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Video Game / SPY Fox


SPY Fox is a series of point-and-click children's games made by Humongous Entertainment. The first installment was released in 1997, with the series ultimately spanning three Adventure Games and two arcade-style shooter Gaiden Games.

The series follows unflappable superspy SPY Fox on his adventures, most of which involve stopping some kind of evil mastermind from conquering the world in one way or another. The series is an Affectionate Parody of spy films in general and James Bond movies in particular.

The Adventure Games, in order, are:
  • SPY Fox in Dry Cereal (1997)
  • SPY Fox 2: Some Assembly Required (1999)
  • SPY Fox: Operation Ozone (2001)

The shooter Gaiden Games, in order, are:
  • SPY Fox in Cheese Chase (1998)
  • SPY Fox in Hold the Mustard (1999)

The series also spawned multiple children's books (which may not have been published), including SPY Fox: The Official SPY Manual and SPY Fox: Twenty Thousand Leaks Under the Sea, as well as a SPY Fox Comic Book Adaptation.

    The premises, by installment 
In SPY Fox in Dry Cereal, William the Kid has kidnapped all the dairy cows in the world and hidden a Milky Weapon of Destruction on the Greek island of Acidophilus. SPY Fox travels to Acidophilus in order to disarm Kid's Weapon and free the cows.

In SPY Fox in Cheese Chase, Russian Blue returns and steals the Limburger cheese from the Museum de Fromage. SPY Fox travels around the globe in order to recover the cheese.

In SPY Fox 2: Some Assembly Required, Napoleon LeRoach has hidden a Giant Evil Dogbot at the World's Fair. SPY Fox travels to the fair in order to turn off LeRoach's Dogbot.

In SPY Fox in Hold the Mustard, King Konglomerate sends his army of robots to steal all the tomatoes in the world. SPY Fox travels around the globe in order to destroy the robots and protect the tomatoes.

In SPY Fox, Napoleon LeRoach returns and has stolen all the compost in Britain. SPY Fox breaks into LeRoach's secret headquarters in order to recover the compost.

In SPY Fox: Operation Ozone, Poodles Galore has launched a giant, ozone-depleting aerosol can into orbit. SPY Fox travels around the globe in order to destroy the aerosol can.

A demo version of Dry Cereal can be downloaded from Infogrames.

Now available on Steam.

Tropes in the SPY Fox series:

  • Big Good: Monkey Penny.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Mobile Command Center in SPY Fox 2.
  • Blatant Lies: When Mr. Udderly details how he was kidnapped by Kid's nappers, he paints himself as far braver than the actual footage of his kidnapping shows.
  • Camera Spoofing: SPY Fox has to do this in Some Assembly Required's regenerator path, using a postcard. Despite text on the postcard being plainly visible, the guard never catches on.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: S.M.E.L.L.Y. stands for "the Society of Meaningless Evil, Larceny, Lying and Yelling." That should give you a good idea what the organization is like.
  • Continuity Nod: During the boat chase scene in the opening of Operation Ozone, the Dogbot from Some Assembly Required is seen buried in garbage on a trash barge.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: SPY Fox, which was published in the British magazine Planet PC.
  • Cool Car: SPY Fox's Asti Spumoni SPY Car from Dry Cereal and Operation Ozone.
  • Cool Ship: The M.E.S.S. (Multiple Environment SPY Ship) from Hold the Mustard. A giant version (M.E.S.S. II, the Super SPY M.E.S.S.) appears in Operation Ozone.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Talking to Monkey Penny will cause SPY Fox to ask a pointless question, followed by her asking why he isn't doing what he should be.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: William the Kid in Dry Cereal, King Konglomerate in Hold the Mustard, and Poodles Galore in Operation Ozone.
  • Cultural Translation: The UK dub of Dry Cereal changes the President of the United States to the Prime Minister and, in a rare visual change, the White House to the Houses of Parliament.
  • Cut Song: Some games' HE4 files contain Dummied Out music.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The opening cutscene of Cheese Chase.
    SPY Fox: She won't get away with this. Not with Fox, SPY Fox, on her trail.
    (Russian Blue zooms away in her car)
    Professor Quack: Uhh, it appears that she's getting away with it, SPY Fox.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Monkey Penny.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Some Assembly Required's Dummied Out cutscene.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Usually averted with the talk balloons—asking characters about things SPY Fox wasn't meant to be able to ask them about (which can only be done by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger) has no effect in most cases. However, Some Assembly Required plays it straight in a few instances:
    • Using any of the Caped Cod's talk balloons (which are normally only obtainable in the regenerator path) on Doll or Lee in the flytrap path triggers a dialog box with the message "CHEATER! You shouldn't have the cod talk balloon on the flytrap path!"
    • Try calling Monkey Penny while you're still in the command center. Go on, we dare you.
    • Trying to use a talk bubble on Mr. Udderly in the demo will result in a line of dialogue not seen in the main game.
    • There is some Dummied Out dialogue designed for situations that cannot occur in the game (for example, Some Assembly Required has dialogue for if you have the off switch and the code but have not yet gotten into the Evil Dogbot, which cannot happen as you have to get into the Dogbot to get the off switch).
  • Double Take: The worms in Dry Cereal do this in the White Water path.
  • The Dragon: Russian Blue in Dry Cereal.
    • Dragon Their Feet: ...who subsequently steals the prized Limburger Cheese in Cheese Chase.
  • Dual Boss: Hold the Mustard's eighth and final Florida Swamp Lands level.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Dry Cereal:
      • The Evil Villain Jail coordinates are an inventory item that can only be obtained by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger. They can be selected but cannot be used.
      • The game's HE4 file contains unused music, including music that would later be used in Cheese Chase.
    • Some Assembly Required:
      • Elmo has six unused responses that can be triggered by using Madame Ladybug and Victor's talk balloons on him (which can only be done by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger).
      • SPY Fox has an unused cutscene that can be unlocked by adding "FryFox=BurnBabyBurn" to the game's section in the INI file. This scene is a Shout-Out to Dragon's Lair.
      • The game's HE4 file contains unused music.
    • Hold the Mustard:
  • Eternal Engine: The inside of the Dogbot in Some Assembly Required.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: When Spy Fox asks if the food in the cantina is any good, Bea responds there's a reason there aren't any rats in that part of town.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Hold the Mustard.
  • Evil Laugh: Lampshaded by William the Kid near the end of the first game.
