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Video Game / Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure

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Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure is an EGA platformer game for MS-DOS written by Apogee Software.

The eponymous alien's family is forced into an emergency landing on a planet, and when Cosmo goes to pass the time away from the ship while his dad is fixing it, he comes back an hour or two later to discover his parents are missing. When the player starts the game, it's up to them to find Cosmo's parents over the course of three episodes.

An interesting technical note about the game is that while it supports Adlib-compatible sound cards for music, it provides sound effects only through the PC speaker.

Tropes used in the game:

  • Bottomless Pits: Usually played straight. Subverted in episode 2, level 1, which eventually leads to a giant alligator-like monster thing.
  • Cliffhanger: Shareware games tended to love cliffhangers, and this is one of them. The end of episode 1 has Cosmo about to fall into a large pit, with messages saying that Cosmo is falling to his doom. Once he falls into hungry jaws, "Are Cosmo's cosmic adventuring days finally over?" The start of episode 2 simply has the maw lead to the next level.
  • Continuing is Painful: The game has infinite lives, but the levels have no checkpoints, and dying makes you lose all the bonus stars and collectables you have gathered in the current level.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of the full version of the game claims the dangerous planet the game takes place on is Earth. The planet decidedly isn’t Earth and isn’t even named other than being called the Forbidden Planet. Cosmo and his parents do go to Earth in the ending of episode 3, but the humans seem pretty okay with random aliens walking around.
  • Deadly Droplets: In some of the Eternal Engine levels, there are pipes from which droplets of toxic waste fall down. Cosmo must avoid them as he's exploring those segments.
  • Eternal Engine: Levels 7 and 8 in the first episode, level 5 in the second, and all levels after the second in the third, are full of dangerous machinery. The latter one's case is justified, as Cosmo manages to reach the industrial city where he can supposedly find his parents. These levels feature hazards like fire pistons, retractable spike traps, pitfalls that can only be crossed by toggling on certain mobile platforms, rockets that can take Cosmo at high spots but at the cost of harming him when they explode by clashing against a ceiling, and enemies like a Chrome Champion robot with an invisibility cloak and droids that shoot projectiles.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Cosmo, his parents, and presumably the rest of his race are normally naked.
  • Expy: This game was built with Super Mario Bros. in mind. Not only are enemies defeated by Goomba Stomping, but many enemies are obvious expies of ones from Mario as well, including Goombas, Boos, Thwomps, and even Thwimps.
  • Falling into the Plot: The second episode starts with Cosmo falling through a massive pitfall until he's swallowed by a monster. Luckily, Cosmo is still alive, so the next level is a Womb Level.
  • Ghastly Ghost: Blue Ghost enemies are Expies of Boos, and move towards Cosmo when he looks away from them. Destroying them turns them into a smaller weak ghost that hops up and down repeatedly.
  • The Goomba: The Red Chompers, the small red enemies, just walk around and are defeated by a single stomp. The "blue meanie" looking ones with the parachutes are called Blue Balls and require two pounces.
  • Goomba Stomp: The player's primary attack is to jump on enemies' heads. Most enemies are defeated with one stomp, but others can take more before kissing the canvas. The largest non-boss enemy will only go down after seven.
  • Harmless Enemy: Zigzagged with the Purple Worms. They crawl around and don't do any damage normally, but stepping on them causes them to melt into a puddle of bubbling goop, which damages Cosmo if he steps in it. Levels tend to stick groups of them together with other enemies as a distraction and possibly making the player step on them.
  • Heart Container: Hamburgers increase your hit point capacity by one. They're very rare; Cosmo starts with a capacity of 3 and can only go up to 5.
  • Hover Board: A few levels in the first and third episodes have each a high-tech scooter with luminous green lights that allow the eponymous alien to freely travel in the air (it helps that the scooters work entirely with anti-gravity). They're absent in the second episode, however.
  • I Fell for Hours: The first episodic game ends as Cosmo falls through a tall, spiky hollow until he approaches the maw of a hungry monster. It ends with a cliffhanger, with the game wondering if Cosmo will avoid being eaten, then teasing the next episodic game. Episode 2 starts with this very level, and shows that Cosmo is indeed eaten... which means level 2 is a Womb Level, so the game progresses normally from there.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Hypercubes have this function, encasing Cosmo into a smooth force field that negates all forms of damage minus falling into a pit. They're formally introduced in the seventh level of the first episode, but a hidden one can be obtained in the second.
  • Invisible Monsters: A type of robot which will shove you around. Pouncing on them makes them visible before they're defeated.
  • Kaizo Trap: Inverted due to a bug in the second episode. Cosmo has to climb to the highest part of the last level to reach an open cavity in the ceiling and thus finish the quest. If the player dies near that high point, the character's death animation will begin as his soul rises to the heavens. Since reaching the top happens to be the goal of the level, the game will successfully end as if he had reached there alive.
