Project Nayuki


Frog Fractions guide

Warning: This page contains complete spoilers for the game.

Frog Fractions is an unconventional Flash game. At first glance, it resembles the classic Missile Command game with strange fractional scores. But looking deeper, the game is a parody of a number of game genres, from educational to Dance Dance Revolution.

This page is my complete guide/walkthrough for Frog Fractions. As of writing (January 2013) and to the best of my knowledge, it is the only article-based guide on the web, though a number of video-based walkthroughs are available on YouTube. This page has a section for each subgame/phase of the game, containing screenshots, a what-to-do guide, and my commentary.

Generally speaking, the game is extremely lenient to the player. There are no time limits, and though it’s possible to lose some rounds, it seems impossible to lose the entire game. On the other hand, the constant switching of game modes can be confusing, and in some subgames the player really has to guess what exactly to do next. There is no save functionality, but you can finish the game in about an hour even without a guide.

Contents

Loading and title screens

Loading screen
Title screen
Title screen - Accessibility

The game is distributed as a single 16.4 MiB SWF file, which can take a while to load. The title screen and music make it look like a children’s game, thus setting you up for false expectations.

Frog Fractions: Missile Defense, Dvorak, Touhou

Frog Fractions - Normal
Frog Fractions - Dvorak typing - 0
Frog Fractions - Dvorak typing - 1
Frog Fractions - Upgrades
Frog Fractions - Diving for apples
Frog Fractions - Dragon and bullets

The first subgame alternates between 4 rounds of tongue-clicking and 1 round of Dvorak typing. The former doesn’t seem to get noticeably more difficult as the game progresses, but the latter does become more difficult as extra letters are added. Luckily, you still type in your default keyboard layout, though the words are intended for Dvorak training.

Point at a bug, then click and hold to extend the frog’s tongue to eat the bug. Don’t let the bugs get on the apples, otherwise your “indignity” increases and you can lose the round. You get fruits when it ripens and drops on the frog, or when it’s hanging around at the end of the round. You need 5 fruits to buy a turtle upgrade. After doing so, move the turtle down and harvest the infinite fruits. You can only buy one upgrade per round. Next buy the static tongue, then the dragon.

With the dragon, the game now adds an element of bullet hell, kind of like the Touhou Project series. The hitbox for your character seems to be only the small red dot on the frog. If you get hit by a bullet, your character is stunned for a second, but no other ill effects happen. Buy the warp drive upgrade to continue.

Notes:

  • The fractional scores appear to be clever bullshit that have no relevance to the game, other than its title – well done. The cybernetic brain upgrade makes all the fraction scores be displayed as numbers in decimal or scientific notation instead.

  • The uninstall lock-on targeting upgrade is an amusing subversion of the theme of upgrades. Furthermore, it leads to a long chain of available lock-on targeting upgrades and uninstalls – see the appendix for details.

  • Gift boxes sometimes fall from eaten insects, but it appears to be impossible to touch them. When eating insects above or near the frog, gift boxes seem to never fall out. When eating insects far away, gift boxes sometimes fall out (approximately once per round), but the turtle moves too slowly to be able to catch them. Moreover, if you dive down to try to catch the gift box underwater, it starts to drift away from you until it goes off the screen. From these observations, I believe the game deliberately makes the gift boxes an elusive mystery element.

  • The words for the Dvorak typing game are not the simple everyday words found in normal typing games, but are specialized descriptive words that are technical, scientific, or even just made-up. Occasionally you need to type letters outside of the highlighted set. Coincidentally, I already type in Dvorak.

Frog Fractions in space

Frog Fractions in space
Frog versus machine - 0
Frog versus machine - 1

The asteroids-in-space phase ends when Mars scrolls into view, and you don’t actually have to do anything while waiting. On the next phase, attack the tentacles and then the core of the machine. This is reminiscent of a boss battle in classic bullet games.

