Circus Caper (NES)

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Circus Caper
Circus Caper- NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1989
Developer: Advance Communication Company
Buy: Amazon

Circus Caper is an action adventure game developed by Advance Communication Company and published by Toho. In this game, you play as a young boy named Tim with his sister Judy. You win a ticket into the circus, but only one of you can get in since you get the last ticket. You let your sister go in. Later, when Tim comes to pick his sister up, he notices it is quiet in the big top tent. The main antagonist of the game, Mr. Magic appears and tells you he's taken your sister and you have no chance of rescuing her. It is up to Tim to defeat Mr. Magic and his cronies and rescue his sister.

Circus Caper is actually an Americanized version of a Famicom game called Moeru! Oniisan which is a different game based on the Japanese anime The Burning Wild Man, but still contains the same levels, bosses, and bonus games as the US version, just in different order. Though, the Japanese version is tougher, too because the AI is programmed to be harder. While Circus Caper offers no save feature, it does offer infinite continues, but there are no checkpoints, which means if you die, you must restart the level from the beginning. There are six levels which can be completed within 5-10 minutes, but a couple levels are mazes where you must take the right path in order to advance.

Screenshots

Circus Caper NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Circus Caper - NES - Cutscene - 1.png

How convenient that whenever you roll you win...

Circus Caper - NES - Cutscene - 2.png

The guy behind all of this mayhem.

Circus Caper - NES - Gameplay 1.png

The clowns in the background spell out 'Circus Caper'.

Circus Caper - NES - Bonus Game - 1.png

Beating one of the bonus games.

Circus Caper - NES - Boss Battle - 1.png

What kind of boss is this?!


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Music

The game has nice carnival-esque music to it. It even features a couple jazzy anthems. Some of the songs from the Japanese version were ported to the USA version. The music is tuned at 449.2 Hz which is pretty off-key for an NES game. Usually, NES games were tuned at 440.4 Hz or 442.1 Hz. We have listed Michiharu Hasuya as the composer for Circus Caper due to a musical comparison. For example, the Cutscene Theme 2 song uses a very identical part from the title music from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (NES). According to Michiharu, music had to be entered in hexadecimal. He was also responsible for programming the game's sound driver.

The Japanese soundtrack also has a nice fitting soundtrack. The first level has sort of a funk theme to it, plus some nice rockesque anthems for the other levels. A few of them are under minute long so they tend to be annoying from playing the same level over and over again, but they are catchy nonetheless.

The US soundtrack starts with a '1' and the Japanese soundtrack starts with a '2'.

Recording

# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
101 Title Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 1:48
Download
102 Cutscene 1 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 0:44
Download
103 Cutscene 2 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 0:45
Download
104 Stage 1 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 1:40
Download
105 Stage 2 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 1:31
Download
106 Stage 3 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 2:50
Download
107 Stage 4 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 1:51
Download
108 Stage 5 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 1:20
Download
109 Stage 6 Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 2:02
Download
110 Bonus Game 1 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 0:36
Download
111 Bonus Game 2 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 0:39
Download
112 Boss Battle Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:19
Download
113 Final Boss Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:44
Download
114 Game Over Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 0:03
Download
115 Ending Michiharu HasuyaMichiharu Hasuya 1:47
Download
# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
201 Cutscene Theme Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:36
Download
202 Title Screen Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 2:38
Download
203 Stage 1 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:53
Download
204 Stage 2 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 0:48
Download
205 Stage 3 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:53
Download
206 Stage 4 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:26
Download
207 Stage 5 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 1:17
Download
208 Stage 6 Osamu Kasai, Masaaki HaradaMichiharu Hasuya 0:52
Download

Credits

  • Game Credits (Japan):
    • おんがく (Music) Osamu Kasai credited as かさい おさむ (Kasai Osamu)
    • おんがく (Music) Masaaki Harada credited as はらだ まさあき (Harada Masaaki)
    • スペシャル サンクス トゥ (Special Thanks To) Sound Routine 4 Gou credited as サウンドルーチン4ごう

(Source: 1, 2, 3, Musical comparison; USA version lacks credits.)

In Circus Caper, you are treated to an ending sequence but no staff credits. However, when you beat Moeru! Oniisan, you are not only treated to a longer ending, but credits as well which are in Japanese. The Japanese version not only credits the two main composers at ACC Osamu Kasai and Masaaki Harada, but it also credits Sound Routine No. 4, the name of the sound software used at Advance Communication Company. It is unknown why the developers left the credits out of the USA release, but seeing as ACC usually didn't put credits in their games, we should be lucky that they put them in the Japanese version.

We had Michiharu listen to the music for Circus Caper, but he says he doesn't remember if he worked on it. We have compared the music with his other works on the NES which also have a similar musical style, different than Osamu and Masaaki's.

Game Rip

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Ripping NES music is beyond the scope of this Wiki.

Releases

  Japan.svg   Japan
Moeru! Oniisan - FC.jpg
Title: 燃える!お兄さん (Burn! Older Brother)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1989-08-08
Publisher: Toho Co., Ltd.
  USA.svg   USA
Circus Caper- NES.jpg
Title: Circus Caper
Platform: NES
Released: 1990-07-??
Publisher: Toho Co., Ltd.

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