Um Jammer Lammy is a rhythm game developed by NanaOn-Sha and released by Sony for the PlayStation in 1999. It tells the story of a lamb that goes by a dumb-ass name of Lammy who has to get to her gig on time in order to start her show.
Like in the PaRappa game series, Um Jammer Lammy has a rhythm pattern of button sequences that you must press correctly in order to advance (kind of like Simon Says, only a teacher sings and you follow their example). But it's not a piece of cake, as the patterns become more difficult, and there is some sort of Performance Meter that falls in four modes: Cool, Good (the default mode), Bad, and Awful. If the player screws up twice, the meter will drop to Bad Mode, and the music turns shitty. If the player fucks up again, the meter drops to Awful Mode, and the music becomes more fucked up than before. If the song ends on a bad note or the meter dips below Awful, it's Game Over, and you may have to try again.
However, if the player can build up their Performance Meter to Cool Mode by freestyling, then the teacher will leave, and some kick-ass scenery will occur. If the player does truly well in Cool Mode, then trippy Fever Mode will occur in which a flash of light will surround the player, who must keep up, either until they fuck up and the meter drops to Good Mode, or until the song ends, and a Cool Mode ending will occur. This is kind of weird for someone on an acid trip!
There are also unlockable 2-Player modes: Co-op Mode and Vs. Mode. In Co-op Mode, a teacher will sing a line for Player 1 (Lammy) to follow, and the next line will be either sung or rapped for Player 2 to follow. After every two lines, the combined scores each player achieved during that line is added to the score and the rank may change accordingly. Both players lose if they fuck up on their skills too much.
In Vs. Mode, however, the scores and ranks are differentiated, and the difference is awarded and taken away from respective players. Whoever has either the lowest score at the end of the level, hits 0 points first or gets their Performance Meter below Awful is the loser (more like "wiener" if you ask us). Tough shit, huh?
Well, not that wiener anyway, but still...
Anyway, let's start off with...
This story looks like it's written by someone on an acid trip, but anyway it takes place like in PaRappa the Rapper: same setting, same paper-thin graphics, and a list of English-speaking voice actors (though made in Japan, kind of like the Resident Evil series). Katy Kat (from PaRappa) has just watched a film about Jet Baby with her two new friends, Lammy and Ma-san (a retarded Winnie the Pooh reject in a red dress and a dynamite for a hat who only talks in a high-pitched gibberish that can only be understood with the game subtitles on).
As the trio head out to lunch, Lammy feels queasy and Katy asks her what's on her damn mind. Lammy tells her she wishes she were strong, but Katy reassures her that she's already strong and should be more confident that Lammy's already a kick-ass girl on a guitar. However, Ma-san tells Katy that Lammy's normally a pussy; but Katy reassures Lammy that they are a rock band called "MILKCAN" (kind of a shitty name, if you ask us). Just then two bullying dicks arrive (as usual) and not only want to steal food, but also to gang-rape one member of the trio (presumably Lammy). As Lammy tries backing off, Katy tosses her guitar into outer space (literally!) before it falls down, and Lammy catches it and rocks the shit out of these punks, proving once again that she and her guitar truly kick ass.
"Wow! I'm so bad-ass, I don't know why I'm in a rainbow standing over these dicks who tried to rape me!"
One day, Lammy opens the door and runs through the stage hallway apparently late (HOLY SHIT! Already?!), and as she runs, she talks to herself about having a stomachache and running to the bathroom with a long line of rappers at a gas station... oh wait, that's already from PaRappa.
This kind of creeps the shit out of us.
Anyway, as she runs toward the stage, she trips on the floor, loses her guitar and is shocked to see Katy and Ma-san with a new vocalist... Chop Chop Master Onion (yes, the onion-headed sensei from PaRappa)!
Man, his clothes look dirty and shitty to us.
At first Lammy wonders, "How the hell did that onion-headed guy get in our stage?" but then Katy hands the guitar back to Lammy, and while she plays, the onion-headed sensei makes a list of eerie self-fulfilling prophecies that start to creep the shit out of us.
This is what's on Chop Chop Master Onion's mind.
Anyway, as she finishes playing and the sensei finishes that creepy rap, he tells her to look at what she is holding, and she finds that her guitar had been changed into a fucking vacuum cleaner!
"Whoa, why the fuck am I holding a vacuum cleaner in my hand?!"
As the crowd leaves, Lammy feels so goddamn depressed that she lost the crowd because of the vacuum cleaner, but Chop Chop tells her that he lost his Fruites Dojo (apparently ruined due to some natural forces), but his dojo remains in his mind, complete with a casino, then gives her a lesson that she will soon remember: "Dojo, casino, it's all in the mind," before the scene fades out on the sensei standing atop a spinning roulette wheel.
