Bloody Roar (ブラッディロア Buraddi Roa ), known as Bloody Roar: Hyper Beast Duel in Europe, is a fighting video game originally developed by Raizing (now Eighting) as an arcade game. It was later adapted for the PlayStation by Hudson Soft and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The arcade version was released on July 7, 1997 and was titled Beastorizer in North America. The PlayStation version was released in Japan on November 6, 1997, in North America (under the game's original title) on October 31, 1997 and in Europe on March 1998.
Bloody Roar is the first game in the Bloody Roar video game series and was followed by four sequels on multiple platforms. The game's story centers on a group of warriors known as "zoanthropes", who have the power to transform into half-human half-animal "Beasts", and the Tyron Corporation, and underground organization that seeks to use zoanthropes as mind-controlled weapons. The game received generally positive reviews from critics for its originality and graphics, while the audio received mixed opinions. The game's success resulted in its re-release for The Best range on October 14, 1999. The game was re-released on the PlayStation Network in North America on August 20, 2009.
At the beginning of each stage, both players have a set amount of energy that is used to activate "Beast Mode", which causes the character to change into a Beast. Players may transform at any time after the letter "B" appears in the "Beast Indicator" below the players' life energy indicators. The Beast Indicator appears blue when storing the energy needed for transforming. When the Beast Indicator is fully charged, the word "BEAST" appears, and the player can activate Beast Mode by pressing a certain button. During Beast Mode, the amount of fighting moves available to the character increases, the character becomes heavier, 3% of the character's life energy recovers and the character's jumping ability increases. While in Beast Mode, the Beast Indicator turns yellow. The yellow area decreases according to damage sustained by the character. The yellow area does not recharge during the current round. When the yellow area completely depletes, the Beast Mode will negate when the character is hit by an effective technique from the opponent.
Story and characters
Yūgo Ōgami (大神勇吾 Ōgami Yūgo ) is a young wolf zoanthrope on a quest to uncover the circumstances of his father's death. His father, Yūji Ōgami (大神勇二 Ōgami Yūji ), was a mercenary said to have died in combat in a South American country. Yūgo also seeks the mercenary Gadou, the sole survivor of Yūji's combat unit. Yūgo and Gadou eventually meet in a secret Tyron Corporation laboratory, where Gadou reveals that Yūji was a zoanthrope who fought against the Tyron Corporation's mind control experiments and conversion process. Yūgo then promises his father that he will destroy their enemies with the powers that he inherited from him.
Alan Gadou (アラン・ガドウ Aran Gadō ) is a French lion zoanthrope, a professional mercenary and military genius who took part in a mission with his best friend and Yūgo's father, Yūji, years ago. On that day, his union of armies was crushed by a combined force of superior zoanthropes and a hostile army that appeared out of nowhere. Gadou was seriously injured in the battle and lost his sight in one eye. Afterward, he went off to search for Yūji and discover the identity of the enemy. At the end of the game, he destroys the Tyron Corporation, finally exacting revenge for Yūji. After Gadou's arrest, police discover the Tyron Corporation's secret lab and accumulate enough evidence against the Tyron Corporation to drop charges against Gadou. Afterward, desiring the thrill of battle, Gadou returns to the battlefield and promises Yūji that they will meet again in the heavens.
Bakuryū (バクリュウ Bakuryū ) is a mole zoanthrope and a self-styled master of the traditional ninja arts. His personal details are veiled in secrecy and his existence is a mystery. An expert in assassination, he was enlisted in an infamous ungerground organization and put in charge of sabotage and the abduction of zoanthropes for experimentation. After the events of the story, Bakuryū's molecules destabilize, causing his body to completely decompose. As a result, the scientists of the Tyron Corporation decide to concentrate their efforts on a new conversion process.
Mitsuko Nonomura (野々村光子 Nonomura Mitsuko ) is a wild boar zoanthrope and everyday housewive with a massive body and generous nature. After her daughter (who is also a zoanthrope) was abducted, she went on a quest to find her, the only clue being the kidnapper's steely eyes and insanely sardonic grin. At the end of the game, she discovers her daughter Uriko and brings her home, where they lead a peaceful life.
