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Bubsy as seen in Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales
|Developer(s)||Accolade, Imagitec Design, Eidetic, Black Forest Games, Choice Provisions|
|Publisher(s)||Accolade, Atari Corporation, Messe Sansao, Inc., Retroism, Billionsoft, Tommo, UFO Interactive Games|
|Platform(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Atari Jaguar, PlayStation, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows|
|First release||Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind|
|Latest release||Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back|
Bubsy is a series of platforming video games created by Michael Berlyn and developed and published by Accolade. The games star an anthropomorphic bobcat named Bubsy, a character that takes inspiration from Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. The games were originally released for the Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Jaguar, the PC and PlayStation during the 1990s.
Five games were released in the series: Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, Bubsy 2, Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales, Bubsy 3D and Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back. A new game titled Bubsy: Paws on Fire is set to be released in 2019 for PS4, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch. In 2015, a compilation of the first two games was released for Microsoft Windows through Steam, by Retroism, the video game software subsidiary of Tommo. In addition to the games, a television pilot was created for a Bubsy cartoon show based on the video game series; however, it did not transition to become a full-fledged series.
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind
The first Bubsy game was released in May 1993 by Accolade for the SNES, and later for the Genesis. The plot focuses on a race of fabric-stealing aliens called "Woolies", who have stolen the world's yarn ball supply (especially Bubsy's, who owns the world's largest collection). A special version, titled Super Bubsy, was later released in 1996 for Windows 95, featuring graphics redrawn for higher resolution, new game elements and the entire Bubsy Cartoon television pilot. In addition to the powerups found in the original game, there are bouncing TV's that Bubsy can collect which allow the player to view more of the cartoon.
Bubsy 2 was released shortly after the first game, on October 28, 1994. In the game, the antagonist, Oinker P. Hamm, has created his "Amazatorium", which actually saps information away from history, and puts it on display, for his personal profit. It's up to the player to control Bubsy and stop this. The game features five levels; a music-themed world, a medieval era, an Egyptian area, an outer space zone, and an aerial zone with Bubsy flying a World War I biplane.
Bubsy collects trading cards which he can use to buy various items. These include a "portable hole" (a small portal he can step through and disappear to the main lobby), a diver's suit, a Nerf gun, screen-clearing smart bombs, or extra lives. The game features the addition of Bubsy's nephew and niece that can be played by another player to help or hinder Bubsy. There are also secret stages involving Bubsy and his unwilling sidekick, Arnold the Armadillo. Additionally, Bubsy could take two hits (denoted by his expression next to the "lives" counter), and on a third, he would lose a life – though some hazards will still instantly kill him.
Bubsy 2 is also the only Bubsy title to be reprogrammed for the Game Boy as a black-and-white game with Super Game Boy support for limited colors. This version of the game features the three levels of difficulty, but only has three of the original worlds (Egyptian, Musicland and Skyland) available for play.
On November 16, 2015, a Bubsy re-release was posted on Steam Greenlight, titled Bubsy Two-Fur, by a game company that owns abandonware game intellectual property called Retroism. Two-Fur is a collection of the first two Bubsy releases. Upon community interest, the game was greenlit. It was released on December 17, 2015.
Bubsy in: Fractured Furry Tales
Bubsy in: Fractured Furry Tales was released December 15, 1994 for the Atari Jaguar. This title sets Bubsy traversing across various fairy tales. The game sees Bubsy taking on the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, the Djinni in Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, a sea monster in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Hansel and Gretel in Candyland. The game plays similarly to the prior two games in the series, but without any of the gadgets or band-aids of Bubsy 2.
Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet
Bubsy 3D is the fourth Bubsy game, and the only title in 3D. The game was released in 1996 for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to the original in terms of the story and takes place on the Woolies' home planet, Rayon. Bubsy 3D has 16 main levels and two boss levels and the main character's goal is to defeat the two queens of Rayon, Poly and Esther. The player can collect rockets, as well as atoms, in order to eventually escape from planet Rayon. Bubsy actively speaks throughout the game based on various actions performed by the player. A planned release for the Sega Saturn was cancelled.
Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back
In October 2017, a fifth Bubsy title, Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back, was released for PlayStation 4 and PC. The game was developed by Black Forest Games, who previously worked on reviving the dormant Giana Sisters series with Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire!
In October 2018, a sixth Bubsy title, Bubsy: Paws on Fire!, was announced for release in 2019 for PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch. The game is being developed by Choice Provisions, who previously worked on the Bit.Trip series.
Bubsy also had a pilot episode for an animated series sponsored by Taco Bell in 1993, titled "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" It featured new additions to the "Bubsy Universe" not made by the original Bubsy producer (Michael Berlyn) as he was on hiatus from Accolade at the time. These included Virgil Reality, a genius inventor and scientist, Oblivia, Virgil's assistant and planned future love interest for Bubsy, Ally the main antagonist, along with Buzz, and Sid, her two Henchmen. The pilot was produced by Calico Creations. Rob Paulsen provides the voice of Bubsy, alongside voices from Tress MacNeille, Jim Cummings, Pat Fraley, B. J. Ward and Neil Ross. The pilot was not picked up for a full series.
Though not an official game in the Bubsy series, a fan-game entitled Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective was developed by indie studio Arcane Kids and released in 2013 for PC and Macintosh systems. It is a facetious tribute to Bubsy 3D, featuring controls and visuals intended to mimic the game, and follows the title character as he visits a tribute exhibit for virtual artist James Turrell, where he goes through a surreal and nightmarish spiritual experience.
- Frank Cifaldi (October 3, 2005). "Playing Catch-Up: Bubsy's Michael Berlyn". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- "Bubsy Two-Fur – Retroism".
- Steam Greenlight :: BUBSY Two-Fur – Steam Community". Steam. November 16, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- "Welcome to Bubsy 3D". Accolade. February 21, 1997. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
- "Accolade returns, announces Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back for PS4, PC – Gematsu". gematsu.com. June 8, 2017.
- "'Bubsy' Returning In 2019 With 'Paws on Fire!' For Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4". WWG. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Sega- 16 Interview: Mike Berlyn (Creator of Bubsy Series)". sega-16.com. August 1, 2006.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1994.
- "Gamefan Volume 2 Issue 02 January 1994". January 1, 1994 – via Internet Archive.
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