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Nintendo Entertainment System

Game Description:

This is an infuriating puzzle game. It wastes no time in holding your hand through the first few, you know, letting you understand the game’s intricacies. Therefore, all of these screenshots are from the game’s first level, cause I really don’t want to bother with it. The manual included in the zip doesn’t help either. Well anyways, all the screenshots look different because you have three different “themes” that you can use. I like the ninja cause he crawls around and he’s funny. Hahaha! That’s all.

Translation Description:

Seeing as how no one has ever beaten this game, like, ever, we can only assume that the game is completely translated. So yay.

  • Update*

There are Kanji’s in the ending that are left untranslated.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Shikinjou (J).nes - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: 6EDF29D2
  • MD5: C1E17DBBA7F74ABD73F6506EEB79905D
  • SHA-1: 1693EAEABF33EC3B04F202DABD0E991AA2FAD675
  • SHA-256: DB43A182A80664438FFFAB643C258A9837E7458DAA89538E573113C4C5467A3A


Screenshots: Patch Patch Images


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User Review Information

Frustratingly Hard, Yet Satisfying... Until it Isn't...

Reviewed By: firedropdl on 04 Nov 2018

What can I say? I absolutely loved this game, except for the part that was broken… namely level 146. I swore up and down I wouldn’t ruin the experience of playing this game by using a FAQ because it was one of the most unique puzzle games that I’d ever played and I was doing such a good job figuring it all out on my own. Several levels really tested my patience. I remember that 106 was particularly hard and took me several hours over several sessions to figure out.

That’s a huge tip if you’re going to try to test your wits on this game. Walk away from it when it becomes too frustrating and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. Put it down for weeks if you have to, but just don’t use a FAQ and ruin it, otherwise what is the point?

Don’t let the first level scare you off either. For the life of me I can’t figure out why they made that first level so difficult when the next 10 or so were extremely simple. I think the balance of the game is seriously out of wack in that regard since this regularly occurs. You’ll find some amazingly difficult puzzles throughout that will really test your mind and your patience only to have the next 4 or 5 of them completed in under 10 minutes. But there’s not a lot of things that are as satisfying as finally putting a puzzle that has frustrated you beyond belief behind you.

Expect to have some oddities pop up once in a while that will change the rules of the game on you. I believe it wasn’t until something like level 96 where you find your very first “pickaxe” drop. When you touch it, the next tile you run into will shatter. Expect a very frustrating puzzle about 30 or so levels later that will drop 2 or 3 of them only when you destroy tiles in a very specific order that I had to find out by trial and error. You know something is up and will suspect you will need these when you see a door that is tucked away in a corner and has at least 2 “dead” tiles surrounding it from any side.

You’ll also find some sonic queues here and there, which I’ve found to mean that if the tile you just pushed is destroyed where you pushed it from originally, it will result in something popping up when it is destroyed there. This could be either a different tile, a “dead” tile, or even a pickaxe!

It actually seems kind of sad that this game wasn’t playtested very well, because there are some late stage games that give you these sonic queues, but turn out to be entirely beatable without even worrying about them. I don’t know if possibly these were designed only to be red-herrings at this point. That’s entirely possible, but I feel that some of the seriously elaborate looking puzzles are far easier to solve than they look at first glance and it’s possible that it was because the game was rushed at the end and wasn’t tested for ways to possibly “break” the intended solutions.

Though sometimes frustrating, especially late in the game when you didn’t know what the rules of the level were going to be until you played through it a bit, I found that figuring all of this out with ZERO hand-holding to be a pleasure.

But then, there is level 146…

Unlike some of the others that took me more than an hour or two to finally solve, I only gave this one maybe 15 minutes to work out before finally deciding it was unsolvable. Unlike many of the other puzzles in this game, your possible moves are extremely limited because of the layout of the board. In truth, I should have figured out this level was unsolvable even sooner.

So I broke down and looked for a FAQ. According to the only FAQ on GameFAQs, it says the following about level 146:

“Until I find otherwise I am going to claim this is a bad level. I know there are no hidden treasures(x620-x6e0 of the RAM reveal 64 blocks–3 bytes of data each–and you can see 64 on the board, so nothing is hidden.) But you get trapped in the DR unless I am really missing something.”

Further searching about this game only lead me to one other source. A complete playthrough of the game on Youtube, with level 146 specifically here:

Though there is no explanation why level 146 was singled out as a link when the only other levels that had timestamps were the multiples of 10, it’s easy to figure out why.

There seems to be a “glitch” here where you can create a “dead” tile and teleport to the middle upper part of the screen after destroying your 2nd tile, bumping into the left hand side of the wall for a while and then reversing your last move. That’s the best way I can describe it. If you look at the video you can see the “move” in action, and although I’m afraid as of writing this to reset the level and try it again I can confirm that the glitch works and I’m now at the top middle of the screen. It took me several attempts to make it work and wasn’t nearly as smooth as the video shows, although it looks like the video has a jump-cut there so I assume that the video creator didn’t do it on their first try either. (At this point, the rest of 146 is very easy to solve, but just don’t do anything stupid and look at what you’re doing before you push any tiles so you don’t get stuck!!!!)

(The rest of this review will be written when I solve the remaining puzzles,but I wanted to write down my feelings while they were fresh in my head and who knows how long this will take????).

I’m back… :)

Well, that didn’t take very long. Though a bit “gimmicky”, the last 4 levels were fairly easy and only took about 10 or 15 minutes to complete.

All in all, if you’re really good at puzzle games, this shouldn’t take you more than about 10 to 20 hours to complete outside of that level 146 fiasco. Maybe I’m a lot dumber than I give myself credit for and you’ll beat it in 5 hours or less, though I highly doubt it. ;)

I consider Shikinjou to be an extremely addictive puzzle game for the NES that could benefit from an overhaul. I see that there are alternate versions of this game on the Gameboy and the MasterSystem, so I’m looking forward to trying them out as well. Maybe one day somebody would take the time to rip this game apart for the NES and give us an “ultimate” hack version with brand new puzzles that better utilize some of the puzzle aspects the initial designers did strive for but didn’t quite hit the mark.

If there are any obscure NES games that nobody has ever heard of before that deserve an update hack, this one would be my pick!

Once again, many thanks to Suicidal Translations for making this as readable by an English speaking audience as possible. Although it seems that there wasn’t much translated, it sounds like it was a real chore to slog through. I’ve heard that it’s entirely playable for us without being translated too, but I don’t think I ever would have heard of this game or tried it out had it not been translated here.

I highly recommend this game for all the puzzle addicts out there, even if the NES was before your time.

Version 1.00 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Frustratingly Hard, Yet Satisfying... Until it Isn't...firedropdl04 Nov 20181.00Yes