Try placing a dojo out in Vegas next, you lucky bastard!
An alarm clock suddenly rings out, and Lammy wakes up to find that it was a dream... or so she thinks. But then she looks at her alarm clock and... holy fuck! She finds that she has 15 minutes to get to her concert on time... or else!
She then struts through her stuff, and as she turns on the answering machine before leaving, she suddenly becomes a dumb-ass and returns to find her apartment room in a fucking mess.
Holy shit, this is one big fucked-up room!
Anyway, she has to turn off every... single... fucking... appliance all over the goddamn place before she pushes her teddy panda bear in a daze. Surprised, she picks it up and kisses it for good luck before heading out the door.
Okay, a teenager playing with dolls and kissing them like in this scene looks kind of retarded to us.
Lammy runs through the streets as fast as her legs can carry her, when she stops to discover... a crowd watching a pizza store on fire, with firefighters trying to put the fire out. A firefighter dalmatian (who goes by the name of Chief Puddle, we believe) is using roadblocks to ward off the crowds while he makes an attempt to quench the flames. When Lammy tries to get through, the Chief acts all badass and tries getting her to back the fuck off.
Christ! You don't have to bitch about it, you mangy mutt!
However, Lammy wants none of that bullshit and makes a plea for him to let her through, at which point the dalmatian chief offers her a hose and barks at her to help them put out the fire. Just when she begins to doubt and say "No fucking way," she sees a sign that says "Joe Chin Casino" near the burning pizza store, and at once she hears Chop Chop's voice ringing in her ears: "Dojo, casino, it's all in the mind." At once she imagines the hose to be a guitar while saying to herself, "My guitar is in my mind," and utters out her battle cry: "Leave it to Lammy!" With coaching from Chief Puddle, Lammy is able to use her hose/guitar to put out the flames, which is almost like masturbating the hose, if you ask us.
This one kind of screams hose rape!
Afterwards, Chief Puddle congratulates her on a job well done and offers her a siren, which is called a Flanger (one of the five Effecters), as well as a few slices of pizza. After she eats them, she takes the Flanger, then looks at her watch and... holy shit! She only has 11 minutes left, but as she realizes this, she suddenly becomes too goddamn fat, as the pizzas she has eaten have turned her into a female version of Eric Cartman.
"Hey, I heard that, bitch!"
As fatass Lammy runs away from the crowds, she becomes too goddamn fat to move on and collapses. Soon after, she gets up to the sound of a parade... of rabbits! And not just any rabbit parade, but it's one whole fucking parade of knocked-up rabbit women and their husbands dressed up in creepy mafia zoot-suits! Talk about a zoot suit riot!
Whoever heard the term "rabbits can multiply" is getting way fucked up in the head.
Soon the parade stops in front of some Birthmart Discounts Center before a caterpillar midwife by the name of Cathy Piller, who has led the parade, sees Lammy and mistakes her for a knocked-up teenage girl and takes her away to the center. All while the midwife repeatedly barfs up shit and everything. Every... single... goddamn... time!
What the fuck did she just eat?!
Once inside, new arrivals of baby rabbits are born from their mothers' wombs, and Cathy smiles in pride of all of them... except one: Lammy, who suddenly no longer becomes fatass because of the pizza she has digested. When Cathy realizes this, she barfs the shit up in disappointment, and as punishment, she orders Lammy to help her take care of all this whole goddamn mess of babies. Lammy wonders when all this nightmare will end, until she is shown a roulette wheel by the babies, and at once, she imagines one baby she is holding to be a guitar. Now, thanks to Cathy Piller (and a singing baby she holds as well), Lammy is able to play a tune to rock all of these little ones to sleep... all with the powers of the baby/guitar. Though, of course, the music seems a little damn weird.
Okay, this, along with taking care of all these babies, is getting pretty fucked up here.
Afterwards, Cathy tells Lammy that they have discounts every Monday and Wednesday, and that she is free to come to the center when she really wants a baby (all while the midwife keeps puking). As a reward for Lammy's good deeds, Cathy gives her a caterpillar rattle called the "Harmonizer", the second Effecter; and as Lammy takes it and looks at her watch... holy fuck! She only has 8 minutes until her concert, so she runs out of the Birthmarts Discount Center as fast as she can...
...and as Lammy runs, she bumps into a husband-and-wife couple, knocking a rainbow skateboard out of their hands and stepping on it, which makes her fly out of control. She then notices an airliner plane leaving, so she jumps off the skateboard to catch the plane in time. As she gets in, she notices a crazy pilot by the name of Captain Fussenpepper, which is more like he should be called "Captain Jekyll and Captain Hyde."
