Marzipan Beef Reverser

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The Beef Reversing

A micro platformer about Marzipan reversing beef back onto a cow. It can be played on the itch.io page or downloaded and played on a Game Boy emulator, actual Game Boy hardware via flash card adaptor or an Analogue Pocket.

Cast (in order of appearance): Marzipan, Cow Skeleton, Homestar Runner

Date: Monday, March 21, 2022

Contents

[edit] Controls

Action Key 1 Key 2 Key 3 Game Boy Button
Jump Z J A
Hair Whip X K Command/Ctrl B
Move Arrow keys A and D 4 and 6 on number pad D-Pad
Rewind gameplay Backspace N/A
Pause (in version 2.0) Return/Enter Start
Change colors [ ] Bracket keys N/A


[edit] The Game

The game opens with a screen displaying a cow skull above the game's title and the text "press any budden". Once any button is pressed, gameplay begins and music starts to play. The game progresses through four stages, with each stage consisting of first a platform scroller followed by a boss fight. Marzipan starts with four units of health (shown in the bottom left as white bars) and can gain health by touching health bars up to a maximum of eight units.

For the platform scroller, Marzipan must navigate rightward to the end of the stage. She must avoid hazards, which include steaks (some of which move, some of which have wings and fly), chasms, milk wave attacks (level 3 and 4 only), and spikes (level 3 and 4 only). If she touches a steak or a milk wave attack, she loses one hit point. If she touches spikes, falls down a chasm, or runs out of health, a screen reading "DEATH!" will appear, prompting any button to be pressed, and the platform scroller stage restarts with four units of health. Steaks sometimes provide collectible health bars when attacked, and there are occasional health bars already in the level. The end of the platform scroller is marked by a small sign on the ground, and when Marzipan approaches it, the boss fight begins. In successive levels, the platform scroller becomes more difficult.

For the boss fight, the music changes, and Marzipan appears on the left, with a cow skeleton in the upper right. The skeleton shoots out steaks, which move in one of four different patterns and damage Marzipan by one unit of health when touched. The patterns are randomized. In the second level onward, the skeleton has an udder, which shoots milk wave attacks at random. The milk blinks in place a few times before shooting leftward, and it damages Marzipan by one unit of health when touched. To win the boss fight, Marzipan must whip the steaks with her hair, which knocks them back to stick to the skeleton. Milk cannot be attacked. Every few attacks, the skeleton visibly adds flesh until at the end it looks like a healthy, living cow. Each level she must successfully attack nine steaks without dying, after which the next level begins at the platform scroller. Steaks sometimes provide collectible health bars when attacked. If Marzipan runs out of health, the "DEATH!" screen appears, and the boss fight restarts with four units of health. In successive levels, the frequency and velocity of attacks increases, with the music speeding up in each level.

Once Marzipan finishes the last level, the cow is regenerated to its whole body, accompanied by victorious music. If Marzipan approaches the cow, this dialogue appears:

Thank you Marzi. You reversed the beef!

If the player is missing bars of health, the dialogue finishes:

...
That will be all.

After this, the game resets. The bovine skull on the title screen is replaced with a cow's face, and the words "Beef Reverser" on the title screen are changed to "Beef Reversed".

If the player manages to complete the game with all eight bars of health left, the following dialogue is displayed instead, followed by the bonus stage:

I also noticed you have full health.
Have a bonus stage as a reward!


[edit] Bonus Stage

The game prompts:

Go green! Smash up that auto, Marzi!

There is now an automobile in the middle of the screen. Marzipan can attack the side of the automobile, gradually damaging it. She must attack the right and left sides at least eight times each to win the level, after which a dejected Homestar floats down from the sky onto the roof. A text box reads:

Oh his car!

If Marzipan attacks Homestar as he descends onto the car, it displays this message instead, followed by the secret boss:

Oh you wanna fight huh? Let's grow!


[edit] Secret Boss

The secret boss is a skeletal Homestar in the upper right corner, similar to the cow skeleton, as a different song plays. Gameplay is similar to the normal boss fights, as Homestar shoots steaks with star logos, which Marzipan must attack. The player must successfully attack nine steaks without dying to end the level. Instead of shooting milk, Homestar's alternate attack is for the top of his skull to come off and fly down diagonally into the lower left corner and back to his head, and it will damage Marzipan if touched. If she dies during this fight, it restarts, except she has full health. Steaks sometimes provide collectible health bars when attacked. Every few attacks, Homestar's flesh is restored until he is back to normal.

After defeating and regenerating Homestar, if Marzipan approaches him, this dialogue appears:

You did it Marzi! You rebeefed me!

If the player is missing bars of health, the dialogue finishes:

...
And also I'm enormous now!
So thanks for that I guess!

