Video Game: Elite Beat Agents aka: Elitebeat Agents
"Agents are... GO!"
"ARE YOU READY? THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!!"
Elite Beat Agents (an Americanized version of Japanese rhythm game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) is a Rhythm Game for the Nintendo DS that makes extensive and exclusive use of the stylus. It stars the EBA, Men In Black who solve the world's problems through music and dance, as opposed to the uniquely-Japanese male cheerleaders from its Japanese progenitor.Known primarily for its weird Japanese charm and unique control scheme, Ouendan became a hit among import gamers, prompting Nintendo and its developer to bring the game to North America under its alternate name, retaining most of the visual charm of the original, but (understandably) replacing the J-Pop music with various popular American songs to create a uniquely "American" atmosphere. Elite Beat Agents was also treated as a genuine sequel to Ouendan and featured many gameplay upgrades over its Japanese predecessor and even a few cameos from Ouendan characters as an Easter Egg for the import fanbase.The game sold reasonably well, though despite Ouendan receiving a Japanese sequel, a sequel to Elite Beat Agents hasn't been forthcoming. Many of the mechanics upgrades from Elite Beat Agents found their way into Ouendan 2 anyway, and a special promotion in Japan allowed players to download a special "EBA Mode" that replaced the Japanese Ouendan with the Elite Beat Agents.
These games provide examples of:
Abusive Parent: The mother from "ABC". She entrusts her 1-year-old baby with $10,000 china, then leaves it alone with a cat. So, she's either a total idiot, or is aware the cat is smarter than it looks.
Acme Products: The ABCD company makes many sports goods, ranging from footballs to track outfits.
Air Guitar: The agents in "I Was Born to Love You".
All Men Are Perverts: In "La La", Cap White aims to defeat Mr. Virus. Mr. Virus intends to rip off her clothes.
Blank White Eyes: Everyone, in every level. At least four times per level, even. Sometimes more. (The "HEEEAAALLLP!" before each stage, as well as during each segment of each song if you're doing well.) Except for "You're the Inspiration", where such cartoonishness would have utterly destroyed the mood. Still happens if you bomb the first stage, but the mood will have been pretty well wrecked by then anyway.
Bowdlerise: Parodied in the "Survivor" level, where it takes zombie lore and makes it fit into an E-10 rated game. The zombies don't bite, they kiss, and the protagonist uses peanuts as ammo! Considering the tone of the game, it fits.
Cool Shades: Comes standard with the uniform. Commander Khan has a pair of shades as well.
Couch Gag: The way Kahn sends the agents out, and how the agents enter the situations.
Cover Version: All the songs are covers, likely to save development costs and help prolong the licenses to use them. It also allowed for changes to the songs for gameplay purposes. For one example, if they had used the original version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for the final story mission, it would have been easier to complete as its tempo is slower than the cover used in the game.
Cross Counter: Happens in the Space Battle multiplayer scenario if the match ends in a draw.
The version of "Rock This Town" used in the game is a shortened cover of the swing version by Brian Setzer, not the rock version done when he was with the Stray Cats. The changed tempo can wreck your pattern if you're more familiar with the rock version. Similarly, the version of "I Was Born to Love You" used is not a cover of Freddie Mercury's original version, but the remade version by Queen, which is structurally very different in some parts. The version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" could be a case if you're expecting it to sound like the Rolling Stones' original version, as the version in the game is a complete rearrangement of the song.
More commonly, (nearly every stage, in fact) during the chorus of most songs the pattern repeats. If you aren't careful (or fail the same stage often enough to get the first pattern ingrained) when you reach the finale of the song and the pattern changes, this will cause you to miss notes.
Near the end of "Material Girl", hearing the bridge that leads to the ending fadeout may cause players to relax. Not a good idea, as it is shortened to two measures and the chorus is promptly repeated again.
In a strange story example, you can see a small cameo by what looks like Tsuyoshi Hanada from the first Ouendan game in the New-York themed "Sk8er Boi" level. The dev team then decided to make an entire scenario in the sequel that explained how he could have gotten there. It would be The Producer Thinks Of Everything if 1. it wasn't a game, and 2. the developers were even expecting a sequel to Ouendan at all.
Inverted, if you fail "La La", the viruses (males) stomp, punch, prick with a fork and, in general, beat the crap out of the (female) white blood cell. Itīs totally hilarious to watch.
Played straight with Angelina in a classic Tsundere manner.
Do Well, but Not Perfect: Once a bonus mission has been unlocked it becomes mandatory for all future playthroughs. Do you really want to face Survivor on Hard Rock mode? Additionally, if you unlock Hard Rock mode, but not the highest rank (Lovin' Machine), you can play as Mr. X instead of Commander Kahn. Who wouldn't want want to play as a seemingly drunken old man in a cat mask?
Downer Ending: If you mess up on any level, your character will either die, be badly injured or flat out give up on everything. Even completing the level, but getting an X on all the cutscenes isn't likely going to end well.
Drives Like Crazy: Jack, but only when he starts his taxi meter. Once he's at his destination, he reverts back to his meek self.