Sort of like that.
No, we're not making this shit up. The reason he should be called by that name is this: he has a fucking multiple-personality disorder, meaning that he can change his appearance every single goddamn time he is conked on the head by a loose control panel that keeps falling on him. In normal mode, he is a retarded, childlike old man who can't learn how to fly a plane, let alone tell his goddamn right hand from his left, which makes Lammy all like, "WTF?"
It seems he can't learn how to play a PaRappa video game either. Also, why the hell is all his stuff in the pilot's seat?
However, when he bonks his head on the dropping control panel, he turns into a fucking red-headed maniac sargent who acts as if he were in Vietnam barking orders and having a tendency of calling Lammy "soldier", as if she were a novice in the Army or something.
"And don't slack all day, or I'll go fucking postal on your ass!"
Anyway, before Lammy gets a goddamn chance to think the why of it, Captain Mindfucking Hyde drags her to the pilot's seat in the cockpit and tries to help her fly a plane, since she is inexperienced in flying at the time, but before he can help, a flight attendant's voice from a radio tells them both to fasten their seatbelts along with the passengers in the plane's casino (since when the hell did a plane like this one have a casino?). Anyway, as soon as Lammy hears the word "casino", her confidence suddenly returns and she imagines the steering wheel to be (that's right) a fricking guitar.
Okay, this is getting way the fuck out of hand here.
Anyway, with her newfound casino and guitar powers, Lammy is able to use the steering wheel/guitar to safely guide the plane (to the riffs of crazy heavy metal), all the while Captain Jekyll and Captain Hyde make a mix between barking out orders and slurring out childlike words of when to eat or sleep and rambling about being a young sargent in the old days and wondering what death is like, all while his mixed speeches will make you laugh so hard you'll fuck up and get an easy Game Over. Below is a video of how one player managed to survive the whole goddamn level without laughing at Fussenpepper's "singing speech" or even dropping to Bad Mode. Lucky bastard.
After Lammy plays successfully, the airliner suddenly makes a rough landing before she and Captain Jekyll jump off the plane. As a reward for her good deeds, the crazed pilot takes out his set of false teeth, which is revealed to be the "Wah Wah" (the third Effecter), and as she takes it and looks at her watch... "Oh my fucking God!" She only has three more minutes left... but she is close enough, and after thanking him, she runs off through the streets...
...only to realize that she is missing something! After going through her pockets, she realizes that she left her fucking guitar on the plane like a dumb-fuck she is, and kneels down and screams in defeat in a scene that brilliantly parodies Sgt. Elias' death scene from Platoon.
Except that she doesn't die and the plane seems to be coming up from behind her rather than in front.
But Lammy isn't willing to admit defeat just yet. No, she looks around and sees... a new guitar store.
And it no doubt belongs to a hillbilly beaver (who goes by the name of Paul Chuck, we believe). So she goes in and asks him for a guitar and looks around for it, only to find that it doesn't belong anywhere. The beaver storeowner thinks she is a greedy little prick, but she makes a plea that she will do anything. On hearing her word, Chuck goes out and grabs a chainsaw... and then turns it on! Lammy is like, "Oh my God! Holy fuck!" and screams like a little girl while Chuck comes near her like a fucking chainsaw maniac from some sort of shitty horror movie!
The "Aaaaaaaagh!" scream belongs to Lammy, who is shitting her pants in horror at the sight of this beaver maniac.
However, the scene pulls over to... a backyard forest with harmless animal critters, and he tells them, "Let's make a guitar!" At first, Lammy tries to talk her way out of this mess as he hands her the guitar, but as she listens to a song about casinos on a record player, she soon regains her confidence and, in a scene that is really getting us on our fucking nerves, she imagines the chainsaw she holds to be... you heard that right, a fucking guitar! Now this is really getting way out of hand!
Well, are you out of yours, Lammy? You're gonna get your fucking fingers or your arm sawed off! Christ!
Now thanks to the powers of the guitar (and coaching from maniac Paul Chuck), Lammy is able to play while making a guitar out of a tree... as long as she doesn't act like an asshole or get her hands sawed off by mistake. Of course, in the original version, the guy proves that he's an insane tree-chopping maniac by singing about "chopping down trees for fun". However, the U.S. didn't want children to encourage reckless tree-chopping and repeat a scenario of the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest... or at least what we saw in the music video for Michael Jackson's "Earth Song".
Poor Amazon natives!
