Video Game: Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf
Ralph Wolf is truly hungry for sheep.
"Now, the aim of our game is simple: to steal sheep!"Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf
— Daffy Duck
, also known as Sheep Raider
, is a mixture of a Puzzle Platformer
and a Stealth-Based Game
, based on a relatively obscure Looney Tunes
cartoon series Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog
. It was released on the original PlayStation
and on PC.
After another day of unsuccessfully trying to steal sheep from Sam Sheepdog, Ralph Wolf comes back home and decides to relax by watching some TV. Suddenly, Daffy Duck bursts into his house, declares him a new contestant in his show called "Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf
", throws him into his fancy limousine, and from there, Ralph's task becomes stealing all of Sam's sheep - this time successfully and on camera.
Throughout the game, you'll be using all sorts of wacky items and methods of acquiring sheep from Sam, all in the unmistakable Looney Tunes
style. Hiding in a bush and moving while Sam isn't looking? Check.
Flying with a rocket attached to your back? Check.
Using an elastic rope to spring yourself across a bottomless pit? Check.
The list goes on.
Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf provides examples of:
- Ash Face: What happens to characters blown up. Also when Ralph falls into lava or gets electrocuted.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Ralph becomes this whenever he puts on a sheep disguise.
- Ax-Crazy: Get any close to Yosemite Sam and you're dead.
- Bag of Spilling: You always start levels with an empty inventory. Justified in that it's a TV game show and that it might be another of its rules. Not to mention that it's all a dream anyway.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Neither Ralph nor a sheep seem to have any problems breathing in outer space.
- Big Entrance: Daffy Duck has one during the intro.
- Blinding Bangs: Sam Sheepdog has these. Doesn't stop him from seeing you steal sheep in front of him, though...
- Bottomless Pits
- Brick Joke: On Level 13, you shoot a sheep into outer space with a cannon. After Level 14, Marvin the Martian arrives to complain that a flying sheep broke his water tank.
- Cel Shading: The PC version, although mostly just for the characters and some of the objects.
- This is actually a gameplay feature: only characters and objects that you can interact with are cel shaded. It is also a reference to the original cartoons: only objects that would be moving would have outlines; the rest would be background elements and thus have no outlines.
- Circling Birdies: Ralph gets stars circling over his head when running into a wall. And in one instance, Daffy Duck gets them too.
- Collection Sidequest: There is a punch clock on each level. All of them are hidden, and using one gives you bonus points.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The icon showing Sam's status. Green: you're not in his area, so he won't see you. Orange: you are in his area, so keep quiet and don't let him see you. Red: he's about to punch you in the face!
- Also, we get some Rainbow Speak in the form of red colour being used for various important words during dialogue.
- Confused Question Mark: The bees in Level 10 do that after you shoot their hive with a cannon. They do a "!!" after you shoot them the second time.
- Conspicuously Selective Perception: Sam has loads of it. Most notable examples include not noticing when sheep wander away, when one is obviously missing, when a jar of honey lands right in front of him, or when Ralph should obviously be visible to him, but somehow isn't. On the flip side, Sam will not notice you when you're hiding inside a bush or pressed against some very specific rocks, but will have no trouble seeing you through walls. He'll also not see anything suspicious about a bush changing its position each time he looks away, but that's just a case of Looney Tunes' flavor of Rule of Funny.
- Convection Schmonvection: There are a few levels with lava in it. The characters don't seem to be phased. It IS Looney Tunes, though...
- Convenient Weakness Placement: The boss (Gossamer, whom you met earlier) from Level 10. He's afraid of light, and he just so happens to stay in a castle with giant spotlights activated through Hamster Wheel Power.
- Cool Car: Daffy Duck arrives in a limousine during the intro.
- Curious as a Monkey: Sam's sheep just cannot resist stepping on a button when they see one, just to see what happens.
- Cute Machines: The remote controlled robot from Level 9.
- Cutscenes: In-engine.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: There are unlimited lives, and upon death you will be brought to the closest safe spot with all of your already collected items still intact. There a few annoyances though, like some objects returning to their starting positions or the game not registering certain things until you go to the next checkpoint (and since you aren't aware at all where the checkpoints are...).
- Dual-World Gameplay: Level 8 and the second secret level have a time-travel gimmick. Using a special watch item will teleport you back to an ancient version of the mountain forest, where you can plant seeds that grow into climbable trees or move boulders that become rocks you can hide behind once you return to the present. Just look out for the lava and dragons.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: In order to get the sheep in Level 10, you have to make the bees attack Sam.
- Failure Is the Only Option: On level 5, you receive a magic flute and just like on the previous level, you're supposed to hypnotize Sam. However, as soon as you try it, you discover that he got himself some earplugs. After that, he punches you all the way back to the starting location, sets up some mines, and starts walking around as opposed to standing in a fixed spot. Even if you already know about this, you still have to do it to be able to advance through the level.
- Fission Mailed: Go ahead, cross that line at the start of the training level. What could possibly go wrong?
