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Video Game / Cubivore

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It's a block-eat-block world.

Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest is a very odd game released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, where you play as an animal who eats other animals in a law-of-the-jungle world. The game was originally developed for the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive before shifting to the standard N64 and finally the GameCube, the reason for its low-res cubic art style (in fact, a leaked prototype of the N64 build is virtually identical to the GameCube release barring the console logo and controller buttons). A Cubivore is basically an animal head with strategically positioned flaps of limbs called meat stuck to either its body or other meat flaps.

You, a Cubivore, recall a past you never saw or heard but still remember in great detail.

Once upon a time, many colorful beasts called Cubivores lived and died, ate and were eaten all across the world, and the world was bursting with Wilderness.

However, a group of colorless beasts began to work in unison and devour the beasts, along with the wilderness, storing the wilderness in augmented limbs called Raw Meat, which gave them great power. The leader of these colorless beasts was called the Killer Cubivore, and had six pieces of Raw Meat. He set out to devour every bit of the world's wilderness and render the land lifeless.

Then, you're born, and you start to eat things.

The primary mechanic of the game involves collecting combinations of colors, which allow the player's Cubivore to mutate into different color-coded species with different abilities. These combinations start out as light or dark solid colors or mixed light and dark, but progress to "Rage" colors which require different mixing principles to form "Clash" species. The goal of the game is to obtain 100 different mutations and confront the Killer Cubivore to restore Wilderness and life to the world.

On the way, the player would battle the colorless beasts, who held the Wilderness in their Raw Meat. Devouring them allows the player to progress to the next area, and also allows them to mate, producing more powerful offspring with more limbs. Of course, the game started you off with one limb, then up to six.

The sister game to the popular Animal Crossing (which was also first developed for the 64DD, but actually saw a Japan-only release for the standard N64 before being ported to the GameCube), Cubivore never caught on like its counterpart. Plans for an official localization from Nintendo were dropped, leading Atlus to swoop in and localize it in their stead, making the first time a game developed by Nintendo being published outside Japan by another company.

