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Video Game / Kukoo Kitchen

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"It's cooking time!"

Kukoo Kitchen is an online game designed by Spanish developer Questtracers, released on December 4, 2008. The story, taking place in outer space, revolves around Jessica, the owner of a struggling cooking equipment company called Kukoo Machines Automatic Culinary Art, trying to raise enough money to keep the business afloat and avoid being evicted by her robotic landlord. She calls her telekinetic employees, a dog named Chill-Li and a cat named Matt, to become space cooks. While Matt refuses, citing his broken ship, Chill-Li accepts the offer and sets out on a mission to serve delicious food to hungry diners from all over the galaxy. Along the way, he encounters a variety of quirky characters, including a huge friendly gourmand frog who's the galaxy's president, an empire of gastropods called sluggies pursuing an elusive being known as the Fearful, a blind and vengeful scientist with a robot army stealing food to make ammo, and his robotic butler Fred.

The game is played by reading each customer's order in their mind, preparing the right items using the machines (including optional toys that will boost the player's profits), carrying them over to the correct tray (yes, the order matters), and making incorrect items disappear in order to meet the minimum revenue for the day, racking up more golden forks as the player hones their skills. The player will earn money during the course of the game, purchasing machines and upgrades from Jessica in between levels, and more machines will become available as the story progresses. Starting from level 20, enemies will occasionally appear to steal the player's food and toys, which the player must take out using the KukooGun that Jessica gives Chill-Li, becoming more frequent and difficult over the course of the story. In addition, there are occasional boss levels involving gimmicks, which the player must use in order to progress to the next world.

In 2011, a prequel, Kukoo Machines, was released as an Adobe Flash game, in which Jessica calls upon the player to test several of the machines. Additionally, the game was re-released on Steam on November 7, 2018.

Kukoo Kitchen serves up examples of:

