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Video Game / Scaler

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Scaler: The Shapeshifting Chameleon, or simply Scaler is a 2004 Platform Game, released for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

Bobby Jenkins is a kid living with his mom somewhere in suburbia. We'd call him "ordinary", but frankly, that's a lie — he's an animal activist, with an especial love of lizards. He's currently gotten himself a dose of local infamy for protesting — in slightly-less-than-honorable ways—a motion picture currently being shot in his town. Unfortunately, the director, Looger, and his henchmen don't take too kindly to Bobby's meddling. Their solution? Drag him into a basement for some torture. Electric Torture.

In the process, they also open up a gate to another world — their world, where Looger and all of his henchmen turn out to be scaly lizard-people who want to mutate Bobby's pet lizard eggs into horrible monsters! Luckily for Bobby, he's also been turned into a lizard — a cool, blue-and-yellow alter ego called Scaler, and he quickly adapts. He also manages to quickly piss off another lizard man named Leon. But Leon, at least, hates Looger as much as Scaler does, and the two form an extremely uneasy team to take down the devious director for good!

This game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Scaler's basic weapon are his own hands. While his tongue can rapidly tag out smaller enemies from a short distance, his claws are better suited to slicing up hardier foes up close. They can be upgraded over time to deal more damage per swipe.
  • All There in the Manual: Bobby's lizard protest activities are explained in detail in the instruction booklet's story, showing how he ran afoul of Looger and his goons before being taken to Looger's secret base for questioning in the opening cutscene. In fact, the manual actually includes sketches of what Jazz, Rhombus, and Turbine's human disguises look like, something that is never shown properly in the game. Unless one reads this all first, it would likely fly right over the player's head as to why Bobby somehow knows the names of all these huge lizard people.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Bobby is a "lizard activist," and he sometimes plays dirty.
  • Bear Hug: When Leon finally warms up to Scaler — and realizes that he's his son — smothering ensues.
  • The Bully: Rhombus. He wears a constant mean glare, and his Shockwave Stomp and Shockwave Clap will certainly keep you on your toes.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Bobby goes out to several locations to protest rights for lizards and commits acts of petty vandalism... and it just so happens that each of his targets are members of an evil race of Lizard Folk who have plans of multiversal domination.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Looger's form on Earth.
  • Dangerously Garish Environment: The Chimerum world is a lush, glowy rainforest with exactly two (2) NPCs that don't want you dead. One of the more dangerous enemies can turn invisible at will, so don't get distracted.
  • Dark Action Girl: Jazz, the token female of the villains.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The game is very generous with checkpoints, encouraging exploration with some challenges between locations.
  • Demolitions Expert: The Bakudan. It may be small, but it's really skilled with bombs.
  • Disappeared Dad: Scaler's dad left when he was really little.
  • Disney Villain Death: Looger falls into a pit of lava after he is defeated by Scaler at the end of the game.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Looger's right-hand man, Bootcamp, takes on the guise of a drill sergeant. But this is nothing compared to to his true form: a massive, dark-green dragon with venomous breath and breathes fire when he gets really vexed.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Some of the worlds (and their associated Lizard Eggs/Crystal Gems) are challenging, but if a level itself is hard, the eventual boss will make you want to pull out your hair in frustration. The first boss is relatively easy, but after that... Ugh.
  • Feed It a Bomb: You'll have to defeat certain enemies by changing into your Bakudan form and then hurling a bomb into their mouths.
  • Genius Bruiser: Leon. Brilliant scientist, and surprisingly muscular force.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One of the bosses. You even Attack Its Weak Point for massive damage!
  • Giant Flyer: Leon's "Repadactyl," or "Reppy," as he calls her. She can also apparently, uh, serve as the shop by absorbing energy balls and then spitting up upgrades. Or something.
  • Grind Boots: Scaler does this with his bare claws. It also serves as the only way to charge an electrical attack.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The Fruzard. It's basically a walking sniper rifle.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Leon has an especially prominent one. He's also the local Top-Heavy Guy.
  • Lizard Folk: Pretty much the entire main cast, aside from Reppy and Bootcamp, and even they count as reptiles in their own right.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Scaler, Leon is your father!
  • Mascot with Attitude
  • Mega Manning: Scaler gets the ability to transform by defeating enemies with the form he wants.
  • Older Sidekick: Leon, for Scaler.
  • Overly-Long Tongue: One of Scaler's natural abilities. He can lash out with a chameleon-like tongue to break open containers and snag health pick-ups. His tongue can also defeat swarms of smaller enemies, though it will only briefly stun larger enemies, or simply not affect them at all.
  • Parental Substitute: As they start to get along, Scaler comes to see Leon as a kind of vague replacement for his Disappeared Dad. But, surprise! Leon is Scaler's dad.
  • Pickup Hierarchy:
    • Primary: Lizard Eggs
    • Secondary: Crystal Gems
    • Tertiary: Klokkies
  • Racing Minigame: One level is almost nothing but races, in Scaler's Krock form. Some of them are just time attack, but others have enemies for you to race against.
  • Scenery Porn: Leon calls his world the "Worst plane in the Multiverse," but it's so pretty!
  • Stealth Expert: Scaler can render himself invisible to his enemies.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Scaler even says it himself: "CAN'T SWIM!" However, the Swoom transformation allows him to swim in a few levels.
  • Super-Soldier: The basis of Looger's plan in a nutshell. By using lizard eggs taken from Earth, Looger plans to use mutation-inducing energy to morph the batch into kaiju-sized beasts, then clone them into an endless supply of monstrous troopers.
  • Take Over the World: Looger and his minions plan to create an army of lizard monsters and conquer the multiverse.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: It takes several levels before Scaler and Leon even start to get used to each other, let alone get along.
  • Trapped in Another World
  • Totally Radical: Scaler. Egads.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Several, usually from Repadactyl-back. In particular, the boss fight against the Sky Crab is entirely one of these.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Scaler can change between different forms on certain levels to solve puzzles and the like.
  • Video Game Flight: One of Scaler's transformations (the Doozum) lets him fly... but only in one level. Awww.
  • Wall Crawl: One of Scaler's abilities.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never learn what happens to Jazz, Rhombus, and Turbine after their defeat.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bobby has no issues with fighting Jazz.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As stated, the villains torture the young Bobby with electricity.
  • Xray Sparks: When Bobby gets a jolt of electricity.