Visual novel

Visual novel - 0
Visual novel - 1
Vanity signature

You are presented with 8 questions, with 5 or 6 choices each time. The questions and answers are amusing to read. It doesn’t matter what answer you pick; the game will progress regardless. This notion of a visual novel game is quite popular in Japan, especially among independent game developers. At the end of this subgame, scribble whatever fancy signature you want.

Frog Fractions on Mars

Frog Fractions on Mars - Normal - 0
Frog Fractions on Mars - Normal - 1
Frog Fractions on Mars - Teaches typing
Frog Fractions on Mars - Dvorak typing
Frog Fractions on Mars - Dvorak typing - Lose

Same as the first subgame, except with a different background image. And yes, that means more Dvorak. Actually, what you’re supposed to do is dive down and traverse the huge underwater dungeon.

Underwater dungeon

Underwater dungeon map - Top
Underwater dungeon map - Bottom

Follow the maps to get to the rocket ship at the bottom left. Ignore all the dead ends, the merman, and the robot mer-walrus. The map is split into two images because the chambers would actually overlap if they were put on one image. Enjoy the amusing bullshit “history” of boxing and Andre Felipe being narrated to you paragraph by paragraph as you pass certain points in the dungeon for the first time. There are also some points where after you pass it, you cannot backtrack past a certain point. The minimum time to swim to the end of the dungeon is about 200 (± 5) seconds. Traversing this large map one screen at a time reminds me of xkcd #1110: “Click and Drag”.

Text adventure

Text adventure - 0
Text adventure - 1
Bad dream

Welcome to a text-based adventure game rendered on a character-cell display with the simulated blurriness, unsteadiness, and scanlines of a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. That was unexpected, wasn’t it? Curiously, up-arrow and down-arrow behave just like they do on typical command-line interfaces (CLIs). Anyhow, type these commands to complete this part of the game swiftly:

  1. enter ladder
  2. move rug
  3. turn hatch
  4. enter hatch
  5. get can
  6. get paper
  7. get tape
  8. put tape on wire
  9. put can on spigot
  10. pull lever
  11. push button
  12. pull lever
  13. get zorkmids
  14. enter hatch
  15. put can in hole
  16. open drawer
  17. read manual
  18. enter ladder
  19. push button
  20. enter ladder
  21. sleep

Note that the text game only involves 3 rooms: command module, captain’s quarters, and engine room. As you sleep, you have a bad dream where you become a human, powerless without that super-long frog tongue.

Dance Dance Revolution

Frog Fractions - Dance Dance Revolution - Miss
Frog Fractions - Dance Dance Revolution - Combo

Play DDR on your keyboard. As per the on-screen advice, you can mash the buttons to get health in the green bar. Regardless of how well or poorly you play, you succeed in running for president.

Fake credits

Fake credits - 0
Fake credits - 1
Fake credits - 2
Fake credits - 3
Fake credits - 4

The slow animation shows the names of various characters, making the sequence seem like the ending credits. But the game isn’t over yet.

Business simulator

Bug Oval Office
Business simulator - Weather
Business simulator - First prompt
Business simulator - Bug porn industries
Business simulator - Print money
Business simulator - Upgrades

This is a text-based game where you input numbers and see what happens. You don’t really have to deal with producing porn; you can just print zorkmids (12 000 000 is enough) and then buy the 4 final upgrades: bug drugs, meteorology satellites, padlocks, and presidential swimming pool. Again, you can only buy one upgrade per round. It’s amusing that the padlocks upgrade visually masquerades as an unavailable upgrade.

Presidential swimming pool

Presidential swimming pool - With text overlay
Presidential swimming pool - Clean

Just like twice earlier in the game, dive down to proceed.

Game credits

Credits - Game logo
Credits - 0
Credits - 1
Credits - 2
Credits - 3
Credits - 4

That’s it, game over! Here are the credits for real (a pretty long list), along with pictures of various insects (butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies, bees, etc.) with random parts mosaicked out.

