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ChuChu Rocket is a multiplayer video game by Sonic Team for the Sega Dreamcast, later adapted for the Game Boy Advance and for iOS devices. The object of the game is to (for the most part) put little space-mickey-mice thinggies into four different-colored rockets to get them away from KapuKapus, i.e., cats. Basically it's a game of cat-and-mouse, IN SPACE!
According to the Excuse Plot, there are four individual pilots for the rockets:
- Chuih, a ChuChu with a blue astronaut suit and stars in his eyes, pilots the blue rocket.
- Chubei, an abnormally large ChuChu with a yellow spacesuit, pilots the yellow rocket.
- Chubach, a thin, green ChuChu with swirly eyes (apparently glasses), pilots the green rocket.
- Chupea, a red female ChuChu with a heart-shaped tail, pilots the red rocket.
The game employs arrows on a giant checkerboard that are to lead the ChuChus to the rockets. You get three arrows—no more, sometimes fewer. Occasionally the KapuKapus will show up and use the same arrows you placed to follow the ChuChus and eat them (this is actually the point of one of the mini-games). It gets much harder when you realize that the ChuChus go so dang fast that it's almost impossible to even see the dang things moving around. And that's assuming you're playing by yourself—it gets a lot more complicated when you use multiplayer (arguably the whole point of the game's existence) and there are four sets of three arrows littered over the board, which could potentially lead a KapuKapu to eat your ChuChus.
Tropes associated with ChuChu Rocket include:
- Ascended Extra: The Chuchu Pilots Chuih, Chubei, Chupea and Chubach are seen only in the manual, but appear later in Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing.
- All There in the Manual: The ChuChu Pilots don't actually appear in the game, but their rockets do—the only way you know of their existence (other than that one game) is through the manual.
- Artificial Stupidity : Even though they're faster than humans, the AIs in the Game Boy Advance port sometimes place arrows incorrectly. For example, if the goals are close together, it may place arrows to direct cats or mice to the wrong rocket.
- A Winner Is You: At least in the Game Boy Advance version, beating all 2600 puzzles will make a message from Sega appear after the credits, telling the player to send a letter to them in order to get a gift. It Only Works Once, and is probably worth nothing nowadays.
- Bag of Holding: Inverted with the rockets, to some degree. Played straight with the holes the ChuChus come out of.
- Cats Are Mean: And orange.
- Escort Mission
- Guide Dang It: Some puzzles are so easy you don't even need to use any arrows, but there are at least a hundred in which you'll be spending a LOT to time trying to beat.
- Instant 180 Degree Turn: Normally, if you hit a wall, you turn right (or left if no right turn is possible), but if you reach a dead end, you make a 180. You can also force an instant turn using arrows. Mouse happily turn around, but the arrows only work twice on cats for a 180.
- Law of One Hundred: Some challenge levels require you to rescue 100 mice (or let you win if you lead the CPU player by that many). Coincidently, there's a maximum of 100 mice allowed on the playing field at once.
- Three Arrows At A Time: Challenge or versus modes.
- Programming Game: The only effect you have on the game is to place the arrows at the beginning of each level. Once you tell it to start, you can only watch what happens.
- Riddle for the Ages: Where do the ChuChus GO in their rockets anyway?
- Shout-Out: A few puzzles reference Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Timed Mission: Each stage challenge needs to be completed in 30 seconds.