In Relation to My Work: How Would I Reboot the Bloody Roar Series? part 1

Bloody Roar for the PSX: Where better to start than at the beginning?

Welcome back, readers!

As I’d promised back on July 12, I was going to give you all some insights on how I would revise the overall story of the fighting game series Bloody Roar if I had the authority to do so. Anyone who has chanced to read said article will know precisely why I decided to create this miniseries, too: the fact that I, as a huge Bloody Roar fan—in spite of enjoying the games themselves—felt that the story that came from those games as a collective whole came to deteriorate with each new installment in the franchise on account of Hudson Soft’s carelessness and consequent lack of attention to what the original plot had been all about. Anyone who is so much as familiar with the story of these games, much less has played the games themselves, can attest to this fact and can particularly testify to the notion that after BR 2 in particular, the series concerned itself less with zoanthropic biology and near-future science fiction principles in general and more with supernatural aspects such as the demonic “Unborn,” mystic artifacts such as the “Tabula of a Thousand Beasts” that can absorb zoanthropic power from and/or bestow it unto any zoanthrope who possesses a “Beast Crest,” stone seals that prevent certain individuals (e.g., Ryoho and Reiji from BR 4) from attaining zoanthropic power unless they are somehow broken (e.g., earthquakes), and the existence of such mythological creatures as dragons and kitsune (i.e., Ryoho and Mana). This wasn’t the only problem with the BR story, of course, as there were other flaws that plagued the franchise’s overall plot, such as the blatant copying and pasting of the roster from earlier games into later installments in the series while only adding a small number of new characters to boot (i.e., BR 2 to BR 3, BR 3 to BR Extreme/Primal Fury and BR 4) and the consequent exclusion of certain characters from subsequent installments upon their initial removal (i.e., Hans the Fox, Greg the Gorilla, and—as a playable character, leastways—Mitsuko the Boar). Needless to say, as time progressed, the BR story and series continued to lose its luster, and no, that’s not to say that the games were necessarily terrible (even though, as I may have mentioned before, there are plenty of BR fans who aren’t all that high on BR 4), but rather to show that as the story drifted further and further away from what it had been established to be in the first couple of games, people began to look at the series more critically than they had before.

Needless to say, on account of these thoughts I’d been having about Bloody Roar for a good number of years now, I’d long been wondering how I as a fan could help get the series back on track, particularly after the heat BR 4 received from many a BR fan. Needless to say, the answer was pretty obvious: propose a reboot of the entire Bloody Roar saga. After all, if comic book superheroes can continuously be reintroduced to one new generation after another via new comic book series, movies, and the like; if certain famous cartoons from the 1980s such as Thundercats, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Strawberry Shortcake, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can all be brought back to appeal  if once-defunct wrestling promotions such as Women of Wrestling (See my article from June 12 for more information on that topic.) and even Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling can make a comeback after a decade or more of inactivity; and even if rock bands can get back together after so long (Styx and KISS most readily come to mind.), then why can’t Bloody Roar be allowed to make a comeback of its own? I could go on with this argument, but at this point, doing so would be quite redundant. Therefore, I think it’s high time I stop stalling so that we can get to the heart of the matter—that matter, of course, being the Bloody Roar reboot!

Not only would all these characters come back (albeit with some fitting changes here or there), but I’ve got some newcomers in mind that I’d like to bring in.

Bloody Roar 1

Where else better to start than at the beginning? Naturally, then, here we are to discuss the very premise of the Bloody Roar series and how it would undergo its revival to fit this reboot of mine. Don’t worry, though, BR loyalists; we’re not going to make any radical changes to the very nature of what zoanthropes are, nor are we going to ignore the presence of the Tylon Corporation as a driving force in BR’soverall plot. As a matter of fact, the way my storyline goes, I plan on making it seem as though everywhere the heroes of BR turn, they can’t help but at least be reminded of Tylon in one form or another. We’ll discuss that issue further down the line in future installments, however, but for right now, for those of you not familiar with what a zoanthrope is, here’s a basic definition:

A zoanthrope is a human being who has the ability to metamorphose into a human/animal hybrid at will. How does this happen, you might ask? Well, according to the original plot, zoanthrope DNA contained a genetic code that geneticists once considered to be a “background anomaly” of sorts in that it didn’t match any human characteristic. It was upon the stimulation of this genetic code that zoanthropes could “beastorize” (e.g., transform) and awaken other species latent in the human body so that they could utilize these creatures’ capabilities (great strength and/or agility, natural weaponry such as claws and fangs, camouflage, enhanced senses, etc.) in certain situations, most specifically those involving hand-to-hand combat. Furthermore, each zoanthrope has his or her own unique beast form based on his or her particular personality and physical appearance. For example, Alice Tsukagami, the sweetheart of the BR series, is a kind-hearted soul with a lithe figure that provides her with plenty of agility who also—up until Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury, least ways—wore her hair in pigtails. As such, she can beastorize into a rabbit, which is a different beast form from that of her stubborn, full-figured, and fierce yet nonetheless compassionate and generous foster mother Mitsuko Nonomura, who can beastorize into a wild boar. In my particular reboot, the idea isn’t much different, save for the whole “beast DNA” angle, which has been more or less disproven in not-too-distant research concerning the similarities between human DNA and the DNA present in other animals. According to this research, the latent DNA that the original BR storyline cited as being responsible for a zoanthrope’s ability to beastorize is indeed used in the genetic code of baseline humans just as it is zoanthropes, although researchers are still unsure about precisely how this DNA is used. Such was what SCXCR of the River City Gamers had shared with his viewers in the first part of his Bloody Roar Retrospective, but if you yourselves would like to discover bits and pieces of this information firsthand, please check out the sample links provided below, and feel free to research the topic further on your own time:

http://creation.com/decoding-the-dogma-of-dna-similarity

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?25335-Percentage-of-genetic-similarity-between-humans-and-animals

http://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/11/1675.full

http://earthsky.org/?p=433

While it is true that researchers often debate about the exact percentage of DNA shared between humans and certain non-human animal species, the fact of the matter still stands that we humans do indeed share many of the same genetic traits as our animal kin. Therefore, I’ve elected to replace the whole “junk DNA” hypothesis from the original story with one that was in no small part inspired by Stun’s backstory from the official PlayStation website for Bloody Roar 2, which has sadly been taken down as of this particular article. Regardless, according to what I’d been fortunate enough to read at the time, Stun—back when he was still Dr. Steven Goldberg and, unbeknownst to him, working for Tylon —used to work with this substance called “Factor B,” which is obviously the substance that fuels each fighter’s beast bar during combat in the games. Unfortunately, while I can’t recall offhand what kind of material this “Factor B” was described as being, I’d personally adapt it into my reboot as being a particularly quick-acting hormone that a zoanthrope’s endocrine system secretes at a particularly rapid rate, especially in comparison to all other hormones and usually as the result of increased adrenaline, and temporarily rearranges its host’s genetic code in such a way that it matches that of a particular non-human animal (i.e., the animal represented by the host’s beast form) by 95-99% in little to no time at all. Because this hormone secretes at such an uncharacteristically quick rate in comparison to all other endocrine substances, the multinational Tylon Corporation has taken a particularly intense interest in it to the point where corporate HQ has instructed its medical division to breed, kidnap, train, and even brainwash zoanthropes to create an army that would help them take over the world. Yes, I know, the whole “evil corporation creating an army of biological weapons to help them attain world domination” angle had already been used in Capcom’s legendary survival horror game Resident Evil, but hey, the premise works equally well for BR and, as I’ve mentioned already in this article, would’ve worked even better if expanded upon a bit more beyond the first couple of Bloody Roar games. For right now, though, let’s take a closer look at the roster of zoanthropes I’d include in my version of the first BR and see whose backstory would remain untouched, whose would undergo a drastic makeover to make him or her a more permanent mainstay in the franchise, and whom I would add to make the story feel more complete.

Yugo Ogami: The poster boy of Bloody Roar

First off is Bloody Roar poster boy Yugo Ogami, a 17-year-old student from Japan who’s informed one day that his father Yuji, a mercenary by trade, was killed in a recent battle in South America. Hard set on finding out the truth for himself, he sets off on a journey to seek out his father’s whereabouts as well as those of Alan Gado, the sole survivor of the combat unit Yuji was a member of. It is during this very journey that Yugo finds out that he, much to his surprise, is a zoanthrope and that his father—also a zoanthrope—had been captured by Tylon and fought against the corporation’s “conversion” process. In a nutshell, this has been the big story in the original BR, seeing as how it establishes the drive and ambition of the series’ chief protagonist to carry on with his fight against Tylon and any other party who would dare abuse or misrepresent those who share his biological gift. Therefore, I’d leave this backstory pretty much alone.

