Bully (video game)

Bully (video game)
Bully frontcover.jpg
North American PlayStation 2 cover art.
Developer(s) Rockstar Vancouver (PlayStation 2)
Rockstar New England (Xbox 360, Windows)[1]
Rockstar Toronto (Wii)
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Bethesda Softworks (Japan)[2]
Engine RenderWare (PlayStation 2)
Gamebryo (Wii, Xbox 360, Windows)[3]
Version 1.03 (Xbox 360), 1.200 (Windows)[4]
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360, Windows
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
  • NA 17 October 2006
  • EU 25 October 2006
  • AUS 27 October 2006[5]
  • JP 24 July 2008
Wii & Xbox 360
  • NA 4 March 2008
  • EU 7 March 2008[6]
  • AUS 7 March 2008
  • JP 24 July 2008
Microsoft Windows
  • NA 21 October 2008
  • EU 31 October 2008[7]
  • JP 4 December 2008
Genre(s) Action-adventure, Sandbox
Mode(s) Single-player (PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360), multiplayer (Wii, Xbox 360)
Media/distribution DVD-ROM (PlayStation 2, Windows), Wii Optical Disc (Wii), DVD-DL (Xbox 360), Download (Steam)

Bully, also known as Canis Canem Edit for the PAL PlayStation 2 version,[8] is a third person action-adventure video game released by Rockstar Vancouver for the PlayStation 2 on 17 October 2006 in North America, and 25 October 2006 in the United Kingdom. An Xbox version was planned but cancelled for undisclosed reasons.[9]

The game was re-released as Bully: Scholarship Edition on 4 March 2008 for the Wii and Xbox 360 and 24 October 2008 on PC (this name is retained in the PAL releases). The PlayStation 2 version of the game is also available in the United States as a special edition that includes a limited edition comic book and a dodgeball of the same style as the ones used in the game, with the word "Bully" embossed on it.[10]



Jimmy Hopkins is dropped off at Bullworth Academy, a boarding school in the fictional town of Bullworth, by his mother and new stepfather. A boy named Gary and another named Pete become friends with Jimmy and agree to show him around. Jimmy, near the end of the first Chapter, is betrayed by Gary because Gary views Jimmy as an asset in his quest to control the school.

One by one, Jimmy beats the leaders of each school clique (Preppies, Greasers, Jocks, Nerds and Bullies) while Gary hides in the shadows plotting his next attack to make Jimmy's life more of a living hell. When Jimmy finally gets on everybodies good side, they all turn on him when Gary manipulates the Townies, a group of dropouts who used to or could not afford to go to Bullworth, and now are stuck in a trailer park. Believing the chaos that has recently erupted to be the work of Jimmy, the headmaster, Dr Crabblesnitch, expels him.

Jimmy makes peace with the Townies and falls in love with a townie named Zoe, who was expelled from Bullworth after complaining about Mr Burton, the gym teacher, hitting on her.

At the end of the game, Gary and Jimmy have a fight on the top of the school roof and Jimmy emerges the victor. Dr Crabblesnitch hears of Gary's plan (which was shouted by Gary at the top of the roof) and expels him. Dr Crabblesnitch then begins to see Jimmy as a good person. Using his newfound image to Dr Crabblesnitch wisely, he re-enrolls Zoe back into Bullworth and makes Pete the head student. It ends with Zoey and Jimmy kissing at the front of the school with everyone cheering them on.


Bully is a subtle sandbox game set in a school environment. The player takes control of teenage rebel James "Jimmy" Hopkins, who from the opening cutscene is revealed to be a difficult student with a disruptive background. The game concerns the events that follow Jimmy being dropped off at Bullworth Academy, a fictional New England boarding school. The player is free to explore the school campus in the beginning and, later on in the game, the town, or to complete the main missions. The game makes extensive use of minigames. Some are used to earn money, others to improve Jimmy's abilities or get new items.

School classes themselves are done in the form of minigames, broken into five levels of increasing difficulty. Each completed class brings a benefit to gameplay. English, as an example, is a word scramble minigame, and as Jimmy does well in this minigame, he learns various language-skills, such as the ability to apologize to police for small crimes. Chemistry also an example, is a button pushing minigame, and if Jimmy does well, he gains the ability to create firecrackers, stink bombs, and other items at his chemistry set in his room at the dorm.

Jimmy has a multitude of weapons available, although they tend to run along the lines of things a school boy might actually attain, such as a slingshot, bags of marbles, itching powder, fire crackers, stink bombs, and, later in the game, a bottle rocket launcher and the spud cannon. He can also pick up and use various improvised weapons like bats, sticks, or flowerpots. Fighting is an integral part of the game; each of the game's five chapters culminate in a battle against the leader or leaders of a given clique. However, violence against girls, smaller kids, or adults generally has swift and severe consequences. Jimmy can get busted by the prefects, teachers, police and even some townspeople. If this happens, the mission he is doing automatically fails, and most of Jimmy's weapons are confiscated.

