Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (ジャイアントエッグ～ビリー・ハッチャーの大冒険～ Jaianto Eggu: Biri Hacchā no Daibouken ) is a 2003 video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Nintendo GameCube. It was ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X in 2006, exclusively for Europe.
The story begins with a fantasy world (called "Morning Land") becoming overthrown by evil crows. Normally inhabited by happy chicken-people, Morning Land is shrouded in darkness and under the rule of the sinister Dark Raven.
After defending a helpless chick from two attacking crows in the human world, Billy and his friends are transported to Morning Land and each endowed with their own chicken suit, giving each the ability to move, use, and hatch giant eggs.
Billy, being informed by a chicken that he needed to save the six chicken elders in order to save Morning Land, goes to prevent the darkness from spreading to the human world. The crow of each elder would bring morning back to the area they governed, but each of the elders has been trapped in golden eggs which Billy must hatch in order to free them. Through the game, Billy manages to defeat each area's Crow Boss and free the six chicken elders.
Billy defeats Dark Raven, which brings light and morning back to Morning Land. After celebrating the victory and honoring Billy for his accomplishments, Billy and his friends hand over their chicken suits and return to their world, leaving Morning Land in peace.
- Billy Hatcher - An inquisitive boy from the human world. With the courage bestowed upon him, he has been chosen by the Chicken to save the Elders and return the Light to Morning Land. He's the main protagonist.
- Rolly Roll - A lighthearted and carefree girl. She always tries to help others who are in trouble, but can sometimes be a bit "scatterbrained".
- Chick Poacher - Chick may look small but his spirit is strong, giving him a misplaced air of superiority. He has a tendency to act before thinking, which always makes his friends a little nervous. He wears teal goggles on his head and seems to have the biggest of the chicken combs on his head.
- Bantam Scrambled - The heavy and powerful friend of Billy, Rolly, and Chick. He wears the largest and most distinctive clothing of the entire human crew. Bantam is a gentle giant and only uses his strength to look after his friends. Despite his rough outward appearance, he adores cuteness but hates injustice.
- Chicken Elders - Each of the regions of Morning Land is ruled by an elder, who brings morning to the world each day with a hearty "cock-a-doodle-do." The Crows however have captured the elders and sealed them within golden eggs.
- Crows - Through some strange power, the Crows have taken the form of monsters and plan to engulf the world in eternal night.
- Dark Raven-the main antagonist of the game he plans to use the giant egg to grant his wishes and put the world in darkness.
Billy Hatcher has a unique style of gameplay revolving around rolling large eggs. The player controls the hero, Billy, who cannot do much by himself aside from moving and jumping. However, he becomes a powerhouse once he finds an egg. While rolling an egg, Billy moves faster and is more agile. He can also dash, throw and return the egg along the ground, slam the egg down from the air, and Billy can travel on rails and fly through NiGHTS styled rings.
The color-coded eggs themselves are another gameplay element. As Billy runs over fruit while holding an egg, the egg gets larger until it flashes and is ready to hatch. Then Billy can hatch the eggs, which can contain helper animals, character powerups, and extra lives. With variables such as egg size, helper animals, and personal powerups, Billy Hatcher can be played in many ways. Different animals can come out of the same eggs, and some creatures are vital to progressing through certain challenges.
Players should be wary of their handling of the eggs, as they take damage when attacked by enemies or impact certain obstacles. The egg gauge in the lower right-hand corner of the screen begins to crack, as does the egg Billy wields. When the egg takes enough damage, it is destroyed and no bonus comes from it. Eggs can also be 'lost', i.e. put into positions or situations that the player can not retrieve them from. In such cases, the egg will disappear from its position after several seconds of inactivity and will 'respawn' in its nest of origin. All work done to the egg, however, is lost. Some characters from other games appear in certain eggs, such as Sonic The Hedgehog or NiGHTS. These specific eggs are marked with a Sonic head on them.
Morning Land is divided into seven stages, six that are seen almost immediately and a seventh that is unlocked when the requirements of the previous six have been met. Each stage is divided into a series of 'Missions' that Billy can play through to collect 'Emblems of Courage'. The goal of each Mission is to fulfill the conditions required and collect the Emblem as a reward. The player is graded on their skill in completing the mission and given a rank letter, with S-Rank being the highest. There are eight (8) Missions per stage, and Billy can only play through the first five Missions. Upon rescuing his friends, Rolly, Chick and Bantam would each unlock their respective Missions in the stages and become playable for those Missions only.
Game Boy Advance connectivity
Billy Hatcher is one of a handful of GameCube games that supports linking between the GameCube and Game Boy Advance handheld system. Using the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable, players can load games such as Puyo Pop, ChuChu Rocket!, and Nights: Time Attack on their Game Boy Advance systems after certain objectives are completed within the game.
Producer Yuji Naka stated in an interview with IGN that eggs were chosen as the focus of the game to give the player joy from caring for and hatching eggs, and a feeling of anticipation "because you don't know what's going to come out of eggs". Animals were incorporated into the game to convey a mood of adventure, in contrast to the digital pet-based Chao creatures highlighted in previous project Sonic Adventure 2. The GameCube was chosen for development over the competing PlayStation 2 and Xbox because of its wide audience that Naka felt would appreciate such a family-friendly game. The game uses an engine that Naka called "an evolution of the Sonic Adventure 2 engine." The game was exhibited at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2003.
|GameRankings||72.2% (52 reviews)|
|Metacritic||71% (37 reviews)|
|GameSpot||6.7 out of 10|
|IGN||7.7 out of 10|
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg received a mixed to positive reception from critics upon release, landing around the 7/10 mark. However, despite strong sales,[ the title has yet to produce a sequel. However, Billy has appeared outside in various other Sega titles. ]
Appearances in other games
- Sega Superstars (PS2) - Minigame based on Billy Hatcher
- Sonic Riders (PS2, GameCube, PC) - Billy makes a cameo appearance at Sega Carnival
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (PS2, Wii) - Billy as an unlockable playable character
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (PS3, Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PC) - Billy as a playable character.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 IGN Staff (May 6, 2003). Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Interview. IGN. Retrieved on May 6, 2010.
- ↑ Craig Harris (February 26, 2004). The Ultimate List: Cube Connection. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2008-05-26.
- ↑ Aggregate score for GameCube. Game Rankings..
- ↑ Aggregate score for GameCube. Metacritic..
- ↑ Review for GameCube. GamePro..
- ↑ GameCube review. GameSpot..
- ↑ GameCube review. GameSpy..
- ↑ GameCube review. IGN..
- ↑ Review for GameCube. X-Play..
- ↑ Review for GameCube. Gaming Age..