Alain Gadou (a.k.a. Alan Gado): Mercenary extraordinaire

Next comes Alain Gadou, better known as Alan Gado by BR fans—a French zoanthrope mercenary who can beastorize into a lion and who was best friends with fellow mercenary Yuji Ogami prior to Yuji’s untimely passing at Tylon’s hands. Gado is unfortunate enough as it is being the sole survivor of his battalion in a failed assault on Tylon’s laboratory, but on top of that, he had also lost sight in his left eye during the assault. Needless to say, he’s all hell-bent on revenge, and who can blame him? Again, another original storyline that works fine in the context of my reboot and needs no alteration at all, seeing as it fits Gado’s character and establishes him as a key player in the franchise. Therefore, I’d leave this backstory alone, too.

Alice Tsukagami: The sweetheart of the BR franchise

We now move on to Alice Tsukagami, the daughter of a Japanese man and an American woman of German decent whose zoanthropy came to surface upon her being kidnapped by Tylon when she was a small child and trained to become another one of their soldiers. Luckily, she was able to escape the facility where she was being held captive, thanks to a little girl whom she had befriended during her imprisonment (a.k.a. Uriko Nonomura) distracting the scientists who were about to brainwash her while she escaped. However, while Alice could have very well immediately enjoyed the freedom she had long sought, she instead decided to come out of hiding and rescue Uriko as a means of paying her back for helping her seek that very freedom. For the most part, this backstory would remain the same in my reboot, save for the fact that I’d like to delve a little bit deeper into who Alice’s parents were and where she received her zoanthropic powers, especially considering how the Bloody Roar Wikia (Alice) says one thing about Alice’s zoanthropic origins (i.e., that she was converted into a zoanthrope) while the wiki at BLOODYROARHQ claims that the physical experimentation Tylon’s scientists had subjected her to had merely awakened her “latent powers,” suggesting (to me, leastways) that she could have very well been born a natural zoanthrope after all. Yes, I am aware that Opentopia claims that her parents were killed (most presumably by Tylon operatives), but the reasons for why they were killed seem pretty open-ended in my eyes. Plus, I honestly see some potential growth and development in Alice’s character in the instance that she were to somehow rediscover her past through quiet reflection, particularly during the storyline of Bloody Roar 3, where the supposedly lethal X-Genome Code becomes one of two driving forces in the plot (the other, of course, being the Tabula of a Thousand Beasts). For instance, could it have been possible that Alice, while she was still a child, had lost her natural-born zoanthrope mother on account of some ailment not known to infect humans, much less claim their lives (i.e., the XGC), and that her worried father had had Alice tested to make sure that she didn’t fall suspect to that same disease, which in turn would lead to her eventual kidnapping and consequential separation from her father? That would be my idea, leastways. Granted, it’s a rough sketch yet, but if I were to sit down and actually write out my reboot in novel form, I could include bits and pieces of that story in it, revealing each detail as a small clue as my retelling of the saga went along until finally, after all is said and done, the truth finally unfolds by the fourth or fifth novel. Who knows? Maybe Alice had elected to become a nurse during the events between the original Bloody Roar and BR 2 because that was her mother’s occupation prior to her untimely passing. Aside from those details, however, Alice’s BR backstory would otherwise remain the same.

Long Shin: Ex-assassin on the run from his former employers

Next on my list of characters for my reboot of BR 1 is China’s very own Jin Long—also known more commonly (and recently) as Long Shin. Quite frankly, I’ve been kibitzing with myself as to which of these two names I’d keep for the guy, although I’m personally leaning more towards using the name “Long Shin,” seeing as how 1) that is the name that BR fans today most readily recognize, 2) the name “Long Shin” is recognized as Long’s official name according to Fenixware.net and the now-defunct Bloody-Roar.com, and 3) the name “Jin Long” is also the name of a professional snooker player from China (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Long). Needless to say, this particular topic is up for discussion with any Bloody Roar fan who chances upon this article and wishes to respond with his or her vote. That being said, one thing I know for sure about Long is that a piece of his backstory from BR 1 is quite open for debate as well—not the fact that he’d lost his mother and younger sister Lin Li when he was younger and that he was neglected by his “workaholic” father and as such ran away from home out of grief, but rather the fact that his mother and sister had died on account of “the insatiable beast power.” Could this mean that his mother and sister, like him, were natural born zoanthropes as well who perished as the result of contracting or possessing the X-Genome Code, or am I overlooking some detail in their deaths that I may have forgotten over the past nine years? Whatever the case, that’d be a detail worth exploring, although truth be told, if things turn out to where I could sneak in hints of the XGC existing prior to BR 3’s plot (i.e., BR 1’s “Rave” feature/BR 3’s “Hyper Beast Mode”), then I’d be more than happy to work that in somehow for my BR 3 discussion in this miniseries. Otherwise, Long getting mixed up with an underground assassination unit managed by Tylon on account of his mastery of dragon/hawk style kenpo (according to Opentopia) and his zoanthropy would remain intact, as will his desertion of the unit and his being wanted for death by Tylon for being a traitor. Not only that, but these experiences of his and the grief he continues to feel on account of them are what set him apart from the rest of the BR canon. As such, aside from the cause of his mother and sister’s deaths, I wouldn’t be altering his backstory too much.

