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Video Game / The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle

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The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle is a series of games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and Game Boy Color, developed by Kemco and starring Bugs Bunny.

The plot of each game revolves around Bugs Bunny venturing to Crazy Castle to rescue his girlfriend Honey Bunny (and later, Lola Bunny). Along the way he must avoid other Looney Tunes characters, such as Sylvester, Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Taz, Yosemite Sam, and many others.

The games are generally simplistic platform games taking place across many levels. In a typical level, Bugs' goal is to collect all of a certain object scattered around. The first game has carrots, and the level ends once you have them all, while the sequels instead have keys that Bugs needs to collect in order to open the exit door. Bugs cannot jump on his own, so in order to get around each level, he needs to make use of things like stairs, pipes, and trampolines in order to move between different floors. He also can't attack most of the time, so in order to defend himself from the other characters patrolling the levels, he needs to either collect weapons like boxing gloves to throw at them, or make use of other things lying around to keep them at bay.

The series is famous for having versions that star different licensed characters depending on what region they were released in. For example, while the American versions primarily feature Bugs, the Famicom version of the first game instead starred Roger Rabbit, and the first two Game Boy games starred Mickey Mouse. Following the first two Mickey Mouse games, Kemco would make three more branded as sequels. While these games are often associated with the Crazy Castle series as a result, they don't share many of the mechanics of the Crazy Castle games, and don't have versions featuring Bugs Bunny.

     Games in this series 
  • The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (1989, NES, Game Boy)
  • The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2 (1991, Game Boy)
  • Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 3 (1997, Game Boy Color)
  • Bugs Bunny in Crazy Castle 4 (2000, Game Boy Color)
  • Woody Woodpecker in Crazy Castle 5 (2002, Game Boy Advance)

Tropes associated with the series include:

  • 1-Up: Finding a token with Bugs’ face on it awards Bugs an extra life. The first game also gives one upon completing a stage.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Even characters who aren't known to be antagonists, such as Tweety and Foghorn Leghorn, will hurt Bugs.
  • Anvil on Head: 100-tonne weights can be pushed off of ledges and dropped on an enemy passing by below, causing them instant death.
  • Ascended Extra: Taz is a regular enemy in the second game, but in the third and fourth games he appears as the final boss and is much more dangerous.
  • Big Bad: Witch Hazel in the second game. She is also described as being the villain of the third game in its manual, but is never seen or mentioned in the game itself.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Wile E. Coyote are the only four enemies in the first game.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The games mostly take place in and around the titular Crazy Castle. The fourth game features Bugs travelling through several other locations before reaching the castle, including forests, cliffs, ice caverns and a tropical island.
  • Boss-Only Level: Witch Hazel in the second game.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Used to explain the hostility of the Looney Tunes characters towards Bugs in the third game, as Witch Hazel has apparently brainwashed them all.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Bugs can find bombs which can be used as a trap for enemies to walk into. This was changed to a balloon in later games.
  • Cats Are Mean: Sylvester is a recurring enemy in the first three games. And he is one mean puddy tat.
  • Chest Monster: In the fourth game, there are normal-looking chests that will reveal sharp teeth and attack Bugs if tries to open them. Bugs can avoid taking damage if he moves away fast enough, or avoid the encounter altogether if he notices the chest moving beforehand.
  • Collision Damage: Simply colliding with any enemy causes instant death. In the fourth game, Bugs loses one of his three hearts.
  • Damsel in Distress: The end goal in the first two games is to save Honey Bunny, and in the third and fourth, Lola Bunny.note 
  • Demoted to Extra: Witch Hazel goes from being the main villain and final boss in the second game, to a regular enemy in the fourth.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The Crazy Castle franchise was used for a LOT of licensed properties aside from Bugs Bunny outside of North America. Crosses into Sequel Number Snarl as well.
    • The very first game for the Famicom Disk System was actually a Roger Rabbit game. The subsequent port for the Game Boy starred Mickey Mouse instead, as the Roger Rabbit license had expired by the time of its release. Because Kemco didn't have the Disney license in North America (Capcom held the exclusive license at the time), the American releases of both the NES and Game Boy versions were made into The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, the latter of which was also released in Europe.
    • The second game was a Game Boy exclusive, and was released as Mickey Mouse II in Japan, The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2 in North America, and in Europe as Mickey Mouse (no number) and was recycled into a Hugo the TV Troll game later on. It never saw a European release with Bugs.
    • Mickey Mouse III: Balloon Dreams for the Famicom was retooled into Kid Klown In Night Mayor World for North America and didn't get a European release at all.
    • Mickey Mouse IV: The Magical Labyrinth (back on the Game Boy) was infamously retooled into a The Real Ghostbusters game in America, but as a Garfield one in Europe.
    • The fourth Game Boy game was released as Mickey Mouse V in Japan, and actually saw a much-later American release with Mickey, but with no Roman numeral, as Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands.
    • The fifth Game Boy game in the series was first released in Japan for the original Game Boy as another Kid Klown game, but became Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 3 in all markets when an upgraded Game Boy Color version was released later.
    • Bugs Bunny in Crazy Castle 4 for the Game Boy Color was the first time that all versions in all markets featured Bugs from the start. It was also the last one to feature Bugs.
    • Because Kemco's Bugs Bunny license had expired, the final game in the series, for the Game Boy Advance, became Woody Woodpecker in Crazy Castle 5
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first game, a level is completed when Bugs collects eight carrots. In all of the other games, he must collect eight keys and then make it to the exit door without dying or he will lose the keys.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Every Looney Tunes character is hostile towards Bugs. Even the cute and innocent Tweety is out for your blood.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The fifth game stars Woody Woodpecker instead of Bugs Bunny (not that the series began with him).
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Bugs has to collect all eight carrots or keys in each level to reach the next.
  • Hearts Are Health: In the fourth game, Bugs has a health bar consisting of three hearts. Finding heart power-ups restores Bugs' health.
  • Idle Animation: In the later games, Bugs will take a nap if you stay still for a while.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: There are temporary power-ups which allow you to pass through enemies without taking damage for a limited time, as well as one which allows you to kill enemies simply by walking into them.
  • Jump Physics: Averted. Bugs can't jump except with the aids of "up" blocks in the second game.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The final game in the series is the only one to feature Woody Woodpecker, and it is one of the few games in the series to not have any different characters in each region.
  • Leap of Faith: You are often forced to fall off of high ledges while being chased and hope you land safely.
  • Locked Door: From the second game onwards, the objective in each level is to find eight keys to unlock the exit door.
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: Every game except the second. The third and fourth feature Taz as the final boss, but he isn't actually fought.
  • Musical Gameplay: The background music changes to become more frantic while Bugs has a power-up, as well as when he has found all of the keys in the level and must reach the exit.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Bugs will die from taking a single hit. This is subverted in the fourth game, which introduces a health meter that allows Bugs to take three hits before dying.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The obscure Looney Tunes character Little Ghost appears in the second, third and fourth games. He is able to teleport between floors, but can be defeated the same way as other enemies.
  • Palette Swap: In the NES version of the first game, there are pink and green variants of the normally black Sylvester, who each have different AI.
    • In the second game, starting with Stage 7, dark grey versions of some enemies appear, which have a different AI from their more common light grey counterparts.
  • Palmtree Panic: In the fourth game, Bugs can climb palm trees to evade enemies and throw coconuts to knock them out from above.
  • Parasol Parachute: At the end of the second game, Honey Bunny uses her parasol to slowly descend as she is rescued by Bugs.note 
  • Password Save: Every game in the series uses a password system if you want to continue where you left off.
  • Pipe Maze: The games heavily feature pipes that Bugs and his enemies can use to travel around the level.
  • Poison Mushroom: The No-Carrot sign in the NES version of the first game has the potential to be one. Collecting one causes the current stage to end, and take Bugs to a bonus stage. Clearing the stage will grant Bugs three extra lives, but failing will send him back three stages.
  • Scoring Points: The first game has a points counter. Getting a Game Over will reset your score.
  • Shrine to Self: The last section of levels in the fourth game is full of portraits and statues of Taz, building up to his appearance in the very last level.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: Witch Hazel's silhouette can be spotted in the background on the box art of the second and fourth games. Gossamer’s silhouette can also be seen on the fourth game’s box art.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The fourth game features levels set in an icy cavern. Stepping on this ice causes Bugs to slide to the other end, which often results in bumping right into an oncoming enemy.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Bugs can find spring pads throughout the series which allow him to reach higher floors.
  • Sprint Shoes: Bugs can find a power-up which allows him to move extremely fast for a limited time.
  • Timed Powerup: Bugs can find various powerups such as a clock which freezes all of the enemies on screen, or a shoe which allows him to walk faster, which all last only a limited amount of time.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the plot of the fourth game, Bugs finds a mysterious map showing a castle on it, which says "C.... Castle". He figures that it must mean Carrot Castle, and sets off to find it.
  • Tube Travel: Bugs and his enemies regularly travel through pipes to get around levels.
  • The Unfought: Witch Hazel is described as the villain of the third game, but she doesn’t appear at all, and instead Taz is the boss in the final level.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Shooting Tweety to death with a bow and arrow or blowing up Merlin the Magic Mouse with a bomb can feel cruel, but it's all in self-defense.
  • Wicked Witch: Witch Hazel serves as the final boss of the second game.note  Hazel flies around the arena, and if she flashes white, then she is invincible. To defeat her, Bugs must shoot her with the bow and arrow three times while making sure not to get hit.
  • A Winner Is You: The first game on Game Boy.
  • Your Size May Vary: In the second game, Tweety and Merlin the Magic Mouse are much larger than their normal size, being almost as tall as Bugs.