If the player manages to restore Homestar with all eight bars of health left, the following dialogue is displayed instead, followed by the second bonus stage:

And didn't lose no health neither!
You get a never-ending rain of Homestars!


[edit] Bonus Stage #2

A fully rejuvenated Homestar is in the upper right corner, but he does not attack. Instead, dejected Homestars fall down from the sky in random locations, similar to Armless Invaders. Marzipan can run around and collect them by touching them. There is no penalty for missing a Homestar.

If she collects 10 Homestars, the game displays this message:

Whoa! 10 of thems! You gotted great!

If she collects 25 Homestars, the game displays this message:

25! You must have a persistent style

If she collects 50 Homestars, the game displays this message:

50! What is wrong with you?

If she collects 100 Homestars, the game displays this message:

100? Ugh, fine. You can watch this deleted cutscene
of my face melting that was deemed "too hot for GB"
But beware, it's PG-13 prolly.

The game then displays the hidden cutscene. It shows a scared-looking Homestar's face and body melting off as the screen shakes, leaving him behind in the skeletal form that is in the boss fight. The game resets to the "Beef Reversed" title screen.

[edit] Versions

[edit] Original Version

The original version of the game only includes the cow skeleton boss fight, without the platforming stages between phases. Rather than being randomized, the steaks repeat in this order: Downward left diagonal from cow, left horizontal from cow, left horizontal from ground level, and upward left diagonal from cow (bounces off top and left edge of screen). When the steak is hit, it disappears rather than playing the animation of returning to the cow. Each phase requires hitting eight steaks instead of nine. On the first level only, Marzipan can whip the skeleton directly to regain a unit of health, but she takes damage if she touches the skeleton; aside from this, there is no way to regenerate health. To compensate for this, Marzipan starts with the maximum number of health units, eight. If the player manages to complete the game without taking a hit, the dialogue finishes:

I also noticed you didn't take damage
That's pretty cool
...
That will be all.

The "Beef Reversed" ending screen and bonus stages are absent, and the game can not be paused. Everything else is the same as the current version.

[edit] Day 2 Patch

The Day 2 patch added a milk wave attack once the udders are restored, the first hidden bonus stage, and the updated ending dialogue. However, this patch was unstable, causing many players to experience a kernel panic crash. As such, the game was reverted to the old version around 30 minutes later, with the bonus stage being restored after three hours.

[edit] Version 2.0

Version 2.0 was released on April 6, 2022, restoring many of the features from the Day 2 Patch among other additions. The "Beef Reverser 2.0!" devlog page on itch.io reads:

Added a buncha stuff:
  • Mini-levels in between bovine battles
  • Random health drops from enemy beef
  • Randomized beef patterns
  • PAUSE button
  • Milk Wave!
  • Hidden Bonus Level
  • Hidden BOSS Level

In addition, steaks hit during boss phases now move to the part of the cow skeleton currently being restored.

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Trivia

  • The full itch.io description reads:

Help Marzipan whip steaks back onto a horrifying skeletal bovine carcass in order to bring it back to life! But beware, -or should we say... beRARE- the steaks can also hurt you! A micro game to celebrate MAR21 (marzi) day!

Can you unlock the HIDDEN BOSS?!

Controls:

  • Z (A) - Jump
  • X (B) - Hair Whip
  • Arrow Keys (D-pad) - Move
  • START (return) - Pause

Install instructions

If you have a flash cart or GameBoy emulator, the .gb file should run in it.

If you have an Analogue Pocket, the .pocket file is your friend!

If you prefer the original "Boss Only" version of the game, download the "BeefReverser_old" files.



  • The shortened itch.io description (seen on Videlectrix's page) reads "Help Marzipan turn steaks BACK into cows!"
  • The "More information" box lists the status as "Released", the platforms as "HTML5", the author as "Videlectrix", the genre as "Action", and the tags "beef", "homestar-runner", "marzipan", "micro-game", "vegetarian".
  • This is the only Homestar Runner game where all male characters are secrets.
  • The game has dedicated color palettes when played on a Super Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance.

[edit] Inside References

[edit] Real-World References

  • Marzipan's hair whip attack is highly reminiscent of the basic attack of Shantae, titular heroine of the Shantae series.
  • The car destruction minigame is based on the ones found in Final Fight and Street Fighter II. Homestar's exclamation of "Oh his car!" is based on an enemy from Final Fight who appears and screams "Oh, my car!" in anguish when the bonus stage is completed.
  • The comments about the face-melting scene being PG-13 "prolly" is a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which received a much criticized PG rating upon release despite a famous face melting scene, as the PG-13 rating did not yet exist, being invented upon request for the next Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Raiders probably would have received a PG-13 rating.

[edit] Fast Forward

[edit] External Links


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