In Noby Noby Boy you control a strange creature named BOY, exploring surreal, randomly generated worlds featuring a plethora of objects animal, vegetable and mineral. While the art style is reminiscent of spiritual prequel, Katamari Damacy, it's also more basic, not having any enemies, time limits, or immediate goals or missions. This, coupled with the utter chaos in each play session, makes the overall atmosphere kind of like if Terry Gilliam directed Dire Strait's music video Money For Nothing.
BOY has two sets of legs. Each set is controlled independently with the left and right analogue sticks. The player can stretch his body like a slinky dog by making his front and back legs walk away from each other, the length his body can stretch to is only limited to the size of the map. BOY is also capable of floating and flying, each end of his body controlled separately with the left and right triggers. You can also make him eat objects with his front end and... eject them out his rear end. If BOY is in the air when he does this, the action propels him through the air. BOY can be torn in half if his two ends are forcibly pulled apart by a spinning machine or other object. You can then walk the two halves totally separately, until you either manually return to the Boy House chimney or make the head end eat the tail end, putting him back together. If you leave the controller alone for a while, BOY wanders around on his own until the player resumes control, meaning that the game could be left on overnight or all day and returned to with unpredictable results. There is support for taking screen shots, recording videos and uploading them to YouTube. Additionally, you can message friends playing the game using an internal messaging system which displays up to 32 characters on BOY's side. The message can be rotated around BOY's body with up and down on the D-pad.
There are no actual goals in the game, it being a physics sandbox. The objective is purely to have fun exploring the weird surroundings, interact with things and control the character in any strange way you see fit. While this lack of structure could be seen to be detrimental to the gameplay and longevity, the random situations created, coupled with the odd properties and control method of BOY make the game flexible enough to keep players occupied for hours just messing around. The goals become whatever the player sets for themselves, like a child in a playground. More creatures and objects are to be unlocked into the game-world pool as a female version of BOY, named GIRL, stretches from the Earth to other celestial bodies, the Moon being the first destination to unlock more stuff. This could be seen as a joint objective for the community that plays the game. The distance she stretches is recorded from the accumulated distance everybody playing the game has ever stretched BOY while signed into PSN. GIRL also acts as a ranking board. Each player has a randomly generated and unique avatar assigned to them and they all stand on GIRL's back, the further forward you are on her, the higher the ranking, with number 1 just behind her head.
On Monday, February 23, 2009, GIrl stretched to the Moon, after players stretched BOY a combined distance of 384,403 km, the actual distance from the Earth to the Moon. The Moon introduces new landscapes and people, including astronauts. Instead of a giant Lion, a massive bear watches over the surface of the moon. Players who logged into the game after this event were treated to a cutscene showing GIRL reaching the moon, wrapping around it and continuing her journey. The creature known as The Bear is sitting on the moon and is clapping. Underneath, the subtitle says "The Moon - Five days after launch.". The Fairy congratulated BOY and GIRL for working so hard. The next destination is then revealed in the subtitles as Mars.
On Friday, May 22, 2009, GIRL reached Mars. This was a seemingly unobtainable target initially due to the sheer distance, but the ability to make four BOYs even when playing alone and The Fairy's random score multiplier bonuses added in the new patch sped things up at an exponential rate. The next planet for GIRL to stretch to is Jupiter which is about 533,000,000 kilometers from Mars, 629,000,000 kilometers from Earth.
GIRL reached Jupiter on Sunday, November 22, 2009. Jupiter, which is 576,682,810 kilometers from Earth, was reached with the help of random multipliers applied to uploaded scores.
As of Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 GIRL has finally reached Saturn, it took over a year to get here but it has finally happened. The creature overlooking Saturn looks like the ones from other planets but is all silver, has a disco ball for a head, and has a metallic ring spinning around its face.
