A third-person shooter released by Rare in 1999 for the Nintendo 64.The game stars twin siblings Juno and Vela, and their dog Lupus, who together make up the Gemini unit of Space Police organisation Jet Force. Upon responding to a distress signal, they witness an attack on the not-Endor planet Goldwood against the not-Ewok Tribals by the bug forces of the evil emperor Mizar. The trio move to do their hero thing, but they are suddenly attacked by Mizar's forces and separated, landing in different locations on the planet.From there, each member of Jet Force Gemini must embark on their own routes towards Mizar's fortress, saving Tribals and blasting his evil bug henchmen along the way. Once the trio are reunited, they receive upgrades (Juno and Vela get jetpacks, Lupus becomes a tank) and are allowed to explore each other's levels freely, opening up new routes with their individual powers and gathering resources for the final showdown with Mizar.Originally designed as a cutesy shooter, it got a Darker and Edgier makeover halfway through development and ended up better for it. This being a Rare game, it also contains a good amount of their characteristic humour, such as furry dice in the cockpit of the Jet Force Gemini ship and a major character with the distinctly un-Sci Fi-ish name "Jeff". The main source of criticism comes from the 100% Completion quests, which range from teeth-grindingly hard to head-bangingly unintuitive.This game provides examples of:
Beating a Dead Player: Anything that's not a boss will continue to shoot at you after you've died. In the case of the final boss, he settles back down on his floating rock and laughs in your face or does a victory fist pump.
Not to mention his foot-rocket boosters and tank upgrade.
Convection Schmonvection: Notable offender not only for the large amount of pits of lava and molten metal our heroes jump over unharmed. It so happens that Juno's special ability is being able to walk on them.
Cutscene Power to the Max: In the pre-boss cutscene on Eschebone, Lupus uses his hovering ability about 8 times longer than he can in gameplay. In several other cutscenes, he hovers a good deal higher than he can jump, and can gain altitude while doing so.
Evolving Title Screen: Depending on how far you were into the game, the title screen would change in order - Juno running solo, Juno & Vela running, the whole team running, the whole team running in their upgrades, the whole team walking on the Federation homeworld in celebration.
Expy: Magnus. Think Yoda, only with floppy ears and greener.
The Federation: The Union, although only briefly mentioned in-game and in the manual.
Free Sample Plot Coupon: Averted. When Mizar escapes from his palace after Lupus easily defeats him, he threatens the characters to redirect an asteroid to blow up planet Earth. Aware of this, King Jeff tells the protagonists that there is a huge mothership that will help them intercept the asteroid and find a way to stop it, but it's missing twelve pieces. Eleven of these pieces are scattered through the galaxy, so the three characters have to do a Fetch Quest to retrieve them. The 12th piece, technically the first, is in Jeff's hands, but he won't give it away until all 282 missing tribals in the game are rescued. He doesn't even care if the aforementioned asteroid manages to hit Earth in the meantime.
Every enemy (and most allies) can be blown to bits. Every one of them, each splattering more blood than the average Unreal Tournament contestant. And you can pick up their heads...
After giving the Specialist Magazine to Fernando, he says "I can barely wait to get started", before asking you to "lock the door on your way out"... The French version of the game (translated by the legendary Julien Bardakoff) makes this sequence even more explicit : "Please leave now and close the door behind you, I may have my hands full..."
Gotta Catch Them All: The ship pieces and the Tribals. As in, you need to collect all the ship parts to get to the Final Boss, and you need to rescue all the Tribals, everywhere, to get all the ship parts. That particular side-quest causes the latter half of the game to drag.
The Great Repair: The second half of the game is all about finding the 12 missing pieces of a spaceship that can help the characters intercept a meteor Mizar plans to aim at Earth to impact upon it.
A good example is the second level. To progress, at the bare minimum, the player needs to shoot a panel in an easily missed segment of a room, located in a different room than the objective is, with no clue as to the location (and no indication is given that these panels are not decoration!). For more fun, 100% Completion requires finding more of these panels throughout the level, all hidden in even more out-of-the-way places!
Probably the ultimate example, though, is the sheer obscurity of what you need to do to get one of the ship parts needed to take on the final boss. First, find a hidden passage so you can do one of the Floyd racing/shooting minigames. Then get a Gold rank on said minigame, which requires pretty much memorizing the path and the things you need to shoot. This will give you a set of earplugs. Now, take these earplugs to a bear on one of the hidden planets. No, the game doesn't tell you anything more than the fact that the bear is having trouble sleeping because of all the noise Mizar's troops are making.
