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// article by Jeff

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I'd better just remind everyone ahead of time that I do NOT condone and approve of this game in anyway. And not just because of its hateful content, but also because it's just a terrible game in general. Now I've seen and played my fair share of unlicensed video games, and usually, they severely pale in comparison to ones developed by a respectable and law-abiding company. But never have I experienced one as terrible as Hong Kong 97. This is the lowest of the low, the cheapest of the cheap, and one of the more offensive cartridges of garbage of which I have crossed paths. Created and published by the great Japanese developer, Happysoft, it is the worst Super Famicom (the Japanese SNES) game out there bar none. And yes, I have played Batman Forever. In fact, it's so bad that a cult following has declared it to be what is known as a "kuso-ge". That basically translates to an abomination of a game.

The first screen you see lets you choose the language: Japanese, Chinese, or English. If you know anything about bootleg games, you'll likely assume that the English translation will be a joke. And you'd be correct. The title screen gives one of the worst logos I've ever seen, right above scanned images of Bruce Lee and Deng Xiaoping, chairman of the Communist Party from 1982-1987. Someone went in and Photoshopped (or, more likely, grabbed an illegal copy of MS Paint) part of Xiaoping's head off! Why is his ear so flat? I imagine there was something else beside him in the original photo, but this is awful graphical editing. To ensure that you get the right feel for this game, here's the storyline we're given, right after the title screen:

The year 1997 has arrived. A herd of fuckin' ugly reds. are rushing from the mainland. Crime rate skyrockeded! Hongkong is ruined! Therefore, The Hongkong government called Bruce Lee's relative "Chin" for the massacre of the reds. Chin is a killer machine. Wipe out all 1.2 billion of the red communists! However, in mainland China there was a secret project in progress! A project to transform the deceased Tong Shau Ping into an ultimate weapon!

Wha... what the... I don't even...

The extreme anti-communist sentiment is painfully clear. As you are thrust into the gameplay, you immediately start controlling Chin as Chinese citizens and other men in orange shirts come at you from the top of the screen. You are able to shoot them down, which causes an uncropped image of a nuclear explosion to appear, followed briefly by the image of a person laying in their own blood. If they are able to touch or shoot you back, you will immediately die and see a detailed photo of your character laying down with more of that MS Paint blood splattered on your corpse. Some enemies will drop unusual green discs that will kill you immediately. And if you survive long enough, a giant Xiaoping head will appear on screen to try and squash you. The game repeats ad nauseum until you become too nauseum to play on. At least you can move freely around the screen and not get stuck at the bottom. Wow, I just made a positive comment.

The backgrounds on the gameplay are randomly generated when you start. It could be a picture of Emperor Mao, some Communist propaganda (in such pixelated form that it's not even decipherable), or the Coca-Cola logo. I... am confused. Are they saying that Coca-Cola is a communist cola? Either way, it makes no sense. And, for some unexplained reason, your score is kept via Christmas wreaths. To further aggravate any stomach ulcers that may have grown since I started playing Hong Kong 97, there is ALWAYS looping music that doesn't even flow correctly, and it never stops. It's actually a loop of the first few bars from "I Love Beijing Tiananmen", a children's song written sometime between 1966 and 1976, during China's Cultural Revolution.

This was the only game ever produced by Happysoft, and we're all extremely grateful. I'd advise others to avoid paying anything for Hong Kong 97. Ever. Seriously. It's nothing more than a cheap excuse for hate propaganda with bonus so-called game attached. Let these screenshots speak for themselves:


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