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Video Game / Giants: Citizen Kabuto

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And you get to play all of them (sort of).

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a Third-Person Shooter video game with real-time strategy elements, released by Interplay Entertainment in 2000 for PC, with a Playstation 2 port the following year. It was the first game developed by Planet Moon Studios, who went on to make Armed and Dangerous and the Wii rhythm-action game Battle Of The Bands.

The cast features a group of quirky heroes and villains including:

  • The Meccaryns: high-tech, cockney, spaced-out space men.
  • Sea Reapers: A race of mostly blue skinned humanoid magic users.
  • Kabuto: a massive protector of the Sea Reapers who turned against them.
  • Smarties: the put-upon locals who provide most of the comic relief in the game and later serve as base builders in the RTS sections.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Timmy's father is abusive to his wife and Timmy, though it's played largely for Black Comedy. His first reaction to Timmy returning home after having been rescued from Smartie-eating "Rippers" is to slap him across the face and order him to get in and wash up the dishes. He also displays no concern when his son vanishes, in all likelihood having been kidnapped by the Sea Reapers, instead demanding only that his wife hurry up and feed him.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory of the Island is entirely hidden in the game's manual, and frankly it seems to have very little influence on the actual story of the single-player campaigns in general.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Kabuto and its Offspring both have a singular weak spot on their bodies which is more vulnerable to damage, inciting opponents to concentrate their fire there. This weak point just so happens to be between their legs, with the Offspring even having it defined as a very testicle-like set of glowing green stones.
    • The rare Chargers are enemies introduced starting from the first basebuilding level of the Meccaryn campaign, which can only be harmed by shooting them in their open mouth.
  • Big "NO!": The death of Timmy. He returns as a ghost for a last bit of comic relief, though.
  • Boldly Coming: What is Reg's first reaction upon crashlanding on an alien planet and being separated from the other Meccaryn? Why, get it on with local females!
  • Dirty Old Man: Grandpa Borjoyzee is initially tempted to abandon his grandson Timmy when he hears that planet Majorca is a tropical paradise world full of booze and beautiful women.
  • Domestic Abuse: Timmy's father may not beat his wife the way he does his son, but he's clearly very emotionally cold towards her. He literally demands that the Meccs retrieve her only because he's hungry and he refuses to cook his own food, and as soon as she returns, he orders her into the kitchen. Also, he literally forgot that she was kidnapped by the Sea Reapers a day ago until he realized he only had raw vimp meat to eat. Weirdly, he does seem to accept (or at least ignore) her affair with Reg, to the point he only interrupts her making out with Reg in the final cutscene because he wants his dinner.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Yan the Samurai Smartie is Delphi's instructor in the way of magic and guides her in launching her one-woman rebellion against Sappho. He's more then a little insane, though, and has this problems with portal exits...
  • Everything Fades: Or in this case, gets eaten. A horde of small insects crawls from underground and eats the whole corpse in seconds.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: Transformed Delphi finally finds Kabuto and whacks him one. Kabuto falls. Roll credits! Or...not, as Kabuto gets back up after Delphi is back in her normal form. You'll have to beat Kabuto after all - but you have to do it with a Mecc.
  • Fed to the Beast:
    • Timmy is offered up to Kabuto as the latest of monthly Human Sacrifice.
    • When Baz, Tel and Reg get captured trying to rescue Gordon and Bennet, Sappho orders them fed to a gargantuan eel-like Sea Monster. Luckily, Delphi saves them.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Downplayed. In the backstory in the manual, the Meccaryn ended up in orbit around the Island after their ship was eaten by a "Giant Gibbon Fish"; whilst they survived until they been passed through its digestive tract, their ship still took a fair amount of damage, which prompted them to descend to the Island in search of resources to restore it so they can resume their journey to planet Majorca.
  • Healing Factor: Delphi regenerates in water.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Baz can only carry three weapons, but one (the mortar launcher) of those can be nearly as big as him.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Made all the more annoying by the lack of a save feature. Many of these were fixed in later versions.
  • Interspecies Romance: Delphi and Baz
    • Also Reggie and Timmy's Mum.
  • It's All About Me: Literally the first thing that Timmy's dad says when the Meccaryn introduce themselves as looking for a missing friend is "Look at me! I'm starving!" before demanding they get him some food... and then that they get his wife to cook that food.
  • It's Personal: After they see Timmy get sacrificed to Kabuto, the Meccaryns declare that they are going to free the Smarties from Sappho's brutal reign to avenge Timmy.
  • Kaiju: Kabuto. Enormous, insanely powerful... And he grows even bigger and even more insanely powerful the more it eats.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Parodied with Delphi and Yan. The very idea of being Yan's daughter makes Delphi hurl. Repeatedly. Then it turns out she's not his daughter after all.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: One of items player can use is a brush, that hides player from the AI. They will still notice a bush that moves past them and follot it, but won't shoot at it.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Sonaks are enormous alien rhino-like creatures that can unleash sonic blasts as a wide-hitting projectile attack.
  • Mook Maker: One of Kabuto's abilities when he's big enough.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Delphi is quite a foil to Sappho in both personality and appearance. The Sea Reapermen are shown to be hostile jerks for the most part and frequent in-game Mooks, but seeing as one of them serves one of the Meccs a few drinks at a bar without much fuss, they may just be following Sappho's orders.
