North American Dreamcast cover art
Fur Fighters is a video game developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Acclaim for the Dreamcast in 2000, later for Microsoft Windows. The game was designed very much as a standard third-person shooter, but used a world populated by cute little animals as its setting. As a result, the game's depiction of violence is very cartoon-like without losing any of its intensity. In 2001, an updated version for the PlayStation 2 was released as Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge. On July 20, 2012, members of Muffin Games, ex-Bizarre Creations staff, announced a conversion for iPad, called Fur Fighters: Viggo on Glass.
The plot of the game revolves around the Fur Fighters, a group dedicated to fighting against General Viggo, the game's main antagonist. At the beginning of the game, Viggo kidnaps the families of the Fur Fighters, stranding their children around the game's various locations and turning the spouses (Or in Tweek's case, mother) into robotic beasts. The story is rather loose, revolving around the Fur Fighters' quest to rescue their babies, save their family and stop General Viggo.
Roofus - A hound hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, who aims to rescue his wife, Winnie. Roofus is the leader of the Fur Fighters, who has the ability to dig in special areas. He is a tough character; having been a soldier, he is shown as being a wise, experienced person.
Juliette - A cat hailing from Paris, France, who aims to rescue her husband, Claude. She has the ability to climb on specially marked walls. She has a short temper and can be seen as self-absorbed, but she continues to fight for her friends and family.
Bungalow - A kangaroo hailing from Alice Springs, Australia, who aims to rescue his wife, Esmerelda. He is Roofus' best friend, and has the ability to jump much higher than the other characters. He is extremely absent-minded and has low intelligence, but he shows himself to be easy-going and friendly.
Chang - A firefox from Hong Kong, China, who aims to save his wife, Mai. He created the teleportation device used in the game and he has the ability to go through small areas. He is extremely clever and cunning, as well as having advanced scientific knowledge.
Rico - A rockhopper penguin from Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina, who aims to rescue his wife, Juanita. He has the ability to swim underwater. Though he cares for his friends and families, he can be somewhat conceited, as well as being prone to daydreaming.
Tweek - A dragon born in Royston Vasey, Wales, who aims to rescue his mother, Gwynth. He has the ability to glide. Tweek, in the beginning, is not actually a Fur Fighter; his mother, Gwynth is a Fur Fighter that has been kidnapped by General Viggo. As a small child, Tweek is a nervous character, but shows an iron will.
Flea - In the remake, Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge, there are bonus levels in which the player, taking the role of a flea, must kill the ticks on the bodies of the Fur Fighters. The Flea is not shown as having a distinct personality, nor is its backstory elaborated on.
General Viggo - The game's main antagonist. Prior to the events of the game, the Fur Fighters had defeated Viggo in an unspecified battle, to which Viggo swore revenge. In the game, Viggo seeks this revenge by kidnapping the families of the Fur Fighters. He is often seen with his pet, Fifi, an animalistic human.
General Bristol - General Bristol is a ghostly walrus. He is the mentor figure of the Fur Fighters, who still continues to help them even after his death. He is found in every level of the game, offering hints about certain sections.
Sergeant Sternhauser - Sergeant Sternhauser is an oryx, and the drill instructor for the Fur Fighters. Like General Bristol, he can be found in every level of the game. When encountered, one can usually participate in a dancing minigame which yields small rewards.
In Fur Fighters, the player's job is to rescue the tiny animal babies who have been taken from their parents (in one case, it's the little brother) by the central villain, General Viggo. Viggo has scattered these babies all over the world, requiring the fathers (again, in one case it's the little brother, in another, it's the mother) to explore, confront Viggo's henchmen, and rescue all of them. The gameplay featured many unique aspects for a third-person shooter of the time it was released, most notably making each level an extremely large, expansive area that requires sometimes hours of involved exploration to locate the babies and get rid of the enemies. (Examples include a giant construction site and an entire section of a large city, complete with buildings to explore, including a complete museum of modern art.) Maneuvering through these levels often requires careful observation of the environment so as not to get lost, as well as solving puzzles to figure out where some babies might be hidden or how to gain access to more of the level. Unlike most action games of this type, Fur Fighters distinguishes itself by featuring a system where the player can, at many intervals on a level, switch between one of many animal parents. Each parent has their own advantages and disadvantages, with many having special abilities allowing them to do certain things easier. This substitute system also makes it easier for players who are low on hit points or ammunition to switch to a more suitable character.
The Dreamcast version of Fur Fighters received "favorable" reviews, while its PC version, along with Viggo's Revenge and Viggo on Glass, received "mixed or average reviews", according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.
While the game was not a tremendous financial success and went almost unnoticed by the majority of gamers at the time, critically the game was almost universally praised for its size, scope, sense of humour, and attention to detail. The fact that mindless violence was not the sole gameplay element impressed many, and the game went on to become a cult classic of sorts. In an attempt to take the series further with a larger audience, a new version of the game entitled Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge was released in 2001 on the PlayStation 2. It met with mixed success as it was simply an update of the original game with a few minor features included (such as cel-shading and real voices for the characters).