So instead, SCEA and NanaOn-Sha had to tone down Chuck's lyrics so they no longer apply to deforestation or chopping down trees for fun, so that it will be made safe for kids... and for Mother Nature. Sort of reminds us of the Joe Chin's Natural Wildlife Preservation, don't you think?
Well, at least this is better than chopping down trees for fun... sort of.
As Lammy holds the new guitar that she had made in her hands, the beaver maniac hands her a miniature log with an axe on it, which turns out to be the fourth Effecter called the "Distortion". As she takes it, she looks at her watch once more and... holy fucking shit! She only has two more minutes before the concert, as she knows that she's gonna be late for her gig! With her new guitar in hand, she starts to run out of the store.
But unfortunately, this is where her journey branches off into two paths, thanks to retarded U.S. censorship. So here's the plan: We'll have to go through both paths carefully by explaining which path to take first, and describe what happens in detail, leading all the way to where she will reunite with MILKCAN as the final outcome of the game. Once that is done, we'll get back to the end of Stage 5 and choose the other path that we left off, with a different version of what happens in that path. Please keep in mind that Um Jammer Lammy was made in Japan first before coming to the U.S. So, without further ado, let's choose the left path.
As Lammy runs out of the guitar store, she avoids a damn near-collision by both cars crashing into each other. It's as if she were trying to avoid the final part of the onion-headed sensei's fatal prophecy. But then she fails to notice a banana peel lying on the ground because she's in too much of a goddamn hurry.
She steps on it and slips, flies out of control, crashes onto the ground, breaks her neck and dies (you heard right: dies!) right in front of some dumbass bear, PJ Berri (also from PaRappa), who had left the banana peel on the ground, since all he thinks about is disc-jockeying and food all the goddamn time!
"Hey, don't blame it on me, blame it on some dumb-ass teddy bear!"
Not long after she has breathed her last, her soul wakes up and finds herself in hell, which is more like some futuristic city in ruins:
Not a pretty sight.
...before realizing that she is dead, and that the game is over.
"Boy, what a retarded game that was, huh?"
Then some shitty fake-ass end credits roll... before some retarded pumpkin head by the name of Jack Smash chooses her for no apparent goddamn reason, stops the fake credits and leads her away to a concert of zombies, attended on stage by a supernatural witch diva by the name of Teriyaki Yoko.
Holy shit, is she one pissed-off diva.
The witch diva suddenly blames Lammy for "coming in this late," picks up her guitar and threatens to fucking kill her before realizing that Lammy is already dead (duh!). On hearing her plight, Yoko promises to bring her back from the dead, only on one condition that Lammy play right, before handing her back the guitar and starting the stage in a spectacle that would make the audience shit their pants in fright.
Even Hells Angels would be proud at this sight.
And by "play right," we mean that Lammy had better not fuck up on her guitar-playing, or else she'll get zapped by thunder from two demonic skeleton idols, which also shocks the shit out of the audience. All while the witch diva happily sings some creepy song about troubling relationships and dreams of a better man, as well as mentions of fire, unwanted angel sex and implied devil rape.
"...and maybe fuck us up with fire, brimstone and lightning."
Failure to play right will only result in a massive fucking earthquake, followed by the part when the witch diva can grow up to 100 times her size, which is really fucking huge, and can apparently have the power to ban people from every single goddamn game! This is sort of reminiscent of The Seventh Seal, or of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
Sort of like that, but with Lammy as Bill and Ted, and Yoko as the Reaper.
Okay, we've seen enough of hell for now, so let's replay the whole thing up to the end of Stage 5, and since we all live in the U.S. of fricking A., we'll have to continue where we left off, so let's choose the path on the right and see what happens this time.
As Lammy runs out of the same guitar store with her new guitar in hand and closes the red door, she gets her goddamn belt snagged in its doorknob, which suddenly slows her down, and gets catapulted upwards into the sky... and into trippy Rewind Mode, flying into previous teachers she met along the way:
Yes, even the bulimic caterpillar midwife!
...before she falls onto a strange tropical island similar to the island of Dr. Moreau:
...crash-lands with a "BAM!", gets up and wonders where the hell she is... now in her sexy jungle camouflage costume!
"Where am I? And why the fuck am I dressed up in camouflage?"
Just then, the same retarded pumpkin head emerges from a jungle hut:
Also, why the hell is he wearing blue glasses on this island?
...and she is led away to the same zombie concert... attended by the same witch diva, who places the same blame game on her. However, she makes no verbal death threat before she hears of Lammy's time-travelling incident. With a look of surprise, the diva makes a promise to get her back to the present... on the same condition that Lammy had better not fuck up on her guitar-playing, lest she get shocked by pants-shitting lightning... from the same two skeleton idols!
