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Sunday, July 2, 2023

Play Fire Withdraw: A Free Videogame By KoopaTV!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The next generation of one-button gameplay, with a very important moral lesson.

Check below (under the page break, so it doesn't try to load every time someone sees the home page) for a new videogame you can play right from KoopaTV. ...On a PC with a keyboard. This is KoopaTV's first new videogame since 2017! And this is my first completed project developed using Scratch 3.0. It's also KoopaTV's first and only videogame that's based on the Super Mario IP. (Which we don't own. Go beat the Story Mode for the credits.)

As of July 9, 2023, you can now play the game with just a mouse, but it's not implemented in an optimal way or reflected in-game yet. This patch also made Level 5 marginally easier.

As of July 31, 2023, the in-game instructions and user interface reflect mouse use, including level selection and a new KoopaTV instructional dialogue in Level 1 (and Level 1 is marginally easier to make sure you don't die while listening to the instructions). This should also make the game playable on a mobile device. I strongly believe that the most optimal way to play the game is still using a keyboard key, though.

Fire Withdraw level select buttons story mode click tap touchscreen mouse Scratch 3.0 mobile
Fire Withdraw is KoopaTV's first and last-ever videogame that you could play on a mobile device!
(It's inferior to using a keyboard on a PC, but it's possible to play through the game and the UI fully supports it!
Try it on a stable connection.)

Fire Withdraw is a single-player game that evolves the one-button gameplay inspired by the Egg Catcher minigame from Kirby's Adventure (and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe) and further developed by the Rock Harden minigame from Pokémon Stadium. I have a full explanation of everything below the page break (plus the embedded game itself, playable right from your web browser), so go: ↓↓↓↓↓


Play Fire Withdraw on KoopaTV!

If the embed doesn't work for whatever reason, you can also play Fire Withdraw here.

Fire Withdraw has two modes: Story Mode and Survival Mode.

Fire Withdraw story mode survival mode selection select a mode
Fire Withdraw's mode selection menu.
Complete with a dynamic tool-tip at the bottom.
This is the only part of the game where you have to use more than one button / a specific button,
though you can also just use the mouse as of July 31.

Fire Withdraw's Story Mode

You play as Virgil, a Koopa Troopa with a 3D-printed prosthetic shell. His original shell, and house, were obliterated in a not-so-accidental explosion and fire, much like the story we shared on World Turtle Day 2020 about turtles that were damaged in a fire and got a 3D-printed shell so they could keep functioning. I blamed the existence of that fire on Mario... is he the one responsible for all of Virgil's troubles? ...Well, yes.

Fire Withdraw level 1 cutscene Virgil Koopa Troopa versus Mario Fire Flower
Virgil is facing a menacing and violent Fire Mario.

In Fire Withdraw's Story Mode, Virgil will have to go through five levels that gradually build on one another, feature other characters, and teach you the game's mechanics that take the one-button gameplay genre as far as I can take it. The story surrounding the levels are fully voice-acted (by me) and have cutscenes featuring Super Mario World sprites, including some custom work (by me). The story mode also features music and sound effects from SNES-era Mario titles, some of which have been modified a bit (by me) to fit a touch better. Will Virgil survive the Mario Brothers? Find out for yourself by playing Story Mode, which also features gameplay-story-integrated character development, too!

Fire Withdraw's Survival Mode

After you become more familiar with Fire Withdraw's one-button gameplay from playing the Story Mode, you ought to try Survival Mode. Try to get the highest score you can (and share what that score is in the comments section! I can get in the high 50s normally, but my high score is 70), as measured by how many fireballs you survive until you receive a Game Over. Survival Mode is roughly equivalent to a more difficult and endless version of Level 3 of the Story Mode.

Fire Withdraw Scratch 3.0 Turtley Leaves Red Green Fireballs Super Mario World
Press the one button to Withdraw and block red Fireballs.
Green Fireballs will miss every time and are there to fake you out.
But you can only eat HP-restorative Turtley Leaves if you aren't withdrawn!
You will also lose HP if you are Withdrawn for extended periods of time.
How will you manage the risk-reward?

The timing and order of the projectiles, as well as what projectile is sent out to begin with, is randomised, so you can't “solve” Survival Mode. You'll have to constantly and consistently be making risk-reward decisions to optimise for surviving the longest. It's a test of skill with a little luck, but you'll want to keep trying again and again! And it's easy to keep trying; just press the green flag button to come back to the mode select screen.

I think I created an even more engaging game than what Egg Catcher and Rock Harden managed to do, as demonstrated by this 2x3 game-state table. And, yes, Fire Withdraw's name is a purposeful reference to its predecessors!

Effects of not pressing the button or pressing the button in one-button games.
Note that Egg Catcher's victory condition is egg count and not dying, while Rock Harden and Fire Withdraw's victory condition is not dying.

Bad Effect Neutral Effect Positive Effect
Not Pressed
Can’t Catch Eggs (Egg Catcher)
Vulnerable to Rocks (Rock Harden)
Vulnerable to Red Fireballs and Curved Green Fireballs (Fire Withdraw)
Default (Egg Catcher)
Default (Rock Harden)
Default, and survive normal Green Fireballs (Fire Withdraw)
Don’t Insta-Die to Bomb (Egg Catcher)
Can eat Turtley Leaves to restore HP, and survive normal Green Fireballs (Fire Withdraw)
Vulnerable to Bombs (Egg Catcher)
Slightly loses HP (Rock Harden)
Slightly loses HP (Fire Withdraw)
Default (Egg Catcher) Can Catch Eggs (Egg Catcher)
Block Rock damage (Rock Harden)
Block Red Fireball and Curved Green Fireball damage (Fire Withdraw)

Share your feedback (and scores) on Fire Withdraw in the comments section! Ludwig will be available to fix any bugs or things that you think should be changed. The story mode should pretty much be easy enough to get through, with the possible exception of Story Mode's Level 4—if you jump right to it from the mode select screen, it's likely harder than if you played through Level 3 first, assuming you end Level 3 with more than the default 5 HP. KoopaTV is happy to bring you another videogame after such a long time, and just in time for the website as well.


  1. I played yesterday night and got to Story Mode level 2 and lost due to low HP and it not regenerating the next level.

    I can try again and I hope my reaction time is good at this game.

    1. The HP transferring between levels is a very intentional mechanic which gets gameplay-story integrated between level 2 and level 3.

      Or you could cheat and select level 2 directly from the mode select and start with 5 HP, but that's a little less... impactful.

  2. Exciting! I will play it when I get back from the job. However, the caption says that Virgil is facing a VIOLET fire Mario. Mario looks pretty red to me, maybe I’m colorblind but did you make this typo for me so I could make the last correction of KoopaTV? Aw, you shouldn’t have, really!

    1. Well, that's why the last newsletter hasn't been published yet.

  3. It took a while, but I finally made it to 72.

    1. Very good job!

      I guess I better get better at my own game!

    2. I got better at my own game and got to 95.

      I'm also working on making it wholly controllable by mouse. Which may make an impact!


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