Bonk's Adventure

From NEC Retro


  • TurboGrafx-16
  • PC Engine

BonksAdventure title.png

PCGenjin PCE JP Title.png

Bonk's Adventure
System(s): PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U)
PC Engine
Wii Virtual Console
Hudson Soft
NEC Technologies
Wii U Virtual Console
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
PC Engine
¥5,8005,800 HC89024
Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
ESRB: Everyone
Wii Virtual Console
PEGI: 3+
Wii Virtual Console
OFLC: General (G)
Wii U Virtual Console
¥598 (628)628i[3]
Wii U Virtual Console
ESRB: Everyone
Wii U Virtual Console
PEGI: 3+
Wii U Virtual Console
USK: 0
Wii U Virtual Console
PEGI: 3+
Non-NEC versions
Commodore Amiga
Nintendo Game Boy
Game Boy
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo Entertainment System


|og:site_name=NEC Retro
|title=Bonk's Adventure

Bonk's Adventure, known as PC Genjin (PC原人) in Japan, is a platform action game developed by Red and Atlus for the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16, and the first game in the Bonk series. Much like titles such as Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, Bonk's Adventure would become a flagship title of NEC's console, with the titular character becoming a de facto mascot for it.


The game takes place during a fictional prehistoric period (stated to be 10,000 B.C. in the North American manual[7]). The evil King Drool has kidnapped the beautiful Princess Za and her subjects. It is up to Bonk, a small caveman with a large head, to rescue Princess Za using only his invincible head to defeat enemies.


Bonk's Adventure is a platform game in which the titular character, Bonk, progresses through each level using his forehead as his sole means of attacking enemies. The D-Pad is used to move left and right and to enter elevators and hidden doors, makes Bonk jump, and will make Bonk swing his head forward to attack. When pressing in mid-air, Bonk will aim his head downward for a dive-bombing attack, and pressing again will flip him back up. By repeatedly pressing in mid-air it is possible to make Bonk perform a Spin Jump to "hover" in the air for a long period of time to cover greater horizontal distances. After an enemy is defeated, Bonk can continue to juggle the enemy with his head for bonus points and items. Walls can be climbed by jumping towards them and repeatedly pressing .

Bonk can increase his power by collecting pieces of meat, which in turn also changes his appearance. He starts off at the first power level in which he has his basic abilities. At the second power level, Bonk's headbutt power is doubled and he gains the ability to stun enemies by pounding the ground with his head, and at the third power level, his headbutt power is tripled while also gaining temporary invincibility and can defeat enemies by pounding the ground. The effects of meat will gradually decay to weaker levels over time or when Bonk takes damage. Collecting further pieces of meat when Bonk is at his maximum power will reset the timer on his powered-up state.

Bonk has a health gauge represented by hearts in the top-left corner of the screen, with each heart being worth 5 hit points for a total of 15 HP. Lost health can be replenished by collecting items such as fruit and vegetables. When Bonk runs out of health, he can be revived on the spot by pressing  RUN  after he falls unconscious, providing the player has extra lives remaining. If no lives are left, the game is over, however the player may continue an unlimited number of times by selecting "CONTINUE" on the title screen. Extra lives can be found as items or by scoring points, with the first life awarded at 10,000 points, the second awarded at 20,000 points, and subsequent lives awarded every 20,000 points.


Small Meat
Increases Bonk's power level by one.
Large Meat
Increases Bonk's power level by two.
Refills Bonk's health by one fifth of a heart and awards various quantities of bonus points depending on the type of vegetable.
Refills Bonk's health by two fifths of a heart and awards various quantities of bonus points depending on the type of fruit.
Refills Bonk's health by a full heart.
Jumbo Heart
Refills Bonk's health by three full hearts.
Crystal Heart
Permanently increases Bonk's maximum health by one heart. There are only two of these items in the game.
Smiley Face
Found in the air and dropped by defeated enemies. Collected Smiley Faces are tallied for health and points after defeating a boss, with a congratulatory message based on how many were collected.
Little Bonk
Awards an extra life.

Flora Springers

Special flowers known as Flora Springers can be jumped on for items or additional effects, however some of them may be Venus Bonktraps in disguise that will attack Bonk when stepped on.

Can be used as a springboard to reach high places. Also known as a Floret Sprung.
Releases vegetables, fruit or hearts when jumped on.
Releases meat when jumped on.
Releases a Crystal Heart when jumped on.



Round 1
The first round of the game sees Bonk travelling across basic prehistoric plains filled with volcanoes, introducing the player to the various items and mechanics in the game. The third level of the round requires Bonk to enter the mouth of a giant dinosaur and travel through its stomach while avoiding villi to reach the boss elevator.

The boss of this round is Huey.


Round 2
This round has the most levels of any round in the game, featuring a variety of biomes such as deserts filled with cacti and quicksand, waterfalls that Bonk can climb by repeatedly pressing , caves with harmful green pools, and a jungle with swinging vines and trees that Bonk can climb, eventually leading to the treetops.

The boss of this round is Gladdis.


Round 3
The first level of this round has many holes for Bonk to enter that lead to bonus rounds and rooms full of food. 3-2 consists of a collapsing bone bridge, and if Bonk makes it across the bridge without falling, he can skip ahead to 3-5. The later levels of the round are ice-themed, and feature obstacles such as sliding ice blocks.

The boss of this round is Kongo Zilla.


Round 4
This is the shortest round in the game, consisting of only one level with a flashing red sky and long stretches of quicksand teeming with cacti and walking trees.

The boss of this round is Punchy Pedro.


