My college years were a tumultuous time filled with insecurity, depression, anxiety and drinking. Heavy drinking. Hmm. Maybe the depression and the anxiety had something to do with that. When I wasn’t trying to self medicate my problems away and could actually feel good for a little bit, I’d turn to video games. As luck would have it the only two college roommates who I ever really got along with were heavy gamers themselves, so one split a Sega Genesis with me 50/50, and the other let me use his PlayStation so much that when he got kicked out of school for not keeping his GPA above the minimum I wound up buying one of my own. I suppose in hindsight I should give myself SOME credit. I drank too much and cared about myself too little, but I still managed to pass my classes and graduate with a degree.
- Free Parappa The Rapper Game
- Parappa The Rapper Stage 1 Instrumental Music
- Parappa The Rapper Stage 1 Instrumental Playlist
Back to that roommate with a PlayStation though — his obsession was Tomb Raider, mine was Final Fantasy VII, and after he left I needed something NOT either of those two games to play. Too bad sbobet wasn’t around back then. Even though what we consider to be the world wide web was just barely established at that point, there were enough resources between the internet and video game magazines to make me aware of PaRappa the Rapper. To say I was going to buy this game on day one is an understatement. I had played a lot of games in my life up until that point, but most attempts to interject hip-hop music and culture into them ranged from cheesy to awkward. I was looking for something that could successfully bridge the gap and although a rhythm based game with a Japanese anime aesthetic seems like a weird choice to do it, it WORKS. In fact it works astonishingly well.
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“Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind”. Indeed. Our hero PaRappa the Rapper is much like I was at the time — awkward around women, obsessed with hip-hop, and sorely in need of some confidence. After realizing he doesn’t have what it takes to impress Sunny, the girl he’s smitten with, he goes to Chop Chop Master Onion to learn kung-fu so he can be brave and heroic. In the process Master Onion not only teaches PaRappa his moves, he teaches him how to “kick to the limit in order to get her” by flowing like a true emcee. Well — a true emcee in this game’s limited sense. Since it’s a rhythm game the only “freestyling” you can do is between the notes you are supposed to hit by pressing the right button at the right time, but it’s incredibly addictive to try and draw outside the lines while still achieving your goals.
All of the raps in PaRappa the Rapper were written by lead designer Masaya Matsuura, but it does without saying that he didn’t RAP all of them. For the North American release PaRappa was voiced by Dred Foxx. Despite his legendary performance in this game he had a rather sordid history in the 2010’s that’s too long to go into here. The second best performance of the soundtrack goes to Lenky Don for portraying the reggae stylings of master salesman Prince Fleaswallow. Flowing to music composed by Matsuura and Yoshihisa Suzuki, the riddims not only pass for reggae influenced hip-hop (or vice versa) but are actually good enough to jam to OUTSIDE the game.
Unfortunately not every performance on this soundtrack is up to the standard set by the game’s first three stages. Even though “Cheap Cheap the Cooking Chicken” has a great instrumental, Michelle Burks (who also voiced Sunny’s friend Katy) is clearly not an emcee. Her awkward, stilted delivery is actually befitting of the fact she’s supposed to be the host of a TV cooking show and not an actual rapper, but that doesn’t make it any less painful to hear her rap “crack crack crack the egg into the bowl” over and over — especially if you fuck up and have to start the stage from scratch.
If you survived PaRappa the Rapper up until this point it will suddenly dawn on you how short both the game and the soundtrack are. The fifth stage is a “boss rush” featuring everyone you learned your mic and life skills from in the first four levels, battling them for the right to use the bathroom. Wait, what? Okay. It’s a Japanese video game with its own unique sense of humor, so you have to adapt and roll with scenarios like this as they come. If you survive this you get to put on a concert for Sunny and all of your friends hosted by MC King Kong (Richard Bush). PaRappa’s motto throughout the game is “I gotta believe!” and that informs this old school inspired rap song as well.
It has been almost a quarter of a century now since this game’s release, but coming at such a critical juncture in my life, the rhythm based rap format was so revelatory to me that the simple verses these cartoon characters were spitting got burned into my brain. It’s funny if you read the comments section on YouTube, as the upvoted responses are usually things like “He’s rapping better than most of today’s emcees.” Like any sick burn there’s at least an element of truth hidden deep beneath the flames. The raps are by necessity kept simplistic so that you can do call-and-response with your controller, mimicking their “funky flow” with precise timing, but the fact of the matter is that it IS a rap flow with a coherent structure, rhymes that are on time and a clear delivery. Compared to a mumble mouth emcee on codeine and AutoTune, it’s far more identifiable as hip-hop music.
