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Instead of a knight and a princess, the characters were Dexter, a pulp space hero, and Kimberly, his buxom, short-skirted, sarcastic girlfriend. Their mission was to locate the evil Commander Borf, a blue behemoth of an alien who had taken it upon himself to create something called the Infanto Ray, that he would use to transform the inhabitants of Earth and any other planet he wished into babies or children.
Before the game itself, Ace is zapped with said ray, which transforms him into his previous geeky teenage self. The rub is that, due to some apparent malfunction or his own body chemistry, the effects turned out somewhat wonky, and he switches between his adult, musclebound self and his younger self at the least opportune times. The game itself took care of this by utilizing one button that served as the weapons button and the "energize button", and when Ace's wrist weapon flashed you had the option of transforming into Ace or simply remaining as Dexter to carry out the mission...and thankfully, Bluth animated two separate scenes for each of these instances seeing as how Ace could dispatch enemies quickly and Dexter had to use his smarts to get past them.
Unlike Dragon's Lair, where Dirk was semi-mute, both Ace and Kimmy spoke throughout the adventure, commenting on the weirdness around them as well as going over the game plan to reach Borf and stop him, which added a little more humor to this game than Dragon's Lair. Though it came second, it carved out its own nice little niche in gaming history.
It was originally released on the laserdisc and has recently been ported to the iPhone and the PSN. There was recently a comic mini-series based on the game incorporating elements from the original game and its Saturday Supercade segment (mainly Ace's changes to Dexter and back happening at random).
Space Ace contains examples of the following:
- Creator Cameo: Don Bluth is the voice of Borf in the game.
- Fiery Redhead: Kimmy can not say anything to Dexter/Ace without being full of sass.
- Fountain of Youth: The Infanto Ray, which turns people into infants, and which turned Space Ace into a weak teenager.
- The Infanto Ray also makes a cameo in one of the episodes of the Space Ace cartoon version. The Infanto Ray turned Borf into a baby at the end, (simlar to the end of the laserdisc) but back to normal.
- Also, in episode 11, the Infanto Ray made another appeareance, and this time, it was perfected by Borf. Kimberly was turned into a baby, (along with the other victims) but it did not last forever; the effects wore off after Dexter was brainwashed, turning Kimberly back to normal.
- Game Over Man: Borf.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Would you believe Bart Simpson was voicing Kimberly on the Saturday Supercade version?
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: Kimberly
- The Many Deaths of You
- Nintendo Hard: The SNES port. Check out Frankomatic's playthrough of the game and you'll come out believing it to be one of the hardest games ever made. And to top it off, to view the game's ending, you have to get the highest rating in every single level (kill a requisite amount of enemies and collect enough glowing disc powerups, and with near perfect accuracy and minimal shots fired to boot). Given the game's wonky controls and absurd difficulty (Dexter dies in one hit to anything, has limited lives, there are no level checkpoints, and the game is loaded with ridiculous memorization and psyche outs), this all adds up to a near impossible task without the use of save states. Hell, even finishing the game at all is near impossible.
- And oddly enough, the port actually does follow the original pretty damn closely. Just don't expect to ever get far enough to notice.
- Panty Shot: Frequently with Kimberly, apparently.
- Revenge of the Nerd: Implied, given that the macho, self-confident Ace was originally scrawny, nerdy (but still obviously athletic) Dexter. Could also be interpreted when the nasties hunting down Dexter find themselves mashed or vaporized when the nerd suddenly transforms into Ace.
- She Is All Grown Up: Male version, with Ace.
- Spiritual Successor: To Dragon's Lair.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Transform into Ace and the heroic "Space Ace" theme plays! Also a Crowning Music of Awesome for those who love cheesie power-up songs.
- The Lancer: Ace
- The Chick: Kimberly
- They Don't Make Them Like They Used To: It's possible to die by blowing up the station you're on with a single errant blast.