Puyo Puyo (1992)

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For information on the series, see Puyo Puyo.

Puyo Puyo
Puyo Puyo Boxart Mega Drive.jpg
Puyo Puyo Box Art (Mega Drive)
Goo! (PCE)
SPS (X68)
Quest (Win3.1)
Winkysoft (GB)
M2 (Switch/MD Mini)
PublishersSega (AC/MD/GG/VC/MD Mini)
Compile (PC98)
Banpresto (SFC/GB)
CSK Research Institute (FMT)
NEC Avenue (PCE)
SPS (X68)
Bothtec (Win)
PlatformsArcade, PC-9801, Super Famicom, Game Boy, Mega Drive, Master System, Game Gear, PC Engine CD, N-Gage, Wii Virtual Console, 3DS Virtual Console, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, X68000, FM Towns, Nintendo Switch, Mega Drive Mini
Players1-2 players
Release dateArcade
Japan October 1992
United States 1992?
Europe 1992?

Mega Drive

Japan December 18, 1992

Game Gear

Japan March 19, 1993


Japan March 19, 1993

Super Famicom

Japan December 10, 1993

FM Towns

Japan March 18, 1994

PC-Engine CD

Japan April 22, 1994


Japan July 29, 1994

Game Boy

Japan July 31, 1994

Windows 3.1

Japan May 28, 1995

Windows 95

Japan August 2, 1996

System 7

Japan December 28, 1996

Wii Virtual Console (MD)

Japan December 2, 2006

Wii Virtual Console (AC)

Japan April 12, 2011

3DS Virtual Console (GG)

Japan January 30, 2013

Sega Ages (Nintendo Switch)

Japan March 28, 2019
United States August 22, 2019
Europe August 22, 2019

Mega Drive Mini

United States September 19, 2019
Europe October 4, 2019

Puyo Puyo (ぷよぷよ, Puyo Puyo) is an enhanced version of the 1991 MSX2 and Famicom Disk System game of the same name. The game was developed for the Sega System C-2 arcade hardware and ported to a variety of consoles.


See also: Basic rules, Scoring, Puyo Puyo (rule)


Unlike the MSX and Famicom versions of Puyo Puyo, this version focuses on competitive play, and thus replaces the Endless and Mission modes present in those games with Scenario. Scenario consists of a series of battles against AI opponents and includes Beginner mode, which gives the player three opponents unrelated to the main game, Normal mode, which features 13 characters, and Difficult mode, which automatically sends the player to the fourth battle of Normal. Most of the arcade version's home ports reintroduce Endless mode, while the Game Gear and PC-98 versions reintroduce Mission mode as "Nazo Puyo".

The object of the game is to fill up the opponent's field by creating a combo of Puyo clears (also known as a "chain"); this will result in Nuisance Puyos being sent to the field of the opponent. As this game lacks the offset rule introduced in its immediate successor Puyo Puyo Tsu, the most optimal method of play is to make a five or six chain and wait out the opponent.


The gameplay in multiplayer is identical to that of Scenario mode, except with a second player involved. The console versions include a handicap setting that, before each match, allows lesser-skilled players to be given an advantage or higher-skilled players to be given a disadvantage.

Scenario story and opponents

The Scenario mode features Arle Nadja, protagonist of the Madou Monogatari series. She has learned a spell known as Owanimo, which converts four or more similarly-colored creatures into pure energy. She plans to use this spell to defeat Satan, but must first battle twelve other opponents.

The English version features a slightly different plot: Arle, now known as Silvana, must protect her home from the Black Kingdom. Each character's English name is noted in parenthesis where applicable.

Beginner levels

Normal levels

Normal and Difficult levels


Puyo Puyo was originally developed for the Mega Drive-based Sega System C-2 arcade hardware. The arcade version only supports one rotation button (clockwise) and temporarily lowers the game difficulty whenever the player continues after losing, quirks that are not carried over into any of its home ports.

