McLeodGaming Wiki
Advertisement
McLeodGaming Wiki
Game & Watch
Game & Watch logo.png
Game & Watch symbol.svg
Logo of Game & Watch.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Distributor(s) Nintendo
Creator(s) Gunpei Yokoi
Genre(s) Action, puzzle, platforming
Platform(s) Game & Watch, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U
Platform of origin Game & Watch
Year of inception 1980
First installment Ball (1980)
Latest installment Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda (2021)

The Game & Watch (ゲーム&ウオッチ) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties concerning and modeled off of Nintendo's old Game & Watch brand of dedicated handheld gaming devices, released from 1980 to 1991. For predating even 1981's Donkey Kong, the Game & Watch games are sometimes labeled the grandfather of gaming. Of the various game franchises that have been heavily represented thus far in the Super Smash Flash series, this can be considered the most "out there" universe of them all, featuring a unique, distinctive, flat "mascot" character, referred to as Mr. Game & Watch, as a playable character in SSF and SSF2. Its symbol is a Mr. Game & Watch-esque character wearing a helmet and ringing a bell, a nod to the alarm feature of the Game & Watch systems.

Franchise description

Prior to his work in Nintendo in video games, where he would eventually create the first games in the Metroid and Kid Icarus series, Gunpei Yokoi was traveling on a Shinkansen Bullet Train when he saw a businessman pressing buttons on a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) calculator, in an attempt to kill time. It occurred to Yokoi that there could be an audience for a handheld machine meant specifically for game-based entertainment, so as head for Nintendo's R&D1, he created the first games in what would be a long-running line of Game & Watch dedicated handheld consoles (dedicated in that each individual unit had one game built into it). The games in the franchise were released as "subseries" based on the consistent design of each Game & Watch. The first set of G&W games released in 1980 was called the "Silver" series. The Game & Watch made handhelds vastly popular and prompted other companies, such as Tiger Electronics, to produce similar devices of their own.

The first Game & Watch games helped carve more of the path towards gaming as a mainstream commodity, continuing the trend of such products as Pong and SPACE INVADERS. This would later be continued by Nintendo in later releases, such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.. New sub-series of Game & Watch games were developed and released in the years following, though they would eventually be superseded by the Nintendo Game Boy. The sequel subseries to Silver, Gold, was made in 1981, and later subseries of Game & Watch products included the Wide Screen (1981-1982), Vertical Multi Screen (1982-1989), Horizontal Multi Screen (1983), Table Top (1983), Panorama (1983-1984), New Wide Screen (1982-1991), Super Color (1984), Micro Vs. System (1984), Crystal Screen (1986), and much later in 1998, the Mini Classics series. Throughout the Game & Watch's entire history, approximately 59 distinctive titles were released. The name of each subseries generally denotes the physical build and layout of the game devices in that subseries, such as games in the Vertical Multi Screen and Horizontal Multi Screen subseries being "clamshell"-designed handheld devices, with two separate screens displayed simultaneously, one above the other. The Yokoi-designed, multi-screen layout of Game & Watch gaming devices is extremely similar to the design of the modern-day handheld gaming device, the Nintendo DS.

The games themselves were generally simple in design, especially so for the earliest of the games, such as Ball or Manhole. They often had buttons titled "Game A" and "Game B", where selecting one game mode over the other would affect difficulty. As the rest of the gaming industry expanded and developed, the Game & Watch series became somewhat less antiquated; it would soon play fully ported versions of Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight, Super Mario Bros., and Zelda. Game & Watch games were not limited to known Nintendo characters either; there were also games based on Disney's Mickey Mouse, and several of the games featured an unnamed, fully black-colored character in particular.

After the Game & Watch series was superseded by the Game Boy and its many future successors, the Game & Watch name took its place as an artifact from gaming's early history. Several compilations of Game & Watch games have been released for handheld Nintendo systems, starting with Game & Watch ports and remakes#Game Boy Gallery for Game Boy in 1995. This would be followed by the Game & Watch Gallery games for the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, which feature both the original versions of Game & Watch games and remakes starring Mario characters, and the Game & Watch Collection games for the Nintendo DS, which released exclusively for Club Nintendo members and feature games in the Multi Screen series. When HAL Laboratory was designing Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001, it decided to renew historical appreciation for the brand by featuring properties from Game & Watch in the form of Mr. Game & Watch, who is designed after unnamed characters from several games and made to be the playable "mascot" of the Game & Watch series. Game & Watch has since become a better known subject among the gaming community, enough that properties from it make occasional cameo appearances elsewhere, such as Wario Land 4, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Super Mario Odyssey.

On September 3, 2020, as part of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo announced Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., a full-color screen Game & Watch system featuring ports of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, along with a Mario-themed version of Ball. This was the first new Game & Watch game to be released after the original series' discontinuation in 1991. It had a limited release starting November 13, 2020 and lasted until March 31, 2021. Later in 2021, Nintendo announced Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda as part of the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, featuring The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, along with a Zelda-themed version of Vermin. It was released on November 12, 2021.

