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Nchaa! Arale is a big success in Penguin Village!

Whao! Dr. Slump finally has his own game in full 3D. The Dr., Gachan and all of the residents of Penguin Village are here fully rendered in 3D polygons and you can move around in 360 degrees.

It's a really fun action adventure game!!
~ badly translated from the back of the PlayStation box

Have you ever watched a Dragon Ball anime or played one of its games and come across a character that feels a little out of place? I'm talking about a peppy cap-wearing robot girl named Arale with a penchant for poking poop. Unless you're really into Japanese Manga, you may not know her history as Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama's first comic strip called Dr. Slump. There was even a Japanese-only anime in the early 80s too, though it's the Japanese-only 1997 version that got turned into a Japanese-only PlayStation game. Thanks to a talented team of fan translators, it is no longer only for the Japanese. We can now fully play it in English!

Dr, Slump, in one of his inventing reveries, creates a robot girl named Arale. There is no explanation as to why, but it proves to be an eventful relationship to say the least. The game follows her attempt to integrate into the real world of schools and coffee shops with the odd segue into time travel, cherub hatching and pink poop collecting. It makes for a bizarre set up that's incredibly charming from the very beginning.

The original game uses the anime's 1997 redesign (left),
but modders have made a version using the classic design from 1981 (right).

Each of the game's seven chapters are split into two distinct sections; a story-based intro that plays much like an adventure game, and a platforming action segment. The first half is where you'll get the story, retelling some of the Manga's classic stories by travelling between areas to see what will happen next. You might also encounter a mini-game on occasion, or a moment that tests your observation skills. Sometimes, Arale will gopher around searching for items to deliver to random people, like a naughty magazine to the cool kid or a pack of cigarettes to a bratty girl (who also lost her undies for extra weirdness). Other times, she'll freak out the evil pilot of a giant mech by playing with poo. You're beginning to get an idea as to why this game never made it to the west.

Arale will also soak up everything she sees, learning new moves in doing so. Arale cannot jump until she sees the doctor do it. She cannot crawl until she helps a girl scramble for a lost earring. She cannot punch until she witnesses child abuse. That's all in the opening chapter with much more to uncover further on. Eventually each chapter will coalesce into an action stage where you'll put these new abilities to good use. These stages are short and sweet but offer up the most challenge in an otherwise incredibly easy game.

When Arale witnesses an action, she will add it to her move set.

Take the opening chapter as an example of the action segment. Here you'll time travel to the age of the dinosaurs making use of the jumping and punching you've learned to collect 8 stolen dino eggs before navigating through platforms to reach the final T-Rex boss. You can collect a good number of pink poop here, which will raise your pep monitored by the pep meter next to Arale's peppy face at the top of the screen. Fill it up, and the next time you visit  Dr. Slump in his lab, her will gift you with a most often useless gadget such as a sound level gauge or a compass. The action stages host most of the stinky pink you'll collect, but that also hide collectable golden poop just for completionists. As an added bonus, they give you extra pep but more often than not, the meter will be maxed out before you find one.

The good doctor will almost always be found at his home in Penguin Village. He'll likely be in the basement where he has set up his science lab, but he can also be in the living room. If he is here, he will offer hints as to where to go next. Elsewhere, in Arale's bedroom, you can access a whole host of options, including settings for sound, rumble and controls. You can also save here, change your costume (if you've unlocked any) and enable or disable any of Slump's new gadgets that will clutter up the screen. Basically, it's a menu screen without being a menu screen.

Dr. Slump on the Arcadia 2001. Stop aliens from stealing metal to build a space ship (left).
Refill on gas when your energy is running low (right).

There were many other games based on the character for a number of systems across the ages. There's a Sharp X1 game called Run! Senbei made by Enix in 1985 who also released Dr. Slump: Bubble Blitz for the NEC PC in 1984. There were a slew of LCD handheld titles and a Nintendo DS game by Bandai in 2008. Those Enix games seem to be lost to time with no ROM dumps that I could find and LCD games are never worth playing. The DS game may be the newest one out there, but it is completely unplayable due to language barriers and emulation issues. Arale's first ever video game, however, has been archived and it's fully playable through emulation. Made for the Emerson Arcadia 2001 by Bandai and released in 1983, this ancient adaptation of Dr Slump is a fun high-score action game with simple yet surprisingly engaging gameplay. Two aliens are stealing metal objects from Penguin Village and Arale has to stop them. She does this by shouting at them, then returning the metal back to where they got it from. You will slowly run out of energy, so when the gas canister pops up head on over there for a refill. It took me a short while to understand the controls - hold the action button then tap the direction you want to shout out your attack - but once I did it turned out to be a rarity from the era; something that's still very playable to this day.

Both available games based on Dr Slump are worth a go. They may be simple but the crazy charm of the character passes through any language barrier. I'm a little bummed that the show never got picked up for English speaking audiences, but there's a huge collection of Akira Toriyama fans ready and willing to make some of the media accessible. I'd say they've done a great job with Dr. Slump on the PlayStation making it something of a hidden gem for the system. Nchaa!

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses Retroarch with the Mednafen Beetle PSX, Mednafen Beetle PSX HW and MAME cores to emulate the PlayStation and Arcadia 2001 consoles. X-input (XBox) and PlayStation controllers supported. Extras included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.
  02.02.2023 - Version 2 - Changed "Turbo" hotkey so holding the button will work correctly.
                                          Changed Joypad emulation to "DualShock" so allow for analogue control.
                                          Those who've downloaded version 1 can just use "Patch-DRS_v2.zip" instead.

File Size: 957 Mb.  Install Size: 1.36 Gb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ





Dr. Slump (PlayStation) is © Bandai
Dr. Slump (Arcadia 2001) is © Bandai
Dr. Slump (The Manga) is © A. Toriyama
Dr. Slump (The Anime) is © Fuji TV + TOEI
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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  1. This is excellent! Never even knew there was a Dr. Slump game on the PS1.

  2. I had no idea Dr.Slump never made it into English. In Chile (and probably the rest of South America) we had the anime translated to Spanish. But to be fair I had no idea about a PS1 game either lol