The Nerd: I've been called upon to take care of business once again. Apparently, there is a game worse than Big Rigs. WORSE than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. WORSE than CrazyBus or Desert Bus. It is known as Hong Kong 97, and I've been getting requests for it up the ass. The requests are so far up the ass, it's time to shit 'em out.
The Nerd: The game was made for the Super Famicom in Japan, but never saw its way to the rest of the world. This is one title that we definitely didn't get on the Super Nintendo.
The Nerd: It was made by (he speaks in a false happy tone) HappySoft. HappySoft was most famous for making... (he speaks in a true serious tone) Hong Kong 97. Their one and only "masterpiece." (scene switches to an animated scene of HappySoft, rising from a fiery pit, shitting out Hong Kong 97) On this one occasion, they rose from the depths of Hell, excreted this unholy turd onto the Earth, and then descended back to where they came. (scene cuts back to real life) Supposedly, the game was so horrible, it barely even came out on the Super Famicom at all. Stores rejected it and its release status is a mystery. It's so rare that to this day, not a single cartridge or physical copy has shown up at all. I can't even find a picture of one. So the only way I can experience this game... is the same way as the rest of the Internet.
(The game's language selection shows up with a 5-second loop of "I Love Beijing Tiananmen" playing. The Nerd is surprised.)
The Nerd: Nooooooo. No way. (chuckles) How do you like that soundtrack? That won't get annoying at all! I've heard games with 5-second music loops before, but... not with lyrics! There's options for three different languages. Strange, considering how the game didn't travel very far. At least, not until the internet got ahold of it. Alright, I'm picking English. (reading) "We will sell your original S-NES [sic] games, 1/3 of the gross profit will be yours. We welcome games of any kind." Oh, I bet. "So please send us your floppy." (chuckles) Send your floppy. "Would you like to sell our products at your store? We are looking for dealers worldwide." Enough already! How desperate could they be to sell this game? And I guess still nobody bought it because nobody can find a physical copy. Then finally the title screen appears. (laughs) Jackie Chan? Apparently, Jackie Chan is in the game. Who I doubt gave any consent to HappySoft, or was even aware of it. The image is stolen from the film Wheels on Meals. The game was released, uh, made or, at least, copyrighted, in 1995, but set in the future of 1997.
The Nerd: "The year 1997 has arrived, a herd of..." (stops, sees the text saying "a herd of fuckin' ugly reds") This can't be real. No. NO! Somebody's pulling my leg! A HERD OF FUCKING UGLY REDS?! Was "A herd of ugly reds" too weak? Did they really need the F-word to fuckin' drive home the fuckin' point? This was before cursing in games was common. I remember how shocked I was when I first played Rambo on NES and saw the word "Hell." But here, they dropped the F-Bomb! THEY DID IT! A game made for the Super Famicom! (scene cuts to Mario flying past the Super Nintendo logo, with the word "FUCK" appearing on screen) It's the closest you'd ever get to a Super Nintendo game that says "FUCK".
(The 5-second loop of "I love Beijing Tiananmen" continues.)
The Nerd: And the music is still goin'. (blankly bobs his head side to side to the music before he continues reading) "A herd of fuckin' ugly reds. Period. Are rushing from the mainland. Crimes rates skyrocketed! Hong Kong is ruined! Therefore, the Hong Kong government called Bruce Lee's relative, Chin." Bruce Lee's relative. Just happens to be as skilled as Bruce Lee. Not a brother, a son, or even a cousin. Just some unspecified relative. Doesn't make any sense. Like, if you were related to, I don't know, Michael Jordan, would that mean that you're automatically good at basketball? OK, so Bruce Lee's in the background, the guy at the podium is Chris Patten, former governor of Hong Kong, and over there is Jackie Chan. Which one is "Chin"? (he keeps reading more) "For the massacre of the reds. Chin is a killer machine." That's Chin? (laughs at the irony) It's Jackie Chan playing Bruce Lee's relative, Chin! Oh, Chin. What a name. Could it be any more common? (groans and resumes reading) "Wipe out all 1.2 billion of the red communists!" (laughing) Stop. I can't- I can't take anymore. I haven't even seen the game yet. Oh. Ah. Wipe out 1.2 billion people! (becomes serious again) And if I'm not mistaken, in 1995, that would have been the ENTIRE POPULATION OF CHINA! Bruce Lee's relative is so powerful, he's the equivalent of a thousand nukes! He's gonna murder the entire population of China by breaking their necks! Even when Bruce Lee would take down 20 people, it took him a little bit of time. But now comes Chin! YOU DON'T FUCK WITH CHIN!
