Monday, 9 January 2012

Bad Cat (Amiga) - Guest Post

Hey mecha-neko, why don't you play a game about cats?

Sure, cats are awesome!

Bad Cat aka Street Cat in crazy, far off countries.

"It's the year 1984 and Los Angeles prepares for the Olympic Summergames."

"The dignitories and celebrities prepare their speeches, preparing for the huge crowds who are expected to attend."

"But, there are still the straying city-dweller cats - despised by all. The infamous cats are well known for they are planning their own competitive games."

"Will Bad Cat live up to his name?"

Will he? WILL HE?

Start with the manual (external link). Bad Cat takes pride of place on the cover of the manual, scaring kids and adults alike. Oddly, the bubbles surrounding Bad Cat show a much cuter cartoon version of him having lots of happy fun. Why couldn't they draw Bad Cat in that style? Can a cat not both be cute and be a bandana wearing bad-ass at the same time?

There are English instructions in that manual, but they've been given an awkward and clinical translation. They're funny, in a confusing sort of way. Like riddles mixed with recipe instructions.

One to four players? One, please. I don't see anyone else lining up to take this bullet for me.

It's a platform game! Run and jump over the water, because everybody knows that cats hate water! If you touch the water, you get a very loud, low quality 'ROUUURR' cat meow sound effect in your ear and you have to start the screen again.

Bad Cat moves very slowly and has a strange jump that begins with half a second of sliding across the ground then bursts into a magnificent somersault. Ten or so attempts later, and I've finally cleared the screen.

Next screen: can Bad Cat master three small walls??

No, he can't. Not with the standard jump anyway. On the first screen, BC could do a somersaulting jump with the Fire button. Now he also has a second jump without a somersault executed by pulling Up. The game doesn't even hint at this.

If you try to jump on the wall using a somersault jump, Bad Cat lands awkwardly and disappears in a puff of smoke, failing the screen. You have to use the alternate jump to land on your feet. If you fall off the wall, sometimes you'll disappear and sometimes BC will tumble to the floor and cry while the crowd jeers.

Somersault, Bad Cat, Somersault!

Another couple dozen of these and we're through. Infinite lives is good.


I think you can earn extra points if you leap onto the wall and then the ball without stopping. While you're on top of the ball, you can balance with Left or Right for extra points. I couldn't do any of that though, because Bad Cat jumped straight through the ball and landed to the right of it. He can run backwards, but he can't jump backwards, so I had to skip it.

The game now lets me crouch! I couldn't crouch before!

Infinite lives, gradual introduction of controls... it's a tutorial!

To move while crouched I have to waggle the joystick. It's not a platform game tutorial. It's a God damned joystick waggling sports game.

It takes skill and dedication to clear this VERY DIFFICULT screen.

Or rather, you have to distort your thinking and align yourself with both the developers intention and the game's harsh programming. You can't jump onto the trampoline from the starting position. You can't jump off the trampoline onto the wall with a somersaulting jump. You have to use every frame of your pre-jump slide to get enough speed to launch off the second trampoline over the water. Could've been done better.

I ran out of time and failed this park challenge a few times trying to figure out how to get Bad Cat to bloody swing. I first tried moving the joystick from side to side. Then I tried holding Fire and moving from side to side. Then I tried waggling like crazy. Then I tried rotating the joystick and that just made him jump into the water.

You have to move Left Down Right Down Left to swing. Would it have hurt to put a couple of signs with arrows up?

Why do I need to get a key anyway? Why...

For the grand finale, of course!

The crowd goes wild as Bad Cat jumps on top of the wall, somersaults onto the trampoline and somersaults across the screen, landing on the motorbike and rumbling off into the sunset.


The next level is the city level. Will it be a side-scrolling joystick-waggling collect the cat food, and run over the mice minigame?


It's an overhead map of the town together with a collection of sound effects that sound like somebody trying to saw a cat in half with an accordion.

After some contemplation and turning the sound down, I work out that Bad Cat is the small yellow dot and I'm supposed to be heading to the small red dot. If I make it there before my brain rots away through my ears, victory.

We're at the Arena for the second part of the Alleycat Games!