Jimmy also has an assortment of vehicles to operate — mainly a skateboard, but also a scooter, a go-kart, a lawn mower (for money, and also to complete a detention and, towards the end of the game, some missions), and various bicycles. By passing shop classes, Jimmy can build increasingly high-performance BMX bikes, and use them in either races or a bike park. The player can also alter Jimmy's physical appearance to their liking by purchasing new clothes, haircuts, masks, or even tattoos.


The game takes place at Bullworth Academy, a fictional independent boarding school in the New England area of the United States. The school is located in the fictional town of Bullworth which is in the same fictional universe as the Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt series (The main building of Bullworth Academy was shown briefly on the fictional show I'm Rich in Grand Theft Auto IV). The town is split into four separate boroughs plus the school, which are unlocked individually as the player progresses through the game. The town has different shops and has medical centres as well as police stations in the different boroughs of the town. There are some factories in the town like a tool factory, a meat packing plant and a chemical plant as well as a retirement home and a asylum. There are gangs all over the town, but they no longer become dangerous after the player wins their respect collectively. The town also sits right next to an ocean inlet and an amusement park.

Artwork of Jimmy Hopkins, the main character (left) and Gary Smith, the main antagonist (right).


  • Jimmy Hopkins (voiced by Gerry Rosenthal): The main protagonist of Bully. Jimmy comes from a troubled background, having been expelled from every school he ever attended, for a wide variety of offences. His mother has just started her sixth marriage, this one with a man old enough to be Jimmy's grandfather. Unwilling to deal with Jimmy, they dump him on the steps of Bullworth Academy before leaving for a year-long honeymoon cruise. Stuck in a school where everyone wants to beat him up, Jimmy has no choice but to fight his way through all the cliques. Jimmy was designed to be an 'everykid'. Lead Producer of Bully, Jeronimo Barerra, claimed that what he wanted to do with Bully was to recreate the state of being a kid, and to make it fun.[11] Parallels were also made between Jimmy and Holden Caulfield, the main character of Catcher in the Rye.[12] Jimmy and Holden share a background of a difficult homelife and being thrown out of multiple private schools. Jimmy even uses Holden's favorite derogatory term, "phony", to describe his new stepfather.[13]
  • Gary Smith (voiced by Peter Vack): The main antagonist of the game, Gary is described by other characters as a sociopath.[14] He considers himself smarter and better than everyone,[15] and wants to run the school. He also admittedly suffers fron ADD. However he is shown to be a master manipulator and one of the smartest characters in the game, successfully using the other cliques in the school to fight Jimmy for him after he turns on him. Initially friends with Jimmy, Gary soon turns on him and comes close to realizing his goal of dominating Bullworth. Eventually confronted by Jimmy, Gary gleefully boasts of how he tricked everyone in his climb to the top. Of particular amusement to Gary was the fact that even after being tied up and having his "dumb school" turned into a battleground, Dr. Crabblesnitch still liked him. After Jimmy beats Gary in a fight, the Headmaster, who heard everything Gary said, expels him. Gary also serves as the second player in the multiplayer mode of Scholarship Edition.
  • Pete Kowalski: (voiced by Matt Bush) Pete, usually called "Petey", is a shy, smaller than average student who has trouble fitting in with any group and making friends. Pete is the second student to introduce himself to Jimmy, and becomes the closest thing to a friend Jimmy has at Bullworth. The two of them and Gary form a friendship of sorts, although Gary picks on Pete constantly. When Gary turns on Jimmy, Pete stays loyal to Jimmy and continues to for the rest of the school year. Although he does not have physical capabilities matching Jimmy's, he has a good tactical mind, and his advice helps Jimmy throughout the course of the game, such as helping Jimmy make a fair fight in the Johnny Vincent boss level by using a crane to take away Johnny's bike. After Gary is expelled, he becomes the new head student.
