Mr. Bones (video game)
North American cover art
|Writer(s)||E. Ettore Annunziata|
Mr. Bones, is a multi-genre video game conceptualized by E. Ettore Annunziata, developed by Zono and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn in 1996. The soundtrack to Mr. Bones was composed and performed by Ronnie Montrose, with cutscenes and art assets done by Angel Studios.
DaGoulian, a mad philosopher who believes that one can only "ensure the survival of good by making evil thrive", sets out to purify the world with evil. By playing a special set of drums powered by science and alchemy, he is able to tap into a primal power which he calls "skeletal magnetism" (or "skeletism") and summon the dead from their graves as his skeletal soldiers.
One inmate of the cemetery, however, is pure of heart and is thus resurrected not with red (evil) skeletism, but with blue (good) skeletism. Because of this, he retains his free will. This fact is quickly noticed by DaGoulian, and he orders his newly created army to destroy this rebel, who calls himself simply "Mr. Bones."
Mr. Bones soon becomes determined to stop DaGoulian's plan. He must find a way to counteract the evil of red skeletism before DaGoulian's minions catch up to him.
One of Mr. Bones' most distinctive qualities is in it having very few levels which share the same style of gameplay; with only a few exceptions, almost every level looks and feels different from the rest. Some levels simply change the camera perspective, while others offer up their own distinct genre. The most common thread running throughout the game is that of an action/platform game with slight gameplay and viewing angle variations per level, but at times the styles diverge far more drastically, ranging from a music/rhythm game to a Breakout-style game to a game of memorization. Once a level has been beaten, the player can return directly to that level from the main menu any time they choose.
In spite of some positive buzz, the release of Mr. Bones was met with little fanfare and it quickly faded into obscurity. However, the game did develop a cult following among retro gamers, not only because of its originality and level variety, but also because of the video sequences peppered throughout the adventure, combining live-action footage with computer-generated characters and environments. The cinematics were designed and directed by Allen Battino, who also performed the role of Mr. Bones via motion capture. Ronnie Montrose’s guitar playing was also motion captured using sensor gloves and transferred to the Mr. Bones animation.