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Video Game / The Space Adventure

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The Space Adventure, developed and published by Hudson Soft Company, Ltd., released in 1991 and known in Japan as Cobra II: Densetsu no Otoko, is the second game dedicated to the adventures of the renegade space pirate Cobra. The game is based on the original manga and TV series by Buichi Terasawa.

While waiting in a bar for his partner, Cobra encounters a beautiful bounty hunter named Jane. Very soon he realizes that the bounty Jane has been hunting for is his own head, for which the Galaxy Patrol has put quite a reward. But everything changes when Crystal Bowie, the head of the Pirate Guild and Cobra's archenemy, appears on the scene. Jane's father had apparently hidden a great treasure, encoding its location in tattoos on the backs of his triplet daughters. Crystal Bowie wants this treasure, and is going after Jane and her sisters. Cobra and Jane decide to join forces in order to find Jane's sisters and to undermine Crystal Bowie's plans.

The game is a Japanese-style Adventure Game. The player advances in the game by choosing various commands ("Look", "Talk", etc.). There are a few places in the game where Cobra dies if the player makes a wrong decision. In the final location the player will also have to fight enemies in turn-based style. The game features a large number of animated cutscenes as well as voice-overs for many dialogues.

The Space Adventure provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The previous game was a mostly direct adaptation of the manga's "Black Dragon King" saga, which establishes a horned warrior was the one who sliced Cobra's arm and taught him the fear of death. The "Six Heroes" arc later reveals Crystal Bowie was that man the whole time. This game does not properly adapt that part of the manga despite blending several minor elements of it with those of the "Royal Sisters" saga and having Crystal Bowie as the final boss.
  • Action Girl: Lady and Jane Royal support Cobra for much of the story.
  • Adaptation Distillation: If you play through the game with full knowledge of the original series, you'll see it is the initial Royal Sisters arc crammed with scenes and characters from several other sagas and even some original content.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The game uses videogame mechanics to exaggerate how resilient Cobra is even by the standards of the manga, so in several fights he'll get knocked down over and over but stand back up at full HP every time. He also manages to easily destroy the Ultimate Weapon despite it turning into a spaceship, which was something he pulled all stops to prevent from happening in the original story.
    • Hammerbolt Joe was the villain of a short scenario in the original series. He appears as one of the antagonists here and gets to kill not just a bunch of minor characters but also Jane as well. He captures Lady and fights Cobra to the death head-on instead of being a Dirty Coward who tries to hide away while his rocket fists do the job for him.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the manga, Cobra could only prevent the Ultimate Weapon from evolving into an indestructive spaceship by killing its pilot Sandra from falling damage while the thing was still a tank. In the game, Vigaro quickly turns the Ultimate Weapon into a spaceship but Cobra easily destroys it with a single maxed out shot of the Psychogun.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The game removes the prologue part of the manga with the amnesiac Cobra recovering his memories.
    • The space pirate Sandra is replaced by two antagonists unique to this game, despite her being the final opponent faced by Cobra in the original version of the Royal Sisters arc.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Upon confronting Tarbeige and his powerful attack reflectors, Cobra is forced to retreat, access the morgue and hide on a coffin until the plant-man comes close enough. Moving into the same area as Tarbeige at any point before the morgue just brings up options to either keep running or shoot him — which results in Cobra blasting himself and resetting the scene.
  • All Just a Dream: Whenever Cobra recovers from a game over, it turns out his death was a dream.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Sega CD opening narration drops all references to Cobra being a heroic pirate to make him seem more badass.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: While Cobra fights Crystal Bowie after finding Dominique in the burning Big Bird, the perspective changes to Lady preventing Red Devil robots from destroying the Turtle. Once the player eliminates them all, the story moves back to Cobra.
  • Arm Cannon: Cobra's Psychogun on his left arm is a guided laser cannon powered by his mental "Psycho Power". Some fights display a Mana Meter to let you know how much you can use it.
  • Ascended Extra: Scorpio is based on a very minor villainess from the "Hell Crusaders" saga that is shot dead by Cobra in a single page. In the game she gets more screen time and fights Cobra a couple times before being killed off.
