“Who the hell is Bucky O’Hare?! Fine… show me what this square duck toss game is” -Anonymous
Well this is my first blog post loyal continue? readers, and I am more than pleased to make your acquaintance… and what better way to introduce myself than with the above real-life quote from a friend of mine.
So what’s this about unnaturally colored rabbits and cruel animal throwing games? Well, back in the 90’s I was a typical wide-eyed boy, totally fixated on cartoons and video games (I guess not much has changed). One of the games to cross my path, and one which I remember fondly, was strangely titled: Bucky O’Hare. Tell me more you say? Well click the link, says I.
Cartoonists are a funny breed. It’s as if their number one priority in life is to prove to the world that doing drugs while drawing stuff is something they should get payed for. Heck, they probably want the rest of us to call them “sir” or “ma’am” to. Anyway, someone must have stumbled into some pretty heavy stuff when they drew up a green space rabbit high-fiving a 4-armed (winged?) duck.
I don’t expect many adults went for the original animated series back in 1991. After all, most of our parents finished their drug-doings sometime in the early 70s. But wait! Bucky was actually a comic book series in the late 70s. Maybe if they did drugs just a little longer… nope… our parents were hopelessly lost to this franchise.
Never fear! The Bucky pushers found an audience in our parent’s children… us! Now, I remember watching the tv show, but I don’t remember loving it. What I do remember however is how BA the video game was. Sure, it was made by Konami… but was there enough juicy rabbit meat in the franchise to warrant a good video game? In the words of Bucky O’Hare, “let’s croak some toads!” (not sure that catch phrase works there)
As Damon alluded to earlier, Konami usually makes a solid game, and Bucky O’Hare is certainly no exception. It’s a platform shooter, kind of similar to Contra, only you have a more sensible health bar. The levels were pretty diverse and most of the bosses were pretty challenging. If I remember right, your friends all get captured and you have to rescue them one by one. So you save your duck friend a
nd he says “thanks!” and hides back in the ship…
Wait! You mean I can play as 4-winged duck toss guy? Cooooooool! The character addition/switching element to the game is what makes it one of the best games on the NES, in my opinion. Each character has drastically different moves, and they all play a part throughout the game. Imagine if that were in a Mario Bros. game… providing that any support character had any redeeming qualities (ok fine, Yoshi is pretty cool… stop whining! Luigi would be cool if it weren’t for his Super Mario 2 appearance… stop senselessly kicking at the air, you filthy I-talian!)
Now that I’ve alienated at least two demographics (fanboys and boot-country-ers), I think I’ll call it a day. I might even try to check out a MAME copy of the 4-player Bucky O’Hare arcade game in honor of 1991’s favorite space cuniculus. And next time you go rabbit hunting, just remember… that rabbit might be Bucky O’Hare running around in disguise to avoid his inlaws… so don’t shoot! He saved your ass from an oppressive space toad regime.