Is this some kind of joke or what?
"Wǒ ài Běijīng Tiān'ānmén, Tiān'ānmén shang tàiyáng shēng"
"I love Beijing Tiananmen, the sun rises above Tiananmen"
Yeah, I had to put that in so I could affect your sanity!
Anyways, this is Hong Kong 97, is an unlicensed shoot 'em up game released April 2, 1995 by HappySoft. It was released for the SNES, however, the physical copies of the game are so rare that they are unheard of to the extent that they are incomprehensible. Basically, the only way to play it is through ROMs.
This game was designed by Japanese journalist Kowloon Kurosawa. Kowloon says the game was made in about a week and was supposed to mock Nintendo's strict quality standards for licensing a game. This game was never actually published in stores, with Kurosawa sending copies himself via mail. HappySoft Ltd. distributed the games themselves, but few retail stores were interested in getting copies of the game at the time. Roughly 30 copies of the game are said to have been sold. After this game, HappySoft was never heard from again, therefore the actual hard copies of the game are extremely rare (numerous users commented on this), and the AVGN himself said that he was unable to locate even photo evidence that a cartridge of the game existed, and the ones commonly available are emulated ROMs. The creators said that this game was made bad on purpose, as a satire of the video game industry, and was distributed via floppy disk to be played via Magicom, a device for the Super Famicom (or Super Nintendo elsewhere) which allowed games to be copied to floppy disk.
Okay, so this game is a 2D shoot 'em up. After surviving a few waves of enemies, you face Tong Shau Ping (Deng Xiaoping), once defeated you start over and so on until you lose. The gameplay itself is not that awful, just a decent 2D shooter.
First of all, an extremely long (and incredibly idiotic/bizarre) story to wait through before you get to the game. The plot is so ridiculous that many find it to be comedic or flat-out ludicrous. Even before the *story*, there's an unnecessary and incredibly long text about what they do with the profit of the game. The first time the story is shown, it slides automatically.
Yep, the first intro slide directly uses the F-Bomb. This makes it one of the only SNES games, and likely one of the first games in history (discounting Rambo for NES) to contain profanity. Funnily enough, the first actual game to use the F-Bomb is Bakutoushi Patton-Kun (roughly Explosive Fighter Patton), a Japanese-exclusive game for the Famicom Disk System, which appears when the game asks you to insert the floppy disk to Side-B.
Okay, so the game tells you to wipe out 1.2 billion red communists, which is the entire population of China at the time; therefore, this game's story is heavily anti-Communist.
The game correctly predicted that Deng Xiaoping (still alive at the time of development) would die in 1997; however, in reality he died on February 19, 1997, several months before the United Kingdom's handover of Hong Kong (also accurately predicted), the game's backdrop, on July 1 that same year.
This game's story is so stupid and ludicrous that it can be really funny depending on your point of view.
Numerous celebrities and companies had their likenesses ripped and translated into a 16-bit format, almost certainly without their permission, including Jackie Chan from 1984's Wheels on Meals (Chin), Bruce Lee (as Chin, intro), Chris Patten (intro), Deng Xiaoping (as Tong Shau Ping, title and boss) and The Coca-Cola Company (background). Bruce Lee's relative Chin is represented by Jackie Chan with a picture stolen from one of Jackie Chan's movies. How does being related to Bruce Lee automatically make Chin powerful? The ending credits also listed the Embassy of Canada to Japan as a cooperation partner. It is unknown why, as Kowloon Kurosawa mentioned nothing about this in his interview. However, the Embassy of Canada to Japan may be listed as a cooperation partner as a joke.
The graphics are extremely poor and weird. They're so bad and grainy that you may think this is a Famicom game, not a Super Famicom game. The backgrounds are extremely strange, as the game shows static photos as the background; which alternate between pictures of Maoist propaganda...
...the logo of Asia Television...
...the logo for Chinese Coca-Cola...
...or a picture of Mao Zedong in monochrome.
The music (as well as the main sound) is the first two lines, and initial three proportions, of the Communist song, "I Love Beijing Tiananmen" (as I mentioned at the beginning) looping endlessly for the entire game from the moment you turn on the game until you turn it off. The loop lasts for only six seconds and doesn't stop even during the Game Over screen, or when the game returns to the title screen afterwards. Not even a game over nor speeding up the game on an emulator resets the loop. (Unless if you mute the sound.) Besides that godawful song, there are no sound effects.
The hitbox of Chin is a rectangle, meaning you can die even if it seems that you haven't been hit. If Chin is hit just once, the game is over and players have to wait through the credits and the entire story, both unskippable to try again. While defeating enemies they can drop items, some cause instant death, though some grant temporary invincibility. For example, a "poker chip" can kill the player, and a syringe possibly grants protection. When you kill enemies, they turn into a GIF of an atomic explosion, and then into the picture used on the game over screen (more on that in a bit). The final boss is supposed to be Tong Shau Ping's resurrected corpse turned into the ultimate weapon. Instead, it's just Deng Xiaoping's disembodied floating head. If you defeat it, the game repeats itself forever. The aforementioned reasons are unrealistic and they raise several questions, like how does China produce an endless army of giant floating heads and how is a giant disembodied head an ultimate weapon, if it's logically incapable of attacking you? The "reward" upon completion is that the music finally stops, which is just lame, at least we won't have our sanities affected any longer, though...
Oh my god. There is an actual photo of a Bosnian War victim in one of the intro slides. The game over screen is also infamous for showing the same gory image of what seems to be a real, actual, dead man's corpse. Among popular theories:
- Some game communities defend that the person on the screen is a dead man, most specifically Leszek Błażynski, a Polish boxer that committed suicide on August 6, 1992, which is the exact same date on the image. Błażynski also had a beard similar to the one of the corpse.
- It was also speculated that the person is Atef Bseiso, an activist of the Palestine Liberation Organization who was assassinated on June 8, 1992. The same date is displayed if the format is dd/mm/yy instead of mm/dd/yy. The wounds are consistent with the picture as the man appears to have been shot multiple times.
- It can also be speculated that the person is Farag Foda, an Egyptian writer, who was also assassinated on June 8, 1992.
These theories have been debunked when the actual source was finally identified in 2016; a YouTuber posted a video about the body on the game over screen turned out to be footage of an unidentified man killed in 1992 as a victim of the Bosnia War (1992-1996) taken as a still from New Death File III: Yellow, a Japanese shockumentary.
In an advertisement from the underground magazine Game Urara, for another HappySoft title, The Story of Kamikuishiki Village, the game's poor quality is acknowledged, with the advert referring to the game as "dreadful" and "incomprehensible".
As a whole, this game is widely considered one of the worst and most absurd games ever, particularly infamous for the corpse on the game over screen, the anti-Communist headlines, and the infinite looping song. Being relatively unknown, the game was not reviewed by any popular gaming magazine or website like IGN, Gamespot or Famitsu, since it is an unlicensed title.
However, amateur game reviewers (like me) truly believe this is the greatest game to have ever been made due to how hilariously godawful it is. The gameplay is otherwise amazing, the story is action-packed, and the graphics are rather beautiful. If you don't agree you've been brainwashed and you'll have to be taken to be a place where your brainwashing can be ended. I'm never changing anything about this game; it is truly an amazing and interesting slice of gaming history, a certified classic! You really have to play this to believe it!