Hong Kong 97 is the 134th episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd webseries. It is the first episode to released in 2015, specifically released on March 26.
In this episode, the Nerd does a review on a semi-unreleased Super Famicom title that was released in 1995 called Hong Kong 97 (romanized from the Chinese characters 香港). He describes the game as "almost being released" on the Super Famicom, because it was hardly seen or listed publicly as released. It never saw a Super Nintendo release. It is a very cheap-looking Shooter game, similar to Space Invaders.
The game involves the protagonist named "Chin" who is represented by pixelated photographs of Jackie Chan, who is apparently a relative of Bruce Lee's in the game. (The Nerd states that he does not think either person gave consent for them to even be in the game.) The main goal of the game, is to kill all 1.2 billion of the red communists (referred to as "fuckin' ugly reds" in the game's intro).
"Chin" only has one means of attack, a tiny white fireball which is shot from his back (he shoots enemies with his back toward them) and the fireballs make enemies turn into mini-nuke explosions. (The Nerd says that it looks like a mushroom cloud in a box.) The background randomly changes each time when playing a new game, with the background containing Maoist propaganda, Guilin, the logo for Asia Television, the logo for Chinese Coca-Cola or even Mao Zedong in monochrome.
However, if "Chin" is hit by anything other than the temporary invincibility item, the game is immediately over. It then cuts to the Game Over screen, which displays an image of what appears to be a corpse with the words "CHIN IS DEAD!" in English and in grammatically incorrect Chinese – "Chén sǐ wáng" (陳死亡), which can be interpreted as either "Chin is dead", or as a proper name, "Dead Chin". Upon seeing this, the Nerd is disgusted that the Game Over screen contains an image of a corpse, stunned that the developers would stoop to such a level of bad taste, hoping that it was just an actor. If not, then its an actual photo of a dead person, photographed in 1992.
The main antagonist of the game is Tong Shau Ping, played by Deng Xiaoping, the late former leader of China. He appears as a disembodied head, who is brought back to life as part of a secret project in mainland China, developed to become the "ultimate weapon".
The Nerd then tells that Deng Xiaoping died in 1997, shocked of how the game actually predicted the year he died in, despite being released 2 years prior. Then, he goes on to list numerous coincidences that the game has to the year 1997 the number 97, and the elements of the game in general as well as many other things that have something to do with the year 1997 and the number 97, such as:
- 1997 was the year the United Kingdom returned their rule of Hong Kong back to China, with the similarly named 1994 film starring Robert Patrick forecasting the event, in which the tagline says: "99 years of British rule are about to come to an end...Hong Kong will never be the same."
- Robert Patrick starred in the 1991 film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, as the T-1000, the main antagonist, and that in the film, Judgment Day occurs in 1997.
- In the game, a part of Deng Xiaoping's ear seems to be cut off, with the Nerd comparing it to when Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during their boxing rematch in 1997.
- The car that appears in the game seems to be a Mercedes-Benz, in which Princess Diana died in one in 1997.
- The Coca-Cola Company released the soda SURGE in 1997.
- Coincidentally, all of the Nerd's surge protectors were made in China.
- Rebooting the game and starting back at the main menu after dying is similar in the video game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which was released in 1997.
- Jackie Chan starred in the 1995 film, Rumble in the Bronx, in which the titular film takes place in the Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City, also known as the Big Apple, which leads to when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997.
- The repeating song that plays in the game continuously in a loop, I Love Bejing Tiananmen, is also known as I Love Peking Tiananmen, in which Peking duck is a famous duck dish from Bejing, which leads to Scrooge McDuck celebrating his 50th anniversary in 1997.
- The Nerd calls the game "such a titanic failure", referring to the film Titantic, which was released in 1997.
- NGC 97 is an elliptical galaxy that is located within the constellation of Andromeda, leading to Princess Andromeda, who in Greek Mythology, is chained naked to a rock to be sacrificed to a monster.
- The Nerd then compares Princess Andromeda and the monster to Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt in the 1983 Star Wars film Return of the Jedi, in which that film, along with its 2 predecessors, were reworked and released as part of The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, which was released in 1997.
After noting all of the coincidental things that have something to do with the year 1997 and the number 97, and coming full circle, the Nerd notes that due to the song that continuously loops as well as the game's repetitive nature, he believes that the game is an endless cycle of life, and the meaning of life.
The Nerd then tells the two things that keeps keeps life going: reproduction and food, in which he then combines in a vulgar manner: food becomes shit, and the game is fucking shit. Afterwards, he then drinks a bottle of Rolling Rock to conclude the episode, with I Love Bejing Tiananmen playing in the background.
- This is the only time in the series that the Nerd has played a console game via an emulator, due to how rare it is to find cartridges of Hong Kong 97.
- A fanmade game based on the exaggerated concepts the Nerd cited in this episode was made, titled New York, NY 2017.
- The dead body that appears in the Game Over screen is an actual forensic screencap of Polish boxer Leszek Błażyński the day he committed suicide. It is unknown how it was obtained by the game developers.