Ribbit! Our hopping friend Frongel is the subject of this review!
First seen in the caverns of Manda Island, these amphibian-like reaverbots are found in various sub-ruins throughout Volnutt’s adventures in search of the Mother Lode, most notably in the same ruin that houses the first key. A characteristically unique “ribbit” sound can be heard as they hop through the ruins; often times you’ll get this audio clue before you’ve even made visual contact with them.
There are a few variations of Frongel activity that you’ll run into. The first will hop its way down a corridor in an effort to block your path, often working in pairs. You can’t zigzag past them because they’ll just match your position, and a jump will be met with one of their own. The second variation will sit at the end of a hallway and barricade your path by jumping in front of you if you try to progress past them. The 3rd will simply hop around a room at a slow-but-steady pace and try to ram itself into you. Lastly, if you fail to destroy every Frongel that gets sent out during Bola’s first encounter, he’ll modify the existing ones, causing them to speed after you in an endless chase.
In addition to these different behavior patterns, there are two types of this reaverbot. The regular Frongel come in the standard green color, while Fire Frongel features a red coloration along with a matching flame on top of its head. As one would guess, getting hit by this guy will leave you suffering fire damage, which is the last thing you want to deal with.
Dealing With It
Because the Frongel are often placed as a roadblock (toadblock?) of sorts, you aren’t always given the opportunity to simply slip by and ignore them. The most efficient way to deal with these guys is the trusty Lifter. Because these guys aren’t often alone, you can often take them out quickly by tossing one at another. If you’re looking at special weapons, something like the Homing Missile or Buster Cannon is a great way to knock them off of their feet. Since these guys don’t have much HP, it’s not too much of a chore to even use the buster if you so desire.
The ones that Bola powers up are a bit trickier due to the fact that you have knife-throwing ninja to focus on. Thankfully, you can quickly toss any remaining Frongel at Bola for a quick KO.
Fire Frongel is best dealt with from a distance, as you don’t want to get burned in an effort to pick one up. As a bit of trivia, you can use the Aqua Blaster to put the fire on their heads out, nullifying their ability to give you status. Why you’d have that equipped in Manda Ruins is beyond me (you poor soul), but it’s there. If you DO get burned, the Medicine Bottle is there to get you back on your feet.
Coming in For A Landing
Frongel is a creative design that works really well both visually and in gameplay. The frog theme fits the jungle atmosphere of Manda Ruins quite well, but the design is flexible enough that they don’t look out of place in other parts of the game. They work as an effective obstacle that forces the player to deal with them in a way that isn’t obnoxious; a good trait to have for an early game enemy. Frongel is a solid, all-around reaver that gets an 8/10!