  • Derby Harrington:(voiced by John LaVelle) The leader of the Preppies clique. Derby has blond hair and prominently black eyebrows. Like all the Preppies, he wears Aquaberry clothing, a sweater vest in the summer and a long sweater in the winter. He also wears gray slacks and a dark gray vintage hunter's cap in the wintertime. He's a medium-sized student, and is slightly shorter than his friend and bodyguard Bif Taylor. Derby, which is pronounced "Darby" like the English city, is the most 'blue blood' of the entire Preppies clique. His family is one of the main benefactors of the school already, and the Preppies fraternity house is even named "Harrington House". Although not much is known about his family life, it can be deduced that they are involved in the oil business. Billboards for "Harrington Oil" can be seen at the Carnival's go-kart track. The Harringtons may also own stock in Aquaberry; Aquaberry brand sweaters are acceptable by the Bullworth Academy dress code, and Derby can be seen on posters in the Aquaberry outlet store, modelling the clothes. He is apparently a Republican, as he insults Bif by calling him a "filthy Democrat". Derby is arrogant, snobbish and mean-spirited even by Preppy standards. He berates Bif after he loses a boxing match against Jimmy. He's also a master manipulator, however, unlike Gary he has no interest in running the school. Whereas the other clique leaders apparently come to like Jimmy, Derby never loses his contemptuous manner, nor does he ever treat Jimmy with respect unless threatened or forced to. Although betrothed to Pinky, he no-shows a date with her.
  • Johnny Vincent: (voiced by Rocco Rosanio) The leader of the Greasers clique. Known for his anger management issues and extreme case of paranoia, Johnny is constantly bothered by Lola's infidelity. It can also be noted after the mission "Finding Johnny Vincent" that the Greasers clique returns to neutral status, rather than hostile like the others. Johnny gets in fights regularly, and is one of the tougher and better fighters in the school. It is stated that he has a direct rivalry with Bif Taylor, and small talk at Bullworth about the two of them having a fight is common. He is called to the office by Miss Danvers with regularity, both for fighting and inappropriate behavior with Lola. He has a reputation around school as being good with a bike, both with racing and tricks. On the Facebook, Johnny's parents were stated to be residents of the Town of Bullworth, and that they sent him to Bullworth because it was close by. According to the prep Chad, Johnny's parents are in jail.
  • Ted Thompson: (voiced by Alex Cendese) The leader of the Jocks clique, & a captain of Bullworth football team. Ted is the only medium-sized Jock other than Bo. He has dark brown hair, blue eyes, and is referred to as "pretty-boy" by Jimmy. He is generally seen wearing school slacks and a Letterman's Jacket. In the wintertime, he simply buttons up his jacket. During one mission, he's seen wearing his football jersey and some gym pants. A mistake on the official Bully website states his name as Ted Sinclair. His name is a possible reference to Ted Thompson. Thompson has held various jobs in the NFL, most recently the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. Ted is rarely seen without Damon, and he dates Mandy. He is of course the star quarterback of the football team. His team number is 0 (not to be confused with Bo's number of 00). Ted is very into "scoring" with girls, and he's quite misogynistic - his campaign for the School Presidential Elections consisted of banners saying "Don't be a nerd, be a man, vote for Ted" and pictures of Ted with Mandy and Christy. He is also football obsessed, with most of his dialogue consisting mainly of football references. His insults usually combine these football metaphors with "your mom" jokes. He is also indicated to be not particularly bright. His idea of a history making prank was for Jimmy to take a dump on the steps of town hall. Justin aspires to be his friend, despite the fact that they are in different cliques. Ted also mockingly calls Algie his "little buddy".
  • Zoe Taylor: (voiced by Molly Fox) A townie girl who was expelled from Bullworth Academy by Dr. Crabblesnitch for complaining that Mr. Burton was hitting on her. She serves as Jimmy's main love interest during the later part of the game. After Gary is defeated, Zoe, along with Jimmy, is re-enrolled at Bullworth Academy.
  • Mandy Wiles: (voiced by Elena Franklin) The Jocks female member. While known for being super-popular and attractive, she's a bully to the other girls at the Academy, and uses her good looks and popularity to manipulate others. After Jimmy agrees to help her take down the 'inappropriate' pictures of her around Bullworth Town, she becomes romantically interested in him.
  • Dr. Crabblesnitch: (voiced by Ralph Gunderman) The pompous principal of Bullworth Academy and all-around killjoy, Crabblesnitch believes that "rehabilitating" problem children is his calling in life. Crabblesnitch was originally introduced as the main villain,[16] a corrupt, authoritarian bully. The character was changed by the time the game was released, leaving Crabblesnitch more self-righteous and oblivious than malignant. Crabblesnitch refers to the bullying taking place as "school spirit" and refuses to hear ill of his staff. He does, however, take appropriate action when confronted with undeniable truth.