Eagleland: A mixed flavor, complete with crazy stereotypes. While Colonel Bob, hiswife and the Carringtons aren't exactly the greatest people around, everyone else seems to be reasonably nice and hard-working. And even they aren't that bad.
Early-Bird Cameo: Happens all through the game: Amanda and Tex from "Believe" make a cameo in "Sk8er Boi"; Max the cat from "ABC" appears in "Rock This Town" (as well as the opening cutscene for "Without a Fight"); baby Alden and his mom, also from "ABC", appear in the second part of "Highway Star", and the Carrington sisters give Sam a ride in the first part; and finally, Colonel Bob from "Let's Dance" shows up in the intro for the Carrington's song, "Material Girl". Phew! Also, unless you've been purposely replaying levels to rack your score up just for this purpose, the first time you see any of the characters from the bonus levels will likely be in the group shots at the end.
Eiffel Tower Effect: During the last level, people from around the world dance around various famous landmarks.
Fake Difficulty: Unlike other difficulty levels, which, among other differences, scale the difficulty by varying how complicated and intricate the note layouts are, Hard Rock difficulty simply takes the note layout of Sweatin' and flips them over into a "mirrored" version of the Sweatin' layouts, on top of smaller notes (requiring more precision to hit) and a much smaller window of time to hit them.
Favors for the Sexy: When the Carrington Sisters are stranded on a deserted island, they charm the fauna to provide their needs, from fire, to food, to shelter. For the entire song, both of them don't do a damn thing for themselves.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: See the previous entry. Also some of the songs used, if you pay attention to the lyrics. Also if you fail the first part of "La La", Cap White gets the top part of her dress ripped off!
Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Commander Khan before each stage, with the exception of "You're the Inspiration", "Without a Fight", and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". The agents and divas give the viewer the pointer finger when they ask, "Are you ready?" Cap White first challenges Mr. Virus this way.
Hit Flash: Sure, they could have shown the Agents' horse-drawn carriage flying through the air dramatically... but why do that when they can enter with speed lines and the written sound effect "Clappity-SWOOSH!"?
Hot Pursuit: Jack the cab driver partakes in a few while driving a woman in labor to the hospital.
Informed Ability: The profiles you see before you enter a level have a small tidbit of information about the target. These have no impact on the plot, though some are related to the mission.
It's a Wonderful Failure: You ran out of life? Now you get to watch the person you're helping be reduced to a sobbing wreck if they aren't dead. Failed to keep the minimum life for the good cutscenes? You get to watch failure and keep playing and if you fail them all you get to see just how much you screwed up. Fail completely on either part of the two parter end mission and you get to watch the destruction of the entire human race.
A retired baseball player saves an amusement park from a giant golem and earns the adoration of one of his biggest fans, leading to a successful comeback. Set to an upbeat cover of "The Anthem", a song about how the singer doesn't want success or role models.
"Material Girl", if you take it as a satire of what the Carrington sisters play straight.
Jet Pack: The Agents enter the "Makes No Difference" stage wearing them.
Karma Houdini: The Colonel's wife, who is Easily Forgiven by the Colonel after losing his vast fortune and then breaking up with him because he's poor. Though Colonel Bob did offer one of the Carringtons a diamond (and his oil fields). Guess a Rich Bitch wife gets a Rich Bitch husband.
Lazy Artist: In the last stage, when everybody is doing the arm waving thing, sure they bothered to update Colonel Bob and Bill's sprites (so that they are in their formal wear and tracksuit, respectively), but for some reason, not Captain Brooke and Ken. Also, in several cutscenes, the people in the background are mirrored. The car show scene in "Canned Heat" and the beginning of the last section in "Sk8er Boi", for example.
Lighter and Softer: The Elite Beat Agents are a shadowy organization with worldwide surveillance that dispatches teams of well-equipped, trained operatives on missions around the globe. Their principal weapon? The power of dance. Their goal? Inspire people into overcoming their own problems.
Live Mink Coat: The Carrington sisters get some animals to lay around their necks to get them warm.
Mars Needs Women: The Carrington sisters. List of things they've won over via Gainaxing: raccoons, a gorilla, a lion, a bear, an elephant, a parrot, a crab, and an airplane (although it may have been more attracted to their credit card), in "Material Girl", Sam the pug in "Highway Star", and a team of Rhombulan alien soldiers sent specifically to destroy anyone singing, dancing, or enjoying the music in "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
The virus that athlete Bill Mitchell receives is named... Mr. Virus.
The equally subtle name of the aliens. They're called the Rhombulans... and their leader happens to be a giant eye inside a rhombus. Also, a rhombus is a skewed square, and "square" is/was a slang word for uncool. Probably why they dislike - and die from exposure to - good music.
Chris Silverscreen, Hollywood director.
The archaeologist who buys the rights for Atlantis is called Dr. Archie Logist.
Mickey Mousing: The dogs' barking in the "Canned Heat" level and the "HEEALLLLPS" in the second to last level.
