Bounty Arms: The Demo in Full

If you’ve followed this website for a while, you likely noticed my obsession with an unreleased game called Bounty Arms. Data West announced it for the first round of PlayStation games in 1995, and it brought a novel idea. The game’s two anime heroines wander overhead-view stages, much like the protagonists of Mercs or Outzone or dozens of similar shooters. Instead of standard-issue firearms, however, they wield telescoping Relic Arms that serve as whips, grappling hooks, and all-destroying flamethrowers.

Alas, this promising title vanished from sight around the middle of 1995, with Data West moving on to another game and subsequently retreating from the industry. A scrap of Bounty Arms made its way to the public, though.

Demo Demo PlayStation, a Japan-only line of discs meant primarily for kiosks, includes a Bounty Arms preview video on its fourth volume and a playable half-stage on its fifth. The demo’s very limited: protagonists Rei Misazaki and Chris Prenaculutaoraroato (which is how I’ll translate her last name for the time being) don’t take damage at all, and the game reboots once they destroy the mid-stage boss. Yet the graphics for the entire first stage appear to be in the demo, and I always hoped that someone would figure out how to play the entire level.

Well, someone did! Tumblr user Human of Mi-Com Age ran the demo alongside Cheat Engine and tricked the game into letting you play the whole first stage, including a clash with the electricity-spewing robotic serpent boss. I’ll let Human’s brilliant post detail the actual method. It’s a relatively easy hack once you figure out Cheat Engine, and I pulled it off despite having no programming knowledge beyond remembering some passwords for the NES version of Strider.

To sum it up, the mid-boss won’t appear when its value is disabled, and this allows Chris and Rei to march beyond the usual cutoff point. From there, the rest of the first level of Bounty Arms is yours to explore.

There are no grand secrets beyond, I admit. The game just throws denser waves of the same enemies Chris and Rei faced in the level’s first leg, and since our heroines are invincible we’re left to imagine how difficult it all might be in finished form. Even so, some new and interesting sights await.