<table> <tr> <td class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </td> <td> <table class=headerright> <tr> <td class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png" target="_blank"></a> </td> <td class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k" /> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1" /> <input type="text" name="q" size="30" /> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search" /> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </td> </tr> </table> <table class=headerad> <tr> <td> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table>

<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction
Bonk's Adventure
Bonk's Revenge

Page 2:
Bonk 3
Super Bonk
Super Genjin 2

Page 3:
B.C. Kid Arcade
Game Boy Games
Bonk Returns

Page 4:
Air Zonk
Super Air Zonk
Other

Back to the Index


Air Zonk / PC Denjin (PC電人): Punkic Cyborgs - TurboGrafx 16, Wii Virtual Console (1992)

American TurboGrafx-16 Cover

Japanese PC Engine Cover

Air Zonk is a futuristic reimagining of the Bonk universe. Bonk - or, technically, his descendent Zonk - has been morphed into a flying cyborg. This new hero looks mostly the same, except for a rad pair of sunglasses and a lightning bolt on his head. His Japanese name is "PC Denjin", where the "PC" here stands for "Punkic Cyborg" and "denjin" literally means "electric person," but more closely means "cyborg" in this case. For a short time, Zonk replaced Bonk as the mascot of TTI, the American division in charge of distributing the Turbo Duo. While there was no shortage of shooters for the TurboGrafx-16, Air Zonk actually stands out as one of the best on the platform.

In many ways, it's a typical side scrolling shooter, but Air Zonk stands out due to the incredible arsenal of weaponry. By himself, Zonk is equipped with a rapid fire gun. He also has flame jets in his feet, allowing him to roast enemies that get too close to his rear. There are over half a dozen standard weapons found in power-up capsules, including punching gloves, boomerangs, alligator teeth, lasers, and homing missiles. One of the most common is one which shrinks Zonk to miniscule sizes and allow you to aim in any of the four directions while moving. The weapons also have the added benefit of allowing you to take an extra hit before you get killed. You can also charge up your attacks with the I button, although not all of the weapons have a super attack. Hold it for a few seconds and you'll unleash a bomb that will damage almost anything on the screen.

This in itself isn't overwhelmingly spectacular, but Zonk is accompanied by ten different friends. At the beginning of each stage, you can pick one of these pals to accompany you into combat. When you grab a giant smiley face, you'll summon your pal into combat, who floats around and acts as an additional satellite of firepower. Some of these guys are pretty weird, like the giant bulbous cow, the enormous scud missiles, or floating bubble gum machine. If you manage to keep your friend around - if it takes too much damage, it flies off - then Zonk will merge them into a completely new form. For example, if you merge with the cow, you turn into a milk bottle firing maniac. When the bottles hit an enemy, the milk acts like explosive residue and does extra splash damage. And when you merge with the baseball, you'll turn into a pitcher who can toss a flurry of mean curveballs. Once you pick a companion, he's out for rest for the game, forcing you to pick someone new for the next level. In other words, Air Zonk is the sort of rare shoot-em-up that you keeps playing, not just to see new stages, but just to see what kind of crazy thing you turn into and what kind of weapons you'll wield.

There are only five stages in Air Zonk, although they're pretty long. Each stage takes place in open air, with no real terrain to navigate, just an onslaught of enemy patterns. It also has some of the best looking parallax scrolling on the system, and looks surprisingly natural compared to most other 16-bit games. All of the levels are artistically gorgeous, with some inventive locales - one takes place in a baseball stadium, another has Bonk flying through a futuristic fortress, with graphics from the first stage of Bonk's Adventure painted on the background. Most of the enemies are variations on the foes from the Bonk games, including mechanical dinosaurs and such. The soundtrack is fantastic, again boasting one of the best chip generated scores on the system.

Just like its platformer cousins, Air Zonk has a fresh, cartoony feel that's missing from the cold and sterile outer space backgrounds of most shooters. It's definitely one of the highlights of the system and a must own.

There are a number of graphical differences between the North American and Japanese versions. In the Japanese version, the intro begins with the PC Genjin logo appearing, whereupon PC Denjin flies by and smashes into it. In the North American version, Bonk is standing on a building, and then puts on a pair of shades, transforming into Air Zonk. In the Japanese version, the charge bomb looks a bit like a pile of poop (it does look like he's straining himself when he's charging), but it was changed into a regular looking bomb for North America. When assembled with the cow partner, in the Japanese version, PC Denjin puts on a bit of lipstick and fires milk bottles. This was perhaps too suggestive (the milk bottles kinda appear to be giant nipples), so his whole body was changed into a cow in the North American version. Also, while the partner and stage names are written in English in the Japanese version, they were all changed for the North American release. The score display was also changed.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Tarō Chōgōkin

Genre:

Themes:


Air Zonk (TurboGrafx-16)

Air Zonk (TurboGrafx-16)

Air Zonk (TurboGrafx-16)

Air Zonk (TurboGrafx-16)

Air Zonk (TurboGrafx-16)

Air Zonk (TurboGrafx-16)



Comparison Screenshots


View all "Air Zonk" items on eBay

Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly-Paradise / CD Denjin: Rockabilly Tengoku (CD電人~ロカビリー天国~) - TG16 Super CD, Wii Virtual Console (1993)

American Turbo Duo Cover

Japanese PC Engine CD Cover

After the spectacular success of Air Zonk, one would expect that a CD sequel would offer even more of the same fast paced, inventive action of its predecessor. But something went a little bit wrong - Super Air Zonk isn't quite on the level of its predecessor, mostly because it seems to have been designed by a different development team.