Misplaced Wildlife: Foxes, gorillas, bears and cows apparently live in the wild together, and there are parrots, monkeys, lions and elephants on a nearby deserted island.
Mondegreen: What the heck is that high-pitched voice saying in "Highway Star"? (In the original version, the lyrics were quite obvious, but in the game, it sounds more like, "I drive it! Argh, need it! Ah bleed it the same!" The correct lyrics are actually, "I LOVE IT! I NEED IT! I BLEED IT!")
Mood Whiplash: After eleven levels of rescuing cartoon caricatures from wacky, off-the-wall scenarios, "You're the Inspiration" gives us a little girl still waiting for her beloved, recently deceased father to come home for Christmas.
Played for Laughs in Hulk Bryman's stage. After seeing a depressing montage of his career declining to the point where he's working as a custodian, a fire-breathing golem suddenly appears!
Multiple Endings: Every level has a "Good End" (cleared all stages), "Normal End" (cleared level, but failed two or more stages), and "Bad End" (total failure).
The Divas also have sweet hats, as seen at the end of "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
Ninja: Ken Ozu. Initially subverted in that he's a Lovable Coward son of an auto dealer, but if you play the level the right way, he becomes very formidable.
Nightmare Fetishist: The Carringtons are just a little too enthusiastic about being shipwrecked. If you play poorly, there's one point where they're enjoying the fact that an alligator is chasing them.
Nintendo Hard: Compared to other rhythm games, the beatmaps themselves are actually pretty simple. What makes the game Nintendo Hard is the absolutely unforgiving life meter, which penalizes you greatly for missed notes, such that it only takes a few missed notes before you fail out, and even if you manage to survive at first, not only is it really hard to build your meter back up, but you can still fail out later because the meter is always decreasing when you're not hitting notes. Which, by the way, makes it possible to fail even if you are hitting all the notes, unless you're hitting most of them perfectly. Oh, and the final stages? They like to throw a lot of spinners at you, and then have you hit tricky note sequences after the spinners, which tend to make your hand a little shaky for some time afterwards...
Noob Bridge: Seemingly ironically, the easiest mode of EBA seems at times to be the hardest, due to the lower density of beats, making it harder to keep one's rhythm.
Part of the problem is that on higher levels you react to the mere appearance of buttons, whereas on lower levels the buttons appear long before you need to tap them and you need to hit them when the closing circle hits the button's outer rim.
The guy from the aforementioned "giggling zombie" level has a permanent angry scowl on his face, except in the Good Ending where he sort-of smiles in an advertisement for peanuts, or when you lose and he gets turned into a zombie.
Agent Derek. The reason why his afro is funny. He does smile if you do well in "Jumpin' Jack Flash", though.
Agent Chieftain doesn't smile that often, either, but he can still be spotted smiling in one of the splash arts (between unlocking new songs).
Phrase Catcher: Sam seems to get called a dumb mutt fairly often in his cameos or in some of his failure scenes.
Rule of Cool: The powers of dance and pop music are able to inspire a washed-up Major League Baseball player to great feats of Baseball capable of protecting a whole amusement park from a rampaging lava golem. At one point he knocks a large, flaming boulder that had just been shot at him away using a wooden bat.
Shout-Out / Reference Overdosed: The top screen during "Survivor" is quite reminiscent of survival-horror Light Gun Games such as The House of the Dead. (Or, Resident Evil: Survivor. ) And if you fail the second section, the cutscene has the protagonist out of ammo, with "RELOAD!" flashing on the screen as zombies creep towards him.
The "ABC" level is an obvious homage to Tom and Jerry (minus the mouse). Specifically the episode where the two have to protect a baby that crawls onto a construction site. It's worth noting that Tom and Jerry is quite popular in both America and Japan.
The hardest difficulty level is played with the Divas, the only female playable characters, and the difference between it and the second-hardest difficulty is that the note maps are identical but reversed, life meter drains faster, and the note markers are smaller. Recall the old quote: "Ginger Rogers did everything [Fred Astaire] did...backwards and in high heels!"
"Let's Dance" has "You (do some stuff)!" messages that are reminiscent of old text adventure games.
Show Within a Show: "Romancing Meowzilla." From what we see of it, it involves a wedding, an Indy Escape, and the titular beast rampaging throughout the city.
Split Personality: Jack from "Sk8er Boi" has one - it activates whenever he starts the meter for his taxi, and he reverts back to normal when he stops the meter. It seems that the act of pressing the button itself is what triggers the change. He also doesn't seem to remember anything he did after he changes back.
Stacy's Mom: Sofie, if the ending of "September" is any indication.
Sucking-In Lines: The Rhombulan mothership, when powering up its petrification ray.
Agent J is only playable on one difficulty (Cruisin'), but he's on all of the game's advertising, the box, the title screen, and a trophy in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl, most of which have him front and center as if to imply he's the leader.
Also, "Cruisin'" is the game's "normal" difficulty, so it was probably expected people would recognize the character they play as the most.
You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Arguably what the Elite Beat Agents do: Agents show up to convince people that they possess the strength to surpass their present obstacles without help from others.