Pink Goes to Hollywood

Pink Panther in Pink Goes To Hollywood is a Pink Panther themed platform game that was released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. The game was developed by TecMagik, while additional programming was carried out by Head Games Inc for the Genesis version, and by Manley & Associates Inc for the SNES version. Both versions of the game are similar in theme and aesthetics, but different in layout and game mechanics; both versions are “one player” only.

Pink Goes to Hollywood
Publisher(s)TecMagik
Platform(s)SNES, Genesis
Release1993
Genre(s)Platform

Gameplay

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

When the game is started, the player is taken to a level titled “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink” (a homage to 1989's Honey, I Shrunk The Kids), which serves as the hub that leads to all the other levels of the game; here, the Pink Panther - who, of course, serves as the ‘player character’ - is shrunken down to the size of a billiard ball, and the player must navigate him though a house to access the other levels whilst avoiding rats, which serve as this level's hazards.

The Pink Panther himself starts each level - including “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink” - off with one unit of extra health, which is represented by a hat he is wearing - the style of hat changes to match the theme of the level the Pink Panther is in. If the Pink Panther runs into or is hit by a hazard, he loses one unit of extra health. If the Pink Panther doesn't have any extra health left, he will not be wearing a hat; and if he runs into or is hit by a hazard without any extra health, he will perish and the player will lose one life - the same thing will happen, regardless of the amount of extra health the Pink Panther has on hand, if he falls into an abyss. The player can increase the Pink Panther's extra health by collecting spare hats that have been placed around each level, and the player can gain extra lives by collecting icons shaped like the Pink Panther's head that are also placed around each level.

To eliminate hazards, the Pink Panther is equipped with a “Flit Sprayer”, which the player actuates by pressing ‘A’; the player can also eliminate many hazards by having the Pink Panther jump of them. Most hazards will perish when jumped on or sprayed just once, but a few hazards - notably bosses at the ends of some levels - will need to sprayed or jumped on multiple times before perishing. Also, throughout each level, the player can also collect “Tricks” that can be used to help eliminate or avoid hazards; the player presses “Select” to select a “Trick” (there are multiple sorts of “Tricks” - e.g. a stoplight causes nearby hazards to freeze, making them easier to avoid or hit), and presses ‘X’ to execute it. Each trick, when used, will vanish and cease its effect after a certain period of time.

Also, to help navigate each level, the Pink Panther can collect tokens that are placed throughout each level and use them to activate “Tolls” that are also placed throughout each level. There are multiple types of tokens that each do something different when deposited in a “Toll”; a token that has stairs on it, for example, will make a flight of stairs appear in front of a “Toll” when deposited in said “Toll”.

In addition to regular levels, a bonus area titled “Safe Area” can be accessed by collecting one of multiple Star shaped icons that have been placed throughout most levels of the game, including in “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink”; “Safe Area” takes place in a city themed nighttime setting - very similar to “Cat On A Hot Pink Roof”, although on the ground instead of on the rooftops - and the only objective is to avoid falling hazards (namely: anvils, safes and grand pianos) and collect useful items (namely: “Tricks” and extra lives) that occasionally spawn where a hazard had fallen after it disappears. This level finishes automatically when the timer - which is set to 30 seconds - runs out; the player is then sent back to the level from where they collected the Star icon that sent them to “Safe Area”.

Each time a level is started or re-entered (including “Safe Area”), a title screen is briefly shown, where a man holds up a clapperboard that bears the level's title as well as the number of takes (this number increases each time a corresponding level is reentered or retried); the man claps the clapperboard, the screen fades out, and the level then starts/continues. When the player finishes a level, a screen is shown where the player's final score is counted and extra lives may be granted if the player is awarded with enough extra points; with the exception of “Safe Area”, this will only happen when the player finishes a level the first time, and will not happen again if the player finishes a level an additional time.

Just like with most platform games, the player gets a “Game Over” when the Pink Panther perishes and doesn't have any more extra lives to re-spawn; but rather than being a simple menu that asks if the player wishes to continue, the “Game Over” screen is a level in itself: This “Game Over” level, which starts and ends like any other level in the game (though does not award the player with enough extra points to grant extra lives), takes place in a Studio; the Pink Panther spawns in an area with 2 studio doors, one on ground level marked “Exit” and one high up on a girder marked “Continue”. Going though the door marked “Exit” will clear the level and reset the game; going though the door marked “Continue” will take the player back to the level they were on and also replenish the Pink Panther with 5 extra lives, but to get to this door, the player needs to collect a token that has stairs on it - which is placed right above the Pink Panther at the start of the level - and use it at the nearby “Toll” to spawn a staircase that the Pink Panther can climb to get to the door. The timer is also set to 30 seconds, and the game will reset if the player lets it run out; the game will also simply reset if the Pink Panther ever perishes in this level. A secret area behind the doors can also be accessed by activating the debugging mode (see below) and scrolling rapidly to the left side of the screen; this area has multiple unusual icons on high up girders that add extra time to the clock.

