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Video Game / Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Bad Dream

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Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Bad Dream is a Beat 'em Up for the Game Boy Advance developed by Treasure and released in Europe on 2002. For some reason the North American version under the subtitle Scary Dreams was only released on 2005 in such limited quantities that it was barely noticed by customers, and it didn't get a Japanese release despite being made by a Japanese company and the popularity of the series there.

The game's Excuse Plot starts with Buster Bunny taking a nap in the woods. The mischievous Montana Max blasts him with a strange beam which happens to catch all of Buster's friends, who also happened to be nearby while running from Elmyra. As a result, all seven Funny Animal kids are now stuck inside Buster's head and he must chase Montana across 4 action-packed levels to free them.

It features combat centered around juggling enemies and seven partner characters that can be called upon to help Buster stun enemies or extend his combos. He also has two super moves (a jackhammer to damage ground-bound foes or those who've fallen to the ground, and a shopping cart rush that also makes you temporarily invincible).

Also of note is that the Cult Classic Astro Boy: Omega Factor was built off this game's engine.

This game features the following tropes:

  • Assist Character: You can choose between the seven characters below to help out Buster in his journey. You can spam them all you want, but watch out: they can be interrupted by from taking damage and will become unavailable for the rest of the current act if knocked out. All have two super moves depending on whether you down-down or quarter front.
    • Babs Bunny: Rackets a tennis ball that pierces enemies (hits up to three times only) and bounces once off the edge of the screen. Hold down (or up) for her to fire the ball at a diagonal. Her super moves either deploys five balls in a spread, or does the same as a standard assist attack, but with a large ball instead.
    • Plucky Duck: Plucky drops an anvil from the sky which hits airbone enemies several times and serves as an obstacle after it lands. Hold down for it to fall closer to Buster (and crush Plucky). Cannot be interrupted even if he gets hit. His super moves either summon five anvils in the area, or calls a bigger anvil which makes for better cover and can be used to bait enemies into an uppercut. The bigger anvil also deals damage to all enemies on the ground upon landing.
    • Hamton J. Pig: Call Hamton and hit him to make him bowl enemies away. His super moves costs either two or five stocks and makes him give a healing item (either a small one that's good in a pinch, or a full course meal that restores Buster to full health, though it takes a long time to set up. These are likely the most useful moves in the game, but can be interrupted, so it's best to use before a big fight, unless you're willing to risk it in the heat of battle.
      • In some versions, he can only be summoned by super move.
    • Dizzy Devil: Spins in place to knock enemies who run into him, potentially for surprisingly high damage. His super moves costs a whopping 4 (or 6) stocks, but he'll now cover the whole area ahead of Buster while dealing lots of damage (and sucking them up the vortex). The quarter front version will have him move while doing so.
    • Shirley the Loon: Has no normal action. Her super moves either costs 3 stocks and is a spell that makes an afterimage of Buster that follows him to help him deal double damage for a while, or 1 stock and freezes all enemies in place for a short while.
    • Fifi La Fume: Shoots a stink cloud that can be stopped with the button or when it hits the corner of the screen in an attempt to paralyze enemies. Her super costs 2 stocks and is unique among supers in that it differs depending on the version of the game. In Buster's Bad Dream, she fills the entire screen with stink which paralyzes and drains the health of every enemy on-screen for a while, while in Scary Dreams, it renders Buster and her temporarily invincible. She also has a 4 stock quarter forward super that just sends a larger cloud, which also drains HP (moreso than her area attack).
    • Li'l Sneezer: After a brief moment, Sneezy stuns every enemy ahead of him. One of his supers is a stun that comes out instantly and costs just 1 stock. Stunned enemies can't be juggled, but pass on the effect to any others that touch them. His stronger down-down super uses three stocks, has a shorter range, but can potentially cause immense damage.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mr. Hitcher spends the majority of the battle against him using his chainsaw to destroy statues of Montana Max.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Stage 2-1 takes place inside one, which could possibly be Perfecto Prep, considering that Danforth Drake and Roderick Rat appear, dressed in their cult robes.
  • Blown Across the Room: Press foward + attack after at least one punch to blow enemies into the edge of the screen.
  • Combos: The game does not have a combo counter, but is designed such that you can knock enemies into each other, bounce them off the edge of the screen and them keep pummeling them over and over.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: In the second loop, all enemies seem to have more health. The final boss in particular is pretty much unbeatable unless you carefully use Dizzy's normal skill and Buster's shopping cart special to brute-force things and do over two thousand damage as quickly as possible.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: There are two examples. The first is in Stage 3-2, where the elevator goes up with every wave of enemies defeated. The second is in Stage 4-2, where the elevator goes down with every wave of enemies defeated.