Other characters


  • Russell Northrop: (voiced by Cody Melton) The leader of the Bullies clique. While rather unintelligent and often referring to himself in third-person, he makes up for it by being the largest student in school and capable of taking down full grown men. Russell indicates in dialog that his shoe size is seventeen. He has a tattoo on his bicep. In the winter, he is dressed nearly the same, only with the sleeves of his shirt rolled down and a black urban hat on his head. He resembles actor Richard Kiel, who is 7'1" and has gigantism. Russps as originally intended to be the leader of the Punks and later the Dropouts. The game datafiles still identify Russell as a Dropout rather than a Bully. A version of Russell with a somewhat different appearance and personality appeared in the comic as the Punks leader. He shares a last name with a type of flying wing model, the Northrop N-1M. Russell, due to his size, is the most feared student on campus. He can sometimes intimidate, and attack the Prefects and other authority. However, he can still be busted like any other student. It's possible that his immense strength is the reason why the Jocks, Preppies, and Greasers do not bother with the Bullies, as they are no match for him, and he is known to bully them. The Nerds are his arch enemies, and he is more volatile to them then any other student group. Fatty states he witnessed Russell smash a science project over Donald's head. However, he is an equal opportunity aggressor, and according to Troy, he has a grudge against the Greasers. According to Angie Ng, Russell told her he was getting good grades in Math. He also does not understand the concept of alcoholism, stating he saw Mr. Galloway drinking from a Flask under the bleachers.
  • Davis White: (voiced by Geoffrey Wigdor) Davis takes great pride in bullying freshmen and brags that he made one student drop out from Bullworth, probably Duncan as he complains that him being bullied was the reason he dropped out. He blames his cousin for him becoming a bully, and some lines of his dialogue hint that he suffers from emotional problems. He is a good runner, as seen during the missions The Setup and Character Sheets. Davis' favourite weapon is a slingshot. Davis claims that he still thinks it's funny that he hit a kid with a pear. He also states in his dialogue that he has an unfinished plan involving bottle rockets and he needs one more rocket for it.
  • Trent Northwick: (voiced by Jaime McAdams) Trent became a bully because, as he puts it, "it helps make men out of the new kids" and he even thinks of his bullying as "showing them the ropes". Trent is a yoyo enthusiast and an aspiring actor, with dialogue suggesting that he is part of Bullworth's drama club as well as a summer theater camp. He is also a member of the photography club and states that his favourite class is photography because he likes to take pictures of girls. A line of dialogue from a scrapped mission suggests that he enjoys reading manga.
  • Wade Martin: (voiced by Matt Monroe) Wade's primary characteristic is that he's pent up with rage. In particular, he hates his home life in general and his father in particular, and he hates his lack of intelligence. His parents had a messy divorce some time in the past, and he appears to hold a severe grudge against his father for it. When he's losing his temper, sometimes remarks about his father slip out, and he has to cover it up by claiming he said something else.
  • Ethan Robinson: Ethan is defined by his love of fighting and the martial arts. He has tried to get an extra curricular martial arts team started, and tried to get jujitsu added to the gym curriculum. He is also into kung fu, and claims to have kung fu based fighting styles such as The Crane, The Tiger, and The Frog. He also likes ninjas, and laments that people make fun of them and do not take them seriously. He appears to be into bullying for the fighting aspect rather than the tormenting of other students, although he is as sadistic as the other bullies.
  • Troy Miller: (voiced by Evan Weinstein) Troy comes across as stupid, and seems to be easily confused. He is one of the most sadistic students on campus, and bullies because he finds it "incredibly amusing". One of his favourite derogatory remarks is "wimp". Troy enjoys watching mindless violence on television and is, according to Davis, very good at darts. He wants to join the army when he is older, and claims he takes steroids.
  • Tom Gurney: (voiced by Connor Paolo) Despite being as much of a bully as the rest of the clique, Tom seems to be more mature than the others. Some of his dialogue indicates that does not enjoy being a bully as much as the rest of the Bullies and feels guilty about what he's done to others. It's also indicated that he cares about his friends quite a bit. He's paranoid and says that he cannot trust anyone, believing that everybody is out to get him and frequently claims that everyone picks on him, though he may be imagining it. He apparently steals panties for Mr. Burton, and hopes that he will get to keep a pair soon. Tom's hobby seems to be watching horror movies. A few of his comments indicate that he suffers from double vision, possibly a side-effect of whatever gave him his black eye. For some reason he really hates wearing shoes.


