Scud Hammer came out in Japan in 1994, but never made its way to the West. The aim of the game is to win a pugilistic rock, paper, scissors battle with your CPU opponent. Rock, paper, scissors is called Jan Ken Pon (or Janken) in Japan and the game is played in pretty much the same way as the Western version. There is a bit more ritual to it, mainly around chanting as shapes are chosen and outcomes are decided.
Some bizarre variants of the game have developed along the way. Take a look at the Youtube video below; here players throw down their choice of rock, paper or scissors. The loser needs to get the bucket over their head before the other player can pick up the wooden stick and hit them round the head with it. Now that’s extreme janken!
It’s this abusive version of janken that you find in Jaleco’s Scud Hammer. Putting in your credit you can choose from twelve opponents to battle with. You then play best of three rounds of rock, paper, scissors. After each shape is thrown, if you are successful then you grab the hammer and whack the dummy, with your on-screen opponent becoming progressively more bruised and bandaged as time goes on. If you lose then you move onto throwing the next shape. Each time you hit your opponent you build up the “KO” bar at the top of the screen. You have three chances to fill this bar up before the best of three rounds is complete, otherwise your CPU opponent beats you senseless in a flurry of fists and screams. Win or lose, then the game is over, which is a strange way to reward a victorious player.
However, it gets you to pump another credit into the machine, just to choose another opponent to challenge. It’s the strangeness of the characters that gets you coming back for more. They are a peculiar bunch of charactertures; the first character is a long haired foppish seducer who seems to push a middle aged couple into a river and then offer up a cut-rose as a tribute to them, before taking you on Janken-style. There are greasy PE teachers, strict female police officers and too cool for school high school students all lining up to battle you.
It’s a bizzare game that loses a lot in the translation when emulating it on an original Xbox, as you don’t have the mallet to pound your opponent with (quick tip: use the left thumbstick instead). I still had a funny half hour with the game, that was helped massively by the translation in Youtube user emajansen‘s video below. The translation is in the comments section here. Check it out if you get the chance!
NB There are hardly any images of the Scud Hammer cabinet online. The snapshot in this article is taken from this ameblo.jp blog.