Monkey Punch's beloved media franchise Lupin the Third, about the gentlemen thief of the same name, has had a number of video game adaptations in the past, starting with Taito's Lupin the Third: Rupan Sensei all the way back in 1980. But it's been a remarkable 13 years since the last game, Lupin the Third: The Greatest Brain Battle in History, launched for the Nintendo DS — a long wait for any fan to have to contend with.
This is why we were so excited recently to learn about a new Mappy Famicom hack Lupin III: Gentle Thief from the creators of Resident Evil 3: Chibi Edition (ProtoPixel and CryingOnion) and the hacker named Terwilf. It takes the Famicom port of the classic Namco arcade game, about a mouse evading criminal cats and retrieving stolen gear, and transforms it into an impressive Lupin the Third tie-in, with Lupin having to escape the cops and Inspector Kōichi Zenigata who are on his tail. The game features separate patches for both an NES and Famicom version of the game with different title screens, and CryingOnion has even gone to the effort of creating mock-ups of what each cover might have looked like (PAL/Japanese).
The description for the hack from its authors reads:
"The project is born from an idea of Protopixel, who is also in charge of the design of the title screen, sprites and objects. Crying Onion is in charge of the implementation and after discussing it with its partner, the project is divided into two versions in which everyone can give free rein to their creative freedom.
"Mappy is a game co-developed and distributed by Namco, which was a huge hit in the arcades in 1983. A year later it was ported to the Nintendo Famicom. Its mechanics are inspired by the children’s game of cat and mouse (or cops and robbers): as the cute mouse-cop mentioned in the title, the player must recover valuable objects while dodging thieving cats. In some ways, being the thief and the enemies our pursuers makes more sense, so it’s the perfect basis for a hack starring the grandson of the most famous thief of all time."