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Video Game / Carmen Sandiego: Junior Detective Edition

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Carmen Sandiego: Junior Detective Edition is an Edutainment Game in the Carmen Sandiego franchise by Brøderbund Software. This is the only game in the series to feature the Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? cast, namely Zack, Ivy, and the holographic Chief. It's also the first Carmen game of the post-MS-DOS era.

As the title might suggest, this is a version of Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego aimed at a younger audience. The game's mechanics are adjusted to be entirely image-based, the assumption being that many of the kids playing this wouldn't have learned how to read yet. Additionally, the game is completed after solving only fourteen cases, and the graphics are brighter and more cartoony than in the regular Carmen games.

This game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Those bumbling ACME photographers are not named in the game itself, but they are named in the user's manual. Their names are:
    • Penelope Paparazzi: The elegant lady who keeps getting attacked by nature
    • Candid Cammie: The one who's always falling asleep
    • Olympia Vu-Finder: The one constantly doing acrobatics
    • Flash Dweebly: The really nerdy-looking one
    • "No-Focus" Norman: The one who acts like a spy
    • Calvin the Caped Camera Kid: The wannabe kid superhero
    • F-Stop Freddy: The Token Robot
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • The map of Asia used in the game inaccurately shows Sakhalin to be under the dominion of Japan. In actuality, the island is under the control of Russia, as it was at the time this game was produced.
    • Similarly, the entirety of Oceania is pretty much never seen.
  • Audience Shift: This is Carmen Sandiego for younger kids, young enough that the game was specifically designed to be beatable for someone who doesn't know how to read yet. The recommended age range is 5 to 8.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Zack and Ivy, of course. Although the only in-game indication of their relationship is that Zack calls Ivy "Sis," a nickname that she notably hates on the TV show, but which she seems fine with here.
  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: Canine example; the final confrontation with each VILE crook ends with them fleeing in a car and Stretch haring after them with all four paws.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Zack, Ivy, and the holographic Chief from the Where on Earth show, and yes, Scott Menville, Jennifer Hale, and Rodger Bumpass are doing the voices here as well.
    • Although she's not drawn like she was on Earth, Carmen's voice is nonetheless still provided by Rita Moreno. This is the only time she ever voiced Carmen in any of the computer games.
    • Not Stretch the Crime Dog, incidentally. Junior Detective's release predates his only appearance in the Earth series. It was the show that got him from the game, not vice versa. Also, Stretch was previously in the 1991 game Where in America's Past Is Carmen Sandiego?, so there.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: A weirdly justified example. Earth is premised as taking place inside a computer game, with the characters frequently speaking to, "the player." So when Zack and Ivy refer to you as, "player," it's actually consistent with their established canon!
  • Heli-Critter: In the opening sequence, Stretch does this to pursue Carmen's helicopter.
  • Fake Muscles: Jim Shorts wears an inflatable muscle suit that hides his skinny frame.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In their final getaways, none of the crooks realize that the rope ladder they're climbing is connected to an ACME helicopter, until they reach the top and see Zack ready to pull them in.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: If, after completing the game the first time, you recapture Carmen in a random case, she will be considered arrested and held in jail for a period of time until in the midst of another random case, the Chief will notify you that she and all the other crooks you caught have broken out of prison again. In that time between Carmen's capture and her escape, it's possible to reach a crook you're pursuing without having completed their "Wanted!" Poster first. In that event, the game calls for the ladder the crook climbs to take them up to Carmen's V.I.L.E helicopter and she flies them away to freedom. But obviously, this logically could not happen if Carmen is currently behind bars. So instead of playing the sequence with Carmen and the crook getting away, the game crashes and you are notified of an error.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: More than one of the photographers end up having theirs exposed.
  • The Klutz: VILE crook Tip Dover is this, in case the Punny Name didn't give it away. The manual explains that, in fact, she's so much of a klutz that the Disaster Dominoes she causes in her wake nearly always allow her to get away.
  • Motion Blur: Every VILE crook shows up as one as you pursue them across the world, which your team of photographers try and fail to get a good picture of.
  • Must Have Caffeine: When coffee is a clue, the Chief sings, "I hate to get up, I hate to get up, I hate to get up in the moooorning! Unless I've had my coffee, which comes from the suspect's next stop."
  • Oh, Crap!: All of the VILE crooks have this reaction when they escape from Stretch onto a helicopter ladder, only to reach the top, see Zack looking down on them and realize that they're trying to escape on an ACME helicopter.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: One of the humiliations that Penelope Paparazzi (the name she's given in the game manual) suffers at the hand of nature is a clam that steals her pearl necklace.
  • The Pig-Pen: Hugh Stink, as you might have guessed from the name. His hair has the same color scheme as that of a skunk.
  • Punny Name: It is a Carmen game, after all. This time, the crooks include Manny Mistakes, Hardley Worthit, and Carri Daway. And before you ask, none of the actual Where on Earth henchmen are featured.
  • Right-Hand Cat: This game marks the debut of Carmen's pet cat Carmine, who serves as an evil counterpart to Stretch the Crime Dog. Heroic Canines, Villainous Felines and all that. Carmine later appears in the 1996 versions of Where in the World and Where in the U.S.A.
  • Shoe Phone: One of the photographers uses cameras that are disguised as various mundane objects, including, yes, his shoes. For extra ridiculousness, these are not discreet Spy Cams, but ordinary, regular-sized cameras. The user's manual gives his name as "No-Focus" Norman and explains that he's a former spy.
  • Slapstick: The male and female photographers alike are subjected to cartoonish slapstick.
  • Sleepyhead: One of the photographers is always falling asleep, even as she attempts to photograph the crook. The user's manual identifies her as Candid Cammie.
  • Smelly Feet Gag: When the spy photographer "No-Focus" Norman (as named in the manual) uses his Shoe Phone to take a photo, he sniffs the air, then as soon as the photo is taken, collapses to the ground in a heap.
  • Super Zeroes: One of the photographers is a kid who seems to think that he's a superhero. He swings down with a rope tied to his waist, pretending to fly, before some sort of slapstick mishap occurs. The user's manual calls him Calvin the Caped Camera Kid.
  • Tempting Fate: During Carmen's video calls to you mentioned below and even when her own "Wanted!" Poster is completed, Carmen smugly boasts about how she can never be caught. As it turns out, she can be caught in exactly the same way as every one of her flunkies, rendering all of her earlier overconfidence rather hollow.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: After catching every other crook in the game, Carmen will make a video call to the player backhandedly congragulating them for doing so but stating that she's still beyond the player's capability to capture. This feature is first used here and would be carried over into the 1996 Where in the World and Where in the USA, as well as The Great Chase Through Time and some missions in Word Detective and Math Detective.
  • Timed Mission: In the limited battery meter sense. Every action, be it travelling to a new country, investigating clues, or trying to assemble the wanted poster, uses up some of the Gizmotapper's battery. If it runs out, you fail the case, Dee Jay takes a nap, and the crook gets away.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: To make the warrant aspect accessible to pre-readers, it now consists of putting pieces of the suspect's image together into a wanted poster. These pieces come from the ACME photographers, who, due to their humorous incompetence, can only ever manage to photograph part of the suspect at once. Don't ask how the crook is photographed from the same angle every time.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Stu Pidname is cruel even by the usual Punny Name standards. The Chief notes, "You know, he hates it when people say he has a stupid name. But hey, he does!"
  • Workaholic: One of Carmen's thieves is named Anita Dayoff. The game manual explains that she's this trope, and that she started working for Carmen because she just couldn't turn down a job with no time off.

Alternative Title(s): Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective