Video Game / Gex

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Gex_the_Gecko_1554.jpg
The original Gecko Mascot.

Gex was a platformer franchise from Crystal Dynamics, featuring a gecko who entered TV and movie themed worlds. The first entry, the simply titled Gex, was a 2D platformer for the 3DO, and later the Playstation 1 and Sega Saturn. The next installment switched to 3D platforming, with Gex: Enter the Gecko. It was released for the PS1 and N64. The N64 port is noted for cutting out several levels due to space constraints and lacking cutscenes the game previously had (though to be fair, it featured one level that the PS1 version lacked). The final entry, Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, was again released on the PS1 and N64 (which did not have any of the FMVs).

Despite being fairly successful and its developer continuing most of its other franchises from the era into the next (and expectations that it would make the leap), the franchise ended with the release of the last game in 1999 and has not resurfaced.

The first game is available for PC on GOG

Examples throughout the series:

  • All There in the Manual: There's a LOT in the manual of the first game that isn't in the short intro before it.
  • Aloha, Hawaii!: Gex lives in Maui.
  • Anvil on Head: A stage hazard for the Toon TV stages in Gex: Enter The Gecko and the New Toon Land stage in the original Gex. Hazards include anvils, safes, weights, fat ladies, and kitchen sinks. Also lampshaded by Gex:
    Gex: "What is it with cartoons and anvils?"
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The "Congo Chaos" level. Stepping on a switch early in the level activates the autoscrolling. It stops at the end of the level (and you can backtrack if you want to).
  • Bad Boss: Rez. Just read the signs he keeps around his lair that say things like "30 DAYS IN THE COOLER FOR TALKING"
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Cemetery world (Gex) and Scream TV (Gex: Enter the Gecko)
  • Cameo: Nikki from Pandemonium!.
  • Catch-Phrase: "It's tail time!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Gex can be thought of as one, seeing as how his references are usually irrelevant to the situation at hand. One of his quotes even involve random barking.
  • Collection Sidequest: One in each game. It's a platformer released in the nineties so this is a given.
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: Appears in Rez's stages in the original game and Enter The Gecko.
  • Crosshair Aware: Done beautifully on Gex: Enter the Gecko with the final boss, Rez. After a while, the perspective switches to Rez's eyes (while you still control Gex) with Rez firing rockets after he locks on to you.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gex has his moments.
  • Dimension Lord: Rez is lord of the Media Dimension.
  • The Dragon: Mooshoo Pork was this to Rez judging by his pictures in Rez's inner Sanctum
  • Excuse Plot: The original game has Gex getting sucked into a TV and has the villain, Rez the Media Dimension overlord, wanting to use him as his mascot to take over the world. Needless to say, Gex will have none of it and has to save the day. Amusingly, the manual has a much more elaborate backstory for Gex, meant as a parody of how older video games had more backstory in the original manual than in the actual games.
  • Far East: Kung Fuville and Kung Fu Theatre.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: Invoked occasionally whenever Gex rides on flying furnature in Enter the Gecko. "Who forgot to pay the gravity bill?"
  • Freudian Excuse: Gex's mother sold the TV to gypsies because Gex has been watching too much TV. He was so upset he ran away.
  • Goomba Stomp: Only works when Gex is preparing a Spring Jump. Otherwise you get hurt.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The collectible remotes in each game are necessary to unlock new levels.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Happens a surprising amount, particularly in the third game.
    • Lake Flaccid. Ummm...
      • A sign in that area prohibits "premarital Gex."
    • "I'm flaming! In the... Manly way."
    • "I feel like Lester the Mo-Gexter."
    • And let's not forget the Caligula references in the desert level.
    • A sign in Out of Toon reads "Pimp Struttin' "
    • Let's not forget this classic family friendly knee-slapper after beating the Sun Snake in the first game:
    Gex: This is about as much fun as being Mike Tyson's cellmate on Valentine's Day.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Cemetery stages in the first game feature burly enemies of this type, who for added benefit also wear red and green striped t-shirts.
  • Mad Scientist: Mooshoo Pork
  • Mascot with Attitude: Gex, of course.
  • Momma's Boy: "How could he use that mouth to kiss her mother?"
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Gex can use it to vomit fire, ice and slime with the right powerups, but he more commonly uses it to grab ledges instead of using his hands.
  • NASA: Gex's father worked there as a researcher. Now, Gex's mother owns it.
  • Non Sequitur: Gex's various quotes are very rarely directly relevant to the situation at hand. Notable because he says them a LOT.
  • Notzilla: One level in Gex: Enter The Gecko has the titular lizard transforming into "Gexzilla".
  • Novelization: Written by Michael Teitelbaumnote  and published by Troll Communications L.L.C. It's mainly based on Deep Cover Gecko, though the events of the other games are detailed as backstory.
  • Oh God, with the Verbing!: One of Gex's impressions is of Jerry Lewis, "flavin" and all.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Used in one of the games: "Is that a lightsaber, or are you just happy to see me?"
  • Piranha Problem: Piranhas appear as enemies in the first two games.
  • Power-Up: The original game had a large variety. This was toned down in the sequels, but each game still has a fire and ice power up.
  • Reference Overdosed: Invoked, due to Gex's addiction to the telly.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Gex's family became rich after great-uncle Charlie (the original model for Izod) died and left them over $20 billion. The family bought houses, cars, judges, politicians, 51% ownership of NASA, and Australia (since the kids wanted to go there).
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • The Slacker: Gex, who, upon finding out he was reach, boarded up his house, stocked up on tasty flies, and plans to spend the rest of his life living comfortably, watching TV.
  • Spin Attack: Gex's tail whip technically.
  • Spring Jump: Gex's trademark vertical mobility option. There are also jump pads in quite a few levels.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Gex's mother bought NASA and converted Mission Control into a theme restaurant, Space Monkeys, featuring robotic dancing space chimps.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Played straight in the first game, where Gex swims Mario-style, pressing the jump button to float upwards and not needing any oxygen. In Enter The Gecko, he doesn't need oxygen in the N64 version's Titanic level. Averted in Deep Cover Gecko, where Gex has an Oxygen Meter.
  • Take That!: Several in Gex's quips. For example:
    "Commander. They are of a strange species that find Adam Sandler funny."
  • Talkative Loon: Seriously. He does not shut up and the references he makes are so misplaced it goes straight from shallow parody into pure randomness.
    • The second game has a button specifically to make him say things.


