This was developed in cooperation with the American Medical Association and the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI). There was even a toll-free phone number, 1-800-HI-WALLY, in which kids could hear a few phrases from their bear hero. Amazingly, it remained active until October 2007, 15 years after the game was released.
As it was released without Nintendo's approval, the cartridge came with a charge pump intended to knock Nintendo's CIC chip offline, thereby bypassing their strict licensing requirements. However, a later revision of the NES included safeguards to thwart such workarounds, forcing AVE to include instructions on how to modify an existing NES console.note
This game provides examples of:
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Ricky Rat and his (crack) rock-throwing minions.
- Alliterative Name: Wally seems to be the only exception.
- Crapsack World: Bomb ghettos, underground demon fortresses, snake caves, and every other building is half-blown up. And this is just if you want to go to your uncle's house.
- Drugs Are Bad: It's a game for an anti-drug campaign—this should go without saying.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Your enemies range from dogs, birds, drug-pushing rats, and that's just the least interesting ones.
- Free-Range Children: Wally Bear and the No Gang are allowed to go to Uncle Gary Grizzly's house alone. Wally's path a least goes through a demilitarized ghetto with people throwing bombs out their windows all day, a snake cave, and what can only be described as an underground demon fortress.
- Funny Animal: Wally Bear, the No Gang, Uncle Gary, Wally's parents... Really, if it's not an enemy, it's one of these.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Neither Wally's dad nor his uncle wear any pants. Mocked by JonTron in his coverage of the game.JonTron: "Ah, hey, Dad, uh, I know you like to live your life on the free-and-easy, but you think you could-uh, do away with the whole "no pants" thing 'til AFTER I leave?"
- One-Hit Point Wonder: Wally can only take one hit unless he carries a frisbee power-up.
- Sensory Abuse: The hideous apple wallpaper in Wally's living room, as seen above (which also has no furniture for some reason).
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Everything is out to kill you as sleepy lullaby music plays. Now that's the perfect way to set the mood.
- Totally Radical: The titular Wally Bear sports sunglasses, a backwards baseball cap, a skateboard, and can use a frisbee.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The whole post-apocalypse theory is usually horribly overused, but Wally's trip to his uncle's house involves castles, decrepit ghettos, guys randomly throwing bombs, and a subway system that passes right through an underground snake fortress. Despite all of that, the only thing observed as weird in this world is substance abuse problems. At the very least, this is some sort of bizarre Crapsack World.
- Wraparound Background: Courtesy of a very repetitive tileset, the game's levels tend to lean towards this effect without even trying.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The game was originally supposed to be called Wally Bear and the Just Say No Gang, but former first lady Nancy Reagan already trademarked the phrase.
Stay Smart! Don't Start!