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Video Game / Tails' Skypatrol

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Tails' Skypatrol is a game released for the Sega Game Gear in 1995, developed by SIMS co. Ltd and JSH, and only in Japan (prior to being ported to compilations). It features Sonic's pal Miles "Tails" Prower, in the first of three Spin-Off games the lovable fox cub received. In this game, Tails shoots a ring to grab things, and must save an island from the evil Witchcart, a witch who rides in a mine cart and turns trespassers into crystals.

Notable for being the first game Chikayo Fukuda composed for, who would later go on to compose the music for many of CyberConnect2's games.

A 2003 McDonald's Happy Meal LCD game was also released under the name of Tails' Skypatrol, and keeps the flight based gameplay, but simplifies it into a high score endurance game where you grab rings.

Also see Tails Adventure.


Tropes used:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Carrotia uses carrots as missiles to attack Tails in her boss fight.
  • All There in the Manual: The games story, such as it is, is delegated to the manual. There are no in-game cutscenes or context to what's going on, or even names for the villains in-game.
  • Ambiguously Human: Witchcart, who certainly looks like a cartoon human, which would make her the only character in the pre-Sonic Adventure Sonic games (besides Eggman) to be a human.
  • Balloonacy: Once in a while you'll have to grab a balloon to help you reach a area Tails would die trying to reach otherwise due to Tails being unable to stop moving left.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bearenger is a black bear who rides a missile and is quite a tough boss.
  • Beneath the Earth: The first part of RuinWood Area is set in a cavern (which is suspiciously similar in appearance to Mystic Cave Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.)
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  • Big Bad: Witchcart is the villain of the game, taking the brass ring from Eggman for a change.
  • Checkpoint: Presented in the form of bells that you ring.
  • A Day in the Limelight: One of three spin-off games Tails got for himself.
  • Excuse Plot: Witchcart is turning intruders on an island into crystals, and Tails has to stop her and her minions. Go at it.
  • Final Boss: Again, Witchcart, who's fought at the end of the last stage.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Witchcart. She is given no characterization at all beyond "Evil witch who wants to take over an island and turn anyone who opposes her into crystals."
  • Girls Have Cooties: Carrotia's main attack is blowing kisses.
  • Green Hill Zone: The aptly named Training Area, the first level in the game, and RailCanyon Area, the second level.
  • Haunted Castle: Witchcart's lair, DarkCastle Area.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Tails's hitbox is actually just one pixel. To make up for it, everything else has a hitbox much larger than its appearance.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: An invincibility power-up exists in the game, but it lasts such a short time that it's borderline useless.
  • Killer Rabbit: Carrotia, a rabbit who rides a carrot-shaped plane, serves as the boss of MetalIsland Area.
  • Levels Take Flight: MetalIsland Area, which, despite its name, takes place entirely in the sky.
  • The Lost Woods: The second half of Level 3, RuinWood Area.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Witchcart has a modest set of machines at her aid to accompany the obstacles she set up for Tails.
  • Meaningful Name: Witchcart is a witch who rides in a cart.
  • Meaningless Lives: The game gives you infinite continues, which in some way compensates for its grueling difficulty.
  • Minecart Madness: Witchcart, true to her name, rides in an automated minecart as her vehicle. Tails can sometimes latch his ring onto minecarts in the levels in order to drag himself around faster, but it can also drag himself to his doom if he doesn't let go in time.
  • Nintendo Hard: Even though the game is surprisingly short (only five levels), you will have a hard time beating it. Among the factors that make it hard include the claustrophobic stage design, the constantly moving screen, and Tails' floaty controls, which leaves very little room for error, and not to mention that if you touch ANY surface beyond an item or some enemy attacks, you will die. The aforementioned Hitbox Dissonance throws in some nasty Fake Difficulty to top it off. The lack of a save or password function in the non Gems Collection versions make this game only beatable by the most dedicated gamers, and with this in mind, it's no surprise why this game didn't get released outside of Japan.
  • Noob Cave: Training Area, the first level in the game.
  • Oddball in the Series: Even more than Tails Adventure, since this is one of the few games in the classic series with absolutely no platforming at all, and it has little in the way of speed elements; it's a rail shooter with puzzle elements, with the only regular character appearing being Tails—even Sonic and Eggman took a very rare leave of absence. The other characters, including the one shot villain Witchcart, are exclusive to this game. There are no Rings to collect or protect you with (and the ring Tails carries works as a boomerang) and there are no Chaos Emeralds or special stages.
  • Offstage Villainy: We don't get to see Witchcart turning anyone into crystals.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Tails, although this applies to him touching any surface beyond items or contraptions. An airborne hit will usually just stun him, although that often leads to crashing into a nearby surface.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: Witchcart is more like a villain out of a fairy tale than the supervillain level threat Eggman posed; she was the first antagonist in the series to directly use magic instead of just robots to accomplish her goals, predating the more significant use of this kind of threat with Chaos in Sonic Adventure. Most notable is that unlike Chaos, her magic does not involve the use of the Chaos Emeralds, which are completely absent from Tails' Skypatrol.
  • Power Up Letdown: The invincibility power up barely lasts ten seconds, and only pops up in situations where its barely of any use.
  • Punny Name: Witchcart's name is a portmanteau of Witchcraft and Cart.
  • Rail Shooter: The game is a mix of this and puzzle elements. The shooting is delegated to throwing a ring like a boomerang, though.
  • Savage Wolves: Hocke-Wulf is a wolf who serves as the boss of RailCanyon Area.
  • Scoring Points: The game has a high score system. You can also collect crystals to boost your high score once you beat a level.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Witchcart has one on loan from Mizrabel.
  • Spell My Name with an S:
    • For his Archie Comics debut, Hocke-Wulf (ホッケウルフ) was renamed Falke Wulf. In reality, Hocke-Wulf is named after Focke-Wulf (フォッケウルフ), a defunct German company which was known for manufacturing military aircraft such as a "Falke" model for the Luftwaffe during World War II.
    • Archie also renders the rabbit's name (キャロッティア) as Carrotia, although Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia spells it as Carrottia. Due to how the word "carrot" is transliterated into katakana (キャロット), either is correct.
  • Spin-Off: This game focuses on Tails, and Sonic and Dr. Eggman are nowhere to be seen.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Carrotia fires carrots as missiles.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Hocke-Wulf is quite similar to Fang the Sniper from Sonic Triple Trouble.
  • Taken for Granite: Tails is threatened with this, as Witchcart will turn him (and anyone else on the island who opposes her) into crystals.
  • Token Human: Prior to Sonic Adventure, Witchcart was the only human (or human like character) besides Eggman to appear in the classic series.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mint Candies are power-ups in this game. His original character bio states that Tails loves mint candy.
  • Video Game Flight: The entire gameplay is built around Tails flying with a meter that depletes over time, but can be refilled by eating Mint Candies.
  • Villain of the Week: Witchcart, who only appeared in this game and was never heard from again in the video games, although she was later reimagined as a minor villain named Wendy Naugus (with her henchmen being heavily redesigned and renamed the Witchcarters as an ode to her old name) for the Archie Comics. Curiously, this game is one of the very few games in the franchise where Eggman is completely absent in favor of another villain.
  • Wicked Witch: Witchcart, who has the stock appearance of one (giant black hat and cloak, green skin and long nose). She doesn't ride a broomstick or own a cat, but she uses magic in her schemes and during your fight with her.
  • Witch Classic: Witchcart wears black clothes and a pointy hat, uses magic as her primary method of attack, and has three henchmen.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Tails periodically needs to eat Mint Candies in order to fuel his flight meter.