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Video Game / Futurama

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You're a playable character!

Futurama: The Game is a 3D Platform Game/Third-Person Shooter created by Unique Development Studios, for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, released in August 2003, just two days after the initial final episode aired on Fox.

The story, written by J. Stewart Burns of the TV series, opens with Professor Farnsworth informing the Planet Express crew that, due to his poor business plan and their incompetence, he's had to sell the company to Mom. This immediately backfires when Mom, now owning 51% of Earth, is declared its supreme ruler, and promptly enslaves humanity. Now the crew must escape into space and find a way to undo the Professor's mistake.

The game was considered in continuity since it was written by David X. Cohen, the show's lead writer, though with the revival of the show it was probably rendered non-canonical for obvious reasons.

The cutscenes from the game (with all references to the work being a video game omitted) were later edited together into an DVD bonus feature on the Futurama movie The Beast With a Billion Backs, entitled "The Lost Adventure".

Futurama: The Game contains examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the final level, Fry obtains a railgun in one of Momcorp's puzzle rooms. The railgun is extremely powerful, can One-Hit Kill the robot mooks easily, and is also the only way to damage Destructor.
  • Action Girl: Leela gets to show off her Arcturan Kung Fu training.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The sewer mutants appear as enemies in Fry's early levels, when the ones in the show were not bad people at all.
    • For whatever reason, Fry murders the pawnbroker to get the engine back in the "Lost Adventure" cut.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: One level has Bender having to escape a giant boulder that threatens to crush him.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Each planet has you take control of a different character. First is Fry on Earth, then Bender on a desert asteroid, then Leela on the Sun, then Zoidberg in Bogad before finally switching between Fry, Bender and Leela in Momcorp.
  • Back from the Dead: The Extra Lives system is justified in-story through the use of the Professor's newest invention, the reanimator. To test it, Fry gets crushed under a tower of junk in the first level and is brought back to life (though not without seeing a Game Over screen first).
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Professor still sells Planet Express to Mom, making Fry, Leela and Bender's attempts to travel back in time to stop this All for Nothing.
  • Bag of Spilling: Over the course of his part of the game, Fry accumulates several Ray Guns that he can switch between at will. However, when the player regains control of him in Momcorp, he no longer has access to any of them and has also lost his hammer.
  • Bookends: The game begins and ends with Farnsworth saying "Good news everyone! I've sold Planet Express to Mom!"
  • Brick Joke: The sombrero. Farnsworth wearing it at first seems to be a throwaway gag, but the ending cutscene reveals that Mom offering the sombrero was how Farnsworth was persuaded to sell his company to Mom.
  • Chaos Architecture: The Planet Express hanger is not normally big enough to fit two copies of the delivery ship.
  • Chicken Walker: Fry steals one during the New New York level.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Farnsworth admits after informing Fry about the Re-Animator that he had invented the machine a week ago and ever since had made attempts to kill Fry solely to test the invention.
  • Comically Small Bribe: The Professor sells Planet Express, thus putting Earth under Mom's despotic rule, for... a sombrero.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Lampshaded during the opening cutscene:
    Morbo: With her recent purchase of Planet Express, evil entrepreneur Mom now owns over 51% of the Earth, making her its supreme ruler.
    Bender: Has anyone noticed how Fry always seems to turn on the TV at just the right moment?
  • Collection Sidequest: Each level has a certain number of Nibblonians in cages. Finding them all unlocks loading screen art, music and cutscenes.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Hermes can be found in the first level in his office with a brain slug on his head.
    • Also in the first level, Scruffy can be seen sleeping in the basement.
    • Zoidberg describes his (completely unexplained) appearance on Bogad as such.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Taken to extremes when the crew lands on the sun and they're just fine... as long as they don't touch the lava "floor"
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: Shows up in the factory level and at Mom's headquarters.
  • Covers Always Lie: Leela and Bender are shown wielding guns. During their playable segments, they fight entirely with melee attacks; Fry's the one who uses guns.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the "Lost Adventure" compilation, Fry shoots the pawnbroker to get the dark matter engine back instead of the pawnbroker willingly giving the dark matter engine back once Fry enters the pawn shop.
  • Death Course: A few levels approach the player having to get past a bunch of obstacles, but especially the Sun Temple.
  • Dem Bones: The skeleton robots are the main enemies fought in Sun City.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Hermes, a prominent character in the show, only makes a brief unvoiced cameo in one level.