In the Super Smash Flash series

In Super Smash Flash

Game & Watch was first introduced as a franchise in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Due to this, it made an appearance in Super Smash Flash, featuring Mr. Game & Watch as the sole representative.

Character

SSF Mr. Game & Watch icon.png
  • Mr. Game & Watch: A small, flat, black, and voiceless personality who made appearances among several Game & Watch games, Mr. Game & Watch was given his identity for his appearance as a Melee fighter. A character like no other in the Super Smash Bros. series, Mr. Game & Watch is almost totally flat, despite the game is in 2D, and nearly every movement he makes is distinctively frame-by-frame and is accompanied by a "beep-and-boop" sound.

In Super Smash Flash 2

While part of the initial roster of Super Smash Flash 2, the Game & Watch franchise was shelved for several years until the reveal of its flagship character.

Character

SSF2 Mr. Game & Watch icon.png

Stage

SSF2 Flat Zone +.png
  • Flat Zone +: A stage found inside a Game & Watch unit. It comprises elements from various Game & Watch games, notably Manhole and Turtle Bridge.

Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Flash series

The following list consists of media from the Game & Watch universe that appears in Super Smash Flash and Super Smash Flash 2.

Ball

  • Mr. Game & Watch, who is based on various nameless Game & Watch characters such as the juggler in this game, appears as an unlockable character in SSF and a starter character in SSF2.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's throws in SSF2 are based on the gameplay of this game, with the opponent changing to resemble one of the balls juggled.
  • The stage Flat Zone + in SSF2 takes place inside a Game & Watch unit, with this game being the first to release.

Flagman

  • Mr. Game & Watch's up tilt in SSF2 is based on the "1" flag held up in this game.

Vermin

  • Mr. Game & Watch's down smash and floor attack in SSF2 utilize the hammers that originate in this game.
  • The soft platforms on Flat Zone + in SSF2 are based on the ground in this game.

Fire

  • Mr. Game & Watch's design in SSF and SSF2 most closely resembles that of the civilians being rescued in the Wide Screen version of game.
  • Fire, Mr. Game & Watch's up special move in SSF2, uses the firefighters and their trampoline in this game to ascend.

Judge

Manhole

  • Mr. Game & Watch's down tilt in SSF2 uses the manhole cover in this game.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's pummel, ledge attack, and standard taunt, as well as one of his victory poses, utilize the alarm bell, which originates from the series' alarm function first featured in this game.
  • The bottom platforms on Flat Zone + in SSF2 are based on the ground in this game.

Helmet

  • Mr. Game & Watch's dash attack in SSF2 uses the helmet in this game.

Lion

  • Mr. Game & Watch's forward tilt in SSF2 uses the chair in this game.
  • The upper right tree in the background of Flat Zone + in SSF2 is based on the rightmost tree in this game.

Parachute

  • Fire, Mr. Game & Watch's up special move in SSF2, uses the parachute in this game to descend.
  • The outer design of Flat Zone + in SSF2 is based on the Wide Screen series of Game & Watch units, with this game being the first to release.
  • The left tree and cliff in the background of Flat Zone + in SSF2 is based on the leftmost platform in this game.

Octopus

  • Mr. Game & Watch's up attack in SSF and up smash in SSF2 use the scuba diver's helmet from this game.
  • Octopus, Mr. Game & Watch's Final Smash in SSF2, originates as the octopus in this game.

Chef

Turtle Bridge

  • Mr. Game & Watch's back aerial in SSF2 uses the turtle in this game.
  • The turtle on Flat Zone + in SSF2 is based on the turtle in this game, with the surrounding background details being based on this game as well.

Fire Attack

Oil Panic

  • Oil Panic, Mr. Game & Watch's down special move in SSF2, is based on the gameplay of both filling and emptying the bucket in this game.

Green House

Donkey Kong Jr.

  • Mr. Game & Watch's down aerial in SSF2 uses the key in this game.

Mario Bros.

  • Luigi, who debuted in this game prior to its official arcade release, appears as an unlockable character in SSF and a starter character in SSF2.
    • Waluigi's twelfth costume in SSF2 is based on Luigi.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's forward aerial in SSF2 uses the box in this game.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's down and up taunt in SSF2 originates as Mario's and Luigi's level complete animation in this game.

Mario's Cement Factory

  • Mr. Game & Watch's grab animation in SSF2 originates as the lever-pulling animation in this game.

Tropical Fish

  • Mr. Game & Watch's neutral aerial in SSF2 uses the fishbowl and fish in this game.

Spitball Sparky

  • Mr. Game & Watch's up aerial in SSF2 is based on Spitball Sparky's shooting ability in this game.

Game & Watch Gallery 4

  • Waluigi's standard attack in SSF2 is based on his high and low punches from the Modern version of Boxing in this game.
Advertisement