Video Game: Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
(Known in Japan as Astro Boy • Tetsuwan Atom
: Atom Heart no Himitsu
) was based on Astro Boy
, released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance
after the Anime's 2003 Reboot. It was developed by Treasure
and Hitmaker and published by Sega
. Many consider this game an aversion of The Problem with Licensed Games
, and a fitting tribute to Osamu Tezuka
The storyline starts off by following the 2003 anime. Dr. Tenma, brilliant robotics expert, rebuilds his son as a robot
after he is killed in a horrible car accident. When he realizes Astro is not a true replacement, he abandons Astro and disappears.
In terms of gameplay, this is a Beat 'em Up
where Astro can jump and air dash (he's invincible while dashing.
) Astro has a basic punch combo, although he may freely kick enemies away
or fire a finger laser
.) He also has access to three special attacks that he can build energy for.
- The Arm Cannon, easily the strongest weapon but leaves Astro wide open to attack.
- The Machine Guns mounted on his lower backside will clear the screen of all projectiles and temporarily stun all enemies but is the weakest.
- EX Dash has the smallest area of effect and the hardest to aim. But Astro will attack while dashing, juggling enemies everywhere as he hits them.
There are also a few Shoot 'em Up
levels where Astro exclusively flies. He relies on his finger laser for offense, but can dash and use his specials normally.
Despite excellent reviews, this game was mostly passed over for the Playstation 2 game developed by Sonic Team and this fell into obscurity. Those who did play the game though loved it.
- Actually, I Am Him: Shadow is Sharaku and Blue Knight is the ex-president Rag who was thought to be dead, er, destroyed.
- Air Jousting: The battle with Blue Knight.
- Atlantis: Mu, pretty much. Rock remains in the past to try to save it, but it isn't shown if he succeeded in changing anything.
- Back from the Dead: Astro at the end of both loops, revived by Phoenix.
- Badass Adorable: Astro, Denkou, Pook and the list goes on...
- Big Bad: Sharaku Hosuke.
- Boss Rush: World's Strongest Robots and World's Greatest Adventure. "The World's Strongest" pits Astro against the five strongest robots in the world. A change from the Manga, where Pluto fights the world's strongest.
- Bullfight Boss: With the Blue Knight.
- Character Customization: The game gives no guidelines as to where to put your upgrades, but you'll max out by halfway through Rebirth if you find everyone.
- Character Development: Atlas, though this can be seen as "re-development".
- Charged Attack: Astro's beam cannon, which conveniently freezes time while charging.
- Composite Character: De rigeur for Astroboy adaptations.
- Rag and Blue Knight are merged into a single character and both he and Deadcross are now "played" by Rock, though originally they were just one-shot characters. Furthermore, Rock later finds redemption and love and decides to stay in Mu, becoming the version of the character from the movie Marine Express.
- Pook, the shape shifting robot from the Crucifix Island story is merged with Pick from Mazin Garon, while his working unwillingly for Skunk parallels Denkou (who also appears in the game but only as a minor boss with little role in the plot).
- Nuka combines elements from her original 80s anime incarnation as well as Prime Rose's Death Mask, Bem from the original series' Earth's Last Day storyline (humanoid control system for a weapon of mass destruction) and Mitchy &/or Tima from Metropolis (created on Duke Red's orders using the power of Omotanium, plugged into a machine that can affect the sun).
- Rainbow Parakeet is merged with Sherlock Homespun, the cyborg detective from the original Artificial Sun story.
- In terms of his fighting style, Montblanc is actually mostly Brando, a different character from the World's Strongest Robot saga, retaining only his namesake's beak-like facial features. Something of a necessity, as the original Montblanc was a pacifist who didn't even try to fight Pluto before being killed by him, whereas Brando was a robot wrestler but one wonders why they didn't just use him to begin with.
- Sharaku as the game's Big Bad is mainly based on the Evil Overlord of Marine Express but in a post-ending scene, he becomes the original version of The Three Eyed One.
- Continuing Is Painful: The game lets you restart levels upon death with a full life bar, in contrast to Treasure's Super Gunstar Heroes and Advance Guardian Heroes. However, the game will reset your score.
- Cross Over: Starring Astro, with other characters from Osamu Tezuka's star system show as support characters and villains.
- Cute Bruiser: Astro and Pook, the transforming robot.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Blue Knight and the world's strongest robots on the timeline where they do not explode by Astro's fist.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you look carefully, you'll notice that when you first defeat the "World's Strongest Robots", they explode then collapse to the ground; but when you beat them for the second time, they simply fall down. This is subtle foreshadowing to the fact that the second time around, Astro is disabling the robots instead of destroying them, in order to regain Blue Knight's trust.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Non-sexual variant. The robot/human conflict in the Antarctic appears very similar to the segregation debates and Civil Rights Movement in the 50's and 60's. As well it should, considering the original manga story it's based on was written during this period.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Drake broadcasts his message to Nuka, ordering her to initiate the Death Mask and obliterate all robot-kind so her father won't die, on all world channels.
- Downer Ending: The first playthrough ends with Death Mask killing Astro and all other robots on Earth. Fortunately, after this, the player is given the ability to shoot for a far less depressing ending.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Astro has to use the Time Skip liberally in order to set right all that is wrong. He eventually achieves an ending far brighter than most versions of his story, with good outcomes for practically everyone.
- Final Boss: Garon controlled by Pook.
- Grimy Water: Only at some points of the 2nd Stage and it seems to be normal water.
- Grotesque Cute: Nuka while in Death Mask form. A disturbing face-shaped ship with her usual sweet personality.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Astro eventually gets the ability to warp to any point of time in the loop he wants to go.
