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Video Game / The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants

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Bart vs. The Space Mutants was released in 1991 for the NES, and was the first Licensed Game based off The Simpsons for that system. It was developed by Imagineering, and also ported to the Sega Master System, Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Amiga and numerous computers.

Bart discovers that his X-Ray specs reveal the presence of Space Mutants hiding in the population of Springfield. These mutants are attempting to power an ultimate weapon which they will use to conquer the world. To stop them, Bart discovers the items they try to fuel it with, then goes all over town getting rid of those things.

Followed by The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World later the same year.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: The premise of the game.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: They want to Take Over the World, and they will kill Bart to prevent him from stopping them.
  • Aliens Speaking English: As per usual in the Simpsons universe.
  • Amusement Park: The third level takes place in Krustyland.
  • Angry Guard Dog: In the first level, if you use the whistle anywhere other than the spot you're supposed to use it causes a dog to appear and attack you.
  • Bag of Spilling: Bart leaves behind all of the tools he picks up after he completes a level. Sure, maybe the red spray paint might not be useful later on, but those cherry bombs and bottle rockets probably would have been.
  • Boss Remix: Sort of — the three boss themes are simply parts of the main theme repeated over and over.
  • Cassandra Truth: According to the manual, the reason Bart has to collect letters to get assistance in the Boss Battles is because he's trying to get evidence to subvert this. Averted in the last level, where the other Simpsons are helping from the beginning.
  • Collection Sidequest: The evidence.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Rather than the standard "A to jump, B to run / attack" style that most NES games use, this game has A use items and B controls both running and jumping. Performing a running jump involves a combination of both A and B in a fashion that is entirely unintuitive.
  • Depth Perplexion: In certain places, you can stand on the horizon or "walk" along a river by jumping on the background. The game is highly inconsistent with this, even within the same screen. note 
  • Doomsday Device: The machine that the aliens are looking to power, although they don't reveal what it does unless Bart loses in the final level. It mass produces robotic Homer duplicates.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: More or less lampshaded in the game. The aliens have a machine that can run on anything, but never think to fuel it with something already in abundance; instead they choose purple objects, or hats, and never think to look in more than one place for each item.
  • Easter Egg: By firing a rocket at the "E" in the Kwik-E-Mart's sign, you get both an extra life and the game's Sound Test! Unfortunately, it only plays sound effects.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Including shoes and walking shopping bags.
  • Fake Difficulty: There's no way to replenish your health, a time limit, most enemies are invincible, no continues, highly unintuitive controls, instant death wet cement, instant death tar pits, deadly water, the list goes on.
  • Graceful Loser: The aliens prove to be this in the ending.

  • Guide Dang It!: Finding the final plutonium rod in the last level. There is absolutely no clue anywhere as to where it is. It's Maggie's pacifier - find her and interact with her to complete the game. Also, the fact that there's no indication of what to do with the whistle in the first level or that you only need to use one cherry bomb.

  • Idiot Ball: Some of Bart's methods of removing objects from the level are circumspect at best, yet they still work. One example is dropping towels off of a clothesline to cover up some purple toys in the first level — the aliens never think to just pick up the towels.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Jebediah Springfield's head, which is quite rare.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Pretty much all the enemies aside from the aliens who disguise themselves as humans.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The weapon the aliens are building. They can put anything in it to power it, but they have to stick to that set ingredient. They try purple colored objects, hats, balloons, and more.
  • Kid Hero: Bart is trying to save the world.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The first level isn't that bad compared to later in the game, as it simply takes place on the street. Subsequent levels have some absolutely brutal jumps that require perfect timing. It's pretty egregious to see places like the Springfield Mall and the museum being such absolute deathtraps.
  • The Mall: The second level takes place in the Springfield mall.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Space Mutants unleash an army of robot Homers if you lose in the last level.
  • Mini-Boss: The alien man in the second level.
  • Museum Level: The penultimate level of the game.
  • Mutants: If the title is to be trusted, the aliens are not just normal aliens, but alien mutants.
  • Nintendo Hard: Bart can only take two hits before dying (and, unusually harsh for a Nintendo platforming game, there is no way to get back a hit point other than finishing the level), and for the most part he has absolutely no way to actually fight the enemies. It's telling that even using the infinite lives cheat code in the PC version doesn't alleviate the difficulty.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Losing your last life in the last level shows the aliens finally unleashing their weapon.
  • One-Hit Kill: The wet cement in the second level instantly kills Bart if he falls in even if he hasn't used his other hit point yet. Just to make the game even harder.
  • Pass Through the Rings: Near the end of the second level.
  • Power Up Mount: Inverted — the second time you see the Recurring Boss, he rides a giant shoe.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Space Mutants think so at least, given that they first try to use purple objects to power their device. Might be because some of them are purple themselves.
  • Recurring Boss: Seymour Skinner (or possibly a space mutant impersonating him) appears as a mini-boss at three different points in the mall level. The first time, he runs back and forth and throws projectiles at Bart, the second time he rides a giant shoe and tries to step on him, and the final time, he teleports around before attacking.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: When the game was re-released on Sega Genesis, it had a completely new soundtrack. Notably, it didn't feature The Simpsons theme song like the NES version did.
  • Rushmore Refacement: Complete the game, and the space mutants add Bart's face to Mount Rushmore to honor their Worthy Opponent.
  • See-Thru Specs: Bart uses a pair of x-ray glasses to identify aliens disguised as humans.
  • Shout-Out: Bart's x-ray glasses are generally considered a reference to They Live!.
  • Sliding Scale of Collectible Tracking: This game uses "It's Here Somewhere."
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The second level has giant shoes which act as these.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Bart cannot execute a proper running jump, because both the run and jump abilities use the same action button. He can instead perform a long jump by pressing both action buttons simultaneously.
  • Sound Test: See Easter Egg.
  • Spelling Bonus: Bart can earn letters by defeating aliens that disguise themselves as humans. If he collects enough to spell the name of one of his family members, they will appear during the level's boss fight to help him out.
  • Summon Magic:
    • You can summon Grandpa to give you coins with a whistle... Providing you stand one exact spot in the first level. Otherwise you'll just summon a dog to attack you.
    • Using a donut in the last level summons Homer to act as a Smart Bomb.
  • Super Drowning Skills: If Bart falls in the water in the fourth level, he'll immediately drown, complete with bubbles appearing where he fell in.
  • Symbol Swearing: In the cutscene before the third level.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The second boss, Ms. Botz, drops suitcases, which you need to jump on in order to damage her.
  • Take Over the World: The goal of the aliens.
  • Temporary Platform: The lollipops in the shopping mall are always visible, but whether they can support Bart or not depends on their orientation.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: In the Krustyland level, there is a strength test game located next to the high dive act. Since merely jumping on the platform that sends the weight up won't help it reach the bell, Bart has to climb to the top of the high dive and jump off there to provide enough force. When Bart does ring the bell, he wins three coins and the disembodied head of Jebediah Springfield.
  • Timed Mission: Each level has a time limit. When the timer ends, Bart instantly dies for no reason.
  • Springfield Is The Center Of The Universe: A maximum of six people are working to stop the aliens (being generous and including Grandpa), and all of them in a single relatively isolated area. The aliens never think to simply move on to somewhere else or expand their search radius because it's a Simpsons game, you gotta attack Springfield.

Alternative Title(s): Bart Vs The Space Mutants