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Video Game / Jet Force Gemini

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A third-person shooter released by Rare in 1999 for the Nintendo 64.

The game stars twin siblings Juno and Vela, and their dog Lupus, who together make up the Gemini unit of the Space Police organization Jet Force. Upon responding to a distress signal, they witness an attack on the not-Endor planet Goldwood against the not-Ewok Tribals by the bug forces of the evil Emperor Mizar. The trio move to do their hero thing, but they are suddenly attacked by Mizar's forces and separated, each one starting their quest at a different location.

From there, each member of Jet Force Gemini must embark on their own routes towards Mizar's palace, saving Tribals and blasting his evil bug henchmen along the way. Once the trio are reunited, they receive upgrades (Juno and Vela get jetpacks, Lupus becomes a tank) and are allowed to explore each other's levels freely, opening up new routes with their individual powers and gathering resources for the final showdown with Mizar.


Originally designed as a cutesy shooter, it got a Darker and Edgier makeover halfway through development and ended up better for it. This being a Rare game, it also contains a good amount of their characteristic humour, such as furry dice in the cockpit of the Jet Force Gemini ship and a major character with the distinctly un-Sci-Fi-ish name "Jeff".

This game provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted, as Floyd defects from Mizar for this reason.
  • Alien Blood: Green, with an option for Rainbow. Averted with the tribals, whose blood is bright red.
  • All There in the Manual: The titular trio are the only survivors of their fleet.
  • Anti-Climax: The game ends with yet another Floyd flight segment. Granted, it's his Heroic Sacrifice for all the people in the Earth, but still.
  • Artificial Stupidity: An unfortunate case; Drones are programmed to run behind cover when cover is available. This includes barrels and other objects that violently explode when shot.
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  • Awesome, but Impractical: A few weapons, the Flamethrower and Shocker perhaps most of all.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Which inexplicably plays earth-like Disco non-stop. Even Juno can't resist the urge.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Anything that's not a boss will continue to shoot at you after you've died. In the case of the final boss, he settles back down on his floating rock and laughs in your face or does a victory fist pump.
  • Boss Room: Each boss has one, and is preceded by a room that invokes a Suspicious Videogame Generosity.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Tawfret, due to the lifeless state it got into after King Jeff had his magic spell misfired while he was attacking the incoming Drones. It's a gloomy, rainy marshland overrun by zombified enemies and abandoned rural houses. It ends with a Big Boo's Haunt castle.
  • Bug War: The whole game is based around blowing up various bugs into green goo.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: After rescuing Floyd, a second player can take control of him and use his blasters.
  • Collision Damage: A bit odd for a third-person shooter, but it's there.
  • Controllable Helplessness: You can twitch after dying.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Present in all lava-filled areas, including Eschebone which is a volcanic planet. Lava only hurts if Vela or Lupus touches it directly (Juno's special ability is being able to walk on them).
  • Creative Closing Credits: Juno drops some questionable steps on the dance-floor at Ichor.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Lupus gets a lot of this on Eschebone. In the pre-boss cutscene, he uses his hovering ability about 8 times longer than he can in gameplay. There's also a cutscene directly after beating the bosses where he always finishes them off with the machine gun, regardless of whether you have ammo or not. In several other cutscenes, he hovers a good deal higher than he can jump, and can gain altitude while doing so.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: When you rest your reticle over an enemy, they flash green (the color usually associated with allies, meaning do not shoot them), while Tribals flash red (meaning enemy, so blast away).
  • Death Mountain: Rith Essa, a beautiful planet with grassy mountains visited during sunset.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Mizar's Palace. It is there where the three main characters (plus Floyd after his Heel–Face Turn) reunite once their respective errands in the Tribals' solar system are completed, and where Big Bad Mizar arrives. The grand confrontation occurs, and Lupus (the team's dog) succesfully defeats Mizar... who then runs away and plans to reroute an asteroid to impact planet Earth out of revenge. Now the characters have to start The Great Repair to find the missing pieces of an ancient spaceship, reassemble it and catch up to Mizar to defeat him for good and find a way to prevent the Earth's doomsday. Bottom line, defeating Mizar for the first time only means 50% of the mission is complete!
