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Futurama

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Futurama is a 3D platformer based on the science fiction cartoon series Futurama. Versions are available for the PS2 and Xbox, both of which use cel-shading technology. A version for the Nintendo GameCube was planned but later cancelled due to a belief that the GameCube's popularity was too limited.

Storyline

Recurring antagonist Mom buys Planet Express for cynical reasons and the team of Philip J. Fry, Bender, Turanga Leela, and Doctor Zoidberg must thwart her evil plot to take over the universe.

As the game begins, Professor Hubert Farnsworth has sold the company Planet Express to Mom, after realizing the company has been losing money. With her purchase of Planet Express, Mom now owns over 50% of the planet Earth, and becomes its supreme ruler, taking all humans for slaves and instituting a curfew with 'hoverbot death troopers' patrolling the streets. Fry, Leela, Bender and Farnsworth attempt to escape Earth but the ship is broken and scorched so whilst the others repair the ship, Fry finds a hammer. However, when the two ton pile of steel and junk the hammer was supporting falls on him, he is killed. He is brought back to life by the Professor's re-animator and finds all the Professor's tools to fix the ship. Alas, the professor couldn't fix the dark matter engine so Fry must go to the pawn shop and reclaim the back-up engine. Once he does so they escape earth with the re-animator and the railgun the professor pawned the back-up engine for.

Mom's plan is bigger than the mere conquest of Earth; she plans to turn the planet Earth into a gigantic Warship to conquer the universe. However, in order to move the entire planet off its orbit, she requires a large Dark Matter engine, that only Professor Hubert Farnsworth knows how to build. She captures the Planet Express Ship in a tractor beam from a scrapyard on a desert asteroid. Bender escapes with the re-animator and shuts down the tractor beam. Mom's ship (in the shape of Mom's head) captures the Planet Express Ship in the mouth and Mom and her sons board the Planet Express ship. They cut off the Professor's head and put it in a jar before hurling the Planet Express Ship into the sun.

In a twist, the sun actually has a habitable surface, where the Sun People live in fear of the Mighty Sun God, that has killed much of the star's population and created an undead army out of their bones. Leela defeats him, in exchange for Dark Matter to fuel up the ship, and the crew heads to the planet Bogad (Dagobah spelled backwards minus two letters), home of Professor Farnsworth's mentor Adoy (Yoda spelled backwards), presumed to be the only person capable of hatching a plan to solve the situation. As the crew journeys to Bogad, Mom succeeds in powering up the Earth's Dark Matter engine and proceeds to destroy nearby planets.

On Bogad, the crew meets Adoy, who reveals he's invented a time machine capable of sending them back in time and stop Mom before she became unstoppable. The ship and crew travel into the past but arrive completely out of control, crashing the broken, scorched ship inside the Planet Express hangar with not much time left to prevent the original sale of Planet Express. They leave in their original ship, the broken ship becoming a time paradox.

The crew arrives at Mom's Company just in time to prevent the sale, however Mom forces them to fight the robot Destructor from Raging Bender. The crew manages to defeat him, but then they are crushed and killed. Professor Hubert Farnsworth has a face-off with Mom and then returns to Planet Express to give his employees some good news. The cutscene shown at the end is actually the first cutscene from the beginning. The game ends the way it began, returning to Level 1 and completing the circle in the timeline (thus creating an infinite loop).

Gameplay

Overview

In Futurama, the player controls each of four playable characters on different levels designed for using just one of the characters at once. Most levels include a combination of fighting, jumping, and some puzzle-solving. Making use of each of these characters and their abilities, the player furthers the story along by unlocking interstitial cut scenes that provide more information about the story for the player.

Characters

  • Fry: Being the only character to use weapons, Fry wields such protection as a hammer and a railgun.
  • Bender: Being a robot, Bender uses attacks that make use of his brute force abilities; a shoulder charge, spinning punch, and a jumping "butt slam". Along with these, since he doesn't have a weapon, Bender can do a "special move" called the Super-spin Attack.
  • Leela: Being agile and educated in martial arts, Leela can do various kung fu style moves. As she also does not have a weapon, she can also do a "special move".
  • Zoidberg: Used in a "race against the clock" riding level.

In addition to these playable characters, many other characters from the series make cameo appearances, as well as new characters being introduced for the first time.

Special items

As well as the levels being character specific, each character is also provided with items, health pick-ups, and valuables to collect that will help them in some way.

Health

  • Fry: Cans of Slurm
  • Bender: Olde Fortran and Oil
  • Leela: Vitamins

Fighting collectibles

  • Fry: Ammo cartridges
  • Bender and Leela: A charge-up to use their special move.

Valuables

After collecting 25 valuables, a character earns an extra life.

  • Fry: U.S. Dollars
  • Bender: Robobium
  • Leela: Gold bars
  • Zoidberg: Fish bones

Game Development

Development on the game started before the series' cancellation, but the game wasn't released until after the last episode had already been shown. Thus, the game has been known as a "lost episode" of sorts since it includes around half an hour of completely new material.

Many of the crew from the Futurama series worked on the game. Matt Groening served as Executive game developer and David X. Cohen directed the voice actors. These voice actors were the original actors from the series: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, and David Herman. Also adding to the authenticity of the game was the original music composition provided by Christopher Tyng who also composed the music in the series and Futurama scriptwriter and producer J. Stewart Burns who scripted an original storyline for the plot.

A major part of the appeal of Futurama lies in the humor of the game. The cut scenes are full of jokes, and the characters and enemies make various quips during gameplay (e.g. Fry has an accident at the start of the game and wakes believing he almost died, and is then told that he did die and that he is just a clone). The loading screens are all advertisements for various things in the year 3000 (Such as an Army enlistment poster featuring Zapp Branigan with the caption "Join the army. What are you, chicken? Buk,Buk,Buk")

The Death of Fry, Leela and Bender

Since the game is not considered canon, it is interesting to note that while the game features a predestination paradox, Fry, Leela and Bender end up permanently dead at "the end", though the game itself ends with Farnsworth greeting the trio as the game had begun.

External links

Facts about "Futurama"RDF feed
ContentTypeVideo Game +
DisplayNameFuturama +
FeaturesSingle-player +
GameCatVideo Game +
GenreThird-person Action + and Action +
NameFuturama +
NamePageFuturama +
NamesFuturama +
PageNameFuturama +
PageTypeVideo Games + and Games +
RegionInternational +
StatusReleased +
Year2003 +

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