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Bounty Arms and Bare Midriffs
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:33 pm    Post subject: Bounty Arms and Bare Midriffs Reply with quote

I posted a lengthy diatribe on this subject over at the Digital Press forums, so I’ll spare you the fanboy rhetoric that usually flows forth whenever I talk about Bounty Arms.

Data West announced Bounty Arms for the PlayStation early in 1995. An overhead shooter in the Commando vein [BUT IT REALLY WASN'T - SEE BELOW], the game was slated for an April debut. It never showed up. As it wasn’t even scheduled for release outside of Japan, Bounty Arms received little coverage over here. As far as I know, the only American magazine to notice it was Game Fan, which ran four related shots in an April 1995 issue.

Let’s take a look.



That one appears to be a character select screen. The font used for the heroines’ names is odd, but the one on the left is Chris. The other is Rei. Chris thinks that Rei dresses like a tramp.



Flamethrowers, perhaps? I’ve got to wonder if Bounty Arms let Chris and Rei rotate and fire in any direction. That’d be fun.




That's some serpentine mecha-beast, presumably a boss.




I have no idea what’s going on here, though the “B” icon on the left is probably a bomb power-up. And, if you squint, the red thing next to it resembles Blobert from A Boy and His Blob.

That’s all I have. To accompany these screens, GameFan's Nick “Rox” Des Barres gave only a two-sentence description of the game, so I assume that he merely scanned the images from a Japanese publication. Data West? They're still around, though their website says nothing about Bounty Arms. I’m sure there’s something out there, even if it’s just a short feature in some old Famitsu issue.

As you can tell from my avatar, I’m very interested in this one. I dig obscure action titles, and Bounty Arms looks like it could have been an excellent game. After all, there’s a paucity of truly impressive Commando-style overhead shooters (or Commando clones in general). If it hadn't been canceled, Bounty Arms might have filled that hole.


Last edited by Kid Fenris on Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Richter Belmont



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 280
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a fun game! I'd be interested myself, especially since it's for two players. I'll keep an eye out for any info.

And now I know where your avatar comes from! Hehe.
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ManekiNeko
FURRY


Joined: 10 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it helps (and it probably doesn't), Data West was responsible for the Rayxanber series on the TurboDuo. Rayxanber is best described as a cheap knockoff of R-Type, lacking the natural flow of the game that inspired it. The weapon system was pretty badly designed, too.

JR
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Smeg
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Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean Data East, or did/does there actually exist a Data West as well?
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lugnut
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Virginia, there is a Data West...

http://www.datawest.co.jp


Doesn't look like they do much gaming-related anymore, but their "Amusements" section does mention The 4th Unit, an MSX series of theirs, so I assume these are the right folks.


EDIT: Oh, we're both dumbasses. His original post already linked to the site.
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Smeg
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duh.
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rahga



Joined: 24 May 2004
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From DataWest's website:


How the mighty have fallen, I guess. After drawing video game tummies and such, they must have fired all of their artists, and now rely on 30-year-old Suzie Homemaker with her copy of Photoshop leeched from IRC by her hellspawn offspring.

I hate bad artists on the web.
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump here for more screens and info. All of these came from three separate previews in early Japanese PlayStation magazines, and they indicate that I was wrong to call Bounty Arms an overhead MERCS-style shooter. While it looks like one, the actual gameplay apparently doesn't involve any shooting; it's more of a cross between Castlevania and Bionic Commando.



As we see in this crude illustration from the only Bounty Arms ad I found, the heroines wear huge telescoping tentacle-arms that function as both whip-like weapons and grappling hooks. Look:











The above PROTIP suggests that you can also grab a power-up and use a massive flamethrower.

The game’s visuals still look kind of generic, resembling a prettier version of OutZone with anime chicks, but the grapple-arm gameplay mechanics intrigue me. Instead of just another Commando clone, Bounty Arms would have been like nothing else on the market. Maybe that’s why it was canceled.

I’m trying to translate the previews to figure out just how inventive it was, but my knowledge of Japanese sucks, and I’m stuck on the last name of Chris, the blonder and more stoned-looking of the two heroines.




Basic translation renders it in four different ways: purenakaruto, pulenakaluto, pulenakaruto, or purenakaluto. It could also mean “Plaincarrot” or “Planar Cult,” which would not be out the question, considering the tendency of Japanese developers to give non-Japanese characters ridiculous, random English-sounding names.


Anyway, more screens.










Yeah, I'm still stupidly obsessed with this one. I’d be willing to spend a horrible sum for a playable version of the game, but even if a beta exists, it’s probably in the hands of someone who'd never sell or dump it. From what I understand, the Japanese proto-collecting scene actually eclipses its Western cousin in terms of hoarding and bitterness.


Last edited by Kid Fenris on Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Richter Belmont



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Location: Murfreesboro, TN

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiffy! Thanks for sharing the pics and info.

