stages of Sonic Spinball. Also rare for the series is the fact that Sonic does not appear. In his place as protagonist is a character called Has Bean.

Robotnik has hatched a plan to ensure that no music or fun remains on the planet Mobius. To do this, he kidnaps the citizens of Beanville and stuffs them into a giant robotising machine called the Mean Bean-Steaming Machine (hence the game's title) to make them into his robot slaves. As the character Has Bean (based on Puyo Puyo's Carbuncle), the player must foil Robotnik's plans by defeat each of the robot guards, and finally Robotnik himself, to foil his evil plans. Their battles take the form of competitive puzzle gaming.

Gameplay

Two players compete, each with their own rectangular play area comprising a grid 12 beans (previously Puyos) high by 6 wide, meaning that 72 beans (including garbage) can fit. Various colours of beans fall into the play area. The player must attempt to place four identically coloured beans adjacent to each other, at which point they will disappear. A player loses when beans pile to the top of their play area (actually the third column from the left), so it is essential to clear as many beans as possible, in order to keep the screen empty.

Players can send Refugee Beans (aka Garbage, and Ojyama) to their opponent's play area by creating chain reactions. These beans are both annoying and helpful: they can only be cleared when adjacent to another bean that is being removed, but they are very useful for making chain reactions. The more beans that link up, the more garbage is sent. Players may also activate step chains (aka Rensa) so that even more garbage is scored.

If garbage beans fall into the player's play area, they cannot be grouped like normal beans (i.e. 4 in a row will not disapper) Garbage is erased when a neighbouring group of beans erase (e.g. if a vertical line of 4 beans in column 2 forms adjacently next to a vertical line of 4 garbage beans in either column 1 or column 3, the garbage disappears). However, this does not cause garbage to be sent to the opponent.

Scenario Mode

This is the game's story mode, in which Has Bean must "Battle Robotnik's ranks of robot flunkies in order to save Beanville!" The player competes against computer-controlled characters in 12 stages. Most of these characters are also found in the pilot and 1st episode of the show. The pilot even has a scene that looks striking similar to the continue screen in this game.

Opponent list

VS Mode

Up to 2 players can play either in VS Mode or in Exercise Mode. In VS Mode, each player can choose between 5 difficulty settings, labeled 1-5 (Easiest to Hardest, where 1 is the lowest drop speed, and 5 is the fastest). In VS Mode, one player must defeat the other in the same way as in Scenario mode. If a player selects Level 1, they play with 4 colours of beans, however, the other levels include 5 colours. Furthermore, in Levels 4 or 5, the game begins with the play area already containing garbage: for Level 4, 18 beans (3 rows); for Level 5, 30 beans (5 rows).

Exercise Mode

Exercise Mode (modernly known as Endless Puyo Puyo), is a form of practice play where 1 or 2 players can battle out. This mode has three difficulty levels: easiest, normal, and hardest (Level 1, 3 or 5). On easiest, players start with only 4 colours. To level up, the player has to keep erasing beans. Helpers (Big Puyo or Has Bean) will appear when the player gets stuck on Level 1 the first time, but they can only appear once. For Level 3, at random times, Has Bean will drop from the screen to help out. When Carbuncle is placed on a colour, it travels in a random direction, following downwards, changing all beans to that colour. For Level 5, at random times, a Big Puyo will drop from the screen. When Big Puyo falls, it occupies 2 columns of the grid, and when placed, squashes all beans and removes them from the grid.

"Unused" Sound Test

One of the little known tidbits about Mean Bean Machine is that it possesses its own sound test. In Puyo Puyo, the player either beat the game once or entered a simple code to enable it. However, both methods were removed in Mean Bean Machine for whatever reason. It can, however, be accessed through the help of emulation. After booting up the game, changing the emulator's region to Japan and going to Options will enable Sound Test.

