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Video Game / Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg

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Good morning!

A playful little title from Sonic Team and published by Sega in 2003 with the most cheerful mood ever. It's about four kids that go to "Morning Land," a magical land that's inhabited by the Chicken People. They need help. In order to help these little chicks, the four don the magical Legendary Chicken Suits and command eggs in order to take down the Big Bad with the help of cute little mon-like creatures by your side to whoop some booty.

Sounds cute, at least before you take into account the massive amount of possibly traumatic material. The Big Bad and his cronies? Crows who want to take over the world by causing endless night. None of this sounds threatening, but boss fights bring a whole new level of creepy. Most of these bosses, and some notable levels, are also much harder than most people would have a right to expect from such a child-friendly setting.

The mission-style layout is sort of a Shout-Out to the Adventure games from the Sonic franchise with the gameplay focusing more on fighting than speed. It got mixed reviews (well, more like mixed-to-positive) from the gaming community, but the Sonic community liked the game.

This game provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Total completion requires all the emblems, but the last emblems are only obtained by completing all the levels, finding every type of egg, getting an S rank on all the missions, and finding every chick coin. Your reward for doing this is having the title of "EGG MASTER" as the name of your save file.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Extra eggs are often laying about, to help you out if you lose the one you were rolling around.
  • Badass Adorable: I mean, what other character can make a chicken suit look so cool, at the same time, so adorable?
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Billy has a yellow letter "E" on his blue hoodie at the beginning of the game; what it's supposed to stand for is never explained.
  • The Cameo: An egg of Sonic can be seen in some parts of the game. While on the side of cameos, Billy had appeared in other Sega games. While people question on why Sega hasn't made a sequel yet after all these years. For some reason, Billy himself is COMPLETELY absent from Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed, but his friends makes a small appearance in the game, and an appearance in the Sonic/Mega Man crossover comic, Worlds Unite. How ironic.
    • The egg in question hatches, depending on the level you find it in, into any number of Sega characters, such as Sonic, NiGHTS, Amigo, etc.
  • Catch and Return: The 11th-Hour Superpower lets you grab the final boss's dark energy balls and throw them back at him to stun him and leave him vulnerable to being flattened with eggs.
  • Cats Are Mean: The small and large cat crow enemies.
  • Cat-and-Mouse Boss: Era Gecko's boss battle is this. Era Gecko starts off big and chases after you, but eventually he will walk to the center, shrink himself, and starting running around in the grass while you search for him in the grass. It's not actually explained in any way why he shrinks.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • Darkness Equals Death: During the second phase of the final boss fight. Justified — see Energy Being below.
  • Dem Bones: Topo rides on the back of the skeletal, sentient remains of a Tyrannosaurus.
  • De-power: At the start of the second half of the final boss fight, Dark Raven will slam into you and swipe your Legendary Chicken Suit, leaving you unable to do anything but frantically run around dodging Dark Raven's attacks until Menie-Funie comes to your rescue by granting you the 11th-Hour Superpower.note  Notably, Dark Raven continues using this lunging attack throughout the battle, but he can't swipe the Courage Suit from you, so the attack just damages you from that point on.
  • Developer's Foresight: Don't worry about any Unintentionally Unwinnable sections if your egg breaks while platforming. There's always a new egg nearby so you can get back to bouncing.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Possible in one mission in Blizzard Castle. There's a huge, nasty slide, full of spikes, jumps, narrow whip turns, and one "threading the needle" segment where you are pretty much guaranteed to lose your egg (and thus a life) the first time through. Looks vicious... Unless you snoop around the nearby area, and find an egg containing a Jet Pack that lets you hover indefinitely. Hatch the egg, accquire the item, and you can lazily float past the entire slide, and on to the next area of the level.
