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Bravoman
Arcade flyer of Bravoman.
Japanese arcade flyer of Chouzetsu Rinjin Beraboh Man.
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco, NEC
Designer(s) Takao Yoshiba (Arcade version)
Composer(s) Norio Nakagata
Platform(s) Arcade Game, TurboGrafx-16, Virtual Console
Release date(s) May 1988 (Arcade)
1990 (TurboGrafx-16)
April 9, 2007 (Virtual Console)
Genre(s) Platform game / beat-em-up
Mode(s) Single player, Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Input methods 8-way Joystick, 2 Pressure Sensitive Buttons (Arcade),
4-way Control pad, 2 Buttons (TG16)
Cabinet Horizontal
Arcade system Namco System 1
CPU 6809
Sound Sound CPU : 6809
MCU : HD63701
Sound Chips : YM2151, Namco advanced 8-channel stereo WSG, DAC
Display Raster, 288 x 224 pixels, 24-bit RGB color

Bravoman, known in Japan as Chouzetsu Rinjin Beraboh Man (超絶倫人 ベラボーマン lit. "Transcendental Ethical Man: Beraboh Man" ?), sometimes referred to as Berabow Man is a 1988 platformer/beat-em-up hybrid arcade game developed and released by Namco for the arcades only in Japan. It was later ported to the NEC TurboGrafx-16 in 1990. This version was also released outside of Japan simply as Bravoman. In 2007, this same version was released on the Wii Virtual Console.

The game described by Namco themselves as a "comical action game", which takes a light and humorous approach to an otherwise trite theme, by using a lot of humorous elements, both graphics, plot and sound-wise, usually ridiculing or parodying stereotypical elements of Japanese tokusatsu and videogames, in a manner similar to the Konami game series Parodius.

Contents

Plot

The plot starts when Arnold (known in Japan as Hitoshi Nakamura (中村 仁 Nakamura Hitoshi ?)), a typical insurance company salaryman (who is also a caricature of Namco's founder, Masaya Nakamura) encounters an alien name Alpha Man (α遊星人 ?) from Planet Alpha (misspelled as "Alfa" in the English TurboGrafx-16 version). The alien tells Hitoshi Nakamura that an evil scientist named Dr. Bomb (known in Japan as Dr. Bakuda (爆田博士 Bakuda-hakase ?)) is planning to set an "End the World" weapon. Then the alien gives Hitoshi Nakamura an odd metal rod, a fork and a coin, which turns him into Bravoman, a bionic tokusatsu hero who possesses telescopic limbs that can be used to fight against Dr. Bomb's henchmen.

Gameplay

Bravoman (left) fighting against Black Bravo (right) in the arcade version.

Bravoman can mainly use his telescopic limbs to attack enemies. Depending on his position (jumping, crouching etc.) he will either use his arms, legs or head to attack. The arcade had 6 pressure sensitive buttons that allowed the player to control how strong an attack and how high a jump would be.

Most enemy projectiles can be blocked by Bravoman's attacks. Also, Bravoman can occasionally collect some bonuses giving him greater range, temporary invincibility, increased speed, powerful punches, the ability to fly through most of the level without being hurt or the ability to fire energy bolts for a short while. Bravoman can reach quite high when jumping. It essentially means performing an attack at the top of one's jump, which will cause Bravoman to stop for a while in mid-air. At that point, pressing the jump button again will result in a smaller, mid-air jump. This technique gives Bravoman a little extra jumping height, which is essential in some stages of the game. This can only be done once per jump. Bravoman has sufficient jumping power on the most powerful setting, and this technique is neither possible nor necessary. In underwater stages, Bravoman turns into a submarine, and the game then works like most horizontal-scrolling shoot-em-up games. The attack buttons shoot torpedoes while the jump buttons drop depth charges. At the end of the game or after the player gives up, a scene showing Bravoman walking back to his home while morphing back into his true form telling his wife and two children he's home. After that, they walk outside and face the player.

