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Video Game / Incredible Crisis

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Our hero, ladies and gents.

Incredible Crisis is a 1999 Minigame Game for the PlayStation, developed by Polygon Magic and published in Japan by Tokuma Shoten (as Tondemo Crisis!) and by Titus Software in the U.S. and Europe. A simplified Arcade Game version was released in Japan by Tecmo.

The Tanamatsuri family is trying to get home in time for a birthday party for the family matriarch, Hatsu. But all sorts of crazy events conspire to make this harder than it seems. The game follows the other four family members through their day, and all the craziness they run into. Among other things:

  • Taneo, the father, is chased out of his office building by a giant globe, falls dozens of stories, is sent careening the wrong way down a busy highway while strapped to a stretcher, and gets seduced and nearly blown up by a femme fatale coworker.
  • Etsuko, the mother, is kidnapped by bank robbers, who force her to help them capture and activate a super-weapon disguised as a golden pig. She manages to snowboard to her escape, only to be forced to jump into a jet fighter and battle a rampaging teddy bear monster.
  • Tsuyoshi, the younger son, gets shrunk by mysterious alien rays while hanging out at the park, and has to dodge giant creepy-crawlies and get home safely.
  • Ririka, the older daughter, dodges class (and the wrath of her chalk-throwing teacher) in order to go shopping, only to encounter a tiny alien UFO and get caught up in trying to reunite it with the "mother" ship.

This game contains examples of:

  • Action Mom: Etsuko. She has to snowboard away from the robbers, eventually landing at an air force base, where she has to fly a Harrier jet to attack the giant teddy bear.
  • All There in the Manual: The femme fatale coworker/agent/bank robber is only identified as Mineko Fuji in the end credits. Which makes her a Expy of Fujiko Mine.
  • Anachronic Order: The game follows the viewpoint of one character at a time, so some things that aren't explained (why is a giant bear with Ririka's grimacing face on it attacking?) get answered later (because the baby ship accidentally grew Ririka's teddy bear).
  • A Simple Plan: Who knew getting to your house could be such a grueling task?
  • Big Bad: The femme fatale, Mineko Fuji is the closest to one. While not a major part in Taneo's and Ririko's stories (although she tries to kill them, for some reason), she's the leader of the wolf-masked robbers in Etsuko's story. She forces Etsuko to steal the golden pig and decode its message.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Ririka's storyline, we find out what she told her father to convince him to help protect the alien mothership, way back during Taneo's part of the game. "I'll never clean my room again!"
    • The femme fatale wakes up in the ambulance that Taneo woke up in and had to answer quiz questions.
    • The giant globe that chases after Taneo in the first part of his story suddenly returns after Let's Go By Stretcher, and then suddenly crashes into his house from space after the credits.
  • Butt-Monkey: The guy with the boat in Titanic Away. One would think after a while he'd just start telling people to stay away from the cork on the bottom of the boat.
  • Caught Up in a Robbery: Etsuko's plot kicks off when she goes to the bank, only to find the place being robbed. She does make an attempt to sneak out, but gets caught and forced to assist the robbers in their goal — stealing a heavily-guarded golden piggy bank.
  • Chucking Chalk: Rirkia's teacher does this to any student who dares disrupt his class.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The massage mini-game in Taneo's story.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The game has four different story-lines, each covering a different member of the family.
  • Gameplay Grading: Your grade is determined by how well you do in a mini-game, and an overall chapter grade is given based on those grades. Getting an overall rank of A grants an extra life, while A+ grants two lives.
    • The requirements for A+ are lower than you might think. It's possible that, in a 2-minigame chapter, you get a D on one and an A on the other, yet still get an A+ overall.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Mini-games range from a Pop Quiz, to a Rhythm Game, to a Simon Says Minigame, to a Stealth-Based Mission.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Who knows what that female agent is up to? Her goals seem to change with each story.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Tsuyoshi's section of the game. The guy who owns the boat in the "Titanic Away" minigames gets shrunk too.
  • Lady in Red: The recurring femme fatale that you come across named Mineko Fuji
  • Mind Screwdriver: A large number of the bizarre events in the game turn out to have an incredibly simple explanation in hindsight, revealed in the last story: the alien mothership is a literal Mother Ship looking for its child, and they both have a Sizeshifter Ray weapon. The collective rage and panic of the ships is the direct cause of pretty much every supernatural problem the family runs into.
  • Minigame Game: Each character's story consists on a series of different minigames.
  • Noodle Implements: Etsuko's second minigame involves trying to put enough items from her shopping basket into a bag to have the same weight of the golden pig. While she has the usual food you'd expect in her shopping, she also has a bear's claw, ox horns and a magazine of bullets (but no gun).
  • Pop Quiz: One of Taneo's mini-games. Two paramedics are trying to ascertain if he's conscious, and do so by asking random general-knowledge yes-or-no questions ("Is 12 an even number?" or "Is the height of Tokyo Tower 333 centimeters?", for example). If he gets two wrong in a row, they assume they're losing him and break out the defibrillator.
  • Rhythm Game: "Taneo's Dance Fever" and "Etsuko and the Golden Pig".
  • Running Gag: The recurring "Titanic Away" game, and the giant globe.
    • Also, each story ends with the family member in question finally arriving home in some absurd way, much to the shock of Haruko.
  • Sadist Teacher: Ririka's teacher, who throws his seemingly limitless supply of chalk at the kids who make too much noise or even move too much.
  • Salaryman: Taneo starts the story at his office, where he could be the dictionary picture for the trope.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Nerd on a Wire" has Taneo trying to get off a flagpole before it breaks. After you clear the minigame, he loses his balance and falls off anyway.
    • Etsuko's first mini-game too. She successfully evades from the bank robbers, only to be captured by a fourth one standing outside the door.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A lot of minigame titles are references to various movies, from Titanic (1997) to Independence Day to Top Gun.
    • If the player fails the Titanic Away minigame, the failure sequence recreates the famous "Standing at the bow of the ship" scene from the movie.
    • The underside of the mothership looks a lot like the UFOs from Independence Day fused with a Simon Says toy.
    • When Ririka is launched into the air on a bicycle with the baby UFO, they pass in front of the moon like in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
    • The minigame where Etsuko has to swap the golden pig out with a bag of groceries could be a reference to the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones swaps out the the Golden Idol with a bag of sand. Another Raiders reference is when Taneo has to run from the giant globe.
    • Some of the items in "Pound for Pound" are almost certainly references to items in the Dragon Quest series, which include a "Medicinal herb" and "Leaf of the World Tree".
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: One of Ririka's mini-games. The mothership even looks similar to one!
  • Ska: The music genre for many of the tracks in the game.
  • Sprint Meter: Present in one of Taneo's mini-games, where he must run away from a globe. A similar one is also Tsuyoshi's final mini-game, except he has to out-run a mantis.
  • Squashed Flat: Happens to Taneo if he gets run over by the giant globe in "Bowling Inferno", and after getting hit by a falling refrigerator in "Elevator of Doom!"
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Etsuko's first mini-game.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, a giant globe in space (with the Incredible Crisis flag) hurtles towards a house...
  • To Be Continued: ...and ends with "To be continued". Unfortunately, there was never a sequel.
  • Weight and Switch: Etsuko's second mini-game, where she must replace a golden pig with several items that will equal its weight, to avoid getting crushed by ceiling spikes.
  • Worst Aid: Paramedics, The A Team, and Let's Go By Stretcher. As if using defibrillators for a prospective head injury wasn't enough to suggest these two are unfit for the job, they toss Taneo out of a moving ambulance still tied to a stretcher!