Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
Bill hatch GC.png
European GameCube cover art
Developer(s)Sonic Team
Publisher(s)Sega
Director(s)Shun Nakamura
Producer(s)Yuji Naka
Designer(s)Shun Nakamura
Atsushi Kanno
Mizuki Hosoyamada
Artist(s)Hideaki Moriya
Composer(s)Mariko Nanba
Tomoya Ohtani
Platform(s)GameCube, Windows, Mac OS X
ReleaseGameCube
  • NA: September 23, 2003
  • JP: October 9, 2003
  • PAL: October 31, 2003
Windows, OS X
  • EU: May 31, 2006
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg[a] is a platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the GameCube in 2003. Ports were released in Europe in 2006 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The game received mixed to positive reviews.

Gameplay[edit]

Billy Hatcher is a 3D platform game whose gameplay revolves around growing and hatching eggs to defeat the Crows. The player controls Billy, who cannot do much by himself aside from moving and jumping. However, his abilities greatly expand while holding an egg. While rolling an egg, Billy moves faster and is more agile. He can also perform several techniques with an egg, such as egg dunking, slamming, dashing, and shooting.

Eggs[edit]

The game features 72 different eggs to hatch[citation needed], most with unique designs. As Billy rolls over fruit collected from the world or dropped from enemies while holding an egg, the egg will grow in size and power. When the egg's gauge completely fills, the egg reaches a maximum size and flashes, indicating it is ready to hatch. Billy can perform a rooster call to hatch fully matured eggs, which can hold contents such as helper animals, hats, and items. Certain eggs are required to hatch to progress through the game, as they are necessary to clear objectives or get past obstacles.

Eggs can be damaged by enemies, large enough eggs, and the environment. An egg's damage is represented by cracks appearing on the egg's meter in the corner of the screen. When the egg takes enough damage, it is destroyed and nothing hatches from it. Eggs can also be 'lost', i.e. put into positions or situations that the player cannot retrieve them from. In such cases, the egg will disappear from its position after several seconds of inactivity and will appear back at its nest at its smallest size. Eggs with a Sonic Team logo on them can be found and hatched in certain levels after collecting enough chick coins, holding animal friends of Sonic Team characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog or NiGHTS.

Eggs will grow at a faster rate depending on the size of the fruit collected. Some eggs are easier to hatch than others, and require less fruit than others. Eggs that contain items usually hatch faster than animals, with the exception of eggs which contain Game Boy Advance minigame download titles.

Levels[edit]

Morning Land is divided into seven stages, the first one being Forest Village. Usually after the second mission, the player is able to access the next stage. Each stage is divided into a series of 'Missions' that Billy can play through to collect 'Emblems of Courage'. The goal of each Mission is to fulfill the conditions required and collect the Emblem as a reward. The player is graded on their skill in completing the mission and given a rank letter, with an S Rank being the highest. There are eight Missions per stage, and Billy can only play through the first five Missions. Upon rescuing his friends, Rolly, Chick and Bantam would each unlock their respective Missions in the stages and become playable for those Missions only.

Game Boy Advance connectivity[edit]

Billy Hatcher is one of a handful of GameCube games that supports linking between the GameCube and Game Boy Advance handheld system. Using the GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable, players can load games such as Puyo Pop, ChuChu Rocket!, and Nights: Time Attack on their Game Boy Advance systems after certain objectives are completed within the game, but they must link it with a cartridge for more extended content.[1]

Plot[edit]

The story begins with a peaceful fantasy world by the name of "Morning Land", where the Chicken inhabitants live in peace and harmony. But all that is shattered as Dark Raven and his army of Crows assault Morning Land, catching the inhabitants by surprise and shrouding Morning Land in a blanket of unnatural, eternal night.

Meanwhile, being late to meet with his friends due to oversleeping, the slightly mischievous Billy Hatcher races out of his house to go meet them. Upon arrival, Bantam tells Billy he is late, showing him a pocket watch in the shape of an egg. And, being some sort of tradition among the four friends, Bantam Scrambled, Chick Poacher, and Rolly Roll prepare to dish out a consequence on Billy, but they are stopped by the weak chirping of a chick. Two Crows that are looming nearby dive at the chick, as if they are finishing it off, but Billy intervenes, saving the baby chicken by fending the Crows off with a stick. The chick suddenly begins to glow, transporting Billy and his friends to Morning Land, with Billy ending up in Forest Village.

