game Cover
game cartridge
ワンダープロジェクトJ 機械の少年ピーノ
© Enix/Almanic/Mint/1994
Release: 1994-12-09 (¥11800)
Cartridge SHVC-APJJ
Adventure / Action game

Wonder Project J is an action/simulation/adventure game developed by Almanic and published by Enix, but it is also a game like no other that doesn't really fit neatly in any defined genres. The story takes place on Koruro island (aka Corlo island), a place where androids and humans live in peace - or at least, they used to. Their relationship has been plagued by hostility and mistrust, and a bitter feud has been growing between the two sides. The game begins as Dr Gepetto, a gifted craftsman, puts the last touches on his latest creation - an articulated Gijin (an android) child named Pīno. But for unknown reasons, the scientist is arrested and thrown in jail and the poor Pīno is left all by himself. The goal of the game is to help the little android boy and to teach him how to move around and explore his new world. Interestingly, the player doesn't directly control Pīno, but instead uses an interface-robot called 'Tinker'. The cute flying fairy can attract Pīno's attention, ask him to walk in one direction, or stop, or help him pick up and use objects. And Pīno starts out as a really naive boy who needs to grow and learn a lot! The player literarily has to train the robot child, encourage him to repeat actions over and over, or teach him what is right from wrong (by praising and scolding him). However, the core gameplay of Wonder Project J is a lot more subtle and Pīno rarely knows how to respond to new stimuli, and will simply try to eat any object he sees for the first time. But, in the end, this long training will slowing develop his inate abilities (such as attack, defense but also confidence, honesty or kindness) and will eventually activate all seven circuits of his robotic heart (as well as the mysterious 'Circuit J'), and maybe help humans and robots live in peace and harmony. Wonder Project J consists of ten acts and is single player only.
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Wonder Project J2 - Nintendo 64 Wonder Project J is undoubtly based on Carlo Collodi's classic novel the Adventures of Pinocchio originally published around 1883. However, Wonder Project J has many more parallels to Walt Disney's take on the tale. Pīno, like Disney's Pinocchio, is a really appealing and innocent character helped by a secondary character who symbolizes his conscience (Disney's Jiminy Cricket certainly served as a base to design Tinker). The game has also obvious influences from Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) and Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki (Laputa,Totoro).

A sequel to this unusual game followed for the Nintendo 64 in 1996 (picture on the left). This second episode, called Wonder Project J2 Koruro no Mori no Jozetto (aka "Josette from the Koruro forest"), stars a robot girl called Josette, helped by a bird robot-interface (which replaces Tinker).

Wonder Project J was fan translated in English by WakdHacks in 2001. The excellent English patch was produced by LordTech and translated by Kagami, Akujin and Tomato.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

- CAST -

Hero ... Gijin 4649
Doctor ... Geppetto Lamarck
Tinker ... Gijin 4648
No.46 ... Gijin 4600
King ... Adams Koruro
Messara ... Gijin 4646
Farmer ... Famu uizādo
Adventurer ... Addo kingā
Minato Mamoru ... Gamechī Pōto
Danchō ... Piēru Kīton
Shopkeeper ... Mimi Anjeraito
Woman Fighter ... Jannu Nora
Man Fighter ... Gādī Nora
Wildcat ... Rubī Karen
First Subordinate ... Jon Bō
Second Subordinate ... Pōru Dorō
Clerk ... Pei Sōrudo
Kyōgi-in ... Kattā Rī
Giryuu ... Gijin 4630
Dog ... Chiro
Cat ... Mī
Chicken ... Kokko
Savior ... You


Almanic Staff

Game Design, Script
Yoneda Takashi

Yamahiko Hiroko
Sorimachi Takashi
Shiotani Hiromitsu

Background Art Effect
Fujioka Hidetoshi

Object Design
Matsui Ryūsaku
Niyama Kyōko
Kosuge Nobori

Special Thanks
Yokokura Hiroshi
Jō Takashi
Hayakawa Naoyuki
Wakatsuki Yasuo

Animation Staff

Īda Umanosuke

Image Voice
Hidaka Noriko

Character Design
Kawamoto Toshihiro

Original Art
Kaneko Masashi

Kobayashi Sachiko
Masubuchi Junko
Ōtani Kumiko
Kanbara Yoshimi

Character Color Design
Iriomote Michiyo

Screen Design
Īda Umanosuke

Enix Staff

Chida Yukinobu
Honda Keiji
Maruyama Shigeki
Saitō Mina
Takado Ittetsu
Saitō Yōsuke

Yamamoto Hideki
Ōishi Naoki

Sone Kōsei
Saitō Yoshihisa
Ōtsuka Mitsuru
Shimamura Ōsan

Technical Support
Yahagi Sadao
Kanō Kenjirō
Takeshita Zenrō
Honma Kazufumi
Īda Mariko