  • Earnest Jones: (voiced by Jesse Tendler) The leader of the Nerds cliques. Earnest wears the green astronomy club vest that the nerds wear. He wears half moon glasses like Donald, he also wears brown school slacks with brown ankle boots and brown leather watch on his left wrist. In the winter time he wears a green astronomy sweater and a short purple and white striped scarf. During Complete Mayhem, he wears a red headband and a military jacket over his outfit. Earnest is the leader of the Nerds and rules his clique with an iron fist. He is simultaneously intelligent and arrogant. He also has a dirty mind, with Jimmy catching him muttering fantasies to himself on one occasion. He's regularly in the possession of dirty magazines that, according to his dialogue, he sometimes lends out and has trouble getting back. His enjoyment of such materials tends to completely override his common sense.
  • Algernon "Algie" Papadopoulos: (voiced by Brett Tabisel) Even by Nerd standards, Algie appears particularly nerdy and uncool. He is considered by fellow students and even the principal to be the least popular student in the entire school. He rarely uses his real name, although other students sometimes use it to make fun of him. He has a very weak bladder and is nicknamed "Pee Stain" because of it. He is also a mother's boy, always talking about things she's done for him and how he misses her. He claims she calls him "Prince Algie" and says that he's really special to her, and apparently spoils him terribly. His father is never mentioned which means he may be being raised by a single parent. Algie desperately wants to be more popular. He sometimes speaks in ebonics to try to make himself sound cool, saying things such as "Word up, coolio" when Jimmy greets him. His attempted insults are particularly weak, including such things as "loser head", "funny pants", "num-num" and "stinky-breath". Also, every time one of the "cool" students, such as Ted or Lola, pretends to be nice to him, he seems to fall for it. Like Beatrice, he wants to be a doctor stating that he has his "pre-pre-pre-pre med test next week". According to Earnest, Algie prefers blonde girls. He also has a strong dislike of food condiments, especially mayonnaise, which he dislikes to the point that he uses "mayo-stain" as an insult.
  • Fatty Johnson: (voiced by Ryan Kotler) Fatty is notorious for his terrible personal hygiene. He has the worst body odor in the school, to the point that he is a manufacturer of stink bombs. He also has horrible eating habits, consuming large amounts of junkfood and frequently going around with food smeared over his face and stuck to his clothing, although according to rarely heard lines of dialogue, he is trying to improve his diet and exercise more. He has a nervous stomach and is worried about throwing up after he's been beaten up or if he's been made to laugh hard. He often speaks about taboo subjects, including flatulence, nose-picking and even personal zoophilia (stating he made out with a horse at fat camp). He can also be seen puking on the left wall of the stairwell during the Candidate. He claims that he can play the tuba. Little is known about his home life, but one of his lines of dialogue says his parents fight a lot. He suffers from self esteem issues, and both of these contribute to his eating. He is also a big fan of Grottos and Gremlins. He is seen playing it a few different times during the game, and frequently talks about it. He sees himself as a barbarian, and complains that the others always make him a dwarf. In one incident, he had an argument with Algie over whether he could use the Diplomacy skill to make the Elf Princess do something. He wears a G&G inspired wizard hat and tunic-like shirt for Halloween. Fatty is also a huge fan of a sci-fi TV show called Laser Vikings, of which he is the fan club president.
  • Melvin O'Connor: (voiced by Charlie Saxon) Melvin was one of the seven original characters profiled in the Bullworth Facebook. On his profile he explained his enthusiasm to Roleplaying Games, and cited a wide array of interests - the theatre, chess and astronomy. He also mentioned that he was sent to Bullworth by his father to toughen him up, an idea he rejected as misguided. In the game, he retains his fanaticism for RPGs, claiming that they are the high point of human achievement. He admits that he spends so much time playing RPGs that he is beginning to lose touch with reality. He is the biggest fan of Grottos and Gremlins in the school, and often gets into trouble for playing it during class. He frequently speaks with an old English dialect, and regularly quotes from Lewis Carrol's poem The Jabberwocky.
  • Cornelius Johnson: (voiced by Chaz Stevens) Cornelius is very academically oriented, even by Nerd standards, with Math being his favorite subject. He spends most of his time in the library reading, especially math textbooks, and wishes to be locked in an ivory tower filled with math books. He also has an interest in taxonomy. He has a 4.0 GPA. He complains about the abuse he gets from bullies, mentioning being pushed into a puddle by Russell and being given a wedgie by Ethan. One of the reasons he likes the library is that the Bullies do not go there. Outside of academia, Cornelius can be seen playing Grottos and Gremlins with the other Nerds. He also participates in the drama club, where he supposedly played an "amazing" Juliet in a school production of Romeo and Juliet. He is not athletically inclined at all, as Miss Danvers announces over the PA system that his physical aptitude test received the worst score in the history of the Academy.
  • Bucky Pasteur: (voiced by Tim Wersan) Bucky has a loud nasal voice, and he occasionally uses odd inflection or outdated slang, such as pronouncing 'hello' as "Hel-LO" or calling people "pally". Despite being a nerd he struggles academically, notably in English, where he considered getting a C on his test to be good. Small talk among other students also suggest he's not particularly intelligent. He appears to at least be enthusiastic about science though, as Jimmy saw him gathering supplies for an experiment once. Bucky has a close relationship with his Grandmother, and speaks about her in some lines of his dialogue. He also has feelings for Beatrice, although it seems she has placed him in the friend zone. This can be seen in Beatrice's diary, where she writes that he did not like hearing about her infatuation with Jimmy. He has a pet rat named George who went missing around Halloween time.
  • Donald Anderson: (voiced by Jimmy Walsh) Donald is something of a stereotypical rage-filled nerd. Although his temperament is outwardly mild, he keeps a meticulous list of people who he hates and plots to get revenge on them one day. He hopes to be something much better than he currently is, and plans to figure out a way to make girls like him, and to become the President. Donald is also arrogant about his level of intelligence. His favored insults are "moron" and "idiot". When trying to be confrontational he claims he's an "intellectual with muscles", although his fighting is the weakest of all the Nerds. He works as Dr. Watts lab assistant.
  • Thad Carlson: (voiced by Kevin Cahoon) Thad is known around the school both for his lisp and for his fixation on yardsticks. Thad pronounces "s" as "th", and makes sounds that make it seem like he may spit when he talks (though strangely, in mission dialogue he never lisps). He can frequently be seen carrying a yardstick around, and likes to use it as a weapon when he fights. In an apparently infamous incident that occurred the year before Bully took place, Thad broke a yardstick over Peanut's head and got away with it without being beaten up. He is also confrontational and aggressive by nerd standards. In a few different missions during fights, rather than cower like most of the Nerds do, Thad joins in. Although most of the nerds hate the Bullies and Jocks, Thad's primary grudge is against the Greasers. Thad is also well known for his ability to make weapons, boasting to others about it and sometimes using threats regarding this. According to the bully Troy, Thad once made a grenade out of an eraser. It appears Thad has an interest in American history, this is shown in his dialogue when he quotes General Custer and the Tet offensive. Thad is the younger brother of the Jock Dan. Although they have different last names, their names were given on the Soundboard rather than in the game, and the Soundboard has several name-related errors on it.
  • Beatrice Trudeau: (voiced by Caitlin Greer) Beatrice is verbally bullied constantly by some of the male and female students, in particular Mandy and Pinky. Mandy refuses to allow Beatrice onto the cheerleading team, and Beatrice retaliates by refusing to allow Mandy to get help with her class work from the study groups that the Nerds run. She considers Bucky a good friend. Troy remarks about a rumour that Beatrice is "a slut who pounds the Nerd boys". Beatrice spends almost every waking hour on pursuing her dream of being accepted into medical school. She wants to be either a neurologist or cardiovascular surgeon and also wishes to find the cure for cancer. She is able to recite the periodic table of the elements and displays a great deal of pride in this, sometimes reciting it to herself as she walks, and complaining that she's never been given a reward for being able to do it. She advocates for the removal of all non-academic classes from the school curriculum.