- Fixed Camera: Occurs a few times during some levels, notably Level 10 and Level 12, where you suddenly get an overhead camera during the cannon and maze sections. The former tends to turn into a case of Camera Screw, where being close to the area with the overhead camera causes it to frantically switch back and forth between two camera modes until you either actually enter or leave the area entirely.
- Forced Tutorial: No, there's no way to skip that tutorial at the beginning.
- Free Rotating Camera
- Funny Animal: Hard to expect anything else from Looney Tunes.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The point of the game is to steal all of Sam's sheep, one per level.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: In a typical Looney Tunes fashion, you can keep running after running off a cliff - no points for guessing what happens if you stay in air for too long. However, you can avoid this if you manage to reach stable ground in time.
- Gravity Screw: During the last level, there are some very specific areas where gravity is basically making you float away from the ground.
- Guide Dang It: There are a few cases where you just wouldn't know that something is going to happen unless you'll just go ahead and try it, with no indication that it will actually work.
- There's a good chance that if you got bored at some point during the earlier levels, you might have tried blowing up Daffy Duck with explosives or mines. The reaction is pretty much exactly what you would expect from Looney Tunes: his body turning black, and him being none too happy, proceeding to give us a lecture about the act. Therefore, by the time you are halfway through the game, you are probably completely certain that using explosives on Daffy only results in a brief moment of hilarity that has no bearing on the level. Cue Level 9, where you actually have to use the explosives on him to advance through the level, and he actually gets knocked out from the explosion for the rest of the level. Absolutely nothing in the game informs you that this will happen. Since Daffy foils your plan to use a rabbit disguise each and every time you try it by turning the Duck Season into Rabbit Season and thus causing Elmer Fudd to shoot you, the game pretty much expects that you will eventually get fed up with Daffy and try to blow him up out of vengeance.
- Level 14 has a reappearance of the sheep disguise. The disguise allows you to cause a sheep to follow you by bleating near them]]. Since this is the last level and Sam is left with just a single sheep, attempting to do the same will immediately cause him to see through your disguise and kick you right on the spot. So what can you actually use it for? Turns out, you can bleat while being close to Sam to make HIM follow you. Absolutely nothing previously established in the game suggests that this will happen.
- Hammerspace: Ralph keeps his items in what appears to be a hammerspace inventory over his head.
- Hedge Maze: On Level 12. Filled with ghosts.
- Heroic Mime: Although more of a anti-heroic mime, Ralph fits this: he never says a word during the game, even though he does in some of his original cartoon shorts. The only thing you ever get from him are occasional grunts and heavy breathing.
- Hub Level: The "Sheep Dog 'n' Wolf" studio.
- Human Cannon Ball: During Level 13, you have to shoot a sheep with a big cannon.
- Idle Animation: Ralph tends to scratch his head quite often.
- Instant Home Delivery: Punch a mailbox, and a plane will instantly drop a delivery box somewhere on the level.
- Instant Ice, Just Add Cold: Falling into water during Slippy-Slidey Ice World levels results in this. Includes Harmless Freezing, where the characters only shiver for a moment after getting out of ice.
- Interface Screw: During the last level, you can use special pods to shrink yourself. If while being tiny you'll try to get anything from your inventory, the object will crush Ralph.
- It Only Works Once: On level 4, you get a magic flute. This flute allows you to hypnotize Sam, lure him under a falling rock, and steal a sheep before he can react. On level 5, you also get a magic flute. However, when you try to use it on Sam again, you discover that Sam learned from the previous incident and got himself some earplugs. Cue you getting beaten up. After that, the flute does not appear anymore in the game.
- On another note, there are a number of strategies Sam attempts to use to prevent you from stealing sheep, and which are never used again once you manage to steal a sheep anyway. For instance, on level 9, Sam sets up an alarm and a trap to a patch of lettuce, so that anyone who tries to take any gets caught and Sam immediately arrives to beat them up. Patches of lettuce reappear at least once in subsequent levels, but the trap itself does not make a reappearance. Same goes for Sam's strategy from Level 6 to immediately take back to the flock any sheep he sees moving away.
- Land Mine Goes Click: Regular mines have a regularly appearing explosion radius that stretches outwards before disappearing, and will explode instantly if anybody touches it; Ralph can come to a mine and try to disarm it while the radius is absent. There are also special mines that have a constantly visible radius and cannot be disarmed, but one can stand in their radius without it immediately exploding, showing a timer instead.
- Large Ham: Daffy Duck.
- Lethal Lava Land: The prehistoric past encountered with the time machine seems to be this.
- Losing Horns: Type B happens every time you run into a wall.
- Metal Detector Puzzle: It's mostly about avoiding walking into mines, but you also need to find some coins at one point.
- Mickey Mousing: Happens every time you start sneaking.
- Mini-Game: Disarming mines, and dancing with ghosts.
- Mobile Shrubbery: Whenever Ralph hides in a bush and tries to sneak past Sam.
- Money Sink: You get bonus points from finding a clock on each level. You can spend these points to buy bonus content like concept art, behind the scenes photos etc.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: It's Looney Tunes, what did you expect?
- Offscreen Teleportation: Daffy Duck seems to use that during the tutorial.