Kato Ryuzo, a.k.a. the original Bakuryu: Ninja clan elder turned master assassin

Now to discuss the origins of Kato Ryuzo, the original Bakuryu. A proud ninja assassin from Japan who can become even deadlier than he already is whenever he beastorizes into a mole, Bakuryu hides every detail about his true identity from the real world and handles the tasks assigned to him by Tylon with silent cunning and uncanny expertise. His ambition is to become the strongest zoanthrope ever to exist and is even willing to subject his body to many performance-enhancing experiments in order to attain his goal (even though the results of those experiments prove to be his downfall, as anyone who has beaten the original BR has learned firsthand). To be honest, I’d thought for the longest time that Kato had suffered such a fate on account of being converted into a zoanthrope at such a late age. However, upon being reminded of these body-enhancing experiments that he had agreed to go through during the course of the original plot, I am thus safe to say that I can understand what had happened to him on account of the drugs he had allowed Tylon’s scientists to inject into him and eventually play hell with his original, well-aged tissue. Needless to say, then, I can happily perceive Kato as being a naturally born zoanthrope, especially in conjunction with his history as the caretaker and mentor of the second Bakuryu, Kakeru (better known as Kenji Ogami), and as the elder of the ninja clan to which they are both said to belong. For more information on this clan, please click on the link below to visit Kenji’s BR backstory as provided by Bloody-Roar.com via Fenixware.net.

Origin of Bakuryu according to Bloody-Roar.com/Fenixware.net

Additionally, I can see this piece of both Bakuryus’ backstory to include the backstory of Reiji from BR 4, which I will be more than happy to disclose in a later installment in this miniseries. For right now, though, I will say that Kato Ryuzo (named that according to Fenixware.net and Bloody-Roar.com in spite of being named Ryuzo Kato according to the Bloody Roar Wikia (Bakuryu (I)) and the BLOODYROARHQ wiki) would be able to keep his backstory for the sake of this reboot.

Mitsuko Nonomura: Who cares if she’s no boring, run-of-the-mill beauty queen? Her “take no trash” attitude and equally no-nonsense fighting style still make her a valuable addition to the Bloody Roar saga.

Alright, now we get to the backstories for the three characters who had never seen the light of day post-BR 1, the first of which being Mitsuko Nonomura, oft-hated by many for not being a stereotypical bikini model type that already inhabit plenty of other fighting games and for being able to beastorize into—as mentioned earlier in this article—a wild boar, of all things. This is quite a shame, if you ask me, seeing as these people fail to look past Mitsuko’s burly and (dare I say it) somewhat mannish appearance to respect her for simply being different from the rest of the women in the Bloody Roar franchise and for having an arguably interesting dual nature about her: a loving, caring mother to Uriko (and later on Alice) who takes trash from no one and isn’t afraid to beat anyone senseless when they mess with her family. It’s because of this personality of hers that she is without question one of my favorite characters in all the BR saga and, in my opinion, one of the most—if not, in fact, the most—overlooked and underappreciated character in the entire franchise. Needless to say, then…sorry, Mitsuko bashers, but I’d definitely keep this gal my reboot. In fact, I’d be more than willing to give her a far more prominent role in the series as a whole, especially seeing as how she’s Uriko’s birth mother and Alice’s foster mother, but before I get off track talking about that, let’s refresh our memories about what her backstory was for the first BR.

After playing and beating the game, players might find this image in the gallery of the original Bloody Roar, which features prototype images of Mitsuko and Uriko as well as a third, unnamed character. Could this third person be Mitsuko’s husband/Uriko’s father?