Overall, I found this game to be quite interesting in how it parodies various other games and mashes disparate genres all into one game. The dialogue and logic was also rather nonsensical and amusing. But the game is much less fun once you learn that you don’t need to play it seriously, that you can pass with minimal effort.

Sound test

Sound test screen

You can test-play all the music and sound effects used in the game. A standard feature in many console games.

Appendix: Lock-on targeting dialog

Lock-on targeting and uninstall upgrades

After you buy the first lock-on targeting upgrade, buying an uninstall reveals a new lock-on targeting upgrade and buying a lock-on targeting upgrade reveals a new uninstall. The descriptions of these upgrades evolve into a dialog between two imaginary characters who banter and debate over various philosophical topics and random stuff. Almost all the upgrades can only be bought once; only the final two upgrades can be bought repeatedly. All in all, there are 34 such lock-on/uninstall upgrades in total.

  1. Lock-on: This eyeball-installed, auto-targeting HUD helps you make a glowy-red list of bugs you hate.

  2. Uninstall: The chicks don’t dig on cyborgs, and it makes licking bugs less fun anyway. Get the surgeon to uninstall it.

  3. Lock-on: I sure do miss lock-on targeting. It was pretty sweet.

  4. Uninstall: So sick of lock-on targeting! It just doesn’t have the ‘friction’ of going au naturale.

  5. Lock-on: Automation is what separates us from the apes, if you think about it.

  6. Uninstall: Manual targeting is more fuel efficient *and* faster.

  7. Lock-on: Lock-on targeting frees me to focus my attention on the things that actually matter, like my kids, and deciding which bugs need to die first.

  8. Uninstall: Studies show that manual targeters live longer and happier lives.

  9. Lock-on: You know what’s awesome? Waffles. I stayed in a hotel with a waffle maker in the lobby once and it was amazing.

  10. Uninstall: Oh man, I could go for some waffles too. Is IHOP still open this time of night?

  11. Lock-on: Yeah, man, I think so? Anyway, worst case we could get frozen waffles at Max’s; it’s open 24 hours.

  12. Uninstall: Awesome, let’s get out of here.

  13. Lock-on: I’m still right about lock-on targeting though.

  14. Uninstall: Nuh uh!

  15. Lock-on: Am!

  16. Uninstall: Why are we still talking about this?

  17. Lock-on: Because the frog hasn’t made the changes necessary to reach the next level of upgrades yet.

  18. Uninstall: Oh. When do you think he’ll be able to?

  19. Lock-on: Hard to say. Maybe he’s just too comfortable with the status quo?

  20. Uninstall: That’s understandable. When all you’ve known is the womb, the outside world is scary.

  21. Lock-on: How can we encourage froggy to move on?

  22. Uninstall: Should we? Are we really sure of ourselves enough to impinge on his free will?

  23. Lock-on: I mean, wouldn’t he be better off?

  24. Uninstall: We can’t be sure of that. Maybe he’d just be miserable. And like they say: you can’t go home again.

  25. Lock-on: You’re right. I’m not ready to take on that kind of responsibility.

  26. Uninstall: But you are willing to repeatedly give him the hard sell on the unnecessary surgery on his increasingly fragile brain to install lock-on targeting, right?

  27. Lock-on: Hm. Perhaps I’ve been too confident about my point of view.

  28. Uninstall: Haven’t we all been, on occasion?

  29. Lock-on: Too right. It’s a very human thing to do, isn’t it?

  30. Uninstall: It’s important to respect your nature, but it’s also important to realize when your nature runs in opposition to the person you want to be.

  31. Lock-on: Well-put.

  32. Uninstall: Thank you!

  33. Lock-on: So I guess you can buy lock-on targeting if you want.

  34. Uninstall: And if you change your mind, you can remove it again.

Screenshots of the dialog, courtesy of anonymous: http://imgur.com/a/wMUJM