Jin Long (進龍 Jin Ron ) is a Chinese tiger zoanthrope who curses his fate and zoanthrope blood. When he was a child, his mother and younger sister died one after the other. Neglected by his workaholic father, Long ran away from his home. Afterward, his great skills in the martial arts and zoanthrope powers brought him recognition, and he was enlisted by an underground assassination unit. After the events of the story, Long seals himself away from the world due to his zoanthrope blood.
Alice Tsukagami (塚神アリス Tsukagami Arisu ) is a rabbit zoanthrope who was kidnapped as a child by a secret research institution that conspired to use zoanthropes as weapons. After being subjected to physical experimentation, her latent powers were awakened, after which she was used as a test subject and given battle training. However, she managed to escape the institution before being brainwashed, earning herself the freedom she had long sought. While hiding herself to regain her composure, she began to worry about a girl that Alice befriended in the institution. Because the girl sacrificed herself by distracting Alice's pursuers during her escape, Alice decided to come out of hiding and fight against the institution. After the events of the story, Alice is adopted by her aunt Mitsuko and lives a peaceful life as a part of her family.
Gregory Jones (グレゴリー・ジョーンズ Guregorī Jōnzu ) (Greg (グレッグ Gureggu ) for short) is an American gorilla zoanthrope who, in his youth, fulfilled his hope of running away to join a circus. Having a great talent for handling animals, he later took charge of the circus after the ringmaster retired. But with the rapid changes in the entertainment industry, the circus eventually went bankrupt and its members parted ways. After the events of the story, Greg tries to talk Yūgo into joining his circus in an attempt to avert the circus's closure, but is eventually convinced into being the star himself.
Hans Taubemann (ハンス・ターブマン Hansu Tābuman ) (nicknamed Fox (フォックス Fokkusu )) is an English fox zoanthrope with a warped mind and heightened aesthetic sense. He is obsessed with beauty and despises ugly things, boasting of his good looks and publicly declaring all else ugly. Abandoned as a child and raised in the slums, he grew up into a well-known scoundrel. He earned the nickname of Fox from his wariness and cruelty in beating up even the very weakest. He works for the Organization in the same unit as Bakuryū and engages in such activities as kidnapping and murder. After the events of the story, Fox kills another civilian, but is shocked to discover that it is his own mother.
Bloody Roar was originally released as an arcade game titled Beastorizer in America, and was shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo under the title. The visual design of the game was created by Mitsuakira Tatsuta (who also designed the characters of the game) and Shinsuke Yamakawa. The background music for Beastorizer and the Arcade Mode of Bloody Roar was composed by Atsuhiro Motoyama (who also created the sound effects for the game), Manabu Namiki, Kenichi Koyano, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata and Tomoko Miyagi. Takayuki Negishi composed original music for the PlayStation version of the game. The music was recorded at Sound City, Tower Side, FE1, with Takayuki Hijikata and Makoto Matsushita at the guitars, Michio Nagaoka at the bass and Toshinobu Takimoto at the drums. The Japanese voice cast features Nobutoshi Canna as Yūgo, Mika Kanai as Alice, Ryō Horikawa as Long, Fumihiko Tachiki as Bakuryū and Ako Mayama (as "Rin Mizuhara") as Mitsuko. The English voices were recorded at Berkeley Sound Artists; the cast of the English version consists of David Babich, Erik Bergmann, Jimmy Nochol, Anet Tarpoff, Donna Mae Wong, Scott McCulloch, Barry Gjerde and Samantha Vega.