On December 28th 2011 GIRL reached Uranus, it took over 1000 days from the games release. The planet has a very similar feeling to earth, with a lot of greenery and animals. The animal overlooking Uranus looks like the lion from the other planets but is completely gray and has a very creepy expression on its face. You'll have to see for yourself, I wouldn't have this face starting at me in the middle of the night that's for sure.
The randomly generated levels in the game are generated from several different themes. These include Grasslands, Park, Urban, Desert, Underwater and Halloween. The levels vary in size, shape and topography, so you could have a very large flat square level, or a short, rectangular space laden with hills. Buildings, plant life, vehicles, people, animals, statues and random objects populate the levels, selected from a set dependent on the current theme. Some don't fit in too well, probably on purpose. In the Halloween theme for example, there's always a multitude of penguins in amongst the skeletons and ghosts. There are hundreds of different objects and characters, from helicopters to samurai to guitar playing Mexicans in bulldozers. Many of the animals, objects and vehicles have short and often humorous sound effects. Notably, on some levels there are individual jingle bells that chime different notes depending on their size when they are hit. People on the levels are often procedurally generated. Although they will wear the same outfit, they vary in size, shape, skin color and facial features. The backdrop to the levels is the sky, it slowly cycles from day to night. When it gets dark, the stars come out and crickets chirrup.
The randomly generated levels on the Moon are usually the palette swap s of the Urban theme, which is now gray with red roads. Other palette swaps do appear though, most notably a rare all blue level that is full of Prince characters. Moon levels are generally a lot larger and have many more types of objects and animals on the playfield at once, compared to the Earth levels which select from a very limited set. When BOY walks around, stars fly off from his feet instead of hearts. BOY's house always has a patch of green grass around it, even though the rest of the ground of the level is always gray. Whether this is a mistake or an artistic/story choice is unknown. Gravity on the levels is greatly reduced. BOY floats further in one jump, there is more inertia and items that are are fired from BOY, jump or collide are subject to the same physics. The background of the level is always space, with GIRL's giant body curling around it, reflecting what the moon looks like if you zoom all the way out.
Many of the objects, people and animals are palette-swaps of ones found on the Earth levels. For example, there are pink dolphins, blue panda bears and blue kappas. Some are modified versions of Earth creatures and objects, the spheres sometimes have a texture of the Moon instead of the Earth and the dogs wear space helmets and have radio static when they bark. Further content still is original, little moons with faces and lets and flying saucers often roam about the landscape. One-off special characters also make an appearance, like the avatars for the person in first place on the leaderboards. For the Earth leaderboard, this is a marching anthropomorphic lion in 19th century military uniform wearing a cape and royal crown. Of course.
Mars is much the same as the moon, except the levels are octopus themed. This is because many cultures see the octopus and squid as survivors from an alien race, which spread into sci-fi books and movies. There are giant spinning octopods, dogs that look like an octopus and 'Martian' characters that look like the Martians from the Metal Slug series and 50s B-movies. The guardian of Mars is a character who looks like The Sun but has a squid mouth.
Jupiter is the same green type levels as earth but it is home to much more alien life, plants and animals. Many of these aliens can be seen riding on various machines, one of these looks like a Kuribo's Shoe on wheels. Another addition specifically to this planet is Tornadoes. With these you can get boy sucked into them and have him gain stretch points to your total score automatically. It is a good way to farm length to report to Girl.
Saturn is a lot more futuristic than other other planets sporting a clean silver look to everything. Things from other planets show up on Saturn but it also houses a veriaty of its own items. Some of the items include silver robot looking things with what looks like candy in the center of them, spinning metalic rings, and different kinds of cogs. Rainbows on Saturn are actually circular just like the clouds on Earth but they're thinner and much smaller. Also the main mode of transportation for the creature on Saturn seem to be spinning disks which they can ride in.
Uranus looks similar to earth with a lot of greenery and trees, new objects have a very weird polygonal patter similar to early 3D games, very block-y and also have a black & white checkerboard pattern to them. Other new items include giant strawberries, balloons with hooks on them, new alien life forms and different types of trees.