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Almost completely averted. The player is only held in place when aiming a small handful of weapons (and even then you can still strafe), and only a few enemies have to stand in place to fire at you.
  • Dual Boss: The Eschebone Mantises, fought by Lupus.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: While some of the levels can become very difficult due to the concentrated armies of enemies, it's the bosses that give players a run for their money. During the second half of the game, no more bosses are found until the last one, so the game's difficulty focuses on finding the hidden ship parts and tribals.
  • Evil Laugh: Mizar before he fights you, and also after he kicks your ass.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Depending on how far you were into the game, the title screen would change in order - Juno running solo, Juno & Vela running, the whole team running, the whole team running in their upgrades, the whole team walking on the Federation homeworld in celebration.
  • Expy: Magnus. Think Yoda, only with floppy ears and greener.
  • The Federation: The Union, although only briefly mentioned in-game and in the manual.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: Averted. When Mizar escapes from his palace after Lupus easily defeats him, he threatens the characters to redirect an asteroid to blow up planet Earth. Aware of this, King Jeff tells the protagonists that there is a huge mothership that will help them intercept the asteroid and find a way to stop it, but it's missing twelve pieces. Eleven of these pieces are scattered through the galaxy, so the three characters have to do a Fetch Quest to retrieve them. The 12th piece, technically the first, is in Jeff's hands, but he won't give it away until all 282 missing tribals in the game are rescued. He doesn't even care if the aforementioned asteroid manages to hit Earth in the meantime.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Vela, though they're very short.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The ship pieces and the Tribals. As in, you need to collect all the ship parts to get to the Final Boss, and one of those ship parts is only gotten after you rescue all 282 Tribals in the game.
  • The Great Repair: The second half of the game is all about finding the 12 missing pieces of a spaceship that can help the characters intercept a meteor Mizar plans to aim at Earth to impact upon it.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The second level. To progress, at the bare minimum, the player needs to shoot a panel in an easily missed segment of a room, located in a different room than the objective is, with no clue as to the location (and no indication is given that these panels are not decoration!). And rescuing all Tribals requires finding more of these panels throughout the level, all hidden in even more out-of-the-way places.
    • The sheer obscurity of what you need to do to get one of the ship parts needed to take on the final boss. First, find a hidden passage in the second level so you can do one of the Floyd racing/shooting minigames. Then get a Gold rank on said minigame, which requires memorizing the path and the things you need to shoot. This will give you a set of earplugs. Now, take these earplugs to a bear on one of the hidden planets. The game, to its credit, tells you the bear is having trouble sleeping because of the scared Tribals screaming, and that the Anubis (the second level) is a cargo ship, where you might find something helpful for her.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Eschebone is both Lethal Lava Land and Womb Level.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Floyd, to stop drones from executing tribals. Then again at the end of the game to destroy Mizar's asteroid.
  • Insect Gender-Bender: Most of the Ant-like soldier drones, including the default blue variant, are identified as female in the multiplayer mode as well as Vela's disguise. The larger termite looking drones are identified as male.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Sometimes the Drones throw their guns away and raise their hands up in surrender. Often if you turn your back on them they'll pull out a grenade, and... Bye-bye, large portion of your health!
  • Jiggle Physics: Whenever Vela runs or walks, boob mechanics ensue.
  • Kid Amid the Chaos: Can be seen in King Jeff's vision of the invasion, and any time you decide to shoot a baby tribal's parents.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: As the name suggests, Life Force Doors can only be opened by killing enemies.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Fish Food can feed some enemy types, most enemies will dodge it as though it was a grenade and it can be useful for clearing mines.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Eschebone, when it's not being a Womb Level.
  • Live Item: the Tribals.
