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Video Game / Dark Summit

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Mysterious military experiments are being performed on a ski resort. As an undercover snowboarder, your job is to expose and put an end to them. Fortunately, the military has a mole working on the inside to provide you with information on their shady doings, and give you objectives.

That's the plot of this rather obscure game by Radical Entertainment, released in 2001 for PS2/Xbox and 2002 for Nintendo Gamecube, and which combines snowboarding with adventure. You're not just snowboarding for the sake of it, you're trying to stop The Man!

The sports elements are all there - you can perform tricks, the courses are designed for you to try your hand at risky stunts, and you can string combos together. All these earn you experience points. The adventure elements come from the many mission objectives, the plot, the many secret areas and alternate routes on the mountain, and the "ski lift points" you collect by performing missions, which earn you higher positions on the mountain, as well as advance you farther in the game.

The game has a foreboding soundtrack to go along with the whole "mysterious conspiracy" theme, but it's played a bit tongue-in-cheek. Frequent loudspeaker announcements warn skiers not to go poking around where they don't belong, and there's a lot of animosity towards the game's rebellious snowboarder heroes.

This game provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Chief O'Leary may be an absolute unrepentant Fat Bastard, but don't think this means he's not qualified for the job. Best exemplified in one of the later missions where you have to race him to base camp. Even with you grinding rails, jumping chasms and shredding as hard as you can because your life literally depends on it, he's never any farther than just off-screen and he WILL overtake you and leave you in the dust if you make too many mistakes. If multiplayer is anything to go by, he's also pretty skilled at snowboarding when the situation strikes.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: After firing the Big Gun in one challenge, a follow-up task has you running away from an avalanche. But as the game does not have a rear camera, it is technically impossible to determine the distance between you and the avalanche. Bumping too much hard obstacles and falling into gaps several times will get you caught inside it.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: The premise of the "Apocalypse Cow!" mission which starts every time you exit the Moon Gate's alien half-pipe. You are tasked to destroy 10 cows which are larger than usual. Smashing one reveals that said "cows" have been turned into machines but nonetheless retains their "moo" sounds.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Earning experience points lets you buy extra accessories, such as a CD player, shades, and so on, as well as new outfits.
  • Bears Are Bad News: There's rumors about a man-eating bear on the higher parts of the mountain. You actually encounter it for one mission. Though it's not the bear that you have to worry about...
  • Bonus Stage: The Moon Gate Chairlift which is accessible from the menu after you reach it from the Helipad. It starts off with a ride down the alien half-pipe, where there is less snow and your board continuously accelerates and leaves a sparking trail behind. Every time you exit the alien half-pipe, you will always be prompted to start the "Apocalypse Cow!" mission even though you have completed it before. It is indeed a bonus chairlift separate from the rest of the game as the last bomb is located in the Helipad Chairlift.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Unlocking the other operatives can be a bit of a letdown since they each have to restart the story from scratch, re-unlock all the special moves and lack any extra costumes or boards like Naya had. On the bright side their default gear is equivalent to Naya's best gear right out the starting gate, making earlier missions a lot easier.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The sequence of unlocking different gear for your outfits typically goes "Eyeware>Music Player>Eyeware and Music Player" before unlocking the next outfit.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Drill Sergeant Dick, who you encounter in the mission where you have to feed the bear.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Like the And Your Reward Is Clothes entry, earning experience points allows you to automatically unlock new snowboards which can be equipped by Naya. For each new one that you unlock, her speed will increase and her "air time" will be longer. The final snowboard named "Prototype MG" gives the best stats and can be unlocked by having 2 million experience points.
  • Extreme Sports Plot: The military is running top-secret experiments at a ski resort. Who saves the day? Rebellious snowboarders!
  • Fake Longevity: You'll be traveling down the same long mountain (from one of four different starting positions, leading to different ending positions) many many times. Missions are found on the mountain, and since you can't backtrack for obvious reasons, you'll have to find new missions by going back to the start position and going down the mountain again. Slightly mitigated by the ability to check in to any of the other ski lifts to pre-emptively end your run without having to go all the way back down to base camp.
  • Fat Bastard: Chief O' Leary. In fact one of the early missions involves wrecking his lunch, which consisted mainly of a whole chicken roughly half the size of the player.
  • Government Conspiracy: What the 6 snowboarders are trying to uncover on the ski resort.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Even though you're only trying to expose the experiments and conspiracy going on at the ski resort, the other skiers don't like you and often shout things at you.
  • Made of Iron: Well, since this is an arcade sports game and that there are no health bars of sorts, this applies to all key characters. Your playable snowboarder can easily get back up in a matter of seconds after failing a jump dozens of feet high, or when failing a grind in the middle of a rail. The game also has bombs scattered in some places but they would only slow your snowboarder down.
  • Marathon Level: At one point near the end the chief gets tired of your snooping and decides to call someone in to kill you. You then have to race him to the base of the mountain in order to keep him from putting in the call. Seeing as you get this mission at the beginning of the Summit dropoff point and all the other dropoff points become disabled for use while the mission is on, this means you'll have nearly fifteen minutes of snowboarding ahead of you to get all the way back down to the very base of the mountain. Thankfully this mission is otherwise relatively easy if you know your way around the mountain, as you can't be eliminated through contact or by falling too far behind.
  • The Mole: Your missions are given by someone working at the ski resort.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: There's a variation of this that plays when a snow patrol mocks you during one of the final missions.
    Snow Patrol: You can't beat the Chief's grandma!
  • Not So Above It All: In the head-to-head versus mode, in addition to the five operatives, you can also play as Hans, Rachel, O'Leary, Dick and even some Slow Patrol mooks...all riding snowboards just as easily as anyone else.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: The snowboarding variety, although you do encounter skiers on it.
  • Potty Emergency: One mission is to reach an outhouse within a time limit.
    Voice: Did you try that chocolate bar Hans just gave you? It was a bar alright, but it sure wasn't chocolate.
  • Product Placement: of the Nokia kind. Any and all calls are made and received with a (then new) Nokia 2310 phone.
  • Rich Bitch: Rachel and her brother Hans.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: Beating the game with Naya unlocks the ability to replay the game with all the other operatives with that operative taking Naya's place in the story. Oddly, Naya doesn't fill in for their respective missions so you end up with double of your character instead.
  • The Voice: Whoever the military mole is that's giving you missions.
  • Weirdness Censor: Even with all the strange markings on the ground, big piles of radioactive waste, and many other things going on, the skiers don't seem to notice. And if they do, the loudspeakers tell them not to.
    Loudspeaker: That was just a weather balloon!
  • You Have Failed Me: After being beaten down and forced to spill information, Chief O' Leary ends up vaporized by his upper management, leaving nothing but his cap and goggles behind.