    • Amy Wong doesn't physically appear and her only acknowledgement is through her locker being accessible in the first level at the Planet Express building.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Farnsworth fails to consider the ramifications of selling Planet Express to Mom; namely, that it would result in her owning enough of Earth to become its supreme ruler.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: After the boss fight against the Sun God, he admits that he isn't really a god and is just an ordinary eternal, omniscient, superintelligent being.
  • Down the Drain: Fry's second level, traveling underground to get to the pawn shop because the streets are filled with hover-bot death troopers.
  • Downer Ending: Fry, Leela, and Bender die for nothing and Farnsworth still sells Planet Express to Mom.
  • Easing into the Adventure: Fry's first level consists of him walking around the Planet Express office to find ship parts. his only weapon being a hammer.
  • Easter Egg: The game has several, the most notable perhaps being a literal Easter Egg hidden behind one of the walls in Planet Express. Other Easter Eggs include a hidden room in the Red Light District containing the game's developers as heads in jars, an appearance from Zero Wing's CATS on computer screens in Fry Fights Back, and others.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Farnsworth assumes that this isn't the case. In an Ironic Echo Cut, Morbo tells him otherwise.
  • Evil Laugh: Mom, who rather foolishly starts doing this before she gets Farnsworth to sign the contract.
    Farnsworth: Did I do something funny?
    Mom: No, I'm sorry; I should save my evil laugh 'til after you sign.
  • Final Boss: The final boss fought in the game is the robot Destructor, previously seen in the episode "Raging Bender".
  • Fission Mailed: In the first playable section, Fry tries to get a hammer out from under a two-tonne pile of dangerous rubble, which gets him crushed. GAME OVER. Cut to him waking up on top of the Reanimator.
  • Funny Background Event: At the end of Leela's level, the sun people ask them to come celebrate at their temple. Which Leela has, in the course of her adventure, set on fire, and can be seen burning away behind them.
  • Genre Roulette: The game changes genres with every character. While every character dabbles in platforming, Fry's gameplay is that of a third-person shooter, Bender's is a puzzle-platformer, and Leela's is a beat-em-up.
  • Ground Pound: Bender can perform a ground pound by attacking while in the air.
  • Heal Thyself: The playable characters use Slurm (Fry), Old Fortran or Mom's Old Fashioned Robot Oil (Bender), and Vitamins (Leela).
  • The Hero Dies: Fry, Leela and Bender all die at the end.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Professor Farnsworth. "Damn it Mom! No one kills my crew except for me!"
  • Idiot Ball: Bender fights Mom's various children, but never bothers to sabotage her ship while he has the chance, allowing her to catch up to Planet Express and capture the Professor, which he admits was a mistake.
  • I Have to Go Iron My Dog: Despite having an actual reason to get away, the Planet Express crew can't come up with a good one for leaving the Sun people.
    Leela: We've got a, uh, a thing.
    Fry: Yeah, that.
    Bender: CHEESE IT!
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Pretty much everything that comes out of Adoy's mouth.
    Adoy: Goodbye, heroes! I'll never forget you, whoever you were!
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: After arriving on Bogad:
    Fry: I can't imagine what kind of disgusting foul creatures we'll find here.
    Zoidberg: Hello.
  • Indy Escape: Bender's second level, "Run, Bender, Run".
  • Kent Brockman News: Morbo and Linda, as usual.
    Morbo: At the risk of editorializing, this reporter applauds the demise of the pathetic human species.
  • Killed Off for Real: Because of the Stable Time Loop, and the resurrection machine's destruction, there's no way to save Fry, Bender and Leela when they get killed after beating Destructor.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The opening has the Professor acknowledging that his business model of using one starship to deliver a single package at a time is a terrible one. He also calls out the crew for never actually charging their customers for the deliveries.
  • Laser Hallway: Lasers that are to be avoided show up in Mom's headquarters.
  • Loading Screen: The game uses in-universe advertisements, most of which can be glimpsed in the show.
  • Losing Your Head: Mom eventually decapitates Farnsworth and keeps his head in a jar to make him assist in her schemes against his will.
  • Mayincatec: Sun City is designed with Mayan and Incan aesthetics.
  • Medium Awareness: There are several jokes involving the characters being aware they're in a video game, mainly involving characters becoming playable.
    Bender: So now I can die and come back to life like Fry? (excited) Does that mean?
    Professor: Yes! You're a playable character.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: And for once, it's Zoidberg who delivers one of these.
    Zoidberg: It's so good to see you, my friends and the robit.
  • No Fourth Wall: The video game makes a lot of jokes revolving around the characters being aware that they're in a video game, such as Bender being overjoyed that he is compatible with the Re-Animator because this means he's a playable character. All such references are edited out in the "Lost Adventure" cutscene compilation included as a special feature on the Beast with a Billion Backs DVD.
