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Mr. Bones

Mr. Bones is a mixed genre video game consisting of platform, rhythm and minigame elements that was developed by Zono Inc. and Published by Sega for the Sega Saturn.  The very unique style game was conceptualized by Ed Annunziata, the creator of the Ecco The Dolphin series.  Annunziata created an eccentric and surreal experience by combining numerous gameplay styles with an offbeat storyline.

While Zono Inc. handled the core development of the game, the cutscenes and art assets were created by Angel Studios.  The cinematics were designed and directed by Allen Battino, who worked alongside Annunziata on Ecco: The Tides of Time for the Sega CD.  Battino also performed the role of Mr. Bones via motion capture.  Music was a key plot point in Annunziata’s storyline for the game and the soundtrack became an important element in the design of the game.   The soundtrack for the game was composed and performed by Ronnie Montrose, a famous American rock guitarist and is one of a handful of games of the era to receive a published soundtrack in North America.

The game is centered around a skeleton known as Mr. Bones who has been resurrected by a mad philosopher.   DaGoulian, a mad philosopher believes he can purify the world by making evil thrive.  When the evil DaGoulian uses a set of magic drums to raise a skeletal army, he also resurrects Mr. Bones.  The magical drums allow DaGoulian to tap into a primal power which he refers to as “skeletal magnetism” or skeletism.  By summoning the dead from their graves, he is able to gain control of a skeleton army to do his bidding.

Developer(s)Zono Inc.
Angel Studios
Publisher(s)Sega
SeriesN/A
PredecessorNone
SuccessorNone
Platform(s)Sega Saturn
Media TypeOptical Disc
ReleaseNA: October 18, 1996
EU: March 13, 1997
JP: June 26, 1997
Genre(s)Action
Platformer
Rhythm
Mode(s)Single-player
RatingESRB: KA
ELSPA: 3+
Rereleased Platform(s)None

One of the skeletons in the cemetery that was resurrected was pure of heart and thus is not controlled by the red evil skeletism.  Instead the pure of heart individual received a blue good skeletism which allowed him to retain his free will.  DaGoulian quickly noticed that a sole skeleton received the blue good skeletism and orders his newly created army of red evil skeletism skeletons to destroy the sole skeleton who calls himself “Mr. Bones”.  Players assume the role of Mr. Bones in an effort to stop DaGoulian’s evil plan by finding a way to counteract the evil of red skeletism before DaGoulian’s minions catch up to him.

The Sega Saturn exclusive released on October 18, 1996 to mixed reviews.  Critics opinions were divided between the game being very bizarre in nature to the gameplay being extraordinarily original.  Due to the Sega Saturn’s poor hardware sales and being overshadowed by other releases at the time, the game did not preform very well when it released.   The game is often fondly looked back on by gamers who had the opportunity to experience it on the Saturn and has influenced many retro gamers to revisit the title.

Game Screenshots:

Mr. Bones Intro & Commercial

  • Credits
  • Cover Art
  • Manual
  • Media & Promo Material

ProfileNameRole
Ed AnnunziataE. Ettore AnnunziataProducer
Game Design
Original Story & Game Concept
Profile PlaceholderCrisi AlbertsonProducers
Allen BattinoCinematic Design
Storyboards
Jeff FortProject Leader
Ronnie MontroseComposer
Music Performed by
Simon HallamHero/Core/Stage Programmer
Dave CastelnuovoCore/Stage Programmer
Profile PlaceholderThibault LepoutreStage Programmer
Profile PlaceholderBob MeissnerStage Programmer
Profile PlaceholderMichael GatesHero Animator
Game Artist
Jason HoughGame Artist
Profile PlaceholderBrian CollinsSupplemental Sptire Artist
Profile PlaceholderMarion FortAdministrative Coordinator
Ed ZobristManaging Producer
William NovakGame Design
Jill HuntCreative Director
Profile PlaceholderJennifer JohnstonProducer
Daren BaderArt Director
Profile PlaceholderJeff HayesAnimator
Michael LimberAnimator
Profile PlaceholderPeter MegowAnimator
Profile PlaceholderJames D. PolkAnimator
Rod L. StaffordAnimator
Carlos CabralLighting
Profile PlaceholderStacy Curry3D Artist
Profile PlaceholderRob Howard3D Artist
Lisa Mulvaney3D Artist
Brian Newlin3D Artist
James McLeodJames McLeodTechnical Consultant
Profile PlaceholderMark AdanTechnical Support
Teresa ShawTechnical Support
Profile PlaceholderScott VyeTechnical Support
Profile PlaceholderTim MonkMotion Capture Programmer
Profile PlaceholderArt WasemMotion Capture Support
Profile PlaceholderGlen HernandezProduction Assistant
Profile PlaceholderMerle KesslerScreen Play
Profile PlaceholderEric CaplainVideo Compression
Gordon LyonEngineer
Brian CoburnBrian CoburnSound Design
Audio Programming
Profile PlaceholderJim HedgesSMPC Music
Profile PlaceholderTom MileyInteractive Music
Susan GreeneSusan GreeneAnimator
Profile PlaceholderJohn BroenenAnimator
David AlbertInstrumental beings
Mark Jeffery MillerInstrumental beings
Robert HardyInstrumental beings
Profile PlaceholderChris WalkerInstrumental beings
Debbie KramerProduction Coordinators
Marianne ArotzarenaProduction Coordinators
Profile PlaceholderAdam SelviliaTalent Coordinator
Profile PlaceholderDavid YoungAssistants on the set
Jennifer HruskaAssistants on the set
MIDI Sound Recordist
Joe CainAssistants on the set
Profile PlaceholderMatt DunbarProduct Manager
Anne MoelleringMarketing Manager
Sarah WittmerPackaging
Profile PlaceholderMike ManganoPackaging
Angel Studios Logo 2000 -2003Angel StudiosPackaging
Curtis ClarksonManual
Profile PlaceholderVerdoni Multi MediaManual
Bill HolshevnikoffDirector of Photography
Profile PlaceholderJim RollinUltimattist
Profile PlaceholderGreg DaviesGaffer
Profile PlaceholderJamie CampanaKey Grip
Profile PlaceholderJim StewartKey Grip
Lana BernbergSwing/Grip
Profile PlaceholderChris SchellenbergerSwing/Grip
Profile PlaceholderPhilip PerkinsAudio
Profile PlaceholderMaciel LopezJib Arm Operator
Profile PlaceholderMichael MurphyJib from Northern lights
Profile PlaceholderMetropolis DigitalAdditional Animation
Bruce StraleyAdditional Animation
Raymond Frericks Jr.Additional Programming
Deborah AnnunziataSpecial Thanks
John ShirleySpecial Thanks
Steve PayneSpecial Thanks
Michelle HickeySpecial Thanks
Iain DaviesSpecial Thanks
Paul ByfordSpecial Thanks
Anthony GaudSpecial Thanks
Robert SchonfischSpecial Thanks
Arvin CarlsonSpecial Thanks
Eileen SacmanSpecial Thanks
Laura HazlettCostumer & Props
Richard DubinFiberoptic Specialist
Joanne EdmondsMake-up & props
F. HoustonVoices (Mr. Bones)
Tim DerwallisRonne Thanks
Mackie DesignsExtra Special Thanks
Brian VouglassActors (Dagoulian)
Atom EllisLead
Ben RubrightAssistants
Brendan CahillAssistants
Jay MijaresAssistants
Trent HaskinsAssistants
Matt CogleyAssistants
Greg PettTesters
Marcus MontgomeryTesters
Matt UnderwoodTesters
Karen BrownTesters
Ian McGuinessTesters
Amy AlbertsonTesters
John FosnaughTesters
Michael McCollumTesters
Nicole TatemTesters
Peter YoungTesters
David DodgeTesters
Samson MacielTesters
Fred SelkerTesters
Scott SolomonsonTesters
Don CarmichaelTesters
Dennis LeeTesters
Howard GipsonTesters
Jeff SandersTesters
Rey AlferezTesters
Brian ThoromanTesters
Stephen PerezTesters
Len JungTesters
Lancelot NelsonTesters
Steve ThompsonTesters
Jason CorderoTesters
Oscar YingTesters
Jeff HedgesTesters
Ferdinand VillarTesters
Tom CollinsTesters
Daniel MadarTesters
Andrew ByrneTesters
Essie HamadaniTesters
Sean PotterTesters
Michael CallahanTesters

Sega Saturn (North American Release)

Sega Saturn (European Release)

Sega Saturn (Japanese Release)

Media & Promotional Material