Throughout the game, Bravoman's sort-of-partner name Lottery Man (known in Japan as Fukubiki Man (福引男 ?)), will be aiding him with various bonuses during gameplay. Lottery Man is a yellow robot riding a fat unicycle, and floats in the game's screen each time Bravoman collects a special bonus, offering him a random item, usually points, health or power ups. Also, during most stages, Bravoman can collect some special "lottery tickets" bonuses. After a stage's boss is defeated, Bravoman meets Lottery Man, who gives Bravoman some health bonuses which appear to be a popular Japanese food called onigari, depending on how many "tickets" he has collected during the stage. In one stage, Bravoman saves Lottery Man from a tragedy.

Ports and related releases

Front cover of North American TurboGrafx-16 version.

The arcade game was later ported to the NEC TurboGrafx-16 in 1990. Despite the arcade version being released exclusively in Japan, the TurboGrafx-16 version was also released outside of Japan simply as Bravoman. In 2007, this same version was released on the Wii Virtual Console. The arcade version will soon be released for the Japanese Wii Virtual Console, while there are no plans for this version to have a worldwide release. Some changes were added to the TurboGrafx-16 version compared to its arcade counterpart. Pressing on the fire button for a long time will result in a ranged but slow attack, while pressing it shortly results in a quicker, though less ranged attack. When walking normally, he can either attack frontally or perform a diagonal forward and upwards kick, by moving the joystick up plus sideways while attacking. When jumping in this version, some places require a slightly more advanced technique, the so-called "Bravo Jump". The TurboGrafx-16 version doesn't reveal the fact about the wife and children scene until the end of the game, while the arcade version shows it in the game's intro.

Two years later, a Japan-only arcade spin-off titled Pistol-Shogun - Pistol Daimyo no Bōken was released, which stars one of Bravoman's bosses, Pistol Daimyo (ピストル大名 ?). Bravoman appeared in Namco x Capcom alongside many enemies from his game. Two more notable characters from Bravoman, Black Bravo (ブラックベラボー ?) and Waya-Hime (わや姫 ?) also appeared in Namco X Capcom as bosses; however, later in the game, Waya-Hime joins the player's party and teams up with Taki from Namco's Soul Calibur series. In the same game, Bravoman is partnered with Wonder Momo from the game of the same name. Along with numerous Namco characters, Bravoman also appeared in the Japan-only Bandai Wonderswan title, Namco Super Wars. In Marvel Land, another Namco arcade game, some rides featured in levels along with the bonus level parade floats contain popular Namco characters, including Bravoman. Yujin released a gashapon figure of Waya-Hime as part of the "Namco Girls" collection. One of Taki's alternate costumes in Soul Calibur II is a cosplay version of Waya-Hime's. Dr. Bomb and the damsel in distress of Bravoman made a cameo appearance in Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei 2.

External links

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Beraboh Man
Box artwork for Beraboh Man.
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Japanese title 超絶倫人ベラボーマン
Release date(s)
Wii Virtual Console
Genre(s) Beat 'em up
System(s) Arcade, TurboGrafx-16, Wii Virtual Console
Players 1-2
Rating(s)
ESRB: Everyone
CERO: All ages

Beraboh Man (complete Japanese title: Chouzetsu Rinjin Beraboh Man), is a beat 'em up arcade game that was released by Namco in 1988 only in Japan. It runs on Namco System 1 hardware, and was later ported to the US TurboGrafx-16 under the name of Bravoman. This version of the game actually became more popular than the arcade one and was released on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007, described by Namco themselves as a "comical action game".

Story

An evil scientist named Dr. Bakuda and his army have arrived in Japan with only one thing in mind - to take over the world. An ordinary working-class Japanese man (who is a caricature of Namco's founder, Masaya Nakamura) has been transformed into the superhero "Beraboh Man" by an alien from Planet Alpha, and he is all that stands in their way. He will not stop until Dr. Bakuda and his evil army are defeated and the world is once again safe for humanity.

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