Bloody Roar received generally positive reviews from critics. Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot stated that the game's graphics were "every bit as good as the arcade version". Douglass Perry of IGN noted that the graphics had "great shadows" and "detailed textures in both the background and on the characters", but added that while the character design was "cool-looking", it was not "addictive or moving". Gerstmann said that the game "runs fast and very smoothly" and that the game's moves are "very dynamic, resulting in a lot of oohs and aahs as a wolf bites a chunk out of his opponent's neck and blood spurts everywhere, splattering on the ground." Perry noted that the "high frame rates and a speedy graphic engine enable moves to be executed quickly and without wait." Gerstmann passed the music off as "typical fighting game fare", while Perry admitted that he "actually [liked] half of the tunes, while half of them sound like they've been ripped off from forgettable '80s heavy metal tunes." Gerstmann said that the sound effects were "really great", while Perry noted that the only character sounds he found annoying were those from the character Alice, comparing her to both a "broken record" and Demonica from the Nintendo 64 video game Dark Rift. The game's success resulted in its re-release for The Best range on October 14, 1999. Bloody Roar was re-released on the PlayStation Network in North America on August 20, 2009.
- Bloody Roar for PlayStation. GameSpot. Retrieved on February 25, 2010
- Brendan Sinclair (August 20, 2009). Smash Cars peels out in PSN update. GameSpot. Retrieved on February 25, 2010
- Instruction Booklet, p. 10.
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 12-13.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Yūgo Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Gadou: Incredible! I can't believe you have managed to reach this place without any combat training. It seems you have inherited a lot of your father's natural and unnatural abilities. / Yūgo: Gadou?! Why are you here? / Gadou: Like you, Yūgo. I am searching for Yūji Ōgami, your father and my best friend. I'm sure our answer lies behind this door! / Yūgo: What are they? / Gadou: They are Beast Soldiers. This is where they kept the soldiers who fought against the mind control experiments and the conversion process. The Tyron Corporation keeps this laboratory a secret from the world. / Yūgo: But, if this is where my father is being held... Where is he?! / Gadou: I am sorry Yūgo... I could not save him... / Yūgo: Father... I know you will never be able to rest while our enemies live... I promise you from this day forth, with all the powers I have inherited from you, I vow to destroy them all. This battle will never end..."
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 14-15.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Gadou Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Gadou: Ha! The destruction of the Tyron building is almost complete. Only a few people are still trapped in the basement area. My mission is complete. Yūji, my friend, I have exacted revenge for you. I know you would not have agreed with my methods but this is my way. / Text: Following the arrest of Gadou who allegedly destroyed the Tyron Corporation building, police investigators at the scene uncovered the secret experimental lab Gadou claimed the company was using for illegal genetic experiments on humans. Police sources have now confirmed they have accumulated enough evidence against the Tyron Corporation to drop all charges against Gadou. / Gadou: Why do I feel so... strange? Is it because I am no longer being hunted by my enemies? All my life I have known the thrill of the hunt. The lure of danger and excitement have been with me for as long as I can remember. Yūji, our enemies are gone, but I cannot live a quiet life, not after all the war and bloodshed I have seen and caused... It is my true nature to fight! (later) And now I find myself back on the battlefield. The smell of blood and the dancing of flames is where I feel truly alive! Every organ, nerve and cell in my body cries out for the thrill of battle! Death follows me like a shadow. And even though my next battle could be my last, this is the life I was destined to lead. Yūji, the battlefield is our true home. When we meet in the heavens, we will have many tales to share and we shall laugh and celebrate together!"
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 16-17.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Bakuryū Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Bakuryū: Did you really think YOU could defeat ME?! How dare you challenge me! Your defeat was inevitable! My fighting skills are nearly perfect! I have thousands of fighting techniques at me disposal. I HAVE ASCENDED TO THE RANK OF THE "ULTIMATE SOLDIER"! AAARGH!! WHA... WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?! THE METAMORPHOSIS IS FAILING!! I don't understand! The conversion cells should be stabilized! THEY'VE USED ME! THEY LIED! I was just a guinea pig for the Tyron Corporation's scientists! It can't end this way! I do not want to die! H... H... Help... / Scientist #A: Experiment B-0755 molecular destabilization has reached critical point. Nervous system and muscle tissue have completely decomposed. / Scientist #B: Hmm.... Interesting. Were the results from the simulation as we expected? / Scientist #A: Yes they were. Was that the last of the series B-0755 class type? / Scientist #B: Correct! This final round has proven conclusively we cannot continue using this model. We must concentrate our efforts on the latest prototype conversion process. / Scientist #A: Sigh! It's going to be a very busy year."
