Video Game / Bubsy

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bubsy__4459.jpg
What could possibly go wrong? note 

A series of Platform Games released in the early- to mid-1990s by Accolade, starring a bobcat with attitude meant to capitalize on the popularity of Sonic the Hedgehog. Bubsy can jump up to about twice his height, and can glide to slow himself down when he falls by holding out his arms like an airplane. It is, as the description implies, rather cartoonish.

Four games were released in the series, along with a pilot for an animated series that never materialized. The list of games is as follows:
  • Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (1992, multiple systems)
  • Bubsy II (1994, multiple systems)
  • Bubsy in: Fractured Furry Tales (1994, Atari Jaguar)
  • Bubsy is 3D in Furbitten Planet (1996, PlayStation)

The 2-D games received good reviews from critics back in the day and they sold fairly well, although it was frequently considered a Sonic rip-off as well. Afterwards, the franchise transitioned to 3-D with Bubsy 3D, which killed any goodwill the series had as it was considered very bad by critics and fans alike.

The franchise thus lay dormant until 2015, when a Greenlight campaign to bring a Compilation Re-release of the first two games on Steam began. It succeeded in December 2015, under the title of Bubsy Two-Fur; once released, however, it turned out to be merely a ROM emulation of the two, rather than the games being truly ported to PC like many expected.

Bubsy tropes:

