Fur Fighters is a Third-person action/adventure/shooter hybrid developed by Bizzare Creations and Published by Acclaim. The Game was originally for the SEGA Dreamcast, but was later ported over to the PC, and given a slight update for the PS2. The premise of the game is simple: The evil General Viggo is tired
of having his plans foiled by the titular ‘Fur Fighters’, a small rebel force of animals who vow to protect the world and those that inhabit it, and so he concocts a foolproof plan to put them out of action- Steal their families and hold them hostage. Unfortunately for the evil Viggo, the remaining Fur Fighters of the village aren’t going to take this lying down. With a little help from General Bristol, once the leader of the Fur Fighters but now reduced to ghost form, and the personal fitness trainer, Sergeant Sternhouser, the Fur Fighter team set off to rescue their families and take Viggo down in the process.
The game is played from a third person perspective similar to games such as Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie, but features a multitude of firearms to add some shooting action into the mix. Despite featuring a large amount of shooting gameplay, the game also manages to fit in lots of platform and adventure game elements, such as expansive worlds to explore, and a fair bit of running and jumping. The 6 characters, of who can be switched between at many points during levels, each feature a unique ability, which vary from Tweek the dragons ultra-useful gliding, to Roofus the dog’s burrowing ability, which is only required at a few points in the game, and at all other times is strictly useless. Due to a faulty teleporter, only one Fur Fighter can be in action at any one time.
Fur Fighters features cute, cartoony graphics (with full-on cell-shading in the PS2 remake) which accompany its non-serious attitude well. Despite the fact the game features pumping lead into a range of (most likely now endangered) animals, the fact they simply explode into a ball of fluff upon death highlights the fact that the game doesn’t focus on violence. Combined with the catchy, up-beat music which dynamically changes depending on character used, the graphics help create a friendly tone for the game, even though it is packed with weapons, death (well, ‘fluffs’) and destruction.
From the ReadMe of the PC version: “[Fur Fighters is] intended to be a glorious example of what legal fun can be had with small furry animals....please enjoy it and don't abuse it. Thanks." Which sums the game up perfectly.
Viggo only left behind 6 Fur Fighters in the village, and these are the playable characters of the game. Each has their own unique ability. As well as this, the instruments and style of the music changes slightly depending on the currently selected character. The characters are:
Roofus the Hound
A pup born and raised in the Dog Kennels of Glasgow, Roofus joined the Fur Fighters to fight. Turning down all promotions, instead choosing to fight on the front lines with his team, Roofus can burrow at preset points in the game, opening up new areas. When playing as Roofus, the music takes on a more military like tone, and makes use of drums as well as that Scottish symbol, bagpipes.Bungalow the Kangaroo
A fully grown Australian kangaroo, Bungalow is a bit of a dolt. He often has no idea what is going on, but that doesn’t mean his heart isn’t in the right place; he will do anything it takes to preserve freedom, so long as it doesn’t involve too much thinking. Being a ‘roo, Bungalow can jump over twice as high as any other Fur Fighter, making him invaluable in traversing terrain, or simply jumping over enemies. When Bungalow is being used, the music becomes more laid back, and the key melody is played on traditional Australian instruments, such as Didgeridoos
Juliette the Cat
The only female member after Gwyneth is kidnapped by Viggo, Juliette ticks many of the stereotype boxes any self respecting team. Loner? Check. Fashion Conscious? Check. Occasionally a bit of a renegade? You bet. Brought up on the chic streets of , Juliette is a French Cat (in every sense of the word), and can use her claws to climb specially designed areas in the game. On top of this, Juliette is one of the fastest runners and jumpers. Juliette’s take on the music is distinctly French, and slightly jazzy. Instruments used include the flute and Piano. Rico the Rockhopper Penguin
Rico left his home islands of in search of a life of adventure. The Fur Fighter team seemed perfect to him, and he quickly signed up and became a valued member of the team. Rico makes up for being totally suck-tacular on land by being an adept swimmer, being the only member who can dive underwater. His musical style takes on a slight Spanish flavour, and makes use of Spanish guitars amongst other instruments to form the upbeat version of the levels music whenever playing with him.
Chang the Firefox
This height-challenged Firefox horrified his honorable Chinese family by joining the Fur Fighters. He makes up for his lack of humour with a strong sense of justice and honour, which he upholds during his work. His small statue allows him to crawl into the smallest of places, and uncover the secrets within. The background music when playing as Chang can only be described as ‘Oriental’.
Tweek the Dragon
The newest member of the team, tweak has only been alive a single day. His mother, Gwyneth, was a former member of the team, but realising was a powerful force she was, Viggo kidnapped her along with the rest of the Fur Fighter’s families, leaving Tweek instead. Fortunately, Tweek was born with an extensive knowledge of firearms. Tweek comes with the ability to glide using his underdeveloped wings, meaning he can reach areas others can’t. The music that accompanies Tweek features vocals instead of instruments, much like scat music.
