The year was 199X. The head of the MTA, in a dire act of stunning ineptitude, contacted Nintendo for a crack at the gaming scene. "We need to market the subway system to young people. Make it fun and fresh," the CEO chomped, a cigar dangling from his doglike snarl. On the other side of the world, a Japanese man grimaced, then groaned. "You want it to be sexy and fun? A shootman game with tons of bullets and spaceships?" "Fuck no," came the sharp retort. "Make the protagonist an amorphous, gender-ambiguous blob. And make it a puzzle game...on the Game Boy. With block-pushing puzzles." "What about the trains element?" "Put a fucking turnstile in a few levels to fuck with people," the CEO ended, finally slamming the phone down atop the rusted receiver.
I'd like to think this was the origin of Kwirk, but it likely wasn't. It doesn't matter anyway since nobody fucking knows about Kwirk. It was a puzzle "transport" game released in 1990 for the GB, and apparently I'm the only human being to know about it besides whoever wrote the "lore" of the character. Kwirk (Or "Puzzle Boy," if you come from Nippon) is a tomato and he went into a cave with his tomato girlfriend and lost her so now he has to solve 100 stupid puzzles involving moving blocks into empty holes and so on and so forth. You wouldn't know Kwirk was a tomato unless I told you or you looked at the totally tubular box art. If you're familiar with Chip's Challenge then you'll be right at home with Kwirk's mechanics of pushing shit into or over other shit. I've always been really bad at those 9-square pushblock puzzles so naturally I got stuck on like the 11th stage or so and never made it out of the subterranean Sheol that Kwirk is stuck within.
Later on, you'll get access to Kwirk's friends, who are all vegetables with loathsome names, and you can switch between characters to make puzzles a bit easier. One of the chief selling points of the game is the turnstile mechanic, which can really fuck you over if you push a block past one in the wrong direction. There's a sequel I haven't played yet called Puzzle Boy 2 in Japan, though it's also called Amazing Tater in the USA. They basically changed a fruit to a vegetable in the span of one fell swoop, and without a 12-episode season about the rigors of this transition. Perhaps the game's difficult, arduous mission was a metaphor for the hardships of changing your entire core being!? God, the symbolism never stops with Kwirk! Be sure to pick it up today to unravel its mysteries!