  • Eternal Engine: Stage 4-3 takes place in the cellar of Montana Max's factory, where Buster fights Monty in a tank shaped like Monty's head.
  • Flunky Boss: All bosses eventually call in backup in some form or other once they're down to half health, and will keep coming until the boss is defeated.
    • Besides all the cheetah cubs, Elmyra gets a panther to help her out.
    • Mr. Hitcher has Danforth Drake and Roderick Rat, dressed in their football attire.
    • Maximus Flush has UFOs and Tony robots.
    • Montana Max's tank has robots and Muffin the dog.
  • Green Hill Zone: Stage 1-1 takes place in ACME Acres.
  • Hit Box Dissonance: Buster's uppercut hits higher than it looks, which as mentioned above can be exploited after you use Plucky's large anvil super move.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Mr. Hitcher has both of these in the battle against him.
  • Immune to Flinching: Red enemies (orange or green in certain cases) have this trait and must be handled cautiously. Knock stuff on them or spam the shopping cart super ASAP. The robots seen towards the end are an entire enemy type that can't be knocked around.
  • Invulnerable Attack:
    • Buster's launcher attacks seem to have invincibility frames, but its not very practical to try and exploit them.
    • Buster's shopping cart special is completely invincible.
  • Knockback: Enemy attacks can either knock Buster backwards or into the sky.
  • Launcher Move: Buster can perform a uppercut to launch enemies. Jump immediately after a hit to Lag Cancel the animation and follow after them.
  • Limit Break: Hitting enemies fills a super gauge that goes up to 9. The assists' skills are listed above. Buster himself has two: his down, down, attack super damages every grounded enemy with a jackhammer and his quarter front, attack super hits enemies ahead of him with a shopping cart for a lot of damage if done point-blank.
  • The Lost Woods: Stage 2-1 takes place in a haunted forest.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Thankfully, enemies cannot perform combos on the player. However, Elmyra's crushing hug can do a few consecutive hits before letting go.
  • Nintendo Hard: As usual for Treasure-made games, you're given something of an overpowered character to fight off crowds of relentless enemies. You get 200, 150, or 100 HP to work with depending on the difficulty level, infinite continues and full health restoration at the start of each act, but Buster doesn't have that many mobility options and each act is a Marathon Level where each enemy encounter lasts for three or more waves.
  • No Fair Cheating: It is possible to get behind the final boss by exploiting a glitch involving Plucky's large anvil, but if you do it you find the lower back of the boss deals Collision Damage and it will start firing an unavoidable barrage of missiles. Thankfully, it is also possible to set the anvil such that it both gets the tank stuck on the corner and blocks the bullets it fires. Doing this trick just right is the only reliable way to beat the second loop with Plucky.
  • Password Save: You get a 3-picture password if you choose to quit after a Game Over. Yes, a password save in a GBA game...
  • Palette Swap: Many of the stronger enemies in the game are recolored versions of weaker enemies.
  • Platform Hell: There are two sections in level 2-2 where you must climb over a set of Yoku Blocks. The problem is that they follow an inconsistent erratic pattern and several respawning bats will be constantly getting on your way. This is the single thing in the game that is undeniably badly-designed.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Stage 2-1, the Gremlins from "Journey to the Center of ACME Acres" appear as enemies.
    • Elmyra appears as the boss of Stage 1-3, wearing her cheetah-fur pajamas from the Direct to Video movie, Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation.
    • In Stage 2-1 (and subsequent stages), Danforth Drake and Roderick Rat are dressed in their football attire from "The ACME Bowl". In Stage 2-2, they are dressed in their cult robes from the same episode.
    • Mr. Hitcher from How I Spent My Vacation appears as the boss of Stage 2-3.
    • In Stages 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3, the Tony robots from the "Toon TV" music video, "The Name Game" appear as enemies.
    • Maximus Flush from the "Toon TV" Music Video, "The Name Game" appears as the boss of stage 3-3.
    • In Stages 4-1, 4-2, and 4-3, Muffin the Dog from the "You Asked For It, Part II" episode segment, "The Return of the Toxic Revenger" appears as an enemy.
    • In Stage 4-3, during the final battle with Montana Max's tank, the bullets it fires resemble modified versions of Bullet Bills.
  • Space Station: Stages 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3 take place in one.
  • Three-Strike Combo: Buster can throw a chain of 4 punches and finish with a straight or a uppercut. Make sure to input a finisher because Buster will be left vulnerable otherwise. Also very useful is that if you start a chain while landing from a jump, this will allow you to punch up to 8 times in a row.
  • Turns Red: Bosses become faster at low health and more and more mooks will spawn through the battle, so on one hand you'll be distracted from the main target but on the other you'll have plenty of stuff to knock around for extra damage... at least until red enemies come up.
  • Underground Level: Stage 1-2 takes place in a cave.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Elmyra is the only boss that isn't Immune to Flinching.