I’m not suggesting that you should rip the audio from a copy of PaRappa the Rapper and play it at high volume in a residential neighborhood, but I will say that it’s telling when a video game made in Japan in the 1990’s has a better understanding of “rap” than a lot of so-called rappers who just sing. At the end of the day the lyrics are not going to blow your mind, but the production on the tracks isn’t just above average — it’s really damn good. The beats help carry even this game’s most basic rhymes to a level they couldn’t have otherwise reached. Subsequent remakes of this game managed to ruin its charm by introducing lag, which is absolutely killer in any rhythm and timing based game, but if you can play the original PaRappa the Rapper on an authentic PlayStation, PS2 or 3 you won’t regret it. Hopefully the PS5 coming out this year will have the “full backward compatibility” that’s been teased, because I’ll happily beat this game again.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly it does not — it’s only backward compatible with PlayStation 4 games. Oh well.
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|PaRappa the Rapper 2|
This game has hidden development-related text.
|This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.|
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PaRappa the Rapper 2 is the sequel to PaRappa the Rapper.
- 1Unused Music
- 2Unused Graphics
- 3Unused Models
- 5Regional Differences
Free Parappa The Rapper Game
A few short unused tunes exist in DATA/LOGO.INT:. These might have been used for alternate loading screen music, or an alternate intro for the game.
Boxy Boy Practice
Parappa 2 features a notorious practice session before the start of each stage with everyone's favorite character Boxy Boy as your guide. This sound clip is found together with all the vocal clips used to form the lines that Boxy Boy spits to the player, but it never gets used, suggesting at one point this game had a practice mode similar to the first game, in which the player just had to hit a note in different places instead of repeating a full pattern. That, or after clearing one line Boxy Boy said this and gave the player another line to repeat. This could've also been used in the VS Mode, placed after a lesson.
Stage 8 VS
Every Battle Mode stage in the game typically begins with Boxy Boy giving a short speech about how to play the Battle Mode, with the Awful version of the following stage's song playing in the background. For Stage 8's Battle Mode, the Awful song playing in the background is a completely different song from what the actual stage's Awful song is. It's interesting to note that this is the same melody that plays when you hover over the level on the map. It's also got the same BPM.
|VS Mode Intro BGM||Used Song|
When Boxy Boy plays the line the players have to battle, the Bad version of the stage's BGM plays. It's consistently the same as the one used in the normal stage in the other stages' VS Mode but the case is different, again, in Stage 8.
|VS Mode Battle BGM 1||VS Mode Battle BGM 2||Used Song|
The songs were probably changed late in development.
Stage 3 has unused graphics.
Colonel Noodle Expressions
In Stage 7, a face with attributes from both the 'POWER MAD' and 'EMBARRASSED' emotions from the official guidebook can be found in the game's data, but can only be seen in-game through hacks. To access it, goto Cheat Engine in PCSX2 and nop the two addresses that write to 20577AE6 in stage 7, (only works in NTSC).
While technically not unused, it's nearly impossible to see in stage 6's cutscene, as it's never facing the screen.
A font used for debugging purposes.
Early Boxy Boy
Parappa The Rapper Stage 1 Instrumental Music
bxy_bxy_SPXt.spm in ST05SR0.XTR is an early version of Boxy Boy, resembling how he looks in PaRappa the Rapper.
The executable has a bunch of very excited-sounding debugging messages.
Parappa The Rapper Stage 1 Instrumental Playlist
Every region has its own title screen and logo. The noodles in the Japanese title screen are much easier to see, and are much more faint in the US and European title screen, but still there.
Like Um Jammer Lammy, some of the songs in this game have altered lines in the USA due to stricter ratings regulations.
|Stage||Europe and Japan Lyric(s)||USA Lyric(s)|
|Stage 1||'We cook the best, tastes better than wine!'||'We cook the best, you better get in line!'|
|Stage 3||'I am the lord, everybody knows my name!'||'I am the man, everybody knows my name!'|
|Stage 6 (USA)||'I am the lord, you all know my name, (NOW!) I got it all, cash, money and fame!'||'I am the man, you all know my name, (NOW!) I got it all, cash, money and fame!'|
(Oddly enough, the subtitles weren't altered for this line)
The Japanese version's rating meter is in all caps, while the International version has only the first letter capitalized.
|The PaRappa the Rapper series|
|PlayStation||PaRappa the Rapper • Um Jammer Lammy (Demo)|
|PlayStation 2||PaRappa the Rapper 2 (Demo)|