- For the character with the same name, see here.
1984 (Original Arcade game)
Flicky (フリッキー Furikkī?) is a game developed and released by Sega on arcades in 1984, using Sega's System 1 Hardware. After the official arcade release, it has been ported to numerous platforms, mostly known SG-1000, MSX and Sega Genesis. It is known to be the first appearance of Flicky, one of Sonic's original animal friends and a recurring character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series and even years before the first installment from 1991.
The player controls Flicky around a series of simplistic levels. Flicky moves left or right and has one action button to jump and to shoot. Flicky has a very good jump range, but cannot actually fly.
The aim of the game is collect your lost 'children', who are all called Chirp (Piopios in Japan) and who are scattered around each level, and return them to the doorway/entrance that you used to enter each level. To get a Chirp to follow you in a line like ducklings you just need to touch them, usually this involves jumping to reach them. If you have more than one Chirp and place them in the doorway, your score per Chirp will increase by 100 (i.e. 100 points for the first Chirp, 200 for the second, 300 for the third...). If you place them separately you will get a flat rate of 100 points.
Your main problem is Tiger (Nyan-Nyan in Japan) tabby cats that are similar to the cats in the Mappy franchise. If you hit a Tiger you will lose a life. If a Tiger clips your Chirp line the clipped Chirp will break the line and you'll have to re-collect it and any behind it in the line. Iggy (Choro in Japan) is an Iguana that does the same thing. Like Mappy, you are never helpless, for each level has a set of objects, ranging from telephones to chairs to flowerpots, if you touch one of these objects you can carry it until you jump (this is because 'throw' is the same button as 'jump'). When you throw it, you will send it spinning off in a straight line, and if a Tiger or Iggy is unfortunate enough to be in the way of the object, they'll go spinning and you'll get extra points. Hit more than one with the same object and a gem will appear and give you even more points.
Each level loops, and is thus making the game endless. Between every few rounds is a bonus round, where Tiger catapults Chirps up in the air, and Flicky must catch them in the net. The game is simplistic and has the feel of being aimed at a younger audience, but can become quite challenging quite fast.
The game was popular enough to be ported to both of Sega's home consoles, the Mega Drive (or Genesis) and Master System in 1991 (the same year Flicky guest-starred in the first Sonic the Hedgehog). Both suffer from the downsizing in graphics [due to the consoles' capabilities]. Iggy is particularly affected by this, but plays virtually the same. Both versions also lose their cute balloon intro for the Title screen. In 1992, the game was given a Sega CD Meganet port on Game no Kanzume vol.1 series, with upgraded graphics and sound much closer to its arcade counterpart, and a port on the Genesis Meganet port on Game no Kanzume Otokuyou.
Due to her close links with the Sonic franchise, the Mega Drive port of Flicky was included as an unlockable game in the Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Mega Collection Plus compilations that were compiled under Sonic Team's supervision. Unlike Comix Zone and The Ooze, Flicky was kept in the Western version of Sonic Mega Collection for the Nintendo GameCube. The game was included in Sega Smash Pack 2 compilation for the PC. Flicky is also one of the many classic games to be ported onto the Sonic Cafe service. A low quality version of the game was released in the early days of Sonic Cafe, but has since been replaced by a graphically enhanced version.
Connection to Sonic the Hedgehog series
Flicky was one of the animal friends released from destroyed Badniks and capsules in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and has appeared as recurring character in numerous Sonic games since then. Another of the original animal friends was named Chirps in the West, similar to the name of Flicky's children in the Western version of Flicky, Chirp. In Sonic Adventure, Amy Rose protects a Flicky in her story. The Flicky's family are 2 other Flickies which are used as E-101 Beta and E-102 Gamma's life sources.
Flickies as species have been explained more further in Sonic 3D Blast, where they have been able to transport between dimensions by using giant rings to do so. The gameplay mechanic in Sonic 3D Blast is apparently similar comparing to Flicky game, as collecting small birds and delivering them to an exit, including the concept of receiving extra points for delivering multiple birds at once.