Bonestorm is an ultra-violent fighting game. It was released during the Christmas season in Springfield.
Bonestorm was released in a very aggressive marketing campaign. A TV ad for Bonestorm showed two kids playing a video game and being bored with it. Then, the house shook, a hip-looking Santa crashed his sleigh through the wall, and his two reindeer growled and snarled at the kids. "Santa" then used a bazooka to shoot Bonestorm into their video console and shouted, "You want excitement? Shove this up your stocking!" After this, there were some shots of the kids playing the game and two six-armed characters on-screen beating each other while blood and torn limbs were falling from the sky. The ad finished with the Santa character saying: "So tell your folks: 'Buy me Bonestorm or go to Hell!'"
The ad had its intended effect on Bart, as he immediately wanted to have the game. He went straight to Marge and said, "Buy me Bonestorm or go to Hell!" Marge refuses buy it because she felt it was too expensive and too violent. She also mentions that the game is too distracting to Bart's school work and wants a more family friendly game. Bart then begs Homer to buy it for him, but he also refuses and tells him to go work for it. However, Milhouse got the game, and was amazed by it just after entering his player nickname. He had tried to type "Thrillhouse", but ran out of space and ended up with "THRILLHO". Bart, passing the Van Houten home, heard Milhouse playing Bonestorm, went inside, and asked to play. Milhouse didn't want Bart playing the game, so he got Bart kicked out by making his mother believe Bart was swearing.
Bart next went to The Android's Dungeon and tried to buy the game for 99 cents, but he had mistaken its rental fee for a sale price, as Comic Book Guy sarcastically explained to him. With the misunderstanding cleared up, Bart then asked if he could rent a copy of Bonestorm. However, Comic Book Guy was out of rental copies, so Bart was again denied a chance to play the game.
Now frustrated, Bart went to the Try-N-Save to look at the game, and saw spoiled-rotten kid Gavin getting his mother to buy him two copies of the game, since Gavin didn't want to share with his sister Katelyn. Jimbo and Nelson encourage him to shoplift Bonestorm and give himself a Merry Christmas present. When the clerk left the game case unlocked, Bart had four of the most popular game characters convince him to steal Bonestorm. Lee Carvallo attempted to warn him not to because there are consequences to shoplifting. No longer able to resist, Bart tries to shoplift the game, but was caught by store detective Don Brodka.
Later, when Bart returns to Milhouse, he asks his friend if he wants to play Bonestorm but Milhouse informs Bart that he doesn't play it anymore because it was boring and he now plays with a cup and ball. Bart wants to try it but Milhouse got Bart kicked out (again) by making his mother believe Bart was smoking.
Behind the Laughter
- Bonestorm is an obvious parody of the Mortal Kombat games, and for its time, a parody on 1990s fighting video games that also cashed in and rode on the trend of being super violent and gory. The various characters fighting each other in the TV ad bear a strong resemblance to the Mortal Kombat characters Liu Kang, Goro & Kintaro. Its name is also similar to an arcade fighting game of similar nature depicted by the name of Bloodstorm, which also came out around the same time as its debuting episode era.
In The Simpsons: Hit and Run, a sequel called Bonestorm 2 was released. It was the plot of the sixth mission in Level One and the first half of Level Two in the game. In the Level One mission "Bonestorm Storm", Marge wants to collect and destroy a cargo of Bonestorm games inside a truck, with Homer's help; leading to the first half of Level Two, Bart wants to have Bonestorm 2, but upon reaching the Try-N-Save it was mentioned by Jimbo Jones that "some crazy lady" [Marge] destroyed all the rest of the copies while Jimbo himself got the last one. Bart continues to be fixated on the game until he hears about Professor Frink's monster.
Also in the same game, a collector's card in Level 2 references the first game.