Oddities 10: A Boy and His Blob Weirdness!

A Boy and His Blob

A boy hero heard a kid sob. Her tree cat got stuck on the job. A ladder he tried. Oh thank you, she cried. Most Unusual Hidden Message:

If you've ever been to David Wonn's Unique Glitches site, then you may have seen this trick for A Boy and His Blob in the NES section. It's a hidden message you can find by using a glitch (please visit his site to find out how to do it!) Anyway, I've heard of programmers hiding their names or initials in games, but this one is very weird. It appears to be 5/6 of a limerick that has absolutely nothing to do with the game, whatsoever! Maybe, at one time the programmers had thought about using the Blob's different shapes to solve situations, such as a cat being stuck in a tree like the limerick suggests, but nothing like that ever came to fruition. You spend most of this game just searching for buried treasure. This glitch also allows you to run through the ending credits, the title screen, scrambled screens, and other bizarre things.

UPDATE: 3/15/2009

Site Reader Andrew has more to add to this situation. Apparently, the missing sixth line of the limerick does exist, buried deep in the game's ROM, although we do not yet know how (if possible) to get the game to display it. The missing line is, "Replied he, 'Just doing my blob'".

Here is a screenshot of how the entire limerick appears in a Hex Editor.

The Blob and the Shmoo - A Connection?
Separated at Birth?

When I first heard about A Boy and His Blob, and learned it was about an amorphous creature who could change shape to help his friend solve problems, I couldn't help but think I'd heard about a similar concept before. Then it dawned on me! I used to love cartoons when I was a kid, and I vaguely recalled a rather short-lived cartoon about a creature called the "Shmoo". The Shmoo was also a white, amorphous blob-like creature who could change shape to help his friends solve mysteries and stuff. Don't believe me? Check out Yesterdayland.com's page about the Shmoo, look at the drawings and read the description of the show! And here's another picture of the Shmoo along with a picture of the Blob:


*** UPDATE ***

I got word straight from A Boy and His Blob creator David Crane on the origins of Blobert:

"The fact is that Blobert was inspired by a cartoon show from my childhood way before the Shmoo called The Herculoids. This was a humanoid family that lived on a planet with several alien friends, including a flying dragon and a rock monster. Two of their more talented friends were Gloop and Gleep, who were shape-changing blobs.

To a fertile pre-pubescent mind there would be no better companion than a shape-changer. What mischief you could cause! I remembered these blobs fondly when creating A Boy and His Blob. And the idea of using a shape-changing companion as a tool to help you to navigate a platform adventure was quite unique for its day."

Thank you so much for taking the time to write in with this information! It appears the Shmoo similarity was just a coincidence after all. My apologies. I do vaguely remember seeing the Herculoids cartoon on the Cartoon Network several years ago, too.

Gleep and Gloop from The Herculoids



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