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Video Game / Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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Just before Atlantis: The Lost Empire came out on theaters, a game for the PlayStation, Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color based on the film was released. The game details Milo's journey to Atlantis, featuring Milo, Vinny, Audrey, Mole and Kida as playable characters and having a particular emphasis on platforming — with occasional vehicle sections involving a minisub, truck and Aktirak — and Tomb Raider-style exploration and puzzle-solving, using the unique skills from each teammate at different points to progress.

"Time to get the Listed Tropes ready!":

  • Action Girl: Both Kida and Audrey are playable characters here, and on top of having very useful perks — the former being able to repair/pilot complex machines and illuminate dark areas with her Flare Gun, and the latter having the best jump in the game (along with a Wall Jump in the GBC version), as well as being able to walk among Atlantean Guards unnoticed and is one of only two characters who can use spells from the colored Crystals with her Atlantean Bolt Staff — are more than capable of holding their own.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The crew's journey to Atlantis is expanded on. In particular, two brief scenes from the travelling montage involving the crew going through lava and snow worlds were extended into full levels.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: Instead of the ending with Milo and Kida as the heirs of Atlantis, players just see them together with the crew.
  • Adaptational Modesty: A male example with Milo in the PS1 level Secret Swim. It takes place at the point in the movie where he and Kida go diving together, but here, he wears his full outfit instead of just his boxers. That said, he can still be seen in said underwear during the pre-rendered cutscenes before and after.
  • Adapted Out: Sweet and Cookie do not appear in the PS1 game at all outside of the movie clip cutscenes, and Packard only appears ("Whaddya need, sport?") as part of the option to save your game.
  • All There in the Manual: Some of the game can be this compared to the original film, given that it has a tendency to skip over several scenes between levels.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Whitmore's Mansion in the Game Boy Color version has a particularly weird layout. It's got multiple floors separated by craggy stone walls (some of which can only by opened by Vinny's Detpacks) and logic-defying doors that go to entirely different places, a huge underwater cave in the basement (which, unlike Whitmore's fish tank in the PS1 version, doesn't look man-made), and most egregiously, several very deep pits of spikes. Outer Atlantis also counts, consisting of a collection of floating ruins high in what appears to be the sky.
  • Backtracking: This is needed to complete The Cove in the PS1 game. The first time you do the level, you will be unable to complete it normally due to a missing piece for the driller being hidden behind a door, which requires two special gems to open. Said gems can be found in two branching paths that open up a level each; a Fire Gem in the Fire Trial (done by Milo, Vinny and Mole), and an Ice Gem in the Ice Trial (by Milo and Audrey). Once you've got those, you must then return to The Cove, open the door with the gems, and retrieve the Old Cog that Audrey needs to get the driller running and complete the level itself.
  • Baddie Flattery: Helga engages in some of this with Milo in her pre-boss cutscene in "Save Kida!".
    Helga: Ah, Milo! I don't know how you survived this long. You're obviously far more resourceful than I ever gave you credit for. Unfortunately, everyone's luck runs out eventually — and you, my dear, have just reached the end of the line!
  • Bag of Sharing: Everyone shares the same Life Meter, amount of lives, and inventory of items.
  • Battle Boomerang: Milo wields an Atlantean Boomerang as his projectile weapon, which Whitmore tasks him with retrieving in his Mansion after he accidentally loses it in his giant fish tank. It's a serviceable mid-range option, and like Kida's Bolt Staff, can be temporarily upgraded with coloured crystals to give it magical properties.
  • Blackout Basement: There are several huge rooms in the PS1 version that are incredibly dark, to the point that most characters will refuse to venture further in as soon as they approach. Only Mole (with his headtorch) or Audrey (with her Flare Gun) can go through them.
  • Boulder Bludgeon: In contrast to the dedicated weapons that his teammates use, Mole's projectile attack is to simply throw rocks. They're still effective enough against most threats, though.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the PS1 game, Milo directly talks to the player on the Memory Card options menu:
    Milo: Time to get the Memory Card ready!
    Milo: It'd be a shame to lose your progress.
    Milo: Good answer! I can see why you were chosen for this mission.
    Milo: That's a good choice!
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: In the PS1 version of the game, you wouldn't have any way to actually harm Helga or Rourke if their boss arenas didn't conveniently have the propellers or Kida's prison in them.
  • Bottomless Magazines: With the exception of Milo's Boomerangs and the Atlantean Crystals, no one ever needs to reload or replenish their ammunition when using their projectile attacks.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Despite there being five playable characters, Milo is the only one who you must play as at some point in every mission; including the vehicle-based ones. He's also the only playable character in general for the Game Boy Advance version, with the other characters only appearing to give you support.