Basically, Mitsuko’s storyline is simple: Her daughter Uriko has been kidnapped by Tylon (Hans, to be more specific, whom we’ll be discussing soon enough), and she goes out of her way to rescue her—not to mention Alice, whom she comes to adopt as her second daughter. However, there is one thing that has always bugged me about Mitsuko’s storyline: Where the hell is her husband during this entire time? I’m sorry if this makes me sound nitpicky, but really, throughout the course of the BR story as we all know it, there is little to no mention of Mr. Nonomura at all. How does he feel about his wife suddenly deserting the family shop after Uriko goes missing and coming back Heaven knows how many days or weeks or whatnot later with another daughter as well as with Uriko? How does he feel about his wife’s sudden abduction by the Zoanthrope Liberation Front in BR 2 and Uriko deciding to go off and rescue her, albeit not without spending a month or so in an isolated mountainside cave in bloody China with a 31-year-old man whom she’d never met to learn how to beat up ZLF terrorists? Where is he to agree with Mistuko when she basically grounds Uriko at the end of her story in BR 3 for violating her curfew? Is the man dead? Is he a completely useless lump? Is he Mitsuko’s glorified yes man? Has his existence been canonically determined at all? These are the questions I find myself asking when I reflect on Mitsuko’s backstory from the original Bloody Roar, and in my reboot, I’d surely answer this question once and for all by making Mitsuko’s husband a key part of the storyline—such a key part, in fact, that even in his absence from the Nonomura household, his presence can still be felt throughout the course of the story. What I mean by this is simple: I’d actually give the man a name (Dr. Hiroshi Nonomura most readily comes to mind.), an occupation (a pharmacist), and a reason for Tylon to abduct him as well as Uriko (i.e., the fact that he’s one of the most brilliant medical minds in all of Japan and as such, if “persuaded” properly, could be a vital asset to Tylon’s team of researchers). I’d also make it so that even though Mitsuko would be able to rescue Uriko, she’d not be so fortunate to rescue Hiroshi, and all that would be left of him in the Nonomura house would be some old research papers of his. Granted, this is yet another rough idea I have, but I assure you all that in future installments of this miniseries, I’ll be more able to flesh out the details for you. Aside from this addition, though, I wouldn’t change too much about Mitsuko’s backstory, save for defining her occupation once and for all, seeing as she was originally cited as being a housewife according to BLOODYROARHQ’s wiki, yet the Bloody Roar Wikia (Mitsuko) cites her as being a shopkeeper/fishmonger. Obviously, then, with Hiroshi no longer around to be a breadwinner for the household, it’d be up to Mitsuko to work for the family’s income, preferably (at least to me) as a shopkeeper. Similarly, she is known to have been 39 years old during the events of the original BR, thus making her 30 when she once upon a time gave birth to Uriko. This is quite minor a detail, I’ll admit, but personally, I’d more likely see her giving birth to Uriko at a younger age—say, 26. Thus, I’d probably switch her story arc age with Greg, who’s said to have been 35 during the events of the original BR and yet still manages to look older than Mitsuko, thanks to that bushy white beard of his. Hopefully, this change isn’t offensive to anyone, but even if it is, please trust me, folks, when I say that this change just might make more sense later on when we delve deeper into BR’s story in future installments in this miniseries, particularly when it comes to
developing Greg’s character.

Greg Jones: Nothing but a front for international detective Greg Humain

Speaking of Greg, I think it’s high time we discussed how he’d fit into all this. Originally, Greg Jones (according to both the Bloody Roar Wikia (Greg) and BLOODYROARHQ’s wiki) was an animal handler for the circus he had joined when he was a youngster, but soon inherited the circus from the previous owner when he retired. Unfortunately, changes in the entertainment industry has hit the circus pretty hard not long after, driving it into bankruptcy and having its members go their separate ways. Greg’s plucky attitude, however, won’t hold him back from trying to save the circus, and now he’s off to recruit fellow zoanthropes of his to become members of his new troupe. Yeah…needless to say, this backstory prevents him from truly fitting in with the rest of the cast of the original BR, seeing as he’s not out to squash, escape, or support Tylon. Even so, the whole circus ringmaster gimmick that Hudson Soft had suited him with could have very well worked in later installments in the series, if handled creatively. For example, in BR 2, he could have been forced to shut down his circus on account of humanity’s growing fear of zoanthropes, and he himself could have found himself having to prove his innocence in the face of growing suspicion that he is the supposed leader of the ZLF and his troupe a small but concentrated unit of ZLF operatives. Even so, I have an even better idea than that, and it involves him more or less being an international detective hired to help trace the whereabouts of numerous scientists or other innocents who have been abducted by Tylon—either that, or her could be hunting down a particularly dangerous criminal whom Tylon coincidentally has as one of their top operatives. His real name would be Greg Humain, as defined by Fenixware.net (Greg), and the whole “Greg Jones” persona would be more or less an alias that he’d adopt in order to rescue the zoanthropes he’s been assigned to track down. Of course, trying to convince Tylon to rent out their painstakingly bred zoanthrope soldiers to some bearded buffoon in a top hat so that he could employ them as circus performers would still be a little off-beat…that is to say, unless they came up with the notion of somehow tricking, capturing, and brainwashing him to serve as one of their soldiers, thereby foiling his objective. His whole idea may seem a little awkward at first, I know, but it is the best way I could think of to stay true to his original subplot in BR and yet provide him some continuity throughout the rest of the series. Plus if I were to sit down and actually spend some time breathing life into this idea, it’d more likely than not make more sense.

