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Things you WILL find in Contact: Monkeys. Cosmic terrorists. Powerful attack stickers. Fishing. Cooking. Humor. Fun with Nintendo Wi-Fi. Deeper meaning in life. Costumes that increase your power and make you more fun to be around.
—The back cover of Contact

From the mind of Akira Ueda, developed by Suda51's Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Atlus comes a Nintendo DS RPG entitled Contact.

A professor from an unknown galaxy is chased and attacked by the Klaxon Army (called the "CosmoNOTs" in the US release), and his UFO crash-lands on an unknown planet, scattering its power cells everywhere. In order for him to get his ship back into commission, he enlists the help of Terry, a boy he meets after crash-landing, to help him get his power cells back through the use of specially-developed Decals (yes, the kind you stick on your body).

In Contact, you control Terry and guide him from island to island, searching for the power cells, beating up monsters, and making friends with the locals while on the lookout for the CosmoNOT gang, as they want the cells for their own purpose. As you play deeper and deeper into the game, the Professor's motives become less and less clear...

Absolutely no relation to the 1997 movie of the same name starring Jodie Foster or the Carl Sagan novel it was based on, nor the electro-mechanical pinball of the same name.

The Contact game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: All of Terry's stats have a maximum level of 100, and the stats tied to a skill progression have it last all the way to 100 — this despite the fact that even if you focus on just one stat, you'll likely finish the main story with it in the 50s at most.
  • Addressing the Player: The Professor, more or less constantly. Terry too, at the end.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Ayaka says she likes "bad" boys and will only date Terry if his Karma stat is below negative 30. Due to the way the Karma stat works, this requires a lot of murder.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: The "Sword Catcher" punching skill, in addition to being called that, uses a little picture of hands catching a blade as its icon. It's a passive skill that blocks a small percentage of incoming attacks, so if you have Terry barehanded and fighting a blade-user, he will indeed pull off the trope.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Terry gains different abilities depending on the costumes you find. The abilities are strictly tied to the outfits, meaning that, for example, no matter how accomplished a chef Terry might be, he can't so much as boil water if he's not wearing the chef outfit.
  • Cooking Mechanics: The planet you're tasked to explore has all kinds of meats, fruits, vegetables, and other foods that Terry can obtain and often cook up to recover HP and gain temporary stat boosts. Some of them include canned stew, BBQ meat, juice, Swanky Soup, milk, raisin bread, strawberries, and grapes.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Terry gets sent back to the ship and loses some Fame. Fame is only useful if you want Terry to date one specific girl anyway.
  • Door Dumb: Lester gets stuck on the final door in the Caldoaxa Ruins. After you beat him in a boss battle and he flees, the Professor tells Terry that it's a sliding door. Every other door in the ruins was hinged...
  • Enemy Scan: The Professor serves as a crude one; target an enemy and he'll comment on their threat level relative to Terry's stats, on a scale from "Weaksauce, as they say!" to "That one's dangerous!"
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Early on, the Professor gives Terry a "Multi-Element Nano Unit" which allows him to organize his items and view his stats.
    • The antagonist group is called the "Cosmic Nihilist Organization for Terror". What the heck does it mean? No idea, but you can abbreviate it to "CosmoNOTs", and that's really all that matters.
  • Gainax Ending: Big time. The Professor unceremoniously abandons Terry and disappears with the cells, apparently aware of his status as a videogame character. Terry tries to fight you, the player, for all you've done to him. The CosmoNOTS go right back to their music careers without chasing the Prof. Mint, for some reason, takes the time to bring Terry back home like the Prof. promised to, and asks him to "help her" "next time," despite all the grief Terry (and you) put her through. The Stinger doesn't clear anything up. The Professor writes a letter asking Terry and the player's forgiveness, as he knows he's only a game character made of data but had thought he was fighting off what the developers and localization team were making him do. He's decided You Can't Fight Fate, but at the same time wonders why he has emotions, explaining that he spent all the time the game was off living without the player. The professor then asks if you respected and cared about Terry or treated him as the hero in a game, that he and Terry are alike, and he's going to travel the world while his data stays as the professor in-game. He then asks about the player, keeping what they said to him as a memento, and goes off to search for something only he can find.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Played with. Only the professor knows what you, the player, are capable of. Terry figures it out by the end of the game.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Terry gains the health benefits of food instantly, but it still takes time to digest (during which the stat benefits apply), so you can't just stuff Terry's face with hamburgers indefinitely.