BOY is a little... thing that looks like a Pug in a pink wetsuit. He can fly, grow to any size, stretch his body to unlimited lengths and eat just about anything as long as he is big enough to eat it at the time. Interestingly, food he eats is exactly the same before and after he eats it, and people he swallows are completely unharmed once they are ejected from BOY. BOY has the strange ability to create what the game refers to as "Combination Characters"; by swallowing just a person and another item (a fruit or vegetable, or an animal) and tapping R2, the two bulges squeeze together, and once the bulge is ejected, it is revealed as a bizarre hybrid of the person and the item. BOY never speaks, so it's impossible to determine his character or goals in life, beyond working towards making GIRL bigger.
GIRL is a giant female version of BOY. She is trillions of times bigger in scale than boy, as she starts off a quarter of the size of the Earth. GIRL's objective is to bring love, friendship and togetherness to everyone, not only to the people of Earth but to the whole galaxy. She intends to do this by connecting the planets and other celestial bodies by stretching her body out to them. Just like The Judds, GIRL believes that Love Can Build a Bridge, only she's taking it quite literally. When she reaches each destination, BOY will be able to visit it and unlock more objects and entities to interact with. Her first destination is the Moon, which in the game world is a realistic distance away. GIRL travels in real-time and how fast she travels is determined by how many people are playing the game online and how much they are stretching their version of BOY and then reporting the distance he has stretched. After the first day of the launch of the game, she travelled over 60,000 kilometers, at end of day two Japanese time(13th Feb 2009) it was at approximately 150,000 kilometers. The real Moon is approximately 384,403 kilometers from the Earth, and when that target was reached on the 23rd of Feb 2009, GIRL reached the moon and new content was unlocked, BOY now being able to set that as a destination to visit. On 22nd of May 2009, Mars was reached, with a lot of help from length multipliers. GIRL is currently travelling to Jupiter. Jupiter is an even higher magnitude further away from Mars than Mars is to the Earth, so to reach it and even more generous bonus scheme will have to be put in place to reach it in the same amount of time.
The Sun (Earth)
The Sun is a giant man who looks like a cross between an anthropomorphic lion and a child's drawing of the sun. He kneels on all fours and looks down upon BOY's work in the world and acts as a conduit by reporting BOY's stretching progress to GIRL. If BOY flies high enough, he can meet The Sun directly, but it's also possible to talk to him via a menu shortcut.
The Bear (The Moon)
The Bear reports the player's stretching progress while they are visiting the moon. He is a giant creature, and watches down on the player much like The Sun. In fact they looks exactly the same, but with what looks like a bear hat instead of a sun hat. Why does a bear look down on the Moon in the game? The species of bear native to Japan, Ursus Thibeanus, is nicknamed the Moon Bear. In Asian folklore ( and many Japanese games), there is said to be a rabbit living on the moon, which would have been a more obvious choice, but creator Keita Takahashi is anything but predictable.
The Red Sun (Mars)
On mars the creature looking down on you looks exactly like The Sun from the Earth levels, but now he is red. One key difference other than colour is its long nose. Much longer than The Suns nose so they are obviously difference creatures. Boy can still reach this creature by flying all the way up to him or via controller shortcut.
The Monkey (Jupiter)
The Monkey is the creature that is looking down on Boy on Jupiter. The monkey is green and also has big ears.
The Fairy is a small yellow being that can fly with his 2 sets of wings. He is BOY's guide to his universe and advises him on the mechanics of the game and also acts as your cursor in menus. He worships GIRL and makes different random comments in appreciation of her features or greatness whenever you go to see her. Similar to The King of All Cosmos in Katamari Damacy, he always has strange and pithy comments to dispense to the player at random.
Stereo Boy and Stereo Girl
Stereo Boy and Girl slowly waddle around the stages playing music while spouting out multicolored musical notes. They are hi-fi speakers with faces on. Stereo Girl has a bow on to distinguish her from Boy, much as Noby Noby Girl and Ms. Pacman do.
