Badman (franchise)

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The eponymous Badman as seen in No Heroes Allowed! VR
For the eponymous character, see Badman.

The Badman (JP: ゆなま, sometimes 勇者なま) franchise is an overarching video game franchise owned by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and chiefly distributed in the west by NIS America. First appearing in October 2008, it chiefly produces "God games" and puzzle games.

Common elements

The Badman franchise has a distinct group of recurring characters, most prevalent being Badman, Badmella, and the King and Princess he continually overthrows. Oftentimes, some heroes will recur, those being Shota, Hashima, Natalie, Satoru, Erika, and Maxwell. Additionally, Badman's thirst for conquest is particularly thwarted by Heroman, AAA, and ****, three particularly powerful heroes that will often face Badman at the end of his campaign.

The franchise commonly appeals to the aesthetics of classic video game franchises, such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, featuring text boxes and the like reminiscent of titles released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom Family Computer in Japan) and RPG Maker games produced for the PC-98 series of computers (JP: PC-9800シリーズ). Subverting this, however, is that rather than play as the classical hero, the player takes the role of God of Destruction, the thing summoning the monsters to fight the heroes within the walls of the dungeons they enter. In doing so, a different playstyle is evoked, that being the idea of preventing the hero from getting to the Overlord, just as is experienced in those games.

Outside of aesthetic, the tone of the Badman franchise is filled with a distinct amount of wit, particularly with pop culture references and meta humour, often in the forms of parody. This is even in the name: Badman is derived from the superhero icon Batman, with the original series title being Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! prior to experiencing copyright dispute. The games also tend to take a slight ecological, worldbuilding approach, with each game featuring an Almanac with information on each monster and hero that the player encounters, written in the game's trademark satirical manner.

Video games

Dungeoneering titles

A Manipulatrix in the dungeon.

Starting in 2008 with What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!?, the dungeoneering titles play similarly to games like Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress. The player, dubbed the God of Destruction, must dig out the dungeon, a labyrinth protecting Badman. In doing so, monsters are spawned from blocks to protect the Overlord from heroes as he amasses power to take over the surface world. These monsters cannot be controlled, instead having their own simple AI, requiring the dungeon to be built with them—and the heroes—in mind. Should Badman be found by a hero, he will be dragged out of the dungeon and forced to face his crimes, oftentimes being punished with hanging.

The gameplay of the dungeoneering titles expanded over time, with What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 adding mutation, an upgrade system that has monsters develop into different species, and No Heroes Allowed! adding water to produce aquatic monsters. Given the variance in which dungeons can be produced, these add significant replay value to each title, with no two playthroughs being the same.

A Japan-exclusive mobile port of What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? was produced for flip phones in 2009 via EZWeb, named Yūsha no Kuse ni Namaiki da. Soshite Keitai e..., also featuring its own suite of heroes and stages. It was released alongside Makai Casino Royale, a minigame title.

Since No Heroes Allowed! in 2010, no dungeoneering titles have been produced.

Puzzle titles

Julian in the dungeon.

Starting in 2013 with Yu-Nama: The Puzzle, the puzzle games in the Badman franchise take the form of a simple sliding puzzle game, somewhat similar to Candy Crush Saga. A similar premise to the Dungeoneering titles is made, protecting the Overlord from incoming heroes, albeit this time with a time limit instead of heroes attempting to find him organically. Matching monsters in the sliding puzzle causes them to spawn and fight the incoming hero, with higher combos causing more monsters to spawn, eventually swarming and overwhelming the hero.

No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either! added Monster Mixing alongside the monsters from No Heroes Allowed!, giving players access to a variety of units to level up, giving the puzzle games a difficulty curve. Yūsha no Kuse ni Konamaiki da DASH! further expanded on this with a gacha mechanic, alongside numerous new monsters designed for the puzzle mechanics in general.

Yūsha no Kiroku Ver.(Ke)

Yūsha no Kiroku Ver.(Ke) is a quality-of-life scheduling app and task manager designed around memorising daily tasks, featuring a calendar and the monsters from No Heroes Allowed!. The game takes place in an interstellar system, with Badman aiming to conquer planets instead of simply the world. Gameplay akin to dungeoneering exists, with the God of Destruction digging a small dungeon with only a few monsters instead of something elaborate.

No Heroes Allowed! VR

No Heroes Allowed! VR takes the "god game" perspective of the dungeoneering titles and takes it to the surface world, using a nest system that spawns monsters instead of digging a maze for heroes to get through. Control is more emphasised, with the God of Destruction being capable of directing monsters to different locations using G.O.D Skills.

Other media

Copyright dispute

Original North American box art

What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? was originally named Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This?, a reference to the famous quote by Robin from the Batman franchise. This aimed to localise the Japanese title's reference to the Doraemon quote "Nobita no kuse ni namaiki da!" ("Gee Nobita, you sure are conceited!").[1] However, on February 9, 2010, NIS America revealed it would be changing the game's name to avoid legal disputes. After this incident, the game was re-released on April 22, 2010 on the PlayStation Network after it was removed to make the changes.

The threat of a lawsuit also impacted What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2, at the time named Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! 2: Time to Tighten Up Security!, forcing it to change advertising materials, including boxart, game demos, and the website. The HolyBadman.com website changed advertising materials on 14th February 2010[2]. The final game's release was delayed to 4th May 2010.

Due to the legal issues, a physical release of What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? itself did not occur in North America. However, it was included in the UMD release of its sequel after reaching 1,000 pre-orders[3], and European copies also exist.

Reception

The Badman franchise is seen as an obscure cult classic franchise, being affectionately remembered by fans, especially in East Asia.

The dungeoneering titles were generally well-received, often admired for its retro appearance, wit, and unique, addictive gameplay style. However, they received mixed reception for its excessive difficulty, especially with regards to accessing its core gameplay mechanics; particularly, the lack of control for the player and esoteric nature made it particularly hard for the casual gamer to access.

The puzzle titles received mixed to negative reception. While the puzzle gameplay is tried-and-true, they are often criticised for having excessive monetary practices, with Yūsha no Kuse ni Konamaiki da DASH! being particularly controversial for embracing "gachapon" mechanics.

References


Badman franchise
Games
What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? - What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 - No Heroes Allowed!
Yu-Nama: The Puzzle - No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either! - No Heroes Allowed! VR
-Japan only-
Yūsha no Kuse ni Namaiki da. Soshite Keitai e... (改 - 乙 - G - Marugoto Pack - re)
Makai Casino Royale - Yūsha no Kiroku Ver.(Ke) - Yūsha no Kuse ni Konamaiki da DASH!
Major Characters
God of Destruction - Badman - Badmella - Heroes - Monsters - King - Princess
Shota - Hashima - Natalie - Maxwell - Satoru - Erika - AAA - AAB - ABC - **** - Ozark