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Binary Monsters II: Adventure of Hell, also known as Binary Monster II and Binary Monsters - Adventure of Hell, is an unlicensed platform game for the Game Boy Color developed and published by Gowin. It was first released in Chinese as 數碼怪獸-地獄大冒険 for Chinese-speaking territories, particularly Taiwan, on January 2000, and would later be released in English. This is the first game released by Gowin that is known to have been developed in-house.

Gameplay[]

Binary Monster II Character Select ENG

Character select screen (English version).

The game is a basic platformer featuring two playable characters: Hotkid, Gowin's dragon mascot (spelled "Hot-Kid" in the English version and named 瓜瓜龍 in the Chinese version), and Pagila (帕奇拉 in the Chinese version). Both characters play identically outside of their sprites being different.

The player starts off with 3 lives and a full 5 units of health (4 units are visible in the HUD) regardless of the character they've chosen to play as. There are three stages in the entire game, each one consisting of three levels. Every level after the first level of the game is preceded by a title card with the level's name and a preview of the level itself. The player makes their character move left or right with the respective D-pad buttons, jump with the A button, and shoot a projectile with the B button, which is required to deal damage to enemies and bosses. Hot-Kid breathes out fire with the B button while Pagila shoots out a triangle-shaped wave. Holding the A button will allow the chosen character to jump higher. Touching enemies will deal one unit of damage to the player. Once damage is dealt to the player while they have an empty health bar, they will lose a life. Items and collectibles are placed throughout each level, the latter simply increasing points. Each level has a boss at the end, which most of the time need to be defeated in order to proceed to the next level.

Music[]

Almost all of the music in this game is reused from older unlicensed monochrome Game Boy games that Gowin previously published in the 1990s, with most of them known to have been developed by a team connected to Gamtec and Vast Fame. Notably, some of the music tracks in this game are from the unlicensed Game Boy game Prince Rainbow, a game that Gowin would originally publish in 1993. Binary Monster II in particular uses the level 2 music from Prince Rainbow in the first stage's levels, the ending music in the last stage's levels and the level introduction screens, and the first level music in its ending. For unknown reasons, the level 2 music from Prince Rainbow in this game is slightly slowed down. The music on the title screen is a conversion of a song originally from Top Secret, a maze game released in 1993 by Songtly that was developed by Jumbo Team, a Taiwanese development group consisting of people who worked for Gamtec and Chuanpu Technology. Gowin would re-release this game on December 1998 as Lost Trips (迷途之旅), or Losing Trip on the title screen of Gowin's version.

The sound driver used in this game is from the Konami Game Boy game Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge and is used to play original music tracks in-game. Prince Rainbow uses the same base driver, albeit using the variant from Pop'n Twinbee, which leads to the versions of its songs in Binary Monster II to sound near identical to how they sound in the originating game. The original sound effects from Castlevania II are still used in this game with no alteration, though.

Releases[]

The game was first released in Chinese on January 2000 as 數碼怪獸-地獄大冒険, with the secondary English name on the box reading Binary Monsters - Adventure of Hell. The box art and cartridge label for this release feature Hotkid/Guagualong and Pagila in fighting stances wearing karate gear. Cartridges from the original 2000 release are known to have been manufactured as early as 1999[1], suggesting that the game had finished development in that year.

The Chinese version of the game would later be re-released in a new box with Gowin's standardized "Hotkid Color" layout, using the Chinese name 數碼怪獸II 地獄大冒険 and English subtitle Binary Monsters II - Adventure of Hell. The box for the re-release also uses new box art featuring Hotkid and Pagila in different poses and art of enemies from the game. An English version would also be released at some point, which uses the same box art as the Chinese re-release. The box for this release now uses the English name Binary Monster II, but keeps the English subtitle of the Chinese re-release. The English version features a new title screen logo and translated names for the playable characters and level names, but is otherwise identical to the Chinese version. All previously mentioned releases are currently undumped, with the Chinese version known to use copy protection that prevents it from running normally in emulators.

Digimon (hack)[]

This section is about the hack of Binary Monsters II: Adventure of Hell. For games with a similar title, see Digimon (disambiguation).
Binary Monster II Digimon Title Screen

Title screen of the Digimon hack.

A simple hack of the English version of this game with the copy protection removed, simply titled Digimon, would be included on a "HTG COLOR 25in1" multicart with the ID code HTG-2501. The hack replaces the logo on the title screen with a digitized version of the western Digimon logo. It also keeps the Gowin intro animation that plays before the game starts, but modifies the Gowin logo to make it read as "Howin". The hack appears to be identical to the original version otherwise, although when the hack is played on a monochrome system, the game glitches and ground collision breaks in levels, making it impossible to play the game. It is unlikely that Gowin was involved in the production of this hack.

The hack has been dumped as a ROM extracted from the HTG-2501 multicart. The unaltered ROM extract only partially works - on emulators, it functions and accepts input when run in color, but all graphics do not appear on screen. Interestingly, the ROM of this hack fully works in monochrome mode, but retains the original Binary Monsters logo on the title screen in that case. A patched version of this ROM has also been released that allows the game to properly work in color, although it breaks the game in monochrome mode in a similar fashion to how it would on the original multicart. Both ROMs do not display the modified "Howin" intro, and it is currently unknown how this hack fully works on the HTG-2501 multicart.

Trivia[]

  • The ID assigned to this game by Gowin on their website is GS10.[2] Despite this game releasing in the year 2000, Amazing Robot, a Gowin game assigned with the ID GS09, would first release on May 2001.
  • This game is compatible with monochrome Game Boy systems, and features two unique title screens that are shown depending on if the game is running on a color or monochrome system. On color systems, the title screen features Hotkid, while on monochrome systems, the title screen features Pagila.
  • A version of one of music tracks in this game (which was originally used as the ending theme in Prince Rainbow) would later be re-used in the Famicom/NES game Pocket Monster, which also has ties to Gamtec. Gowin was likely not involved in the decision of including the song in that game.

References[]

External links[]

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