Futurama (video game)
|Written by||J. Stewart Burns|
|Directed by||David X. Cohen|
|Release date(s)||(EU) 1 August, 2003|
(US) 14 August, 2003
|Platform(s)||Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube (Cancelled except in Europe)|
|Estimated playtime||10 hours|
Futurama is the name of the first video game created around Futurama. The game was developed by UDS and released 1 August, 2003 in Europe and 14 August, 2003 in North America for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. Since it uses the same name as the show without a subtitle, it is commonly referred to as the console game (since the announcement of the mobile game). In the UK the game was actively marketed on television as "Futurama: The Game" in advertisements on satellite network Sky One.
Act I: Fry
At Planet Express, Fry, Leela and Bender learn from the Professor (who's wearing a sombrero) that he's sold Planet Express to Mom. Immediately after this, a report comes on the news saying that, thanks to the sale, she is now the majority shareholder, and ruler, of Earth. Mom claims the entire population as slaves and sets a curfew. The crew decide they have no choice but to escape Earth. Unfortunately the ship is severely damaged, with unknown reason, and needs repairs. While everyone else does something important, Fry is instructed to find a hammer. Fry dies getting the hammer but is brought back with the Professor's new invention, the Reanimator (which looks like a giant toaster).
Fry keeps the hammer (for a weapon), which the Professor didn't need, and heads off to find the tools that are needed. After the repairs are done, it turns out that the backup dark matter engine is needed, but was pawned. Fry is told to retrieve the engine from the pawn shop but Mom has deployed Hoverbot Death Troopers to enforce the curfew. Instead, Fry is given a small gun and sent via the sewers then works his way through Old New York. He emerges from underground in a Red Light District, where he finds a gun with much more fire power to fight off any attacking Death Troopers. When he reaches uptown New New York, he steals a chicken walker to fight off the Death Troopers and finally makes it to Rook Takes Pawnshop.
- Fry's gameplay levels:
Act II: Bender
Fry returns with the engine and they install it, the four escape, taking the Reanimator with them. Mom converts the planet into a spaceship in order to take over the universe and is annoyed to hear that the Planet Express crew is escaping. She then proceeds to try to hunt them down, but the Earth's engines aren't powerful enough. At Sal and Son's junkard on an asteroid, Sal informs them that the only kind of engine that will move the Earth is a dark matter engine ("and a big ones at thats"), and she'll need the Professor to get it. The Professor informs Bender that he's now a playable character and the ship gets caught. Sal has helped out Mom by trapping the Planet Express ship in a suck beam. Bender abandons ship, in full view of Mom and her sons, then dies on impact with the asteroid and is brought back by the Reanimator, which falls on his disassembled body. He then agrees to rescue the others in exchange for a box of magazines with fembot centre folds.
On his way to rescue the crew, Bender works his way through a canyon and has to evade Igner in a turret. He then enters a cave where he is chased by a boulder and finds a mining facility. In the facility, Larry tries to kill him with machinery. After finally reaching Sal's junkyard, he battles against Walt, who's in a tank. After the tank explodes (although Walt was able to escape), Bender deactivates the suck beam, boards the Planet Express ship, and everyone escapes.
- Bender's gameplay levels:
Act III: Leela
The Professor says that he's not skilled enough to invent something to save the day; they'll have to visit his mentor and former graduate advisor Adoy, who lives on Bogad in the furthest corner of the universe. They don't have enough fuel, so Leela, who's now playable, is asked to get some. Mom catches them because she wants blueprints for the dark matter engine. They only exist in the Professor's head so she takes that, in a jar, and sends the Planet Express ship hurtling towards the Sun. The ship crash-lands near Sun City. Ra-Ra the Sun King offers them dark matter in exchange for protecting his people from the murderous Sun God and his army of undead skeletons. Fry and Bender wait at the ship.
Leela works her way through the Sun Temple, solving puzzles and beating up the bone army. She activates a number of crystals to gain access to the inner temple where she finds the Sun God. By activating another set of crystals, she severely injures the Sun God. He admits to not being a god but an "ordinary eternal omniscient super intelligent being" and explains that the skeleton army was actually just robots made out of bones. He describes how making robots from bones is more evil, then laughs so hard he falls into the Sun's molten surface and dies. Leela escapes the sinking temple. With the false god's death, villagers are now safe to exit buildings while Leela returns to the ship. Ra-Ra rewards them with fuel and asks them to celebrate with him at the temple, which burns up in the background. The crew leave before he can notice.