This Game Provides Examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The manual provides an in-depth explanation of Cubivore biology. If you don't have the manual, or haven't read it, you won't know how a Cubivore lives with only a head and flaps of muscle too thin to hold organs.
    • The "head" of a cubivore is really their entire body, containing their stomach and other digestive and nervous organs, and don't have a heart. The movement of their meat flaps functions as a blood pump, hence why all cubivores have an idle animation of them moving somehow. Color in limbs is based on what sort of five kinds of blood runs through it.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Wilderness.
  • The Artifact: The game's blocky, low-res art style was a result of the Nintendo 64's hardware limitations, but development being moved to the much more powerful GameCube made this choice in art style moot.
  • Big Bad: The Killer Cubivore.
    • At least, until you become him.
    • The real Big Bad constantly changes due to more powerful beasts taking the title. You fight the former Killer Cubivores, the District Attorney Beast and the Hitman Cubivore, as the Climax Bosses of the Bear and Bird arcs. By the time you reach the Killer Cubivore, it's the most powerful possible beast in the game, a Zen. In the same vein, this implies that the Scoutmaster Beast, the final boss of the Pig arc, may have been the previous King of the Cubivores that was deposed in the prologue.
  • Black Blood: These are definitely not vertebrates, so it makes sense.
  • Bleak Level: They are white and desolate until you restore Wilderness to them, either by defeating the boss or eating small bugs that carry Wilderness.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Once you obtain all 150 Mutations you get locked out of the main game and can only play in the bonus stage, which has nothing for you to do except kill non-hostile beasts. All 150 mutations become EZ-Mutable, but you're stuck with 6 limbs anyway, so only 25 of them really matter.
    • The "Realistic Textures" you get after 100% completion. Not only does it look ugly as sin, there's no way to turn it off short of deleting your save file.
  • Boss Battle
    • Boss in Mook Clothing: Considering that every single boss is some sort of species, chances are that you'll see plenty of normal, colored beasts exactly like them sans Raw Meat or silvery appearance.
    • Dual Boss: Provides the page quote.
    • Duel Boss: While the Killer Cubivore has the four Divibeasts fighting alongside him, you can take those four out without aggro'ing the Killer Cubivore at all, since he stands away from them. Once they're gone the fight becomes this, in that you can only defeat the Killer Cubivore one limb at a time despite your fangs and must remove ALL limbs rather than just the one containing Raw Wilderness, but at the same time he can only hurt you one limb at a time, as opposed to all other enemies who will gladly rip off two or three pieces of meat if they have the fangs for it.
    • Flunky Boss: At least one of the enemy killer cubivores.
    • Wolf Pack Boss: A few, most notably at the end.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Cubivore have species names of common animals that they clearly are not.
  • Cartoon Creature: They never tell you what kind of bird you are in chapter 3, your species is simply "a bird".
  • Chick Magnet: You become this when you enter the Mating Tunnel with a new piece of Raw Meat.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Everything in the game.
  • Competitive Balance: Averted. While each of the five different colors has specialized stats they excel in, there is still a progression of power from one color to the other in overall stats. True, Yellowbrates, the weakest color, have the most attack and defense, but their other stats are as low as they get, whereas Greyodons, the strongest form, excel even in their weakest stats.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: If you're in a powerful enough form, you can smack around a few bosses so easily it's pathetic.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: If you are in a weak form, such as pale red, and the thing you're trying to kill and eat is pure dark or more intense and equal or superior to you in number of limbs, you'll have to rely on chip damage to bring them down since the gaps in power are so great.
  • Double Standard: The male goes out and kills monsters to get bigger, then selects a random female to mate with him. Of course, that doesn't really matter, because all the females are dying to have sex with the male who has the highest status and is the most manly.
  • Exposition Fairy: Considering nothing else in the game even speaks or does anything but try to eat you or run away, you happen to control an example of one.
  • Extreme Omnivore: If it moves, or grows, you can and will eat it.
  • Eating the Enemy: to defeat an enemy you must eat them.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Between each arc is a small tutorial level set in the Cubivore afterlife. Islands up in the clouds are joined by rainbows, and all the creatures have halos attached to their head by a stick.
  • Fragile Speedster: Redapeds. Their jumps are so great that they can dance around anything if one knows how to use them. That, and some dive bomb when the pounce, becoming a bullet made of meat. Many moves are highly telegraphed though, which can lead to a real beating if not careful.
  • Generation Xerox: Every time you mate your character dies and you start playing as their son with the same consciousness.
  • Glass Cannon: Blueocytes, which have great attack power and illogically cool long ranged pounces, but are weak otherwise. Some species have their heads positioned sideways so that they can circle their prey.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collecting mutations is the driving game mechanic. If you don't get one hundred mutations by the end of the bird lap, you're sent back to the pig lap for a second run until you get one hundred forms.
  • Healing Spring : Many levels have these.
  • High-Pressure Blood: When you do an Eat n' Run, instead of bleeding a little like when limbs are normally ripped off, the victim's head spirals into the air with a geyser of purple blood that does not stop bleeding until the head decomposes.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Your character loves to make stupid puns based on its current species (not mutation form, rather, the appearance of its head).
  • Interactive Narrator: In the story as presented in the instruction manual:
    A long time ago in a certain place, there was a land filled with Wilderness.
    Hmmm. I see. Then how about this...?
    A long time ago in an uncertain place, there was a land filled with Wilderness. It is an uncertain place because I am uncertain where it is.
