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Video Game / Bonanza Bros.

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Bonanza Bros. is a Platform Game by Sega, released in 1990. In an interesting twist, instead of trying to stop criminals, the player characters are criminals.

The premise of the game is simple. Each stage begins with the robbers, named Robo and Mobo (or Mike and Spike in some of the international versions), looking at a projector screen. Once getting an overview of their target, they break in and rob the place blind. However, each building is armed with security officers ready to arrest them. If they are caught, or take too long, the brothers are sent up the river.

The game premiered as an arcade game, but was later ported to other consoles. The Mega Drive version has been bundled in many compilations, as well as downloadable on the Virtual Console. A spin-off series of sorts was later created, called Puzzle & Action, which featured characters in the same graphical style of Bonanza Bros. engaging in various mini-games.


The brothers made a surprise appearance in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, driving a black getaway car. The duo appear as statues in the game's sequel, Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed.

Tropes found in this game include:

  • Badass Boast: In the original Japanese flyers for the game, there's a quote from the brothers —
    Robo and Mobo: We're going to capture all of your valuable treasures!! Here we go, you gang of clowns!!
  • Bag of Spilling: Whenever Mobo or Robo lose a life, they'll drop all the treasures that they were carrying around the spot where they got hit, meaning that they'll have to return to where it happened in order to get their stuff back.
  • Bash Brothers: Although they tend to assist in stealth more than fighting, in Co-Op, expect the Bros. to be doing double damage.
  • Bonus Stage: The Master System version has a bonus stage where the objective is collecting bags of money without being seen by the crosshairs. The player character can hide to avoid them, but there is a 20-second time limit.
  • Bowdlerise: Outside Japan, the Bros. are not currently criminals, but retired. The police chief of Badville, a city plagued with high crime, hires the brothers to help him based on their experience. Their job is to test his security forces, as well as recover evidence.
  • The Casino: The third level.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Robo's red, Mobo's blue.
  • Continuity Nod: The duo's bio in All-Stars Racing says they like solving puzzles — referring to the Puzzle & Action game series.
  • Cool Airship: Mobo and Robo's getaway vehicle of choice in their robberies. After they've got all the evidence/goods they need to collect, they have to get up onto the roof of the building, where the airship will be waiting to pick them up.
  • The Door Slams You: An easy way to stop a guard... or for a guard to stop you.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: In the international version, the boys are still sent to prison when they get a Game Over, even though here, they're helping the police recover evidence. However, it may have something to do with their status as retired criminals in this version — not having to serve their sentences if they succeed, and vice versa.
  • Dub Name Change: The brothers are known as Mike and Spike in some international versions. Later retconned in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, where they're referred to by their original names.
  • Every 10,000 Points: A player gets an extra life every 200,000 points.
  • Evil Laugh: Whenever they get some treasure. Doubles as a Signature Laugh
    "Eh heh heh!"
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The duo's signature weapons are handguns that don't kill anyone, but can effectively knock any targets they hit out-cold for a little while.
  • Fat and Skinny: In external materials, Mobo and Robo are often depicted this way. Robo's taller and thinner, whilst Mobo is shorter and fatter.
  • Giant Mook: The large, purple-clad guards.
  • Idle Animation: Both brothers have a few: Impatiently staring at the screen, sprucing themselves with a mirror, or swatting flies.
  • Kevlard: Normal enemies can only take one hit before being knocked out, but the big fat guards take four hits to KO. It's rather easy to shoot them repeatedly if they're on their own, but in tighter places or alongside other guards, it's a totally different story.
  • Meaningful Name: The city of Badville, the crime-infested city where the game takes place. The Ultimate Genesis Collection description of the game even points out the unfortunate name.
  • Notice This: Items you're supposed to collect always emit white flashes.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Robo and Mobo can only take a single hit.
  • Precision F-Strike: On the front covers of some of the home versions, you get this bit of dialogue from the brothers. Nothing too major for today's standards, but back then —
    "I'm Mobo. Who the hell are you?"
    "I'm Robo. Who the hell are you?"
  • Retired Badass: In the international versions of the game, Mobo and Robo are both retired former criminals — who have been brought out of retirement by the Police Chief of Badville in order to put their experience as burglars to good use by recovering evidence from crime scenes and ill-gotten gains from corrupt businesses/institutions.
  • Scarf Of Ass Kicking: In all versions of the game, Mobo and Robo both wear snazzy white scarves.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: One of the earliest examples in gaming, in the form of riot shield guards who can only be shot in the back and side, or slammed with doors.
  • Ship Level: Stage 8, Deluxe Liner, takes place on a cruise ship.
  • Shout-Out: The Comet Museum stage is full of references to other Sega games of the time as paintings. It has, among others:
  • Sunglasses at Night: Even in the night-time stages, the duo both wear fancy sunglasses. It's lampshaded in one of the flyers for the U.S. Gold home conversions of the game —
    Ask them why they wear dark glasses, and they'll tell you; "Our future's so bright, we've gotta wear shades!"
  • Villains Out Shopping: Some of the posters for the game depict the boys doing various things outside of their usual burglary — including attending a football game, watching TV, playing golf, riding skateboards, and reading newspapers together.
  • Villain Protagonists: As seen in their original Japanese backstory and the Sega Superstars bio, Robo and Mobo are professional burglars. Averted in the U.S. versions, where they're reformed villains who are hired by the Badville Chief of Police to recover evidence from crime scenes and various crooked businesses and institutions.


Video Example(s):


Bonanza Bros.

Guards can be incapacitated by slamming them with the door.

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Example of:

Main / TheDoorSlamsYou

Media sources:

Main / TheDoorSlamsYou