Act IV: Zoidberg
Mom has hooked the Professor's head into the Earth's engines where he admits that she is now unstoppable. She starts flying the Earth around the universe destroying other planets. The crew land on Bogad, quite literally in the corner of the universe. They meet up with Dr. Zoidberg, who is making a cameo. He misidentifies a nearby animal as a horse and gets on. The crew talk to Adoy, who tells them that his latest invention, the Time Tunneller, will get them back to before Mom became unstoppable. The machine has to be charged first by a generator located behind a dangerous swamp. Without charging, the hand crank on the machine will only turn the universe back two minutes, if turned for two minutes.
Zoidberg is sent off to find the generator by riding his "horse" and since the Reanimator doesn't work on him, Leela uses the hand crank on the Time Tunneller to bring him back every time he dies. Zoidberg reaches the generator and turns it on. Adoy sets up the Time Tunneller and the crew head back in time to Earth. Zoidberg is left behind.
- Zoidberg's gameplay level:
Act V: Mom
Leela crash-lands the severely damaged ship in the Planet Express building next to the past ship. They leave the bad ship behind (this fulfils a time paradox and explains why the ship was damaged at the beginning of the game) and take the good ship to stop the Professor from selling the company. They crash the ship through the window of Mom's Headquarters just as the Professor is about to sign the contract. The Reanimator falls from the wreckage and all three are regenerated. Fry warns the Professor of Mom's plan. Mom tricks Fry, Bender and Leela into standing where she can drop them through a trap door.
They each find themselves in different parts of Mom's HQ and have to try to escape from Destructor, with several gun upgrades, as he enters target practice mode. After Bender and Leela escape, Fry finds a gun and soon after enters battle against Destructor. Fry wins and heads down to meet the other two.
Mom’s sons are cleaning up where the Planet Express ship crashed. Igner breaks the Reanimator, which falls on Destructor's body knocking it onto the crew, killing them permanently. The Professor refuses to sell the company, until Mom offers him a sombrero. The game ends when the scene at the beginning starts over. In other words, "here we go again".
- Mom's gameplay levels:
- Bender's Breakout (Bender)
- Leela's Last Laugh (Leela)
- Fry Fights Back (Fry)
In general, the game received weak/average responses, citing a lack of something exceptional in gameplay, but having hilarious cutscenes and one-liners. Wired described the cutscenes as "side splitting". One of the biggest criticisms was the lack of precise controls when some sections required it.
- The game is among the few one-word titled media.
- The game has an abundance of well-hidden Easter Eggs (documented in full on the Easter eggs page). Because of their obscurity, they weren't publicly known about until 2019, 16 years after the game's release, when an unsolved literal Easter Egg in the Planet Express level became a topic of discussion in video game communities, shortly after which it was eventually solved and other Eggs throughout the game were discovered.
- In the options menu, Billy West provides audio for SFX Volume and Speech Volume testing.
- In the former, Fry produces the effects, in the latter, Fry, Professor Farnsworth and Zapp Brannigan test the microphones.
- Both Scruffy and Hermes are seen sleeping on the job (actually Hermes isn't sleeping, he is being controlled by a brain slug).
- Terry's "Welcome to the world of tomorrow!" features in the intro remix.
- This music and other pieces in the game are later reused in the soundtrack of Bender's Big Score.
- The four types of mutant seen in this game are how they were expected to be in 2ACV01, there is no sign of intelligence and minimal, if any, humanity.
- Leela's parents' house appears to be in Old New York.
- Bender's birthstone is Robobium.
- False Sun God
- Fry (four times, one permanent)
- Bender (three times, one permanent)
- Leela (two times, one permanent)
- Pawnbroker (edited into "The Lost Adventure" version only)
- Due to the episode's nature, it is best viewed as an "Anthology of Interest" (2ACV16, 3ACV18), which would make it non-canon.
- The characters occasionally break the fourth wall, mentioning "playable characters" or just the fact that this is a game.
- Maurice LaMarche voiced all three bosses.
- Nibblonian shadows can be seen on the three chairs in the market square near on the opposite side of the main gate to the reanimator. Other shadows can also be seen throughout Sun City.
- Two of the audio clips found at The Futurama Madhouse are not found in the game itself, and are instead extracted from the disc.
- Game cutscenes are the first 16:9 Futurama production.
Farnsworth: Good news everyone, I've sold Planet Express to Mom.
Morbo: At the risk of editorialising, this reporter applauds the demise of the pathetic human species.
Fry: Wow! I had my first kiss in a subway car just like that one. Hm homeless people.