  • Locked Door: Doors are usually locked in one of the following three ways: By the life force of all the Drones and Airborne Squadrons that have to be dispatched beforehand, by requiring a key (in this case, a colored electronic card that matches the color of the seal that acts like the door's lock), or by requiring a specific item that is exclusive in access and use to one of the playable characters (a crowbar so Juno can enter the trap doors, a traditional key so Vela can open the door that leads to a mine in Rith Essa, a pair of googles so Lupus can open a door that leads to a very dark room, or simply the presence of Floyd so he can allow the current character to open a door leading to a minigame dedicated to Floyd himself).
  • The Lost Woods: The Rim and Lodge stages of Goldwood (the Outset and Interior ones are more outdoor-styled in design, making them Green Hill Zone areas instead).
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Go ahead, shoot that lone foot soldier ant with that shiny new Tri-Rocket Launcher. If that's not gory enough, turn on the Rainbow Blood mode, which doubles the amount of blood exploded enemies splatter, and paint the entire room fabulous.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Behind Mizar is, of all things, King Jeff's missing brother.
  • Marathon Level: Goldwood and Rith Essa are the largest worlds in the game, as each has four individual levels, and among them Rim (in the former) and Interior (in the latter) stand out for their longevity. Meanwhile, the largest individual level is Military Base in Ichor, which also happens to be very difficult due to the high concentration of enemies and Elite Mooks, and is also one of the levels that culminate with a boss battle.
  • Mercy Kill: Sometimes Drones won't die instantly. They might fall to the ground and twitch in agony instead. The player can finish them off or let them expire after a few seconds.
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Spacestation. It's like the cargo ships visited by Juno, Vela and Lupus through their individual routes, but it's severely wrecked and the only relevant thing to do is to rescue Tribals.
  • Missile Lock-On:
    • The aptly-named Homing Missile weapon can target an enemy and (as long as the targeting button is held) keep it locked-on so the missile shot invariably aims at it to kill it.
    • The Mechantids can shoot homing missiles during their boss battle against Lupus.
  • Mook Chivalry: The boss fight against the Mechantids starts off like this with the second one just hopping around on the background scenery, but that gets completely thrown out the window halfway through the fight.
  • More Dakka:
    • Chain guns and rocket launchers are your best friends. The game notes this with locks that require being shot a lot in a short time frame to unlock a door - the standard pistol, with its limited ammo before recharging can't do it, but a machine gun you can acquire relatively nearby does the trick.
    • There's also one type of flying drone that shows up in groups of at least 12, each of which will shoot around 10 shots at a time.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Being the only female cast member, Vela was likely designed with a certain audience in mind. She wears no helmet so we can see her blue hair, has a neckline along with the usual assets and of course a tiny skirt that gives panty shots (until she's upgraded, then she's wearing shorts).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: King Jeff has one of these moments after he, in a fit of rage, uses his rather incredible magic powers to zombify the entire planet of Tawfret. Granted, that was a mistake: he was aiming at the bug soldiers, but one of them shot him and the zombie-beam hit a tree instead...
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The first half of Tawfret is populated by zombified Drones vulnerable only to explosives andnote  the Plasma Shotgun.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Lupus, the third member of the heroic trio, is a robotic amphibious tank/dog.
  • Nintendo Hard: Since the game is a platformer-shooter hybrid on the Nintendo 64, the controls can be quite cumbersome to deal with while enemies move around rapidly and try to riddle you with bullets. Explosions also eat up your health like crazy, so you can bet the game starts putting explosive-wielding foes around corner surprises. And the Compilation Re Release in Rare Replay bringing more somewhat-modern controls to the table don't mitigate the difficulty.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Lupus and Floyd.
  • Nostalgia Level: A variation—in the multiplayer mode of the Racing Minigame, it's possible to race on the Greenwood Village track from Diddy Kong Racing.
  • One-Man Army: The titular trio and Floyd defeat Mizar all on their own, with no support from any of the others except for Floyd.
  • Panty Shot: Due to Vela's mini skirt you'll be treated to this if you play with the camera (seen here), by making her crouch, having her swim, or get her killed. Averted with the upgraded suit.