  • Cardboard Prison: If caught by the Atlantean Guards in the PS1 game (which can happen in Inner Atlantis and Treachery), you simply get taken to a room further back with all items intact and the doors or cells left unlocked. It's lampshaded by the caught character, who simply seems more annoyed than in any particular danger.
  • Classic Cheat Code: On the PS1 game, hold X + Circle + Square + Right at the title screen. Start the game, and hold L1 + R1 when playing as Milo for unlimited lives. Milo will say "Great!" to confirm correct code entry.
  • Combos: Every playable character has a standard three-hit combo as their melee attack; two punches (or swings from a Bolt Staff, in Kida's case), followed by either an uppercut (Milo), a shockwave-inducing ground punch (Vinny, Mole) or a kick (Audrey, Kida).
  • Concept Art Gallery: In the PS1 version, on top of being able to unlock clips from the movie by finding all the ATLANTIS letters in each level, you can also unlock a Concept Art and 3D Model Gallery by finding all 13 Green Crystals in the levels and beating the game.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The lava in the Fire Trial is only a problem if you directly touch it. While falling in won't take off a life immediately, it does do significant damage and sends the player to the last checkpoint.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Downplayed example. Certain hazards that should be immediately lethal — namely, falling into lava or into bottomless pits, or getting pulled into a Deadly Rotary Fan — respawn you back a certain distance with some health lost. Besides having all your health depleted, the only dangers that will immediately take off a life are drowningnote , crashing a vehicle, or running out of fuel in "Truck Escape".
  • Down the Drain: Levels such as The Ulysses, Inner Atlantis and Secret Swim are full of deep and complex underwater tunnels that you have to swim through. Fortunately, there are air pockets — and clams, in the case of the latter two — to make use of for oxygen along the way.
  • Eternal Engine: The Ulysses (the second level in the game) takes you through the lower decks and mechanisms of the eponymous submarine as the Leviathan attacks it, contending with hazards such as loose electrical currents and gouts of flames from destroyed machinery, and deep submerged tunnels with deadly propeller blades.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Played straight, then subverted. Audrey uses a Flare Gun as her weapon in the PS1 game — although this is justified by her using it for both its intended purpose and as a weapon — but Helga and Rourke use actual handguns that fire bullets in their boss battles. Interestingly, both kinds use the same model.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: Clips from the film are re-used in the PS1 version, but are partially re-recorded with the voice doublesnote  from the game.
  • Floating Continent: Outer Atlantis is a downplayed version of one of these, consisting of several huge temples and other ruins floating in — at least, what looks like — an endless sky.
  • Flare Gun: Audrey wields one as her projectile weapon. Not only can it blast enemies from a distance — with unlimited ammo, no less — but the shots can also be used to light up very dark areas.
  • Forced Tutorial: The first level, Whitmore Mansion, has Preston Whitmore directly teach Milo the controls.
  • Grenade Spam: Vinny can throw an unlimited amount of bouncy Hand Grenades for his ranged attack.
  • Ground Punch: Vinny and Mole both use two-fisted variations of these to end their three-hit combo attacks, which send out small shockwaves along the ground on impact.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Kida is playable in the Atlantis levels alongside Milo, Vinny, Audrey and Mole.
  • Hammerspace: When Kida starts climbing or enters water deep enough for her to swim in, her Bolt Staff instantly disappears from her hand. It'll then reappear just as quickly as soon as she finishes doing either.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The smallest health-restoring items are tins of unspecified food (the others being small and large Medikits), which instantly take effect upon consumption.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Zig-zagged example. While you can carry an unlimited number of colored Atlantean Crystals and never have to worry about ammunition for the most part, you can only hold up to ten of every other item. If you try to pick another one up while already holding that many, your character will acknowledge they can't carry another and leave it where it is.
  • In a Single Bound: In the PS1 and Game Boy Color versions of the game, Kida has the best jumping ability of anyone. She can jump higher than the others in both, and in the latter, can also Wall Jump.
  • Interface Spoiler: Switching to Kida as Milo at a checkpoint causes her to refer to him affectionately ("Hello, my love!"), which can happen as early as Outer Atlantis. In other words, right when they meet and well before you're supposed to know that they get together at the end.
  • Indy Escape: The last part of the Ice Trial has Milo and Audrey fleeing Crash Bandicoot-style from an enormous Atlantean Mammoth down a narrow, frozen passageway.
  • Kick Chick: Downplayed. Audrey and Kida both use kicks as the endings of their three-hit combo attacks and are the only playable characters who do so.
