Special thanks to Dave Giarrusso, Matt Lewandowski, Jess Ragan, Lee Taylor, Marcel Gonzalez, Nathan Sidwell, John McIssac, Tim Duarte, Mike Thibodeau, John L. Mooney, the compilors of the KLOV, Frank Polosky of Video Magic, Joe Santulli of Digital Press, without whom this list would not have been possible.
1. Who/what is Mr. Do? 2. What other games are in this series? 3. Descriptions of the characters, levels, settings, intermissions, etc. 4. What home versions are available? 5. Recurring items in each game 6. Was there a fifth game? 7. Trivia
Mr. Do! was a coin-op release from Universal in 1982. It has many similarities with Dig Dug, a Namco coin-op, but in my humble opinion, Do! and his several sequels are far superior. It is debatable as to which one copied which since both games were released in the same year. Here's my write up which appeared in the fanzine "Video Magic" #107 (not verbatim)
In this game, the player is cast as Mr. Do!, a clown trying to harvest an orchard of cherries and apples. Along the way your enemies are Badguys, Diggers, Blue Chompers, and Alphamonsters. The setting of each level is very much like Dig Dug in that you must move Mr. Do! around on a path, or dig one as you move along, which is slightly slower. Your goal is either to collect all the cherries or kill all the enemies on the screen. There are two ways to kill enemies. First, there are the apples located in various places around the level. By luring enemies under these, they can be squashed, or by making them fall one place without hitting an enemy, they can be used to push enemies away or you may wait for more badguys to appear underneath, then push the apple over them to score multiple kills. Do!'s other defense is a "powerball," a weapon that when thrown, moves erratically down any path it finds, thus you are never quite sure if it will go the way you want it to. This may sound like a negative aspect, but I find that it is very effective in long tunnels and much more effective than the Dig Dug pump. Also in the game are food treats located in the middle of the screen. By eating these, the game is momentarily paused, and an alphamonster comes out with four blue chompers. Alphamonsters have one letter of the word, "EXTRA" written on their chest, and by destroying all of the alphamonsters, you are rewarded with an extra life. Mr. Do! has well-drawn graphics, charming music, and gameplay that never grows old or tiresome.
Things I forgot to mention in this review:
Badguys will temporarily become Diggers if they remain stationary (stuck behind an apple) long enough. Alphamonsters and Blue Chompers can eat the apples if they are facing the direction in which they are dropped, or if the apples are already on the ground. This makes them much more difficult to kill with apples. There is also a diamond that will allow the player to automatically skip the level. It's uncommon but when it does happen, it will be located in a recently broken apple. In the arcade, this would also reward the player with an extra credit.
Mr. Do!'s Castle (Oct. 1983) Mr. Do!'s Wild Ride (Jun. 1984) Do! Run Run (Nov. 1984)
Mr. Do!'s Castle
I wrote this synopsis in the June/July "Video Magic" #109 (again, not verbatim).
In 1984*, Universal followed up their small success of Mr. Do! with the sequel, Mr. Do!'s Castle. Rather than make this the same game with a few added enhancements, they decided to go in an entirely different direction. This time, enemies (which I believe are supposed to be unicorns) have invaded Mr. Do!'s castle and his only defense is a hammer which is ineffective on the unicorns themselves. Instead, Mr. Do! must use the hammer to hit floor tiles to either acquire the cherry or key displayed on it, to cause the unicorns to fall in and repair the hole, or to squash enemies with falling tiles from above. To get from floor to floor, there are both straight ladders that cannot be moved and ladders facing diagonally which may be kicked left or right to suit your needs. If all three key tiles are hit, the doors at the top of the castle light up. When Mr. Do! touches these doors, all enemies become alphamonsters with one of the letters of the word EXTRA, and may be crushed with the hammer. (Note: only the alphamonsters may be killed by hitting them directly with the hammer) The only things remotely related to the original were the cherries which may be used to complete a level and the alphamonster EXTRA life system. Having played only the arcade and 5200 versions, I can say that the 5200's graphics are only average. Mr. Do!'s clown outfit can be vaguely recognized and the keys and cherries are easily identifiable. Music is happy, childish, and perfectly suits this game. Although I probably preferred the original, this sequel is highly entertaining and challenging. Originality and innovation are what makes this game a winner.
* I see now that I was initially incorrect on the game's release date.
Things I forgot to mention in this review:
There are three types of unicorns: slow, faster, and fastest, the latter having the ability to multiply if not destroyed promptly. Mid-level unicorns may be hammered through the floor, but they will be raised up one level in power. Highest level unicorns may not be hammered through the floor. One platform in each level has a skull tile at either end. If both skulls are hit, the entire floor will go down, as will any enemy trapped between those tiles. The diamond is present in the arcade version.
Mr. Do!'s Wild Ride
Unlike the other three Do! games, there is much difference in opinion regarding Wild Ride. Matt Lewandowski tells me it was his favorite in the series, Jess Ragan says it was definitely the worst and an overall terrible game. I played it only once, and I remember it being not as good as the other Do! games, but not terrible either.
From Matt Lewandowski's description of Wild Ride in "Video Magic" #120 in addition to letters from both Matt and Jess, here's what I've compiled.
Mr. Do!'s scenario is a roller coaster, and the object is to reach the top. As the cars (and eventually other objects) speed around the track, you must escape by using a super speed button, or by climbing up small ladders scattered about the track. Two icons at the end of the level range from cakes to EXTRA letters or diamonds change upon collecting cherries at the top of each letter. The game is timed, and the timer ticks faster when the super speed button is depressed.
First screen: basic roller coaster second: Large bobbing pirate ship third: Elevators fourth: large bowling balls fly around track fifth: carousel intersects coaster sixth: elevators in circular paths
Do! Run Run
I've never seen this game, but I have many screen shots from back issues of RePlay magazine and descriptions from Lee Taylor, Dave Giarrusso, and Jess Ragan, I have a very good idea of how this one played. Also, everybody to whom I've spoken about this game has nothing but good things to say about it. Lee, Dave, Jess, and several arcade dealers are all unanimous in their accolade of Do! Run Run.
This information was compiled from the aforementioned sources:
The fourth and final game in the Mr. Do! series had our clown protagonist in a three-dimensional, multi-leveled playing field with dots evenly configured around the board and two strategically located logs at the edge of one of the higher levels. When the player walks around the dots, a line is drawn around them. Once the line is completed and the dots have been boxed, they become cherries. The alphamonsters are back this time, as are several other monsters including snakes, evil pac-man looking creatures, and possibly a green slimy blob as well. The blue chompers have been replaced by little triangular enemies which vaguely resemble wind-up mice. Mr. Do! has his powerball back, this time flying straight, and the logs may be used to crush enemies, similar to the apples in the first game. Again, the diamond will randomly appear, rewarding the player with an extra credit.
Here is a brief description from an ad for the game in the November 1984 issue of RePlay:
Do! Run Run
...and better than ever in the new game, Do! Run! Run! You run for your life as you're pursued around a 3-dimensional playing field, Up and down the stairs you race - just one step ahead of danger. A sizzling snake whizzes past and cuts off your escape! Quickly you throw your powerball and run as more snakes approach, rocketing balls of flame. No time to get another powerball. Hurry! Roll the log and let it crush everything in its path. More monsters appear! How will you ever escape?! Non-stop action is in store for you in the latest Mr. Do! adventure from Universal. You'll be breathless every time you play Do! Run! Run!
The ad has three screen shots over a photograph of a cute stuffed clown sitting at the top of three steps. The levels are filled with different colored balls, and masking tape on the floor draws a box around some of the balls.
3. Descriptions of the characters, levels, settings, intermissions, etc.
Badguys: look like wild eyed red dinosaurs Diggers: resemble ugly gila monsters Alphamonsters: Friendly looking monsters with no remarkable features They have two eyes on top and a letter on their chest. Blue Chompers: Very similar in appearance to the ghosts in all the Pac-Man games. Unicorns: Badguys with horns. Snakes: well, they're snakes... Evil Pac-Men: green in color and have two yellow stalks that are most likely eyes. They've also got large mouths with two vampirish front teeth
The level configurations for the first game have very distinct shapes. There is always a pre-made path, and it always says something, usually the number of the level you're on. For example, levels 2 through 9 have their corresponding letter written into the path. The first level has a period and a capital D, the tenth a zero with a line drawn through it. Every three levels a close up is shown with an Alphamonster and Digger running away from Do!, who is pushing an apple. Simultaneously the time in which each of the previous levels were completed is displayed, as is the way they were defeated, represented by a badguy (killing all enemies), alphamonster (spelling EXTRA), cherry (collecting all of them), or diamond.
Another kind of intermission occurs when EXTRA is spelled. The level is automatically completed and we see a close up of Mr. Do! hitting a helpless badguy with a powerball, who then waves a white flag while the powerball reappears in the form of an extra 1up in the life register with the message, "Congratulations! You win EXTRA Mr. Do!" appearing on the screen.