Hans “Fox” Taubemann: German pitfighter champion turned Tylon brainwashee

Okay, now, on to arguably the most butchered character in the entire Bloody Roar franchise: Hans “Fox” Taubemann. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why, either, as I’ve explained in my “Bonus Poem of the Week” from July 4, “Thanks for the Memories, Hudson! A Bloody Roar Tribute,” and in my article from July 10, “In Relation to My Work: How Video Games Spur My Creativity, part 2.” As anyone who has read either of those two posts will know, I hated the idea of Hans being a cross-dresser on account of the fact that the gimmick—in my eyes at the time, leastways—added nothing to his character that otherwise couldn’t have been well-established if he didn’t have it. As such, I’d long been of the opinion that hey, if Hudson Soft truly wanted to add more effeminate characters to the BR roster, then why not turn Hans into a woman altogether? After all, between his gender-bending appearance, suggestively womanly fighting style and mannerisms, and the fact that he was vocally portrayed by voice actress/radio personality Samantha Vega (whose radio/voice acting home page can be found here), he eventually ended up being referred to as a woman in the PAL version of Bloody Roar anyhow. Besides, if one were to round up every character that has been playable in one game or another within the BR franchise, one could easily see that the men outnumber the women on a two-to-one ratio.

*****

Male Bloody Roar Characters

Yugo

Gado

Long

Bakuryu-I (Kato/Kohryu)

Greg

Hans

Bakuryu-II (Kenji/Kakeru)

Busuzima

Stun

Shenlong

Xion

Cronos

Ganesha

Fang (Okiba Tsukikami from BR Extreme and the BR manga, BR: The Fang by Maruyama Tomowo)

Reiji

Ryoho

Total Playable Male Characters: 16

Female Bloody Roar Characters

Alice

Mitsuko

Uriko

Shina

Jenny

Uranus

Nagi

Mana (sub-combatant sidekick to Ryoho)

Total Playable Female Characters: 8

*****

As such, I hope you can see where I would initially get the idea to turn Hans into a woman outright. However, after some serious consideration, it has dawned on me that Hans could still very well work as a man in my reboot, even if for no other reason than the fact that I—what with a decade and a half of hindsight on my side—could help to flesh out the guy’s backstory a little more. To illustrate what I would do to help redefine Hans and his role within the BR saga, here’s a little taste of what I had in mind.

First off, Hans’s name is of German origin—not just his first name, either, but also his surname “Taubemann,” which is a take on the German phrase for “deaf man,” both of
which I’d noted in my July 10 article. Therefore, it only makes sense to have him be German instead of British, which was the nationality that Hudson Soft had originally given him. Additionally, in an effort to stay true to Hans’s ending from the original BR 1 while giving his character the depth he needs to be taken seriously by all but his most unwavering detractors, I’d give him the backstory of being the dashingly handsome yet equally rebellious son of a ruthless pitfighter named Jurgen Taubemann and his naturally born zoanthrope wife Greta whose overprotective nature has made her worried sick about Hans’s involvement in the underground fighting circuit that her husband has long been a part of himself. Unfortunately, she is unable to sway her son from the call of the pit, even with his initial lack of success as a fighter on account of his slight build (oft referred to by his opponents as being “girly”) and initially straightforward yet impotent kickboxing style. However, Hans soon learns to tweak his manner of fighting to rely more on speed, cunning, and survivalist instinct and less on brute strength while still maintaining his aggressive streak in order to redeem himself in the eyes of his fellow fighters. Soon enough, his ruthless combination of physical and cerebral prowess that allows Hans to become one of the top competitors—if not, in fact, the top competitor—in his circuit and earns him the nickname “Fox” from his peers, who
learn at long last to respect him and his craft. It doesn’t take long for his notoriety to reach the ears of Tylon’s underworld assassination cabal, either, and Hans quite readily finds himself mixed up with them in a way similar to how Long has. His rebellious nature, however, urges him to initially resist his “recruiter’s” coercion to join their fold and try fighting his way out of his situation, only to be overwhelmed by his assailants in the end, in spite of his valiant effort. He is then experimented on in the same manner as Alice in the original BR, and his latent beast powers awaken from deep within him, which he, not unlike Long, comes to hate towards the end of his story on account of his beast form’s connection to his fate of becoming a Tylon operative. As for his bloodlust, fixation with aestheticism (his own included), and severe case of gender identity disorder and consequent transvestism, I’d make those products of the brainwashing he undergoes upon his official indoctrination into the unit—a mind control process that wears off once he unwittingly kills his mother, as featured in his original game ending. What would happen to him after that deed is done, however? Does he end up committing suicide, as his ending suggests? Does his madness only  intensify? Is there someone lurking in the shadows ready to get the jump on and subdue him upon him breaking free from his mental shackles? Well, all I can say right now is to wait for the second installment in this miniseries.