  • Law of 100: Or fifty, in this case. Getting that amount of White Crystals in a level will give you a 1-Up.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Despite his gangly Geek Physique, Milo is one of only two characters (alongside the bigger Vinny) who can push and pull heavy objects in the PS1 game, and is the only one besides Kida who can climb rough walls and overhand swing across gaps.
  • Never Bareheaded: Even more so than in the film itself, Audrey's hat remains magnetically attached to her head even while she's jumping, falling, or swimming underwater.
  • Never Say "Die": Death by drowning in the PS1 game's manual is referred to by the rather morbid epithet of "a once-promising career as an explorer [ending] with a final gurgle".
  • Nuclear Candle: Mole's headtorch, which can illuminate dark areas far more effectively than a tiny bulb should be able to. Not that it's a bad thing, though; it's an easier and generally more reliable option than having to repeatedly fire away at the walls with Audrey's Flare Gun.
  • 1-Up: Extra lives can be obtained by finding Gold Hearts, or by obtaining fifty White Crystals in any level.
  • Oxygen Meter: Naturally for a game (and film) that takes place in an ancient civilisation at the bottom of the ocean, swimming underwater is present in all versions of the game. The meter lasts about 50 seconds in the PS1 version, and can be refilled by surfacing or gulping down bubbles provided by punching giant clams.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: When diving in the Atlantis levels, these are provided in the form of giant clamshells that you have to swim up to and punch; opening them for a moment and releasing breathable air, which you can (thankfully) do as many times as you need.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Along with Helga's example above, you have Rourke's much angrier speech to Milo during his pre-Final Boss cutscene in the PS1 game.
    Rourke: Well, Mr. Thatch, I have to hand it to you. You're a far bigger pain in the neck than I ever would have thought possible! But enough chitchat. This time, I'll deal with you myself!
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: Clips from the film are used as transitions between levels in the PlayStation version, and can be unlocked to watch at any time by collecting all the ATLANTIS letters in the level it appeared.
  • Puzzle Boss: Both Helga and Rourke function as these in "Save Kida!", the last level in the PS1 game:
    • You won't be able to attack Helga directly. To defeat her, you have to position yourself between her and the propellers for the flying platform she and Milo are both on, then dodge out the way when she tries to shoot you to trick her into destroying the propeller. Do this with all four of them.
    • For Rourke, you must first collect all the "ATLANTIS" letters and the Green Crystal that spawn over time. Once you have all of them, throw the Boomerang at Kida's crystal prison, and it should start spinning and spewing lightning; quickly hit Rourke with the Boomerang and he'll get zapped by the electricity, then hit him again with it to deal damage. Do this six times to take him down and beat the game.
  • Quad Damage: The purple Atlantean Crystals have this effect on Milo and Kida's Atlantean weapons (her staff and his boomerang respectively), increasing the damage they do for up to ten shots. The blue Crystals have differing effects, however; they increase Milo's boomerang range and give Kida's staff homing shots, respectively.
  • Shock and Awe: Kida's default weapon is her Atlantean Bolt Staff, which can fire bolts of electricity to nail enemies from afar. Milo can also power up his Battle Boomerang using orange Atlantean Crystals, which lets it hover in place and fire a Spread Shot of lightning.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The King of Atlantis doesn't actually die in the PS1 game. He shows up in "Treachery" to provide some exposition and gives you a skeleton key to progress through the rest of the level with, but you never get to the point where Rourke punches and kills him via internal bleeding like in the film.
  • Spelling Bonus: The levels can have the player collect the Atlantean letters A, T, L, A, N, T, I and S to form "Atlantis". Doing so in the PS1 version unlocks a clip from the movie for the level you did it in.
  • Status Infliction Attack: Certain enemies have attacks that can poison the player, which turns the red heart on their Life Meter green and slowly saps away their health. The effect goes away on its own after several seconds, or by taking an Antivenin.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Vinny, naturally. He can throw a seemingly-unlimited number of hand grenades for his projectile attack, and use Detpacks to blow up certain parts of levels and create paths forward.
  • Tunnel King: Mole is the only character who can dig through certain floors to get to certain points.
  • Under the Sea: Most of the game itself takes place at the bottom of the ocean, but levels like Leviathan Attack and Secret Swim in particular take place almost entirely underwater.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: There are two in the PS1 version. The first is Leviathan Attack (Level 3), where Milo pilots a submarine to help his crewmates fight off and escape from the Leviathan, and then there's Aktirak Flight (Level 12), where Milo leads the charge on one of the titular flying machines to rescue Kida from Rourke.
  • Variable Mix: The level music muffles and distorts slightly when you swim underwater in the PS1 game, as expected. For Secret Swim in particular, you get an entirely new song that only plays when you're submerged.
  • Wall Jump: Kida has these as her unique ability in the Game Boy Color game.