There are four levels to choose from in the beginning. There's no longer a staple of companions to choose from. Instead, mid-level, you'll find a little creature being chased by an enemy with a net. Save it, and it'll join your side. You can merge with it immediately, much like the similar forms from Air Zonk. You can also separate from it and have it act as an option, or send it flying back and forth across the screen, a bit like the Force pod from R-Type. Some of the transformations are pretty cool, at least - in one stage, you turn into a sushi chef and hurtle bits of raw fish across the screen, and in another, you morph into a singer, who attacks with swirling musical notes.

And this is where it starts to go wrong - there are only five levels, which means only five companion types. Additionally, removing the ability to select your accompaniment ruins a lot of the experimental fun of the original. There aren't even as many weapons as before. You can collect meat to upgrade your standard weapon - from your standard gun to miniature lightning bolts, and then up to a powerful laser gun. It's cut the original arsenal roughly by half. To be fair, you can now shoot the flowers several times to change the type of power-up you'll receive. And if you fire continuously for several seconds, you'll shoot out a ring of lightning bolts when you let go of the button.

The levels aren't quite as interesting either. As opposed to the open air levels of the original, each level now has full terrain to fly through, but it's all pretty slow paced and still a bit boring. At least some of the boss battles are pretty cool. At one point, you enter into the head of a robot and need to destroy its mechanical heart. In another stage, a TV station, you fight what resembles a sign board, who announces and counts down its attacks on its digital display.

The visuals have taken an odd step back too. Artistically, it's about the same, but it's lost all of the cool multiplane scrolling of the original Air Zonk, making the world feel strangely flat. The addition of redbook audio music should be a strength, but it's really pretty unimpressive. Like the subtitle suggests, it channels rockabilly music, meaning lots of piano and guitar. It's pretty good, and the vocal title theme is pretty amusing, but it still somehow pales in comparison to the awesome chip music from the first game.

Taken on its own, Super Air Zonk is a fairly average shooter, but compared to the original, it has worse graphics, worse music, less weapons, and duller levels. A bit of a disappointment all around.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Dual Corporation

Publisher:

Director:

  • Hito Ii

Genre:

Themes:


Super Air Zonk (TG16 Super CD)

Super Air Zonk (TG16 Super CD)

Super Air Zonk (TG16 Super CD)

Super Air Zonk (TG16 Super CD)

Super Air Zonk (TG16 Super CD)



Cancelled Games

RPC Genjin - PC Engine (unreleased)

Red Entertainment, the company behind the Bonk games, also created Tengai Makyou, one of the most popular RPG series for the PC Engine. At one point, they were going to create an RPG called RPC Genjin, also for the PC Engine. Unfortunately, it was cancelled long before release. Other than a few scans found in an old Japanese magazine, there exists very little information about this game, other than it looking very similar to Dragon Quest.

RPC Genjin


Bonk: Brink of Extinction - Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (unreleased)

Like many of Hudson's other properties, Bonk has experienced a resurgence of popularity due to his presense on the Wii Virtual Console. This allowed to hope for more Bonk in the future, and in 2009 Hudson announced Bonk: Brink of Extinction headed for WiiWare, PSN and XBox Live. Developed by the Texan-based Pi Studios, the game would have featured cooperative multiplayer in a world threatened by a huge meteor impact.

However, Konami bought up veteran publisher Hudson Soft in early 2011, cancelling almost all its games in the aftermath. That really put Bonk at the brink of extinction, and there hasn't been any news from the charming caveman since.

Bonk: Brink of Extinction



Cameos

Bonk was one of Hudson's most endearing characters, and appeared in a few other games. He shows up in Same Game (pronounced the Japanese way, "Sah-may Gah-may"), a puzzle game for the Super Famicom, along with other Hudson characters like Bomberman, Momotarou from Momotarou Densetsu, and Milon from Milon's Secret Castle. Bonk is also a playable character in Saturn Bomberman, again along with other Hudson characters like Master Higgins from Adventure Island.

Same Game (Saturn)


PC Engine Hyper Catalog 3: 4-Panel Comics



Related Articles


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction
Bonk's Adventure
Bonk's Revenge

Page 2:
Bonk 3
Super Bonk
Super Genjin 2

Page 3:
B.C. Kid Arcade
Game Boy Games
Bonk Returns

Page 4:
Air Zonk
Super Air Zonk
Other

Back to the Index