Bamse is the world's strongest bear, yet he wasn't strong enough to prevent Beam Software from slapping his face on a game in 1993 that has otherwise nothing to do with him.
Best time: 0:19:19 by Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll on 2014-01-29.
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Bamse is a well-known comic in Sweden that most Swedes – if not everyone - have read or at least seen sometime over the last 48 years he's been around. This game, starring the main character with the same name as the series, was released as "We're Back!" in US and as "Agro Soar" in Australia and finally Baby T-Rex in EU, with character models and weapon sprites changed depending on which cartoon it represented. As far as I know, all games are identical in terms of gameplay and layout.
There are not many tricks to be used in this game. Damage boosts are possible to execute and is used on some levels, and apart from that it's mainly about keep moving forward as much as possible and try not to get hit too much. The controls are OK for a game released on the Game Boy, but as they are not that responsive all the time they can cause problems from time to time.
Most of the text in the game is in Swedish and I decided to keep the levels names in Swedish as well. The story is hilarious and the setting is also not common for Bamse either, making the game have almost nothing in common with the cartoon. On the other hand it's always fun to see how low the standards for some video games were back in the day, and from a historical perspective it stands clear that it didn't matter that much if the story and characters had little to do with each other as long as you put a well-known cartoon figure on the cover. But all ofthat should never stop you from doing a speed run, and neither did it stop me from picking up this forgotten adventure starring the world's strongest bear!
Djungeln 1 (The Jungle 1): An easy level to start off with. The first can goes right through the first enemy and I miss taking out the second enemy on the first try, but none of them cost any time.
Djungeln 2 (The Jungle 2): It's possible to jump to the third trampoline in the beginning of the level, but since jumping may slow you down I decided to just slide right into it and then jump. It's possible to slide of the edge of the nest where you get a lift up by an enemy, and get dropped inside the ground right below the slope you ride down towards the trampoline section (which saves about a second), but that requires a lot of luck and seem to happen randomly even if you attempt it. Even though one of the jumps in the trampoline section seems skippable, it's almost impossible to even reach the platform, less reaching the actual trampoline.
Djungeln 3 (The Jungle 3): If you stand still and hold the Select button while pressing the D-pad, you can move the camera around and look further ahead in any given direction. This is useful the first time playing for getting through each level safely (or in some terms, even getting through at all), and when sliding through slopes and changing directions back and forth it makes Bamse stop very quickly and save a good amount of time. I was not able to reach the last trampoline on many attempts, which seems very random since you do the exact same thing every time you arrive there, but thankfully I did that on this attempt.
Boss 1: Each boss takes 10 hits to eliminate, and each boss has its own cycle it progresses through. If you manage to squeeze in 10 hits before another cycle starts, you won't have to wait the extra 10 seconds it takes for the boss to complete its cycle. On this attempt one shot was not recognized, but it's possible to get a late hit as well, which saved me here. A perfect run would save about 1 second here.
Kristallgrottorna 1 (Crystal Caves 1): The moving platform in the beginning is very unforgiving. If you don't jump exactly as fast as you need, you won't reach the platform above at all. This is why I take a safer approach to it by jumping off the skateboard just before to get more time to adjust for the jump. The lava that spits out from different locations in most levels from here on has random patterns and even the slightest hit can send you straight to your death if you're not cautious.
Kristallgrottorna 2 (Crystal Caves 2): After jumping off from the skateboard in the beginning of the level I hit the first platform in order not to land on the skateboard again, which will carry you straight to the spikes (it happened several times when I tried to reach as far as possible). It's possible to skip the second platform and jump straight down through the small gap below it, but the nature of the slow-responding controls made me not aim for that in this run. Some intentional damage are taken here in order to keep moving forward as much as possible, and the last platform in the end is another run-killer that will show you no mercy if you jump too soon or too late.
Kristallgrottorna 3 (Crystal Caves 3): The only level where you start facing west. A nice damage boost early in the level lets you skip a boring section and the fact that you can withstand four hits is greatly used here. Another damageboost is possible in the beginning of the level, but since it slows down the game a lot for a couple of seconds I decided not to use it.
Boss 2: Easiest boss in the game, somewhat sloppy on the execution though. Unlike the first boss, this one will trigger the exit as soon as you hit it 10 times, but since one the nesting birds came in the way an extra can had to be used. Not much time lost though.
Slottsgångarna 1 (The Castle Dungeons 1): This is where the fun begins and both enemies and obstacles are tougher from here on. I get hit on one occasion while jumping around – I use the jumping to line up before the following section – but that does not cost anything particular time-wise.
The three blocks you jump over in the middle of the level is by far the worst section in the whole game. You can get hit from time to time by the statues placed above the blocks and since any damage will give you a boost forward it usually means that you'll get stuck on a block and see the skateboard riding away in solitude leaving you behind with tons of frustration. I get hit on the very last jump here, which actually gives me a boost forward I can use, but since the board catches up with you it does not save any time.
