Weird Video Wednesday: Philosophising the Blues in Mr Bones (Saturn)

Introducing! A game! Mr Bones! This whole game for Sega Saturn has a certain odd, off-kilter feel, but a ways into the game Mr Bones takes a turn for the bizarre. And the level that introduces the insanity is called Glass Shards. The cutscene intro for this particular level shows our hero, a skeleton called Mr Bones, being absorbed into a portal. He finds himself in a psychedelic no-man’s-land, with only some unevenly spaced floating lilies to help him escape.

[Note: I couldn’t find any videos that contained the whole audio for this level fully except for this one, which has had some strange video filters applied for effect.]

As you can tell, music is a big part of Mr Bones. There’s a wide variety of gameplay styles in the game, and the heavy rock soundtrack by “famous” guitarist Ronnie Montrose (I’d never heard of him), is one of the few things that ties them all together. This time, in Glass Shards, it’s the usual heavy rock guitar stylings you’ve heard throughout the rest of the game, except with a voiceover. And what a voiceover.

As you wrestle with the controls and those obnoxious lily pads, the game subjects you to some of the most remarkable ramblings ever concocted on the topic of “the blues”. What words are there for a game that comes out with gems like “Jesus Christ had the blues, big time,” and “beyond all the land and sea and sky, there’s blues”?!

By way of a bonus, this next video provides a glimpse of what happens AFTER you defeat the blues. Or whatever it was you did in that stage. I recommend watching at least a minute or two of this next vid until the cutscene at the end of this stage, which features our skeletal hero Mr Bones seducing a half-naked ghostly siren with a guitar solo! (It would seem utterly strange if not for the madness before.)


  1. moresleepneeded

    I have not heard of this game. It seems like a very strange game, is the background for the Glass Shards level like that in that actual game? Or is that added by the person uploading the video?
    For some reason, a lot of games released on the Sega Saturn are quite strange. “NiGHTS Into Dreams” revolves around colourful dreamscapes, “Gex” involves the character being sucked into his TV and fighting through levels based on film genres and “Ray-Man” features a lot of strange bosses and weird levels. I do like the Saturn cutscene graphics though, extremely smooth surfaces and bright colours. This game also seems to include innovative gameplay styles, like the swimming (similar to “NiGHTS into Dreams”), and I like the character getting bigger as he jumps.

    • veryverygaming

      The background isn’t so odd in the actual game, it’s just a space theme. The person who made the video added those filters for some reason – to make it more interesting to watch, and to distract from their not-so-hot platforming skills (I say that even though I was so bad, this level took me over 15 mins to complete).

      Definitely agree there’s a theme of other-worldly or dreamlike games on Saturn – although you could say for the same for the PS1 and N64 too to an extent. NiGHTS is a great example though, and the Panzer Dragoon games, while a bit more grounded and less psychedelic, definitely have that dreamlike quality too. Toys to life in Clockwork Knight? Fantastical firemen in Burning Rangers? There was something in the water over at Sega…

  2. moresleepneeded

    The space background seems less strange than the version with the filters.
    I have not much experience of Playstation 1 games, so I cannot comment on those. There are some strange games on the Nintendo 64. One of the reasons I find Sega Saturn games so dreamlike is because of the graphics of the games (particularly in animated sequences when better quality graphics are used). Many later games seem to use rougher objects and more muted colours. This effect makes the games seem more realistic, but they are less other-wordly.

  3. J. Long

    Ronnie is/was famous for his band, “Montrose,” but they were most well known for being the starting point of eventual-Van-Halen-vocalist Sammy Hagar. And I think there’s a deeper look that deserves to be had into what Paul Pena meant when he spoke about the blues in this track, especially if you know his history or his pedigree. Both have left us now, but this beautiful song tells a story both in and between the lines.

    Though it’s been years since you’ve done so, thank you for taking the time to look at it! I’ve never even played Mr. Bones myself, but this tune is one of my favorites, ever.

    Also, if you see this comment, maybe go back and edit your old post with a more clean version of the tune! There’s quite a few on YouTube now.


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