Round 5
The final round of the game sees Bonk finally reaching King Drool's castle, and features the longest levels of the game. Near the end of the castle, Bonk must refight all of the bosses from previous rounds, then fight T. Ractorhead in order to free a brainwashed Princess Za. Afterwards, Bonk must fight King Drool himself on the surface of the moon.

Bonus rounds

Four types of bonus rounds can be found by entering hidden doors throughout the game for bonus points.


Cliff Climbing
The player has 10 seconds to climb to the top of a cliff wall, which requires repeatedly pressing . Using the turbo switch for on a Turbo Pad is highly recommended.


Continuous Spin
The player must jump down and perform as many spins in the air as possible by repeatedly pressing . Bonk must land on his feet upon reaching the ground, otherwise the player's score will be disqualified. Using the turbo switch for on a Turbo Pad is highly recommended.


Continuous Jump
The player must use Floret Sprungs to jump across pits and collect as many fruit and vegetables as possible for bonus points.


Head-butting the Volcano Rocks
The player must headbutt as many of the rocks thrown from the volcano as they can for bonus points.



Bonk was originally created by Kobuta Aoki for use in comic strips featured in Gekkan PC Engine to promote the PC Engine. He was named "PC Genjin" in Japan as a pun on the system's name, with "Genjin" roughly translating to "caveman" and "PC" standing for Pithecanthropus Computerus, a pun on Pithecanthropus erectus.

The character became very popular to the point that Hudson Soft would collaborate with Red to develop a game based on the character. The comic strips' popularity had even led to the confusion that they were promoting Bonk as an upcoming game character before his game had even entered development.[8]


Following its success, Bonk's Adventure would see a number of sequels, two of which were released for NEC systems - those two sequels being Bonk's Revenge and Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure - as well as a futuristic shoot-'em-up spinoff series in the form of Air Zonk and its sequel Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly-Paradise. In addition to ports to other systems, Bonk would branch out further with sequels released on non-NEC systems, such as Super Bonk for the Super NES in 1994.

In 2003, Bonk's Adventure received a 3D remake for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube as part of Hudson Soft's Hudson Selection series of games exclusively for the Japanese market. A reboot of the franchise, titled Bonk: Brink of Extinction, was developed for release on digital platforms, however all development had halted with the closure of Hudson Soft.

The original PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 version of Bonk's Adventure would see release as one of the first TurboGrafx-16 titles on the Wii Virtual Console in 2006 and would become the most downloaded game at the time of release[9]. The game was also one of five titles used to demonstrate the Virtual Console at E3 2006. Konami would later re-release the game on the Wii U Virtual Console, as well as including the PC Engine version of the game (in Japanese only) on all regional variants of the PC Engine mini.


Though initially created for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, Bonk's Adventure would see ports to other systems, particularly the Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom, Game Boy and Amiga computers. While North American releases of the NES and Game Boy versions retained the TurboGrafx-16 version's title, the Japanese releases would be renamed to suit the system, with the Famicom version renamed to FC Genjin (the "FC" standing for Freakthoropus Computerus) and the Game Boy version renamed to GB Genjin.

The Amiga version of the game was published by Ubisoft and developed by Factor 5, and was given the more generic title of BC Kid. Factor 5 later released the Amiga version for free through their website.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Bonk's Adventure Bonk's Adventure
Japanese PC原人 PC Genjin


Main article: Bonk's Adventure/Comparisons.

Production credits

  • つくった ひとたち: あべべ こんぶ, ぱんよめ, りせっと りゅう, いんない ちゃん, どくたー あらい, つるもく, まっこ, ほっと らいす
  • おせわになった ひと: ごまちゃん, いまいちゃん, くまさん, まっちゃん, えちおぴ, どくさん, くぼちん, とにー よこやま, ひろりん, ぶー うえだ, ひろいさん, あだちさん, ばこばこ, ゆざわや, すずきさん, かどちゃん, あおやまさん, うえやまさん, えんどうさん, じょっかーのみなさん, れっどのみなさん, せんでんのひと, はんばいのひと, そのほか いっぱい
In-game credits (JP)

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Bonk's Adventure/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Bonk's Adventure/Promotional material.

Physical scans

PC Engine version

NEC Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
93 №100, p100[10]
№137, p26[11]
PC Engine
Based on
1 review

PC Engine, JP
PCGenjin PCE JP Box Front.jpg

TurboGrafx-16 version

TurboGrafx-16, US
BonksAdventure TG16 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngBonksAdventure TG16 US Box Front.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
PC Engine
CRC32 2cb5cd55
MD5 0e997fd6e47e9212a90b0a137d65283d
SHA-1 40fab9ea76d94d5569a977b1eb5a1dfb54978485
384kB Card (JP)
PC Engine
CRC32 9c1f39db
MD5 b4535afdce61f812b3718e1966899068
SHA-1 958356f471522243b8ee6ff5d83d43350e2fc142
384kB Wii U Virtual Console (JP)
CRC32 599ead9b
MD5 3aa21326050c489ea867de05dd6cb7e5
SHA-1 403c4fbdb617cea5b8cd0c8d06ae988f6aef93bd
384kB Card (US)
CRC32 704c801e
MD5 cc7721fcd414095c810edf8d95c85c52
SHA-1 0c15c2e532964bb42120685db19f6205ae5eb6ad
384kB Wii U Virtual Console (US/EU)

External links

  • Bonk's Adventure on Nintendo eShop: JP, US, UK


Bonk's Adventure

BonksAdventure title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Bugs | Magazine articles | Reception | Promotional material

Bonk games (and spin-offs) for NEC systems
Bonk's Adventure (1990) | Bonk's Revenge (1991) | Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure (1993) | RPC Genjin (unreleased)
Air Zonk (1992) | Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly-Paradise (1993)