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 18-19.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Mitsuko Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Uriko: Mother? / Mitsuko: Uriko! It is you! I finally have found you. Are you okay, Uriko? I love you so much. We will never be apart again. / Uriko: Mom... / Mitsuko: Hush now, don't cry my child. Let's go home now. Everybody is waiting to see you. (later) Uriko... Are you dressed yet? Uriko! Wake up or you'll be late for school!"
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 20-21.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Long Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Long: RELEASE ME FROM THIS CURSE! I have never asked for these powers and I do not need them! / Tiger Spirit: You do not need them? Are you sure of that, Long? By learning to control your abilities, you can achieve so much. I know and understand so much of your deep torment because I am you! / Long: STOP! I will not listen to you, EVER! / Tiger Spirit: That is your decision... but understand me when I tell you that the powers bestowed upon you are what separates you from mere mortals. With the abilities you have, your destiny is still undecided. / Long: No, you are wrong. I have decided what my destiny will be! I, Jin Long, will seal myself away from the world as long as the blood of the beast courses through me. The world shall no longer have to live in fear of my existence."
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 22-23.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Alice Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Alice: Uhmm...? I'm so tired...? I want another five minutes of sleep... OH NO! I overslept! I need to hurry or I will be late for school! / Uriko: What's taking you so long, sis? You're late. I'm meeting some friends and I need to leave now. / Alice: Wait for me, Uriko! Why didn't you wake me up?! See you later, Aunt Mitsuko. Don't be so mean, Uriko. Wait for me!"
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 24-25.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Greg Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Greg: Oh yes! I can see it now! You will be the future star of our circus!! You are the only one that can save us from closure. / Yūgo: I wish you would shut up! I don't care about your stupid circus. / Greg: Trust me. My instincts are never wrong. You will be a HUGE star. / Yūgo: You have GOT to be kidding! / Greg: I know real talent when I see it! You have quick reflexes and swift motion. Besides, when you transform into your beast form, your physique and strength are awesome! Well, what do you say? I am 100% sure that you will be the most talented performer at my circus! / Yūgo: NO! And please stop asking me! If you want someone to play the role of a beast to star in your show, why don't you do it yourself. / Greg: ... / Yūgo: Why are you so quiet? Now what's the matter? / Greg: I think it's a great idea. / Yūgo: What?! YOU the star of the show? / Greg: Yes, I think it is a very good idea! / Yūgo: You are not serious... are you?"
- Instruction Booklet, pp. 26-27.
- Hudson Soft. Bloody Roar. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Fox Ending. (October 31, 1997) "Fox: Ugly beasts must be weeded out of this world! I can smell the beast power within you... You are a beast... Show me your true figure! I will enjoy killing you more if you try to fight back. What? You will not even try? You anger me! I will give you one last chance to fight! No? I am growing bored. You must die! / Old Lady: Uh... Hans... / Fox: How do you know my name?! / Old Lady: Forgive me, Hans. I was not a good mother... / Fox: You are my mother?! It can't be! I... I am... I killed... No... Ha... Ha... Uwaha... Ha, ha... Hyaha, ha, ha, YAAAAHHHH!!"
- Jeff Gertsmann (December 11, 1997). Bloody Roar Review for PlayStation - GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on February 25, 2010
- Douglass Perry (March 5, 1998). Bloody Roar - PlayStation Review at IGN. IGN. Retrieved on February 25, 2010
- Adam Douglas (December 8, 1997). Bloody Roar - PlayStation Preview at IGN. IGN. Retrieved on February 28, 2010
- Instruction Booklet, p. 28.
- Bloody Roar Reviews. Game Rankings. Retrieved on February 25, 2010
- Bloody Roar Instruction Booklet. Hudson Soft. 1997.
- Beastorizer at Museum of the Game
- Bloody Roar: Hyper Beast Duel at Museum of the Game
- Bloody Roar at MobyGames