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Video Game / Taz-Mania (Sega)

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A Licensed Game based on Taz-Mania, published by Sega in 1992, and developed by Recreational Brainware for the Genesis, NuFX for the Game Gear, and Technical Wave for the Master System.

One day, Hugh Tasmanian Devil tells his three children, Taz, Molly, and Jake the story of giant preshistoric seabirds that once ruled Tasmania. These giant seabirds laid giant eggs that could feed a family of tasmanian devils for over a year. In his story, he mentions there being a legend that somewhere in Tasmania, there is a lost valley where the giant seabirds still nest. Fascinated by the prospect of a potentially large omelet, Taz leaves his house in search of the lost valley and the giant seabird egg.

The game is a side-scroller where Taz searches for the legendary giant seabird egg, Although each version of the game is different, the story is the same, and the gameplay and the stages are similar; Taz can jump, spin into a tornado, and eat various objects. Taz's tornado spin allows him to defeat most enemies as well as gain extra jump distance, knock away items and get past certain obstacles unharmed. Taz can eat most items throughout the levels, such as food recovery items, extra lives, and continues. He can also eat chili peppers to breathe fire and stars to get temporary invincibility. Other items, such as bombs and weed killer can be thrown at enemies, but will damage Taz if he eats them.

A sequel of sorts, Taz in Escape from Mars followed in 1994. Although Escape From Mars features a similar design and concept, it is more based on the Looney Tunes shorts than the Taz-Mania cartoon.

Not to be confused with the Nintendo versions of the game, released by Sunsoft in 1993 for the SNES and 1994 for the Game Boy.

Tropes applying exclusively to the Genesis version:

  • Ash Face: The end result of Taz taking damage from fire-based attacks or eating a bomb.
  • Continue Countdown: The continue screen depicts Taz in a temple, where the player has twenty seconds to decide whether or not they want to continue the game. If time runs out before the player can send Taz through the door that says "Continue", then the game ends.
  • Cranium Ride: In the Badlands, there are ambulatory rocks with angry faces that serve as enemies. Taz can (and must for one level) ride these monsters across hazards such as quicksand. Unlike other examples of this trope, however, they do mind, and will try to swat Taz off them if he stays up there for too long.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Subverted. Setting the difficulty to easy would allow you to play the game the same way as if you'd set it on hard. However, there's also a "practice" difficulty that only lets you play a selection of the game's stages, and doesn't give you the true ending.
  • Eternal Engine: The second world, The Factory, takes place in a robot factory. Various hazards include spinning blades, furnaces, hammers, laser cannons, tunnels that shock you which you have to find the right switch to temporarily turn them off with, and decoy switches that shock you when you pull them.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Taz gains the ability to breathe fire after he eats chili peppers.
  • Harmless Freezing: Subverted. If Taz falls into water in the Icelands stage, he'll be frozen in a block of ice and take damage over time until he eventually sinks into the water and loses a life. He can break free by spinning, however.
  • Idle Animation: Leave Taz alone for a few seconds, and he will spin in place and throw a brief tantrum, after which he'll start tapping his foot impatiently.
  • King Mook: The boss of the last jungle level is Weed-ola, a giant version of the carnivorous plant enemy.
  • Leap of Faith: You'll be doing this a lot in the game to get across big gaps, most notably the first Jungle level and the second mine level.
  • Logo Joke: When you start up the game, Taz spins up to the Sega logo and eats the S.
  • Mickey Mousing: The Genesis version was unique for the time in that the instrumentation changed as you moved and/or depending on what was happening on the screen. Examples:
    • If Taz is standing still, it's the bare minimum instruments. Start to move, and some percussion kicks in.
    • In the first boss fight, after the second successful impact, another instrument is added to give a more frantic mood.
    • In the mine cart level, the music tempo varies depending on how fast or slow you're moving.
  • Mirror Boss: The boss of the Taztec Ruins is a statue of Taz's ancestor, which comes to life. The statue retains Taz's tornado move.
  • One-Book Author: The Genesis version was the only game developed by Recreational Brainware.
  • Squashed Flat: Can potentially happen to Taz in the first and third acts of the Badlands, the first act of the Factory, and the second act of the mines if he is respectively smashed into a ceiling by a geyser, run over by Axl and Bull, or standing under a hammer or an elevator. The first of those is a One-Hit Kill, the other three simply deal heavy damage to Taz.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Falling into the water in the river levels is instant death for Taz, at least on Hard difficulty.
  • Talking with Signs: Taz holds up a sign saying, "Ouch." if he gets squished by a hammer in the first act of the factory, or when an elevator falls on him in the second act of the mines. He holds up another sign saying, "Uh-oh..." before facing off against Weed-ola and the statue of his ancestor in the respective jungle and Taztec Ruins levels.
  • Tank-Tread Mecha: In the second act of the factory, robots with tank-like lower halves and human-like upper halves are revealed to be assembled.
  • Water-Geyser Volley: Geysers are common in the first act of the Badlands. Their tops can be used as platforms, but touching their sides damages Taz, and getting squashed into the low ceilings above some of them results in instant death.

