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Video Game / Glover

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Once upon a time, a wizard ruled over a peaceful land. He spent his time cooking up potions atop his tower with the aid of his magical gloves, until one day, he mixed up the wrong ingredients and caused the brew to blow up in his face. This caused him to become encased in stone and fall backwards through the floor, while each of his gloves flew off in individual directions. One of the gloves flew out the window and lands outside, and here we have The Hero, Glover. Unfortunately, the other glove ended up falling into the cauldron, and emerged from it a sickly green color with red eyes, becoming the Big Bad, Cross-Stitch.

At the same time, the Crystal Balls that rested atop the spires of the tower flew from their positions. Glover freaked upon seeing this, and prevented them all from shattering by utilizing his magic power to turn all of them into rubber balls. They each bounced into warps surrounding the castle that led to various, malevolent locations. Now it's up to our animated handwear to retrieve the crystals, defeat Cross-Stitch, bring the wizard back to life, and restore peace to the land.

Developed by Interactive Studios (later renamed Blitz Games) and released for the Nintendo 64 and PC in late 1998, it also had another version that was released for the PlayStation in 1999, but unfortunately it turned out to be a Porting Disaster. The game had very mixed reviews citing a horrible camera (even for its time), bad level designs, and lackluster controls. It's a quirky platformer that requires actually using the Macguffins to solve puzzles and work contraptions. It also tended to be one huge Escort Mission, as if the Crystal Ball breaks or pops in any shape or form, you lose a life. A modern re-release for Windows was released on April 20, 2022. A re-release for modern consoles was announced on October 28, 2022.

On that note, a sequel was planned to be released in 2000, but never got past the development stages. See the prototype here.

