When the prototype of the ill-fated SNES-CD add-on (also known as the Super Disc, or even the Nintendo PlayStation) leaks out into the hands of the public, what are you, the president of Sony, going to do? Get revenge by causing carnage and destruction in your own company with your bare fists, that’s what!
Or at least, that’s how the story goes in Super Boss Gaiden, a homebrew SNES beat-’em-up that mixes classic genre conventions with some unique and quite frankly bizarre themes that may have you in stitches. Developed over a number of months by a duo of die-hard fans known by the names Dieter von Lazer and ChronoMoogle, this particular homebrew title was designed to run not only on authentic SNES or Super Famicom hardware, but has been optimised for use with the SNES-CD, making its self-referential plotline all the more relevant. Whilst you’ll likely have a tough time tracking down Sony and Nintendo’s prototype disc-based system, there are a number of different ways you can play the game, and it’s nice to know that software has been created for the console despite it never being fully realised.
Super Boss Gaiden makes use of an easy to understand controls scheme and a simple but effective arsenal of moves that make fighting your way through your own company a breeze. Hand-to-hand combat mixed with the ability to throw both items and enemies will serve as the primary method of besting your foes, which include everything from Sony employees, to popular mascot characters such as PaRappa the Rapper and Sackboy – there are even some little references to various obscure Nintendo peripherals such as the Satellaview and Famicom Disk System that are sure to make fans of niche hardware add-ons smile. Different types of enemies, including several bosses, have unique patterns and weaknesses that must be learned, so there’s plenty of variety in every battle.
The game’s visuals are charming and colourful, with environments and characters inspired by classic SNES titles that will certainly be familiar to the sharp-eyed player. An original soundtrack composed by LHS has a nice amount of variety, with each track fitting nicely with the game’s fast-paced action, effectively capturing an authentic 16-bit era feel. This is continued in the gameplay, which feels responsive and runs smoothly despite being fan-made. Hidden areas and items encourage exploration, and you can share the action with up to two other players if you’re diligent enough in uncovering them. It’s not the longest game in the world, but the over-the-top action may be just the incentive you need for repeat playthroughs, especially when teaming up with friends.
Be sure to take a look at the trailer above for a closer look at the gameplay itself, and you can visit the official website to download the game for the format of your choosing.