  • Attack Drone: The villain Tarbeige is protected by orbiting spheres that block and reflect all projectiles fired at him. In order to kill him, Cobra runs inside a morgue and hides in one of the coffins. The player must listen to the sound of Tarbeige's footsteps and jump out at the right time to blast him at point-blank range.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The appropriately-named Scorpio is a Winged Humanoid with a scorpion-like venomous sting.
  • Big Bad: Crystal Bowie is Cobra's archnemesis throughout the game, which is actually an upgrade from his role in the source material where he was defeated midway through the Royal Sisters arc.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Prison warden and slave trader Schultz desires the Ultimate Weapon against the orders of his superiors but loses Catherine to Cobra and is easily killed by Crystal Bowie afterwards.
    • Vigaro is another villainous mastermind after the Ultimate Weapon and he eventually gets it, but he still goes down far easier than Crystal Bowie does.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Lady arrives on the Neon Big Bird to blow Crystal Bowie away from Cobra after destroying the robots sent by the villain to destroy the Turtle.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Destroyer and Bomber, the cyborg executioners in Schultz's prison, are seen guarding him and killing some unruly prisoners to intimidate Cobra and the other new inmates.
  • Bottomless Pits: The final area involves moving along a maze and avoiding pits that will instantly kill Cobra if he falls on them.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tarbeige infects his female victims with plant parasites to control their minds. He brainwashes Jane and makes her kill her own sister Catherine. Similarly to the manga, he also brainwashes a dancer and several female guards into attacking Cobra.
  • But Thou Must!: The game is actually quite linear and doesn't give you many options. At several scenes the actions you can choose either all have the same result or are dismissed by Cobra as stupid. It's quite a surprise when a bad choice actually does result in a failure scene.
  • Butterface: Several alien females in the story have beautiful bodies with disturbing faces, like the vampiric Scorpio or a green-skinned prisoner with an insectoid head Cobra sees on his way to infiltrate Sid Prison.
  • Cigar Chomper: Cobra is rarely if ever seen without a cigar in the corner of his mouth. Some of them are gadgets in disguise, such as a few that can somehow be used as a healing item.
  • Composite Character: In the manga, Tarbeige brainwashes strippers to assassinate Cobra, but the one seen in the game is another stripper character who in the manga did the same thing under Hammerbolt Joe's orders.
  • Cool Bike: Cobra rides from place to place on a hovering motorcycle.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die in any of the few sections dying is even possible, you just get set back to the beginning of the scene.
  • Dem Bones: One of the enemies in the final area is the Skuller, a skeleton in a purple hood fused to a bike.
  • Demoted to Extra: The "Rockers From Hell" were minor antagonists in the Hell Crusaders arc of the manga. In this adaptation, they are even more minor non-villainous characters who still get brutally killed — offscreen at that.
  • Descending Ceiling: Schultz attempts to kill Cobra at Sid Prison with a descending ceiling trap after realizing it was him who killed Destroyer and Bomber. Cobra has to be saved by Duck, who knocks an Air-Vent Passageway's grate from the other side. This need for a man armed with a massively powerful arm cannon to be saved like that doesn't make much sense, particularly because in the manga, Cobra simply blows a hole into the wall.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Jane is killed by Hammerbolt Joe instead of Tarbeige or Crystal Bowie.
    • Hammerbolt Joe fights Cobra in completely different circumstances than in the manga and is blown in half instead of being shot into outer space.
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous:
    • Most of the female villains killed by Cobra are left sprawled on the floor in an alluring way, as in the source material. There's even a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the brunette cyborg Bomber's bare breast when she's defeated by Cobra... before a chunk of her torso blows up and she collapses with her butt pointed towards the viewer.
    • When the "rockers from hell" are found to have been killed by Hammerbolt Joe, the scantily-clad female in the group is prominently shown hanging upside down from the ceiling like a Jump Scare when Cobra looks around.
  • Evil Counterpart: Crystal Bowie is an evil cyborg with a transparent blue polarized glass body and a grappling claw weapon on his right arm, contrasting with Cobra's red outfit and left arm cannon.