- Guide Dang It:
- Some of the Omega Factor characters are hidden frustratingly well. While Max Sensors helps (Astro will point out when a character is in a given segment), you'll still be spending a lot of time looking around.
- An entire subplot is initiated in a rather unintuitive manner: by repeating the tutorial level, since that's the only place barring cutscenes where Astro interacts directly with Dr. O'Shay (Astro will confront him about Dr. Tenma). Made worse by the fact that the game discourages you to do so to begin with by having O'Shay ask if you've forgotten the basic controls when you start.
- The Blue Knight duel. You can't just press the button, you need to keep holding it down until the joust ends.
- Have We Met Yet?: How Pook is introduced. Later on, when Astro is transported back in time to Mu, it's Pook who doesn't recognize him. And in the New Game+, when you go back to the moment of their first meeting, they recognize each other.
- Hit Points: By the three-quarters point of Rebirth, they stop mattering, as enemies are often able to kill Astro in two or three hits anyway.
- Hollywood Atheist: One important quest has Astro proving wrong an archaeologist, Boon, who doesn't believe in anything that cannot be proved by science. By calling up Magma who is very advanced and is somehow neither animal nor machine, according to Boon himself.
- Jerkass Façade: This game's version of Dr. Tenma confesses that he erased Astro's memories and left him to Dr. O'Shay because he realized from the beginning that Astro must become a hero to both mankind and robotkind instead of living as his son.
- Stealth Mentor: Dr. Tenma's ultimate goal is to get Astro to become stronger by overcoming adversity.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Astro fights several heroes/investigators who think Astro is a criminal, or they're the type who fight first and ask questions later.
- Level Up Fill Up: Adding someone to the Omega Factor restores your health.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: This game includes many, many, many characters from Osamu Tezuka's many works. Whenever Astro meets one he gets to boost one of his stats.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Has all of Tezuka's characters as cameos.
- Multi-Mook Melee: So much the game lags A LOT because of it.
- Musical Gameplay: A minor example. While hitting enemies into each other does produce increasingly high-pitched xylophone sounds, they're not particularly synched to the music or anything else.
- New Game+: Literally. The entire second half of the game is reached after beating it once.
- Nintendo Hard: On Easy you begin each life with with, ridiculously, 30 Super attacks and can stock up to 99 of them and enemies deal very low damage. On Hard? Nightmare. Enemies will tear about half of your HP with the lightest of attacks, you can have only 3 Supers now and there are MANY things that can kill you in a single hit. Let's state that we are not talking about bottomless pits or death spikes. Rebirth Mode is a living hell on any difficulty. What's worse is that there barely are any recovery items in each chapter and some of them are supposed to be the level ups that only work once.
- No Final Boss for You: The first time through the game you cannot access the final stage. Finishing the game again lets you access The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
- Offscreen Start Bonus: Kennedy, Unico and Mars are both just off-screen when you start certain areas.
- One-Hit Kill: You fight with a giant robot controlled by Ham Egg but one hit you die.
- Palette Swap: The games does this with every single mook and even some mid/mini-bosses.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Dr. Tenma delivers one in the good end. Before that, Black Jack delivered one to him.
- Peggy Sue: After the first run through the game, Phoenix saves Astro and grants him Time Travel so he can Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
- Plot Coupon That Does Something: Time travel (the Stage Select) is how Astro saves the world.
- President Evil: Rock starts off as this when he actually does become President of the Antarctic in the alternate timeline; he gets better though.
- Although technically not a President, Councilor Drake also counts.
- Robot War: Who's winning depends on the timeline.
- RPG Elements: Understanding a character's personality lets Astro unlock some of his true potential - health, attack power, number of times he can dash and how good his super senses are.
- Scoring Points: The game has various high score and best time tables for each level on the three difficulties. It also records if you were able to beat an chapter or the entire game without dying. Of note is that after Astro's normal combo sets a 4x multiplier on the score, using one of his special moves as a finisher increases it to 5x.
- Shadow Archetype: At one point Astro claims that Atlas is this.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The second half of the game as Phoenix revives Astro and sends him back in time to make sure Death Mask doesn't activate and kill all the robots. With knowledge of the previous timeline, Astro does things a little different this time.
- In addition to Tezuka works, the game is jam-packed with references to previous Treasure game Alien Soldier. For examble, the Artificial Sun has been redesigned to resemble one of AS's minibosses and Mazin Garon fights almost exactly like Leo-Z.
- References to Gunstar Heroes are also present: the background in one level features buildings that have signs reading "Gunstar", Pook refers to his different forms as "Forces" (similar to the Gunstar Heroes-boss, Seven Force), and two songs from Gunstar Heroes were remixed for ''Astro Boy: Omega Factor".
- Astro's six main stats plus the Omega Factor are called "The Seven Forces".
- Shown Their Work: We did say every character Tezuka ever did, right?
- The unlockable Character List gives descriptions of all the characters and explains how they were adapted into the game.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Several examples thanks to the time loop. Notable examples include characters such as Pluto and even Nuka!
- Solar CPR: After after the battle with the game's True Final Boss, remains of it end up corrupting the sun. Astro has to send over a remnant of Death Mask/Nuka in order to restore it.
- Talk to Everyone: In the second half of the game you'll need to do this. You're bound to need a guide.
- Time Travel: The main element of the second half of the game.
- Together in Death: Astro and Nuka... or are they?
- Unexpected Shmup Level: It is Astro Boy and the first shmup level appears early, so it is not that surprising. The final one plays a little differently, though...
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Astro gets a bit of this the first time he runs into Nuka.