  • Parental Bonus: One NPC is missing his pants. Find them, give them back to him, and talk to him again, and he'll comment that his "yin and yang" are "warming up nicely".
  • Press X to Die: You can run into fireplaces and other heating elements to damage yourself.
  • Racing Minigame: There are two: One in Mizar's Palace, and another in an arcade game found in a party area in Ichor. The former race is required to collect one of the ship parts.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The protagonists during the whole game when you consider its back story.
  • Rule of Three: You don't get a rocket launcher. You get a Tri-Rocket Launcher. And there are three main characters, each of which visits three destinations (two planets and one space vessel) before reaching Mizar's Palace), and Cluster bombs explode into three smaller bombs.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Cerulean, notably having blue-colored sand and cerulean-colored mountains (which is why it looks like an snow-themed planet when it isn't).
  • Shout-Out: Collecting upwards of 300 decapitated Drone heads allows you to replace the standard Mooks with Rare's mascot, Mr. Pants. There's also an unlockable racing minigame/multiplayer mode, which shares a track with Diddy Kong Racing.
  • Silliness Switch: Rainbow blood, the characters' original super deformed designs, and enemies appearing as Rare's mascot, Mr. Pants, are all unlockable. And you unlock them by decapitating the bugs and collecting their heads.
  • Sniper Pistol: A textbook example. You can force a target to center on the crosshairs by manipulating the view on precision mode. Made even easier by aiming with the Sniper Rifle prior to switching.
  • Some Dexterity Required: It's not overly complicated; what makes it hard to get used to is how you have to learn and switch accordingly between 2 control schemes: the normal roaming control scheme and the hold-R precision control scheme.
  • Space Station: All three main characters visit a Drone vessel during their initial routes: S.S. Anubis for Juno, Sekhmet for Vela and the Spawnship for Lupus. Later in the game, all three characters can pay a visit to the wrecked Spacestation (though the first to come is Vela, as she unlocks it by completing a stage in Goldwood that is exclusive to her).
  • Spam Attack: After you destroy Mizar's wings in the second fight, he goes absolutely nuts and proceeds to attack three times as much as he did in his earlier phases.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Right before a boss battle, you enter a room or corridor full of ammunition supplies and life energy.
  • Take Your Time: After defeating Mizar the first time, he flees and commandeers a passing asteroid, putting it on a collision course with Earth. The characters' own ships aren't fast enough to catch up in time, but fret not! All the player must do is embark on a planet-hopping quest to collect parts of a ship that is fast enough. All this time, Mizar's asteroid will remain effectively in limbo en route to Earth.
  • Theme Naming: The star sign Gemini is the twins, and the names Vela, Lupus and Mizar come from Real Life constellations. Juno is named after an asteroid.
  • Took a Shortcut: Lampshaded by Magnus. "I move pretty fast. I know."
  • Under the Sea: Water Ruin, a planet that consists of a very large body of water, and has its ground parts destroyed due to the Bug War.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Mizar's Asteroid, which can only be accessed when the legendary Tribal ship is fully repaired.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The Tribals can be shot and killed in the same way as the enemies. This includes women and children and baby tribals.
    • Depending on where (and with what) you shoot a Drone (or Tribal), they can be decapitated, explode in an audible shower of blood, or collapse on the ground, twitching. And if you want to, finish the job with the Tri-Rocket.
    • Other options include setting them on fire or watching them jerk in agony as you slowly fry them with the Shocker.
    • You can collect the heads of your enemies. Or the Tribals.
    • You can disguise yourself as an enemy, and stand outside the mook's nightclub, with the queue of 20-30 Mooks trying to get into the place, and decapitate all of them with a single shuriken.
    • Collecting the ant heads even gets you a reward; get enough and you can use the Silliness Switch.
  • What the Hell, Player?: NPCs will chew you out for shooting them.
  • Womb Level: Eschebone is a lava world and one of its denizens is a giant worm. The player enters through its mouth and exits through...the other end.


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