Early information released by Take-Two Interactive seemed to indicate that the player would be taking the role of a bully, and screenshots printed in Electronic Gaming Monthly showed the player-controlled antagonist administering a "swirlie" and throwing a punch at another student. However, the tone of the final game was different, with the player in the role of a problem student who stood up to and fought back against bullies, in effect, bullying on behalf of the victims, or in self-defense.

The PlayStation 2 version of the game uses an advanced Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas engine through Renderware. Rockstar Vancouver also decided to make every student in the school have a unique appearance and, within programming limitations, personality.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87.32%[17]
Metacritic 87 out of 100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A+[19]
GamesMaster 90%[20]
GameSpot 8.7 out of 10[21]
IGN 8.9 of 10[22]

Bully has received generally positive reviews from critics.[18] The game received ratings of 8.9/10 from IGN, 9.0/10 from Games Radar, a perfect 10/10 from 1UP.com, 8.7/10 from GameSpot, 5/5 from JIVE Magazine, 8.75/10 from VGRC.net, a 5/5 from X-Play, and made the Top 10 Games of '06 in PlayStation Magazine.[citation needed] Canis Canem Edit also got 9/10 from OPS2 Magazine. Critics generally praised the game's storyline, while they complained about particular stealth missions, as well as the camera.[citation needed]

As of 12 March 2008, the PlayStation 2 version of Bully has sold 1.5 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive.[23][24] Hyper's Daniel Wilks commends the game for its "clever script, some novel missions [and] well constructed characters". However, he criticises it for "time dilation, dodgy camera [and] generic mini-games".[25]


In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.[27]


