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Video Game / The Grinch (2000)

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The Grinch is a 2000 video game based on the 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! film, released for the PC, PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast, and the Game Boy Color. Despite being a tie-in to the movie, this game is noticeably different from its source material, featuring a larger emphasis on the extended world of the Grinch and a focus on general mischief-making mayhem rather than purely Christmas-oriented affairs.

The Grinch, who sits atop Mount Crumpit, is spying on the irksome Whos of Whoville with his telescope. Ever annoyed with their festivities, he plots to ruin the holidays with the help of his assortment of gadgets built from his many blueprints. However, in his rush to unload his plans, he accidentally causes all the boxes to tip over, and all the blueprints soon drift away in the wind and scatter out into Who Land. Not deterred by this faux pa, the mean one resolves to recollect his plans and cause all sorts of holiday havoc for the Whos.

The Grinch provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Unlike the movie, the game allows players to see and explore the other regions of the Grinch's world, as well as interact with the beings who inhabit them. It also fleshes out the Grinch's Gadgeteer Genius side with his various gadgets and surprisingly high-tech lair.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Unlike the film, we don't see why the Grinch wanted to ruin Christmas, nor do we interact with important characters like Cindy Lou or the Mayor very much. In fact, Cindy is only seen two times during the whole game; inside the post office at the beginning, and in the ending.
  • Bookcase Passage: The Racing Minigame is accessible through one of these.
  • Boss Battle: In Who Lake, there is a part where you have to fight a scoutmaster to get his uniform. The only proper boss fight in the game.
  • Breath Weapon: The Grinch uses his stinky breath to attack enemies.
  • Catchphrase: The mean one has a few:
    • Completing a mission usually ends with the Grinch declaring "You're Grinched!" or some variation thereof.
    • Whenever you collect a blueprint, expect to hear a satisfied "Gotcha!".
    • In missions where you must destroy 10 of something (such as crushing snowmen in Whoville), the Grinch belts out "Another one!" after destroying one of the said objects.
  • Evil Plan: The Grinch has to collect all blueprints and eventually ruin Christmas.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Certain enemies have guns that fire snowballs that encase the Grinch in snow, causing damage via frostbite until he breaks out. Of course, there's also the Grinch's Rotten Egg Launcher and Slime Shooter that fire stinky eggs and encase things/people in slime, respectively.
  • Fell Asleep Standing Up: One of the police officers in Whoville is in this position. You have to sneak past him without waking him.
  • Forced Tutorial: The player has to go through this at Mount Crumpit.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: Despite the game taking place at around Christmastime, Who Lake is this.
  • Friendly Pirate: To the Grinch anyway. There is a pirate in one section of Who Lake who is friendly to the Grinch (whom the pirate refers to as "green man", implying he doesn't know who the Grinch is) and will reward him his Hook Hand if he can steal all the Who scouts' scarfs.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Grinch shows quite a bit of technological expertise here in comparison to his other appearances. The guy's got the know-how to build various weapons, travel equipment (including a submarine), a super computer than can build anything when given the correct blueprints, and even a transport system that can take him all across Who Land. He can also cobble together a decent sled with junk he finds throughout his travels.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Grinch has to collect the pieces of his blueprints.
  • The Grinch: The Grinch, of course.
  • Ground Pound: The Grinch can "pancake" to destroy boxes.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game tends to be rather obtuse in regards to what you're supposed to do. Sure, you've got a book with a list of missions, but knowing where to go or what to do can often leave you stumped.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Whoville Municipal Dump has both a Down in the Dumps segment and an Eternal Engine segment.
  • Hat of Flight: At one point in Who Lake, you have to use the Grinch Copter to chase after a scout who flies away with a hat with a propeller on it.
  • Heart Container: Each level has a Heart of Stone that the Grinch can collect, permanently increasing his health.
    Grinch: My heart is like a pea.
  • Helicopter Pack: The Grinch Copter, the final gadget you can build, produces a helicopter blade from the Grinch's backpack, allowing him to fly. It allows one to explore the land more thoroughly and even a bit faster, but it also guzzles down your rotten egg supply rather quickly, making it best saved for areas you can't easily reach.
  • Idiot Ball: In the intro cutscene, the Grinch accidentally knocks over the crates containing his blueprints, which get blown away by the wind and scattered throughout Wholand. The idiot part is that he continues to stand there and monologue about how he won't let this deter him while some of the blueprints are still blowing past him. He could have saved a number of the blueprints so he at least wouldn't have to collect them all, but he missed his chance.
  • Laser Hallway: The City Hall in Whoville has a laser security system protecting the mayor's statue. You have to use the Grinch's breath to reveal the lasers. If you trip the beams, an alarm will sound and a guard will come in to kick you out.
  • Loading Screen: The PlayStation version features a distinct "oozing slime" loading screen.
  • Narrator: George Lowe narrates the game.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In addition to the disguise featured in the film, the Grinch gets a disguise in Who Lake that consists of a scout's uniform. It leaves his face exposed, but only two people can see through the disguise; the mayor and a specific scoutmaster who blocks your path.
  • Personal Space Invader: Some children in town have decided they can hug the evil out of the Grinch, and so when they spot him they will sprint like a bat out of hell and latch onto him for a hug, necessitating some quick Button Mashing to shake them off.
  • Racing Minigame: Your reward for 100% Completion. You unlock a racing mini-game where the Grinch has a motorcycle race against Whos.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You get points for vandalizing pictures of Augustus May-Who.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The narrator speaks purely through rhyme.
  • Rule of Seven: There are seven gadgets in the game; The Grinch Copter, Rotten Egg Launcher, Slime Shooter, Binoculars, Marine Mobile, Rocket Spring, and Octopus Climbing Device.
  • Santa Claus: Santa appears in the final level, where you're tasked with intercepting the presents he's dropping down and then shooting him down.
  • Sinister Shades: The Grinch wears them on the game cover, as seen in the image.
  • Smelly Skunk: At one point in Who Lake, you need to use a female skunk to get rid of a scout master who can see through your disguise. You have Max use black and white paint to disguise himself as a male skunk, causing the real female one to fall in love with him and begin following him so he can lead her to the scout master and scare him away. If the Grinch approaches the skunk, she will spray him, causing damage.
  • Truer to the Text: The game is more close to the book compared to the movie.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The game has three instances of this.
    • Who Lake has a segment where you control the Marine Mobile in an underwater cavern.
    • The final level has you fly around in the Grinch's sleigh to neutralize Santa.
    • The aforementioned Racing Minigame.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The scoutmaster you have to fight for his uniform is found in his home eating a meal using Jabba Table Manners. He does not react to the Grinch's presence until he breathes on him, after which the fight starts.
  • Villain Protagonist: You play as the Grinch, causing havoc and trying to ruin Christmas.