Billy is informed by Menie-Funie that the Crows are trying to take over Morning Land and will soon take over the human world. He is informed that if he does not save Morning Land, Dark Raven will bring eternal night, darkness will overcome the hearts of everyone, and the two worlds will be ruled by evil. Billy then goes and receives the Legendary Chicken Suit to begin on a journey to free the six Chicken Elders, which have been imprisoned in golden eggs by the Crows. Uri-Uri, the Chicken Elder of Pirates Island, reveals that Dark Raven is reborn every 100 years to try and bring eternal night. Once he has freed the Elders, defeated the six Crow Bosses, and opened the Rainbow Gate, Billy travels to the Giant Palace, where Dark Raven is trying to hatch the Giant Egg to receive ultimate power.

Billy battles Dark Raven, and once he defeats him, the Giant Egg hatches and grants Raven's wishes, shaping him into a crow-shaped shadow demon dubbed Ultimate Raven. A second battle then ensues. Ultimate Raven attacks Billy, destroying the Chicken Suit. Afterwards, Billy must avoid his attacks until Menie-Funie speaks to him, telling him that he must not give up. Then the Courage Emblems he has collected form into the new and enhanced Sun Suit, imbued with the power of courage. Billy must then use this power to turn Ultimate Raven's attacks against him.

Billy finally defeats Ultimate Raven as his heart explodes, completely ending his existence and return. The power from the Giant Egg restores true morning to the land below. Once he and his friends return to where they entered Morning Land, they return the Chicken Suits and return to their world. It seems that when they are leaving, Billy is saddened that he has to leave Morning Land. The four friends wave goodbye and they are transported back. Upon their return to the human world, Billy is a short distance away from his friends. They get his attention by laughing at him and he runs over to them joining the laughter, thus ending the game with a chicken feather slowly falling from the sky.

Development[edit]

Producer Yuji Naka stated in an interview with IGN that eggs were chosen as the focus of the game to give the player joy from caring for and hatching eggs, and a feeling of anticipation "because you don't know what's going to come out of eggs". Animals were incorporated into the game to convey a mood of adventure, in contrast to the digital pet-based Chao creatures highlighted in the previous project, Sonic Adventure 2. The GameCube was chosen for development over the competing PlayStation 2 and Xbox because of its wide audience that Naka felt would appreciate such a family-friendly game. The game uses an engine that Naka called "an evolution of the Sonic Adventure 2 engine." The game was exhibited at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2003.[2]

Windows version[edit]

The Microsoft Windows port that was released exclusively in Europe is identical in style to the GameCube version, even to the point where the GameCube button icons are all preserved and are used to represent USB controller buttons or mapped keys. The Windows version has small differences in the gameplay, such as a slightly altered camera system, the lack of a dead zone while aiming a cannon and a certain enemy requiring two hits to defeat, as opposed to one in the original GameCube version.

Reception[edit]

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg received mixed to positive reviews according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[3] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of all four eights for a total of 32 out of 40.[7]

Critics praised the visuals and music, gameplay style, presentation and multiplayer mode, while citing issues with the physics, camera, and a very simple plot. It was nominated in the 1st British Academy Game Awards for Best GameCube Game. The game was a commercial bomb, only selling around 250,000 copies worldwide.[citation needed]

Legacy[edit]

Due to the game's poor sales, Sega was reluctant to consider a sequel.[citation needed] In spite of this, executive producer Zachary Brown stated that Billy would appear in various other Sega titles, as he did including Sega Superstars, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Billy and several characters from the game also appeared in Worlds Unite, a 2015 story arc crossover between the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comic series published by Archie Comics.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: ジャイアントエッグ~ビリー・ハッチャーの大冒険~, Hepburn: Jaianto Eggu: Birī Hatchā no Daibōken, lit. "Giant Egg: The Great Adventure of Billy Hatcher"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Craig Harris (February 26, 2004). "The Ultimate List: Cube Connection". IGN. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. ^ IGN staff (May 6, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Interview". IGN. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic.
  4. ^ Edge staff (December 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". Edge. No. 130. p. 88.
  5. ^ EGM staff (October 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". Electronic Gaming Monthly (171): 160.
  6. ^ Tom Bramwell (October 30, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  7. ^ a b sonic_hedgehogs (October 7, 2003). "Early Billy Hatcher Review". Sonic Stadium. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  8. ^ "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". Game Informer. No. 126. October 2003. p. 129.
  9. ^ Fennec Fox (September 23, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Review for GameCube on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 14, 2005. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  10. ^ GR Chimp (October 15, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Ryan Davis (September 25, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Review". GameSpot. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Benjamin Turner (September 23, 2003). "GameSpy: Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". GameSpy.
  13. ^ Louis Bedigian (September 27, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg - GC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Matt Casamassina (September 19, 2003). "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". IGN. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg". Nintendo Power. 175: 150. November 2003.
  16. ^ Marc Saltzman (October 7, 2003). "Giant Egg title a bit scrambled". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on November 23, 2003. Retrieved April 10, 2016.

External links[edit]