This is the coolest looking unreleased PSX game I've seen in awhile. Maybe ever.
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ClamIAm



Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 139
Location: the frozen northland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plainclothes?
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BBH



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 52
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this game does look pretty awesome, I'm such a sucker for the overhead kill-anything-that-moves genre. A little disappointed that you don't have traditional shooting weapons, but then again I abuse the hell out of close-range attacks in Shock Troopers so I probably would have enjoyed it.
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Carnivol
gay dickhead


Joined: 21 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy thread resurrection!

I finally got home again for a tiny weekend, and I was browsing through a pile of stuff that people thought I'd be happy to see taking up all the space on my bed when I got home after a 20 hour long workday involving multiple flights and other means of transportation.

Anyway, I found this in one mag (will scan it later, just need time to get some work done first)


I bothered myself with a few searches and bumped into this too;
Link
Seems to mention something about a video/demo of it, something related to PlayPlay and something about it "Not being fun".
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy shit, that's awesome. And it's a spread! All the previews I've found are just one-pagers.

I guess I should share those now.

From PlayStation Magazine, March 1995
From PlayStation Magazine, April 1995
From The PlayStation, April 1995
And an ad

That synopsis is interesting, as it's the only Japanese website entry I've seen that goes beyond "This game was announced and never came out." I guess it shouldn't surprise me that Bounty Arms might have sucked; I'm still not sure how that grappling-whip thing would work in an overhead-view game.
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Carnivol
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the amount of stuff you just posted, I just couldn't sit there look at it without getting around to scanning this properly.

Front Page of the software catalog
Page 1 of the preview
Page 2 of the preview
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That's the best preview of the game I've seen so far. It even shows how the Relic Arm things worked. It looks like they could reflect bullets and, if you held down the attack button, make those huge circles of fire.

Thanks!
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Carnivol
gay dickhead


Joined: 21 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there ever was a demo for this game, it must've been on either a separate demo disc of some sort, or probably on an early Dengeki Playstation D disc.

I just went through an "almost complete" line-up of Hyper Playstation Re-mix discs (from vol 3 and up. But seeing how the oldest one I have is from 1997, I guess vol 1-2 are after cancellation too. Unless there are lineups from pre-1997, as each year restarts the counting)

Also skimmed through the index of a complete set of PlayPlay discs, nothing found there either.

Only have a couple of old Dengeki discs, but nothing on those either.
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found Bounty Arms! Well, a demo of it. Know how that one Japanese site talked about it being on a store demo? It turns out that the fifth volume of Demo Demo PlayStation, an early line of discs that Sony sent to retailers, had a playable demo of Bounty Arms.

Carnivol was nice enough to package the demo separately (otherwise I'd just have to put up the entire disc), and I uploaded it to my site. You can get it here, once you've paged down through some descriptions of it. Is it against the rules here to direct-link a demo of a PlayStation game?

Don't expect too much. It's only part of the first stage, and the characters can't take any damage. It's kinda fun, though! The Relic Arm is a neat play mechanic, and I love whipping around those huge circles of flame.

The demo ends after you fight a mid-boss, but there might be more on the disc. Carnivol, who's the real hero in all of this, found a bunch of sprites for stuff that isn't seen in the playable demo, including a waterfall snake boss with a little naked man riding in its head. Maybe the entire first level's in there somewhere.

The fourth volume of Demo Demo PlayStation had a promotional movie for Bounty Arms, but it's grainy and only shows the first stage.

Anyway, here's a bunch of screens.





The character that ISN'T highlighted is the one you'll play, at least when my emulator's running it.







Chris is using the Relic Arm to reflect an enemy bullet there. Rei's just screwing around.









Yeah, that's really the game-over screen. Doesn't show up in some emulators, though.







Last edited by Kid Fenris on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TheRedEye
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The Internet's Frank Cifaldi


Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow, I'm going to have to try this. Are there recommended settings for ePSXe? I know PSX probably works out of the box, but it's stuck at 640x480.
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Carnivol
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been mixing between using pSX and ePSXe w/P.E.Op.S. Soft Driver.

Sometimes I get the opening screen, character selection and game over screens to display in ePSXe that way, but I usually only get the character selection screen.

pSX doesn't give me any of the screens.

Remember to press start to get to the character selection screen.

If you use PCSX, the demo wont reset properly at the game over screen (it'll start displaying some auto-scrolling preview mode, or something, w/corrupted graphics)

It seems to load all the graphics for the first level, but I haven't been able to make all of it playable (I can "skip/display" any part that I want of the background scroll, though, but not the foreground objects, enemies and collision data... Maybe I or someone else will figure that out.) Neatest would be to disable the Game Over triggering when killing the mid-level boss (if the video from DemoDemo vol. 4 is anything to go by, there might be two of those before you reach the snake thingy)
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Deadguy2322



Joined: 18 May 2007
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Location: Inside your mind...

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any way to get this running on a modded PS1?
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