Looney Tunes characters are gunning for the head of Bugs Bunny in honor of his 50th birthday. This is not a Looney Tunes cartoon gone sadistically mad, it is “Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout,” for the Nintendo Entertainment System!
As of the time I’m publishing this, I celebrated my 36th birthday. I’m now 36 years and one day old. The cake has been cut, the presents opened, and the birthday-themed article is written. I’m super proud of that last fact!
So,with all of that out of the way…
Eh, What’s Up, Doc?
Well, for one thing, your birthday!
On July 27, 1990, Bugs Bunny celebrated his 50th birthday. Around that same time, the local video store celebrated his birthday by having him as a “special guest” (well, some guy in a Bugs Bunny suit showed up, so here nor there), but for nearly eight-year-old me, it was still pretty cool.
I’m pretty sure I have that photo somewhere.
Also in 1990, Japanese video game company Kemco (Kotobuki Engineering & Manufacturing Co., Ltd) created a video game to celebrate his birthday. It may sound like a strange idea – guiding a licensed cartoon character to his birthday party – but it actually happened. And its name was Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout.
October 19, 1990
Less than three months after Bugs turned 50, I turned eight. I got two Nintendo games for that birthday (well, my brother and I got them) – Ghostbusters II and Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout. The former was difficult, and I think we saw more of Vigo coming out of the painting than we would have liked.
We saw this alot. Like, we never got past the first stage kind of alot.
The latter, however, was much easier for us, even though it had its moments.
I’m finding those moments as I’m currently doing a play through of the game.
So, what is this game like?
It All Started With An Invite…
This is all well and good with Bugs, but as for his friends…
Turns out they’re ever so slightly jealous. Can’t gauge everyone else, since we only see Wile E. Coyote, but we find out their intentions at the end of each stage.
Even Tweety is a tomato-pain-throwing maniac!
I had to try so hard not to let him out from that bush!
They’re ready to fight for Bugs’ right to not party, so he’s going to have to proceed with caution to his own party.
It’s going to be a heck of a journey!
Gameplay: The Basics
The structure of Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout consists of six stages (four rounds each). Each stage has a Looney Tunes character ready to take Bugs out at all costs.
The concept is simple: collect carrots and strike them over the head with a mallet…
Knock out the character in each boss stage at the end of each level…
And finally, collect The Big Carrot and fly away in a hot air balloon.
And if you collect enough carrots, play a bonus game to earn extra lives!
Each stage has its own unique landscape and music, but the characters repeat in the boss stages (one round in Stage 2 doesn’t have one at all…wondering about this). You can’t kill a Tune, especially one who is trying to stand in the way of someone’s birthday party.
And how about those stages?
Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout: The Stages
Stage 1/Rounds 1-4
Bugs navigates his way through grassy hills, clobbering soap boxes (the red ones are evil, and grey are good), fireballs, and little creatures with what look like soda cans for heads, but are actually Mallets (the character, according to the manual, is called “Malicious Mallet”).
Looks nothing like the picture in the manual, does it? I see furry little creatures, not stick figure bodies with the giant head.
Stage 2 / Rounds 1-4
Paradise awaits you – palm trees, sand, sphinxes with bellies that move, quicksand…wait, what?
Seriously, sphinxes with moving bellies!
Stage 3 / Rounds 1-4
The mountains and volcanoes are as far from Albuquerque as it gets!
Stage 4 / Rounds 1-4
This cave-like stage is teeming with oil drums, ghosts, and rocks falls from above. Watch out for the intermittent darkness!
Stage 5 / Rounds 1-4
Into the woods…and the clutches of Bugs’ supposed friends. Stay one step ahead, you’re coming close to your party!
Stage 6 / Rounds 1-4
The final stage awaits. Smash your mallet through this castle, taking on enemies and “friends” alike. Defeat the final boss stage, and arrive at the party on time!
Screenshots from World of Longplay’s gameplay
No spoilers here, you’ll have to wait the longplay…or play the game! :-)
Impressions and Opinion of Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout
Of the two games I received for my eighth birthday, this one got the most play in our Nintendo. I like the plot and graphics of the game, and it still holds up well in my geeky little heart. If I have one beef about it (well, two), the controls are a bit clunky (not being able to utilize your mallet for way too long if you’re stunned – that makes me crazy!), and there’s no password to continue if you lose all your lives. Once you’re done, you’re done. One of the things I love about a similar-but-different Looney Tunes-themed game, Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster’s Hidden Treasure (as well as the original Tiny Toon Adventures game), is the password that is giving at the end of each level. It made (almost) finishing that game much easier.
(I say almost, because in 2010, I got to the Elmyra stage of the game. I have yet to beat it.)
And speaking of in progress gameplay…
My (In Progress) Gameplay
I’ve started a gameplay on this game – so far, I’ve only filmed the first stage. I started filming stage two on the same day, but…I died.
So I played stage one again and (thanks to my emulator) was able to save up to the beginning of stage two. As soon as I have the opportunity to record again, I’ll continue with it. My ambitious goal is to finish the game, so, um, keep your fingers crossed. :-)
Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words
Upload via World of Longplays (Player: Valis77)
Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout – Instruction Manual (from The Game is Afoot Arcade)
Hmmm, “Congratulations!” is spelled correctly (as is everything else). Call it a win!
From this birthday girl (well, yesterday) to all the other nostalgia-loving birthday “kids” out there, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords) and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.