  • Exposition Fairy: Menie-Funie speaks to the current character at the beginning of most levels, to give you hints about the actual mission.
  • Expy: The main characters look suspiciously like human versions of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Dark Corvo conjures "shadows" of the previous bosses and uses their attack patterns.
  • Flunky Boss: All but one of Dark Corvo's abilities is to summon a shadow clone and sit back and wait for the shadow clone to finish attacking; the only attack he has is when he summons clones of himself and attacks with them.
  • Hall of Mirrors: The circus tent on the second level has a lot of mirrors, and most of Saltims abilties involves mirrors.
  • Heroic Mime: Billy and his friends never talk in the whole game, although they make a lot of various sounds besides talking.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The "mount" creatures. At least one of them — a shark — lets you avert your Super Drowning Skills.
  • Iconic Item: All of the Mons wear a red bandanna somewhere. Some of them have it as a bow — and in one case, a saddle.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Billy and his friends use eggs as lethal weapons against enemies.
  • Irony: Billy is told to show courage. But he's wearing a chicken suit. And chickens are known to be cowardly. But it may have been intentional.
  • Ironic Name: A bantam is a small chicken. Bantam is the biggest of the four kids.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: The chicken elders keep saying this to Billy 'n friends each time they give you an emblem. You actually never realize what are they used for until the very end.
  • Kid Hero: Billy and his friends look no older than ten.
  • Kiai: "TAAAAAAAH!!", "HYAAAAH!!", "OK!!"
  • Lizard Folk: Era Gecko; at least, he's taken the form of one.
  • Locked Door: It's most likely that you will find these in every single mission. They're either opened by pressing a switch button (most likely to be hidden), or defeating all crows on screen.
  • Mini-Boss: The Snake Crow, and the Bone Dinosaurs that you fight before Topo.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Most of the hatchable animals.
  • Mini-Game: Five different unlockable mini-games, several of which are also Shout Outs — there are games based on Puyo Puyo, Ni GHTS Into Dreams, and ChuChu Rocket!.
  • Mirror Monster: Saltim is one; he hides in the mirror and even tries to suck you in.
  • Mirror World: Saltim runs around in his mirror world and jumps in and out while he fights you.
  • Mons: The hatchable monsters could count as this, since you need to hatch all of the eggs for 100% Completion.
  • Monster Clown: Saltim is a much lighter example, but still counts; the chick you meet before entering the circus tent tells you he's scared from hearing Saltim's laughter from inside, Saltim is trying to kill you as well, and when you accidentially walk into one of the wrong mirrors inside the circus tent, you can hear him laughing at you.
  • Mood Whiplash: While most of the game is fairly lighthearted throughout, the final boss is when the horror really kicks in.
  • Musical Nod / Mythology Gag: The Circus Park night music, "Odd March," is a song from Knuckles Chaotix. Mariko Nanba composed music for both games.
  • Necromancer: Topo is this; he summons undead dinosaurs to aid him.
  • Never Found the Body: Unlike the other bosses, it's not clear whether Dark Corvo dies; the other bosses fade away, but a portal of darkness appears below Dark Corvo and he falls into it without him seen fading away.
  • Nintendo Hard: The later missions can become extremely difficult. The platforming sections, especially the parts where you're rolling down a course are frustrating. Especially the missions unlocked after rescuing Billy's friends.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Giant Palace.
  • One-Winged Angel: After you beat his first form as a Funny Animal crow wizard, Dark Raven hatches the Giant Egg, merges with it, and transforms into an enormous crow-shaped living shadow.
  • Patchwork Map: Morning Land in general.
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs: The player can obtain eggs colored like the various animals they hatch into.
  • Perpetual Molt: In a game with a lot of cartoon birds, this was inevitable.
  • Platform Hell: Especially when you play the first mission of Circus Park. Either your golden egg gets broken after reaching the zone with a ridiculous amount of big cat crows; or you end up losing your egg by using the red rails.
  • Player-Guided Missile: Collect the yellow "Psychic Hat" in certain levels and you can steer the egg in any direction after shooting it.
