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Video Game / Monkey Shines

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Monkey Shines is a 1997 Shareware platform game created by Fantasoft LLC for Apple Macintosh, with a Windows version following in 1998.

It features an ape named Bonzo who always seems to get himself into trouble. He finds himself through several different worlds, where everything tries to kill him. The enemies include monsters, animals, plants, aliens and simple household objects, depending on the world you're in. To complete a world, you have to collect all the red keys within it, unlocking the "exit" door which will be opened somewhere in the world. There are also fruits, which give you points, blue keys, which open bonus levels, and other Power Ups.

As a shareware product, unregistered players could only play the first world in the game, and only for thirty days. The game features five original worlds in total:

  • Spooked: A haunted house. Enemies included skulls, zombie apes, jack-o-lanterns, eyeballs and other "spooky" creatures.
  • Spaced Out: A spatial zone with many flying saucers, aliens and robots.
  • About the House: Takes place inside a house where you have to avoid appliances, furniture, and other household items.
  • In the Drink: An underwater level. The enemies are sea creatures.
  • In the Swing: You're in a jungle, where the enemies are animals and plants.

The Macintosh version also featured a Level Editor (only available for registered users), where players could modify the existing worlds or create worlds of their own. While there was no level editor for Windows, many levels created by Mac users were converted for the Windows application, and they were downloadable on the game's now defunct website, although you can still find some of them on the internet.

The game doesn't seem to run on any of the usual Mac emulators like Basilisk or SheepShaver, but never fear — a fan of the game recreated it, music and all, as a Java app, and it's open source under the GPLv3.

Not to be confused with the 1988 horror movie of the same name.

This game provides examples of:

  • 1-Up: Collecting a golden Bonzo grants you an extra life.
  • 2½D: The character sprites are 3D-ish, but the gameplay is entirely two-dimensional.
  • 30-Day Free Trial: You can only play Monkey Shines for free for thirty days (and you can only play "Spooked"). After that, you have to register.
  • Airborne Mooks: Common in "Spaced Out", which has many spacecrafts as mooks, but other levels have them too, even if they're not supposed to fly (televisions, skulls, plants, non-avian animals). "In the Drink" mimics this by having mooks swimming above the platforms. Since the water is purely aesthetic, the same effect takes place.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Almost all mooks in the game have the same size as Bonzo, a monkey. Bugs, birds, turtles, snails, fish and rats all have roughly the same size as him. This also applies for aliens, plants (be them flowers or trees) furniture, and home appliances of all kinds. However, the caterpillar in "In the Swing" is about twice as long as the average enemy.
  • Animate Inanimate Object:
    • Almost all of the mooks in "About the House" are moving household objects.
    • "Spooked" has moving brooms and candles.
  • Arch-Enemy: Bees are implied to be Bonzo's arch-enemies. According to the game's "Read Me" file, "Bonzo has a special dislike for bees, and the bees don't like Bonzo much either.". Ironically, they're actually the most inoffensive enemies in the game, since they only drain energy from Bonzo's life bar instead of killing him immediately like most mooks and obstacles do (though they are the only enemies in the game that can bypass Bonzo's shield).
  • Aquatic Mook: The enemies in "In the Drink" are sea creatures.
  • Bee Afraid: While you never face a swarm of bees in this game, they're recurring mooks that appear in almost every world. They're not immediately fatal like the other mooks, but they drain Bonzo's energy.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: World 1, "Spooked", takes place in a haunted house.
  • Big Fancy House: World 3, "About the House", is set in a large mansion.
  • Bomb Disposal: Touching a bomb will kill you, but if you have a shield, the bomb will explode and nothing happens to you.
  • Bonsai Forest: The tree enemies in "In the Swing" are just as tall as Bonzo or the average mook.
  • Bonus Stage: If you collect all blue keys, a bonus door will appear somewhere, allowing you to enter a separate stage where you can collect extra fruit. Usually they have x2, x3 or x4 multipliers to boost the points you get.
  • Cobweb of Disuse: "Spooked" is decorated with lots of cobwebs.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Red keys open exit doors; blue keys open bonus doors.
    • x2 multipliers are red; x3 multipliers are green; x4 multipliers are blue.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Touch lava and you're fried alive. But if you're in platform just above it, or even in it as long as you have a shield, nothing happens.
  • Edible Collectible: The fruits are collectable items that give you Scoring Points.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: It doesn't matter if you're in a haunted house, in space, in a house, underwater or in a jungle: everything that moves (and some things that don't) will try to kill you.
  • Excuse Plot: The game's "Read Me" states that Bonzo woke up inside of a haunted house after "a heavy night on the jungle juice". It's completely irrelevant to the gameplay and the only in-game indication of the plot is that the first world is "Spooked" and the last one is "In the Swing".
  • Extreme Omnivore: When Bonzo collects a fruit, a "yum" will appear for a second, implying that the fruit was eaten. However, this also appears when you collect keys, shields, wings, and multipliers.
  • Faceless Eye: Some of the mooks in "Spooked" are just eyeballs.
  • Falling Damage: Bonzo loses energy if he falls from a great height, unless you pick up a wing.
  • Flip-Screen Scrolling: Each world has multiple "screens" you have to navigate through.
  • Flying Saucer: Many mooks in "Spaced Out".
  • Follow the Money: There are screens in "Spooked" which have fruit indicating where you're supposed to fall.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: You need to collect all red keys within a level to complete it.
  • Heart Container: The lightning strikes are rare items in the game that replenish a small amount of your energy.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: A common hazard in the game. One takes the form of a Cartoon Bomb, the other one looks like a dynamite.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The aliens in "Spaced Out" look like insects.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: ALL of the mooks in the game are invincible. You can only jump over or dodge them.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The shield. It gives you immunity to all mooks and hazards (bar bees and heights).
  • Jungle Japes: World 5, "In the Swing", is set in a forest.
  • Level Editor: The Mac version featured one, allowing players to modify the five existing worlds and create their own. While the Windows version didn't have its own editor, some of the custom worlds were converted into Windows files and they could be acessed through the "Other" option in the game when selecting a world.
  • Life Meter: While most enemies kill Bonzo instantly, bees and medium heights only take away a portion of your energy.
  • Living Toys: "About the House" has a few toys as mooks.
  • Loading Screen: Each level has its own, containing artwork featuring Bonzo with some of the Mooks.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Monkey-Eating, at least. "Spooked" has a walking venus flytrap, "About the House" has chomping flowers in vases, and "In the Swing" has chomping tulips.
  • Mecha-Mooks: There are many robot enemies in "Spaced Out".
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: There are countless mooks, but no bosses.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: While the game itself presents no plot, the trope is downplayed because the manual gives an Excuse Plot, which only briefly indicates why the haunted house is the first level and why the jungle is the last one. How Bonzo goes from space to a mansion to the bottom of the ocean is still a mystery.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Almost anything that Bonzo touches kills him instantly. Averted for bees and falling from heights, which deduct the energy from your life bar.
  • Palette Swap:
    • The red keys and blue keys, which open the exit and bonus doors, respectively.
    • In "Spooked", there's a zombie gorilla named Fred, which is just a grey and blue Bonzo with red eyes.
  • Platform Game: You run around, jump through enemies and collect items.
  • The Scream: Bonzo screams every time he's killed. When he's electrocuted or burned by lava, it's an exaggerated scream.
  • Selective Gravity: Bonzo is the only thing that falls. Power-ups, keys, fruits, and mooks can float or even walk in the air. There's a screen in "Spooked" where you walk on Temporary Platforms and have to dodge a zombie gorilla, and after you jump over it, it keeps walking on where the disappeared platforms were.
  • Shareware: The trial version is free, but you can only play the first world and you only have a month to test it.
  • Space Is Air: "Spaced Out" works just like the Earth levels.
  • Space Zone: World 2, "Spaced Out", takes place in outer space.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Bonzo wears sunglasses at all times.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Bonzo has no trouble in the underwater world "In the Drink".
  • Temporary Platform: Sinking platforms are very common in this game. While sometimes they're obstacles, they're often helpful and necessary to navigate through the world's screens. Exiting a screen and returning to it will respawn them.
  • Timed Power-Up:
    • The shield protects you from all instant-killing hazards and mooks.
    • The wing allows you to fall from any height unharmed.
    • The x2, x3 and x4 symbols multiply the amount of points you obtain from keys and fruit.
  • The Undead: Most of the enemies in "Spooked".
  • Under the Sea: World 4, "In the Drink", is set underwater.
  • Water Is Air: Played straight for Bonzo, despite him not being a water creature. There are also bombs underwater. Most of the actual sea animals, however, seem to behave just like regular ones would.
  • When Trees Attack: The mobile trees in "In the Swing" have the same height at Bonzo, but they still want to kill you.
  • A Winner Is You: Beating the final level gives you the "game over" screen.