In what is arguably one of the strangest marketing tie-ins in video game history, 1990 saw the release of Capcom’s Yo! Noid on the NES. Partnering with North American pizza chain Domino’s Pizza, Yo! Noid is a video game that serves as a cross promotion with Domino’s featuring its Noid mascot. The Noid is the one-time mascot of Domino’s Pizza, appearing in several commercials throughout the 1980s and embodying all of the difficulties inherent in delivering a pizza in under 30 minutes. Because Domino’s was famous for their “delivery in under 30 minutes, or it’s free” guarantee, Domino’s marketing agency came up with a campaign to “avoid the Noid”, personifying the Noid as a small humanoid creature in a bunny suit.
The Yo! Noid video game is actually a localization of a Japanese NES title going by the name of Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru, which is itself a port of Namco’s Wagan Land. Featuring development by Now Production, the Western localization of Hanamaru came to the US in the form of Yo! Noid as a means of cross-promoting Domino’s Pizza with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Outside of a reskin of the main character and enemies, the mechanics remain identical across both Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru and Yo! Noid. Thanks to its origins as a legitimate action-platformer game in Japan, Yo! Noid is actually a surprisingly competent licensed game on the NES.
Yo! Noid Premise
Yo! Noid is a side-scrolling action platformer where players control the one-time Domino’s Pizza mascot The Noid. Players have no life meter and instead lose lives by touching enemies or failing to complete levels within the time limit. The Noid has a yo-yo as his main offensive weapon, and there are also ultra-powerful magic attacks that the player can use to clear the screen of enemies in one fell swoop. Players mostly traverse each level on foot, though there are special sections where the Noid uses a skateboard or an autogyro. Additionally, there is a special stage in the Western version that sees the Noid using the “Pizza Crusher” device from the Domino’s commercials.
Each level features a boss where the gameplay style switches to the player participating in a pizza eating contest, differing significantly from Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru‘s card battling boss fights. As a part of the game’s cross promotional purposes, the instruction manual for Yo! Noid includes a coupon for $1 USD off the price of a pizza from Domino’s.
Yo! Noid Main Characters
There is only one true main character in the game, which is the titular Noid mascot. This strange byproduct of 1980s marketing is instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up during the era, as his appearance in Domino’s commercials practically made him a household name. Main characters in Yo! Noid include:
- The Noid: This human in a red bunny suit embodies the paranoia that both drivers and customers feel when waiting on a delivery pizza. Shorthand for paranoia, the “Noid” is a creature that Domino’s encourages people to avoid, lest they fall victim to either being able to wait for a pizza delivery or see that delivery be successful within 30 minutes. The Noid is not dissimilar from other action platformer heroes thanks to his ability to run and jump across levels.
Games Featuring the Noid
Believe it or not, there are actually more than one games featuring the 1980s Domino’s Pizza mascot. After his appearance in Yo! Noid, the Noid would also feature in a fan-game that acts as the unofficial sequel. Games featuring the Noid include:
- Yo! Noid (1990)
- Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void (2017)
Yo! Noid Cheats & Cheat Codes
Although there are reports of a debug or cheat menu for the game that players can access using a cheat on the title screen, there’s no confirmation that the cheat actually works. Instead, players can use a Game Genie or Pro Action Replay device to enable cheats in Yo! Noid on both native hardware and through emulation.
Game Genie Cheats
|More Magic from Small Scrolls
|Start on Stage 12
|Start on Stage 10
|Start on Stage 8
|Start on Stage 6
|Start on Stage 4
|Start on Stage 2
|Start with 1 Life
|Start with 6 Lives
|Start with 9 Lives
Pro Action Replay Cheats
Yo! Noid Cheat FAQ
Does Yo! Noid have Game Genie cheats?
Yes, there are several different Game Genie cheats available for the title, including codes that add or subtract lives and enable level-select.
Who is the Noid in Yo! Noid?
The Noid is the one-time mascot of Domino’s Pizza, created in the 1980s and occasionally reappearing as a promotional aid in subsequent years.