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Video Game / Tails Adventure

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Tails Adventure, also known as Tails Adventures, is a Metroidvania game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. It was released for the Sega Game Gear in 1995. It is one of three spinoff games that Tails received, the other two being Tails' Skypatrol, which was also on the Game Gear, and Tails and the Music Maker, which was for the Sega Edutainment System, the Sega Pico.

While taking a nap outside his house, Tails is woken by an explosion, and finds the surrounding forest ablaze. The Battle Kukku Army has invaded the island in order to find the Chaos Emeralds, and it's up to Tails — aided by a veritable laundry list of gadgets and inventions he can obtain along the way — to retrieve the gems first and send the belligerent birds packing.

This title is different from other games in the Sonic series in that the emphasis is on exploration, visiting and revisiting different stages in a similar vein to Clash at Demonhead, and making use of all kinds of different items that can be found (and made) to access new areas and solve puzzles within them. Also, unlike previous titles, Tails actually reaps benefits from collecting just one Chaos Emerald — namely, an increase in HP and Flight stamina — and collecting all six gives him the maximum 99 Rings and a 15-second Flight Timer.

The Japanese manual says this game takes place on Cocoa Island before Tails first met Sonic, while the Western manual says it takes place after Sonic and Tails' last adventure and Tails is on vacation on Tails Island. In recent years though, elements of the two different backstories have a tendency to overlap.

It has a comic book tie-in in Sonic Universe, though it took a few liberties with the plot (such as it is). The Battle Kukku Army, referred to as the Battle Bird Armada, has since taken on a role as one of the major villain groups in Archie's Sonic series.

Not to be confused with Sonic Adventure (although the game is an unlockable bonus in the GameCube re-release).

Tails Adventure features the following tropes:

  • 100% Completion: You need to collect all Items and Emeralds.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: Tails can only do five things on his own; walk, jump a short height, fly for a few seconds, grab ledges and throw bombs, and none of these alone will get you through most of the game's roadblocks. For example, in order to get past Volcanic Tunnel, you need to get the Remote Bomb item (and if your inventory is already full, you have to backtrack to Tails' house to add it to your inventory), and in order to get that, you need to have the Remote Robot first (and learn how to properly use it). Tails' moveset in general considerably expands as you go further through the game.
  • Adaptational Wimp: To fit in with the slower paced gameplay, Tails' default flight ability and speed are extremely nerfed compared to how he plays in the standard Sonic games. While the Chaos Emeralds do beef up his flight considerably, the Sonic item doesn't make him move as fast. This is averted in the Japanese version, in which the story takes place before Tails met Sonic, so it makes sense that he's not very fast nor knows the Spin Dash yet.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game has a longer-than-usual length for a Game Gear game due to its slower pace and Metroidvania nature, so a Password Save is included. The newest password is also entered ahead of time for you if you get a Game Over and want to continue immediately.
    • Items are kept permanently upon collecting. Even if you die right after getting it, it'll be saved to the newest password and you won't have to waste time backtracking to retrieve it.
    • The Remote Robot has the ability to be teleported back to Tails at any time to save time on backtracking. Tails is also functionally invincible while using it, to prevent respawning enemies from getting cheap shots in.
    • Certain items like the Chaos Emeralds act as permanent upgrades upon collecting, meaning you don't have to waste precious inventory space equipping them.
    • Due to the small area of view, the screen lowers or rises when Tails crouches or looks up, respectively, to give a better view of offscreen obstacles ahead of time.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Knuckles item. The concept of Tails punching his foes is awesome... until you find out how terribly short-ranged it is.
  • Big Bad: The Grand Battle Kukku XV, the leader of the armada.
  • Bungling Inventor: Tails is shown in this light in the closing credits, when he attempts to build a bigger and better Remote Robot... only for it to immediately blow up in his face when he switches it on.
  • Busman's Holiday: In the Western manual's story, this game takes place during Tails' vacation, hinted to take place after the events of Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble; which explains his absence from Sonic Blast.
  • The Cameo: While Sonic and Knuckles do not appear in person, two items, the Sonic Item and the Knuckles Item, have their faces adorned on them. Fang also has his own item as well.
  • Carry a Big Stick: The (Pikkon) Hammer item, which allows Tails to smash barriers and enemies with an oversized mallet, much like a certain girl hedgehog.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Issues #17-20 of Archie's Sonic Universe comic.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Japanese backstory has a minor one due to the presence of the Sonic, Knuckles and Fang items in a game that's supposed to take place before Tails met Sonic.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Used in the Poloy Forest level. The entire forest has been set ablaze, but Tails strolls right through it without so much as breaking a sweat or running into a lick of the flames. The chicken-legged flamethrower mecha at the end of the level is another story.
  • Cool Boat: The Sea Fox. It also functions as a Cool Plane once you find the Rocket Parts.
  • Country Switch: The game autodetects if it's played on a Japanese or Western Game Gear, and switches the language accordingly.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Tails is the main protagonist of this game.
  • Death Throws: For once in a Sonic game, averted. If Tails runs out of Rings, he gets knocked back and then keels over on the spot, which re-uses his "sleeping" sprites from the prologue.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: A lot of the supposed oddities in the gameplay pointed out by reviewers stem from this. Tails' inability to spin attack (unless he's using the Sonic item) and run fast are explained by the game being a prequel to Sonic 2 in Japan, meaning that he hadn't met Sonic and learned to mimic his abilities yet. Then again, there's items based off of Sonic, Knuckles and Fang, who Tails isn't supposed to have met yet. This was Lost in Translation, as the localization set the game after previous games. In addition, since the previous games' localizations left out Tails' status as a Gadgeteer Genius, the game's heavy focus on gadgets and machines in this game would have felt pretty random at the time.
  • Early Game Hell: Tails' default speed is as slow as molasses in January, has a weak (non-attacking) jump, low health and can only fly for a few seconds, and his bomb attack is slow and weak and suffers from erratic hit detection. The game gets significantly easier as you acquire more power-ups.
  • Electrified Bathtub: The Spark item for the Sea Fox works this way, sending a powerful jolt of electricity through the water that immediately kills any nearby enemies.
  • End-Game Results Screen: Post-credits, the game shows you your item collection ratio.
  • Final Boss: The Big Bad and leader of the Battle Kukku Army is fought on his ship as the second opponent in a double-boss fight immediately after his son Speedy is defeated.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tails as usual, who has his own workshop, make use of a full arsenal of gadgets, and is able to convert the Remote Robot into the Sea Fox. Then later on, he converts that into an improvised jet fighter using the late-game Rocket Booster item.
  • Gaiden Game: A spinoff that features Tails as the main protagonist. Furthermore, this is one of the very few games in the series where both Sonic and Dr. Robotnik are completely absent. The Western backstory mentions Sonic in passing, but the Japanese backstory justifies this due to the game being a prequel that takes place before Tails met Sonic. There is an item in the game called Sonic with his face on it which lets do you a Spin Dash-like move, and he's also mentioned briefly in the manual bio (below) for the Speed Boots, but that's it.
    "While Tails is running, press Button 2 twice to make him fly at a speed even Sonic would blink at."
  • Good Luck Charm: The Fang item functions like this. Just bringing it with you will increase the chances of enemies dropping rings, no activation necessary.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Remote Robot's helicopter function (Up+B while standing still), which is necessary to use in order to complete the game, is never once explained in-game, which can easily throw off new players.
  • Heart Container: The six Chaos Emeraldsnote  function as these, with them each increasing Tails' Life Meter by 10 Rings each time until he obtains the last one, which boosts it up all the way to the maximum 99 Rings. They also increase his flight timer by about 3 seconds each, maxing out at 15 seconds.