"Wait a minute, what the fuck is this?! Devil's Island?!"
Even creepier is that the witch diva no longer sings about devil rape, which is good for the ESRB; and yet she still sings about fire and unwanted angel sex. Even we are still baffled about this.
We'd like to add, "and rape me hard," but that would be against an "Everyone" rating, wouldn't it?
In any case, just like in any path we chose, Lammy somehow survives getting zapped by playing through some twisted mind-fuck of a concert, and Teriyaki Yoko is quite impressed. But let's stop there for a second. Now don't get us wrong: we still like the U.S. version along with some kids only for Lammy's hot camo costume design. But then again, given that there are pumpkins and zombies on the island; satanic skeleton idols shocking the shit out of everyone; an earthquake; and a witch diva who sings about fire and angel rape and apparently has the power to ban people from every game, we'd like to say that this U.S. version (path on the right) is way more fucked up than the frickin' Japanese (or PAL) version (path on the left).
Of course, if a devil and an angel were to have a baby, we'd end up with this.
But who are we kidding here? We still have to move on through both paths before we get to the final chapter, starting with...
The Path on the Left: The witch diva Teriyaki Yoko congratulates Lammy (she's a ghost of one who is recently deceased, remember?) on a job well done, and with a push of a button on her microphone-like remote control, she summons some sort of fax machine, which emerges on a pedestal, and calls it a "supersonic transportation device". Imagine that: a fax machine with the power of resurrection! But just then, the machine prints out something on a piece of paper, and out comes... a dark, black-and-white clone of Lammy (we assume that we like to call her Rammy).
So that's why Lammy is mistaken for this dark, bitchy clone from hell all along. And she doesn't sound too happy, either.
The clone seems very pissed off that her concert is indeed over, so she points the finger of blame at Lammy for her misfortunes and demands a guitar duel. But Lammy manages to get in the device and escape from her and from this hell-hole, miraculously revives from death and looks at a lighter that had been left on the ground; it is revealed to be a "Reverb" (the final Effecter), and she takes it as the diva's token of gratitude to her.
"I'm alive! But what the fuck is this lighter doing here on the ground?"
Anyways, after brief flashbacks of MILKCAN have formed, she runs to the concert to find that Katy and Ma-san have arrived at the same time, and they apologize for getting themselves into a lot of all the shit they have gone through.
Well, we're glad that this hellish mind-fuck of a story on the left path is over. Now let's take a different path and see what happens this time...
The Path on the Right: The witch diva Teriyaki Yoko congratulates Camo Lammy on a job well done, and summons the same fax machine, this time with the power of time-travel! But then the same old dark Lammy clone emerges from the fax machine and places the same old blame game on Lammy for her misfortunes, yadda yadda yadda. But Lammy manages to make her getaway from the same old twisted mind-fuck that is the island concert, and when she wakes up in the present, she grabs the Reverb Effecter and runs as hella fast as she can; and when she arrives at the concert, she is surprised to find both Katy and Ma-san in jungle/desert apparel! It's as if they had gone through the same tropic island in the past with her!
Also, why the fuck is Ma-san on a camel?
Anyway, with all the prophecies of the onion-headed sensei fulfilled, the trio regroup and play as MILKCAN, to the awe of the cheering crowds, including all the teachers Lammy has met before. It is uncertain now what the future holds for them, but know that they will always rock on through to the very end... sort of.
Let's hope they don't become acid trip junkies.
That's not all to this game. With Lammy's Story Mode completed, players can now play through stages as Parappa (excluding the Chop Chop Master Onion stage), though there is no goddamn linking plot (besides the one when Parappa and his friends are helping to prepare for Katy's concert, which soon inspires Parappa and PJ to start their own band, but that's pretty much it). Upon the release of the game in Japan in 1999, Sony Computer Entertainment, in a joint creation with Namco, released an arcade version called Um Jammer Lammy: NOW!, which not only features updated visuals and a differing song list, but also boasts a special guitar controller, which gives players the better sensation of playing a real guitar. Kind of like Guitar Hero, if you ask us.
Not the exact same guitar controller, but close enough.
As for Lammy and her friends, they have made a remarkable return in a sequel called PaRappa the Rapper 2, though they do nothing other than help Parappa and his friends out. Even Lammy can't be playable either, which is kind of retarded. But whether or not she will be playable should the sequel to PaRappa 2 finally arrive from the works... well, only time will tell. But just remember, to quote Parappa, we gotta believe!
Though, of course, the last sentence is getting way out of hand here.