PaRappa the Rapper is a wacky, music/rhythm game created by Masaya Matsuura that follows a rapping dog trying to impress the flower girl of his dreams. PaRappa is often credited as being the first major music/rhythm game. It was originally released December 6, 1996 in Japan for the PlayStation, with a PSP port later released on July 17, 2007.
To progress in the game, each stage has PaRappa rapping to complete a task. This is accomplished by having a teacher in each stage rap a line, which PaRappa must copy afterward, similar to the game Simon. To rap, a line of button commands will appear at the top of the screen, which the player must match after the teacher shows them. The button commands match the flow of each teacher's rap. The player is scored on how accurate he/she is with each button press.
The player's performance is ranked throughout the song and at the end of each stage as being either Cool, Good, Bad, or Awful. At the beginning of each stage, the score starts off on Good. After each line, the ranking will go up or down depending on how well the player matches the correct buttons and timing of the line. In order to get a Cool ranking, the player must freestyle two lines in a row during a stage, which means not necessarily following the button commands shown, but discovering a hidden pattern unique to each level. Two of those in succession will raise the score to Cool ranking and cause the current stage teacher to leave, which gives PaRappa the rest of the time to freestyle. If the player does not freestyle well, the teacher will return and the lessons will continue. The Cool ranking is unobtainable until the game has been completed once.
There are two difficulty levels; easy and normal. On easy mode, the timing is less strict but the player may only reach Stage 3 (Prince Fleaswallow's stage). On normal mode, the player may complete the entire game.
Parappa is head-over-heels in love with Sunny Funny. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to notice him all too much. Not only that, but he seems to have some competition with rival Joe Chin, a self-centered rich boy who seems to have everything. This leads to Parappa doing everything he can to get the girl of his dreams to notice him, from learning kung-fu to getting his license. Parappa, along with his friends Katy Kat, PJ Berri, and of course Sunny Funny, live in a world where it seems all problems can be solved with self-confidence and hip-hop; as Parappa says, "I gotta believe!"
Stage 1: I Need to Become a Hero
Teacher: Chop Chop Master Onion
One day while hanging out at their favorite fast food place, Parappa and the gang are enjoying a meal after watching a movie, when suddenly two bullies walk in and begin to hassle them! Unfortunately, Parappa feels too weak to do anything. Luckily, Joe Chin comes in and begins to go into great length how he will deal with the bullies, giving time for Parappa and his friends to walk out of the restaurant. This whole ordeal causes Parappa to wish he was stronger, leading him to learn karate.
Stage 2: You Guys Sit in the Back
Teacher: Instructor Mooselini
Parappa and his friends wish to go to the beach, but there's only one problem: None of them can drive. At this time, Joe Chin pulls up in his brand new stretch convertible and offers them a ride. He has Sunny Funny and Katy Kat sit up with him, while making Parappa and PJ sit in the (far!) back. Having this less than ideal situation, Parappa is determined to get his driver's license.
Stage 3: My Dad's Gonna Bite Me!
Teacher: Prince Fleaswallow
Having just got his license, Parappa takes his friends on a drive around town in his dad's car. Unfortunately, Parappa gets a bit lost in his thoughts with Sunny Funny sitting in passenger with him. This leads to him crashing and totaling his dad's car! Hoping to be able to get the car repaired before his dad notices, Parappa heads to the Fleamarket in an attempt to make some dough.
Stage 4: Guarenteed to Catch Her Heart
Teacher: Cheep Cheep the Cooking Chicken
Sunny Funny's birthday is coming up and her friends are planning a party for her. Katy is in charge of decorations, PJ with the gift, which leaves Parappa to getting the cake. Parappa buys the cake, however a run-in with Joe Chin causes him to drop it! With no more money to buy another one, Parappa decides to follow a TV cooking show to make seafood cake.
Stage 5: Full Tank
Teachers: Chop Chop Master Onion, Instructor Mooselini, Prince Fleaswallow, and Cheap Cheap the Cooking Chicken
It's the day of Sunny Funny's birthday and the gang has a picnic to celebrate. Everyone is having a good time, with Parappa proceeding to stuff his face with seafood cake. At the end of the day, Parappa drives Sunny Funny home, however on the way, Parappa suddenly has to use the bathroom bad! He stops by the nearest gas station and runs to the bathroom only to find a long line consisting of all the previous teachers. Now Parappa must rap his way to the front of the line before something unpleasant happens in his pants!