  • Power Up Mount: Three of the Egg Animals are these: Rikol, the kangaroo-lion who can jump quite high and spit fireballs; Datch, the sheep-ostrich who can glide and has a green-charged attack... thing; and Kaboot, the shark who averts your Super Drowning Skills and has a body-slam attack. They can also sustain several hits of damage, instead of just one.
  • Prehistoria: Dino Mountain fits the bill here too.
  • Proj-egg-tile: One of the many things you do with eggs in this game, since they're your primary way of attacking.
  • Rainbow Speak:
    "My name's Menie Funie, I'm the god who watches over Morning Land."
  • Shifting Sand Land: Sand Ruin, with Inca-like pyramids instead.
  • Shout-Out: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, a Chao, a Rappy, NiGHTS, a Kapu Kapu, & Amigo make appearances as tamable monsters.
  • Silly Simian: Saltim, who is a funny clown monkey boss, who is a relief from the difficulty of the game, and is considered to be a fun boss.
  • Slasher Smile: The crows seem to have this, as most enemies have a massive teethshowing smile almost all the time. It's most noticeable on the bosses, if only for the harder ones, as they will kill you while smiling constantly.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Blizzard Castle.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Out of the four kids, Rolly is the only girl, and out of the seven Elders, Ponee is the only hen. (Then why does Ponee crow?)
  • Snap Back: By the end of the game, the kids are supposed to go back to the human world; however, during the post-story missions, Billy and his friends are back in Morning Land wearing their respective suits and it's like nothing happened.
  • Sound of No Damage: Hitting Era Gecko while enlarged does no damage, and has a small flash as if it was shielded.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The USA version's manual misspells Bantam's name as "Bamtam". The PAL version spells it correctly, though.
  • Spelling Song: The song G.I.A.N.T.E.G.G. in which that's all they do. Humorously enough, due to the lack of enunciation between the "I" and "A", they sound like they're spelling it wrong — "G-I-N-T-E-G-G" — which is kind of a liability for a Spelling Song.
  • Sphere Factor: The gameplay consists mainly of rolling eggs around. However, Billy is on the ground and is pushing the egg around. He derives strength to battle from them, running noticeably faster when he's pushing an egg along and uses eggs as weapons.
  • Summon Magic: Dark Corvo's magic seems to be all summon magic.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Billy and his friends can't swim; if you land in any pool of water, they go splat with a faceplant and you lose one life. You can, however, cross bodies of water with the purple Joker Hat (which allows you to ride your egg across water), and with the shark animal mount.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: With most of the bosses, all you have to do is dodge everything until they mess up and become vulnerable to a strike. Sometimes the bosses do the dumbest things to allow them to be harmed and still repeat their actions over and over again, which makes them seem stupid even though they may be owning you anyway.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Ponee, the female Elder, appears to be wearing lipstick.
  • Theme Naming: The Chicken Elders' names are derived from the Hawaiian word for the color they are wearing. Oma-Oma wears green (oma'oma'o), Ponee wears purple (poni), etc.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Billy at the final battle. Despite having unlocked the other 3 characters by then, no one even lifts a finger to help him.
  • Threatening Shark: Inverted. You can ride the shark in question around Pirate Island, letting you avoid the issue of your Super Drowning Skills.
  • Underground Monkey: All of the small enemies have the same basic attacks, either inflicting collision damage, or bouncing around.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Giant Palace.
  • Victory Pose: Whenever one of the characters grab an emblem, they strike a victory pose.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Era Gecko is pathetically easy to defeat, although everything is pathetically easy at the start, but it will get harder.
  • Weapons That Suck: Saltim's mirrors are these; they can be used to suck in Billy and trap him, after which Saltim will then deliver a big punch to the mirror, damaging Billy and sending him out of the mirror.
  • Whale Egg: All over the place, and even lampshaded by one of the chicks wondering who or what laid them in the first place.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Mostly in the opening cutscene, you'll notice Billy's huge eyes are abnormally well detailed.

Alternative Title(s): Billy Hatcher