I Surrender, Suckers: If you catch a Drone unarmed, they'll raise their hands up in surrender. Often if you turn your back on them they'll pull out a grenade, and... Bye-bye, large portion of your health!
Karma Houdini: Jeff's brother Barry, who created the persona and robotic body of Mizar, gathered an entire army of marauding insects, murdered and enslaved countless members of his own tribe, slaughtered Juno and Vela's entire fleet, and was willing to pilot an asteroid on a suicide mission to destroy the Earth. All because he was jealous of Jeff's power and status. His only punishment seems to be a stern talking-to because he apparently "hadn't meant for things to go this far." Right.
Ludicrous Gibs: Go ahead, shoot that lone foot soldier ant with that shiny new Tri-Rocket Launcher. If that's not gory enough, turn on the Rainbow Blood mode, which doubles the amount of blood exploded enemies splatter and paint the entire room fabulous.
Mercy Kill: Sometimes Drones won't die instantly. They might fall to the ground and twitch in agony instead. The player can finish them off or let them expire after a few seconds.
Mini Dungeon: The Spacestation. It's pretty much like the cargo ships visited by Juno, Vela and Lupus through their individual routes, but it's severely wrecked and the only relevant thing to do is to rescue Tribals.
More Dakka: Chain guns and rocket launchers are your best friends.
There's also one type of flying drone that shows up in groups of at least 12, each of which will shoot around 10 shots at a time.
Ms. Fanservice: Being the only female cast member, Vela was likely designed with a certain audience in mind. She wears no helmet so we can see her blue hair, has a neckline along with the usual assets and of course a tiny skirt.
My God, What Have I Done?: King Jeff has one of these moments after he, in a fit of rage, uses his rather incredible magic powers to zombify the entire planet of Tawfret. Granted, that was a mistake: he was aiming at the bug soldiers, but one of them shot him and the zombie-beam hit a tree instead...
Sniper Pistol: A textbook example. You can force a target to center on the crosshairs by manipulating the view on precision mode. Made even easier by aiming with the Sniper Rifle prior to switching.
Spam Attack: After you destroy Mizar's wings in the second fight, he goes absolutely nuts and proceeds to attack three times as much as he did in his earlier phases.
Some Dexterity Required: It's not overly complicated; what makes it hard to get used to is how you have to learn and switch accordingly between 2 control schemes: the normal roaming control scheme and the hold-R precision control scheme.
Take Your Time: After defeating Mizar the first time, he flees and commandeers a passing asteroid, putting it on a collision course with Earth. The characters' own ships aren't fast enough to catch up in time, but fret not! All the player must do is embark on a planet-hopping quest to collect parts of a ship that is fast enough. All this time, Mizar's asteroid will remain effectively in limbo en route to Earth.
A real life Lampshading adds to the hilarity. Because the search for the ship parts and Tribals is all time consuming, many people ended up resorting to guides. Only, there weren't many guides available because the game took forever for practically everyone to complete. When a 100% complete guide finally is released, the introduction paragraph taunts the gamers with (paraphrased) "Yep, it's been 6 months since this game shipped. And it's been 6 months since that asteroid left to destroy Earth. And you STILL haven't collected everything to chase after it. But fret not, we have a guide to help you."
Depending on where (and with what) you shoot a Drone (or Tribal), they can be decapitated, explode in an audible shower of blood, or collapse on the ground, twitching. And if you want to, finish the job with the Tri-Rocket.
You can collect the heads of your enemies. Or the Tribals.
You can disguise yourself as an enemy, and stand outside the mook's nightclub,with the queue of 20-30 Mooks trying to get into the place and decapitate all of them with a single shuriken...
Collecting the ant heads even gets you a reward; get enough and you can use the Silliness Switch.
What Could Have Been: Many players wonder why the Abandoned Spacestation had a door that led to nowhere. It seems Rare didn't have enough room on the N64 cartridge to finish the level the way they wanted to.
With a dark mysterious atmosphere, blinky lights that guide you in an otherwise labyrinth of a level, really freaky music, and the fact that the level couldn't be accessed until the second half of the game, everything seemed to be in place for a boss fight.
The premise might have varied somewhat if the game remained Lighter and Softer, as some themes could probably not be explored (namely warfare, slavery, revenge for the trio's fleet, etc).