To complete the game, the player must navigate the Pink Panther though all the levels that can be accessed from “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink” as well as 4 additional levels that are accessed from within other levels - “Pink Ranger: Hotel” is accessed from within “Pink Ranger”, “Stuffing Battle” and “Pink Lemonade” are accessed from within “Refrigerator”, and “Pink Chill” is accessed when “Refrigerator” is finished. Once the player has cleared all of these levels at least once, a mouse hole will spawn on the bottom right of “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink”; entering it will complete “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink” and take the player to another level: “Polterpink” - a haunted castle themed level. Here, the player must navigate the Pink Panther though said haunted castle, clear another level accessed from within “Polterpink” - “Pinkenstein”, a Frankenstein laboratory themed level - and finally battle and defeat the ghost boss at the end of “Polterpink”, which will finish the game.

What's especially notable about this version of the game is the amount of debugging functionality the developers left intact. Although the game is “one player” only, a second controller can be plugged into the SNES unit and used to activate - by pressing ‘B’ on the second controller - a debugging mode which will let the Pink Panther move freely around each level - including in mid air, and through walls and platforms; additionally, the Pink Panther will instantly warp to the other side of the level if he's moved past the left or right edge. This can be used to easily and quickly finish each level. In addition to that, the player can also skip to the next level - in order of level ID - by holding down “Select” and pressing “Start” (note that this cheat will not work while either in “Game Over” or “Safe Area”); “Polterpink” cannot be reached via this method, but it's sub-level, “Pinkenstein”, can be reached via this method. Even with these cheats, however, the ghost boss will not appear at the end of “Polterpink” unless every other level (excluding “Game Over”, “Safe Area”, and “Honey, I Shrunk The Pink”) is cleared at least once; otherwise, a glowing steal gate will remain shut over the door from which the final boss emerges, and it will cause instant and continuous harm to the Pink Panther if he makes contact with it.

Sega Genesis

Like in the SNES version, The Pink Panther also starts the game shrunken down and inside a house, which also serves as the hub that leads to all the other levels of the game; but unlike the SNES version, the hub isn't a level that's supposed to be finished, and there are no hazards nor abysses that can harm the Pink Panther. From here, the player can navigate the Pink Panther to all the other levels.

With the exception of “Refrigerator” and its sub-levels, after the Pink Panther selects a level, he is taken to a “Sound Stage” that leads to a door - with the name of the level on a sign next to it - that leads to the start of the level; throughout the “Sound Stage” are multiple hazards, such as falling sandbags and cameras and spotlights that move by themselves - which was cause harm to the Pink Panther if he comes in contact with them. After the Pink Panther completes a level, he is taken back to the main hub and a barrier that reads “Set Closed” lands in front of the completed level's entrance.

The Pink Panther has more units of health in this version than he does in the SNES version, and the amount on health he has is indicated to the player via a health bar at the top of the screen. The Pink Panther will loose some of this health if he runs into or is hit by a hazard without; and if he runs out of health, he will perish and the player will lose one life - the same thing will happen, regardless of the amount of extra health the Pink Panther has on hand, if he falls into an abyss. The player can increase the Pink Panther's extra health by collecting square icons with a heart on them that have been placed around each level, and the Pink Panther can also gain brief invincibility (which is indicated by the Pink Panther flashing) by collecting square icons with a paw-prints on them. The Pink Panther's health resets to 100% when he/she enters or completes a level.

To eliminate hazards, the Pink Panther is equipped with an “extending boxing arm” with which he uses to punch said hazards; this has a slightly wider range than the “Flit Sprayer” he uses in the SNES version, and this range can even be extended for a short time by collecting a special icon. Some hazards need to be punched multiple times before perishing. Similar to the SNES version, the player can also collect and execute “Tricks” to eliminate hazards, but there are fewer tricks in the Genesis version than there are in the SNES version.

Similar to the “Tolls” in the SNES version, hidden “Toll Booths” will pop up when the Pink Panther walks to the right spot, and these help the player navigate to certain parts of a level; to make it work, a player needs to have collected at least one pink icon - similar to the tokens which activate the “Tolls” in the SNES version - with one of multiple symbols on it (each one activates something different), and the player must use one with the booth to activate the needed transport. Using an icon with an Umbrella on it for example makes the booth spawn an Umbrella that the Pink Panther grabs onto and takes him higher up.

A score is kept like in the SNES version; but unlike the aforementioned version, the score is always displayed at the bottom of the screen, and it is increased every time the player punches a hazard to collects certain items - most notably, Star Icons that are similar to those in the SNES version that take the Pink Panther to “Safe Area” (this bonus level isn't present in the Genesis version).

The game is completed once all the levels have been cleared.

Reception

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
Electronic Games83% (Genesis)
75% (SNES)
Nintendo Accion74 (SNES)
Digital Press5/10 (SNES)
MegaForce86% (Genesis)
Joypad77% (Genesis)[1]
Superplay76% (SNES)[2]

Electronic Games gave the Genesis version 83%,[3] and the SNES version 75%.[4] Spanish magazine Nintendo Accion gave the SNES version 74.[5] Digital Press gave the SNES version 5 out of 10.[6] MegaForce gave the Genesis version 86%.[7]

References

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