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Instant Expert
Five Controversial Facts About DJ Boy
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 20, 2012   |   Episode 3 (Show Archive)  


DJ Boy (Genesis)
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SERIES: DJ Boy (1989 - 1992)

GAMOGRAPHY: Kaneko only produced two DJ Boy installments in the arcade, and only one of those made its way to home consoles.

THE BASICS: It's like Double Dragon ... on roller skates. DJ Boy tells the story of a young man who uses his roller skate training to beat up the most nefarious gang in all of Cigaretch City. Like most 2D brawlers, DJ Boy involves a lot of button mashing and skating from left to right. Along the way you'll run into the usual assortment of bosses, power-ups and cloned goons. Despite seeing some controversy at the time, DJ Boy managed to successfully launch a home console port for the Sega Genesis.

DJ Boy is not a Professional Disc Jockey!
Hosting a rave and need somebody on short notice? Need somebody for your wedding reception? Hoping to find
a deep-voiced talker who knows a lot about the radio game? Then you need to look elsewhere, because the hero of DJ Boy is not a professionally certified disc jockey. He's never laid down any phat beats, tinkered with a fader or owned a record player. He's just some dude on roller skates.

His real name is Donald J. Boy, but all of his friends call him DJ for short. He's a master roller skate fighter, kickin' it with some homies in the outskirts of NYC. When violence strikes Cigaretch City, DJ springs into action and takes on the Dark Knight gang. Phew, that was a close one. DJ Boy knows a thing or two about kicking some ass. Just imagine how awkward things would have been if he was asked to perform at Bobby's Bar Mitzvah.

It Might Be Racist!
Look, I'm not saying that Donald J. Boy is a racist, but some of the events found in his game are more than a little questionable by today's morals and standards. In the past twenty years more than a few people have called the game racist, pointing to an offensive black stereotype that attacks our hero with flatulence. The Japanese developers have tried to argue that the big-lipped black woman was part of the absurdity of the game. Done as a joke or not, this is the kind of thing that American gamers tend to object to.

To the publisher's credit, the game altered slightly when it was ported to the Sega Genesis in the United States. The woman's skin color was altered and some of her attacks were removed. Incidentally, in later cut scenes you can see that the woman is black. Regardless of whether she's black, pink or polka dotted, we shouldn't overlook the fact that Donald J. Boy just beat up an old fat woman. Surely that's a hate crime in New York!

Donald J. Boy's Two Adventures
At first glance the Genesis version of DJ Boy looks like an arcade-perfect port. Oh sure, there are the usual changes to graphics and the presentation, but that's the kind of stuff you expect when reducing a game down to 8 megabits. But
look closer and realize that poor Donald J. Boy is actually on TWO completely different adventures.

In the arcade our hero is part of a two-person rolling skating duo. The game starts with the team breakdancing to the freshest tunes circa 1989, when all of a sudden the Dark Knight gang swoops in and steals the boombox. The two friends head out on a journey to get their stuff back.

The plot is a little more elaborate on the Sega Genesis. It turns out that DJ Boy is a well-known fight racer that competes in something called "Rollergame." On one stop, DJ Boy's sexy girlfriend is kidnapped by a gang known as the Dark Knights. They want to make a deal: Donald can have his girlfriend back if he exits the competition. But Donald J. Boy does not negotiate with terrorists and spends the rest of the game beating the stuffing out of everything that moves on roller skates.

DJ Boy Featured Wolfman Jack
Who would have thought that a game as obscure as DJ Boy would have a celebrity name behind it? It turns out that in both the American and Japanese versions, Donald J. Boy's arcade adventure is narrative by two influential disc jockeys from decades past. In Japan the honors went out to Demon Kakka, who has been everything from a musician to journalist to sumo commentator. The United States got the legendary voice of Wolfman Jack, easily one of the most influential people to ever talk about music on the radio.

Incidentally, Kaneko decided to only draw and animate one of these two superstar DJs. Normally that isn't a bad thing, but it's more than a little jarring to see Demon Kakka's face while listening to Wolfman Jack's voice. See for yourself in the video above.

There's a DJ Boy 2!
Not content to leave the series as one, Kaneko decided to release a curious follow-up in 1992. Known as B. Rap Boys, this DJ Boy sequel follows a trio of roller skating heroes as they clean up the streets of New
York City. Perhaps to make up for the racist overtones of the first installment, B. Rap Boys offers gamers a choice of three characters in a mix of ethnicities. Once you've selected your non-stereotypical hero, it's off to skate, dance and fight your way through a number of inventive stages.

There are a few things that stand out about B. Rap Boys. Instead of refining the button-mashing gameplay found in the original, Kaneko decided to emphasize the CD-quality hip hop soundtrack. The result is a mix of obscure rap tracks that run throughout the entirety of game. Beyond cheesy tunes, B. Rap Boys offers a surprisingly diverse mix of vehicles and other oddities to control throughout the course of the game. From a bicycle to a mech suit to a roller coaster ride, you never know what you'll see next in this completely forgotten (yet endearing) sequel.



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