Animal AvengersBefore there was Fur Fighters, before there was even Furballs - There was Animal Avengers. This game is what set the wheel in motion. Not much is known about the game currently, though quoted from developer Mark Craig himself:
"Way back before the game was even called 'Furballs' it was called 'Animal Avengers' and the main character was a Tortoise called 'Mr Toytoise'. There was a playable demo of this but it was very very rough (I might have it somewhere). We ended up not liking the tortoise (all you could see was his shell from behind) and the name seemed a bit cheesy. Here is the loading screen:"
It's worth noting that the Bears are still present even in this incredibly early stage. The Bees in the image - whilst not really present in the final, are mentioned in the coding, and there are unused images for little Bee critters. The image seems to a rather Anatat Tatanatat feel to it, doncha think?