Fry: Ah, Old New York. Over there is where I first got mugged.' [muttering] 'Homeless people.
Bender: Farewell, big blue ball of idiots!
Sal: Don't worries, I've gots an idea, I mean, an ideas.
Bender: I sure am lucky that rock tower just happened to be there.
Igner: If you see Mommy tell her I killed you!
Walt: Cursed robot! You haven't seen the last of me! Unless you die before I see you again, in which case you haaaaave!
Farnsworth: The worst part is the phantom haemorrhoids.
Fry: I can't imagine what kind of disgusting foul creatures we'll find here.
Adoy: Terrible. Terrible! Terrible! But there's nothing we can do about it now. So it’s a good thing you came to me!
Zoidberg: Hooray, I'm the hero!
Fry & Bender: Hooray, we don't have to do anything!
Zoidberg: Killed, eh? I'm no doctor, but that sounds painful.
Adoy: Goodbye heroes! I'll never forget you, whoever you were!
Farnsworth: Did I do something funny?
Mom: No, I'm sorry; I should save my evil laugh 'til after you sign.
Fry: Oh no! The reanimator!
Leela: Bummer! We'll have to be careful not to die from now on.
Bender: You had to say that. [Destructor falls on them.]
Farnsworth: Damn it Mom! No one kills my crew except for me! You're going down.
Mom: Oh please! You wouldn't hit a lady!
Farnsworth: I suppose you're right. Though I would do this! Hoyyaa!
Mom: You broke my hip!
Farnsworth: I don't care.
- The Professor cites the fact that the crew never charges anyone as a reason for selling the company.
- Employee locker contents (left to right):
- Amy - a photo of the professional beach bully from 1ACV12, clothes and perfume/deodorant.
- Fry - a photo of Leela, Zero-G Juggs magazine and food scraps, containers and stains.
- Hermes - a caged Nibbler (in the game Nibblers are collected to unlock extras).
- Bender - cash, a photo of Calculon, a woman’s shoe, a purse, circuit diagrams, stack of Fembot magazines, some mechanical nuts, keg of beer and a gold violin.
- Leela - security pass for the building and some boots.
- Professor - photo of Mom, photo of Cubert, Death Clock and Fing-longer.
- Zoidberg - Planet of the Clams poster, human skeleton and human arm (probably a reference to Fry's briefly severed arm).
- Mom finally gets her "Mother's Day" wish.
- Two of the items Fry collects are The Captain's Handbook and Zoidberg's pogo stick.
- In the sewers, signs warn not to feed the crocs.
- Bender mentions his gold tooth (2ACV07)
- Bender's first person view is like the one shown in "Mother's Day".
- The path created by the Time Tunneller looks much the same as the one in "Roswell that Ends Well".
- Both episodes also feature Zoidberg saying "the crowd goes wild", then imitating the crowd. They were also written by the same person.
- Leela remarked that her health restore item (a jar of pills) was better than steroids; she had to have mandatory steroid injections during her time as a professional Blernsball player.
- In the Red Light District level, there is a theater that plays All My Circuits: The Movie.
- In the end of Act I, the Chicken Walker is a reference to the AT-ST, from Star Wars.
- The initial meeting with Adoy on Bogad is a reference to a similar scene in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back when Luke Skywalker meets Yoda on Dagobah.
- Additionally, the character and planet names in the game are the Star Wars names backwards.
- In Act II a flying saucer contains one of Elvis Presley's costumes and a spacesuit with a helmet that is shaped like his hair.
- Ra-Ra the Sun King's name is based on Ra, the Egyptian sun god, though his clothing is Mayan (People of the sun)
The game is an Action/Platformer which includes many typical elements of platformers including platforming, puzzle solving, enemy combat and collectibles.
Bender and Leela each have a series of melee attacks while Leela can also roll and do backflips. They both have a powerful attack which can only be used if they have enough charge. Since Fry is not good at physical combat, he instead uses a series of guns and a hammer.
In each level there are a number of Nibblers trapped in cages; releasing all of them will unlock loading screen art, music and cutscenes. Apart from the Nibblers, each character has their own individual collectibles which give additional lives if 25 are collected. Each character also has their own health restoring items:
- Slurm can - Restores 25% of health
- Six pack Slurm can - Restores to full health
- Money piles - Additional lives
- Ammo - Restores 50 ammo to whatever gun he is holding
- Small tub of vitamins - Restores 25% of health
- Large tub of vitamins - Restores to full health
- Gold bars - Additional lives
- Charge bubble - Restores 1/4 charge to her special attack
- Since Zoidberg dies instantly whenever he hits an obstacle he does not have a health restoring item
- Fish bones - Additional lives
- At one point the Planet Express hangar is large enough to house two ships.
