Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I'm Gonna Git You, スカ

So! I was playing random games in MAME to put my new spinner through its paces, and came upon an obscure Sega title called Gigas. Much like Taito's Arkanoid (did I say "much like?" I meant just like), you use a paddle and ball to break through a series of colorful walls. However, while Arkanoid's selection of power ups is pretty straightforward, Gigas plays with the formula a bit by adding a red egg. Sometimes catching the egg will award you with an extra life, or a skull that strips you of all your other power ups, or... this.

That note above your paddle says スカ, or Suka in English. It's the game's cute little way of telling you this.

It's not the first time I've seen スカ in a video game, either. Here's another example, from the Japanese release Oshiberi (Chatting) Parodius.

You open up a treasure chest at the end of the game, only to find a lit bomb waiting inside. Note the sign he's holding. Now I don't know specifically what スカ means (it's translated to LOSE in the European version of the game), but if I were to take a wild guess, it's a reference to classic cartoons where the lead character gets punked.

You get the idea. I haven't been able to confirm this with the scant amount of research I've done, but I think this is what the Japanese game developers were hoping to bring to mind. If anyone has more information about this, please let me know.


  1. OK, now I want to see more gaming examples of this. You know they've got to exist!

  2. Shortly after reading this post and publishing this comment, I saw this while playing the Japanese version of Taito's Panic Restaurant for Famicom/NES:

    Interestingly, "suka" here is in hiragana, not katakana. Still, seems to have the same connotation!