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Video Game / Cool Spot

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Cool Spot is one of the more notable examples of No Problem with Licensed Games. The game was released on several systems during the 16-bit era. It is a Platform Game starring the red spot in the 7-Up logo. As this spot, your goal is to explore what appears to be a tourist town or seaport of some kind and rescue others of your number from cages that, for some reason, they are imprisoned in. Although this concept sounds lame, the game itself is surprisingly well-made and fun, with catchy music, large levels, intuitive controls, a decent level of challenge, and plenty of secret areas. With its generous time limits, the game encourages—and sometimes requires—you to take your time to explore rather than immediately free your buddy and end the level.

A sequel, Spot Goes to Hollywood followed in 1995.

This game provides examples of:

  • Advertisement Game: It was part of a campaign starring the red spot from the 7-Up logo.
  • Advertising-Only Continuity: The Sega Genesis commercial has a news report of Cool Spot's mission to rescue his fellow spots, with the police on the lookout for the spots, and the reporter asking citizens to help find them. While it's apparently unknown to the humans in the game, according to the manual.
  • Amphibian Assault: In Stage 4, "Wading Around", there are frog enemies who attack Spot by spitting at him.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Spot has a pair of black dots for eyes, though they are only visible when he removes his shades.
  • Bland-Name Product: Averted in North America. However, this is played straight for all releases world wide:
    • The 7-Up token is replaced with a red dot with the V from the Virgin Games logo.
    • The 7-Up labels on glasses, as well as the bonus level, are renamed "pop".
    • The letters in UNCOLA are changed to spell out VIRGIN.
  • Bonus Stage: Collect 75 of the little red spot tokens in a level and you can enter a bonus stage where you bounce around on bubbles in a (comparatively) giant 7-Up bottle and attempt to get as many points and 1-ups as possible before the timer, which is much shorter than it is for a normal level, reaches zero. The only way to get continues, which take the form of the letters of the word "UNCOLA" ("VIRGIN" in the PC version).
  • Bonus Stage Collectables: Each Bonus Stage contains one of the six letters that spell UNCOLA to collect. Each letter acts as a continue in the event of a Game Over, and if all six are collected before clearing the game, the player gets the good ending.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends on the beach; you start the first level with a 7-Up bottle directly behind you, and the end of the final level has another 7-Up bottle directly behind the final cage of the game. In fact, most of the game's level types are distributed symmetrically around the middle level: The second and second-to-last levels are the same type (pier stages), as are the third and third-to-last levels (inner wall stages) and the fifth and fifth-to-last levels (toy shop stages).
  • Bottomless Pits: Present in the each of the two pier levels. Some versions of the game also have one at the end of the train in the Loco Motive level. You also have the pool in the fourth stage, which spans the entire bottom of the stage and more or less counts as a bottomless pit as well.
  • Bouncy Bubbles: In this game, jumping on bubbles are used to give a vertical boost.
  • Cap: You can have no more than nine spare lives.
  • Checkpoint: Takes the form of flagpoles; walking past one raises a flag with your face on it.
  • Collect-a-Thon Platformer: In order to clear each level, Spot must earn a certain percentage of Cool Points by collecting red Spot coins and 7-Up logos found throughout. The amount required is greater on higher difficulties, with the goals being 30% on Easy, 60% on Normal, and 90% on Hard. Additionally, collecting enough Cool Points beyond the amount needed to clear the stage will allow Spot to play a bonus stage, with these goals being 75% on Easy, 85% on Normal, and 99% on Hard.
  • Cool Shades: Present on every Spot. Also seen on some of the toys in the background of the toy-themed levels.
  • Covers Always Lie: Cool Spot surfs on a soda bottle, and there are beach levels, but Cool Spot does not ride on a surfboard, and this is not a surfing game. Although he's shown surfing on the intro.
  • Edible Ammunition: In the "Off the Wall" and "Back to the Wall" levels, there are pajama-clad mice enemies that throw pieces of cheese.
  • Every 10,000 Points: Extra lives are awarded at every 50,000 points on Easy, every 75,000 on Normal, and every 100,000 on Hard.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Enemies include things like cheese-throwing mice in pajamas and toy chatter-teeth. Inverted in the sixth level, where nothing is trying to kill you.
  • Excuse Plot: You're a red Spot. You free other red Spots from cages that they're in for no obvious reason. What more is there to say? The actual story is described in the manual.
  • Finger Gun: Spot can shoot energy blasts from his fingers. The manual calls this attack the "Spot Cool Shot".
  • Flying Saucer: Are present not as enemies, as you might expect in this sort of game, but as platforms. They will tilt and drop you if you stand on them for more than a second, so be ready to jump.
  • Follow the Money: The collectibles are found throughout the level, some of which point where to go.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All Spots have these.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: If you shoot off a hermit crab's shell, it will be left in polka-dot boxers.
  • Hollywood Science: Leaving aside for the moment the fact that this is a game starring a piece of a logo, it features bubbles popping underwater. (Or rather, undersoda.)
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: You regain health by drinking (appropriately sized) bottles of the beverage whose (regularly sized) bottle you adorn.
