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Video Game / Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth

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Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth is a video game based off the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was released October–November 2007 for Playstation 2, Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox 360.

The Burning Earth is loosely based on Book Two of the cartoon.

This video game provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Deviation: The main plot of the game is based off the second season of the cartoon. However, the plots of certain episodes are reduced heavily and some are rushed through. The final level is a combination of the episode “The Drill” and the season finale. The game also ends on a happier note where Ba Sing Se is not conquered and Aang isn’t killed by Azula.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: Instead of the game ending with Azula (briefly) killing Aang, Ba Sing Se being claimed by the Fire Nation, and Iroh getting captured by the Dai Li, it ends with Aang and his friends successfully stopping the Fire Nation (for now), Long Feng being arrested, the Dai Li being disbanded, and Aang and his friends now working with the Earth King to stop the Fire Nation.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Omashu governor (Mai's father) is a non-bender and coward in the show. In the game he's a firebender and is ruthless enough to fight the main characters head on.
    • To a lesser extent, Professor Zei. He's merely a neutral academic in the show, but here he's mentioned as designing war-machines to help fight the Fire Nation.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The governor of Omashu wasn’t nearly as evil in the cartoon as he is in the video game. At best, one could argue that he was just some government official assigned to watch over the conquered city of Omashu.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Longshot and Smellerbee do not appear alongside Jet.
    • Joo-Dee, the Stepford Smiler tour guide(s) of Ba Sing Se are also absent, and the Dai Li do not practice brainwashing in this version of the story.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Throughout the game, you switch back and forth between a pair of characters. In the chapter “Lake Laogai”, however, you get a chance to play as Iroh and Zuko. This is the only time you get to play as the two and it’s very brief.
  • Ascended Extra: Jet has a bit of a bigger role here than in the cartoon. He meets Katara in the swamp in time to help her fight off some Fire Nation soldiers who are attacking a town and he pairs up with her in Ba Sing Se to help her find the person responsible for selling Appa.
  • Being Good Sucks: Zuko is very reluctant to let Appa go. When he finally gives in and cuts his restraints, Zuko mumbles about it not feeling right to set Appa free.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Like in the show, Aang, his friends, and even Zuko and Iroh are being watched by the Dai Li. Sokka and Toph first encounter the Dai Li while on the train when an agent overhears then talking about the drill plans and snatches them so they can’t show them to the Earth King.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The one Dai Li agent Sokka and Toph (and later Zuko and Iroh) chase after is dressed in black and red rather than the traditional black-and-green uniform.
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception: There are levels which require the characters to hide inside barrels and sneak into enemy locations. Guards will instantly notice if a barrel moves in their line of sight, but will completely ignore barrels which move behind their back. The worst offense is when you follow a guard — if you stop before he turns around, the guard will think nothing of the fact that the barrel which used to be on the other side of field is now right in front of him — even going so far as to walk around the barrel to get back on his appointed path!
  • Damsel in Distress: During the boss battles, the boss will typically aim at whoever Aang’s partner is, which is usually Katara. You'll have to hit the buttons in the correct order to save them from being attacked. Miss or hit the wrong button, and your partner will get hurt and you’ll have to keep attacking the boss.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mai and Ty Lee have a very, very small role in the game, to the point that they’re not even named.
  • Easily Forgiven: When Katara tells Aang and Sokka about meeting Jet in “The Swamp”, Aang is a bit more willing to accept that Jet has changed and deserves a second chance.
  • Effortless Achievement: The Xbox 360 version is best known for probably quickest 1000 achievement points in any game: there's only 5 achievements total, all of which involve performing sufficiently high combos, and you can get all of them in the first or second fight by spamming your ranged attack on the enemies without getting hit.
  • Exact Words: When Aang beats Master Yu, Yu argues over the conditions of the free training being that the last person standing would get it. Cue him knocking Aang down by chucking a rock at him and Yu saying that Aang is not standing, rendering the deal invalid.
  • Everyone Laughs Ending: The last scene with Aang and his friends laugh at Aang who is dressed up like a chicken via Katara and Toph’s bending.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Aang and his friend are forcibly split up in “The Swamp” with Katara and Momo being a group and Aang and Sokka being the other.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: More often than not, the characters will split up into groups of two, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. In “The Library”, Sokka and Momo pair up while Katara and Aang go to look for more scroll pieces. In “The Drill”, Sokka and Momo go together to get the slurry backed up in the pipes while Katara and Aang go to cut the drill’s braces.
  • Mini-Game: There are several mini-games, some mandatory, some optional.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Unlike the first game, you are on a set path. You don't have any sidequests and you can't explore the location. You are given a specific task and you have to complete it.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Aang and his friends finally talk to the Earth King, Long Feng has apparently been arrested and the Dai Li has been disbanded.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Zig-zagged with Jet. Like in the show, Katara initially distrusts Jet because he tried to manipulate her into helping him drown an Earth Kingdom village. However, after they talk in “The Swamp”, Katara seems willing to believe he has changed. Come Ba Sing Se, she is still uncertain about Jet and continues to distrust him.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: Since you have no in-game currency or any healing moves via Katara, you have to be sparing with your health potions. You can only get them in red chests. You can also upgrade your health by getting upgrades in gold chests. Even then, if you use up a health potion, you have to be careful when fighting enemies.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: It's said that "the Earth King has healers that can help Jet" after he's injured at Lake Laogai and he's thus taken to be healed offscreen rather than just expiring on the spot like in the show.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: There are two occasions where you have to sneak around your opponents rather than fight them. You will also be given two barrels for you and your partner to hide in and sneak around in. If the enemy sees you when you're moving around, your cover will be blown.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Anyone can drown, even Katara and Aang who can control water.
  • Unlockable Content: You can unlock a series of bonuses in each chapter via treasure chests. These bonuses included game cutscenes, concept art, music, and choice voice clips.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In “The Drill” chapter, we never hear of or from Iroh for the rest of the game. We don’t know where he went or what happened to him after the “Lake Laogai” chapter.