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Video Game / Puppeteer

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Not many people can perform a Yorrick soliloquy with their own head, but Kutaro is one of them.

"Welcome to the magical theatre, of the strange and fantastic..."
Professor Gregorious T. Oswald

Puppeteer is a side-scrolling platformer for the PlayStation 3. Puppeteer takes place in a magical puppet theatre, owned and run by the slightly eccentric but thoroughly charming Professor Gregorious T. Oswald. His latest production is the weirdly titled “The Perilous Journey of a Boy Named Kutaro.”

On one dark, moonlit night, the star of the show, a young boy named Kutaro, is carried away by the maleficent Moon Bear King to a black castle, where the unlucky lad is transformed into a puppet. Kutaro then displeases the terrible tyrant, who duly devours the boy’s wooden head and casts away his body. But the headless hero is not alone, for he discovers a very special pair of magic scissors, which will help him on his harrowing quest to find his head -— and his way home.

Unlike most games where you move through the world, the world of Puppeteer actually moves around you, with all the action taking place on the same stage. The sets are continually moving and changing, taking you on an adventure with surprises in every scene.


Puppeteer contains the following tropes:

  • 2½D: Functions very similarly to LittleBigPlanet.
  • Acrofatic: Ezma Potts.
  • Animated Actors: The game is a play and every character is a cast member acting a part.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: After swallowing the souls of every child on Earth, Moon Bear King becomes a giant larger than his own castle.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Bugging the Witch during tutorial segments will make her turn the current companion into a creature or object related to the current events, such as turning Ying Yang into a carrot, or Pikarina into a parrot. The Witch herself is actually the Moon Goddess turned into an ugly form by the breaking of the White Moon Crystal.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Moon Bear King.
  • Big Bad: Moon Bear King.
  • Big Eater: Pikirina shows signs of this, especially when the cake appears in Hallowee Ville.
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  • Bragging Rights Reward: Kutaro's original head, which you get after you beat the game. It has the ability to activate every head action without the intended head.
  • Bright Castle: Castle Waxwane
  • The Chosen One: Subverted; Ezma went through a LOT of "chosen ones" until Kutaro happened to get past the staircase of violent death. It helps that he had the unique ability to get up to three health points (and regenerate these), but other than that he's just a normal kid.
  • Clockworks Area: The second half of Act 6: Curtain 2 takes place in a giant clock tower. Professor Gregorious even mentions how the gears make convenient footholds.
  • Colossus Climb: Inverted, the final boss against the Moon Bear King has you literally cut him down to size until he's just a head.
  • Constellations: The Moon Bear King in turn has Ursa Major as his theme. His original form, Little Bear, is Ursa Minor.
  • Cool Sword: By appearances when closed, the magical pair of scissors Calibrus. Wielded like one it's more like a blunt instrument. Still excellent for cutting though.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ying Yang, Ezma's cat.
    "Lovely, another dunce who left his head in the Moon Bear King's belly..."
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Nebula Oblongata gets mad if you call her Susan.
  • Eastern Zodiac: All of the Moon Bear King's generals follow this theme.
  • Fetch Quest: Kutaro is another kid in a long line of kidnapped children sent by the Witch to fetch her the Moon Bear King's scissors.
  • Framing Device: The whole game's story takes place within a puppet show being performed by Gregorious T. Oswald and the actors and puppeteers of the theatre he runs.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Act 3, Curtain 1.
  • Geek: Gregorious starts to geek out when there's giant robots or airplanes about.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Robo Crab boss. Using the crab head during it causes an ACTUAL giant crab to appear. And yes, they DO make the obvious jokes.
  • Giant Squid: One of the bosses in Act 3.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Ezma Potts the Moon Witch. She merely wanted to use Kutaro to get Calibrus herself, and did so by sending children off to their almost certain doom.
  • Ground Pound: A Use Your Head version granted by a bull-masked Wrestler head.
  • Halloweentown: The aptly-named level Hallowee-Ville.
