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Video Game / Sky Odyssey

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"For the young, and the young at heart... Comes an air-borne adventure like none other."
Adventure Mode Introduction

"Sky Odyssey" is a semi-realistic flight sim for the PlayStation 2. Developed by Cross and published by Activision it was released towards the launch of the PS2 in 2000. The game bills itself as an Action-Adventure flight simulation with a mix of hardcore strategy. The goal of the game is to navigate form the start of each level with a series of aircraft (both real world and fictional) and land at the end. Unfortunately for the player the game is set in a Death World where it seems every single thing out there is trying to kill you and destroy you aircraft. Windstorms, Hurricanes, Blizzards, earthquakes, rockslides, narrow canyons, caverns, and active volcanos all have to be carefully navigated through using your Improbable Piloting Skills to have any hopes of reaching your goal.

The story takes place across an archipelago of four islands within the fictional dark sea. These islands had remained remote and largely unexplored for centuries thanks to fierce storms, rough landscapes, and frequent geologic activity. However legends tell of the hidden Tower of Maximus, a grand city built by an ancient civilization thousands of years ago to protect the Garden of Eden.

The game starts off with the nameless pilot character, the latest in a line of explorers who have coveted the hidden tower and its secrets. To find Maximus this pilot must recover the four pieces of a lost map scattered across ruins on the islands the ancient civilization left behind. His journey will not be an easy one however as these ruins are located in the most dangerous parts of the islands, where even flying to them by air is considered a suicide mission.

Tropes found in the game:

  • Ace Custom: Players can upgrade their aircraft using custom parts awarded depending on the score received at the end of each level.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: The player character is one of these, at least according to the official website.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: The islands are remote and largely unexplored, with every possible weather and geologic extreme available hindering the way. Also there are a large number of convenient airfields and fellow adventurers scattered across the in-game world.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: While nothing is actually chasing you, flying through narrow canyons is a very common feature in this game. To make it more difficult than it already is you sometimes even have to dodge rockslides falling in from above.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: During the final missions (A Tight Squeeze, Valley of Fire and The Great Falls), if the player makes it to the Tower of Maximus and crashes or runs out of fuel, they start at the Tower of Maximus again.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: In one of three final missions (aptly named "The Great Falls") the player is required to fly behind a series of 2,600 foot waterfalls and fly through a massive series of caverns inside.
  • Collection Sidequest: The player needs to find and land on four hidden airfields to collect parts for the Shinden (actually 3 parts to form the Shinden, and one part to upgrade it into the Shinden-Kai). Gaining the parts lets the player unlock said aircraft.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: Its seems like the circle button can do almost everything seeing how it is used in a different way for each level of the game.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Stealth Jet and the gold UFO. Both can be obtained in target mode fairly easily, and before stepping foot into adventure mode.
  • Death World: The Four Islands of the Dark Sea.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: In the mission "The Storm Before the Calm" you have to avoid running into thunderclouds and tornado like vortexes inside a hurricane.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: As a rule of thumb if anything can go wrong in a particular mission it will. Thus if you’re in a canyon there will be a rockslide, if you’re over open water a storm will overtake you, etc.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: If the circle button is used, then mission narrator knows what it does
  • Heroic Mime: The main character. Perhaps justified as he never gets the chance to really interact with anyone throughout the course of the game.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: In the mission "Over the Falls" your engine blows up towards the end of the level. You then have to land on a river and glide over several waterfalls you run into. 
  • Just Plane Wrong: Overall, the game averts this thanks to the simulator-esque flight physics, but it does have an odd quirk with reciprocating-engine planes, in that the propellers are motionless while the engine is at idle, and only beginning to spin as the engine is throttled up, as if they were inexplicably clutch-operated. In reality, even early propeller aircraft always had their props in motion when running, since the addition of a clutch or transmission assembly would only add needless weight and complication (not to mention a motionless propeller would add unnecessary drag to the aircraft unless it was feathered) and "idling" with the engine running was either achieved by the variable-pitch propellers being set to not produce thrust, or, in the case of fixed-pitch propeller, simply spinning at low enough RPM that the propeller did not produce sufficient thrust to move the aircraft.
  • Lethal Lava Land: "The Valley of Fire", one of three final missions, takes place in an active volcano while it's erupting.
  • Hostile Weather: A very common hazard throughout the game. In-universe the islands are said to have the worst and most unpredictable weather in the world.
  • Mr. Exposition: The mission narrator knows every little detail of the area in the current mission.
  • Minimalist Cast: Aside from a few radio operators and the mission narrator (who appear very briefly), there's only the main character.
  • Mordor: Destin Island is one of these being covered in black mountains, narrow caverns, and active volcanos. There is little to no plant life here and the sky seems to be perpetually enveloped in dark grey clouds.
  • Multiple Endings: Sure, you end up at Eden and the final cutscene is the same each time, but Double Subverted in the fact that the game has three distinct parts leading up to Maximus (it depends in which order you collect the MacGuffin of the game); A Tight Squeeze, Valley of Fire and The Great Falls.
  • Nintendo Hard: Crash into a wall, or run out of fuel, and you will almost certainly die and have to start the level over from the beginning.
  • No Antagonist: Aside from the Hostile Weather, there is no villain.
  • No Name Given: The player character.
  • Pass Through the Rings: Transparent rings can be found in each level, guiding players on the correct path. While it’s completely optional to pass through them doing so gives the player a better score (and thus allowing them to upgrade their aircraft).
  • Plot Coupon: The four pieces of the Lost Map
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Tower of Maximus