A long time ago, in
Japan a land far, far away, the Gods sought fit to foist upon man a most devilish caprice: Takeshi's Challenge, a game created with help from none other than Takeshi Kitano. Many may know him from the "Battle Royale" films among many others; though for those like myself, his most notable (and incidental) role was in Spike TV's "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge," an MST3K-style comedy show that featured American overdubbing of the Japanese game/competition show "Takeshi's Castle." Released in 1986 for the Famicom, the game gained a reputation as a kind of oddball title. As Destructoid notes, Takeshi's Challenge was "nearly impossible to beat thanks to several ridiculous tasks required of players, such as singing karaoke in the second controller's microphone or not pressing any buttons for an hour." According to the video, even the strategy guide from Oota publications provided little help, resulting in "about 400 complaints per day" from consumers, and necessitating the release of a second strategy guide. Even then, the fifteen kinds of what kids these days refer to as "wtf" hindered gameplay for what was, at the time, a predominately youth-oriented market.
So how in the name of god did such a title make it to market? If the story is to be believed, Takeshi's idea of what would make for "good" ideas were rather eccentric, compounded by his tenancy to drink during brainstorming sessions. Rather than offering a bit of well-warranted criticism, it seemed that Takeshi's scribes dutifully took down his suggestions - bats**t insane and emerging from a cloud of sake vapor as they may have been - as though he was some sort of latter-day Jesus.
The game's conclusion (our intrepid gamer does finish Takeshi's Challenge) brings the title to a close in a strangely coherent way. For those not willing to go through the trouble of playing through the version with English translation, simply grab some popcorn (washed down with sake, naturally) and enjoy the 14 minute romp through the odd mind of Takeshi Kitano.