Years ago, a small yet highly trained rebel group of elite, yet cute and cuddly animals, otherwise referred to as the ‘Fur Fighters’, brought the evil Viggo to Justice. With their greatest foe behind bars, the team retired to an idyllic seaside village where they could live out the rest of their days in peace. Until one night, years later, the evil General Viggo finally escapes, and begins to enact the plan he has been planning for years. Striking under cover of night, General Viggo launches a full-on assault against the unprepared and unexpectant Fur Fighter village, complete with huge battleships and attack jets. Caught unawares, the Fur Fighters have no chance to retaliate, and are quickly subdued by a powerful sleeping gas sprayed down upon the village by planes flying above. Though Viggo would like nothing more then to kill every last Fighter now they are unconscious, he has learnt from his past mistakes and instead captures all but 6 in the hope the remaining would simply sit back and not interfere in his latest immoral scheme. Unfortunately, the fact their families have been kidnapped just strengthens the remaining sixes’ resolve to stop Viggo further, and so they embark on their most important mission yet, rescuing their families and uncovering what Viggo really has planned.
The world of Fur Fighters is broken up into around a half dozen of distinct areas, which in turn comprise of 3 stages and a boss battle. Each area also features a ‘hub’, which links together the stages in the area, as well as providing access back to . The fur fighters must collect enough of their kidnapped babies and then defeat an area’s boss (usually a brainwashed family member) before ultimately progressing to Viggo-a-GoGo, Viggo’s doman, and defeating Viggo once and for all.
Each Area reveals part of the story and more of General Viggo’s master plan.
The fur fighter is the idyllic home of the Fur Fighters, and as such provides little threat for the team. Cute rabbits and other small, cuddly animals abound, as the cool sea breeze meets the warmth of the sun. Within the walls of the village are the houses of the six Fur Fighters which gradually get more and more populated as the game progresses, and the Undermill, the lower workings of a mill converted to house various training facilities for the team to use. The Undermill is where the tutorial takes place, and each character can re-acquaint themselves with their specific abilities. A shotgun can be obtained fairly early on here, as if 2 bags of flower are destroyed a grate opens revealing the weapon.
New Quack City
A large urban city which takes more then a few design cues from it’s real life counter part, . The area of New Quack Cities encompasses the , Lower East Quack and The Quachenheim Museum. Viggos ultimate plan for the city is to steal the world’s largest pair of Diamond Earrings held in The Quachenheim Museum. As the Earrings are roughly 10 times the size of the characters in the game, Viggo plans to first distract the police by causing havoc in Lower East Quack and seize control of the World Quack Centre so that he can take the Earrings unopposed.
Having his plan foiled in , Viggo moves his sights to Beaver Power, a large company in the valleys just outside Fur Fighter, set up to harness the power of the water in the area. The areas main feature is a large dam designed to generate huge amounts of electricity from the rapidly flowing waters. Other key areas include , a secluded, well, forest, abundant with wildlife that is being chopped down by beaver power, and , where huge machines are trying to unearth a secret. Viggo wants control of the of the companies powerful machines to try and unearth a secret in the ground. He also wants control of the surrounding areas, including the huge Dam itself, to provide him with enough power to carry out his plans. Just what is it that Viggo is trying to dig up?
The next port of call for the intrepid team is , where they’ve chased Viggo into space. His plans include taking control of space station meer for his own despicable uses, and the only way to stop him is to take off into space itself. Before this, however, the team must Visit the , where they use the aid of powerful machines to assemble their own rocket, the VLF Facility where they must prep for their journey into space, and the Space Station Meer itself.
It turns out the secret Viggo was digging for in Beaver Power was non other then Dinotopolis, a super advanced land inhabited by dinosaurs, no less. Contained within are artifacts of extremely advanced technology which Viggo plans to take for himself and put to his own use, and if he can brainwash a few dinosaurs to his cause along the way, then all the better. Dino Upstairs, Downstars and the Rumpus room are all available to be annexed by the Fur Fighters, and that’s exactly what they must do if they want to continue their quest to stop Viggo.
Otherwise known as ‘The Lost City of the Bears’, Anatat Tatanatat was once a powerful civilisation lost in time and the jungles surrounding Fur Fighter Village. Viggo has discovered it, and plans to use the energy contained there to create a portal in the center of the to ‘The Bad Place’. Before the Fur Fighters can get there, however, they must brave the Jungle of Despair, an area every bit as friendly as it sounds. Once inside ‘The Bad Place’, the team must find a way to put a stop to it once and for all.
The final port of call is Viggo-A-GoGo. Before they can get to the ultimate confrontation with Viggo himself, the team must fight through through the H.M.S. Viggolina, a huge battleship designed to carry the Attack Planes used against the Fur Fighter Village, the V-100, Viggos submarine, 20,000 leagues under the sea, and, as when fighting any evil villain, the Secret Island base. After, the final boss battle awaits!
Though the PS2 version was essentially the same game as the other two versions, it featured updated, Cell-Shaded graphics and added voice acting to every line of dialogue. It also fixed a few glitches from the original, including the notorious save glitch from the Dreamcast version, which corrupted your data if you paused whilst it was saving in some instances. The Dreamcast Version also featured many issues when played on a 50hz TV screen, all fixed on the PS2.