  • No Such Thing as Space Jesus: After Leela defeats her Boss, the Sun God, he says, "You found me out... I'm not really a god... I'm just an ordinary... eternal, omniscient, superintelligent being."
  • Not Me This Time: Bender at the start of the game, when they see the damaged Planet Express ship. He insists he's not to blame for the destruction this time.
  • Percussive Maintenance: When supervising the repair of the ship, Farnsworth tells Leela to start banging on the control panel.
  • Pluralses: Sal's dialogue, to the point of "correcting" himself when he doesn't use it:
    Sal: Don't worries, I've gots an idea, I mean, an ideas.
  • Press X to Die: During the New New York levels, you can walk into a suicide booth and activate it.
  • Promoted to Playable: An invoked Medium Awareness Running Gag by Leela, Bender and Zoidberg.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Walt, Larry and Ignar are recurring nuisances Bender must face in his levels.
  • Sdrawkcab Name:
    • Adoy is Yoda spelled backwards.
    • Similarly, Adoy's planet, Bogad, is "Dagobah" backwards if you put a "ha" in front of it.
  • Series Fauxnale: The game was originally conceived as another possible series finale, as it ends with Fry, Bender and Leela's deaths. With the series being revived years later, the events of the game were pushed to Canon Discontinuity.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The reanimator gets destroyed, the crew get crushed by Destructor, and despite their warnings, Professor Farnsworth is talked into selling the company anyway with the offer of a sombrero. Return to the opening scene.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bender's gameplay harkens back to the Crash Bandicoot reference in that he primarily focuses on platforming and has both a Spin Attack and a Ground Pound. One level even involves him trying to escape a giant boulder, much like several levels from the second game. Zoidberg's brief gameplay role also heavily resembles the warthog levels from the first game.
    • At one point in Bender’s gameplay, he can wander onto an alien ship with a deceased creature that looks strikingly similar to a Space Jockey.
  • Snipe Hunt: Fry dies getting a hammer that Farnsworth asked him to look for, but after returning via the reanimator, Farnsworth admits that he only told him to find it to get him out of his "metaphorical hair".
  • Spin Attack: Bender's combat style has him spinning, and both he and Leela can use powerful spinning attacks provided they've collected a Charge Up powerup.
  • Stable Time Loop: The crew travel back in time to just before the Professor sold the company, swapping their damaged ship for the older one unnoticed (thus explaining why it was damaged at the start of the game). This neatly sets up the fact that there's nothing they can do to change the timeline.
    Bender: Now, if I understand time paradoxes, we're supposed to take the good ship, and leave the bad ship behind for the original us, right?
  • Stock Jokes: David X. Cohen loved the robots destroying themselves over accidental terminology so much, he reused those gags during the Comedy Central era.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Parodied with the Sun God Impostor, who is eventually revealed to actually be "just" a super-advanced all-knowing transcendent alien posing as a god instead of a "true" deity, with the joke being that is ultimately a completely meaningless distinction.
    Leela: Huh, you wouldn't think a god could be mortally wounded.
    Sun God Impostor: You found me out. I'm not really a god. I'm just an ordinary eternal omniscient super-intelligent being.
  • Take Over the World: Mom accomplishes this by buying Planet Express, then turns Earth into a spaceship and sets off to take over the universe.
  • Tempting Fate: After the reanimator is destroyed:
    Leela: Bummer. We'll just have to be careful not to die from now on.
    Bender: ...You had to say that!
    (Destructor falls on them.)
  • Theme Tune: The remix of the classic Futurama theme was reused for Bender's Big Score when Hermes took over the fleet weaponry.
  • Third-Person Shooter: Fry's levels are from a third-person perspective and have him shoot at his enemies.
  • Timed Mission: Zoidberg's level, "Bogad Swamp Trail" in which he has two minutes to get to each checkpoint while Leela cranks up Adoy's (mostly broken) time machine.
  • The Unfought: Despite being the Big Bad, Mom is never fought at any point in the game. The closest you get is a confrontation with her giant robot Destructor.
  • Video-Game Lives: The practice of playable characters being able to respawn a certain number of times after dying is justified in-universe by the Reanimator:
    Farnsworth: Every time you die, it will automatically make an exact duplicate of you, based on your x-rays, a DNA sample and some scrapings from the inside of your tennis shoes.
    Fry: Wow! When did you invent it?
    Farnsworth: About a week ago, and I've been trying to kill you to test it ever since.
  • The Voiceless: Hermes and Scruffy both make cameos in the first level, but do not speak. Justified in that Hermes has a brain slug on his head while Scruffy is asleep.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Leela's levels in Sun City, which ends with the crew earning enough dark matter to get to Bogad, but otherwise has nothing to do with Mom's plan.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: The Professor would never hit a lady, though that doesn't stop him punching Mom in the hip.