This game contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the PS1 FMV opening, Glover's brother deliberately causes the mix-up that turns him into Cross-Stitch, whereas in the N64 opening, the mix-up was an accident.
  • All There in the Manual: The names of the bosses (Wendell, Klonk, Spanky, Keith, Franky, and Ratchett and Krank) are only revealed in Nintendo Power's article on the game.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The PS1 port is much more generous with tutorials on the games mechanics and controls than the N64 and PC versions, and also allows you to upgrade your heart meter over time.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The crystal ball form of the Macguffin is cool and grabs you extra points if you collect Garibs with it, but it's also extremely fragile and impossible to dribble or hit.
    • One of the cheat codes gives you a secret fifth ball in the shape of one of the enemies of the current world. The stats of the ball vary, but most of them have cripplingly-low health. The only exception might be the balloon elephant from the Circus world, which can get you up pretty high but is also a freaking huge target.
  • Badass Adorable: Glover is a cute magical glove who happens to beat up monsters many times his size whether it be by himself or with one of his different balls, he even saved his world/kingdom from falling into a haunted wasteland by returning all of the the crystals and saving his Wizard Master from being a statue forever and Cross-Stitch from being evil.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Cross-Stitch does so after he casts any type of magic and Glover does so whenever he does something he thinks is awesome.
  • Bee Afraid: Especially ones that shoot exploding stingers that send you and your ball flying about 100 feet away (not exaggerated).
  • Bewitched Amphibians: An inversion. You can cast the frog spell on witches, but they will reverse the spell right back at you.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Fortress of Fear.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: While the game's Time Trial mode is a welcome concept considering the game records your best times for each level, the pause menu does not allow you to quickly warp to a previously visited checkpoint like it does in the Main Game, offering a "Restart" option instead. Since checkpoint-warping can be beneficial to speed-running on some levels, and best times for levels get recorded during the Main Game just as they do in the dedicated Time Trial mode, it is possible to set records in the Main Game that become impossible to match up against when you play in Time Trial mode.
  • Bonus Stage: Collecting every Garib in all three levels of a world unlocks a bonus level, where the point is to collect... even more Garibs. They're necessary for 100% Completion.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • Atlantis has a bonus level that is a Frogger homage, and it is very hard to beat due to the stiff jumping controls of the frog you play as combined with an instant failure if you touch the water. Its easily the hardest level in the entire game. The PS1 port outright replaces it with a much easier timed race set at an Atlantean pyramid.
    • Prehistoric has a very tricky bonus level where you play as the Ball itself and evade a wall of lava behind you. The ball controls are slippery and your view ahead is very limited, and the lava wall moves fast and gives you very little room for error as it kills you instantly upon touching. The PS1 port makes it easier by slowing down the lava and removing the instant kill.
    • While the Fortress of Fear bonus level isn't as hard as the previous two, it has a very tight time limit that gives you just barely enough time to grab all the Garibs spread throughout a maze. The slippery ball controls and bouncy physics combined with the tight maze corridors make it very easy to slip up and waste valuable time, too.
  • Cain and Abel: Cross-Stitch is the Cain to Glover's Abel, this makes sense since they both have the same Wizard Master who wears them on his hands when he needs help with Magic and Spells.
  • Character Title
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: The clown boss's baggy pants slip down each time you hit him.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Normally you can push the ball around with your hand. If you enter deep water with the rubber ball, you jump ontop of the ball, but the movement direction is reversed.
  • Distressed Dude: The Wizard, Glover's Wearer, Master and Owner, who Glover has to rescue and only by returning all 7 Magic Crystals can Glover save the Wizard.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: You can't unlock or play the Bonus Stages on Easy.
  • Escort Mission: As mentioned. In order to clear a stage, you have to bring the ball to the goal with you, which is of course always harder than simply walking there.
  • Evil Hand: Cross-Stitch, the Evil Counterpart of Glover.
  • Evil Laugh: Cross-Stitch gets a hell of a good one here.
  • Finger Gun: The antagonist and protagonist each make one whenever they use magic.
  • Fisher King: A variation. While the Wizard himself doesn't maintain the balance of the world, the Seven Crystals on the spires do, and his being transformed into stone causes them to scatter. The instant they fall, the happy, cheerful world is reduced to a reddish, lifeless hellscape. As Glover returns each crystal to the cave where the Wizard is trapped, the world slowly begins to heal itself—damage comes undone, the red mist dissipates, the sky changes back to blue, and life is gradually restored. Downplayed in the PS1 version: While the sky is still red, the world still largely looks intact.
  • Flat Character: Glover is as flat as cardboard in personality.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The wizard had them and as a result, Cross-Stitch and Glover each have four limbs.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Another boss who required you to perform some serious platforming in order to electrocute it without getting zapped yourself.
  • Gasshole: In the overworld, there's a chicken on a swing that would either fart, hiccup, burp, or cluck. This makes up a series of cheat codes.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Cross-Stitch has no real motivation or clear reason for wanting to stop Glover, or even much of a goal beyond wanting the kingdom to stay a Crapsack World without the crytals for whatever reason. The PS1 version implies that Glover’s brother intentionally caused the accident in order to become Cross Stitch but fails to explain why he did so.
  • Glove Slap: Not a textbook example, but Glover, who is a glove, does this to hit the balls across pits and onto higher platforms.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Polka-dot boxers can be seen on the clown boss in the carnival levels whenever you injure him.
  • Gravity Screw: In Out Of This World, as expected, you can jump really high. Necessary in the first stage, at least, where bouncing on the rubber ball can give you some extra height.
  • Groin Attack: In the games commercial, the Bill Rizer ersatz gets Glover's ball thrown where the sun doesn't shine. It hits so hard, steam comes out of his ears and he keels over on the spot.