Special Thanks
Kakizawa Minoru
Wakabayashi Kaoru
Suginaka Naoto
Kuroda Hirofumi
Arai Akira
Takahashi Midori
Shigeno Akimune
Nakamura Reiri
Abe Masaki
Saitō Masakuni
Tanaka Hiroomi
Sasaki Yutaka
Ishizuka Daisuke
Matsumoto Keisuke
Hayashi Tsutomu
Title Collaborators
Fukuzaki Mika
Akaboshi Masakō
Arai Mayumi
Iwaki Hirokazu
Endō Kazumi
Ōtani Taku
Okada Hirofumi
Oshiki Sayaka
Ono Hitoshi
Kakino Takako
Kanazawa Asuka
Kawashima Shinya
Kihara Junji
Kuriki Morito
Koike Kazuhiro
Koizumi Ikue
Satō Hiroshi
Sano Nobuhito
Shinomori Toshihiro
Tamura Asubu
Tsuzuki Yoshiaki
Togasaki Mutsumi
Tokuda Kiyomi
Toyohara Katsuo
Nakamura Miwa
Hatanaka Tomoyuki
Hayashi Megumi
Mikami Ryōsuke
Mizutani Takayuki
Yamamoto Akihiro
Umano Shinya

(In alphabetical order)

Mori Akihiko (Mint)

Sound Program
Hirasawa Michiya (Mint)

Wakabayashi Kazuhiro (Omnibus Promotion)

Yoneda Takashi (Almanic)

Fujimoto Hiroki (Enix)

General Manager
Tomiyama Noriyuki (Almanic)

Fukushima Yasuhiro (Enix)


Planning and Production
Enix (Co. Ltd.)
Almanic (Co. Ltd.)

Wonder Project J - Japanese Guide Book
Japanese Guidebook
Wonder Project J - Japanese Guide Book
Japanese Guidebook
Wonder Project J - Japanese Comic book
Japanese Comic book
Wonder Project J - Japanese Comic book
Japanese Comic book
Wonder Project J - Japanese book
Japanese book


Wonder Project J manual Guidebook Comic book
Click on picture to enlarge

Gameplay Tips:
Controls in Wonder Project J are simple but take some time to get used to. Here are important things to know about:

Pīno runs on health and energy (symbolized by a heart and a green spark at the top of the screen). To refill them, either give him a health battery Wonder Project J - Health battery or an energy battery Wonder Project J - Energy battery, or get him to rest in Gepetto's house albeit at the cost of one in-game day (use Tinker to point at the big computer at the back of the room).

Button A tells Pīno to walk (or run) in one direction.

Button B tells Pīno to stop.

Button A over an object tells Pīno to use that object. Once Pīno has used the object, praise him if he did the right action (press X), or scold him if he hasn't (press Y). Press Y twice to hit him with a mallet. Make sure you don't scold him too much or he will stop listening to you (give him a pudding Wonder Project J - pudding to boost his trust).

Hold button B over an object to grab it, move it around or store it in your inventory.

Wonder Project J - status screen Press Select to see Pīno's status screen. There are listed a series of attributes - they come in four different categories and they increase or decrease based on Pīno's actions. Beside, four lights are located at the top of the screen and indicate which category has changed after an action - Red (combat/aggression), Yellow (strength/Athleticism), Blue (intelligence), Green (Sensitivity). Here are all the parameters (pictures on the right, all borrowed from the excellent English version by WakdHacks).

Alternate ending:
The game features a second ending. Start a new game after you've completed Wonder Project J once (after the end credits). Make sure you complete the game again as fast as possible (the in-game days do matter this time around, so avoid resting in Gepetto's computer if possible). You should then reach the alternate ending where Pīno somewhat "becomes" a real boy.

Add your Pov here !

Wonder Project J is an incredible game and it is such a shame that it was never officially translated to English or released outside its home country... I must warn you that an understanding of Japanese is required in order to enjoy this game, or your first interaction with the game will be very frustrating... Thankfully, it is now possible to find an excellent English fan translation and several walkthroughs - so you have no excuse for missing out on this one! Almanic (the developer behind the excellent E.V.O) created here a really unique game, and only watching Pīno interact with his surrounding is very entertaining in itself (and the way how the praising/scolding is implemented is excellent!). The story is absolutely fantastic, the anime-esque graphics and the various animation cycles are outstanding (some of the best for the system!) and the game has lost none of its unique charm, even to this day. But I must warn you, Wonder Project J is not for everyone and the game often rewards patience over speed of action. For that reason, the teaching process can become tedious at times and it may not suit all players. But, all in all, Wonder Project J is a charming game that defies categorization, a game with an unique and diligently designed gameplay system, a game with tons of heart and emotion and filled with characters you won't soon forget. A true masterpiece, and Almanic and Enix at their best.

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