Caramel Pot is a defunct Japanese development & publishing studio that was unusually made up with its members being university students. Caramel Pot was actively developing consumer software only for a short time in which the studio managed to publish one consumer title exclusively for the Dreamcast in Japan.
The lineage of Caramel Pot can be traced back through various educational groups but Caramel Pot first began existence as visual computing library in 1998 the following year the company changed its name to Caramel Pot. The company only developed one title and that was a Japanese Dreamcast exclusive release. The development team was comprised of only eleven members. You can find the official Caramel Pot staff bio page below which introduces the talented people behind the game. ©2000 CARAMELPOT
Another Caramel Pot titleトリップトラップ or Trip Trap was in the planning stages but existed as little more than a concept as confirmed by members of Caramel Pot themselves. Trip Trap rather unusually received a lot of coverage especially in the west with major online sites announcing the game while in actuality nothing really existed.
After their title was published Caramel Pot disbanded for a number of reasons but mainly due to the fact it’s members had graduated university. The Caramel Pot website was still active until 2010 where its members seemed to use it to blog and host ideas.
As previously mentioned the company only developed & published one title and that was ゴーレムのまいご or The Lost Golem which was released on the 24th of February 2000 and it retailed for ¥3,800. The games entry on the official Dreamcast catalogue is linked to below. ©CARAMELPOT 2000
To support the game Caramel Pot organised a competition where by the first people to complete all 100 levels in the game would receive prizes. Amazingly someone managed to complete all 100 levels the day after the games release. Below you’ll find the initial twelve winners on The Lost Golem leader board.
Unfortunately, there’s no record of what the winners actually received. If anyone could help with this section that would be greatly appreciated.
While there aren’t many characters in The Lost Golem they do have a wonderful art-style. So below you’ll find the characters taken from the official The Lost Golem website.
This is your character you must help guide the king to safety made from natural stone & magic.
The King of Pipiria who often gets lost and who likes fried eggs.
The Princess she is missing what’s happened to her.
The loyal butler who worries about the absent minded King.
Be sure to read the games manual which features plenty of artwork on each page and the disc art of the Golem worriedly looking for the king is a nice touch.
You play as the titular golem of the games title. Your a magical creature made from natural element’s and must try to guide your king to safety through each of the 100 stages in The Lost Golem. The games ruleset is incredibly simple but like every good puzzle game the difficulty soon ramps up as you devise ways of navigating the games stages.
The king automatically moves forward until he hits an object then he’ll turn to the left. If the king is unable to turn to the left he’ll go to the right and if the way ahead is blocked he’ll return to his initial starting point. Your job as the golem is making sure the king gets to the exit safely this is done by manipulating walls & other items to control the direction of the king’s travel. Being as the king is slightly absent minded you have to work out how to make him avoid traps and monsters you’ll encounter in each stage as he pays them no heed. While the ruleset is simple my description might be a little convoluted so linked to below you’ll find the much more eloquently explained official guide of how the games systems work. © 2000 CARAMELPOT
Even through Caramel Pot were a small development studio they still embraced the internet for online connectivity for The Lost Golem and by using the games in-built Dream Passport 2 browser you could access Golem.net. Golem.net had many features such as an BBS board where users could chat and share tips for different stages but the internet connectivity allowed for much more.
The Lost Golem software allowed users to create your own stage, save it to a vmu and by selecting stage pack (third option on the games title screen) you could then upload it to Golem.net using the “Create” option. The amount of customisation is quite impressive you can set the size of your level, amount of characters up to sixteen and their placement & choosing the theme music for your stage.
The other option you can select while in the stage pack option is “Play” which you could download other players created stages to your vmu. Caramel pot in association with the following Famitsu DC Editor & Dengeki Dreamcast Editors picked the best user created levels and awarded a Grand Prize for the overall winner. Below is the announcement that commencement of the winning stages would be available for download on the 1st of June. ©CARAMELPOT 2000
The Famitsu DC editor chose the winning user designed stages submitted to their respective magazine for the stage design contest. The winning submissions are listed on the archive Famitsu DC stage contest site which you’ll find linked to below.
The corresponding Dengeki Dreamcast Editor choice is listed on their respective The Lost Golem stage design contest. You’ll find the chosen winners picked by Dengeki Dreamcast linked to below.
This was the grand prize for winning the stage design contest.
Interestingly the other characters of The Lost Golem can be seen in the background of the golem Grand Prize. I’ve never seen any pictures before of any of these figures and can’t find any other information about them apart from what’s contained at the above link.
Unfortunately, the game has the dubious distinction of being listed as the worst selling Dreamcast title in Japan with less than 500 copies being sold at Japanese retail. This figure was printed in a Softbank published Dreamcast software catalogue that covered Japanese Dreamcast sales from November 1998 to August 2001. The game has now probably sold more copies of its print run overseas rather than to those residing in Japan. The game has taken on cult status in the west and sadly the game is nowhere near as common or cheap as it once was.
T-41501M The Lost Golem
(NOT FOR SALE) 非売品 discs & other media
I’m not aware of individual 非売品 discs for The Lost Golem in fact being perfectly honest i’ve never seen disc or media relating to the game apart from the actual game itself and the prizes that were given out by Caramel Pot for the quickest completion of the 100 levels & the stage design contest. I’m almost unaware of any media to support the game apart from unique soundtrack that was given away by the sound designer of the game.
Entitled Gift of golem “Before release Soundtrack” f-mode this was a tape cassette with 60 minutes of music of The Lost Golem. To be in with a chance to win the f-mode soundtrack tape you had to answer a questionnaire on the Caramel Pot website & promise to listen to the soundtrack and immerse yourself in the world of the golem and if you could be kind enough write your thoughts about it if you were lucky enough to receive a copy.
Thanks for taking the time to read this entry on Caramel Pot as always if you can help with any information that you think i’ve missed relating to either The Lost Golem or the company itself please get in touch either through the site or on Twitter @dreamcastcollector