Uriko Nonomura: Once a typical, content little girl who is now held captive by Tylon and is on the receiving end of their mind control and other experimental procedures, which have made her the ultimate third-generation zoanthropic killing machine

Finally, the last of the nine original characters from the first Bloody Roar game, Uriko Nonomura, is a naturally born nine-year-old zoanthrope girl who gets abducted from her parents (or, at the very least, her mother) and is experimented on to become the strongest third-generation man-made zoanthrope, the Chimera (also known as the Werechimera and the War Chimera, depending on which BR data base you visit), only to be rescued by her mother Mitsuko and foster sister Alice in the end. For the most part, I’d keep this backstory as is, except that I’d like to explore the scientific procedures that had given Uriko this unique power in the first BR and why she is apparently no longer able to transform into this monstrous form post-BR 1. Was she always able to transform into a chimera until Tylon’s experiements took a toll on her body and left her with the ability to only transform half-way into a cat (a bobcat, according to BLOODYROARHQ’s wiki), hence the reason why she had always been referred to as a “Half-Beast” until Bloody Roar 4? Such is what is suggested not only at the BLOODYROARHQ wiki, but also the Bloody Roar Wikia (Uriko). Unfortunately, the new model I’d proposed earlier in this article for the source of a zoanthrope’s power (i.e., the hormone “Factor B” rather than a dormant genetic code) more or less overrides this. Otherwise, I could have made the claim that maybe she had chanced to inherit two strands of zoanthrope DNA upon being born, one from each parent, and that Tylon’s experiments had managed to awaken both strands of genetic coding to create Uriko’s Chimera beast form. However, even with my proposed model, I suppose I could arrange it so that Uriko had never in her life had the chance to beastorize prior to her abduction in BR 1, after which her brain was stimulated to produce twice as much “Factor B” than that of the average zoanthrope and that she was given a synthetic adult body to help absorb the newly enhanced amount of “Factor B” flowing through her bloodstream, which would more likely than not be too much for her tiny, underdeveloped child body to handle. Not only that, but the synthetic body given unto her by Tylon would also be enhanced with the abnormal powers that she has in the game (e.g., energy projection, seismic ground punches, and hovering in place inches above the ground). Keeping this in mind, then, it’d be easy for Uriko to realize that she could always beastorize into a chimera, even up to Bloody Roar 2, when she witnesses her mother’s abduction by the ZLF. However, between her no longer being a recipient of Tylon’s mind control nor having the synthetic grownup body she’d been given five years prior, even though her brain might otherwise still be producing twice as much beastorization hormone even during puberty, chances are that her adolescent body might only be willing to absorb so much “Factor B” into its bloodstream before it refuses to undergo any further metamorphosis. This would more likely than not explain why she is only allowed to transform into her cat form throughout the course of the BR saga, although the possibility of her one day regaining the ability to transform into her chimera beast form would still be a possibility, thus leaving plenty of room for intrigue.

Dr. Hajime Busuzima & Dr. Steven “Stun” Goldberg: Two characters originally from Bloody Roar 2 who would fit in nicely with the gang from the first BR game

There we have it—the backstories of all nine characters from the original Bloody Roar 1 explained as they would be revised for my reboot, although there are three more characters I’d like to add to this story. The first one, Dr. Hajime Busuzima, should come as no surprise to anyone, seeing as how he has been credited as the scientist responsible for creating Uriko/Project Uranus as well as managing Hans and both Bakuryus. His premise is simple, too, in that he’s a mad scientist who’s a top researcher for Tylon and is obsessed with creating the “Ultimate Life Object,” among other things. Similarly, I’d also consider bringing Stun into the mix as a supporting character at the very least—a former colleague of Busuzima’s named Steven Goldberg who discovers Busuzima’s barbarous experiments on live zoanthropes and, upon reporting his findings to his superiors, finds out for himself that the experiments were actually a top-secret project for Tylon. Worse yet, his own research had been used in this project. Sadly, before he can take this story to the authorities, he finds himself used as an unwilling test subject by his former colleague, who stimulates his brain to start producing “Factor B” and rearranges his DNA to make in more homologous with that of a Goliath beetle. However, Busuzima ends up altering Goldberg’s genetic code so drastically that Goldberg’s—or, shall we say, Stun’s—new body is an unstable mess and requires a regular dose of cellular stabilizer to stay intact. This therefore leaves Stun at the mercy of his former friend and coworker, making him more or less Busuzima’s guard dog in the instance of the video game version of this reboot, until the renegade zoanthropes (Yugo, Gado, Mitsuko, etc.) end up raiding Tylon’s secret base and bringing the organization down, thus allowing Stun to escape and go into hiding for five years until his original debut in BR 2.