Arcade hardware variations

The arcade emulator MAME currently lists four variations of the arcade game:

  • Japan, Rev. A: The first version of the game. This version contains a bug that disables the AI's ability to manually drop Puyos whenever the opposite joystick (P2 if the player is P1 and vice versa) is pushed to the left or right; this is most easily seen with Suketoudara or Harpy, who are programmed to manual drop a certain number of Puyos at the start of a match.
  • Japan, Rev. B: The most commonly-distributed version of the game. Removes the Mega Drive header contained within Rev. A and fixes the bug detailed above.
  • World: The English version. Does not fix Rev. A's AI bug.
  • World, bootleg: The English version, extracted from illegal hardware. No notable gameplay differences.

Notable ports

  • The Mega Drive port is arcade-perfect in terms of gameplay, visuals, music, and most sound effects. However, slight audio hardware differences between the Mega Drive and System C-2 forced the removal of almost all of the game's voice work. As the Mega Drive port is based on Rev. A, it is possible to reproduce the AI glitch with Controller 2.
    • The Mega Drive port is included on M2 and Sega's Mega Drive Mini in Japan. If the language is set to English, French, German, Italian or Spanish, the ROM will be replaced with Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. The latter game is included on American/European versions of the system, and will be replaced with Puyo Puyo if the language on it is set to Japanese, Traditional Chinese, or Korean.
  • The Super Famicom port (Super Puyo Puyo) features a smaller screen resolution than most console versions, forcing the median to be thinned and the character portrait to be placed in the opponent's field. However, this port retains all of the original's voice acting.
  • The Game Gear port includes Mission mode from the MSX2 game, and also contains a hidden English translation.
  • The PC-98 port likewise features Nazo Puyo missions.
  • The PC-Engine port (Puyo Puyo CD) includes full voice acting for cutscenes, in addition to exclusive scenes that play when the difficulty is set to Hardest. Most notably, it also allows both players to choose who they want to play as, making all of the characters playable (except everybody after Witch).
  • The Wii Virtual Console Arcade port was the first online-enabled Virtual Console game, though online service has since been discontinued.
  • The Nintendo Switch port, part of the Sega Ages line, is once again developed and ported by M2. It adds counterclockwise rotation, Puyo Puyo Tsu's double rotation, and online play to the original System C-2 version of the game. It also includes the English version, being the only port of this version aside from the hidden Puzlow Kids translation in the Game Gear Puyo Puyo, making it the first official port of the game to release in North America and Europe without removing the Madou Monogatari characters.

Unofficial Ports

The game was ported to Amiga by request of the Amiga Power magazine and was featured on a cover disk under the name Super Foul Egg. It was then ported to RISC OS on Acorn by Owain Cole (and featured on an Acorn User cover disk), and finally ported to Java.


Puzlow Kids and arcade translation

An English-translated version of the System C-2 arcade game exists. This version features English-language voice work, changes several characters' names and personalities, and modifies Harpy's design to remove her wings. The circumstances of its release are unknown; it was allegedly released in Europe and may or may not have been released in 1992. It was assumed by many to be a knockoff/hacked version, due to the changes. In 2019, SEGA and M2 released a Switch port of Puyo Puyo under the SEGA Ages line, which included this translation, which confirms that this was an official version.

Additionally, the Game Gear port of Puyo Puyo, when used in a non-Japanese handheld, becomes the fully-translated Puzlow Kids. In this version of the game, Puyos are known as "P-Kids."

Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Kirby's Avalanche

Instead of directly publishing Puyo Puyo in the west, Sega decided to repackage the game as a Sonic the Hedgehog spinoff. The resulting game, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, was released in 1993 for the Sega Mega Drive, Game Gear, and the Master System. (The latter release only occurred in Europe and Brazil.)

Nintendo later approached Compile for their own Puyo Puyo game, leading to the 1995 Kirby's Avalanche (Kirby's Ghost Trap in Europe) for the SNES.


