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A series of three tie-in games set in the world of Dreamworks Madagascar. Unlike the Shrek tie-ins , which had several spin-offs in different game genres, this was restricted to the Action-Adventure games with modest connections to the plot of the films. A notable feature was the extensive focus on various minigames (Escape 2 Africa had around two dozen for instance, which were rarely repeated) and the ability to control a large number of characters. Besides the four protagonists of the films, Escape to Africa had sequences giving player control of the penguins, The first game had attained mildly positive reviews due to these features, but as the gameplay has failed to significantly improve over time, the review scores went down, and Madagascar 3: The Video Game had received largely negative reviews.

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Madagascar: The Game features the following tropes:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: You get an extra life every time you collect ten tikis. There are no limits on tiki spawns. The levels cap at 99. You can still collect tikis all you want, but the counter can go no higher than 99 lives.
  • Acme Products: The boxes which Skipper can hide himself under in Penguin Mutiny are labeled, "ACME Bowling Pins."
  • Adaptation Expansion: To allow for more levels, the game goes into detail about events the movie glossed over (Marty's escape from the zoo and Marty's quest to find Alex after he goes feral) and also adds in some new story elements (how the New Yorkers helped the lemurs set up their party, Marty, Gloria and Melman finding objects to reconstruct the liberty statue) in the process.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Each of the four main characters has two accessories they can wear once they're purchased at the Souvenir Shop: Alex gets a crown and a foam hand, Marty gets sunglasses and a straw hat, Gloria gets flowers and a starfish bikini and Melman gets the NYC clock and tissue box shoes.
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  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The penguins attack with karate chops. Bare-Flippered Monk, perhaps.
  • Big Bad: While the fossa were on their own in the movie, here they are led by the fossa king, a muscular, more anthropomorphic-looking male fossa with a crown on his head who acts as the game's final boss.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The "baobab worms" which appear in Coming of Age are enormous pink caterpillars.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • All four characters regularly do this when left alone for a modest period of time, complaining directly to the player. The amount of phrases you can get is hilarious. Gloria's in particular are hilarious.
    Gloria: No, no. You are not just going to play for a minute and then leave me here.
    • Melman has some choice words for the player if they keep trying to make him go into the mud slides scattered around Jungle Banquet:
    Ummm... why don't you get someone else to do this?
    How many times are you going to try? I'm not going in there!
  • Breath Weapon: The fossa king can let out a concentrated beam of stinky breath from his mouth after eating huge durians delivered to him by his vulture henchmen. A rather gross example indeed.
  • Convenient Item Placement: Mangoes happen to be Alex’s ranged weapon, and they just so happen to be on the ground everywhere in the wild. Same happens with jalapenos, which Gloria needs to perform her charges. Both also apply in the sequel.
  • Developers' Foresight: At one point in NY Street Chase, Gloria has to collect power cards to unlock her butt bounce ability and defeat the cops that try to force her to the ground. Normally, you're expected to get all of them as you go along the road, but if you skip the two cards before the right turn by rolling and jumping past the obstacles, then those two cards will reappear alongside the third one after the turn.
  • Double Jump: Being the most acrobatic of the group, Alex is the only character capable of doing so.
  • Edible Bludgeon:
    • In the levels where Alex is playable post-arriving at Madagascar, Alex can collect mangoes to throw at enemies. Notably, it's the only way he can reach phase 1 of King Fossa in the final battle. The mangoes make a return in the sequel.
    • In Coming of Age, Melman flings coconuts and exploding durians to kill off baobab worms and to destroy their nests.
    • Briefly in Marty to the Rescue, Marty can kick exploding durians.
    • King Fossa's vulture henchmen sometimes attack Alex with durians in the final battle.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Alex's claw attack (which allows him to fight the Fossa one-on-one) can only be unlocked in the final level of the console versions, and as such, it only sees use during the final battle.
  • Escort Mission: The final segment of Save the Lemurs tasks Alex with escorting a group of lemurs down The Perfectly Safe Path while protecting them from the attacking fossa. Letting too many lemurs get taken away results in King Julian scolding Alex and forcing you to redo the segment again.
  • Giant Mook: On the Penguin Mutiny level, there are several larger crewmen wielding wrenches which can't be taken down by the player directly, requiring other objects such as a crane or bowling ball.
  • Giant Spider: One of the enemies which appears on Madagascar. They sometimes drop suddenly from above.
  • Gusty Glade: At one point in Save the Lemurs, Marty must help the lemurs traverse the "Trail of Excessive Wind", which, as the name implies, has wind on-and-off blowing so strongly that not hiding behind a rock in time blows you all the way back to the start of the area.
  • Hammerspace: In all games, Alex is capable of carrying up to 20 mangoes on him with a complete lack of pockets or anything of a kind.
  • Helium Speech: Marty can obtain this during King of New York by popping at least 6 balloons.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: All of the characters have this to varying degrees in the GBA port, but Melman has the most blatant examples. Only his body is interactive with the environment and enemies, and his head is only used as a weapon during his sneeze attack. However, his neck doesn't have any collision at all, allowing enemies to damage him if they're between his head and his body.
  • Ground Pound: Pressing the jump button again in midair allows Gloria to do this, called "Butt Bounce".
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: In all games, Gloria can perform a charge powerful enough to smash through objects like walls and boulders for a few seconds after eating a jalapeno pepper.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The worst offender of this in the game has got to be the "No Chance of Survival Trail." Other instances include "Tarantula Town", and the "Trail of Excessive Wind".
  • Ironic Name: "The Perfectly Safe Path" appearing in the Save the Lemurs level is anything but, because it is in fact fossa-infested.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: In all games, Alex’s primary attack is to roar at his enemies, which scares some larger enemies (like other lions) away and kills smaller critters, apparently by causing heart attacks in them.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The second boss of the game is an albino crocodile who fights with martial arts and speaks with an a Japanese accent for some reason.
  • Not Quite Flight: In all games, if he jumps off a high enough spot, Melman can temporarily drift by spinning his legs like a helicopter.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Mort somehow made it all the way to the end of a cave in Marty to the Rescue despite having been right next to Marty when they entered together.
    Marty: Mort! How'd you get all the way over there? We were literally standing right next to each other!
    Mort: Well, the plot called for it. Don't come apart on me now, Marty.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: At one point in Penguin Mutiny, Skipper can hide under a cardboard box to walk by the sailors without them noticing him. Even if he walks while under the cardboard box in the sailors' plain sight, they will somehow never notice him.
  • Pass Through the Rings: Alex does this in the beginning of the game as an exercise. Said rings reappear in every stage Alex is playable in, barring Final Battle - collecting all the rings in a level gives out a coin bonus.
  • Pesky Pigeons: The characters hate pigeons in the Manhattan levels. You can scare the pigeons off, but they leave behind poop.
  • Power-Up Food:
    • The chili peppers Gloria eats makes her go faster and bash into heavy objects.
    • There is a plant that Alex can occasionally find that grants him with a Super-Roar which kills all surrounding enemies.
  • Rolling Attack: This is Gloria's main attack.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: In Jungle Banquet, Alex must complete a variation of this. In a cave, there are four giant mushrooms which each play a different sound when bounced on. The player must memorize the order and bounce on them in that order to repeat the tune.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the foursome (Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman) are caught outside Grand Central Station and get taken out one by one with tranquilizer darts, Melman worries that the needles aren't sterilized. Marty replies that it's probably the least of their worries.
  • Spin Attack: In both games, Melman has an attack where he spins his legs on the ground.
  • Springy Spores:
    • The giant mushrooms in Jungle Banquet and are the focus of one segment to obtain one of the dishes.
    • There is a minigame segment in Marty to the Rescue where Mort must bounce on mushrooms to collect fruit for Wilbur.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • There is a bonus with ten coins awarded in the New York City Street Chase for destroying 30 cars with Gloria's moves.
    • Additionally in the level Penguin Mutiny, there are a couple points where you must eliminate the sailors by grabbing them with the ship's crane to trap them in a cage. However, you could also eliminate them by throwing them overboard the ship to drown them. You could alternatively eliminate them by dropping large crates on top of them in the second crane segment, which all but explicitly kills them.
  • Use Your Head: In both games, one of Melman’s attacks is a headbutt, courtesy of his long neck. When assembling the plane in Escape 2 Africa, he is even asked to hammer the nails in for several sections.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa features the following tropes:

  • Artistic License – Biology: Did you know that giraffes get actual butterflies flying in their stomachs? As well as fish and even whole colonies of mushrooms? (not fungus, but regular, stem-and-cap mushrooms) Play this game and you’ll be delighted.
  • Battering Ram: In the final showdown with the tourist village, the plane-mounted chimp-chain hammer acts like this, easily smashing the huts and later used to break through the dam.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Rico stores an infinite amount of soda cans in one shoot-out against the tourists trying to steal the tires from the jeep.
    • Similarly, Marty gets infinite supplies of soccer balls when he’s fighting against the Granny's durian explosives.
  • Butt-Monkey: Melman is treated like this in the game’s early stages, often getting some of the scrappiest levels and mechanics.
  • Car Chase: There are two, both involving the penguins. The first is where the penguins attack a convoy for supplies. The second is where the penguins chase after the four tourist jeeps in order to disable them and get the monkeys they carry. It is surprisingly hard and likely to be That One Level.
  • David vs. Goliath: One of the minigames is the so-called Chess Jungle, where film’s characters are split into heroes and villains, with power ratings from 1 to 7. Who can defeat level 7 badass like Moto Moto? Why, it’s Mort and his level 1 counterpart!
  • A Day in the Limelight: Just about every character in the film gets a role in the game and can be controlled. Even ones as minor as Mort, Julian and Maurice get a small playable role (for Mort, his own chapter).
  • Eat the Bomb: The only way to defeat a crocodile boss as Mort is by performing combat rolls to knock poison mushrooms into his maw when he opens his mouth.
  • Hot Potato: Used during Alex’s initiation. This being Serengeti, “potato” is replaced with durian.
  • Improbable Weapon User: When underwater, Gloria attacks by blowing bubbles. On land, Alex is the only character possessing a ranged attack due to his most hand-like paws. Instead of, say, rocks, he throws mangoes, which turn up surprisingly often as a result.
  • I Let You Win: Ends up being subverted with Moto Moto, who, after being beaten by Melman in a dance battle inside a volcano, claims that he was going easy on him, even though he lost two rounds in a row against Melman.
  • Joke Character: Mort. Whereas other characters have two to four abilities, he can only perform a weak roll. He can’t even attack normally with it: in order to defeat the lizards and the croc, he is forced to knock the poison mushrooms into their maws with it.
  • Oxygen Meter: Gloria has one when she’s underwater. Much like Sonic, she can refill it by breathing in bubbles.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you enable the "monkeys are everywhere" feature at Julian's store, some monkeys will turn up inside giraffes when you heal them at Melman's clinic. Some of those won't.
  • Playable Epilogue: It’s possible to keep playing the game after the campaign ends, though it’s difficult to do so otherwise.
  • Simon Says Minigame: Plenty of examples. The straightest is probably one during the volcano segment, when Julian must enter dance-off to avoid being sacrificed before the shark falls in there.
  • Sterility Plague: During the healing minigame as Melman, you get Julian’s red medicine that instantly destroys any kind of infestation in its area. If you use it three times, Julian will run out of it and give you the black one, which doesn’t kill anything, but instead prevents all the creatures present inside the patient from multiplying for a good period of time.
  • Stomach of Holding: Penguin Rico specializes in this: it even gets lampshaded during the game on one occasion.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Everyone besides Gloria dies as soon as they touch the water’s surface.
  • There Was a Door: An especially annoying example is used in the crashlanding level, where Melman is asked to clear a path for the group by riding on a boulder. It is a very frustrating mechanic as the boulder frequently rolls back at every obstacle, and once you’re done, you find out that everyone has already found the alternative entrance.
  • Tight Rope Walking: Alex can do this amongst his other skills.
  • Timed Mission: The race for Marty against other zebras is obviously timed, as are all the other race-like missions. Melman’s healing practice also has a set time limit.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The various minigames/setpieces are so frequent it would be too difficult to list them all, especially since many are foreshadowed in the prologue on the actual Madagascar island. One notable example is when as the penguins, you’re asked with fishing out items from the tourists’ shack with the fishing rod.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Mort and the penguins employ those. Unlike typical FPS usage, here it’s done offensively, being Mort’s only means of attack.


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