  • Ground Pound: Glover can do them and they double as power fists since he's, well, a hand.
  • Guide Dang It!: A few of the Garibs are extremely well hidden or require logic defying ways of getting to them in certain levels;
    • Atlantis Act 2 and Prehistoric Act 1 have garibs hidden behind certain walls that give no indication at all that you can smash through them with the bowling ball.
    • Carnival Act 3 requires you to smash a barrier of clown teeth with the bowling ball to make the garibs appear. The teeth hurt you on contact, and because you have to throw the bowling ball in a precise way to smash the teeth, it can give the impression that they can't be broken at all.
    • Prehistoric Act 3 probably has the nastiest case of this—to make a few garibs appear, you have to trick a lady triceratops into running into a nearby tree. The sole hint the game gives you is the imprint of a heart on the tree (the lady triceratops enemies get heart-shaped eyes when chasing you), so the only way an average player will discover those garibs is through sheer dumb luck while trying to avoid the triceratops.
    • Fortress of Fear Act 2 has some Garibs floating out of reach at the beginning, and it requires the player to find out you can push a bookcase out of the way to access a ball switch that makes the garibs fall.
      • Holding a certain button will make Glover point to the nearest Garib (or the ball, you can switch between the two), which while not outright giving you the solution will greatly narrow the location down. This isn't without a Guide Dang It! of its own, however: if the Garibs need to be spawned (like the lady triceratops example above), Glover's response is to point erratically in all directions, the function of which is not explained in any official material nor does it give you any additional hints, forcing you to comb the entire level for the obscure secret. Fortunately this only happens in two or three levels.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: A lot of the games levels range from tricky to hard, especially if you're trying to collect all the Garibs. The boss fights (sans the Frankenstein fight) are a cakewalk in contrast.
  • Hostage Spirit-Link: Popping the ball in any given level kills Glover.
  • Humongous Mecha: The final boss fight between you and Cross-Stitch involves two of these.
  • Idle Animation: If Glover is without the ball, he will lie down and drum his fingers or wave to the camera. When Glover has the ball, he will gently bounce it or lie down and roll it on his "legs" like a circus act.
  • Instant Bandages: If the rubber ball is damaged by an enemy, it receives an instant bandage cross, which remains even when the ball is transformed. These are actually a form of hidden UI: the ball has three hit points, just like Glover, and if the ball gets damaged when it already has two bandages on it, it will burst and Glover will lose a life.
  • Last Lousy Point: You will start ripping your hair out trying to find every last Garib.
  • Left-Handed Mirror
  • Minimalist Cast: There's only Glover, Cross-Stitch, Mr. Tip, and the wizard.
  • Monster Clown: The boss of Carnival. Humorously enough, you kill it with a spring boxing glove, a bomb, and a Piano Drop.
  • Nintendo Hard: It starts out fairly easy, but the difficulty ramps up very quickly.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Glover is not very big, being handsized, but he has defeated Monsters and Bosses pretty Handily. Not bad for a little glove.
  • Power Fist: Glover's Ground Pound.
  • Rise to the Challenge: The Pirates bonus level involves Glover smashing barrels to keep raising the water higher and higher while you grab Garibs and reach the goal within the time limit.
  • Sequence Breaking: Many of the game's levels are surprisingly susceptible to this. The easier techniques tend to result from level designs with earlier portions of the level passing above later portions. Since the ball mitigates fall damage, many shortcuts are as straightforward as recognising if a landmass below you is one you haven't been to yet and then simply rolling off the current area down onto it. There's plenty of opportunity to skip up and over obstacles using Glover and the ball's movement abilities too however. Carnival 3's big hand-shaped gates can be gotten around without opening them for example, skipping a good 80% of the level. Considering the game's Time Trial mode, the ability to create shortcuts was likely very intentional, and nice as they may be to skip some difficult areas, they won't help you when it comes to Garib-hunting.
  • Shape Shifter Weapon: The Crystal Balls. Their standard forms are the rubber balls, and they can be transformed into, sequentially, a bowling ball, a little metal ball, and the normal Crystal itself. A Cheat Code unlocks an extra-bouncy super ball form as well.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Your ground pounds have this quality as well, so you must be cautious of doing so next to your ball.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first bonus level is a homage to Frogger.
    • The fifth bonus level is very reminiscent of Pac-Man. You become the ball and have to navigate through a familiar maze collecting Garibs, avoiding ghosts, and can even warp between sides of the map. The only difference is you can immediately head to the exit and end it early if you want to.
  • A Sinister Clue: The antagonist, Cross-Stitch, is a left-hand glove, while the titular protagonist is a right-hand glove.
  • Space Zone: Out Of This World, the last level in the game.
  • Spider-Sense: Holding the button down causes Glover to point to the ball's location or to the nearest Garib. Given how hard some Garibs can be to find, this ability is a godsend.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Played straight in the main levels, but averted in the Atlantis bonus level, where you'll instantly lose if you so much as the touch the water.
  • Take That!: The commercial for the game featured blatant ersatzes of Cloud Strife, Lara Croft, and Bill Rizer getting knocked about by Glover's ball.
  • Terminally Dependent Society: The peaceful, prosperous existence of the entire world depends on seven Crystals perched on castle spires—and if even one is off-balance, things immediately take a turn for the worse (so you can imagine how bad things are when all seven are lost). Granted, there may be some kind of magical protection on them, but still, it seems remarkably unsafe.
  • Threatening Shark: One of the enemies in Atlantis is a bipedal shark that tries to deal damage by bashing you with its nose.
  • White Gloves: Both of the wizard's gloves, though Cross-Stitch took on a sickly green after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • A Winner Is You: Wanna know what your reward is for collecting every Garib and beating all the bonus levels? Simple—you get NOTHING! The only difference is that the ending screen says "Congratulations!", but without the words "But you missed some Garibs!"
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The first part of the final boss fight, which involves Glover hijacking a giant robot to fight Cross-Stitch. You literally just walk up to an opening in its foot that teleports you to its cockpit when its standing still—and it only has one attack that you would have to purposefully put yourself in the line of fire of to get damaged by it.