This version of Puyo Puyo is an expansion of a previous version made for the MSX and Famicom Disk System. According to an interview with former Compile employee Kazunari Yonemitsu, who created the Puyo Puyo series, the breakout hit Street Fighter II: The World Warrior heavily influenced the decision to create an entirely competition-based game.

Sega, beyond publishing the original arcade version, is said to have had a hand in its development. They assisted in the development of Scenario mode and allowed Compile to refer to code from fellow puzzle game Columns. The garbage tray that shows the number of Puyos waiting for the player is also said to have originated from a request by Sega.

Very little is known about the development of the English version; however, one issue of Compile Club Underground features a short blurb where an employee mentions having seen a tape of it. Curiously, the magazine suggests that this version was developed in Spain.


  • Rulue is the only character in the game that doesn't have a vocal catchphrase. This could be related to the fact that many of the voices were recycled from the original versions of Madou Monogatari 123, where Rulue does not directly fight Arle. However, she receives a catchphrase in the fully-voiced Puyo Puyo CD.
  • Rulue's initials on the default high score table are LUL, likely owing to common issues in differentiating L's and R's when romanizing names originally rendered in katakana.
  • The Japanese arcade versions contain an unused voice clip in which Arle stutters the Diacute spell, akin to when the player casts Diacute twice in Madou Monogatari 123. It cannot be accessed through conventional means.
  • The arcade and Mega Drive versions of this game and Puyo Puyo Tsu are coded to handle six different colors of Puyo. As seen in the prototype, six colors were planned to be in the game at some point.
  • The Mega Drive version contains an unused BGM titled "Rejection of Puyo Puyo"; it is a remix of a BGM from Madou Monogatari III. According to an interview in All About Puyo Puyo, the original plan was to place a cutscene between the Witch and Zoh Daimaoh battles that would have used the song; the scene was ultimately scrapped due to space limitations.
  • Puyo Puyo is one of two Japan-exclusive Game Gear titles that adapt to non-Japanese handhelds, the other being Ronald McDonald in Magical World.
  • In this game, "Puyo Puyo Hell" appears to be the in-universe name of the competitive gameplay; for example, Draco Centauros challenges Arle to "Puyo Puyo Hell". However, in later games, Puyo Hell is implied to be an actual location that is Satan's domain. This has led to some confusion, particularly among Japanese fans.

Mega Drive Prototype

Main article: Puyo Puyo (Prototype)

A prototype version of the Mega Drive port exists. Though it has not been dumped, video footage exists. Notable additions/changes include:

  • A timer is located at the top of the player's field.
  • The preview window labels always read "1P" and "2P". In the actual game, they read "ARLE" and a 4-letter abbreviation based on the current enemy.
  • There is an opening cutscene that features several Puyos raining down upon Arle.
  • A sixth, turquoise-colored Puyo. It is similar in appearance to the MSX/Famicom version's gray Puyo.

In addition, there is allegedly a prototype Mega Drive cart containing an English translation, but no footage has been released.

English Version

For several years, there were claims that the English arcade version of the game is not legitimate and is instead an unlicensed bootleg. As most details regarding its release have seemingly been lost, there was no way to definitely prove or disprove this; however, the confusion regarding its authenticity may have been due to MAME obtaining the "World, Bootleg" version of the game years before obtaining the standard "World" version. Notably, the World version's files are labeled according to Sega's official EPROM naming format, using a range (EPR-15196 to EPR-15200) that is unused by any other Sega arcade games, while the World Bootleg version's files are labeled according to its MAME title.

Striking similarities between the English arcade game and Puzlow Kids further suggested that the localized version is a legitimate release, including the Beginner and Normal/Difficult endings (barring minor spelling/punctuation/grammar corrections in Puzlow Kids) and the Vs mode "All Right!" and "Oh no..." graphics. Additionally, Satan retains the "Dark Prince" name introduced in the English arcade game in later English releases.