The third intermission is shown when a diamond is collected. "Congratulations! You win special. One more game," is the text accompanying another close up of Do! doing a one-handed handstand on a huge diamond. The clown then drops a coin with a skull on it to the bottom of the screen.
As for intermissions for the others, I can't say because I don't know exactly what they were. All games had intermissions for the diamond and extra. All game had attract modes as well.
Mr. Do! is available for 2600, ColecoVision, C-64, Atari 800 disk, Game Boy, and most recently Super Famicom. I loved the 800 version, the Game Boy version is OK but is hurt greatly by the scrolling of the screen, but the Super Famicom version is hands down the best. With the exception of Williams Arcade Classics for PC, this is arguably the closest arcade to home translation I've seen. Additionally, it has adjustable difficulty levels and a battle mode, which has enhanced graphics and allows two-player competitive play. Mr. Do!'s Castle is available for 2600 (butchered almost beyond recognition), 5200, ColecoVision, C-64, and Atari 800 cartridge. The best one I've played is the ColecoVision version as it has better graphics and sound than the 5200's. But the 5200 version definitely isn't bad. I'd be willing to bet that the Atari 800 version is very similar if not identical to its 5200 counterpart. Mr. Do!'s Wild Ride exists for C-64 and has the first, third, and fifth levels from the arcade only. Do! Run Run was (to my knowledge) never released for a home system.
No, but it was planned. Universal released one animated laserdisc game called "Super Don Quixote," which I never saw. They had planned to release several games on laserdisc, among them was "Adventure Mr. Do!". I can only assume that Universal went belly-up shortly after their first laser game was released, and that killed any chance of the fifth Do! game ever seeing the light of day. This is a real tragedy for me, as Space Ace and Dragon's Lair II are two of my favorite arcade games. I can only imagine what a fully animated Do! game would have been like.
There is a version of Mr. Do!'s Castle without cherries on the tiles.
The Asian version of Castle is called "Mr. Do vs. the Unicorns".
The music from the original if from a famous classical piece (the can can, I think).
Mr. Do! appears different on screen from the intermissions.
The Game Boy cover art looks nothing like the classical renditions of the clown.
Mr. Do!'s Wild Ride may be an homage to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, an attraction at Disneyland.
There is some debate surrounding the titles for the games. I've seen the second called "Mr. Do!'s Castle" and "Mr. Do's Castle". Similarly the third game may be "Mr. Do!'s Wild Ride," "Mr. Do!'s Wildride," "Mr. Do's Wild Ride," or "Mr. Do's Wildride". The last is even more confusing as it calls the game "Do! Run Run" in the logo but "Do! Run! Run!" in the description.
The final treat in the original is quite interesting:
A list of treats in Mr. Do! (arcade arcade and Super Famicom)
Scene Treat ------ ------ 1 Cherry cake slice 2 graham crackers 3 Bowl w/cherries 4 Ice Cream sundae 5 Cheeseburger 6 " 7 Green and white cake (lime?) 8 " 9 Waffle 10 " 11 Sandwich, cut diagonally 12 " 13 Milk bottle 14 " 15 " 16 Fried eggs 17 " 18 " 19 Pancakes 20 " 21 " 22 Cocktail (might be a margarita or martini or similar, but definitely an alcoholic beverage of some sort)
List of treats in Game Boy Mr. Do!
Scene Treat ------ ------ 1 Cherry cake slice 2 Graham crackers 3 Fried egg 4 Sundae 5 Cheeseburger 6 Banana 7 Muffin 8 Game Boy 9 Cookie 10 Phone 11 Milk Bottle 12 Carrot 13 Fish 14 Drumstick 15 Umbrella 16 Boot 17 (repeat level 1)
List of treats for Mr. Do!'s Wild Ride
Treat Point value ----- ------------ Sundae 100 Cocktail 200 Umbrella 300 sword 400 money bag 500 trophy 600 EXTRA letter 500 diamond 10,000
Currently in development for Neo Geo CD is "NEO Mr. DO!"
Any additions, corrections, comments, etc. are more than welcome. Who knows what the future might hold for this series? If they were to release all four games on one compilation for any system, it would be, quite literally, a dream come true. PLEASE pass on this information to anybody in the industry to let them know that Mr. Do! is neither gone nor forgotten. Perhaps someday my dream will become a reality.