  • Interspecies Romance: Whenever your character mates, there are numerous species of cubivores in their harem.
  • Jack of All Stats: Purpials, considering that their stats are mostly balanced and are unremarkable save for their reverse stats, which allow them to go great speeds without becoming exhausted.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Greyodons. So much so, that the entire boss cast (except for one section) of the bear lap are dark Greyodons.
  • Mega Manning: Aside from taking the colorations from each enemy you eat, the bosses carry Raw Meat, which is obtained from them on consumption. There are 6 different kinds, plus a sort of seventh one.
    • Chameleon Camouflage: Raw-Snout.
    • Chick Magnet: While any Raw Meat will make you this, the Raw-Life will attract the Consu-mate to you, thus ending that particular lap of the game and starting the next one. Suffice to say, any boss carrying the Raw-Life is essentially the final boss of that particular arc.
    • Defend Command: The Raw-Bone.
    • Do Not Run with a Gun: Averted by the Raw-Claw. It allows you to lock on and pounce even while moving.
    • Plot Coupon: The Raw-Wilderness does not bestow any abilities upon you when eaten, though like the others it is concentrated Wilderness. It is simply held by all the final bosses to remind the player that they're fighting them to free the last of the Wilderness.
    • Status-Buff Dispel: Averted, the Raw-Peeper makes it so that even if a foe tears off one of your limbs, you retain the Raw-Meat ability that would have been on it. So in effect, having the Raw Peeper basically means you have every ability twice.
    • Videogame Dashing: The Raw-Paw.
  • Mighty Glacier: Yellowbrates, which are often painfully slow but powerful and have a nigh-impenetrable guard.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted! "Taking a doo" is a valid gameplay action that helps with mixing colors at the later levels.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: A Scare Chord plays whenever you take a teleporter.
  • 100% Completion: Once you've beaten the game, you may return to obtain all 150 possible mutations. Do so at your own risk, however.
  • Out with a Bang: The Consu-mate's way of mating with males is to eat them alive.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Averted for most things, but there is one minor Easter Egg of sorts that can be missed. The game takes you to the final boss battle once you have defeated the Hitman Cubivore and obtained 100 Mutations. If you complete the former before the latter, you'll be taken to redo levels until you reach 100. If you complete the latter before the former, a very difficult task unless you specifically go out of your way to avoid eating certain things and to eat things in specific orders instead of randomly, then your Cubivore's head gets an aesthetic upgrade to resemble a more realistic animal's head, albeit still cubic, and the completion screen lists your 100th form as the "True" King of Cubivores, with a much larger crowd of animals gathered around you.
  • Phlebotinum Overdose: Your character eventually holds so much wilderness in his body, he begins to go feral.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Hajime Tachibana of the Japanese new-wave band Plastics is the game's composer.
  • Portmanteau: The title creatures take their name from combining Cube and Carnivore / Herbivore.
  • Production Foreshadowing: A model from the game appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, its origin cryptically stated as "Future Release".
  • Rainbow Speak: Whenever your character talks about certain colors of species, their species name is colored appropriately.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: Among them are...
    • Intangible Man: The red Divibeast can turn invisible, preventing you from attacking it..
    • Make Me Wanna Shout: Several Bluocyte bosses, the blue Divibeast, and the Killer Cubivore once on his last leg (literally).
    • Rolling Attack: While the yellow-form player and several Yellowbrates can use this, the yellow Divibeast gets a longer and more controlled one than the player is allowed.
    • Rubber Man: The Pursesnatcher Cubivore can extend its legs to dodge your attacks.
    • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Two Purpial bosses, the purple Divibeast, and again the Killer Cubivore once down to his last limb.
  • So Last Season: Beastruction is hyped up to be the most powerful form you can take and, while it can get through the end game, you'll have had the opportunity to find even stronger forms by then.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: One level in the Bird lap has a level filled with six-limbed Clash Greyodons. You only have three limbs at the point. Even ignoring that they'll tear you to shreds in seconds if they catch you, you can't even hurt them.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: Although not directly said, it's heavily implied that the other Cubivores are sapient.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Kind of not the case, weaker enemies usually try to escape you if the situation is obvious and packs will break off if they see you do a lot of damage.
  • Theme Naming: Each color/intensity combination has its own naming scheme. For example, Pale Greyodons are all named after haircuts, and PaleDark Redapeds have gun names.
  • Time Skip: Implied to happen when the Consu-Mate eats you.
    • During these time skips, the Big Bad also changes, since the original Big Bad has been kicked down in rank to be the District Attorney Beast in the Bear Lap, and at the end of the Bird Lap, it is mentioned that the Hitman Beast was recently the Killer Cubivore before being usurped in rank before you got to him.
  • Turns Red: The Killer Cubivore straddles the line between this and Clipped-Wing Angel. After being reduced to only one limb, he gets a full health restore (As opposed to most beasts only regaining a portion of their health after losing a limb) and begins utilizing long-range roar attacks and deflective spins.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Boyscout Beast, as a Bluocyte, has an impressive pouncing range, and can take off a large amount of your health with just one pounce. It can also duck into the water to hide, should it feel threatened, making damaging it difficult.
  • Warrior Poet: Your character frequently composes poetry about killing, eating, and mating. As you progress through the Bird Lap, your character gradually dispenses with the poetry and replaces the rhymes with screams of bloodlust.
  • You Are Who You Eat: How mutating works.
  • Weird Moon: For starters, it's cubical.
    • To be more specific, it's cubical with a picture of a circular moon on each face. And it audibly pops up into the sky, near-instantly making it nighttime.