  • Expanded Universe: The Tie-In Novels (if they were even published) and Comic Book Adaptation.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In Spy Fox in Dry Cereal, the weasel who is accepting invitations to the deck party on the S.S Deadweight gets a pretty surprising one when the titular character shows his (forged) invitation. This comes after he turned him away the first time.
    Weasel: Not you again! How many times do I have to tell you? This is a private party and without an invitation, you are not allowed to go on board! Sheesh! (Cue Spy Fox theme when Spy Fox whisks out his invitation) The nerve of some people. You'd think they would... (sees invitation) YEEHEE!!! Let me see that. Signed, Russian Blue. (Cue Heel–Face Turn) Oh sir! We are ever so honored to have you on board with us today. Please, feel free to come and go as you wish.
    Spy Fox: (quite sarcastically) Why thank you. How gracious of you. (Breaking the Fourth Wall) What a weasel.
    Weasel: I trust you will have an enjoyable visit. Aand if there is any way in which I can kiss up to you any more sir, I trust you will let me know.
    Spy Fox: But of course!
  • Expy: SPY Fox for James Bond, Monkey Penny for Money Penny, Quack for Q, SPY Corps for MI6, S.M.E.L.L.Y. for S.P.E.C.T.R.E. - the list goes on and on.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Professor Quack devours every blueprint that he shows to you that instructs how to use a particular gadget. Various comments from Quack about the blueprints suggest that they may be edible stationary.
  • Fan Boy: Elmo.
  • Femme Fatale: Russian Blue would be a good candidate. She basically seduces SPY Fox with a tango, even in a red dress.
  • 555: Used in the beginning of Dry Cereal.
  • Freudian Excuse: LeRoach's reason for coming up with the Giant Evil Dogbot plot? Because he was made fun of for being too short for a particular ride at the World's Fair, after having waited over 12 hours to get onto the ride.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The M.E.S.S. (Multiple Environment SPY Ship), as well as SPY Corps' nemeses N.O.G. (Nectar Of the Goats) and S.M.E.L.L.Y. (Society of Meaningless Evil, Larceny, Lying and Yelling).
  • Game Within a Game: The three SPY Watch games featured throughout the series.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Attempting to use the X-Ray Gum on Monkeypenny in the first game will normally result in her telling you that she's busy and doesn't want any distractions. If you try to use the X-Ray Gum on her chest...
    Monkeypenny: Do you want me to slap you, SPY Fox?
  • Glad I Thought of It: In "Some Assembly Required", after Agent Grace Fully gives Spy Fox the S.M.E.L.L.Y. trash bag she states it needs to get to Spy HQ. He states he has a better idea, he should get the bag to Spy HQ.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The SPY Corps organization to which SPY Fox and his team belong.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The bosses in Hold the Mustard are all about a fifth of the length of the normal levels, and all it takes to beat them is to stand in one spot and hit their weak spot, highlighted on the radar. Their only way of attacking is by their robots, but on most of the bosses, you'll end up destroying it before they can even make it to you.
  • High-Class Glass: William the Kid from Dry Cereal wears a monocle.
  • Hub Level: The first two games have a sort of central square where most of the other areas can be accessed from. Averted in Operation Ozone, where you instead use your SPY Car to fly around the world.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Giant Evil Dogbot in Some Assembly Required.
  • I Broke a Nail: This is how Monkey Penny manages to defeat Poodles Galore.
  • Idiot Ball: William the Kid in Dry Cereal, who after getting his ascot caught in the door leading to the kidnapped dairy cows while trying to escape his facility just leaves it there to make his getaway. Spy Fox himself lampshades how absurdly easy William just made things for him.
  • I Know Kung-Faux: In Dry Cereal SPY Fox must learn Cock-a-Doodle-Fu to get past a certain N.O.G. guard. This becomes somewhat of a Running Gag in the later games.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Spy Fox is not very physically strong, and most parts of the game where he can don a disguise have an option of feminine clothes or a feminine name, without him reacting negatively (or reacting in any way, really).
    • In "Operation Ozone," receives a message in a lipstick tube. His automatic response is: "Sorry, that's not my shade. I'm an 'autumn.'"
    • Also in "Operation Ozone," Spy Fox has to paint his nails as part of a puzzle. His response is, "The machine painted my nails. And they look pretty!"
  • Invisible Wall: Hold the Mustard's Outer Space levels each have one at the top and one at the bottom.
  • Iris Out: At the end of Dry Cereal.
  • Lampshade Hanging: From the second game:
    Walter Wireless: And the 74 million dollar question is...who invented the retractable TV?
  • Late to the Punchline: Kids may not know everything the games were parodying.