  • Hitbox Dissonance:
    • The enemies have much smaller hitboxes than their sprites, making it rather aggravating to hit them with the regular Bombs at times.
    • Napalm Bombs, hornets, and hornet hives behave strangely together. Napalm Bombs will damage both of these things (including the big one that appears from destroying the hive) as long as they occupy the same vertical space. Even if it the sprite passes well under them, it'll damage them for no apparent reason.
  • Idle Animation: A rather odd one, which has Tails kneel down in place and take a sample of dirt off the ground with one fingertip, which he then tastes.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: In the Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut summary, Cocoa Island and Great Battle Kukku were properly translated, but they were respectively mistranslated as "Kokko Island" and "Great Badoru Kukku" in the Sonic Gems Collection manual. Also, Kukku Island is similarly known as Coco Island when the game is set to English - which may mean that it was supposed to be "Cuckoo".
  • Infinite Supplies: Every one of Tails' projectile attacks have an infinite quantity, as does the Sea Fox.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Oddly enough, you get one in the form of the Remote Robot. Spikes, enemies, lava... nothing can kill it. All any of those things will do at most is send it back to you.
  • Joke Item:
    • The Radio. All it does is change the current level's soundtrack.
    • The Super Glove. Its sole function is letting you pick up rocks or springs. At most, it's a mild timesaver that just wastes valuable inventory space.
    • The Knuckles. Punching enemies just like the red echidna sure sounds good, but it's got a pitifully low range, isn't any more powerful than Tails' usual bombs and robs you of the ability to attack in mid-air. It mostly just serves to put you in danger, especially if you're not carrying any other weapon.
  • Kid Hero: Tails, in one of three spin-off games he received. Of them, this is his biggest solo adventure by far.
  • Last Disc Magic: The Teleport Device, an optional item that can be found on Coco Island. Its sole function is instantly teleporting Tails out of the level and back to his house, which the manual itself notes to be very useful for getting the fox out of danger when he's down to his last few rings.
  • Leitmotif: The title screen music is woven into a couple of other tunes in the game, serving as a somewhat downplayed leitmotif for Tails.
  • Limited Loadout: Tails can only carry four items at any one time, often only using one at a time. In order to equip a new one, including one he just acquired if his inventory is full, he has to backtrack to his house.
  • Mad Bomber: Grand Battle Kukku XV, the final boss of the game. His main form of attack — besides a close-range one where he grabs and shakes Tails by the neck before throwing him — is to throw dozens upon dozens of bombs from every which way.
  • Magikarp Power: Tails starts off the game incredibly weak — only being able to walk, jump, push objects, throw basic bombs and briefly fly, all with very low health — but gets increasingly stronger as he picks up more Chaos Emeralds and assorted gadgets and weapons, to the point where the game gets easier as it goes on.
  • Market-Based Title: Titled Tails Adventures in Japan, the localizations changed it to singular, but as with Knuckles Chaotix, left the title screen untouched.
  • Metroidvania: While the game's levels are not all conjoined with one another, collecting upgrades and revising previous areas with said upgrades will open up new paths and even more upgrades.
  • Mini-Mecha: The bosses of Poloy Forest, Volcanic Tunnel and Cavern Island are these.
  • Monster of the Week: The Battle Kukku Army, in one of the very rare occasions where Dr. Robotnik is not the villain of a Sonic game and is completely absent from one.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: A pair of infrared goggles are an item you can get, and are required to be able to traverse the dark caves of Polly Mountain 2.
  • Oddball in the Series: A Sonic game that not only isn't centered around running and spinning, but is a slow-paced, exploration-based Metroidvania sandwiched in instead of a linear arcade-like platformer. To say the least, it's a drastic change of pace for the series.
  • Overlord Jr.: Speedy is said to be the son of the leader of the Battle Kukku Army, making him Grand Battle Kukku XVI. Appropriately, he's the first opponent in a Sequential Boss fight before you meet his father.
  • Power Up Letdown: The Speed Shoes, which can be acquired in Poloy Forest as soon as you have the Remote Robot. While it does increase Tails' default walking speed, it has to be equipped as a separate ability, meaning Tails can't even attack while using it, and its momentum only carries into your jumps while holding down the run button beforehand, not from a standstill. On top of that, the method of using it is rather counter-intuitive; you have to tap the action button twice while moving to activate it.
  • Prequel: According to the Japanese manual, this game takes place before Tails met Sonic, which explains why he cannot run or Spin Dash on his own yet.
  • The Rival: Speedy (Grand Battle Kukku XVI), who Tails has to outmanoeuvre early in the game. Speedy returns as the penultimate boss of the game — equipped with mechanical arm extensions that let him fire off electrical and fiery bursts — and the first opponent in a double-boss fight to end the game.
  • Robot Buddy: The Remote Robot, which Tails can not only use to scout the nearby area, explore narrow passageways and retrieve items from inaccessible areas, but it also turns into the Sea Fox submarine.
  • Robot Me: Again, the Remote Robot. Its name is even "Mecha Tails" when playing on a Japanese Game Gear.
  • Sound Test: The Radio item acts as a portable Sound Test that you can use during gameplay.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Speed Boots — found in Poloy Forest — do exactly what you'd expect them to. By equipping them and holding down the Action Button, Tails runs faster and can go up steep inclines more easily, but cannot attack while doing so. By tapping Jump twice while running, Tails can also fly at a faster speed.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Tails uses bombs that he can throw or drop as his main weapons, and has several variations, such as the Regular Bombnote , Large Bomb,note  Napalm Bomb,note  Remote Bombnote  and Triple Bomb.note 
  • This Is a Drill: The Sea Fox's bow-mounted drill bit, that can break through rock barriers underwater.
  • Title Confusion: The game is known as Tails Adventure in English-speaking regions, but its original Japanese title, Tails Adventures, appears in the game proper instead.
  • Transforming Mecha: In several areas, the Remote Robot can transform into the Sea Fox to explore underwater.
  • The Unfought: In the Archie comic adaptation, Tails doesn't even meet Grand Battle Kukku XV.
  • Villain Respect: During the first battle with Speedy, if Tails makes it to the top of the stage in spite of Speedy's constant divebombing, he'll hand over the purple Chaos Emerald and leave.