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Dynamite Headdy

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Machenstein, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Machenstein

    Machenstein

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    Released on August 4th, 1994.

    I'm surprised this game doesn't have a lot of coverage in the retro Sega community. It's really one of the more interesting games on the Genesis/Mega Drive yet not many people know about it. I suppose that is the nature of obscure retro games, but something about Headdy makes it quite an enigma. What inspired Treasure to make it after the adrenaline-fueled explosion-fest that was Gunstar Heroes? How did it get green-lit with its bizarre art and distinctly Japanese aesthetics when the likes of Sonic had to be changed for an international audience? Even with the small aesthetic changes the worldwide release got, Dynamite Headdy still barely made a blip on the radar back when it was released. Was there anything Sega and Treasure could have done to make it a commercial success outside of some bizarre 32X ad or was the concept doomed to obscurity from the start?

    The game barely gets brought up even when Treasure is the subject of conversation. The game's story in the original Japanese release was unknown to most English speakers until a fan translation was made in 2007. The game received many modifications for the international release including changed enemy sprites, increased difficulty, and the removal of most of the game's dialogue. The game ended on a cliffhanger which implied Trouble Bruin/Maruyama would be the main bad guy for the next game... which was then followed up by a secret ending where Headdy beats up a CEO after talks of making a sequel.

    Very little of the game's development is known outside of unused assets contained in the ROM. No concept art, no developer interviews, no beta footage or prototype screenshots. I wonder what can be done to change that now that the game has been out for two decades. If there's any consolation, the game has seen multiple re-releases which includes Nintendo's Virtual Console service and various Genesis compilations. It has also seen a tribute album called Secret Bonus Point and even a small flash cartoon by Wonchop.

    What do you think of Dynamite Headdy? Would you like to see more development material for the game? If so, how would we go about acquiring it?
     
  2. GagaMan

    GagaMan

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    [​IMG]

    I love it, one of my favorite platformers of all time, even though I have never been able to legitimately complete it without level select cheats haha. The UK official Sega magazine did a massive colourful article about it (with artwork from the Japanese manual all over) and gave it a glowing review that sold me on the game as a kid. I drew quite a few comic strips with him in back then.

    There was also those two prototypes.
     
  3. Machenstein

    Machenstein

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    The June prototypes seem to be just the final international release with some dialogue changes, but the April prototype has just enough differences to make it interesting. It's not on the same scale as Simon Wai's Sonic 2 Beta, but then again what is.

    I would love to see a developer interview for the game. The credits don't list a director, but Kouichi Kimura is listed as the producer. He went on to direct Silhouette Mirage and Stretch Panic, two other Treasure games with the same brand of weirdness, so it's likely he's the one responsible for Headdy's conception. The problem is he seems to have disappeared since he directed Wario World. Is he still with Treasure? Is he even still involved in the gaming industry? I wonder what became of him. I wonder if he'd be willing to do a developer interview if some journalist with enough connections could make it happen. Enough people would have to care about Dynamite Headdy to make it happen though. The only two ways that would happen is if a new game were to be made (unlikely) or if some well known game reviewer dedicated an episode to the original game.
     
  4. Shoemanbundy

    Shoemanbundy

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    Here's a few proto screenshots. They're not that known since no one else seems to appreciate this game like us ;)/>

    http://protos.at.webry.info/201303/article_4.html
     
  5. muteKi

    muteKi

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    The angry gatekeeper makes me want to punch babies. I only ever play the Japanese version, because that fight just takes waaaaay too long otherwise.
     
  6. Machenstein

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    From the looks of those screenshots, it seems the clowns in South Town were originally going to be in North Town. Even more interesting is the fact the magazine is from May 1994 when the April prototype seemed more farther along. I wonder when the game's development started. I wouldn't be surprised if it was right after McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure's development in 1993. That's another game directed by Kimura.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It gets coverage all the time - it sits alongside Ristar in the list of obscure games compiled by people who haven't played many games.

    They sold Dynamite Headdy-sponsored bread in the UK. Bread.


    You don't get that for any old game. Or indeed any game because why are we advertising Mega Drive games on bread.
     
  8. Machenstein

    Machenstein

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    We must find any images of this bread. Forget development material, that is something I want to see.
     
  9. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    Dynamite Breaddy

    Someone had to.
     
  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  11. Machenstein

    Machenstein

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    You know what would go good with Dynamite Headdy bread?

    [​IMG]

    I know, I'm such a riot.

    As for the video, the fight with the giant doll looks different. The background is mostly black, the machinery isn't as detailed, and the sumo guy is upside-down. It's obviously from a prototype. I wonder if any of these prototypes still exist somewhere.
     
  12. tunners

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    This and Ristar are 2 of my favourite platformers on the Megadrive. I'd be interested in seeing more unreleased stuff from this game. Also: what a soundtrack! Headdy the Hero alone really made that console sing!
     
  13. Espyo

    Espyo

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    A Pikmin fan engine - Pikifen (https://pikminfanon.com/Pikifen)
    You know how loads of retro games are being re-released nowadays? I would pay big bucks if it meant bringing back Headdy. A man can dream, no?...