These Games have taken a more respectable turn since the race at the park. I thought that the park race was just a bunch of cats running amok, but here we've got a crowd of hundreds, a proper pool, a big screen and sponsorship from the respected Internet institution 'Let's Play!'.

Bad Cat has to leap up to the scrolling row of shapes at the top of the screen and knock down shapes matching those shown on the screens.

Nice of them to give you absolutely NO CLUE WHATSOEVER how you do that. I had to look up the manual to even get him to do that jump in the previous image. The controls are different from the park stage. In this stage, you can charge up a jump by holding down and you get different kinds of jump depending on whether you press Fire during the jump or hold diagonally upwards and forwards. And you have to press Fire to jump, so you're really completely at the mercy of the game as to which jump Bad Cat will do.

Another mind meltingly awful city stage and we're in... the sewer.

This is another unexpected turn. From the cats running about in the park, to the eager crowds of the arena, the cats decide to hold the next round in the sewers.

Timing Bad's run between the sewer gushes is easy as pie.

The very next screen is absolutely impossible. Bad Cat has to balance on this icky barrel of sludge and get from the platforms on the left to the platforms on the right. Once you're on the barrel, pressing Left makes BC move half way and then fall off. Pressing any other direction makes him fall off immediately. I can see no way whatsoever to do this.

Back to the manual.

The manual helpfully informs me that I should turn on the light in the first room. Huh, so there is a light in the first room! I had no idea I could interact with the background like that. Now that the lights are on, I at least stand half a chance.


By the way, you can't go back to the previous screen once you're on this one, so if you enter it while the lights are off, as I did, you're double buggered.

And that's the end of the game as far as I can tell. The manual promised me a final bowling minigame complete with beer and bulldogs, but I'm not good enough to get to it. Oh well.

Hey! Did you know that Bad Cat was released on the Amiga, C64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST and MS-DOS? Let's go!

Bad cat? Meet worse cat.

I think the artist drew the outlines of a cat with their eyes closed, then shrugged their shoulders and neatened up and coloured the results.

The C64 version has music! Real music!

I was suprised to find a music credit for Chris Hülsbeck in the Amiga Bad Cat when the only music in the game was the 3 second long looping sound sample. Not typical Hülsbeck stuff.

This version properly scrolls!

Unfortunately for me, that means where you reappear when you fail a trick depends on your position on screen. If you fail a trick in such a bad way that you bounce off what you were trying to jump on to, there's a large chance that you'll appear on the screen behind the screen you're on.

On the Amiga version I completely ignored this ball and just fell off the right side of the small wall. Now Bad Cat won't let me pass without jumping on the ball (jumping over it makes him disappear into smoke). As soon as I get on the ball, the bastard falls off, just like the barrel in the sewers.

Can't get past it. Can't be bothered waiting for the remaining time to run out.

Let's see what the Amstrad CPC version looks like!!

Bad cat, worse cat. Meet worst cat.

I have to take back my comment saying that the artist must have drawn Bad Cat with their eyes closed. They must've drawn him with their eyes open to get him matching so exactly on the box and all the different format title screens.

How did they manage to stare at this for long periods of time? No clue.

Worst cat doesn't scroll, but is a lot more colourful. This is the first CPC game I've ever played, truth be told. I suppose there are worse things to look at (it would look all ick and monochrome like this on the Spectrum), but I dread to think what the city level sounds like on this thing.

Oh look. It's that damned ball again.



  1. Amstrad CPC looks like MS paint

  2. Sorry, but I can't take credit for this. It's a mecha-neko post, he just refuses to make an account and put them up himself.

  3. sounds like the worst amiga game ever made avgn should review this :P

    1. I dunno man, he's never seemed that interested in computer games to me. Though it would make a classic episode, just for his reaction to the title screen alone. Any of the title screens.

  4. Little fun fact: The creator of this game is Hans Ippisch, who wrote this game when he was fresh out of Gymnasium (german equivalent to senior high). After a career as a games developer for Rainbow Arts he turned to games jornalism. Today he's the CEO of Computec Media one of Germany's largest media conglomerate (magazines and websites) dedicated to electronic entertainment and gaming :D


Semi-Random Game Box