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Battle of Freekick is a soccer (or football) video game developed by Nice Code Software for 16-bit plug and play systems. It is currently only known to exist on a "Sports Game" 7 in 1 cartridge included with the extremely uncommon Wiii3 205 in 1 system produced by Qi Sheng Long and sold in PAL regions (i.e., the United Kingdom), which also contains other 16-bit games developed by Nice Code.

Overview[]

Battle of Freekick is a gamified simulation of free kicks in soccer/football, not too dissimilar to the penalty kick games that were common on generic plug and play systems in the 2000s. Compared to the penalty kick games on those systems, though, the choice of simulating free kicks in particular inherently introduces more challenge into the game, and Nice Code's take on this type of game is notable for being more tongue-in-cheek in its presentation.

Battle of Freekick Gameplay

Gameplay.

Battle of Freekick Stage Intro

Stage introduction screen, with Nice Code's logo representing the player's team.

The game has the player control a soccer/football team mainly comprised of real staff from Nice Code Software throughout five stages, which is implied with their logo representing the player's team on the screen that appears each time the game introduces a new opposing team on a new stage and on the scoreboard above the goal in-game, as well as most in-game players in the team using the same names as known Nice Code staff members. In each stage, the player's team, which wear red shirts, plays against an opposing team, which wear blue shirts and have a player or players defending the goal in addition to the goalkeeper. The opposing teams in this game also have their own logos, which are shown on the stage screen and in-game scoreboard as well. The player's team has to score more goals than what is indicated on the scoreboard for the opposing team in order to win. To do this, the player has to strategically place kicks in such a way that the goalkeeper and defending player(s) won't be able to reach the ball and block it. The direction, curvature, and strength of the kick can be selected from predetermined choices shown with moving arrows. There are five directions the ball can be kicked in (depicted with a rotating arrow), along with five curvature selections (curving arrow) and three strength selections (arrow pointing up and down that changes color) that determine how the ball will be kicked.

The game offers ten turns to let the player's team score more goals than the opposing team in each stage. The number of turns the player has left is indicated by the stick figures at the bottom right of the screen. When the ball is kicked, the defending team will attempt to reach for the ball and the goalkeeper will try to determine which direction to leap to in an attempt to secure the ball. If either are successful at blocking the kick, then the goalkeeper and defending team will cheer and the in-game player will get down on their knees in defeat. If a goal is scored on a turn, then the goalkeeper will get down on their knees and players on the defending team will either do the same or cry, as implied by them putting their arms up to their eyes, while the current in-game player and the stick figures at the bottom right will start cheering. The scoreboard will also display the messages "GOAL!!" or "MISS!!" depending on if the player's team scored a goal or not. Once a turn has passed, the in-game player on the player's team is swapped out for a different one (the sprite used for the player does not change) and the position of the defending player(s) will change. When the player's team scores more goals than the opposing team, the current in-game player will cheer as confetti rains in and the word "WIN" in large font appears before the game goes to the next stage, although the stick figures do not animate and the scoreboard does not show any messages in this case.

Battle of Freekick Ending

Ending.

When the game starts, the first team the player's team goes against is only referred to as "SS", which has already scored two points and has one goalkeeper at the net and a single defending player standing in front of them. As the game advances to the later stages, the number of players on the defending team for later opposing teams will increase and in most cases, the score of the opposing team will also increase, requiring the player to plan out their kicks to have a better chance of winning. On the title screen and throughout the entire game, only a single MIDI-like loop of a song plays. Once the player's team wins against all five opposing teams, the game will show an ending that plays a chant and blinks the text "YOU ARE CHAMPION" before going back to the title screen.

Players[]

The following is a list of known in-game players on the player's team in Battle of Freekick. The information provided is taken from what is displayed on the HUD at the bottom left in the game. It is unknown if more in-game players are present in the game. All players are represented with the same sprite in-game.

No. ? Name Notes
1 GK JONY Name is shared with a known Nice Code staff member, who did art design and also directed the 8-bit Nice Code games Magic Jony and Fairy's Treasure
6 DF DBOY
7 WB LEO Name appears in a high score table alongside names of known Nice Code staff members in a game on JungleTac's vertically oriented Classic Max Pocket handhelds, Gem World (the handhelds also contain games confirmed to be developed by Nice Code)
9 CB GLEN
10 MF COSMO
11 FW KEN Name is shared with a known Nice Code staff member who did art design for Nice Code's 8-bit titles
12 SMF WAYNE Name is shared with known Nice Code staff member; they appear in cartoon form alongside other Nice Code staff on the about us page of Nice Code's website (now defunct)[1]
14 CF STING Name is shared with a known Nice Code staff member that was a programmer for Nice Code's 8-bit titles
15 WG WYB
16 ST SUM

Opposing teams[]

Name Logo Stage Opposing team score Defending team players
SS Battle of Freekick SS 1 2 1
BN Battle of Freekick BN 2 3 2
EA Battle of Freekick EA 3 4 3
SE Battle of Freekick SE 4 4 4
MS Battle of Freekick MS 5 5 5

Bugs[]

The game, at least on the Wiii3 205 in 1's 7 in 1 cartridge, has a couple of notable bugs. One of these bugs involves sound effects not playing at random where they are intended to play. Another known bug is reported to trigger in the game once it is restarted after being completed, where the HUD graphics will end up being glitched for the first level.

Trivia[]

  • While it is not entirely certain what the opposing teams in the game are supposed to represent, it is likely that they are meant to represent other video game companies since the player's team is represented with Nice Code (the developer)'s logo and seemingly consists of real staff members from the company. "BN" might be a stand-in for Bandai Namco, "EA" a stand-in for Electronic Arts, "SE" a stand-in for Square Enix, and "MS" a stand-in for Microsoft. It is not clear what "SS" might be a stand-in for, although it could stand for Sega Sammy, the parent company of Sega.
  • The Wiii3 205 in 1's 7 in 1 cartridge, which includes this game as well as Nice Code's other 16-bit games, is currently undumped. It is unknown what platform the games were programmed for, although Nice Code's website states that they developed their 16-bit games for Sunplus SPG hardware, a proprietary system-on-a-chip commonly used in plug and play systems throughout the 2000s.[2]

References[]

External link[]

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