Slottsgångarna 2 (The Castle Dungeons 2): Toughest level in the game with lots of enemies, spikes and huge bowling balls to deal with. I took a chance at 10:50 (depending on how the Dino will move, you may be able to move forward all the time and get past without getting hit) that did not pay off and had to wait for some falling obstacles shortly afterwards, but apart from that everything went really well.
Slottsgångarna 3 (The Castle Dungeons 3): The first Dino can sometimes be standing still, thus letting you jump over him without getting hit, but that does not happen here unfortunately. If it had, it's possible to skip the third downward platform and damage boost on the spikes, but for health considerations I had to skip that this time. The damage boost near the end works well though and the final time was about as good as I had hoped for.
Boss 3: An easy boss as well, with only one attack that can hit you really. It's important to wait for the horns to disappear completely as you will take damage from them otherwise and fall to your death below.
Sethron's Torn 1 (Sethrons Tower 1): A short and easy level. The damage boost in the flame section is a nice skip, but I misjudged one of the jumps with the skateboard which looks ugly. The only real mistake that should not have happened, but it did not cost many seconds after all. Still bugs me out though.
Sethron's Torn 2 (Sethrons Tower 2): Taking two hits in the beginning is not optimal, but you have to work with what you get. Barley missed a shot at an enemy near the end, which normally would not have cost me anything, but bad RNG on the final trampoline means that I had to use the bowling ball instead of just walking by and take a hit while doing so. That weird boost I got was a first-timer as well.
Sethron's Torn 3: Good start and some lucky RNG, but the bad trampoline hit kinda took that away. I was not aiming at reaching it at all since it's extremely easy to overshoot it. I was not sure about whether I would reach despite getting hit, but decided to not take any chances this late in the game. The rest of the level went well though thankfully.
Final Boss: Taking 15x2 hits to destroy, this one's a little different from the others. I got hit once by accident in the beginning, but took great use of the remaining hits I could spare. A couple more seconds can be saved with optimal performance, but it's not that bad after all.
Thanks for watching!
Author's comments in Swedish:
Världens Starkaste Björn behöver ingen närmare presentation i detta fall då praktiskt taget alla svenskar antingen har läst, sett eller hört något med Bamse sedan han gjorde entré 1966. Att det finns ett spel till Gameboy där denna dunderhonungsglufsande brunbjörn tar plats som huvudkaraktär är kanske inte så konstigt, men att dinosaurier, enorma bowlingklot och allsköns otyg står för motståndet hör verkligen inte till vanligheterna i Rune Andréassons universum. Detta har sin förklaring då detta spel är släppt under flera olika titlar baserad på populära barnserier och där det förhistoriska temat härstämmar från We're Back alternativt Baby T-Rex, som några av varianterna går under.
Historien går ut på att Bamse och gänget åker tillbaka i tiden med Skalmans tidsmaskin, där även Vargen hakar med på ett hörn. Väl tillbaka i tiden har Vargen tagit nämnda sköldpadda till sitt "dödsdömda slott" och det blir upp till Bamse själv att rädda Skalman och ta med honom tillbaka till vår tid. Att döma av att honungsburkarna används som vapen att kasta på fienderna med, kan man starkt ifrågasätta om innehållet består av dunderhonung eller ej. Som om detta inte vore skrattretande nog är spelet fullt av stavfel, där både "bonuspoång" och "tutalt" kan ses efter varje bana där poängräkningen tar vid.
Utan att kasta allt för mycket skit på detta spel gömmer det sig en hyfsad plattformare bakom all denna smörja. Damage boosts är det vanligaste förekommande tricket och utöver detta handlar det till största del om att röra sig framåt så fort som bara går utan att stanna på vägen bortsett från där det krävs. Vid vissa tillfällen kan spelet glitcha rejält vilket gör att många sprites hackas ner i bitar och vi får pixliga fiender och plattformar som består av ett långt streck att se på istället tills den aktuella banan är avklarad innan allt återgår till det normala. Det är även möjligt att glitcha genom marken när man landar på en skateboard och trycker neråt på D-paden i samma ögonblick, men detta gör att man fastnar i luften och får även spelet att hänga sig kort efter detta.
Jag väljer att inte skriva några kommentarer per bana på svenska då det inte finns så mycket mer att säga än vad som redan har gjorts i den engelskspråkiga delen. De sista tre banorna har varsitt misstag som jag gärna hade sluppit, men utöver dessa är det endast mindre fel här och där som sig bör i en single segment-runda. Det är möjligt att pressa ner tiderna lite mer, men då jag stadigt låg på tider som var 5-10 sekunder sämre än denna kändes det som att detta blev det jag kunde prestera som bäst vid detta tillfälle.
Tack för läsningen och mycket nöje!
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