The Nerd: (reading) "However, in mainland China there was a secret project in progress! A project to de- tran- tran- (laughing) to transform the deceased Tong Shau Ping into an ultimate-" (laughs before finishing) It's killing me! (sighs, and becomes serious again) So, apparently, for the character of Tong Shau Ping, they used an actual image of a real Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping. Spelled differently, but pronounced very similar. When the game was made, this guy was still alive. Couldn't they have at least had the courtesy to wait for him to die before transforming him into an ultimate weapon? This is the most epic, absurd opening to any video game I've ever seen. Nothing compares! That'd be like if I made a game called "New York 2017". (Reading as images from the proposed "New York 2017" appear) "Motherfuckin' demons from the planet Jupiter have arrived through the Manhattan portal. The leader of. United States calls upon Master Joe,. John Wayne's half-cousin's step-son to annihilate the 2.5 octodecillion alien scum of the universe. However, on Jupiter's secret moon, a master plan is conceived to resurrect the astro-demonoid Dill Clyntin into a mecha-doomsday machine."
The Nerd: Now that I've digested all that, let's play the game. (The game begins, playing the 5-second loop of "I Love Beijing Tiananmen". Chin runs at the bottom of the screen shooting at enemies coming from the top. He gets hit and dies.) One hit, and the game's over. Why would I expect anything more? (A real surveillance image of a man lying motionless appears) No... Oh, please. I hope that's not a real dead body. No, there-there's no way they'd have such bad taste. That's gotta be an actor. Or... we're looking at some guy who died... on that date and time in 1992. Oh, this couldn't get the Nintendo endorsement? I'm so shocked that this didn't come out on Super Nintendo. Every time you die, it resets the whole game. You have to go through the whole introduction again. This is almost as tedious as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Great game, but you have to wait through a long, drawn-out game over screen, just to get back to the title screen, select your file, and load the game all over again. That is some fucking bullshit. But this is a game that isn't even good. Not even close. And no, the song never stops. No sound effects, either. Just that same loop. Even when the game restarts, it doesn't interrupt it. The song never needs to reboot. It's quite impressive, actually. NOTHING can stop that loop! You'll be hearing that in your dreams.
The Nerd: So let's talk about what's happening here. Obviously, it's a 2D shooter, nothing more to say, what you see is what you get. Chin's only method of attack is throwing projectiles, because if you're related to Bruce Lee, that means you can shoot white balls. This guy's so good, he does it all with his back turned. Everybody he hits, they don't just die, they burst into an atomic fuckin' explosion! And it's inside a square, like they just slapped a picture of a mushroom cloud on there. (the background is the Coca-Cola logo) Why is the background Coca-Cola?! Did they run out of ideas? Like, "what should we put there, anybody got any ideas? Anybody?" "Coca-Cola!" "Arright." You know, there was a movie called Hong Kong 97. It came out in '94, one year before this game. That can't be a coincidence. So I'm gonna consider this a movie-based game, just so I can say it has nothing to do with the movie. In less than 5 minutes, the final boss appears: Tong Shau Ping, played by Deng Xiaoping, who's been transformed into a so-called "ultimate weapon." (notices that the 'final boss' is really just Tong Shau Ping's head) What kind of ultimate weapon is THAT?! He's just a head!
The Nerd: After you kill him, the game continues and loops endlessly, so there's no real ending to the game. Unless maybe you kill 1.2 billion people without getting hit once, but who would ever try that?
The Nerd: The strange thing is that Deng Xiaoping actually died in 1997. (The Nerd is shocked) The game... predicted the future. In fact, 1997 was the year the United Kingdom returned the rule of Hong Kong back to China. The movie, from '94, forecast this in the tagline: "99 years of British rule are about to come to an end... Hong Kong will never be the same." The movie stars Robert Patrick, the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Judgment Day takes place... in 1997. Part of Deng Xiaoping's ear is sort of cut off, like when Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear in 1997. The car, I'm willing to bet, is a Mercedes Benz, in which Princess Diana died in '97. And what was the year Coca-Cola launched Surge? '97. And it's no coincidence all my surge protectors were made in China. Rebooting the entire game after you die? Just like Symphony of the Night. '97. Jackie Chan, uh, Rumble in the Bronx, uh, the Bronx, New York City, the Big Apple...(gasps) The year Steve Jobs returned to Apple in '97. The unstoppable, unrelenting song is called I Love Beijing Tiananmen, also known as I Love Peking Tiananmen. Peking Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing. (gasps) And Scrooge McDuck had his 50th Anniversary in '97! The game was such a titanic failure. (gasps) Titanic, the movie from '97! Why was this game's sole purpose to direct us to the number 97? Huh. Like the NGC-97 galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda, the princess Andromeda who was chained naked to a rock to be sacrificed to a monster. Like Princess Leia and Jabba in Return of the Jedi. (gasps) The Special Edition of Star Wars in '97! Oh, fuck, we're back again. Man, I was just trying to get a final answer here, but I went full circle, like the song that keeps looping. A game that keeps repeating. Maybe it's all about a cycle, an endless cycle. Old, shitty games that become new again! The past becomes the future, birth and death, on and on, it's the cycle of life! The game is the meaning of life! And the thing that keeps life going: reproduction...and food...which becomes shit.
The Nerd: The game is fucking shit. There.
(The 5-second loop of "I love Beijing Tiananmen," A.K.A., "I Love Peking Tiananmen" continues.)
- The game over screen is apparently an actual police photo taken of a Polish boxer's suicide in 1992 (given the date seen on the photo).