Tropes appearing in specific titles:

    open/close all folders 

    The original Gex 
  • Anticlimax: After beating Rez, you get sent back to the real world and watch Gex wonder what's on HBO and change the channel to the credits. Riveting.
    • If you've cleared Planet X, you get a much longer ending, though it consists mostly of text.
  • Anvil on Head: How you defeat the Flatulator, the boss of the New Toonland level.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The "Congo Chaos" level. Stepping on a switch early in the level activates the autoscrolling. It stops at the end of the level (and you can backtrack if you want to).
  • Bonus Level:
    • There is a "Break the barrels" bonus level.
    • Beating the bonus level of every world will net you the remote for Planet X, an entire world of bonus levels.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and end with Gex lying around on the couch, surfing the tube.
  • Collection Sidequest: Fly coins.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Spit N' Puke, the boss of the cemetary level...until you start damaging her.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: In the cemetary level, you can fight zombie geckos.
  • Fartillery: How the Flatulator propels himself.
  • Fireballs: Gex can spit them out after getting a fire Power-Up.
  • The Maze: "The Project", the penultimate level of Planet X. The maze is absolutely huge, and, combined with how little of a level you see around Gex at any given time, very difficult to navigate. There are also false exits that send you to the end (in one case, through one of the developers, who must be defeated before he kills you) without the remote for the next level.

