Game Center CX Season 5 – Back to Contents
Sega’s Strongest Brothers, the "Bonanza Bros."
Arino’s tackled a few of the hardest Nintendo games out there, even dabbling in the PlayStation and PC Engine. But now we enter the Genesis era, with an arcade port from the early days: Bonanza Bros. It’s a cartoony stealth-action game where you play a sunglasses-clad bandit trying to steal multiple fortunes from a building while avoiding the cops.
While Arino cracks wise that this may be better suited for the Hard no Ace segment, he plugs the cartridge in and begins. He grabs the first two items in stage 1, but soon after is spotted by a guard. He gets past it, but then stumbles upon two of them! He hides behind a wall, hoping for their patrol pattern to break. But he stands there too long, and the clock starts running out! Arino restarts the stage, and continues dying in the same spot on the bottom floor. He does finally grab the last treasure, and now must head for the exit. All that pain later, stage 1 — out of ten — is cleared.
Stage 2 opens up nicely: Arino opens the first door right into one of the guards! But from there it’s not so bright. In a vain attempt to trick one of the guards upstairs, Arino fires a shot to distract it. He runs outside, but creeps back to the door only to have the guard open it and flatten him. Oops. He loses another life after that, and since he was also on the last credit, gets a Game Over and goes right back to the title screen. He gets back to stage 2, and this time goes right up to the boss (or boss-like enemy), who’s guarding one of the treasures.
Arino carefully hides behind a wall, then ducks out and fires a shot, then hides, then shoots, et ceterea. He knocks out the guard, then continues the hunt for the other treasures. Unfortunately his slip-ups lead him to lose another credit. But the next try is much better. He gets all the treasures and rides down a zipline, then back up to the roof to clear the stage. Stage 3 is inside a casino, and he quickly loses another credit. He fumbles throughout the rest of the stage and eventually exits without any treasures. But, success is success.
Arino continues to stage 4, which is, appropriately, a four-story bank. He ends up alerting a guard dog, and when he hides behind the door, he’s foiled by the dog running in and slamming it against him; not again! Unfortunately, he’s soon shot down by the guards after that, and loses his last life and credit. He restarts, and we fast-forward to stage 4 again. This next time, Arino discovers a fun little toy: a lever-controlled anvil that temporarily squashes anyone who runs under it. He uses it to flatten a guard, but ends up using it too much and loses due to a Time Over. On the next attempt, he finds more levers and squashes more guards. Eventually he grabs all the treasures and is ready to exit. Luckily the door is right there!
The game moves underground for stage 5, but Arino doesn’t last long before getting another fatal Game Over. The second try is much smoother, though, except a close call at the very end. Arino’s now more than halfway there. Stage 6 is inside a big jewelry store. He uses some fancy footwork to dodge the guards, but ends up dying the old-fashioned way. But somehow, he makes it through in record time. Stage 7 awaits! The lab in stage 7 has a bunch of robots in the background. When Arino ducks in a corner to evade the guards, his avatar takes a robot head and puts it on himself! Too cute. Unfortunately he still manages to die, and gets sent back to stage 1 for the billionth time. After dying on the way back to stage 7, Arino relaxes with a soothing candy cigarette.
Arino gets past stage 7 on the second attempt, and then heads to stage 8: a cruise liner. He almost has this down to a science by now. He blows through the stage and successfully knocks out every guard he comes across, clearing the stage with just 30 seconds left. And then he doesn’t last long in stage 9 before dying. He’s now on his last credit again. He manages to knock out three guards in one room, but he ziplines into another and ends up getting hit. Game Over. Will the madness ever manage to end?
In the middle of re-tackling stage 5, AD Urakawa steps in and gives Arino a pair of sunglasses to, in effect, make him the third Bonanza brother. They only seem to deter him, though, as he dies again. Inoko MAX comes into the picture and asks Arino if he can play. "NO!" Inoue tries again, suggesting that a 2-player game will help Arino out. All right fine. Inoue sits down to play, but not before putting on his own sunglasses! Now that everybody looks the part, it’s time to begin, starting from stage 1. It’s not long before Inoko MAX opens a door right in Arino’s face. Cue "wa-waaahhh." They get up to stage 3 and Arino dies again. As Inoue plays on, Arino mimics the anvil lever behind his back. By stage 4, Inoko MAX bows out to let Arino continue on his own. He’s a little surprised, but keeps on.
