In the annals of video game history, there exists a peculiar enigma: Hong Kong 97, a title so bizarre and abysmal that it has earned a reputation as both the worst and most obscure game ever created.
Table Of Contents
About Hong Kong 97
Hong Kong 97 is an obscure unlicensed 2D shooting game developed by HappySoft, a mysterious company based in Japan. Released in 1995 for the Super Famicom, the game is infamously remembered for its bizarre content, crude graphics, and controversial themes. Set in 1997, coinciding with the real-life handover of Hong Kong from British rule to Chinese sovereignty, it gained cult status over the years due to its infamy and mystique.
The introduction showcases a low-resolution title screen, poorly rendered text, and a scrambled pixel background. The soundtrack, a low-quality looped rendition of the Chinese song I Love Beijing Tiananmen, contributes to the overall sense of disarray and chaos.
The introduction also presents a brief, poorly translated, and grammatically incorrect synopsis of the game’s bizarre and politically charged storyline. The Chinese government hires a relative of Bruce Lee named “Chin” to eliminate criminals after the handover of Hong Kong. A “colony creature” sent from a “Nation of Hong Kong” in space adds absurdity and science fiction elements.
As the introduction proceeds, it showcases the game’s rudimentary graphics and gameplay, including crudely designed sprites and backgrounds, significant pixelation, and color distortion. The player controls Chin, who you move while shooting enemies in a single, endlessly looping stage, which is notably difficult.
Controversial and Offensive Elements
Hong Kong 97 is known for its controversial and offensive elements, which have contributed to the game’s infamy and cult status within the gaming community. The game is centered around politically charged themes, as its setting and storyline revolve around the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from British rule to Chinese sovereignty. The game portrays the Chinese government in a negative light, suggesting that they would go to extreme lengths, such as hiring a relative of Bruce Lee to eliminate criminals, to address the crime wave in Hong Kong after the handover. This portrayal has been criticized for promoting anti-Chinese sentiment and capitalizing on political tensions of the time.
Negative stereotypes are also present in the game, further fueling its controversial status. The game’s enemies are portrayed as generic Chinese criminals, which can be seen as promoting xenophobia and negative assumptions about Chinese people. Additionally, the game’s protagonist, Chin, is a relative of Bruce Lee, which could be interpreted as a clichéd and stereotypical representation of Asian characters in media, particularly in relation to martial arts and action genres.
One of the most infamous aspects of Hong Kong 97 is the use of a graphic, real-life photograph of a deceased person as the game over screen. The image is shocking, disrespectful, and distasteful, serving to intensify the game’s reputation as a tasteless and offensive experience. The inclusion of such a graphic image not only demonstrates a lack of sensitivity and empathy but also seems to have been added to the game purely for shock value.
Obscurity and Difficulty Obtaining the Game
Hong Kong 97’s status as an unlicensed game developed by an enigmatic company, HappySoft, has contributed significantly to its obscurity and the difficulty in getting a physical copy. The game’s limited distribution, mysterious origins, and controversial content have all played a role in making it a rare and sought-after item among collectors and enthusiasts of obscure video games.
As an unlicensed game, Hong Kong 97 was not distributed through official channels, and it bypassed the usual quality controls and marketing efforts associated with legitimate releases. This limited distribution has made it extremely difficult to find physical copies of the game. The game was reportedly available through mail order in a Japanese magazine advertisement, but the number of copies produced and distributed is unknown, adding to its obscurity.
The Worst Video Game Ever
Hong Kong 97 has been frequently labeled as one of the worst video games ever due to a combination of factors that encompass its poor production quality, bizarre content, and controversial elements.
The game’s graphics and sound are extremely rudimentary and crude, which contributes to its reputation as a poorly made game. The visuals are comprised of pixelated sprites and backgrounds, with significant color distortion and clunky animations. The game’s soundtrack is low-quality and repetitive, played on loop throughout, creating an irritating and monotonous audio experience.
Hong Kong 97’s gameplay is notably simplistic and offers little variety or depth. The game is also frustratingly difficult, with enemies and projectiles appearing in rapid succession, often resulting in frequent player deaths. The game’s story and content are bizarre and nonsensical, featuring a strange mix of political themes, science fiction, and conspiracy theories.
These factors have contributed to its criticism for its insensitivity, tastelessness, extremely poor quality, and shock value, further solidifying the game’s reputation as one of the worst ever made.