A Bionic Woman Video Game?

Don’t get too excited.  This has about as much chance of happening as a modern open-world big budget video game based on the Dr. Goldfoot movies.

But I’ve always wanted to see a modern action adventure video game made out of the original Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman TV series.  I’ll have to clarify that this would need to be firmly set in the mid 1970s.  We’re talking big gas-guzzling American cars, polyester bell-bottom trousers, and computers the size of rooms.  It could not be a “reboot” or “reimagining” of any kind.  Otherwise there would be no point in doing it.

The player would play as both The Bionic Man, or The Bionic Woman, depending on what was going on in the game at that time.  There were enough episodes of both TV shows to provide interesting ideas for “missions” or “quests” in the game, and both Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers had unique traits thanks to their “bionics”.  That would have to be reflected in gameplay abilities and in the way those missions could be played.

I don’t think an open-ended, sandbox style open world game would work for this, as it would change locations, dates, and settings frequently.  So it would have to be a mission-based action adventure game.  I think a decent amount of RPG elements could be worked in, such as choices and actions during missions affecting things later in the game.

There should also be some sort of romance mechanic going on between the two playable characters.  This was something that was a major plot thread in the TV show and its continuations, and it would make for something interesting to add in a game like this.  I’m not talking “Hey Nico, let’s go bowling” shit, but rather some more of those nebulous RPG elements.  Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers could be attracted to or repelled by one another based on decisions made or actions taken during the game, and if things went a certain way, the game ended with them together, or apart as part of good or bad endings.

As far as a main plot is concerned, I’m sure you already know what I’m going to suggest.  That’s right, the Fembots.  With Dr. Franklin building his robots, motivated by revenge and being financed by shady sources, that would serve as a strong enough main plot for the two bionic people to have to work together to defeat.

But of course I personally would love to see other humanoid robots worked into the game.

In the Six Million Dollar Man TV series, there were episodes featuring android replacements of people, and these androids were made by Chester Dolenz.  There could be a mission in the game to track down Dr. Dolenz, and “persuade” him to work for the OSI, perhaps to gain immunity from prosecution.

If this is successful, then Dr. Dolenz could build an android duplicate to infiltrate one of Dr. Franklin’s bases.  The player could play as this android, and perform the infiltration, and escape with some of Dr. Franklin’s secrets.  If this is unsuccessful, then Dr. Dolenz escapes, and later on there will be more deadly android duplicates in the game to worry about.

Not featured in the TV show, but sold as part of the toy line in the 1970s were the Maskatron dolls.  The Maskatron was a robot that could have its face swapped out to change its identity, and was no doubt based on the Dolenz episodes of the Six Million Dollar Man.  I think it would be fun to integrate Maskatron robots into the game as android prototypes that the OSI had been working on while Dr. Franklin was still working there, but discontinued  due to several problems.

In the hypothetical game, either Steve or Jaime could do some unauthorized snooping in an old OSI computer database, and find out about the Maskatron project, and then ask Oscar Goldman if the prototype androids could be activated to help fight Dr. Franklin’s robots.  This would be pretty late in the game, and might not really fit in, but I think it’s a neat idea.

Another neat idea would be something the Fembot episodes did, which is the plot of rescuing a kidnapped OSI employee from Dr. Franklin (or perhaps Dr. Dolenz), only to actually rescue a fembot instead.  In the TV show there was no way to really avoid that when it happened, but in the game, there would be ways of “finding out” you were about to rescue an android duplicate instead of the real person.

And of course, the whole fembots/robots/androids thing would just be part of the main plot with the game’s primary antagonist.  Most of the game would be doing missions that were taken from the plot of the two shows’ other episodes.  I think there are more than enough interesting ideas for a full and engrossing game there.

So, what would a “good” ending look like?  Dr. Franklin in prison, his fembot factory shut down, Dr. Dolenz either cooperating or captured in a later mission, and the Bionic Man and Woman together.

The bad ending would see Dr. Franklin getting away, Dr. Dolenz turning on the OSI (or still on the loose), some OSI members dead or even replaced by androids and Steve and Jaime not really liking each other all that much.

And… who would make such a video game?  Looking around the landscape of bigshot video game production companies in this current year… do you know what?  Maybe it’s best that nobody ever makes a video game out of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

EDIT: I thought I’d update this stream of consciousness post with the news that I’ve actually made something of a Bionic Woman video game myself.  It’s called The Fembot Crisis, and you can read about it and download it here.  It’s a JRPG style game that lets you play as Steve Austin, and it features lots of androids, multiple endings, and of course, the Fembots.  It also counts as a Six Million Dollar Man video game for that reason, so there you go.