  • Accordion Man: This would happen to Bubsy in the first game if he fell from a high distance without gliding.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Hansel and Gretel in Fractured Furry Tales. Sure there are a few versions that make them seem a little more... questionable, this is one of the very few that makes them outright villains. As opposed to the original story, where they only killed the wicked witch after she tried to kill them first, here they apparently kidnapped the witch and locked her in a cage for no reason, and they try to kill Bubsy too when he shows up... by throwing apples at him. Also, it turns out the witch is actually Mother Goose.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In Bubsy 3D, the level "Catatomic Catastrophe".
  • Adorable Evil Minions: The Woolies, especially Professor Nylon.
  • Amusing Injuries: Bubsy gets these often.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Bubsy is a type of cat, and therefore instantly drowns if he touches water.
  • Animated Actors: Bubsy is an animated actor in a cartoon world starring in his own games that are also movies. Movie-like game titles allude to Bubsy being not only a character in the game, but also starring in the game as an actor. The titles of stages are often parodies of epic movies, with different stages representing different movie genres. Bubsy has even threatened to walk off the set multiple times. In the intro to "Rock around the Croc", Bubsy says, "Next time, I get a stunt cat." In the intro to "No Time to Paws", Bubsy says, "Oh, I can give up show business?" In the ending to the first game, Bubsy leaves the set, and drives off in a limo.
  • Aside Glance: In the title screen of Bubsy II, Bubsy is facing his back towards the audience, but then turns his head to look directly at the player, does something with his hand, and rolls his eyes and gives a thumbs up, wiggles, and says "I like it" before looking back at what he was looking at.
  • A Winner Is You: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind has a particularly infuriating one: "I win! I win! Well... I guess you helped out a bit too."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Woolies win if you don't collect everything in Bubsy 3D. If you do, they still win anyway. You're destined to lose from the word "go".
  • Band Land: Musicland in Bubsy II.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: In Bubsy 3D, even though you defeat Polly and Esther, the story has them defeat Bubsy and capture him. At least, that's how the Woolies see it.
  • Big Bad: The Wooly queens, Polly and Esther, in Claws Encounters and Bubsy 3D.
    • Oinker P. Hamm in Bubsy II.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you didn't press any buttons, Bubsy would eventually knock on the TV screen and yell at you.
    "Hello?!"
    • In Bubsy 3D, he starts messing with your TV settings.
  • Butt Monkey: Most of Bubsy's lines in the first two games imply he's a struggling actor who can't catch a break. Given what happened to his series, it's oddly prescient.
    • In the second game, his sidekick Arnold the Armadillo took this role.
    • In Bubsy 3D, the end-of-level animations have Bubsy getting hurt in some way.
  • Cameo: Supporting characters of the Bubsy cartoon appear in Bubsy II. Bubsy's niece and nephew appear on the title screen, and appear in the ending with Arnold the Armadillo.
  • Catch Phrase: "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?."
    • Also the name of the pilot episode itself.
    • Since the release of Bubsy 3D, the most common answer to that is "This."
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: You start with nine lives in the first game. You will lose them fast if you don't know what you're doing, and sometimes even if you do.
  • Circling Birdies: This happens if Bubsy hits a wall after running into it too fast. (This is one of the very few injuries you can inflict on Bubsy that is not fatal to him).
  • Covers Always Lie / Blatant Lies: Bubsy 3D featured presumably fake critic quotes on the front cover from "EGM" and "PSExtreme", the latter of which awarding the game their "Gold X Award" as "one of the sleeper hits of '96". In reality, Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a negative review, scoring it 3.25 out of 10. Contrary to popular belief, PSExtreme magazine really did exist; however, it never had a "Gold X Award", nor is there any evidence it ever even reviewed Bubsy 3D.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Bubsy, his nephew Terry, and his niece Terri all have them.
  • Difficulty Spike: Every third chapter in the first game threw every obstacle at you that it could, and doesn't ease up.
  • Fake Difficulty: Discussed in this JonTron. For those who don't feel like watching, in the first two games, your field of vision is very limited, making it hard to tell where you should go and what's just offscreen trying to kill you.
    • Somecallme Johnny also delved into other problems: Level design not built around Bubsy's abilities, platforming sections that are hard due to Bubsy's obscene speed not matching the platforming, frailty combined with the above problems leading to the multiple deaths, sprite sizes being too huge causing said accidents to happen, and inconsistent ideals about how to play the game. It's hard to be slow and methodical with a character as fast as Sonic. Likewise, he couldn't (and he tried) play it safe with level design created with the intent of murdering the bobcat.
  • Falling Damage: The first two games have falling damage, which can be neutralized by gliding.
  • Fan Sequel: Arcane Kids' Bubsy 3D is a surrealist send-up of one, but it does star the long-lost cat, and uses him as a vehicle for some seriously high-minded parody.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The premise of Fractured Furry Tales is that Bubsy goes around "humbling" the bad guys from storybooks like Jack and the Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The plot of Bubsy 2 revolves around the WOMPUM — the World Origination and Matter Projection Unification Machine.
  • Goomba Springboard: A very useful tactic to rank up a ton of points and clear large gaps (and the whole stage if you're so inclined).
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: In Bubsy II, Bubsy falls to his death by standing in midair, staring at the audience, looking down, back at the audience, opening an umbrella, and falling. In Bubsy 3D, Bubsy stops in midair, stares at the audience, waves goodbye, and then falls.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Bubsy wears a white shirt with a red exclamation mark.
