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Proto:Bonkers (Genesis)/March 28, 1994 Prototype

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Bonkers (Genesis).

The March 28, 1994 Prototype of Bonkers was released by drx during the February 23, 2008 proto release. This is the earliest of the Bonkers protos in that release and it looks completely different from the final, being nine months before the game's eventual release in December 1994.

(Prototype source: Hidden Palace)


All levels use completely different art and are very early in design. All the music is early and unused in the final, except the title, though it's more primitive sounding.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)005.png

This appears as soon as you start up the game. Game Module selects the level, while Game Level selects which act of the level you want. Most levels only go up to 10 acts and from then on you either get repeats, a bare background, crashes, or a blank screen with the levels music playing. Exit brings you to the Junkyard level, which is considered the first level for starting the game. The font used is the one from the Atari 8-bit computers.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)006.png

One of the available options in the Game Module section is Logo, which shows an animation unused in the final game. Bonkers' friend Toots from the show hops from the left onto the Sega logo. Much more familiar to fans of the show than the random animations that played in the final.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)014.png

This comes up whenever the game crashes. It sometimes happens at seemingly random times. Most of the time you see it when you pause at certain levels. It also comes up when you screw with debug too much.

Pressing Start within a level will bring up an act select counter. Though, it somehow doesn't seem to always correspond directly with the same Game Level option at the title stage select screen. If you choose on the title Exit to go to the main game, however, and then press Start and choose any number with A, you always end up in the next consecutive level regardless.

Debug mode can be accessed when pressing Start within a level and pressing C. Pressing B lays out objects. There are a few other options available, but none of them will make much sense to most people. The debug implemented is too slow and not too welcoming to mess with.

Level Differences


Proto Final
Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)002.png Bonkers (JUE) -!-00111.png

What could be considered the first level of the proto, as you are directed here after hitting Exit, this level is completely different from the final. In the final, the goal is to block the machine on the other side by throwing bricks to block him. In the proto, you don't have much anything to do but just avoid what's coming at you. At first, you're confronted by a bunch of pogo sticks, then tires.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)003.png

Eventually, the level moves onto a second act which seems to be endless with even more tires flying at you.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)004.png

Sometimes, you get thrown a hammer to hit away any tires coming at you.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)015.png

Another act that you can get to from the level select screen has blobs of slime crawling down to you.

Museum Heist

Proto Final
Bonkers prototype - mar 28 1994 hidden-palace.org04242.png Bonkers jue 887.png

The items that the raccoons steal appear to keep their graphics up to the final, while everything else is completely different. All raccoons in the back go back and forth, while some make it up front, and others often get stuck. If you keep hitting them, the level eventually will move on to the next, but there doesn't seem to be a final level that's obtainable. One very important difference to note is the projectile. In the final, you just shoot straight ahead wherever you're positioned and it hits whatever is in your path. A bit more convenient in the proto, but timing isn't as great.

Bonkers prototype - mar 28 1994 hidden-palace.org3332.png

At random times, Toots will jump onto the screen with a screwed up palette. He doesn't seem to have any purpose implemented yet.

Hollywood Freeway

Proto Final
Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)013.png Bonkers (JUE) -!-0054.png

VERY primitive execution of what was to become the final attempt. There really isn't much to see in this level. You can drive around aimlessly through the small paths laid out. What you see is pretty much all you'll see. Two other police cars race around the area aimlessly.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)012.png

You run across these clouds often. They will start to look angry and emit thunder, after which water appears under them.


Proto Final
Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)008.png Bonkers (JUE) -!-002.png

This level shares the same music as the Junkyard level. In the final, you have to collect all pieces of a Fall Apart Rabbit before the timer runs out and the bomb explodes, if that makes any sense. The bomb in this prototype is instead a rocket. The gameplay is much the same as the final; destroy crates that jump around to collect the body pieces. Unlike the final where Bonkers does a karate chop to break boxes, you just push A next to them and you either push them or break them right there. Getting hurt also won't make you lose a piece, as in the final. Whenever you stop moving, Bonkers will be left in whatever animation frame he was last in.

Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)009.png

If you pause the game, you actually get to see which parts of the rabbit you've gotten already. A nifty feature that for some reason was cut from the final game. Instead, in the final, you just get two options on the notepad, which you can see in the right shot below.

Proto Final
Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)010.png Bonkers (JUE) !004.png

Only once you've collected all parts in the final, then do you see the completed picture of Fall Apart on the notepad. His right hand also was changed so that it's extending like the left one.

Unused Level

Pic 1 Pic 2
Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)000.png Bonkers (Prototype - Mar 28, 1994) (hidden-palace.org)001.png

As soon as the level starts, that gray box underneath the cat on the left shot runs away from you. You can only reach this level by choosing Exit at the title/level select screen, then pressing Start, pressing A on any number, and going past the Museum Heist stage. It's unknown what this level is. If you keep going down the middle path, it just repeats over and over again.

This is another interesting look at how the game was starting out, as you can see by the hand-drawn pictures and crudely-painted whatever-the-hell-that-is. The place is also crawling with cats and birds for some reason. Perhaps this was some sort of early idea for a bonus level?

Unused Sprite

Bonkers gen unusedsprite.png

This trash can is loaded into VRAM in the Junkyard level, but isn't used anywhere.