A patch came out on the 28th of April 2009 which updated the game to version 1.10. This added a great deal of things to the game, not least of all 4 player offline co-op. The update was 560 megabytes, nearly twice the size of the original game.
4 player offline co-op
This is single screen, no split-screen is offered. Player 1 has to adjust the camera so that the other players have a good view of what they are doing. Players join and leave on the fly. Player 2, 3 and 4 are turquoise, orange and green respectively.
Pressing all four of the shoulder buttons while inside the Noby House produces up to 3 clones of BOY that move in sync with the one the player is controlling. The clones also stretch in sync and their length is counted towards the total.
A large and rather surreal addition is an announcement in full speech of what is being ejected from BOY's rump each time it happens. It is spoken phonetically in Japanese with Japanese syllabary. Occasionally it will be spoken in English instead but still using Japanese syllabary, as transcribed loan words. If you eat and eject a chicken for example, it will say NI-WA-TO-RI (Niwatori) which is Japanese for chicken, but sometimes it will say SHI-KE-NU which sounds very similar to chicken when spoken aloud.
Another example would be apple, it says RI-N-GO (ringo) but occasionally says A-PE-LU. Objects, animals and people with no Japanese name will use the Japanese loan word. So you will get choice phrases such as SEI-NO-TU-BA-NA-RU-DO for a St. Bernard dog. It is truly bizarre. The voice is a little boy with a vocoder effect, known as 'Fart Boy' on the official site, later confirmed in the hidden Sound options.
Many new sound effects have been added for the animals, objects and people. There is a unique one for each character walking around, falling over and being eaten. Each different type of person emotes a different short sentences or yell much like in Katamari Damacy.
There is a lot more music added to the game, one for each of the different types of map. On the moon a marimba band plays random little melodies. Of course. The original acoustic guitar song is now missing but may be found somewhere in the game. Two new characters, Stereo Boy and Stereo Girl walk around every stage and the music is seen to be emanating from them as if the player eats one of them, the music gets quieter, eating both makes the music stop altogether.
It's now a lot easier for passengers to stay on top of BOY for a ride, making the associated trophy a lot easier. Passengers now stack as well, so you may get a person riding a cat riding BOY now. It is a LOT easier now for BOY to grow in width, within 5 minutes you can make him as big as a house by eating and spitting out things. Also when you stretch BOY, there are new color sets that he grows out. For example, instead of the default random rainbow colors, he may stretch out a purple, black and blue pattern. Each pattern is random. The Boy House's 'hair' now randomly switches between an afro and pigtails. The Fairy now randomly gives out bonus multipliers to the player's length when submitting the information to GIRL, which went a long way to helping her reach Mars and Jupiter. The icon and background art for the game have changed on the PSN menu. The icon now features all four BOYs, The Sun and The Fairy. The background art features several people abseiling up and down a giant bowl of soup. The steam coming off the soup is shaped into letters spelling out the title of the game.
The music in Noby Noby Boy is quite unobtrusive and ambient. Tracks are mostly instrumental and loop over and over. This is notable as Keita Takahashi's Katamari series has a tradition of soundtracks that features a lot of big, bold and fresh music, mostly including vocals. When you start and quit the game, there is a short military piece on tuba, snare and bass drum. An extra piece of music is hidden as an easter egg along with a minigame. Prior to the update, it was the only piece with lyrics, and is extremely catchy. It's really only a remix of the theme to an old namco arcade game called Metro Cross. If it wasn't hidden, it could be considered the theme tune as it is the only time the name of the game is said aloud. It was used as the music for the trailer for the game at the 2008 TGS. The soundtrack to the game was made available on iTunes on April 27, 2010.
One unnamed piece of music that plays during the game is a subtle classical guitar duet version of Lonely Rolling Star from Katamari Damacy. The coda of this piece is a loving and very distinct rendition of Katamari on the Rock, as if to allay any doubt that you were listening to a Katamari tribute.