  • Neutral No Longer: Meccs are initially not interested in conflict between Smarties and Sea Reapers, only helping out in order to get what they need to leave and then to return the favor. After Timmy dies, they decide they are going to fight Sea Reapers.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example, but by their standards the Meccs are just ordinary people on holiday. By the standards of the Reapers and Smarties the Meccs are a Higher-Tech Species and are each a One-Man Army to boot.
  • Not Quite Flight/Super-Speed - The Sea Reapers' turbo ability.
  • Not Zilla: Big, mean, green, and from the ocean, Kabuto himself checks all the boxes. Interestingly, his apelike limbs and bony protrusions give him a marked resemblance to the infamous 'Kongzilla' statuette.
  • Oh, Crap!: "Oh, no! It's Kabuto!"
  • Plot Hole:
    • No explanation is ever given as to how Reg came to be separated from his buddies in the first place. In fact, it's not even mentioned that they are looking for a missing comrade until Baz and Tel reunite at the end of the second level.
    • How did Tel crash his ship so soon after dropping Reg out of it at the start of the game?
    • How did Timmy have time to steal Tel's jetpack and RPG launcher, then get back to the island where Reg meets him on the first level?
  • The Pollyanna: Timmy largely remains upbeat and happy in all situations, whether beaten, insulted or threatened. The one time his happy, pleasantly mannered attitude slips is when he realizes that the Smarties clinging desperately for their lives to rocks above a sea full of voracious predators are real and not wax dummies like he'd presumed. Even when he is seconds away from being eaten by Kabuto, his reaction is to turn to his grandfather and wave, with his Dying Words being a chipper "Hello, Grandfather!" In the final cutscene, he even tries to return as a ghost to reassure his parents that he's alright, despite implying he was sent to a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • The Quisling: Evil, blue-tinted Smarties who have thrown their lot in with the Sea Reapers appear in the single-player Kabuto campaign. This lets the player enjoy Kabuto's "eat Smarties to unlock full potential over stages" gameplay whilst also making sense from an in-universe character perspective; as the Kabuto you're playing is a transformed Delphi, who wants to help the Smarties, it wouldn't make much sense for her to run around smashing up their villages and eating them. Evil Smarties, though, are perfectly fine for her to munch on, seeing as she's shown no hesitation in slaughtering her fellow Sea Reapers up until this point.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After the Meccs set up their first base, a cutscene plays in which tutor-bot Toby ZX-81 realizes the Reapers are about to attack and then flees screaming, racing into the ocean until it sinks to its presumed destruction.
  • Sexy Dimorphism: Sea reaper females are modestly attractive blue humanoids, whereas sea reaper males are more monstrous looking and have only one eye. image to compare Emphasized with Delphi, who is basically a scantily clad Green-Skinned Space Babe, but blue.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The world on which the game takes place is called "The Island", but the actual topography of the world is made up entirely of islands, with each level usually covering at least two and sometimes more of them.
  • Shattered World: The game takes place on The Island, "a massive fragment of a long-lost planet".
  • A Space Marine Is You: Meccs.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Sacrifice.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Baz and later Delphi
  • Token Heroic Orc: Delphi is called out as being different to the otherwise evil Sea Reapers, which is why she gets to be a playable character.
  • Timmy in a Well: Inverted and parodied. You (as the Meccs) have to repeatedly follow Timmy down the well.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The game's story in the manual explains that Kabuto was bioengineered by the Sea Reapers as a Living Weapon to defend the Island from any possible threats, but eventually its status as a species-of-one caused it to go mad from loneliness and turn on them, driving them into the sea.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: From a TPS to an RTS to a racing game to a giant monster simulator.
  • Unexplained Accent: Despite being a alien island floating in space there are a variety of recognisable accents
    • The Meccs are British
    • The sea reaper men are German
    • Queen Sappho is French
    • Yan, the samurai Smarties is Chinese
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Timmy's father has absolutely no gratitude towards the Meccs for filling his empty larder, rescuing his wife from the brutal clutches of the Sea Reapers, or even trying to find his son, going so far as to threaten to set his dogs on them if they don't get off his land quickly... despite the fact he knows they have single-handedly wiped out all the Sea Reapers on Sorcha Island.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Think about it. One of the three playable factions involves a giant monster (hence the title) who increases in abilities by eating resources... and OTHER UNITS! Yes, even the ones which are human-controlled!
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: Played for laughs in Delphi's campaign; Yan initially attempts to talk Delphi out of fighting the Sea Reapers, until he realizes that Sappho has sent some of her troops to tear down his home. Then the enraged Yan teaches Delphi a fiery attack spell and orders her to go and burn them all to a crisp.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: RTS mode has two major resources, Smarties and either Vimp Meat or Souls, depending on if you are playing the Meccs or Delphi. Smarties act like power, in sense that once you have them, they stay with and build your buildings. Vimp Meat and Souls are Lumber, requiring player to periodically go out and hunt down packs, then bring the meat back to base so that Smarties will continue building. Kabuto, as a mobile base, instead needs to eat Smarties in order to mature to his full size, and can then eat Smarties in order to produce up to two Offspring.