  • Have a Nice Death: Death animations are situational and attempt to evoke the cartoony style of Looney Tunes. In Bubsy 3D, this is taken further, with an animation for falling into bottomless pits, and cutscenes for falling into water and green goop. And more.
  • Humanlike Foot Anatomy
  • Hurricane of Puns: Bubsy spews these a lot, though he's adamant that he didn't write them.
  • Idle Animation: Bubsy will smirk at the screen, tap his foot, and eventually knock on the TV. In Bubsy 3D, he messes with your television settings.
  • I'm Melting: One of Bubsy's death animations is melting into a puddle.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: In the intro for "Claws for Alarm", Bubsy says, "Is there a veterinarian in the audience!?" In Bubsy II, one of Bubsy's death quotes is "Is there a doctor in the house?"
  • Large Ham: The narrator in Super Bubsy. Also Bubsy himself.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: One of Bubsy's death animations in 3D.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Bubsy has a death animation for every kind of obstacle, sometimes multiple ones. Most of them are Bubsy smiling, then falling down, but the rest can be rather funny. It's probably the main reason why most players didn't throw their controllers through the television.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Bubsy was one of many, and is also one of the most infamous.
  • Medium Awareness: In Bubsy 3D, "Now, what would a platform game be without platforms? Hmm, I wonder if there's any extra lives up there," and "Oh look, an arrow, aren't these game designers wonderful?"
  • Multiple Endings: In Bubsy 3D. If you beat the game without collecting everything, Bubsy's rocket ship doesn't have enough power to make it to Earth, and he ends up stranded in space. This allows the victorious Woolies to continue their galactic conquest. If you do find everything, Bubsy's rocket ship has too much power, and he accidentally puts himself in Pre-Historic times. This allows the victorious Woolies to continue their galactic conquest.
  • Narrator: Super Bubsy added one to explain the story and introduce the levels. Bubsy's chatter was kept.
  • No Fourth Wall: Bubsy regularly stares at and makes comments to the player.
  • Not in My Contract: "My contract does not mention pain!"
  • Obvious Beta: Bubsy 3D was given such a rushed development cycle, that it only got a finished alpha done that was shoved out the door in order to play catch up to Super Mario 64. The result was a clunky to play, sloppy looking and all around embarrassing rush job that killed the franchise dead.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The first game only. The sequels gave him an idiosyncratic health meter. This is taken to ridiculous levels in one stage where he'll die by jumping onto a platform that's covered by an inch of water.
  • Polygon Ceiling: The 2D games were made competently enough, but having to work with an extra dimension made Bubsy 3D a clear Obvious Beta. Almost every texture was a solid color, the levels were lifeless, Bubsy moved like a heavy tank with choppy animations, and the game was generally a chore to play for the most part.
  • Product Placement: In Bubsy II, you have the ability to buy Nerf Bazookas and shoot Nerf Balls at enemies.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Pun-Based Title:
  • Pungeon Master: In the intro to "C Sharp or B Flat", Bubsy says, "Go for Baroque". Bubsy also says, "Remember, I'm a trained purrfessional."
  • Punny Name: All of the Woolies in the game are named after types of material. The queens are named Polly and Esther, and their assistant is named Professor Nylon.
  • Quote Mine: The reviews on the case for Bubsy 3D go even beyond this as it sports entirely falsified reviews and awards.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon seeing the level title "Eye of the Bobcat", Bubsy says: "That's it, I'm outta here, you can't make me...", and runs off the screen.
  • Sequel Hook: Bubsy 3D ended with this. With Bubsy Trapped in the Past, the Woolies plan to invade Earth and take all of the wool for themselves.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the intro to "Night of the Bobcat", Bubsy says, "Hey I thought I saw Elvis back there."
    • In the intro to "The Good, the Bad and the Woolies", Bubsy says, "Well, it worked for Clint."
    • In the intro to "A Fistful of Yarn", Bubsy says, "Go ahead, make my day."
    • In Bubsy II, Bubsy says "I'll be back".
    • In Bubsy 3D, the intro to "Escape From WooL.A." shows Bubsy dressed as Snake Plissken.
    • At the end of Bubsy 3D, the Woolie leader says "Bubsy has left the planet", as Bubsy is dressed in an Elvis outfit.
    • At the end of Bubsy 3D, Bubsy says, "Hey, how did I end up in Triassic Park?"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Especially in Bubsy 3D, carnival music, playing regardless of any fun, during menus, saving, loading, during levels, cutscenes, and when Bubsy is kidnapped by aliens in a cutscene before facing a Woolly Mammoth.
  • Space Pirates: The space level in Bubsy II has a distinct pirate theme to it, including treasure chests, hooks, and pirate-esque BGM.
  • Space Zone: The final level of the first game, which takes place on the Woolies' mothership.
  • Sphere Eyes: Bubsy has these.
  • Stealth Pun: Bubsy's catchphrase, given he doesn't stress the wordplay like he normally does.
    What could pawssibly go wrong?
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the first game and 3D, Bubsy will drown if even his toes touch water.
  • Tagalong Kid: Bubsy's nephew Terry, and niece Terri in the second game. They could be controlled by a second player.
  • Techno Babble: In Bubsy 3D, the Woolie scientist Professor Nylon attempts to explain how Bubsy constructed a rocket ship, harnessed the power of atoms, and traveled through time, while being interrupted by a rowdy audience.
  • Third Is 3D: Not counting Fractured Furry Tales.
  • Uranus Is Showing: In Bubsy 3D, Bubsy's first words are, "I knew I should have taken that left turn at Uranus."
  • "What Now?" Ending: Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tails ends like this.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind. "Woah, are you still playing this thing?" says Bubsy, before the final level.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: When Bubsy is referring to the punny level titles. In the intro to "Beavery Careful", Bubsy says, "Hey, I didn't write this stuff." One of the sound bytes heard before a level in Bubsy II is "Who wrote this stuff?!"

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