Stage 6: I Gotta Believe!!
Teacher: MC King Kong Mushi
Parappa invites Sunny Funny to a concert on a date. She happily accepts and the day arrives. During the concert, Parappa is called up to the stage to rap. This is Parappa's final chance to truly impress Sunny Funny! Unlike the other teachers, King Kong Mushi acts as more of a collaborator moreso than a teacher. While it is still possible to fail this rap, MC and PaRappa will be rapping completely different lines from each other.
Bonus Stage: KT and the Sunny Funny Band
This stage is unlocked after the player has completed all stages with a cool rating. Unlike the other stages, there is no rapping, only an instrumental track being played. It has the player revolving a camera around Katy Kat and Sunny Funny who are seen dancing on a stage, surrounded by a crowd. The player can change Katy Kat and Sunny Funny's clothes and zoom in and out.
The soundtrack to Parappa The Rapper was primarily composed by Masaya Matsuura, the game's creator. It was released by Sony Records on December 12, 1996. It features all stage music in the game as well music heard in the game's cinematics.
Name: Parappa The Rapper Original Sound Track
Total length: 40:49
- "PaRappa's Greeting" - (0:15)
- "The Jet Baby" - (0:40)
- "Lovely SunnyFunny" - (0:21)
- "Bad Guys Are Coming!" - (0:37)
- "Joe Chin Is Here" - (1:14)
- "Enter Daydreams" - (0:10)
- "Beat Them Away!" - (0:21)
- "Yeah! I Know!!" - (0:12)
- "Chop Chop Master Onion's RAP" - (2:31)
- "Knock You Out!" - (0:14)
- "Sign of Happiness" - (0:55)
- "Down With Attitude"- (0:09)
- "Far Behind" - (0:08)
- "Smooth Life of Mine"- (0:55)
- "Feeling Dizzy"- (0:12)
- "Drive in the Air" - (0:27)
- "Instructor Mooselini's RAP" - (2:06)
- "Happy Ringing" - (0:09)
- "It Is Fine Today!" - (0:33)
- "Heavenly"- (0:40)
- "Paradise" - (0:46)
- "Rush to the Moon" - (0:27)
- "Prince Fleaswallow's RAP" - (2:32)
- "Alive Again" - (0:31)
- "Donuts Head" - (0:51)
- "Sugar Song"- (0:46)
- "Round & Round" - (0:21)
- "Cake Bomb" - (0:08)
- "Anger of People" - (0:40)
- "Cooking Chicken's Show" - (0:18)
- "Cheep Cheep The Cooking Chicken's RAP" - (2:19)
- "Cloud 9" - (0:44)
- "Straight to Hell" - (1:36)
- "Love You RAP" - (1:15)
- "The Dawn of Hope" - (0:15)
- "Toilet Express" - (0:15)
- "Return of Masters" - (0:20)
- "All Masters' RAP" - (2:54)
- "On Fire!" - (0:21)
- "Lose Heart" - (0:08)
- "PaRappa's Live RAP (feat. MC King Kong Mushi)" - (3:45)
- "Thankyou For Everything" - (0:47)
- "Katy & Sunny Funny Band Anthem" - (2:25)
- "Funny Love" - (3:58)
- The word "parappa" is Japanese for "paper thin," hence all the characters' designs.
- All of the art and designs were created by artist Rodney Alan Greenblat.
- The popularity of this game was great enough to generate an anime spin-off series titled Parappa the Rapper. Ironically, the anime has absolutely no rapping or hip-hop in it whatsoever.
- The game's producer, Masaya Matsuura, and artist and designer, Rodney Alan Greenblat, worked with one another again twelve years later on the Wii game Major Minor's Majestic March.
- The voice actor for Parappa, Dred Foxx, also performed Knuckles the Echidna's rap in Sonic Adventure 2.
- Holding "up" on the d-pad during a stage will illicit extra in-stage visuals.
- The singing voice in the "Jet Baby" theme heard at the very start of the game in the movie theater is that of Rodney Alan Greenblat, the game's artist and designer.