  • BGM 02: Menu and High Score List
  • BGM 03: Dr. Robotnik Pre-Fight Cutscene
  • BGM 04: Danger Mode
  • BGM 05: Stages 1-4
  • BGM 06: Stage 13
  • BGM 07: Stages 9-12
  • BGM 08: Stage 13 Clear
  • BGM 09: Game Over
  • BGM 0A: Character Parade
  • BGM 0B: Staff Credits
  • BGM 0E: Password Screen
  • BGM 11: Practice Stage
  • BGM 12: Vs. Mode
  • BGM 13: Stages 5-8
  • BGM 16: Stages 9-12 Intro
  • BGM 17: Stages 1-4 Intro
  • BGM 18: Stages 5-8 Intro
  • BGM 19: Stage Clear
  • BGM 1A: Theme of Mean Bean Machine
  • BGM 01: Stages 9-12 Alternate (Unused)
  • BGM 0C: Puyo Puyo - Stage Clear (Unused)
  • BGM 0D: Null
  • BGM 0F: Puyo Puyo - Brave (Unused)
  • BGM 10: Puyo Puyo - Theme (Unused)
  • BGM 14: Stage 13 Critical (Unused)
  • BGM 15: Strange Cheering and Whooshing sound

Also released on

Production Credits

~Staff~
Producers: Yoji Ishii, Noriyoshi Ohba, Moo Niitani
Directors: Tetsuo Shinyu, Takayuki Yanagihori, M. Tsukamoto
Graphic Designers: Takaya Segawa, Saori Yamaguchi, Hideaki Moriya, Keisuke Saka, Compile's Designer
Programmers: Manabu Ishihara, Tsukasa Aoki, Compile's Programmer
Music and FX: Masanori Hikichi -CUBE-, Masayuki Nagao
Speical Thanks to: Shinbou Yokoyama

~Sega of America~
Producer: Max Taylor
Designers: Max Taylor, Brian Ransom, Dave Albert
Sound: David Javelosa
© 1993 Sega
© 1993 Compile

Resources

Manuals

Physical Scans

Mega Drive, US
Meanbean-box-us.jpg
Cover
Mbm md us cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, EU
Meanbean-box-eu.jpg
Cover
Mbm-eu-cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, FR
Mbm md eu alt cover.jpg
Cover
AltEUcart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, Asia
Meanbean-box-asia back.jpgNospine.pngMeanbean-box-asia front.jpg
Cover
Mbm md as cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, KR
DRMBM MD KR Box.jpg
Cover

External links

Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Main Article | SCHG | Prerelease | Cheat Codes | Magazine Articles
Sonic games available on Steam
Sonic the Hedgehog (2010) | Sonic Spinball (2010) | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (2010) | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (2010) | Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2011) | Sonic 3 & Knuckles (2011) | Sonic Adventure (2011) | Sonic Generations (2011) | Sonic 4: Episode 1 (2012) | Sonic the Hedgehog CD (2012) | Sonic 4: Episode 2 (2012) | Sonic Adventure 2 (2012) | Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (2013)
Pre-release Sonic games for Steam
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II (Beta 8)
Sonic games available on Virtual Console/WiiWare
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (2006) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2007) | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (2007) | Sonic Spinball (2007) | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (2007) | Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) (2008) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) (2008) | Sonic Chaos (2009) | Sonic & Knuckles (2009) | Sonic 4: Episode 1 (2010)
Pre-release Sonic games for Virtual Console/WiiWare
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (WiiWare JP prototype)
Sonic games for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and add-ons
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) | Sonic Eraser (1991) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) | Sonic the Hedgehog CD (1993) | Sonic Spinball (1993) | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (1993) | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994) | Sonic & Knuckles (1994) | Knuckles' Chaotix (1995) | Sonic Classics (1995) | Mega 6 Volume 3 (1995) | 6-Pak (1996) | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (1996)
Pre-release Sonic games for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and add-ons
Sonic 2 (16-bit) Prereleases | Sonic the Hedgehog CD Prereleases | Sonic Spinball (16-bit prototype) | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (prototype) | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Prereleases | Sonic & Knuckles Prereleases | Knuckles in Sonic 2 Prereleases | Knuckles' Chaotix Prereleases | Sonic 3D Prereleases
Scrapped Sonic games for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and add-ons
Sonic the Hedgehog (MCD) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 CD | Sister Sonic | Sonic-16 | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Limited Edition | Sonic Sports | Untitled STI Sonic Game | Sonic Mars