  • Headless Horseman: The Mayor of Hallowee-Ville.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The main reason Kutaro succeeded on the Witch's FetchQuest, is because his decapitation at the hands of the Moon Bear King allowed him to use other heads.
  • Hooks and Crooks: Kutaro gains a Grappling-Hook Pistol ability from a Pirate head.
  • Idle Animation: Over one hundred for Kutaro, one for each head.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Turns out this is what Moon Bear King wanted all along.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Kutaro.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: The Octopus boss.
  • Ironic Echo: "Kutaro, will you be my friend? Pals to the bitter end?"
  • Its Pronounced Tro PAY: Kutaro's name is pronounced "Koo-ta-ro", not "Cut-ar-o".
  • Killed Off for Real: All 12 of the generals are killed. General Rat gets strangled, General Dragon gets cut to pieces, General Monkey gets lost in space and so on and so on.
    • Possibly averted since every general is seen during the ending credits. Since every character is an actor, it's possible that their deaths were just for the story and not intended to be real. It's also possible that while the bosses fought may be dead, the child versions of them might have survived, since Little Bear lives while Moon Bear King dies. We just never actually see them.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A Knight head where the shining armors is a gameplay element.
  • Large Ham: Considering it's a play, there are a lot of these. The Kappagaeru mother and Nebula Oblongata are this in-universe.
  • Lemony Narrator: Professor Gregorious.
  • Level Ate:
    • One of the very first levels takes place in the Witch's kitchen, and is spent jumping on various oversized foodstuffs.
    • Curtains 1 and 2 of Act 5 have lots of candy and pumpkins in them, but it's specifically stated that eating them will turn you into a monster.
  • Losing Your Head: Kutaro has his head ripped off in the intro to prevent him from taking up the mantle of the Chosen One and defeat the Moon Bear King.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Killing General Dragon causes the gateway between the Earth and the Moon to stay open, allowing the Moon Bear King to continue swallowing souls.
  • Precision F-Strike: The characters say "damn" and "hell" at a few points.
  • Plot Coupon: The 12 pieces of the White Moon crystal.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The souls inside the various monsters Kutaro fights are scared young children.
  • Press X to Not Die: Some of the boss fights end with this.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Moon Bear King. This makes sense, as he is actually a child.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tiger, Bull, Monkey and Moon Bear King.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Constantly pointed out by Pikarina, but special mention goes to the 12 animal children and Little Bear. Well, before they went evil.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mr. Pink, the Motor Mouth flamingo
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: The framing device for the game is a puppet show called "The Perilous Journey of a Boy Named Kutaro".
  • Soul Jar: Most of the enemies in the game, each of them housing souls the Moon Bear King is holding hostage.
  • Studio Audience: They'll cheer whenever Kutaro does something awesome, laugh at funny moments, gasp at suspense, and even begin chattering with each other if Kutaro remains idle for too long.
  • This Is My Story: The Moon Bear King gets a villainous example.
    "This is my story, so just get to the part where I sound good!"
  • Turned Against His Master: Moon Bear King to the Moon Goddess.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Ying Yang is the one who egged Little Bear into stealing the Black Moon Stone.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Moon Bear King and the 12 generals used to be cute, friendly animal children before the Black Moon Stone corrupted them.
  • Weird Moon: It's the Earth. Since you're on the moon itself. Earthlight is an important element.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Black Moon Stone gave Little Bear incredible knowledge, causing him to rebel against the Moon Goddess. This, of course, made him go insane.
  • Wutai: Act 2, Curtain 1.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The Moon Bear King's "generals" do all sorts of things. One's a mad scientist, one's a huckster who sells poisonous "medicine" to unsuspecting suckers, two are pirates, two do nothing but race each other all day long, and one's a giant robot dog, to name a few. The only thing none of these "generals" do is serve as officers of high rank in the Moon Bear King's military.


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