  • 100% Completion: If you manage to get a Golden Fork in all of the first 36 levels, you'll unlock the last nine comprising Matt's part of the story. Further, if you manage to get a golden fork in every one of those levels, it reveals a bonus cutscene, where Fred has been captured by the sluggies and quickly lost the culinary ceremony because his growy got an indigestion. The captain sentences him to stay there until he wins, while Fred protests that he wasn't programmed to cook, upon which the captain tells him he will have to stay for a long time, warning him not to escape because the security has been improved after Matt broke out. Fred lets out a Big "NO!" as the ship flies off.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Even when he and the President sign a peace treaty, the scientist's robot army won't listen to his commands near the end. It's because Fred sabotaged his remote control. Once Jessica fixes it, the robots stop plundering the galaxy.
  • Aliens Love Human Food: Played with. The food available at Chill-Li's and Matt's kitchens could be taken as Earth food, but since this takes place in outer space, it is unknown exactly where everyone's from; regardless, the patrons all enjoy Chill-Li's (and later Matt's as well) food.
  • Amphibian at Large: The President of the Galaxy is a big fat frog who towers above most of the cast.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After the President gives Chill-Li his well-deserved Golden Fork award and Jessica gets a windstorm of new customers, the game switches control over to Matt after he escapes the sluggies' ship and he seeks out Chill-Li in revenge for winning and prolonging his imprisonment.
  • Animesque: The game takes influence from anime, as seen in the character designs (Jessica being a prominent example) and its storyline, which is...pretty much cuckoo, as pointed out by Lisa Haasbroek in her review of the game.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Chill-Li and the President stand on the former's spaceship after he fills the latter's enormous order, where they are surrounded by the open space. Neither of them seem to need space suits.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: A variant. Matt can use his tail to shoot enemies, negating the need for the KukooGun when you play as him.
  • Big Bad: The scientist, who wants to pilfer food for his weapons to take over the galaxy because he's angry about an e-mail his former friend sent him. This e-mail was altered by Fred, the real Big Bad, to carry out this plan, which was actually his.
  • Blind Mistake: The scientist's blindness causes him to do things like shout at the coffee machine while making a threat and initiate the self-destruct sequence instead of activating the teleporter. Fred has to point it out for him.
  • The Butler Did It: At first, Fred appears to just be the scientist's helpful robotic butler, but as The Reveal below will tell you, he was the one behind the robot army's pilfering of food and the misread e-mail so he can take over the galaxy. Matt even lampshades it.
    Matt: So the butler did it! Talk about clichéd...
  • Cactus Person: Some of the customers are basically anthropomorphic cacti.
  • Canines Primary, Felines Secondary: The story mainly focuses on Chill-Li's efforts to save Jessica's spaceship, while Matt doesn't really come into prominence until you beat him in the sluggy culinary ceremony, and again when he breaks out of the gastropods' ship to seek revenge.
  • Cats Are Mean: Downplayed. Though Matt isn't evil, and he plays a role in saving the galaxy by teleporting Jessica into the President's ship at her request so she can fix the scientist's remote control, he acts like a Jerkass most of the time. Just look at his interactions with Chill-Li and others to see this.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The President's chauffeur is a robot with only one eye.
  • The Determinator:
    • No matter what gets in Chill-Li's way, he will stop at nothing to save Jessica's spaceship and give his customers delicious food.
    • The sluggy captain too. He is hellbent on catching the Fearful for the Emperor, no matter what happens.
  • Edible Ammunition: Though we don't actually see it being shot, the scientist's robot army is stealing food to use as ammunition in battle to save money.
  • Fish People: Some of the customers are anthropomorphic pink fish.
  • The Ghost: The Sluggy Emperor. Although he never makes a physical appearance, the captain wants to catch the Fearful for him, and he will not stop until this is done.
  • Giver of Lame Names: The sluggies, who are terrible at naming things and dub the Fearful as such because they describe it as being fearful and constantly evading their weapons. The captain sums it up pretty well.
    Sluggy captain: We are great hunters, but terrible at picking names...
  • Heel–Face Turn: The scientist abandons his plan and signs a peace treaty with the President when Chill-Li serves him delicious food and protects him from the Fearful's tentacles, even trying to stop the robots with his broken remote control. Except he was never really a heel to begin with, and the plan was actually Fred's. When Jessica shows up, she fixes the remote control and the scientist successfully orders his army to stop terrorizing the customers.
  • Heroic Dog: Chill-Li is a kind-hearted canine who aims to save Jessica's spaceship no matter what stands in his way.
  • The Man in Front of the Man: Fred turns out to be behind the scientist's plan.
  • Mind over Matter: Both Chill-Li and Matt have telekinetic powers that help them cook their food, like moving things around, activating machines, and even making food disappear with their minds. Just do anything when preparing the customers' meals and watch the employees' animations to see proof.
  • Never My Fault: The scientist denies any responsibility for starting the conflict, blaming the President when in fact the former was the one who misunderstood his former friend's e-mail. Turns out he was Right for the Wrong Reasons-it was Fred's doing.
  • No Name Given: The President, the scientist, the sluggy captain, and pretty much anyone who isn't Jessica, Chill-Li, Matt, or Fred.
  • Punny Name: Chill-Li's name is a pun on "chili."
  • The Reveal: Fred was the one who came up with the scientist's plan to invade the galaxy and sow hate and mistrust, and modified the President's e-mail so the latter would turn against his friend. He also tampered with his boss's remote control so no one could stop the robots plundering for Edible Ammunition, whereupon he can rise from the chaos and reign supreme.
    Fred: Hahahahaha! It has taken a while but at last my plan worked out! I altered the e-mail the President sent the scientist in order to spread hate and mistrust in the galaxy. And now I have altered the control mechanism of the robots so no one can make them stop looting! The galaxy will be taken over by a swarm of looting robots at my command forever! I SHALL RULE THE GALAXY VERY SOON!! Heeheehee, hahaha haha ha!
  • Robot Hair: Fred is designed to have a mustache.
  • Silly Reason for War: The President and the scientist are involved in a major battle because the latter misunderstood the former's e-mail inviting him to the shopping mall. Because Fred altered it.
    President: My friend, we shouldn't be fighting. Please sign peace for the good of the people.
    Scientist: I was not the one that started this! This was all your fault, for sending me that hideous e-mail!
    President: Eh? Which e-mail?
    Scientist: The last one you sent me!
    President: The one in which I invited you to the grand opening of the shopping mall?
    Scientist: Shopping mall? FRED! WHAT DID THAT E-MAIL SAY??
    Fred: I don't know, sir. You were the only one who read it. You probably misunderstood what the message said...
    Scientist: Ouch!
    President: Oh dear! All of this ruckus is based on nothing? Because you misunderstood an e-mail? It doesn't matter, friend, forget all of this. Come to my ship and have a meal with me. We have with us a new chef whose food you will certainly enjoy.
  • Scoring Points: You have to earn a minimum amount of money in order to progress to the next level. To boost your score, you can give customers toys with their orders, put cheese on burger meat and pizzas, sprinkle sesame seeds on buns, stack pies to include up to four layers (they will order single-layer pies, but the taller the pie, the bigger the profits), and pick the exact fruits the customers mention in their mind (they don't care what fruits they get, but if you match them, you'll get bonus money), all of which are optional but will certainly boost your pay. You even get bonus points for doing all that stuff!
  • Sore Loser: Matt is obsessed with getting revenge on Chill-Li after the latter beat him in the sluggy culinary ceremony. He finally gets it in the last level, only for Jessica to declare that she loves them both and doesn't care who's the better cook.
  • Teleport Gun: The KukooGun is designed to shoot at enemies to teleport them out of the ship, although they take multiple shots to do this. It can be upgraded twice to become more powerful.
  • Token Human: Jessica and the scientist are the only humans we see in a cast full of non-human animals, extraterrestrials, and robots.
  • Wealthy Ever After: Jessica strikes it rich about four fifths of the way into the story after tons of new space cooks buy her machines.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The President and the scientist used to be good friends before they had a falling out because of one misinterpreted e-mail that Fred orchestrated so he could rule the galaxy.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: If you complete the first 36 levels without all their golden forks, a "THE END" screen will appear, which Matt will protest, claiming he's the main character and imploring the player to unlock his part of the story by achieving all these forks. Doing this will reveal the real ending: Matt escapes from the sluggies' ship and swears revenge on his canine coworker, finds out the dog's location from the scientist and realizes that Fred was the one behind the latter's galactic conquest plan, and teleports Jessica into the president's ship at her request. She then proceeds to fix the scientist's remote control so he can stop his robots, while Matt challenges Chill-Li to a growy rematch and beats him, but Jessica hugs them both and pronounces to them that she doesn't care who's the better cook.