Back in the early 90â€™s a three way system war as on. At the time the market was still dominated by the mighty NES. However the upstart Genesis was starting to take a hold on the market with itâ€™s 16 bit graphics and sound. While these two giants battled it out a third company entered the market with their entry. It was Designed by Hudson and built and manufactured by NEC it was the mighty Turbografx-16. When NEC and Hudson launched the system they knew they needed a system seller. At the time Mascot games were huge. While Nintendo had Mario and Sega had Alex Kidd (sonic wouldnâ€™t come around until later. NEC needed a mascot for their fledgling system they found one in a loveable blockhead.
Not that Blockhead this one
is it me or does bonk look a lot like Charlie brown in game?
Bonkâ€™s Adventure was the first game in the series starting the big headed cave boy. His quest was simple rescue his friends from King Drool. The game was an action platform game that had you jumping, Climbing trees with your teeth and smashing enemies with your big head. Power ups included collection Smiley faces to get 1-ups and eating meat to become more powerful. Eat enough meat you go into a fit of rage and become invincible. The game was a runaway success and took the little cave boy and thrust him into gaming superstardom. He was now the face for the T-16.
Bonkâ€™s Revenge was released in 1991. This time King Drool decided that kidnapping Bonkâ€™s friends were so passÃ© and decided to steal half the moon!. It was up to bonk to head bang his way into space in order to get it back. This game started a bit of a rift in the fledgling franchise because Bonkâ€™s trademark spinning head but was slowed down a lot. the game had also taken a jump in graphic quality as everything was a lot more colorful. Also he had a power up that turned him into a butt headâ€¦ literally.
Bonkâ€™s success sparked an Idea at Hudson and Red (the team behind the bonk Franchise) why not take two popular things and them together thus the Bonk RPG project started. With RPGs being huge in Japan Hudson thought that taking the popular mascot and putting him into an RPG would be a great idea. However for unknown reasons the project was canceled. Itâ€™s sort of funny when you think that Bonk RPG started an idea that would later result in Super Mario RPG. That being the mascot RPG.
Air Zonk came out as the T-16 tried to redefine itâ€™s self. At that time the T-16 was getting itâ€™s ass beat down by both Sega and Nintendo. NEC had what it thought was an ace up itâ€™s sleeve as they re-released the T-16 as the Turbo Duo. They had combined the Main System and the CD add-on at a lower price than buying them separate. To commemorate this and show they had a new attitude akin to Segaâ€™s now famous Sonic they decided to let Bonkâ€™s Descendant take center stage. The game was a Shooter where Zonk could power up with by combining with his friends to create more devastating shots. Your powering up friends included a magician, a puffer fish, a flying dump truck and a big old missile. The game was met with much hurrah but unfortunately sales of the title slumped. NEC decided to go back to old hat.
Awe isnâ€™t the mini butthead cute..
Bonk 3 Bonkâ€™s big adventure was released at the end of the T-16â€™s life cycle and was made as both a HU-card and a CD version. This game bonk was on another quest to stroll king drool form doing evil. However this was bonkâ€™s Big and little adventure as you could get power upâ€™s that made you huge or tiny depending on the what you might need at the time. The game was produced in limited runs and fetches a hefty price on E-bay.
When the T-16 tanked in 1993 many people thought it was end of the plucky little cave boy that defined that system. However Bonk lived on. His games were ported to the NES and the Gameboy for a new generation of gamers to play. He even made a stop on the SNES.
Bonkâ€™s SNES outing was similar to his last on the T-16 he could eat meat to power up and grow big and small. This time though Bonk was traveling through time and space to stop the evil King Drool again.
Saturn Bomberman is considered by many to be the best Bomberman game ever made. Not only is it a ton of fun but bonk was a character in multiplayer as well. I spent many a night blowing the heck out of my friends as the little caveman and Saturn Bomberman tournaments everywhere always had the chant of Bonk, Bonk, Bonk, Bonk every time he was used in a final.
The original bonkâ€™s adventure saw a remake in Japan as Hudson Selection Vol 3 for the PS2 and Gamecube. It was a complete remark of the original Bonkâ€™s adventure with cell shading for all the characters. Everything was given a visual overhaul as well and Bonk is sporting a little bit of attitude that I am sure is left over from Air Zonk. It plays the same as you remember. However this game never made it to America and that is quite sad as it is a great game and can be imported on the cheep ($21 at play Asia). However if importing is not your thing you can alwaysâ€¦.
Just download the original game for your Wii. Bonkâ€™s adventure was one of the launch title for the Wiiâ€™s virtual console. The game is a classic and is well worth your Wii points.
So discus everyoneâ€™s favorite little cave man Mosher!
edit: link removed due to possible TOS problem. my bad sorry about that..