Bully has caused controversy among parents and educators. Criticisms are due to the adult nature of previous Rockstar games, in particular, the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee minigame controversy and certain aspects of the game including its title. Groups such as Bullying Online and Peaceaholics have criticized the game for glorifying or trivializing school bullying. Most of these criticisms were voiced before the content of the game was available to the public. In 2006, the United States-based Entertainment Software Rating Board officially gave Bully a rating of "T" (suitable for ages 13 and up), the BBFC gave Canis Canem Edit a 15 rating[28] and the New Zealand OFLC restricted it to persons 13 years of age and over. In 2007, Yahoo! Games listed it as one of the top ten controversial games of all time. The OFLC of Australia rated Bully a rating of mature (recommended for mature audiences) for moderate themes, violence and sexual references. In Australia the M rating does not have an official age restriction.[29]


Sexuality is a present theme throughout Bully. Jimmy can kiss boys or girls in the game. The ESRB claimed it was fully aware of the bisexual content when they gave it a T rating.[30]

United States

Prior to both the ESRB's rating and the release of Bully, Jack Thompson filed a lawsuit attempting to have the game blocked from store shelves in Florida. Thompson declared the game a "nuisance" and "Columbine simulator". He also argued this point on Attack of the Show! with Kevin Pereira on the opposite end on the show's segment "The Loop."[31] Thompson's petition, filed with the 11th Judicial Circuit Court, asked for Wal-Mart and Take-Two to furnish him with an advance copy of Bully so he could have "an independent third party" play the game and determine if it would constitute a public nuisance in the state of Florida, in which case it could be banned.[32][33] On 11 October 2006, Judge Ronald Friedman ordered Take-Two and Rockstar to provide the court with a copy of the game within 24 hours. On 13 October 2006, Friedman subsequently ruled in favor of shipping the game, noting that there was no content in the game that was not already on late night television. Thompson responded to the ruling with fiery speech directed at the judge, which began the road to disbarment for Thompson.[34]

When given a preview build, the mainstream American media took a generally positive view of the game. Press coverage has described the game as free-form, focusing on building a social network and learning new skills from classes, with strictly enforced punishments for serious misbehaviour.[35]

United Kingdom

Whilst British Labour MP Keith Vaz argued that Bully be banned or reclassified as rated 18 in the UK before its publication and before the content had been finalized,[36] the game was released rated 15.[37] Currys and PC World, both owned by DSG International, said that they did not wish to sell the game in the UK because it is "not appropriate for Currys' family-friendly image". The official statement lists what Currys believes is "the explicit link between violence and children" as the reason behind the ban, and continues: "We haven't taken this decision lightly, particularly considering the excellent relationship we have with Rockstar." However despite this decision other high street retailers including Game, HMV and Virgin Megastores announced intentions to stock the game.[38] DSG stores still stock other Rockstar games including the GTA series, and other violent games like Manhunt, which both have BBFC 18 ratings, whereas Bully has a BBFC 15 rating.


Bully was banned in Brazil.[39] In April 2008, Brazilian justice prohibited the commerce, import and availability of the game in Brazilian houses.[40] The decision was taken by judge Flávio Mendes Rabelo from the state of Rio Grande do Sul based on psychological findings by the state psychology society which claims that the game would be potentially harmful to teenagers and adults. Anyone caught selling would face a daily fine of R$1,000.00.[41] Such a decision, which is not a conclusive one, generated many controversies though, as in Brazil, such a decision could be qualified as censorship, which is prohibited by the Constitution of 1988.

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Bully: Scholarship Edition was released for the Wii and Xbox 360 on 3 March 2008. The game features exclusive content which is unavailable in the PlayStation 2 version, including 8 new missions, 4 new characters, 4 new school classes (Biology, Music, Math and Geography) and new unlockable items and clothing. Some small script changes have been made. The random NPCs also have more lines. In addition, single system 2-player competitive multiplayer minigames have also been added, along with Achievements for the Xbox 360 version and Wii Remote and Nunchuk motion and pointer controls for the Wii version. All ports of the Scholarship Edition use the game engine Gamebryo, rather than Renderware which was used for the PS2 version.[3]

Rockstar Games first announced the game on 19 July 2007.[42] On 6 August 2007, RockstarWatch.net reported on the release of the Australian Bully: Scholarship Edition box art which included artwork of the protagonist, Jimmy Hopkins, and the school principal, Dr. Crabblesnitch.[43] On 3 February 2008, Rockstar announced the game's upcoming release on 4 March 2008 and posted the Scholarship Edition launch trailer at the Bully homepage.

