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Video Game / Looney Tunes: Back in Action

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Looney Tunes: Back in Action is a 2003 video game based on the film of the same name. It notably doesn't have any main human characters with the exception of the chairman (voiced by Joe Alaskey instead of Steve Martin). It was developed by British studio Warthog Games and published by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.

Looney Tunes: Back in Action contains examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Tweety, of all characters, for the final boss.
  • Adapted Out: Despite being major characters in the movie, D.J. and Kate are completely absent.
  • Alice Allusion: One of the people at the movie studios says "I'm late for a very important latte!"
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Bugs and Daffy get clothes for progressing the game after collecting enough money.
  • Anvil on Head: This happens if the player gets a Yosemite Sam symbol on the slot machine in the Wooden Nickel level.
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  • Area 51: The fourth level in the game takes place at "Area 52".
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzales get more focus in this game than in the film.
    • Tweety becomes a key character in the final level where he transforms into a pterodactyl.
  • Balloonacy: In the final mission of the "Wooden Nickel" level, Daffy has to use a bunch of balloons to fly up and pop Yosemite Sam's balloons to defeat him.
  • Blue/Orange Contrast: Bugs and Daffy's designated Toon Pads and Costume Rental doors are orange and blue, respectively.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The CEO initially shows up in the first cut scene and seemingly has little to no importance to the plot, up until the very end when it turns out he needs the gem to power his ray that turns everyone into monkeys.
  • Collection Side Quest: The Michigan J. Frog statues and the Road Runner seeds. The former gets an extra monkey upon collecting all 20, while collecting all 7 of the latter opens a stage of the traffic minigame where you need to reach a certain distance (the later the level, the farther you have to go) to earn yet another monkey.
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  • Drop the Hammer: Bugs uses a wooden mallet as a weapon.
  • Excuse Plot: In contrast to the sometimes convoluted plot the movie has, the game's version of it is pretty bare bones — Bugs and Daffy are chasing a monkey to retrieve the valuable gem he's reportedly stolen. Subverted near the end when it turns out the gem was for a machine that turns everyone into monkeys.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The game begins where Daffy Danger tries to defeat Elmer Fudd. It turns out to be a pitch by Daffy Duck. It originally came from a deleted scene of the film.
  • Fake Longevity: The door to the final boss cannot be opened until you have 35 monkeys total. This would normally not be a case of this...except this is the only time in the whole game that any kind of progression is locked behind a certain number of monkeys, so the player likely hasn't been concerning themselves over them beyond making sure all the normal objectives were completed. Furthermore, the player is not forewarned about this in any way until they actually reach the door, so if they didn't go in knowing this, that's some forced backtracking to earlier levels that will be needed.
  • Falling Damage: Falling from a great height will cause you to lose a chunk of health. Amusingly, falling from a height that is not high enough to cause damage will have Bugs or Daffy fall face-first onto the ground with a resounding "thunk".
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Daffy uses this as a weapon.
  • Ground Pound: Bugs does this so he can go into the ground and destroy objects.
  • Guide Dang It!: The final boss has an extremely unintuitive control scheme with no instruction on how it works, and it's made even worse if you have never played a boxing game before. You're supposed to somehow come to the conclusion that you need to control it with both joysticks. This is especially nonsensical with the right stick, which has had no utility beyond camera control for the whole game.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Inverted. It's reasonable to assume that the player might feel bad for attacking the tourists considering they don't mean any real harm...which the game cleverly combats by keeping them just as giddy and excitable even when you attack them.
    Tourist: He touched me! He actually touched me!
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Averted. Unlike the movie, Kate and D.J. are completely absent, putting the focus back onto Bugs and Daffy.
  • Invisibility Ink: In the first mission of the Louvre, Blacque Jacque Shellacque uses this on himself so he can steal paintings. Bugs has to use a spy outfit to find him and get the paintings back.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The monkey you've been chasing through the entire game mistakenly gets zapped with anti-monkey ray at the very end of the game and turns out to have been Michigan J. Frog the entire time.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • There are several examples including where Daffy said "Ah. Life in 3D."
    • Bugs asks Daffy "Did you ever get the feeling that you was being rendered?"
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bugs says "Hey, I still got my Space Jam skills!"
    • One of the two guys driving a film cart around the jungle set says, "We got you a bottle of water, Mr. Schlesinger!", referring Leon Schlesinger, a producer for the original Looney Tunes shorts.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: It has the same charm as the film but has differences such as the Blue Monkey diamond found by Daffy first in the game before taken by the chairman.
  • Save Point: The game saves after the player gets a monkey.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The gem that Bugs and Daffy chase through the whole game ends up being rendered completely moot when, after they finally do retrieve it, Daffy trips and drops the gem into a pit of lava. This has the effect of undoing the damage caused moments earlier by the villain, but considering most of the game led the player on a wild goose chase for the gem...
  • Shout-Out:
  • Solid Clouds: In the movie studios level, once you are able to climb up the water tower, you reach an area full of clouds that you can walk on.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: The Michigan J. Frog statues emit a ribbit and the Road Runner seeds sound the iconic "beep beep" noise to help aid the player in tracking them down.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Bugs can't swim. If he falls in a deep enough volume of water, it's an instant death. Averted with Daffy.
  • Take Over the World: The chairman wants to take over the world after he gets the Blue Monkey.
  • That's All, Folks!: Bugs gets to say it throughout the game when he defeats an enemy.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Littered throughout the game are minigames that aren't platforming focused at all. Special mention goes to the final boss, in which the player takes control of a mutated Tweety of all things and the game suddenly turns into a boxing game.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Some characters, when hit, will attempt to hit you back.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: In the first level, there are wanted posters of Daffy everywhere for some reason. Daffy has to hide while Bugs destroys all the posters.
  • Weaponized Camera: Unintentionally, but an "enemy" that appears throughout the game is an excitable tourist who will all too happily take blindingly bright photos that will cause you to take damage. Of course, he doesn't mean any actual harm, he's just oblivious to this fact.