Western Animation / Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
Yeah, they made a video game out of it.
My computer screen is my enemy...
The fourth installment in the series of Scooby-Doo Direct-to-Video
films, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
was produced by Warner Bros. Animation
yet still carries a Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.
copyright and it’s considered as the last official movie by absorbed Hanna-Barbera
after the passing of founder and creator William Hanna. It the last movie to be animated by Mook DLE
, and using the character designs of the previous three movies
. It was also the final time Scott Innes voiced both Scooby-Doo and Shaggy (though he sometimes returned afterword for commercials and video games), and the final time BJ Ward
did the voice of Velma. However, it marked the first time Grey DeLisle
voiced Daphne following the passing of Mary Kay Bergman
. This was also the very first Scooby-Doo
project produced entirely digitally, though Alien Invaders
had a few digital sequences and effects.
Eric, a video game designer, has just created a new game based on none other than his friends Mystery Incorporated. However, one night, while he, his best friend and lab partner Bill, and his teacher, Professor Kaufman, are testing out a new laser they built to enter in the science fair, the laser beams a phantom virus from cyberspace into the real world. The virus breaks Eric's arm, but before it can do further harm, Professor Kaufman scares it away with a magnet lying nearby.
The next day, Mystery Inc. arrives at the college, and Eric tells them the story, and that the phantom virus is currently running around the campus causing mayhem. They agree to help their friend by splitting up
and searching for the virus, each equipped with a special magnet that they hope they can use to destroy the virus with. Eventually, Shaggy and Scooby get tired of looking around, and take a break in the cafeteria. Of course, that's where the virus finds them at, and Scooby, Shaggy, and the virus have a classic Scooby-Doo
chase with a remix of the original theme song in the background.
Fred, Daphne, and Velma, caught in the basement "snooping around" by Officer Wembley, are forced by Wembley to stay put with him in the lab until Professor Kaufman gets back. However, Scooby and Shaggy burst through the door with the virus on their tails. The gang runs aimlessly around the lab for about a minute, until they all collide in one location. Convenient for an unknown somebody, because right then, the laser is fired at the gang, and they're transported into cyberspace, and into the game Eric made based on their adventures.
Inside the game, there are ten levels:
- Level 1: The moon, which includes moon ghosts as enemies.
- Level 2: The Roman Empire, equipped with an army of skeleton warriors, and a lion to top it all off.
- Level 3: Prehistoric Era, where the gang must find shelter away from things like, well, dinosaurs.
- Level 4: The Ocean. There's some mackerels, a school of yellow fish, a sunken pirate ship... Oh! And a shark.
- Level 5: A backyard. Seems safe enough, until you realize the gang's not even an inch tall.
- Level 6: Feudal Japan, where there's a Samurai Warrior that must be fought.
- Level 7: Ancient Egypt, which includes mummies and camels.
- Level 8: Medieval Europe. You must save the princess by defeating the dragon.
- Level 9: The Arctic, with a less than friendly polar bear.
- Level 10: A full scale city. It's also where the cyber versions of the gang usually prefer staying. Beating it will bump them back to Level 1. Also filled with a Rogues Gallery of past costumed villains, only the digital versions are real monsters.
In each level, there is a hidden box of Scooby Snacks
that need to be obtained before you are automatically transported out of the level and into the next. Pretty neat, eh? In order to survive, the gang must make it through all ten levels. However, all throughout the game, the danger they face is real. And guess who decided to join them in the game?
Oh, and the film had a video game adaptation
for original PlayStation
and Game Boy Color
which sold well and became a "Greatest Hits" later on.
This is a list of the following Tropes this movie provides examples of:
- Achilles' Heel: Despite being quite dangerous, the Phantom Virus can be subdued if a magnet is held near him, Bill lampshades it by stating it works on him like "Kryptonite on Superman". We also get a literal example when the Virus steps on a magnet and injures his heel.
- The Cyber Gang also share this weakness as they're also made of "electromagnetic energy".
- Agent Scully: Officer Wembley before the gang are blasted into the game disbelieves there is a real phantom and thinks it's a prank. Justified in that he hasn't seen the phantom.
- Ancient Egypt: Level 7.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Phantom Virus may or may not be an example of this: it's unclear exactly how much of his behavior was things he decided on his own and what he was doing because he was programmed to.
- Anti-Sneeze Finger: Scooby Doo pulls one of these on Cyber Scooby so that they don't give their position away to Jaguaro. Then he sneezes.
- Animated Actors: The after credits stinger has the characters revealing that they were acting.
- Art Evolution: This was the first animated anything in the franchise's history to be animated in not only widescreen, but HD...& it shows, as the animation is of noticeably higher-quality than the three films preceding it.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: Mammoths and Dinosaurs did not exist in the same era. This is lampshaded by Velma.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Level 5 has them in a giant field of grass and a humongous ant chasing after them.
- Author Appeal: In-Universe. The creator of The Phantom Virus gets caught because he couldn't resist programming his love of baseball into it.
- Balloon Belly: Scooby and Shaggy after eating all the food in the cafeteria.