  • Idle Animation: Spot can take off his shades to clean them, revealing his tiny black eyes.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The Goddamned Bats of the first and final levels are sand fleas that inexplicably shoot fireballs.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Possibly. See the example for Hyperactive Metabolism.
  • Life Meter: Cool Spot's life is referred as "his cool" (obviously) and is interestingly indicated by an icon showing a Cool Spot sticker that gradually peels off as the life percentage goes down.
  • Lily-Pad Platform: Present in the fourth level, "Wading Around", which takes place in a wading pool. Some of these have frog enemies on them that Spot needs to take out first.
  • Locomotive Level: The eighth level is entitled "Loco Motive", and given Spot's diminutive size, takes place on an electric train set.
  • Logo Joke: For the Genesis version, we have Spot jumping up and down inside the SEGA logo.
  • Luck-Based Mission: If you're really good at not getting hit this trope doesn't necessarily apply, but for the most part you can only earn life-energy power-ups by defeating enemies. But they don't appear in any kind of regular pattern. Sometimes you might find two in a row; sometimes you might defeat 20 with no power-up.
    • Unless you're playing on the hardest difficulty setting, in which downed enemies will NEVER belch out these items.
  • Macro Zone: Since you're the spot off the logo on a regular-sized soda bottle, all areas in the game are like this. A folding chair, for instance, takes up a large segment of the first and final levels, with a volleyball net taking up almost all of the background in the last stage.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Cool Spot just radiates Totally Radical attitude.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Um...duh.
  • Minsky Pickup: You hear this within the first five seconds of the Parade Tune (heard when rescuing a Spot, as well as on the Radical Rails level).
  • A Mischief of Mice: In "Off the Wall" and "Back to the Wall", there are pajama-clad mouse enemies who attack Spot by tossing pieces of cheese at him.
  • Mouse Trap: Found in the wall levels. Depending on which side you step on, they'll either fling Spot around or snap on him.
  • Mouse World: Cool Spot is the size of a spot on a soda bottle label, and operates in a world relative to such a scale.
  • Obstructive Foreground: Some spot tokens can be hard to find when they are hidden behind the foreground.
  • 1-Up: 1-Up tokens (which add lives) look very similar to the collectible 7-Up tokens (which each add seven Cool Points out of 100). These can also be earned at the end of every levels — including the Bonus Levels — as a result of having enough Cool Points and time remaining on each level's clock.
  • One-Steve Limit: Inverted, as the hero and his friends are all named Spot.
  • Palmtree Panic: The first and last levels are set on a beach.
  • Pixel Hunt: Sort of. It can sometimes not be obvious that certain hazards will actually hurt you and are not part of the background.
  • Product Placement: It stars the spot from the 7-Up commercials that were made at the time. Due to Fido Dido being the mascot for 7-Up in Europe, The European release had all 7-Up references removed (the 7-Up bottle had the logo removed, the 7-Up tokens replaced by red disks with checkmarks on them; the word Uncola is replaced by Virgin).
  • Red Is Heroic: All the Spots are red, including the protagonist.
  • Respawning Enemies: Present in the SNES version, but not the Genesis version.
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: Spot smashes an alarm clock with a hammer when you run out of time.
  • Rule of Seven: Spot starts each life with exactly seven hit points. As such, Spot will fall over after taking exactly seven hits (without the aid of health restoratives).
  • Silent Bob: Cool Spot doesn't talk outside of simple words like "Yeah!"
  • Smash to Black: Falling down one of the Bottomless Pits in the pier levels has the screen go immediately black along with the sound of Spot screaming.
  • Spikes of Doom:
    • Sea anemones are spiky balls found on the pier levels.
    • Nails and barbed wire fill this role within the wall levels.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: An enemy in Stage 7 can deflect Spot's attacks from the side when it spins.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: In addition to bubbles, jumping on a mousetrap makes the 7-Up logo jump high in the air. This works only once per mouse trap though.
  • Studiopolis: The sequel revolves around a Spot being trapped in a movie projector after floating around in Hollywood to a movie theater. The levels are based on a pirate movie, an Indiana Jones-style adventure movie, and a horror movie. The True Final Boss takes place in a Space Zone level called "It's Full of Stars", fitting for such a setting.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the kiddie pool level, falling in the water kills you. While falling off the pier levels counts as Bottomless Pits, considering there's likely nothing below you but water, this counts too.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: In the bonus stage, you suffer no ill effects whatsoever from being submerged in 7-Up.
  • Timed Mission: Every level — even the bonus levels — have time limits.
  • Totally Radical: Omnipresent, especially in the manual.
  • Toy Time: There are two levels that are strictly toy-themed, and toys form an important part of several other levels.
  • Video-Game Lives: Referred to in the manual, repeatedly, as "Cool Spot characters".
  • White Gloves: Found on all the Spots, and also present as pointers directing toward the end of the level and holding a timer as the item that gives you more time.

And notably averts:

  • Big Bad and Boss Fight: Conspicuous by their absence, in that they're practically a given in traditional platformers. You never even get a hint of who put your fellow spots in cages, let alone why.
    • All There in the Manual: The cages are set up by one "Wild Wicked Wily Will", who has been trying to prove for years that Spots actually exist.
    • Bosses are, however, present in the less famous Spot Goes to Hollywood.