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Literature / Zapped in Space

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The Give Yourself Goosebumps book where a visit to a video arcade gets you more fun than bargained for.

You and two friends, Katy and Jordan, are excited to be among the first visitors to Madam Zapp's new Virtual Reality video arcade, where video games comes to life. But you would've never guessed how literal that statement was...

There's a choice of two arcade games for you to choose from, the sci-fi arcade shooter "Adrift Off Vega", and the Arctic-themed adventure "Abominable Snow Woman". While your friends Katy and Jordan both selects the first game, you're free to pick either of the two, where you will either end up battling hostile Arcturian aliens in a space adventure or struggle to survive the freezing wintery wastelands by yourself.


Zapped in Space provides examples of:

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Early in the Vegan spacecraft, the two-headed Vega alien warns you and your friends Katy and Jordan not to leave, for he'll be back, in a threatening manner. You can choose to retaliate and fight back with your friends the moment he returns, at which point the Vegan begs for mercy and pleads with you that he means no harm.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: An optional, and perfectly avoidable encounter; after the Vega alien leaves you by yourself, you can choose to flee, or wait for his return. Choosing to flee will have you facing a giant cockroach the size of a human adult (who can talk!) and you can potentially reach a bad ending from there, but escaping the giant roach will lead you back to the Vegan, right where you started off first.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In one ending, you get trapped in your gaming partner's body, but both of you at least escaped the game intact, and your partner's mother turns out to be a better cook than yours.
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  • Blob Monster: Choosing the Arcturan aliens' puzzles will have you battling a giant alien blob in order to proceed. It seems invincible and doesn't have any weakness, but you later found out it was, in fact, edible, and tastes like lemon jelly.
  • Eating the Enemy: How you defeat the alien blob monster.
  • Gratuitous Latin: In the second scenario, it's possible for you and your friend Andy to defeat the snow woman by speaking in Pig Latin — a language the snow woman is unfamiliar with, as a last resort. Doing so will cause the game to glitch up and become damaged, at which point both of you get ejected out of the game.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: One of the Arcturan's puzzles references the earlier GYG book, Trapped in Bat Wing Hall, specifically the items to be collected during the treasure hunt.
  • Lizard Folk: The first obstacle you'll need to defeat — a lizard alien sent by the Arcturans. Which you beat by tricking him to expose himself to sunlight.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: The fight against the Arcturan blob monster have you accidentally stepping in the monster's body, who then sucks up your sneaker. You kick it off automatically to avoid getting eaten alive by the monster.
  • Losing Your Head: In one of the bad endings, you do actually make it back to earth... just your head, that is. The teleporter somehow couldn't transport the rest of your body, so you arrive home as a single, living head with nothing below the neck.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle:
    • You have to get across a planet's surface without being cooked by the intense alien sun's heat. You're in a greenhouse, with two options — slather yourself with random goo, hoping it's sunscreen, or make a hat out of leaves. If you use leaves, the leaves have lenses in them you didn't notice, which cook you.
    • When you're fending off alien lizards, you can either use a sword, or a gun you have no clue how to operate. If you use the sword, the Lizards unveil their uncanny ability to regain all lost limbs, including their heads. FUUUUUUU—
    • When you and your friend reach the Abominable Snowman's cave, there's a table with a box, containing a magnifying glass and a compass, saying "Take one". Logically speaking, since there are two of you, you and your partner can take both items without breaking the rule. Unfortunately, a beam of sunlight bounces off the compass through the magnifying glass, which flash defrosts the cavern and buries you and your friend into an avalanche of snow. What.
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: The very premise of this book — playing one of two experimental arcade game, and you end up being transported into the game world, where if you die in it, you die in the real world too.
  • Multiple Head Case: The Vega aliens have two heads and four arms, as seen on the front cover.
  • No Fair Cheating: In the 'Abominable Snow Woman' path, at one point, you need to go through a maze, leading to 2 page numbers, the end of the maze, so to speak. However, you can actually only reach one if you were to do the maze. If you rely on blind guessing and guess the wrong page, then the Snow Woman will show up, declare you cheated, and trap you in the game for good.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Depending on the storyline you picked, the arcade's owner, Madam Zapp, can be a human agent planted by the Arcturan aliens to abduct human children, or an Abominable Snow Woman who serves as the main villain of the artic storyline.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The book uses this against you in the Abominable Snow Woman storyline. In one part of the book, the right clue to advance in the game was given away with the game's poster when you entered the arcade way back in page 3 or 4. There was a minor description of the lights' colors near the game's poster that was irrelevant at the time, but was a major clue for later. This effect is magnified if you do the Abominable Snow Woman storyline second. Unless you have a sharp memory or cheated to see the answer, you'll have to guess the right colors for the lights. Guess wrong, and you'll be led in the wrong direction.
  • Your Head Asplode: If you manage to outwit the Arcturan aliens by proving you're more intelligent than them, their brains will overload and blow up with their heads.