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Video Game: The Adventures of Bayou Billy

"Can we just ask France for a refund of the Louisiana purchase?"

The Adventures of Bayou Billy (known as Mad City in Japan) is a side-scrolling Beat 'em Up released by Konami in 1988/1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In it, an adventurer named Billy West (no, not the famous voice actor) sets out to rescue his girlfriend Annabelle from the clutches of the evil gangster Godfather Gordon. There are nine stages in all, with driving and on-rails shooting sections thrown in for variety.

This game is notorious for being ridiculously hard. Although it should be noted that while it may qualify as Nintendo Hard, it wasn't a whole lot worse than many of the other games made for the NES. The Final Boss however, may well be one of the hardest of the era.

Tropes used in The Adventures of Bayou Billy:

  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. The Famicom version's cover art has a similar composition to its later NES counterpart shown above, yet it has a more serious and darker mood. Billy's expression is pretty stern (in contrast to the goofy grin he has on the American art), Godfather Gordon is pointing his knife at Annabelle (instead of merely holding her arm) and the background is set during sunset instead of daytime.
  • The Big Easy: The setting of the game.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Annabelle, in the NES version.
  • Bowdlerize: Inverted. Annabelle was given sexier clothing in the NES version. In the original Famicom version she wears a long red dress. In the NES version she wears tight short shorts and a midriff-revealing t-shirt.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: Most notable for being Archie Comics' first comic book based on a video game, predating their Sonic comics. It only lasted six issues though.
  • Difficulty By Region: The NES version is harder than the Famicom version. Baddies in the beat-em-up levels take much more damage and move faster, you get fewer bullets in the shooting stages and less fuel in the driving stages.
    • As a rule of thumb, anything that would help you is halved (like your attack and defense), and anything that would hamper you is doubled (like enemies' attack and defense) when compared to Mad City.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Rocky and Rocko, Gordon's bodyguards, don't show up until after you've beaten him. Just what are you getting paid for, guys?
  • Dub Name Change: Almost all of the characters except for Billy West himself.
  • Epic Flail: Migraine Mike, one of the bad guys in the later stages, uses a hammer-and-chain.
  • Fat Bastard: Hurricane Hank, a mook in the earlier stages.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Three different game styles in one, but the game (and instruction manual) let you know what you're going to go up against next.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Despite coming out during an era when Nintendo of America had strict censorship rules, the game managed to get away with a character screaming "OH GOD!!!" during a cutscene (references to anything that could be seen as religious or blasphemous were generally a no-no in the pre-ESRB days, which is what lead to the famous "Oh my car!" line in the SNES version of Final Fight). Also, Annabelle's outfit in the American release of the game allows for her to show off some noticeable cleavage in cutscenes (though it should be noted that Nintendo of America didn't censor Samus Aran's bikini in Metroid either).
  • Giant Mook: Blackie Blue
  • Knife Nut: The Cajun Cutthroat, the punk enemy in later stages.
  • Multiple Endings: The Famicom version has four endings.
    • The regular ending (the same one as the NES version)
    • An ending where Billy dumps Annabelle (which can be obtained if you walk away from her when she approaches you at the end of the game.)
    • An Easy-Mode Mockery ending you get for using any of the power-ups that can be obtained from the Practice mode.
    • A secret version of the regular ending with "funnier" dialogue.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Alligators are enemies in the early levels. In the Famicom version, killing them was optional. In the NES version, it's mandatory.
  • Nintendo Hard: The NES version. The Famicom version was ridiculously easy by comparison.
    • How difficult is it? Captain N couldn't beat it. (At first.)
      • And the only way he was able to beat it was to get help and advice from Billy himself.
    • Partly averted if you play and complete all three practice stages before proceeding to the main game, which gives you more health, bullets, and fuel.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Your jeep in the driving sections. If it slams into anything, be it a car, a rock, a sign post or a grenade, it'll explode and you'll lose a life.
  • Precision F-Strike: Billy screams "OH GOD!" as Annabelle is abducted.
  • Punny Name: The red-clad mook that appears in Stages 1 and 3 is called "Toulouse L'Attack", a pun on the famous painter Toulouse-Lautrec. Genius Bonus anyone?
  • Ragin' Cajun: The knife-wielding punks in Stage 6 are called the Cajun Cutthroats.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The whipmaster enemy (A.L. Hurt) was originally a "whipwoman" named "Thousand Bird", although the [very masculine-looking] sprite is the same in both versions.
  • Throw Away Guns: When Billy takes a gun away from the enemy, each one only has six bullets. When it runs out of ammo, he can't use it again unless he picks up another one.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: How Billy uses the knives he obtains from enemies.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Billy wears an open vest with no shirt.
  • Whip It Good: A whip can be obtained from the bad guys in earlier stages and there is one enemy named A.L. Hurt who uses one as his primary weapon.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Annabelle does, if you're playing the NES version.


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alternative title(s): The Adventures Of Bayou Billy
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