The Japanese guidebook All About Puyo Puyo Tsu (published in 1996) contains an interview in which Compile artist Sonchou Sawa makes brief mention of a European version of Puyo Puyo that changes Harpy to a "Dark Angel" for religious reasons and renames Panotty to Johnny. These changes are very similar to changes in the English version. (Harpy losing her wings to become Dark Elf and Panotty's name being changed.)

In March 2019, Sega included the World version in their SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo release for Nintendo Switch, confirming its legitimacy. According to an interview published by Game Watch upon the Japanese release of this version, Sega obtained the ROMs for the English version from a collector, and has no internal documentation about the game or its distribution.

Other notes about the English version:

  • Carbuncle is the only character to retain their vocal catchphrase from the Japanese version.
  • The English version has fewer voice samples overall, with some being used in multiple places. Despite this, the English version uses more space for its vocal clips, likely due to many catchphrases being longer than their Japanese equivalents.
  • The cutscene choreography is modified in several places. Most notably, Draco's laughing animation and Satan's reaction to his name being mispronounced are completely unused in the English version.
  • The English version has an unused "Winners Don't Use Drugs" message, akin to many arcade games released in the United States in the early 1990s.


Title Plays during:
Cutscenes (Practice, Stages 1-8)
Gameplay (Practice)
Gameplay (Stages 1-8)
Cutscenes (Stages 9-12)
Gameplay (Stages 9-12)
Cutscene (Final Stage)
Gameplay (Final Stage)
Game Over
Final Stage Victory
Roll Call
Title Plays during:
Staff Credits


All versions
  • Producer: Masamitsu Niitani (Moo Niitani)
  • Director: Masanobu Tsukamoto (M Tsukamoto)
  • Sound Driver: Takayuki Hirono (Jemini Hirono)[Not in the SFC version]
  • Music, Sound Effects: Masanobu Tsukamoto (M Tsukamoto), Akiyoshi Nagao (Einosuke Nagao)
  • Package/Manual: Ichi, Tokifuru Morita
Mega Drive version
  • Scenario, Character Design: Hyohju Mu
  • Graphic Design: Koji Teramoto (Janus Teramoto), Takayuki Watanabe (Kerol), Neko-Nyan, Tokifuru Morita, Sonchoh Sawa
  • Programmer: K. Yoshinaka
Game Gear version
  • Programmer: Nattoh
  • Graphic Design: Tokifuru Morita, Sonchoh Sawa
Super Famicom version (Compile staff)
  • Sub-Director: Kazunori Ikeda
  • Programmer: Takayuki Hirono (Jemini Hirono)
  • Sub-Programmer: JG4MSG Takeuchi, Masatoshi Setoh
  • Graphic Designer: Koji Teramoto (Janus Teramoto), Hotta
  • SFC Converter: Akiyoshi Nagao (Einosuke Nagao)
  • Illustrator: Sonchoh Sawa
  • Package/Manual: Ayame Kizuki, Rainbow Papa, Hisoku Kazuto, Akira Minazuki
  • Sales Promotion: Kazuhiro Kounoue
Super Famicom version (Banpresto staff)
  • Banpresto staff: Hajime Ishikawa, Akira Kanatani
Game Boy version (Compile staff)
  • Director: Rainbow Papa
  • Supervisor: Takayuki Hirono (Jemini Hirono)
  • Manual: Kidopyu
  • Illustrations: Sonchoh-Sawa
Game Boy version (Banpresto staff)
  • Banpresto staff: Akira Kanatani, Minoru Kadotsuji, Daigo Masaki, Youichi Fujikawa, Inchiki Katoh, Toshiyuki Itahana
Game Boy version (Winkysoft staff)
  • Programmer: S. Takamiya
  • Graphic Designer: Atsuki Toda
  • Composer: Daisuke Fujimoto (Daisuke Hujimoto)
  • Special Thanks: Takeshi Watanabe (Takesi Watanabe), Toohru Abe, Akinori Yoshioka (Akinori Yosioka)


The Mega Drive version was a bestseller in Japan for four months.[1]


  1. Official Japanese Mega Drive sales chart, September 1993, published in Mega issue 12, page 12

External links