Bully: Scholarship Edition was released in the PAL region under the original Bully title, and not Canis Canem Edit (Latin for Dog Eat Dog), as the original game was renamed.[43] The Xbox 360 version to be released in Japan will also exclude Scholarship Edition from its title. Some retail outlets in Australia have since received recall notices for the game on both Wii and Xbox 360. No reason for the recall has been given, but stores have been asked to remove stock from shelves and return it to the distributor.[citation needed]

Windows version

The Microsoft Windows port was developed by Rockstar New England, the same developers that ported the game to the 360. The port includes the original soundtrack (created by Shawn Lee) for Bully which was released on CD in 2006. The port was released on 21 October 2008 in the US and 24 October 2008 in the UK.[44] On 28 April 2009, a patch was released to address issues with the game not running properly on PCs with more than 2 GB of memory.[4]


Both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of the game generally received both positive and mixed reviews with IGN giving the Wii version an 8/10,[45] while the Xbox 360 version received 8.7/10.[46] 1UP.com gave the Wii version an A- grade[47] and the Xbox 360 version a B- grade.[48] Gameplasma gave the Wii version a 9/10.[49] The PC version, however, received mixed reviews ranging from a "Good" rating of 7.8 from IGN[50] to a C- from 1UP.com[51] who called it "[a] shoddy, untimely port that, inexplicably -- considering its ridiculously long port time -- feels like a rush job." GameSpot later rated it with a "fair" rating of 6.0,[52] calling it "[a] lazy porting job [which] hinders Bully's classic classroom hijinks".

The Xbox 360 version of Bully: Scholarship Edition was found to be unstable on some players' consoles, resulting in glitches, crashes and performance issues. Rockstar promised to have a patch addressing these issues by the week of March 10, 2008, however the patch was delayed due to Microsoft Certification.[53] On March 20, a patch was released via Xbox Live (v1.03), but there are reports which claim the problems have continued or worsened after patching.[54] The problems included audio issues, animation issues, and inability to complete Music classes due to differences between the Wii and Xbox 360 controllers. The most prevalent and common problem with the game is the unexplained freezing of the console, but not music being played on a connected MP3 player or hard drive. GameSpot, a game review website which bases its reviews on the initial public release, took the glitches into account and marked the 360 version of the Scholarship Edition down to a 7/10,[55] a full point lower than the Wii version, which received an 8.[56] The UK magazine NGamer gave the game 90%.[citation needed]

The PC version of Bully: Scholarship Edition was criticized by many, being found by end users to contain problems including textures which were either disappearing or were slow to load, memory leaks, and an endless loop after the initial cut scene in which player speaks with the headmaster when the player had more than 2 GB of memory.[57] However, these issues were addressed in a later patch.[4]


  • IGN Best of 2008:
    • Nominated: Best Voice Acting (Xbox 360)


In November 2009, The Gaming Liberty interviewed musician Shawn Lee, who scored Bully, and was asked if he was scoring any more games in the near future; he responded, "Yes. It looks like I will be doing the soundtrack for Bully 2 in the not so distant future...".[58]

In November 2011, in an interview with Gamasutra, Rockstar executive Dan Houser revealed it may return to it for a sequel once Max Payne 3 is released. "Contrary to a lot of people, we like to take a little bit of time at the end of a game before starting a sequel, so we can wait for the excitement or disappointment and everything else of the experience to shake down and really see what we should do in the next game," he said. "So we knew that we didn't want to start doing the Bully sequel instantly at that second with those guys -- even though it is a property that, like Max, we adore and might come back to in the future. There was just no impetus to do that then. So we said, 'You can do Max, and then we will see what we can do with Bully."[59][60]

See also


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  2. ^ "Bully". Rockstar Games. 2008-06-29. http://www.rockstargames-bully.jp/. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
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  7. ^ Onyett, Charles (20 August 2008). "Bully: Scholarship Edition Confirmed for PC". IGN. http://pc.ign.com/articles/900/900607p1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  8. ^ Richardson, Ben (2006-09-01). "Bully in name change shock". Gamesradar.com. http://www.gamesradar.com/bully-in-name-change-shock/. Retrieved 2006-09-01. 
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  12. ^ "Publisher: 'Bully' Video Game Has Positive Message bully rules ok". Fox News. Associated Press. 2006-10-17. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,221759,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-21. ""Bully" influences came from Hollywood movies [...] and novels like J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" — a coming-of-age book that has been one of the most banned since it was first published more than 50 years ago." 
  13. ^ Jimmy:Mom, why did you marry that phony?Rockstar Vancouver. Bully. (Rockstar Games). Playstation 2. (2006-10-17)
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  31. ^ "Jack Thompson vs Adam Sessler". G4TV. 2006-08-10. http://www.g4tv.com/attackoftheshow/blog/AOTB/post/629272/Jack_Thompson_vs_Adam_Sessler.html. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
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