More deaths stack up in stage 5. Arino’s understandably exhausted by now. He reaches over to the snack pile and procures a small container of "Puchi Pudding." He slurps the whole thing up and almost chokes! The game continues. Arino makes it back to stage 9. After a couple of tries, he gets the next to last treasure and starts getting his hopes up. Don’t worry, it’s for the best, as the last floor before the exit is rather easy, and Arino happily runs up to the top and clears the stage with just two lives left. But then he sees the introduction to stage 10 and reels.
Stage 10’s pyramid has 10 treasures! Uh oh! With two lives left, can Arino make it through? Things start off OK, but by the time he gets half of the treasures, he dies. And the same thing happens with the next one. Arino uses his last continue. Unfortunately, all the close calls in the world don’t add up to success, and he spends the last of his lives. Back to stage 1. He starts resetting the game every time he dies in stage 1, but soon he gets back through the rest of the level and once again reaches stage 10. Before beginning, Arino turns to the camera, puts his sunglasses back on and does a pitch for the second GCCX book and DVD box. Annnd, scene. OK, back to the game.
The stage 10 reprise is much like last time. Arino tries to carefully get around the guards, but eventually gets pinched by the SWAT-looking dudes. Once again he uses his last continue. Eventually he gets everything down to one last treasure. He starts firing at the Bluto-esque guard in front of it. Arino mashes the button as much as he can, and then he and the staff erupt. He fell through a trap door! He didn’t die, but he still pauses to take a breath. He tries to get back up the pyramid, but ends up getting hit and dies. Time once again to restart from the beginning. The light at the tunnel has yet to show.
Before restarting stage 10, Arino and AD Urakawa sketch out a map of the pyramid on the whiteboard, numbering each treasure and drawing the best path through that they can think of. The map works OK, but Arino continues to die. Eventually he reaches the last treasure and the trap doors, as well. the suspense builds. He knocks out the guard, but hesitates afterward before jumping. He jumps over the second trap just as the guard wakes up. He almost panics, but manges to get the treasure and run up the steps. The guard throws a bomb, but it doesn’t connect. Arino succeeds! Seven hours of play that felt like a lifetime.
After that, the producer chimes in and tells Arino what he’ll be playing for the next challenge: the sequel to one of his most difficult challenge games… Ghouls ‘N Ghosts. Arino laughs at first, but soon the dread sets in. Urakawa comes in with the game, and then Arino suggests Inoko MAX come in and try it out for preparation. Inoue dies within a minute, and the producer suggests Urakawa do the pre-show preparation. Everyone agrees, and the stage is set.
DVD Event Report
A short segment on the "shareholder’s meeting" release event for GCCX DVD Box 2. A conference room in Akihabara’s Yamagiwa Soft seats a hundred or so fans, along with Arino, Kibe-kun and the two ADs up front. Arino announces GCCX goods including the Arino figurine (the otakus up front really enjoy that one) and original T-shirt.
After that, Arino signs GCCX "stock certificates" for each of the fans. He meets the creepy guys in Arino uniform costumes, and others give him gifts such as exfoliating pads and diapers for the newborn.
Hard no Ace ga Detekonai
What do you know, another Sega system! This time it’s the Game Gear. Arino pulls it out of the box and the first word out of his mouth is "huge!"
OK, it’s a handheld, so how do you get the picture set up for broadcast? Engineer Suda’s got the solution: he rigs up a tiny CC camera on the table which outputs to the TV. Unfortunately the image quality is rather awful, to say nothing of the Game Gear’s own horrible screen. Yeah, it doesn’t work. Someone turns out the lights, but that barely helps.
But eventually a better solution is found: use the big camera! Camerman Abe hoists his camera on his shoulder and positions himself behind Arino, pointing the camera down at the Game Gear. It’s awkward, but at least everyone can see the screen now. Finally, Arino begins by playing Sonic the Hedgehog.
After dying too many times, he moves on to try something else from the pile. Why not Lemmings! He starts, but has a little trouble understanding the game. He calls over Kibe-kun, who gives him the lowdown. He passes the first stage, then finds something else to play.
Ah, here we go: the timeless Sega classic, Ganbare Gorby!! An action-puzzle game in the vein of Pipe Dream, but with conveyor belts and starring a cartoonish Gorbachev. After that, Arino’s had just about enough of this gigantic system and Abe’s crotch hovering above him. So long, Game Gear, and thanks for all the physical labor.
Game Collections: 1987: September