Tropes applying exclusively to the Game Gear version:

  • Cast from Hit Points: Spinning is much faster than walking and lets Taz pass through enemies and hazards, but it drains Taz's health. Thankfully, this restriction is lifted for the game's one boss fight.
  • Eggshell Clothing: When Taz reaches Momma Seabird's nest, the baby seabird's legs hatch from the bottom of the egg, and the baby seabird chases Taz, with his eggshell covering the rest of his body.
  • Floating in a Bubble: In the sixth level, the Sky-Cross, the Bushrats float in bubbles, which Taz has to avoid bursting.
  • Gusty Glade: The fourth level, the Icelands has a Bushrat operate a giant fan, which blows Taz across icy platforms.
  • Indy Escape: The first level, the Badlands, has Taz being chased by a boulder that a Bushrat is running atop.
  • Levels Take Flight: In the sixth level, the Sky-Cross, Taz comes across a giant Kiwi, and uses two of its feathers as wings to fly across the level. Flying into yellow clouds adds energy to Taz's energy bar.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Momma Seabird is an entirely different species of bird in the Game Gear version.

Tropes applying exclusively to the Master System version:

Tropes applying to more than one version:

  • Big Eater: Taz will eat almost anything in the game, whether it be food power-ups, extra lives, continues, or even bombs, which explode inside him.
  • The Cameo:
    • In the Genesis version, the opening cutscene has appearances by Taz's family, namely Hugh, his father, Molly, his younger sister, Jake, his younger brother, and Dog, his pet turtle who acts like a dog.
    • Also in the Genesis version, Axl and Bull appear as the boss of the Badlands in their truck.
    • Axl and Bull also appear in the Master System version, only this time, Bull is the sole boss of the cavern. When he is defeated, Axl carries him away.
    • Also in the Master System version, Witch Hazel appears as the boss of the ruins.
    • In the Game Gear version, Hugo the Abominable Snowman appears as the boss of the fifth level.
    • In all three versions of the game, Francis X. Bushlad appears as a boss in the jungle.
    • In all three versions of the game, the Bushrats appear as common enemies.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: This happens to Taz at the end of the game when the baby seabird mistakes him for his mother.
  • Death Mountain:
    • The Badlands, which serves as the first world in the Genesis version and the first level in the Game Gear version.
    • The Valley, which serves as the fifth and final world of the Master System version.
  • Goomba Stomp: Taz can jump on smaller enemies, such as the Bushrats, to kill them.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: In the Genesis and Master System versions, stars make Taz temporarily invincible.
  • Jungle Japes: The Jungle, which serves as the fourth world of the Genesis version, the second world of the Master System version, and the seventh level of the Game Gear version.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • In the Genesis version, Taz can breathe fire after he eats chili peppers, which he can use to kill enemies.
    • In the Game Gear version, during the battle with Hugo the Abominable Snowman in the Iceman's Cavern, Taz has to hit the icicles in order to get the steam vents to shoot fire and hit Hugo.
  • Mama Bear: Momma Seabird is very protective of her egg, which is precisely why she serves as the final boss in the Genesis and Master System versions of the game. She appears in the Game Gear version as well, but you don't have to defeat her, you simply have to avoid her as you make your way to her nest.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Carnivorous plants with eyes serve as common enemies in the Jungle levels. They are Taz's size and can slowly walk around, and Taz can pick them up, carry them, and eat them (though they can still bite and damage Taz if held, so eat them quickly). In the Genesis version, the boss of the last jungle level is Weed-ola, a gigantic screen-sized version of the plants, who can be quite a tough fight if you don't utilize the three bags of weed-killer scattered around the arena.
  • Minecart Madness:
    • In the Genesis version, the first mine level has Taz ride a mine cart, and it requires a great amount of memorization of when to speed the mine cart up, slow it down, lift it over the buffers, and have it duck under the tunnels in order to complete.
    • While not quite as hazardous as its Genesis counterpart, the mine cart level in the Game Gear version still requires a great amount of memorization on when to lift the mine cart over buffers, duck under tunnels, and switch tracks to find the exit.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile:
    • Axl and Bull appear as a boss in the Genesis version, driving their truck.
    • Bull also appears in the Master System version as the boss of the cavern, where he tosses boomerangs. When he is defeated, Axl takes him away.
    • Also in the Genesis version, in the second river level, if Taz stays on a boulder long enough, an alligator will jump onto the boulder and try to attack him.
  • Poison Mushroom: While they are primarily intended to be picked up and thrown at enemies, Taz can eat bombs, which will explode inside him and take away a hefty chunk of health. The "No Weed" bags in the last jungle level of the Genesis version are similar, in that they are intended to be used against Weed-ola, but Taz can eat them, and he will spit them out in disgust and lose some of his health.
  • Power-Up Food: Frozen fish, roast chicken, fruit plates, loaves of bread, and water jugs all restore Taz's health, and chili peppers give Taz the ability to breathe fire.
  • River of Insanity:
    • There are two river levels in the Genesis version. The first one, which takes place before the first mine level is easy enough to get through, but the second one, which takes place after the second mine level, is a lot harder. Both levels involve travelling across floating logs that slowly sink, but the second one has boulders that also cause these logs to sink, and alligators that attack Taz if he stays on them too long. Since the controls aren't always responsive, Taz sometimes ends up landing in the water, and sinks into it completely if he loses all his health.
    • The seventh level of the Game Gear version involves Taz travelling through the jungle at night, and also using logs to float across the river.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake:
    • The Taztec Ruins, which serve as the sixth world in the Genesis version, and the eighth level of the Game Gear version.
    • The Ruins, which serve as the fourth world in the Master System version.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: By the time Taz is about to eat the giant seabird egg, it hatches into a baby seabird, who thinks Taz is his mother and chases him.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
    • In the Genesis version, the Iceland serves as the third world. Fish serve as food power-ups, penguins and Bushrats serve as enemies, and the platforms are slippery. Taz also has to jump across icebergs and avoid falling into the water, which instantly freezes him.
    • The Game Gear version has Taz ride a tree branch like a snowboard while wearing a Santa hat in the Snowy Slopes, followed by a Bushrat-powered fan pushing him across icy platforms in the Iceland. In the Iceman's Cavern, Taz must battle Hugo the Abominable Snowman.
  • Tornado Move: Taz's tornado spin, which he can use to defeat most enemies as well as gain extra jumping distance. It can knock away enemies and bombs, but it can also knock away power-ups, so use it wisely.
  • Underground Level:
    • The Mine, which serves as the fifth world in the Genesis version. The first act has Minecart Madness elements, and the second act has some of the hardest platform jumping segments you'll ever see in a video game.
    • The Cavern, the third world in the Master System version, which also has a few Lethal Lava Land elements.
    • The second level in the Game Gear version, which also has Minecart Madness elements.
  • A Winner Is You: Your reward for beating the game is to watch the baby seabird that hatches from the giant egg chase Taz into the sunset.
  • Your Size May Vary: The final boss, Momma Seabird, is gigantic in the Genesis version. In the Master System and Game Gear versions, she is around the same size as Taz.