Lost In Translation/Frisky Tom

From ExoticA
Out Run (Arcade version)
Out Run (Sinclair ZX Spectrum version)

This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Frisky Tom
Frisky Tom marquee.
No screen shot.
Frisky Tom control panel.
Manufacturer Nichibutsu
Released 1981
8-way Joystick
Main CPU Z80 (@ 3.072 MHz)
NSC8105 (@ 1.500 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
AY-3-8910A (@ 1.536 MHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
256 x 224 pixels
60.00 Hz
64 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 14 ROMs
47,168 bytes (46.06 KiB)
MAME ID friskyt · friskyta

About The Game

Frisky Tom is an arcade video game.

You play the plumber "Frisky Tom" who is trying to get water from the top tank to a shower tank below. Mice interfere with your plans by stealing pipes blowing-up pipes and by biting Tom. If Tom fills enough water the shower tank, he advances to the next level. Depending upon how much water is in the tank, a woman in a bath tub will appear as an interlude between levels.


Nichibutsu never released the old version in the U.S. for unknown reasons, although one could guess one of them. Perhaps it was the naked woman in the bath tub in which as you advanced in the game, bubbles would be washed away revealing her breasts?? Probably didn't go over too well with the U.S. arcade owners in the early 80's.

When the game was released, in October 1981, the service manual that came with the original cabinet described the old version (set 2) of game play. That didn't help arcade owners much because it didn't match the system they received. The game wasn't very popular so there were few complaints.

The flyer reads 'Nichibutsu original custom C.P.U. was used for the first time in video games'.

Cast of Characters :

  • Frisky Tom
  • Bomb - When the bomb explodes, the *game is over.
  • Molar Mouse (Orange) - **50 points awarded if bumped by Tom.
  • Pyro Mouse (Pink) - Lights the bomb fuse.
  • Mean Mouse (***Blue) - If Tom runs into this mouse he will ***fall...so stay away!.
  • Megaton Mouse (Violet) - Mouse who plants the bomb.
  • Klepto Mouse (Green) - *****Mouse who takes or carry aways pieces of pipe.
(* The game is not actually over. You just lose a life)
(** Molar Mouse is worth 200 points in the new version. The value keeps doubling up to a maximum of 128,000 points for each consecutive mouse bumped before the first mouse hits the ground)
(*** In the new version MEAN Mouse is red)
(**** In the new version MEAN Mouse will kill Tom if he touches or falls on it. MEAN mouse doesn't fall in the old version)
(***** KLEPTO Mouse is not in the new version)


Two Different Frisky Tom Games ?

The new version (set 1) differs from the old version (set 2) and has a tremendous impact on game play and strategy. In addition to the differences listed in the Cast of Characters, the following are also noted :

  • Frisky Toms are tracked as 'lives' in the new version while in the old version they are water tanks.
  • In the new version, the bottom tank starts with 4000 points and will gradually slip to 0 if no water gets to it. A life is lost at this point (Frisky Tom). In the old version, water must be filled to maximum to not lose a life (a tank). A song will be played when the bottom tank is filled completely.
  • The bomb fuse can be put out by either dropping on it from the left or all the way to the end of the screen on the right (reappear on the left side) in the new version. In the old version you can only put out the fuse on the left side. You fall just short if you move off to the right side of the screen.
  • MOLAR mouse can be knocked down in any position on the pipes in the new version. MOLAR mouse can only be knocked off in the old version when he is transiting up and down on a pipe.
  • The new version has classes of difficulty 'A', 'B' & 'C'. In the old version there are no difficulty classes.
  • In the new version the lady will appear between levels everytime the bottom tank has more than 1900 points. Also she wears a bikini. In the old version the lady will appear every 3 levels or so and she is naked!
  • Game config is backed up by 4.5v battery in old version.
  • Old version uses larger board.

Cabinet and Artwork


Atari 5200 (1983)
Nintendo Super Famicom (1995, "Nichibutsu Arcade Classics")
Nintendo Game Boy
LCD Handheld Game (1982) by Bandai
LCD Handheld Game (1982, "Pipe Line" French release) by Bandai
VFD Handheld Game (1982) by Bandai

The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.