  • Level Editor: Cheese Chase. Like with all over Junior Arcade titles, it is limited, with only three of eight possible level themes selectable, the level terrain being unmodifiable outside of simple pieces, among others.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Walter Wireless, who is also an Ink-Suit Actor of Tom Brokaw.
  • Logo Joke: Cheese Chase has a different intro to the Humongous Entertainment logo at the beginning of the game.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Chase Scene a Go-Go!" is surprisingly much longer than what is actually heard in-game. Thankfully, the whole theme gets played in Cheese Chase.
  • Lost Forever:
    • Once you complete the quests that require you to use the ID-Card and Name Tag machines in Some Assembly Required and Operation Ozone respectively, attempting to reuse the ID-Card machine will cause it to self-destruct.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Played with. In Operation Ozone, Professor Pushpin is counting on Spy Fox to bring him four objects to form his congeal pill. One of the paths in the game is a Prickly Pear Pizza. After Spy Fox gallivants all across the world to get the prickly pear to make it and brings it back, Pushpin eats it. When Spy Fox asks, Pushpin spouts an Expospeak Gag saying he was hungry and glad that Spy Fox could deliver it.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Used for a handful of puzzles. SPY Fox is one of the few Humongous games to actually use dialogue for puzzle solving.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: In Hold the Mustard, halfway through the bonus Atlantis levels, King Konglomerate is revealed to be some sort of rodent (possibly a gerbil or guinea pig) piloting a gorilla robot. He then has to abandon his robot suit due to it getting wet and breaking, and he doesn't get it back for the ending.
  • Marathon Level: Hold the Mustard has a reputation for being full of these, sans the boss levels mentioned above. They are about 4 to 5 minutes early on, and for a game with 101 levels, that is outrageous. Then you get to the ones with double the amount of enemies.
  • Master of Disguise: Parodied in each of the adventure games, where SPY Fox has only to don the appropriate uniform to go incognito.
  • Mini Mook: The Gyro Grub, Gnat, Red Oy, and (to a lesser extent) Spry robots from Hold the Mustard.
  • Misguided Missile: In Dry Cereal, after putting the fuses together, the missile flies off, and we hear SPY Fox say, "I guess that guided missile was misguided." Then it flies back, crashing into the door, and then he says, "Of course, I planned that. I like a dramatic pause."
  • Mission Control: Every game but Cheese Chase has Monkey Penny play this role, joined by Professor Quack in Hold the Mustard.
  • Most Common Card Game: In Dry Cereal, one mini-game has SPY Fox play a game of Go Fish for trinkets with a big pig, Artemis J. Bigpig, a parody of Kasper Gutman in The Maltese Falcon.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • All three of the Adventure Games have two endings: one where the Big Bad gets away, and another with a few more screens of gameplay culminating in the capture of the Big Bad (see Press X to Not Die below). Which ending you get slightly affects the last cutscene: SPY Fox gets a smaller award in the inferior endings, and during the end credits of Dry Cereal William the Kid has an extra line.
    • Hold the Mustard always ends the same way, but finding the bonus Atlantis levels gives the ending a visual difference (see The Man Behind the Curtain above).
  • Musical Nod:
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: "The name is Fox, SPY Fox."
  • Parental Bonus: More prominent in this series than most of the others by Humongous Entertainment. See the Shout-Out entry below for a good portion of them.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Averted with the X-Ray gum, where if you try to use it on Monkey Penny she will snark at you.
  • Press X to Not Die: Or more accurately Click Here To Not Let The Bad Guy Get Away, near the end of each adventure game, you'll get the bonus ending if you succeed.
  • The Professor: Professor Quack.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Every Mook in Dry Cereal.
  • Piranha Problem: In Dry Cereal and Cheese Chase.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Cheese Chase and Operation Ozone each reuse music from previous games.
  • Regional Bonus: Operation Ozone got an additional two songs. The Music CD page of the American version's help file mentions "two funky, hip SPY Fox bonus tracks" which were supposed to be available from Humongous Entertainment's website but may never have been available there; these are likely the same two songs.
  • Running Gag: In the second game: "No, not smelly, S.M.E.L.L.Y.!"
  • Same Language Dub
  • Script Swap: Russian Blue only dances the tango, but the only music played at her deck party is waltz. Spy Fox slips in a sheet of tango music to distract her into dancing long enough for him to plant Walter Wireless in her purse.
  • Sequel Hook: SPY Fox tries this on Monkey Penny during their chat upon Fox landing on Kid's blimp and Monkey Penny telling him not to let Kid get away:
    SPY Fox: But what about the sequel?
    Monkey Penny: There are plenty of other villains out there. We'll be fine.
  • Shoe Phone: Every single gadget is this. Laser toothbrushes, X-ray candy bars, booby trapped coins...
  • Shout-Out:
    • To James Bond especially, amongst others. The ridiculousness of the gadgets is a nod to Get Smart.
    • Poodles Galore's name is a reference to Pussy Galore from Goldfinger.
      • Or alternatively, Toodles Galore, Tom's most frequent love interest in Tom and Jerry
    • Mr. Udderly lifts a line straight from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken: "My whole body's a weapon." It helps that Udderly sounds exactly like Don Knotts.
    • In Dry Cereal, the cutscene where three mooks eye a recently dropped coin is reminiscent of the three-way duel at the climax of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
    • Artimice J Bigpig is heavily modeled after actor Sydney Greenstreet, and his voice actor even says "Gad!" like Greenstreet's character in The Maltese Falcon.
    • Fox's vocal characterization is not a shout out to Get Smart. It's Maxwell Smart's voice, coming out of a fox who is not Maxwell Smart, spoken by an actor who also is not Maxwell Smart. Mind: blown.
    • On the non-spy-related references, Captain Drydock's voice characterization in Dry Cereal is a reference to Captain Kirk, right down to his speech about the sea being "the final frontier". And his boat is called the "SS Winaprise".
    • "A spoonful of LeRoach's fingerprint makes a steel door go down."
    • Most of the songs on the jukebox in the bowling alley in Operation Ozone are named after various Bond films, including Moonbaker, The Man With The Golden Bun, From Poodles With Love, For Your Pies Only, and Live And Let Fry.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Can happen in Hold the Mustard.
  • Spy Catsuit: Monkey Penny wears one.
  • Stern Chase: Inverted in Cheese Chase, which has SPY Fox follow Russian Blue around the world for 100 levels.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Operation Ozone (the third game) is unnumbered.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: If you ask Mr. Udderly about Russian Blue, he'll think you're talking about an Umbrella Drink. If you ask Professor Quack the same question, he'll give you the same answer.
  • Take Your Time: Once you've disarmed the Milky Weapon of Destruction in Dry Cereal, you can take absolutely as long as you like to get to the room where the dairy cows are being held in spite of the fact that Billy the Kid is escaping all the time.
  • Theme Music Power-Up
  • Tie-In Novel: May not have been published.
  • Title Drop: Lampshaded at the beginning of Some Assembly Required:
    SPY Fox: On the side it says "'Some Assembly Required.'" Sounds like a excellent title for one of my adventures.
  • Trash Landing: SPY Fox does this in the opening cutscene of Cheese Chase. The stunt seems to have been planned out, as seconds later the dumpster collapses to reveal Fox ready for action on his SPY Scooter.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: SPY Fox is a parody of these types.
  • Unreliable Narrator: See Blatant Lies above.
  • Unwinnable: Some Assembly Required's Dummied Out cutscene replaces the Restructo-Lux room's only exit, so if you unlock the cutscene, the room can only be escaped by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: In Dry Cereal, it's possible to go back to the Feta Factory after rescuing Mr. Udderly and turn the piranha pool's temperature back to a comfortable level. This has no effect on gameplay, though.
  • Villain Ball: Le Roach keeps sending you back to the jail you have already escaped from. You can go an talk to him as many times as you want.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Played with towards the end of "Some Assembly Required, when Napoleon LeRoach finally gets his dinner after Spy Fox gives the Julia Child expy the fork, a line is sampled from Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are made for walkin':
    LeRoach: Spit Roasted Boot Bearnaise! My favorite dish!
    Hippo Cook: This boot was made for eating.
    LeRoach: Then that's just what I will do!
  • What's an X Like You Doing in a Y Like This?: Spy Fox asks Bea this in the cantina. Bea says she asks the same question every morning.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Monkey Penny dislikes it if you call her while you are in Mobile Command Center.
    • Also if you try to use the X-ray gum on her.
  • World of Pun: As an Affectionate Parody of James Bond, this was inevitable, considering that series' reputation for puns.
  • Wraparound: In Hold the Mustard, horizontally but not vertically (even in the Outer Space levels, which prevent vertical wraparound with Invisible Walls).
  • You Meddling Kids: In Dry Cereal, after being caught, William the Kid spoofs the classic Scooby-Doo villain line: "I would've gotten away with my evil plan, if it weren't for that pesky Spy Fox!"