  • Level Goal: Across all three episodes, there are three types of levels: Those which end when Cosmo touches the exit sign (even if the exit isn't placed directly in front of what would be theorietically a path leading to another location, as seen in the bonus levels which have multiple exit signs and just touching any of them will conclude the levels), those which end when he uses a warp machine that isn't connected to another within the same level, and those where he is eaten by a monster (a plant in Level 4 of the first episode, and a crocodile-like orange monster in the other instances).
  • The Lost Woods: There are a few levels set in forests, but the fourth level of episode 1 best exemplifies this trope, with its creepy-looking trees (with eyes looking out of them), ghosts that only move when Cosmo turns his back, and a thunderstorm.
  • Mook Maker: The first episode has pods that spit parachuting monsters into the sky. Interestingly, the pods themselves are Helpful Mooks, which are happy to spit Cosmo himself up into the air to reach items and platforms that would otherwise be out of reach.
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: None of the levels in the second episode have bosses, and the first and third only have a Final Boss (and it's the same in both cases).
  • Parents in Distress: The reason for the adventure is that Cosmo's parents have disappeared, presumably kidnapped.
  • Pipe Maze: Level 5 in Episode 1, as well as Level 5 in Episode 3, both have teleporting green tubes that take the eponymous character through different portions of the playable area. They're one-way only, though it's not a problem since it's impossible to get stuck (at worst, you'll have to do some extensive backtracking if you flub your route).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The flying slugs. They are not only adorable, but should be observed carefully as they can show you the right way to go. Try not to blow them up, since you can instead get bonus items by touching them.
  • Satiating Sandwich: Two per game, each one giving you an additional hit point.
  • Shareware: The first episode can be freely distributed, unlike the second and third.
  • Shout-Out: The default high scores listing is names of characters from The Simpsons.
  • Sound Test: The episodes have a sound test accessible from the main menu, which also includes sound effects.
  • Spikes of Doom: Some are stationary, while others continually retract into the walls and then come out again. They can usually be removed with bombs.
  • Stalactite Spite: Applies to some of the short yellow spikes.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The player's secondary attack is to drop bombs with a short fuse. They're in limited supply, and sometimes require careful timing, but they're much more powerful than jumping on things.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The first level of episode 2 is just a giant gradually narrowing pit which leads to a giant monster. The first level of episode 3 takes it farther, requiring you to walk straight into a monster's mouth to continue to the next level.
  • Title Theme Drop: The game's title screen theme is actually Tush by ZZ Top, and is also played on level 10 of the first episode.
  • Tube Travel: Via the green pipes, which, oddly, look too thin for Cosmo to fit. Cosmo will grab any items along the way as well, somehow.
  • Unexpected Art Upgrade Moment: The endings of each episode, especially episodes 1 and 2, use this. Episode 1's is used for cliffhanger shock value (as this was a Shareware title, so you needed to buy the rest of the series to see the conclusion). Episode 2's, however, is more on the "call-to-adventure" side, as it shows a detailed image of Cosmo looking out over a nighttime vista. Subverted in Episode 2 & 3, though, in that the title screen is the image that uses high-resolution versions of Cosmo and some of the enemy characters.
  • Underground Level: Levels 5 and 10 in the first episode take place inside a gray, labyrinthic cavern with plenty of minerals as collectible items. The former level has some stone enemies that attempt to crush Cosmo whenever he's close to them (similar to the Thwomps of Super Mario Bros. fame), as well as some spears attached to walls that periodically stretch downward. The latter level is more open-ended in its design, and houses the boss of the episode. The first and second episodes also feature Slippy-Slidey Ice World variants, where certain walls have lower friction and make Cosmo go down even when he's attached to them with his arms' suction cups. The third episode, which predominantly takes place in an Eternal Engine citadel, averts the trope.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Some levels contain a Mook Maker plant that will swallow the player and spit him out again. If you bomb it while you're inside, you're stuck and will have to load a saved game.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The ubiquitous eye plants do nothing but watch your progress; they're completely harmless. Naturally, you can get large scoring bonuses by blowing up every one you find. They even reward you by replacing the bomb you used. (Blowing up multiple eye plants at once will let you gain on the exchange.)
  • Wall Crawl: Using Cosmo's suction hands, you can repeatedly jump and stick to walls to scale them. This was the first time this was seen in a video game. You slide down ice walls, but it's still possible to get up them.
  • Wall Jump: The eponymous character is equipped with suction cups in his hands, allowing him to not only jump between walls but also stick to them. Icy walls will slowly make him descend, as will certain metallic setpieces in the last regular level of the first episode. The special magenta walls that appear in the Bonus Stages cannot be attached to in any capacity, so the trope is averted in those levels.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: If Cosmo dies from anything other than falling off the screen, he wears a toga, wings, halo and carries a harp, and flies off.
  • Womb Level: The inside of the orange monster in the second level of the second episode, and the second of the third.