  • Golem: One of the enemies in the final area is the Craggon, a stone man wielding an axe. He can transform into a boulder and attempt to roll over Cobra.
  • Gratuitous English: The opening narration was already in english in the original PC Engine CD version, with Japanese subtitles. It features a few mishaps like calling the Psychogun the nonsense term "pistol-first firearm".
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The beautiful purple-skinned dancer who ends up dying by Cobra's hand after getting brainwashed. Oddly enough, she's not the dancer that appeared in the original Royal Sisters arc but instead another dancer from a similar situation that happens in volume 4 of the manga.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Crazy Joe and Hammerbolt Joe are both blown in half by Cobra's Psychogun.
  • Heal Thyself: In certain battles, Cobra can heal himself by consuming cigars.
    "The cigar's the ticket!"
  • Heroic Second Wind: Repeatedly done by Cobra to the point it becomes exhausting. A lot of battles end in Cobra's favor solely by the player repeatedly choosing options that press him to fight on despite it looking like Cobra's on his last breath, only for Cobra to suddenly summon the strength to completely waste the bad guy then go on as if he wasn't just battered to within an inch of his life.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Crystal Boy's name is spelled like that in the game but the correct spelling would be "Bowie", after the singer.
  • Kiss of Death:
    • When Cobra punches a hole through Destroyer, she gives him a kiss on the neck before dying. Cobra is weirded out but doesn't think much of it while sneaking back to his cell. When Schultz comes to interrogate him, however, he notices the lipstick mark and realizes what Cobra did.
    • At one point Cobra is set on a boxing match against a man named Garcias. One of the bad guy's workers, a woman named Trixie, whispers she'll root for Cobra and kisses him. During the kiss, however, she bites his lower lip and Cobra comes to have a really hard time fighting because of her paralyzing venom.
  • Living MacGuffin: The Royal sisters are hunted by the Pirate Guild for the tattoos on their backs that when combined reveal the location of the Ultimate Weapon.
  • Male Gaze: Cobra comments on the appearance of some ladies he meets.
  • Market-Based Title: The original Japanese title of the game is Cobra II: The Legendary Man.
  • Morph Weapon: The Ultimate Weapon is an one-eyed egg that transforms into any weapon that it spots, including vehicles like tanks and spaceships.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Schultz's female executioners are unnamed in the source manga, but in this game the blonde is called "Destroyer" and the brunette is named "Bomber".
  • No-Sell: Crystal Bowie's polarized glass body can deflect laser beams, including those of the Psychogun. Even attempting to use the "Rage Attack" in the final battle won't work.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: In this version of the story, Jane is mortally wounded when Hammerbolt Joe punches her off a very tall height.
  • Post-Final Boss: The proper final boss is Crystal Bowie. Afterwards there's a confrontation with Vigaro and his Ultimate Weapon, which is destroyed in a single menu command by a maxed out shot of the Psychogun.
  • Prepare to Die: Crystal Bowie's voice line whenever he shoots his Claw of Death.
  • Rocket Punch:
    • Hammerbolt Joe can shoot both of his fists as guided projectiles.
    • Cobra's final attack against Crystal Bowie, as in the manga.
  • See You in Hell:
    • Cobra says this upon checking the corpses of Destroyer and Bomber.
    • Crystal Bowie says it after knocking Cobra down the first time.
  • Shout-Out: Cobra introduces himself as "James Bond" to two cyborg executioners.
  • Title Drop: The ending narration declares Cobra has become known as "The Legendary Bandit" for his heroic actions.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Attempting to shoot Tarbeige at long range just gets Cobra blown away by his reflectors, which is something the narrator mockingly calls suicidal.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Near the end, Cobra has to deal with enemies in turn-based battles that now have HP and MP mechanics.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Cobra will often scold the player for picking wrong options and refuse to do them.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: At one point, Cobra refuses to enter a building because the gate blocking it is covered in bugs and they creep him out. Eventually he just braces himself and rushes through them.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Vigaro betrays and kills all of his lackeys after acquiring the Ultimate Weapon, just like Sandra did in the equivalent scene from the manga.