Originally some concept art that can be unlocked after playing the existing Bloody Roar, this image can nonetheless be realized as an actual beast form for BR 1 reboot character Hogarth Howards.

And at long last, I’d like to propose one more addition to this cast to round out the hero-to-heel ratio, and his name is Hogarth Howards. Basically the muscle behind Team Tylon, Hogarth is an American bull zoanthrope who uses his brutal mastery of submission grappling as the general of the corporation’s zoanthrope army. Not only does he have strength on his side, but just as is considered the archetype (or, perhaps one might suggest, stereotype) for his beast form, he’s got a short temper, too, which he developed during his youth as a ruffian who ended up taking the frustrations he’d receive from dealing with his hard-nosed father out on anyone he could get his hands on. One day, his behavior had gotten so far out of hand that he ended up crippling another student for life on account of the other student calling him stupid. Needless to say, Hogarth was immediately expelled and sent to boot camp, from which he was “rescued” by Tylon operatives who had taken him under their wing, taught him to refine his skills in hand-to-hand combat, and had converted into his current zoanthropic self. Forever grateful for the opportunity to make something of himself, which few people aside from his own mother had ever expected of him, Hogarth had become a loyal servitor to the organization from that day forward, and it was this very loyalty that has driven him to become one of Tylon’s greatest soldiers.

Well, there you have it—the who’s who and the what’s what of my reboot of the first Bloody Roar—a little lengthy, I’ll admit, but I hope it was worth the wait. Keep in mind, though, that this is not the be all end all for the first installment, and if there are any BR fans who have any concerns or disputes, I’ll be glad to read whatever you have to say. In fact, I look forward to starting up some conversation on this blog from any BR fan who happens to see this in hopes that they, too, might have some ideas worth throwing into the pot. Otherwise, if you like this proposed BR reboot, stick around for part two of this miniseries. In the meantime, thank you all for reading what I have to say, and I welcome you all to follow me on Twitter @DustinMWeber and to check out my author page at Smashwords.com and my Author Central page at Amazon.com, and until we meet again, happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

*****

PS: For the sake of convenience, here are the links to the other parts of this
miniseries:

Part 2: December 12, 2012

Part 3: February 2, 2013

Part 4: February 7, 2015

Part 5: August 23, 2015

*****

Bloody Roar (c) 1997-2012 Hudson Soft Co., Ltd./2012 Konami Digital Entertainment. All opinions expressed herein, however, are the author’s own.

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9 thoughts on “In Relation to My Work: How Would I Reboot the Bloody Roar Series? part 1

  1. Interesting information you have here. I’ll admit that I’ve never really paid that close attention to the Bloody Roar series when it was still going on, but after reading the articles you’ve written on it, I actually kind of hope that someone takes these ideas of yours and does something with them in an effort to breathe some life back into it. I’ll be keeping tabs on this blog in hopes that you release the next two or so articles in this miniseries in the not-too-distant future. Until then, take care!

    • Thanks for your comment, and yeah, I definitely plan on releasing at least one more part of this reboot sometime soon. Right now, though, I have another “In Relation to My Work” miniseries going on that I want to complete, and I’ve got another book in the works that I hope to have published after I’m all done writing and editing the manuscript for it. Fear not, though; the fact remains that I’m not done yet with this discussion.

  2. Hi! My name is Spencer Boum, and for the past month, I’ve been spamming this website in hopes of providing exposure for the many other countless websites my family and I represent. However, this most recent spam message of mine has been deliberately edited by the owner of this blog as a means of spreading the message that hey, guess what: NO SPAMMING WILL BE TOLERATED ON THIS WEBSITE! Therefore, if you are like me and use spambots to harass bloggers such as the owner of this one, please don’t else your message will only end up edited like mine, and your name will be every bit as exposed as mine has been.

    Thank you.

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  3. Pretty impressive article you’ve got here, Dustin. Any hope that we’ll be seeing more articles like this on your blog in the near future?

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