  • Karma Meter: Terry's "Karma" stat, quite literally. It goes up when you have him kill evil creatures and down when you have him kill NPCs and non-hostile wildlife. It doesn't do very much — if it's too far into the negatives normally-friendly NPCs will either attack or flee on sight, and that's about it.
  • No Fourth Wall: The Professor talks directly to you, the player, because you are an actual character in the game.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The Professor and everything belonging to him is drawn in a 16-bit pixelated style, starkly contrasting with the rest of the game's watercolor-esque appearance.
  • One-Word Title
  • People Puppets: You, the player, are doing this to Terry for the entire game. It's subtle enough that even he doesn't realize it until the end of the game, at which point he immediately calls you out.
  • Player and Protagonist Integration: Because the player and the protagonist are separate, named characters, You Are You, but at the same time you're a Controller for Terry. He figures this out during the ending sequence and decides he doesn't want any more of it.
  • Post-Final Boss: Two of them!
    • First, Terry fights Mint, who is sick and tired of y'all screwing up the CosmoNOTs' plans — it's a thrilling battle on a minijet in flight, but the simple fact is that she's not much of a fighter compared to the Mu-reanimated dragon you just beat.
    • After that, Terry finally figures out that you've been People Puppeteering him all game and decides he isn't gonna have any more of it — requiring you, the player, to stylus-tap him into submission.
  • The Power of Rock: Nadia uses her keyboard to create storms, thereby impeding your progress to Akumojo Castle. To get around this, Terry has to switch out the storm-making music for the upbeat Blue Sky March.
  • Power-Up Food: Besides restoring HP, food can also give boosts to various stats for the duration it takes to digest it.
  • Romance Sidequest: Terry can woo four girls in the game, culminating in them living in the ship with him. Oddly, already having one girl does not mean another girl can not come. You can even have all four living with Terry at once, with no real repercussions — they'll act a bit put out if he talks to them while another girl is following him, but that's it.
  • Shout-Out: Occasionally, the Professor will quote popular Internet memes (All Your Base Are Belong to Us, etc.). The game manual is even formatted to look like the Professor's LiveJournal (or rather, VirtuaDiary). But not in Europe.
  • Stat Grinding: There are no traditional levels; you just level up Terry's various stats by using them. This makes the few weapons tied to unusual stats very valuable, as they let you level them by idly plinking at a special boss instead of farming EP to use their skills.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Averted; enemies who deem Terry's stats dangerously high will flee when he comes close instead of attempting to attack him.
  • Superboss: Four "elemental gods" appear in the Endgame+ after you complete the main storyline. Any WiFisland NPC could have qualified if the associated friend had high enough stats, but the "killer bunny" representing friend 8 was most obviously intended as one.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, the spaceship fades back in on the bottom screen and tapping Mochi brings up a letter from the Professor, apologizing to you and Terry for misleading you both throughout the game.
  • Team Pet: Mochi, the space dog-that-thinks-it's-a-cat.
  • Temporary Online Content: With the end of Nintendo WFC, everything on WiFisland has become permanently inaccessible to anyone that hasn't already unlocked it. Most notably, this includes a Superboss, part of a Collection Sidequest, and a weapon that can't be acquired any other way.
  • Trans Nature: Mochi is a space dog who wants to be a space cat. It meows and plays with a scratching post and is generally adorable, so it's doing a pretty good job of it.
  • Unending End Card: After the credits roll, the game just sits there with the music playing. If you haven't seen the Professor's letter yet, you're being faked out.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The professor, visible on the top screen, talks to Terry via some kind of radio during cutscenes. He also constantly drops generic hints if you look up at the top screen.
  • Warp Whistle: The ship sticker, appropriately, warps Terry back to the ship.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Terry in his Post-Final Boss fight can't beat you even if you set the DS down and walk away, because you don't actually have an HP meter for him to deplete. Not that it would have been a hard fight even without this condition, given your respective positions.