- Between My Legs: While Mystery Inc. and their cyber doubles are confronting the Phantom Virus after encountering their past foes, the camera is focused between the Virus's legs.
- Big "NO!": The Phantom Virus utters one as he disintegrates right after Scooby beats him by getting the last box of Scooby Snax.
- Benevolent A.I.: The Cyber versions of Mystery Inc., who have obtained enough awareness to realize beating the game just puts them back on Level 1, and they like Level 10 so long as they stay out of the parts of the level were the monsters are. However, they're also just as compassionate as the real Mystery Inc. and gladly offer to do that to defeat the Phantom Virus and help them. They also wave to their real life counterparts when they prepare to play the game.
- Blob Monster: Guess who's back? The Tar Monster!
- The Bus Came Back: All of the previous monsters come back in the final level.
- But Now I Must Go: The gang leaves their clones for the real world.
- The City: Level 10.
- Clones Are People, Too: The gang seems to care about their clones as if they were real people, not just computer generations.
- Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: The Virus says this upon finding Mystery Inc. and their cyber clones hiding in the malt shop.
- Continuity Nod: A potentially unintentional one. Shaggy says that "It's bad enough that we're always chasing real ghosts." Perhaps referencing their earlier movies.
- More specifically, the last level features 5 classic (though sometime obscure) monsters from the original shows.
- The game adaptation has Charlie, the Funland Robot from the original series as the penultimate boss.
- Covers Always Lie: You can't run in and out of the computer like that, Fred, Daphne and Velma never get trapped in whatever that is, and the city isn't green. When the level generates, the sky is only green for a brief moment, then it disappears.
- Dem Bones: The skeleton gladiators in the Ancient Rome level.
- Electronic Speech Impediment: As he yells his Big "NO!" after his defeat, the Phantom Virus' voice slows down, deepens and devolves into a groan.
- Energy Being: The Phantom Virus.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The prehistoric level's got the Phantom Virus riding a T-Rex.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Along with the dragon, a princess appears in level 8, whom Shaggy saves, but leaves her tied to the tree she was stuck on.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Level 6.
- Evil Laugh: The Phantom Virus.
- Fangs Are Evil: Jaguaro
- Foreshadowing: Level six involves fighting a samurai warrior, who happens to look a lot like the Black Samurai from Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword.
- Not to mention Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur and level 3 both involved dinosaurs. Someway or another.
- Let's not forget that there was an Egyptian level, and eventually an Egyptian movie, Where's My Mummy.
- In-universe for the movie we have the Phantom Virus' baseball references.
- Forgotten Superweapon: Only in the final level does Shaggy realize he still has the magnet Professor Kaufman gave him which they can use against the Phantom Virus.
Shaggy: I guess I was too busy being scared!
- Final Boss: It's unknown if there was one programmed into the game originally (the Legion of Doom formed from the monsters the gang faced may count), but the Phantom Virus essentially takes this role on himself at the end of the game. Fittingly enough, he's also this in the game of the movie.
- Gilligan Cut:
Fred: Where there's a will, there's...
(Cuts to the gang riding woolly mammoths to the volcano)
Shaggy: Woolly mammoths?!?
- Gone Horribly Right: The Phantom Virus. Though it's unknown how Bill thought the virus would act like once it was created.
- The Goomba: The Moon Ghosts were probably intended to be this, but were made more threatening with the Phantom Virus with them.
- Heroic Dog: Scooby Doo saves a baby pterodactyl.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Bill outs himself as the perpetrator by having the virus reference baseball one too many times. Which clues the gang on to him as he mentioned earlier he was a baseball fan.
- Ignore the Fanservice: After Shaggy defeats the dragon, he ignores the princess and grabs the bag of Scooby Snacks she was holding, even though she was trying to kiss him. And she wasn't a bad looking princess either.
- Inside a Computer System: The main premise has the gang being stuck in a virtual game.
- Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: In level 8, Shaggy manages to defeat one. Albeit, it wasn't very hard.
- Intra-Franchise Crossover: The movie has the early-2000s version of Mystery Inc. meet virtual versions of their 1969 incarnation. Fred and Daphne comment on how their costumes have changed since, Shaggy and Velma, who have changed less, not so much.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Officer Wimbley is pretty hostile to the gang when they arrive on the campus and remains so until they enter the game. Once it happens, Wimbley immediately asks if there's a way to save them, proving that he really is dedicated to his job despite his abrasive nature.
- Jidai Geki: Level 6.
- Kryptonite Factor: The Virus has this towards magnets.
- Lava Adds Awesome: Level 3. The Scooby Snacks are found in a nest of pterodactyls resting on an erupting volcano.
- Legion of Doom: Level 10 has a small army of the gangs' old foes guarding the Scooby Snacks. The Creeper, Jagwaro, Gator Ghoul, The Tar Monster and Old Ironface. It's unknown if the designer originally intended them to be a unified force, but the Phantom Virus takes charge and leads them all against the gang.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Lampshaded by Shaggy, both on the plan itself and the placement of which members split-up into what groups (Shaggy with Scooby, Fred with Velma and Daphne), indirectly on the latter.
Shaggy: Like, do we ever do it any other way?
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the past films, this one balances out the comedic element much further, but it's still quite enjoyable, especially knowing it pays tribute to its roots. It's also the first installment of Scooby-Doo to use digitally-inked animation. Sadly, the next string of films after this one contract Sequelitis- the animation quality plummets and the edgy feel is all but abandoned.
- Make My Monster Grow: Level 5 takes place in a giant backyard, filled with giant ants.
- Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: The computer-generated Mystery Inc are based on the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! character designs. The computer-generated Shaggy wears the magenta shirt from 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo and the trilogy of movies with Scrappy in them.
- Medieval European Fantasy: Level 8.
- Mirror Routine: Scooby and his cyber double do this upon their first encounter in the final level.
- Mythology Gag: The final level, as Fred points out, is "so nostalgic", as it dates way back to the original 70s series:
- Fred, Daphne and Velma's doppelgangers are dressed in the same outfits from that time.
- Shaggy's doppelganger is wearing the red shirt and blue pants from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo and the TV movies (Ghoul School, Boo Brothers and Reluctant Werewolf).
- The Mystery Machine in Cyberworld is in its original VW design, rather than the newsvan design in the real world.
- While the whole gang is running from the virus at the boardwalk, the doppelgangers' running cycles are similar to how the gang runs their own distinctive way back then.
- All of the monsters encountered were all from past television shows (The Creeper was from Scooby Doo, Where Are You!, while Jaguaro, Gator Ghoul, the Tar Monster and Old Iron Face were from The Scooby Doo Show).
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: In level 10, Gator Ghoul
- Nintendo Hard: In-Universe, the final level was so tough, that even its designer can't beat it. And that was before the Phantom Virus took it upon himself to become the Final Boss. It takes the real Mystery Inc and their digital selves together to finally beat it.
- Not a Mask: Scooby and Cyber-Scooby try this on the Gator Ghoul.
- 1 Million B.C.: Level 3.
- Palette Swap: Played with the Cyber gang; they basically look like their regular counterparts, but have lighter color schemes. Though subverted with Fred, Daphne and Velma's doubles as they basically wear their original clothes, Shaggy and Scooby's doubles play this straight. Shaggy's double wears the same outfit but with a red shirt, blue pants and darker shoes, while Scooby's double has a red collar and darker fur.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Scooby and Shaggy disguise themselves as doctors when tricking the Phantom Virus into a psychology experiment. They later dress up in Roman attire during Level 2 when tricking the skeleton gladiators to sneak away, only to get revealed. In the final level, Shaggy and his cyber duplicate dress up as carnival barkers when fooling the Tar Monster during a high-striker game, only for him to chase them when it goes wrong.
- Ptero Soarer: In level 3.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Gator Ghoul.
- Revealing Reflection: The Creeper finds the Daphnes in the haunted house by appearing behind Cyber Daphne’s reflection in the trick mirror.
- The Roman Empire: Level 2.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: All staged by Bill. He created the Phantom Virus to sabotage Eric's chances of winning the big cash prize at the science fair out of jealousy that Eric was more recent a student that he was, but Professor Kaufman liked Eric's game more.
- Played with, however, in that the Phantom Virus is real and very dangerous. He just happened to have been created to carry out one of these.
- Shifting Sand Land: Level 7.
- Shock and Awe: The Virus has this power.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Level 9, which takes place in the Arctic.
- The Stinger: There's a scene after the credits where the gang tells the viewer what each member's favorite part of the game was.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: In level four, the gang first appears underwater in their normal clothes, but a few seconds later diving equipment generates on them. Although just before it generates they have trouble breathing.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Officer Wembley at first plays an antagonistic role to the gang, suspicious of them and forcing Fred, Daphne and Velma to go with him to the lab. Justified, in that they were behaving oddly. He is even suspected of being a Dirty Cop, considering he was in the lab when the gang were blasted into the game. He isn't and even helps arrest the real villain.
- Taken for Granite: Velma and her cyber double try this with Old Ironface in wax. Unfortunately, he broke out of it.
- Technopath: The Phantom Virus.
- Threatening Shark: Level 4.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: Level 3.
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction: With the Phantom Virus as he is slowly walking towards Eric, Bill and the professor.
- Water Is Blue: That ocean in level four is a little too light.
- Probably justified considering this is a video game.
- Wham Line: Eric when he finds out who the culprit is, which was his partner Bill.
Eric: All I'm getting is that the virus had a thing for... BASEBALL!
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: The Scooby Doo video game that Eric created.
- Win to Exit: The gang has to get through all ten levels of the game before they can return to the real world.
- Would You Do It For A Scooby Snack?: The object of the game is to collect the snacks to advance to the next level. Unfortunately for Shaggy and Scooby, the box of snacks disappears before any can be eaten.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: The box of Scooby Snacks disappear before it can be opened or eaten.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Once Scooby gets the last box, he's able to have some of the snacks before he returns to the real world.