The only real problems are associated with the invincibility cheat:
- Using a suicide booth with the invincibility cheat turned on removes the Fry character model from the screen but doesn't kill you.
- When playing as Fry in the sewers level it is possible to freeze your console by using the invincibility cheat, then getting caught by the tentacle mutant. At this point the game can be unfrozen by typing in the invincibility cheat again to deactivate it, allowing Fry to die.
While these cheats should be unnecessary, you can try this yourself with the following codes:
- Xbox version - Hold L, press A. Hold R, press X, Y. Release R, press A. Hold R, press X, Y, B, A, Black, Y, Back, release L. (other cheats)
- PS2 version - Hold L1 and L2, press down, ☐, Δ, down, ☐, Δ, O, X, R2, Δ, select. (other cheats)
Tips and Tricks
- The items in the Planet Express level are indicated on this floorplan.
- When in the sewers get fairly close to the pipe tentacles, shoot and then run through. You get about three seconds to run past. In area 8 you have to shoot the tentacles and jump past.
- The subway has club troopers that have spiked clubs. So press R1 to lock on, shoot, if they get too close start to back up.
- During the fight against Destructor, when a mosquito missile comes out of his red swirled hatch wait until it opens again and hold down square and release it to shoot a power blast, use it about 5 times and then the last cutscene will start.
- More info
- Debut: Adoy
- Bender (playable)
- Destructor (boss)
- Professor Farnsworth
- Fry (playable)
- Hermes (infected with a brain slug)
- Leela (playable)
- Debut: Ra-Ra
- Debut: Ra-Ra's aide
- Robot Chef
- Smitty (cameo, intro)
- Soda Machine Robot (multiple)
- Debut: Sun God Impostor (boss)
- URL (cameo, intro)
- Walt (boss)
- Zapp (sponsor)
- Dr. Zoidberg (playable)
Types of Generic Enemy Characters
As these are groups of minor enemies introduced to be killed in the game, every appearance is a debut appearance, except for one of the Red Light District robots, which appeared in the background of "Obsoletely Fabulous".
- Non-sentient sewer mutants
- Hazmat troopers
- Red Light District robots
- Hoverbot Death Troopers
- Rock monsters
- Mining robots
- False Sun God's bone-bot army.
- Sentry robots
- Voice Director
- Executive Game Designer
- Voice Actors
- Fox Interactive
- The Curiosity Company
- SCi (EU version)
- Sierra Entertainment (US version)
Unlocked by collecting all Nibblers in the various levels.
- 33 of 34 FMVs (an FMV with Destructor is not unlocked)
- Season 3 - DVD Trailer
- Attract Movie
- Credits Movie
- Music from the game.
- See Video game sponsors.
Game to Episode Edits
The DVD of The Beast with a Billion Backs includes the episode contained in this game as a special feature, as well as a commentary track. The episode is cut together from some of FMVs unlocked by collecting Nibblers during gameplay; (almost) all of the in-game cut scenes, the credits and the attract movie, which contains game play footage.
- An opening sequence is added, with the caption "The Lost Adventure", which is also the name of the special feature/episode.
- Fourth wall breaks (most references to more lives, the "game over" screen and discussion thereof, mention of playable characters) are mostly removed, with the exception of Zoidberg's cameo.
- Most brief scenes with minor characters, such as enemies, Mom's sons and the pawnbroker, are removed or edited.
- New sound effects replace many of those used in the game.
- ^ "Futurama Xbox reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved on 16 April 2009.
- ^ "Futurama PlayStation 2 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved on 16 April 2009.
- ^ Chris Baker (20 December 2007). "Videogames & Futurama, Part 4: The Lost Episode is on a PS2 Disc". Wired. Retrieved on 16 April 2009.
- ^ Douglass C. Perry (12 August 2003). "Futurama". IGN. Retrieved on 24 July 2014.
- ^ "16 Years Later, Players Still Can't Figure Out This Futurama Easter Egg". Kotaku. 20 July 2019.
- ^ Oddheader (25 December 2019). "Top 10 Video Game Discoveries & Mysteries 2019". YouTube.
- Futurama at GameFAQs - PS2, Xbox
- Sound clips from the game at Futurama Madhouse
- IMDB entry on Futurama (VG)
- Futurama on The Cutting Room Floor