Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (やまねこバブジーの大冒険, Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken in Japan) is a game developed by Accolade and released in 1993 for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and re-released for PC through Steam on December 17, 2015 in the Bubsy Two-Fur compilation. It's the first game in the Bubsy series.
The plot is that evil aliens called "Woolies" from the planet Rayon have invaded the planet Earth to steal all the yarn balls, which Bubsy has the most, so Bubsy has to stop them and retrieve all the yarn balls the Woolies have stolen.
Designer Michael Berlyn had previously designed adventure video games, such as Altered Destiny and Search for the King prior to his work on Bubsy. Eventually burning out on the genre, he came across the original Sonic the Hedgehog and ended up playing it 14 hours a day, for a whole week, in order to find inspiration to do his own take on it. Development of the game began in 1991. Earlier sketches show Bubsy wearing shoes which were omitted in the final design. The Genesis version, which was the first one being worked on, was to be released in late 1992 but Accolade's legal troubles with Sega caused the game to be delayed. After artists Beckett Gladney and Ken Macklin constructed the backgrounds and character animations respectively on a PC program, a group named Solid Software went on to program them for the SNES.
Director John Skeel said in an interview that they want to create a game as fast as Sonic and as deep as Mario. They also planned the game to be easy to play but hard to master. He also had difficulty finding a good voice for the main character. After weeks of searching through voice talent tapes, Skeel received a call from Brian Silva who aided trying to find a suitable voice, until Skeel tried speeding up a recording of Silva's voice, which took inspiration from Looney Tunes characters like Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny and added to the end result of Bubsy's design. Bubsy's catchphrase was derived from the development team's quip.In December 1992, some children who reside near Accolade's office in San Jose, California were invited to have pizza, soda, and to test play the game. The children were also asked to comment on the game's aspects. Their suggestion to add more secret paths was picked up, resulting in the inclusion of some underground tube ways in the first level.
A group of 20+ people worked on the game. During the programming of the game to the SNES, one of the hazards in the game was catnip that could drive Bubsy mad. This was replaced by banana peels because of Nintendo's censorship policies. The game was developed and released concurrently for the Genesis and Super NES, with each version looking and sounding almost identical. Approximately two years later, the game was also ported to Windows 95, under the name Super Bubsy. It contained slightly upscaled graphics, and the Bubsy cartoon pilot that was never picked up for further episodes. The Super NES version was made part of Bubsy Two-Fur on Steam in December 2015.
The game was released in Japan, under the title Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken, translated as "Bubsy the Bobcat’s Great Adventure". The release was mostly identical, except that Bubsy's voice clips were dubbed in Japanese. The level titles refer to films and elements of Japanese culture.
Super Bubsy is a port of Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind made for Windows 95. It contained slightly upscaled graphics. It was re-released by the Switzerland publisher WG Verlag & Lizenzen AG after May 1997 under the title Desert Fox Bubsy. The TV pilot cartoon of Bubsy can be viewed after collecting 20 TV items throughout the game.
Other differences from the original include a booming voice narrating each level name, 3D cutscenes, and randomly picked humorous quotes on loading screens.
Development of Super Bubsy took place from 01/04/1995 through 11/01/1996 according to the time stamps on the files on Super Bubsy disc.
Although 50 humorous quotes are in the games files, only 12 ever appear in-game. It is unknown why this happens.
The re-imagined artwork for Super Bubsy by Phillip Vaughn can be seen at the following locations
- Phillip Vaughn's website (internet Archive)
- Archived artwork and brief interview with Phillip Vaughn and the Bubsy Bobcat Fan Blog
Area 1: Plains
Area 2: Carnival
Area 3: Train Above Desert
- Chapter Seven: The Good, the Bad and the Woolies
- Chapter Eight: A Fistful of Yarn
- Chapter Nine: Dances With Woolies
Area 4: Oregon
Area 5: Jungle Canopy
- Chapter Thirteen: Eye of the Bobcat
- Chapter Fourteen: No Time to Paws
- Chapter Fifteen: Lethal Woolie
Area 6: Boss Ship
- The game's name is a reference to the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- The game was originally intended to star Chester Cheetah, but since Micheal Berlyn did not want to pay to use Chester, he made his own character 'Bubsy Bobcat' to replace him.
- The game was released in Japan as Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibouken. (Translation: Adventures of Bubsy the Mountain Cat.) He was called a Japanese mountain cat rather than a bobcat.
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