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The Adventures of Bayou Billy

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The Adventures of Bayou Billy, released in Japan as Mad City​ (マッド・シティ?), is an action game by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System composed of fighting, driving and shooting segments. It was originally released in Japan in 1988, and later in North America in 1989 and in the PAL region in 1991.

Gameplay

The player takes control of the title character, Billy West, who must fight save to his girlfriend Annabelle Lane from the gang of Godfather Gordon. There are a total of ten stages in all: six side-scrolling beat-em-up stages (or street fighting stages, as the game actually dubs them), two light gun shooting (shoot-'em-up) stages, and two action driving stages.

In the street fighting stages, Billy has a basic repertoire of punching and kicking attacks, as well as a jump kick, and can pick up weapons from the enemies such as a throwing knife, a whip, and a wooden stick. The player can also use a gun after picking it up for the first time by pressing the select button. Other power-ups in these stages includes a bulletproof vest which reduces damage from enemies and a health-restoring chicken drumstick.

The shoot-em-up stages can be played with the regular controller in mode B or with a NES Zapper light gun peripheral in mode A. Played from Billy's perspective, the objective of the shooting stages is to defend oneself from the other gunmen until reaching the stage boss, while conserving as much ammo as possible. The player can pick up bullets and a first-aid kit to restore their ammo and life energy respectively, as well as an hourglass which gives the player unlimited ammunition for a limited period.

The player takes control of Billy's jeep during the action driving segments, where they travel the road from the swamp to the city as they maneuver their way through enemy vehicles and other road hazards, before the time limit runs out. Billy's jeep is armed with a machine gun that can be used to take out other cars, as well as grenades that be thrown at enemy planes. Gasoline can be picked up to gain more time.

In addition to the main game, there's a practice mode where one can play through one of the three segments from the main game and familiarize themselves with the controls. When one of the practice stages is completed, the player will gain a power-up that can be used during the main game.

Regional differences

The game was released in Japan as Mad City and internationally as The Adventures of Bayou Billy. The international version, Bayou Billy, is notable for its increased difficulty in comparison to the Japanese Mad City. For example, the enemies in the street fighting segments are faster and have three times the energy in the international version, while the player has less bullets in the shoot-em-up stages. The game also received several graphical changes, such as the wardrobe wore by the heroine Annabelle, which was changed from a red dress in the Japanese version to denim shorts and red t-shirt in the international version. The Japanese version also features an alternate ending in which the player can choose to end Billy's relationship with Annabelle after defeating the final boss.

The international version also added DPCM-coded voice samples, being one of the few NES games to do so. A male voice declares the title of the game during the game's opening screen and says "bye" to the player at the end of the game. Also, the villain of the game Godfather Gordon ends all his taunts to Billy with a smug laugh between stages.

Related media

Comic

Archie Comics published a comic book adaptation of The Adventures of Bayou Billy written by Rich Margopoulos and illustrated by Amanda Conner. The comic lasted five bi-monthly issues, dated from September 1989 to June 1990. It featured some of characters from the game, as well as original ones. Billy was made a widower (as his first wife was murdered), and Annabelle's surname was changed from Lane to Lee.

Television

Bayou Billy also received some amount of exposure on the Nintendo-themed animated TV series, Captain N: The Game Master, where Bayou Billy (modeled somewhat like Crocodile Dundee) appears in an episode titled "How's Bayou", playing on the difficulty of its real world counterpart, Bayou Billy was said to be the one game even Captain N was unable to conquer.



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