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Hong Kong 97

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Hong Kong 97
HK97.jpg
"我 爱 北京 天安门, 天安门 像 太阳 山"

("Wǒ ài Běijīng Tiān'ānmén, Tiān'ānmén shang tàiyáng shēng"; "I love Beijing Tiananmen, The sun rises above Tiananmen.")

Genre(s): Shoot 'em up
Platform(s): Super Famicom
Release: 1995
Developer(s): HappySoft
Publisher(s): HappySoft
Country: Japan


"One hit, and the game's over. Why would I expect anything more? [...] And the music is still goin'."
Angry Video Game Nerd

Hong Kong 97 is an unlicensed shoot 'em up game released in 1995 by HappySoft. It was released for the Super Famicom, 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.

Development

The 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.[1][2]

Numerous celebrities and companies had their likenesses ripped and translated into a 16-bit format, almost certainly without their permission, including Jackie Chan from Wheels on Meals (Chin), Bruce Lee (as Chin), Chris Patten, Deng Xiaoping (as Tong Shau Ping) and The Coca-Cola Company.

This game's story is heavily anti-Communist. Although it had almost no release and was unlicensed, the game has 3 languages (Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and English). The language in the English version is comprised of vulgar Engrish. The main sound is the initial three proportions of the Communist song "I Love Beijing Tiananmen", which loops for the entire game. 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.

For years there was speculation over the source and identity of the game over screen, a gory photograph of a dead man. Popular theories were Polish boxer Leszek Błażyński, Palestine activist Atef Bseiso, or Egyptian author Farag Foda. The actual source was finally identified in 2019[3]: it is a still from the Japanese shockumentary New Death File III (新・デスファイルIII), depicting an unidentified man killed during the Bosnian War in 1992.[4]

Plot

Note: The bolded words and letters are grammar and typo errors.

Exactly as written in the game: The year 1997 has arrived. A herd of fuckin' ugly reds. are rushing from the mainland.

Crime rate Skyrockeded! Hong Kong is ruined! Therefore, the Hong Kong government called Bruce Lee's relative "Chin"

For the massacre of the reds, Chin is a killer machine. Wipe out all 1.2 billion of the red communists!

However, in mainland China, there was a secret project in progress! A project to transform the deceased Tong Shau Ping into an ultimate weapon!

Gameplay

The game is a 2D shoot 'em up. After surviving a few waves of enemies, you face a giant floating Tong Shau Ping (Deng Xiaoping) head, once defeated you start over and so on until you lose.

Why It Intentionally Sucks

Note: The game is intended to be a joke.

  1. Celebrities had their likenesses ripped and translated into a 16-bit format without their permission, including Jackie Chan from Wheels on Meals (Chin), Bruce Lee (intro), Chris Patten (intro), Deng Xiaoping (title and boss) and The Coca-Cola Company (background).
    • 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 what seems to be a real man's corpse.
    • 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, the 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, a member 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.
    • These theories have been debunked when a YouTuber by the name of RamtroStudios posted a video about the body on the game over screen turned out to be footage of a victim of the Bosnia War taken from Death File: Yellow, a Japanese shockumentary.
  5. Extremely poor and weird graphics. The graphics are 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, Guilin, the logo of Asia Television, the logo for Chinese Coca-Cola, or a picture of Mao Zedong in monochrome.
  6. The first intro slide directly uses the F-Bomb. This makes it one of the few SNES games, and likely one of the first games in history (discounting Rambo on the 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.
  7. 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?
  8. When you kill enemies, they turn into a GIF of an atomic explosion, and then into the picture used on the game over screen.
  9. 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:
    • How does China produce an endless army of giant floating heads?
    • How is a giant disembodied head an ultimate weapon, if it's logically incapable of attacking you?
  10. 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.
  11. The music is the first two lines of the song, "I Love Beijing Tiananmen" looping endlessly from the moment you turn on the game until you turn it off. Not even a game over nor speeding up the game on an emulator resets the loop. (Unless if you mute the sound.)
  12. Besides that awful song, there are no sound effects.
  13. The hitbox of Chin is a rectangle, meaning you can die even if it seems that you haven't been hit.
  14. The first time the story is shown, it slides automatically.
  15. The game tells you to wipe out 1.2 billion red communists, which is the entire population of China at the time. The "reward" is that the music finally stops, which is just lame.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Ahead of its time, it had the option to pick between languages. (Japanese, traditional Chinese, and English)
  2. This game's story is so stupid and ludicrous that it can be really funny depending on your point of view.
  3. The gameplay itself is not that awful, just a decent 2D shooter.

Reception

AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
👆
This game/console belongs to the "MAJOR CODE RED" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

Hong Kong 97 is widely considered one of the worst and most absurd games of all time. It is particularly infamous for the corpse on the game over screen and the infinite looping song. Hong Kong 97 also became a parameter of comparison for other offensive and absurd games such as Terrifying 9.11.

The game is so ridiculous that it gained a cult following over the years and became an internet meme to the classic gaming community.[5] There are fan websites, spiritual successors, videos parodying the lame introduction, and even remakes of the game.

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 heavily panned the game. [6] [7]

Trivia

  • The game correctly predicted that Deng Xiaoping would die in 1997, and the United Kingdom's returning of Hong Kong to China.
  • The creators said that this game was made bad on purpose, as a mockery to 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.
  • As mentioned above, the game is infamous for its game over screen, which features an actual dead body. Some have speculated that it is a picture of the Polish boxer Leszek Blazynski, who committed suicide on August 6, 1992, which is the exact date on the picture.
  • HappySoft Ltd. distributed the games themselves, but few retail stores were interested in getting copies of the game at the time. 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.
  • 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".
  • Roughly 30 copies of the game are said to have been sold.
  • This is the only SNES game that uses the F-word, and one of the first games on a Nintendo console to have profanity, besides Explosive Fighter Patton, which is a Japan-only game for the Famicom Disk System.

Videos

Theme Song

Warning: Listening to this for too long might affect your sanity!

Reviews

History

External link

References

Comments

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