- Oh, Crap: Ralph has this whenever he realizes that he's standing over a bottomless pit, in a typical Looney Tunes fashion.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The presence of ghosts in Level 12 is never explained. When we meet them, they either roam a maze or have fun at what appears to be a regular party.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In a game based on Looney Tunes, this is only to be expected. For Ralph alone, we have ghost, sheep and rabbit disguises, all leaving his face rather obviously visible. And then there's Daffy's Robin Hood suit which somehow manages to throw Elmer Fudd off during the Duck Season.
- Punch Clock Hero / Punch Clock Villain: Literally, as shown in the intro. Sam is about to punch Ralph, but a clock signals the end of their shift, at which point Sam lets Ralph go, and then they punch out the clock, shake their hands, and go home. It stays true to the original cartoon.
- Puzzle Boss: Gossamer. You first meet him on Level 8 and bring him from the past with a time machine, only to let a bull chase him. You meet him again on Level 10 inside a castle, and need to use Hamster Wheel Power spotlights to scare him into falling off an edge.
- Puzzle Pan: Each level starts with the camera panning over the area before coming back to Ralph; for some levels, the camera shows that way a reverse order of how you're supposed to walk through them.
- Puzzle Platformer
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Sam's sheep.
- Remote Body: On Level 9, you get access to a remote controlled robot. It effectively replaces Ralph while it's on, and allows for performing certain tasks that Ralph couldn't do or for taking care of something while Ralph does something else. It makes a reappearance during levels 11 and 12.
- Rhythm Game: Dancing with ghosts in Level 12. The silly thing here is that the sequence features no music at all, just repetitive "dun dun dun dun" that's supposed to come from a ghost playing on drums.
- Schmuck Bait: During the tutorial, Daffy Duck suggests that you can take a flying leap with the jump button. While standing next to a Bottomless Pit.
- Secret Level: Two of them, both cleverly hidden in the studio. One at the end of a passage in wall that looks like a completely ordinary wall, and the other accessed by entering one of the doors from the other side.
- Sequence Breaking: If you can remember the safe path across the mine-filled area in Level 6, then nothing stops you from going after sheep immediately without ever bothering to get the metal detector from the caves.
- Show Within a Show: The entire game seems to be set in a game show. Which may or may not be just a part of Ralph's dream.
- Shout-Out: Level 12 contains a hedge maze filled with ghosts. The camera is overhead. You collect batteries scattered around the level, which look like dots from this perspective. Collecting five powers up your gun, at which point ghosts turn blue and you can suck them in. Anything comes to mind?
- Shrink Ray: There are some shrinking pods during the last level.
- Silent Antagonist: Sam is your antagonist for the most of the game, and he never says a word, just like Ralph.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Some of the levels are like this.
- Space Base: This is what the last level appears to be.
- Stealth-Based Game
- Subtitles Are Superfluous: For the most part, the game features subtitles for all of the spoken dialogue, but there are two notable exceptions: the intro and the arrival of Marvin the Martian.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Ralph can stay underwater for as long as he wants. Unless the water is filled with piranhas, of course.
- However, the sheep seem to fit the bill for Super Drowning Skills, because they go down as soon as they fall into water.
- Swallowed Whole: Piranhas, sharks, and crocodiles kill you this way.
- Time Machine: You get one on Level 8 and on the second secret level. It's a small clock used to alternate between present and the prehistoric past, which, incidentally, look exactly alike except for water being lava and the surroundings being more volcano-like.
- Title Drop: The show Ralph participates in has the same name as the game. That's not the case for the North American release though, which is called "Sheep Raider".
- The Artifact: As noted in Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress, if you run off a cliff, you can keep running and you won't fall if you reach stable ground in time. This feature isn't put to any practical use anywhere outside the tutorial.
- The Cameo: Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd only appear for a single level and only play a small part in it. K-9 appears for a very brief moment during the cutscene with Marvin the Martian and does not appear later in the game. Also, the audience in the Hub Level consists entirely out of cardboard cut-outs of various Looney Tunes characters.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Marvin the Martian's Planet X.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: You encounter these during the last level. They start sucking you in as soon as you get close and you can die if you let them actually suck you in, but you can easily get away from them by just air-swimming in an opposite direction. They are actually necessary to get back to the ground in the Gravity Screw section.
- Unskippable Cutscene: The cutscene before the final stage (where you fly to the Planet X with Marvin the Martian) is this. Most other dialogues and cutscenes are skippable, fortunately.
- Weakened by the Light: The monster (Gossamer) during Level 10, who runs away from the light created by spotlights. Curiously enough, he doesn't seem to have a problem with sunlight during Level 8.
Tropes that spoil the ending:
- All Just a Dream: The entire game, as revealed during the ending.
- Book Ends: At the end of the game, Ralph is exactly back where he started. He's not happy about it.
- Cruel Twist Ending: Just when both you and Ralph think he won and finally got himself a sheep, it all turns out to be just a dream, and he has to return to the routine of unsuccessfully trying to steal sheep from Sam. He's visibly unhappy about it.
- Shaggy Dog Story: See above.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: See above.