NOBY NOBY BOY 0---0 (Original Sound Track)
Released: April 27, 2010
Total length: 174:44
- Noby Noby Opening Theme
- The Theme of Noby Noby Boy
- Noby Noby Folk Guitar
- Noby Noby Melodica
- Noby Noby Ragtime Guitar
- Noby Noby Jazz Guitar
- Noby Noby Steel Pan #1
- Noby Noby Ukulele
- Noby Noby Banjo (From " Final Furlong: Main Theme")
- Noby Noby Gut Guitar (From "Katamari Damacy: Lonely Rolling Star")
- Noby Noby Hang Drum
- Noby Noby Acoustic Guitar (From "Katamari Damacy: Cherry-Blossom Color Season")
- Noby No Vibraphone
- Noby Noby Classical Guitar (From " The Tower of Druaga: Name Entry")
- Noby Noby Djembe
- Noby Noby Blues Guitar
- Noby Noby Conga
- Noby Noby Bottleneck
- Noby Noby Marimba (From "Youkai Douchuki: Main Theme")
- Noby Noby Hammerd Dulcimer (Tabisuru Kimi-E)
- Noby Noby Kalimba #2
- Noby Noby Steel Pan #2
- Noby Noby Steel Guitar
- Noby Noby Kalimba #1
- Noby Noby Bandoneon (From " Libble Rabble: Main Theme")
- Noby Noby Mandolin
- Noby Noby Cello (From "Cello Suites No.1")
- Noby Noby Fender Rhodes
- Noby Noby Reed Organ Style
- Noby Noby Ocarina
- Noby Noby Machine (Acid Eutron #000)
- Noby Noby Closing Theme
- The Theme of Noby Noby Girl
- Manual Metro Cross
- The online manual has a few hidden features. Pressing Triangle brings BOY, here called CURSOR BOY, to the foreground and he pushes all the letters and pictures around as he runs through them when you control him. Tapping L2 makes him eat things and tapping or holding R2 makes him eject them from his rear end, where they quickly float back into place.
- Hold Right on the left analogue stick and then press Select to play the 2D eating game from the 2008 TGS trailer.
- If you hold up or down on the right analog stick while The Fairy is talking to you while the game is loading at the beginning, he will shrink or grow until he disappears or his face is as large as the screen.
- While playing the game, if you hold left or right on the D-Pad, the colors of BOY's body will will scroll across him.
- If you eat both Stereo Boy and Stereo Girl the music in the game will stop until you poop them out or go to a new generated level.
- In the game you will be able to find The Prince from Katamari Damacy and Mappy from Mappy.
- The Noby Noby Boy theme music is from Metro Cross, a classic Namco game. But, you know, now it has fantastic lyrics.
- The gameplay shown in the 2008 TGS trailer appears as an Easter egg in the main game.
- Many of the sound effects come from classic Namco arcade games such as Dig Dug.
- Some of the player avatars on the ranking board have golden Pac-Man helmets on.
- BOY's house looks very similar to Pac Man's house, having a Pinocchio nose and the windows and door forming a mouth and eyes.
- " Nobinobi" is Japanese for 'to stretch out and relax'. BOY himself quite literally stretches his body to ridiculous lengths, and the game is a goalless relaxation tool, making the game's title a play on words.
- BYE-BYE BOY is what BOY is called when he stretches out of his house and waves goodbye when you quit the game. You get a trophy for this. The name could be a reference to a Nanase Aikawa song of the same name.
- When Fairy says '[In Noby Noby Boy] You don't collect objects by rolling a ball..' , this is a reference to the game Katamari Damacy. Both games were conceived by Keita Takahashi.
- The Prince of All Cosmos makes an appearance in the game as a random character, as does Mappy. A Trophy is unlocked if the player gets the Prince to ride on BOY's back.