    Gex: Enter The Gecko 
  • Bonus Level: They are unlocked using silver remotes (they even have "BONUS" written in the TV screen) are all collection sidequests which unlock gold remotes. Gold remotes are used to unlock more varied Secret Levels.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: How the government recruits Gex.
  • Circling Stars: Happens when you jump straight into a wall (which doesn't do any damage) or get knocked down from an enemy hit.
  • Collection Sidequest: This is how the bonus levels play out in Gex: Enter The Gecko. In the standard levels, it also has you collecting thematic items which change and grant you a 1-UP after getting 30 and 40. Collecting 120 (50 after the second, permanent item change) gets you a silver remote, used to unlock secret levels. The collectibles are:
    • Carrots, cans of spinach, and TNT Plunger Detonators in the Toon TV levels.
    • Skulls, tombstones, and hockey masks in the horror-themed Scream TV levels.
    • Starfish, treasure chests, and necklaces in the Titanic-themed level.
    • 9 Volt batteries, red LED's, and ...some strange atom thingy in the cyber-themed Circuit Central levels.
    • Boxes of noodles, yin-yang symbols, and kabuki masks for the chinatown, Kung Fu Theatre levels.
    • Little rockets, laser guns, and mini astronauts for the Rocket Channel space levels.
    • Drumsticks, cow's skulls, and mini, blue brachiosauruses in the Pre-History channel.
  • Cool Shades: Puts on a pair during the intro en route to the Media Dimension.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The title of the first Circuit central level: www.dotcom.com
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Justification for the presence of zombies in the Scream TV levels.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Zombies, scorpions, hunters, tikimen, ghosts, robots, ninjae, suits of samurai armor, chinese dragons, aliens, demented pumpkins, dinosaurs, bees, mutant pig-cow hybrids, and bear traps okay. But flowers, smiley faces, capacitors, and semiconductors?
  • Evil Laugh: Rez during his boss fight.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Averted. Everything is still out to kill you in the chinatown themed Kung Fu Theatre levels. Even ninjae.
  • Fungus Humongous: Present in the Toon TV level.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Quite a few red remotes are obtained from killing/destroying X numbers of enemy/destructible Y.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The people who hire Gex.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Justification for the presence of ninjae in the Kung Fu Theatre levels, despite being China themed for the most part.
  • Hammerspace: In the Toon TV world, the dancing flowers can pull hammers out from behind their backs to attack you. Afterwards, they just hide the hammer behind their backs again, seemingly into thin air.
  • "Have a Nice Day" Smile: Appears as an enemy in the Toon TV world.
  • Improvised Zip Line: In the Kung Fu Theatre levels.
  • Incendiary Exponent: When Gex eats a fire-fly, he is set on fire and leaves a trail of fire when he attacks. He is also invincible.
    Gex: "Is it just me or am I ENGULFED IN FLAMES?!"
    Gex: "I'm flaming! In the...manly way."
  • Kaizo Trap: If you collect a remote and die before landing on the ground (falling off a cliff, run out of air, etc.) the game will act as if you had died, but will still register that you obtained the remote. Not particularly useful, unless you really don't want to go back to the Hub World, but not very frustrating either since the remote collection still counts.
  • Kill It with Fire: In Gex: Enter The Gecko, creating a circle of fire around an enemy while under the effects of the fire-fly grants an instant kill via rising tower of flame. Notably, this is the only way, asides from its ice counterpart, to dispose of the corpses of zombies (which is not necessary or useful in anyway but is still very cool).
  • Kill It with Ice: Functionally identical to the fire-fly, the ice-fly allows Gex to also instakill enemies.
  • Laser Blade: Gex plays with a lightsaber in his idle animation in the Rocket Channel space levels in Gex: Enter The Gecko, complete with sound effects. Sadly, he cannot use it in combat. They are also used by certain enemies in the same level.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: The title of the second non-bonus Rocket Channel level is name "Pain In The Asteroids".
  • Loin Cloth: Gex dons one in the Pre-History channel levels.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Rez tries pulling this at the end, though Gex's real father was killed in a rocket explosion. The novelization tries to reconcile this, revealing that Gex's father became Rez as as a result of the explosion.
  • The Men in Black: They recruit him to help get rid of Rez again.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Mooshoo Pork, the second boss. The upper part of a pig with the bottom part of a cow. Also has a curly mustache and High-Class Glass.
  • Mood Dissonance: Hearing Gex's wise-cracks and Non Sequiturs make the horror themed levels very silly, even if they aren't meant to be taken seriously in the first place.
  • Only in It for the Money: Gex's motivation in Gex: Enter The Gecko.
  • Oxygen Meter: Used in the Rocket Channel space levels. There are air refueling centers and boxes filled with air bubbles littered across the level.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: Some of the portraits in the horror themed "Scream TV" world.
  • Savage Piercings: Gex has a Stock Femur Bone attached to his nose in the Pre-History dinosaur themed levels.
  • Secret Level: They are unlocked using gold remotes obtained from Bonus Levels and bosses. They reward the player with secret cutscenes.
  • Selective Localisation: For some reason, there was a British version made wherein the only difference was all of Gex's lines were dubbed over in a British accent. It is a very nice accent, though.
    • Actually, it would appear that the vast majority of Gex's lines were rewritten in the UK release to suit British sense of humour and reflect British pop culture more accurately.
  • Sequence Breaking: It is possible to skip a large portion of the "Fine Tooning" Toon TV level by jumping on top of a domino and jump kicking past a gap, as shown here. Normally, you would need to follow the moat river to another section of the level to find a boat which acts as a platform, as shown here.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: The previous game in the series is simply called "Gex", and the next game is Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko... but this game isn't called Gex 2, leading to confusion for those who missed out on the original (e.g. N64 owners.)
  • Space Zone: The Rocket Channel levels.

    Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko 
  • Anachronism Stew: Just in case you were somehow expecting an accurate portrayal of ancient Egypt in the "Holy Moses!", there's a metal hot dog stand at the entrance.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The "Totally Scrooged" level.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Levels where you can fall down and are forced to redo a long segment come with mini- checkpoints to go back to where you fell (The "Cutcheese Island"'s platforming segment and the Fairytales TV's beanstalk).
  • Ascended Extra: Agent Xtra appeared briefly in the opening of Enter the Gecko and in the story in the instruction manuel. In this game, she's kidnapped and contacts you at the end of each level.
  • Bad Santa: Evil Santa acts as a Tennis Boss in the "Totally Scrooged" level.
  • Bears are Bad News: You fight taxidermied bears in the "Clueless In Seattle" level.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: You fight giant locusts and a giant spider in the "Holy Moses!" level.
  • Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Gex goes for one in the first Bonus Level: Marsupial Madness.
  • Killer Robot: An enemy type fought in the Anime Channel level: "When Sushi Goes Bad."
  • Mad Bomber: One mission in the Superhero Show level has you defeating the mad bomber.
  • Masked Luchador: Gex dresses as one for the first boss fight versus a wrestler.
  • The Maze: A mild example with the hedge maze in "Clueless In Seattle".
  • Medley: The music to "Totally Scrooged" is a medley of various Christmas songs: "Jingle Bells", "Angels We Have Heard on High", and "Frosty the Snowman" (played in a minor key to give it a sinister sound).
  • Messy Pig: The reason they appear in the "Mythstories" network.
  • Money to Burn: One mission in the Gangster TV level requires you to burn piles of funny money.
  • Mummy: An enemy in the "Holy Moses!" level. Can turn into a tornado, oddly enough.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the secret levels (Braveheartless) references another Crystal Dynamics game: Akuji the Heartless.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: You ride a crocodile in one of the Bonus Levels
  • Non-Indicative Name: The "Cutcheese Island" takes place on a galleon stranded in the middle of nowhere. Also there is no farting involved.
  • Not Quite Flight: Gex can glide when he wears an outfit equipped with a cape. This includes the vampire costume and the red riding hood costume. He can also get this ability in his Power Suit in the Anime Channel level as well as from a superpower gained from a super power booth.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Being a vampire only gives Gex the ability to be albino, have fangs and glide.
  • Pirate Parrot: An enemy in the "Cutcheese Island" level.
  • Powered Armor: Gex puts one on in the Anime Channel level. It looks like a stereotypical mecha and allows him to glide. It does not, however, reduce any damage.
  • Savage Wolves: The wolf enemies in the Fairytales TV level are fairly harmless, but take the most hits out of all the non-boss enemies in the game.
  • Scary Scorpions: Seen in the "Organ Trail" level.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The "Totally Scrooged" level.
  • Snowball Fight: How the elves attack you in the "Totally Scrooged" level.
  • Spin Attack: Strangely enough used by mummies.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: The only dinosaurs in this game are Rex the T-Rex,...
  • Suicide Attack: The walking hand grenades in the "War is Heck" level will attempt to pull one on you.
  • Super Strength: Gex can transform into a super hero and gain this power to destroy special boxes and cars.
  • Tank Goodness: There is a segment in the "War is Heck" level where you drive a tank through a destructible city.
  • Tennis Boss: Evil Santa and the Mad Bomber There is also an enemy in the "Organ Trail" level who can only be defeated this way.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Nearly every piece of music in the third game is based on one theme, merely arranged in different ways depending on the environment.
  • Toilet Humour: One objective in the "Organ Trail" level is to "visit the world's largest mound of poop" because... westerns are filthy?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Scarabs?: Quoted word-for-word in the PAL version whenever Gex comes near a scarab in "Holy Moses!".
  • The Wild West: Parodied in the "Organ Trail" level.
  • World of Pun: Continuing the trend from Enter The Gecko:
    • Again see the Shout-Out section for puns referencing other works.
    • Holiday Broadcasting channel: "Totally Scrooged".
    • Random signs in front of the doors in the "Organ Trail" level say "Itznot Mine"
    • There is a huge dog dish with the name "Fefido" at the top of a beanstalk.
    • The title of one Bonus Level: "War and Pieces"
    • The Superhero Show level "Superzeroes".


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