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Spy Fox is a series of point-and-click children's games made by Humongous Entertainment, which was later bought by Atari. The series spans three Adventure Games and two arcade-style shooter Gaiden Games.
The series follows unflappable superspy SPY Fox on his adventures, most of which involve stopping some kind of evil mastermind from conquering the world in one way or another. The series is an Affectionate Parody of spy films in general and James Bond movies in particular, many of which are surprisingly in-depth.
The Adventure Games, in order, are:
- SPY Fox in Dry Cereal (often referred to as SPY Fox 1)
- SPY Fox 2: Some Assembly Required
- SPY Fox: Operation Ozone (often referred to as SPY Fox 3)
The Gaiden Games, in order, are:
- SPY Fox in Cheese Chase
- SPY Fox in Hold the Mustard
The series also spawned multiple children's books (which may not have been published), including SPY Fox: The Official SPY Manual and SPY Fox: Twenty Thousand Leaks Under the Sea, as well as a SPY Fox Comic Book Adaptation.
The premises, by installment
In SPY Fox in Dry Cereal, William the Kid has kidnapped all the dairy cows in the world and hidden a Milky Weapon of Destruction on the Greek island of Acidophilus. SPY Fox travels to Acidophilus in order to disarm Kid's Weapon and free the cows.
In SPY Fox in Cheese Chase, Russian Blue returns and steals the Limburger cheese from the Museum de Fromage. SPY Fox travels around the globe in order to recover the cheese.
In SPY Fox 2: Some Assembly Required, Napoleon LeRoach has hidden a Giant Evil Dogbot at the World's Fair. SPY Fox travels to the fair in order to turn off LeRoach's Dogbot.
In SPY Fox in Hold the Mustard, King Konglomerate sends his army of robots to steal all the tomatoes in the world. SPY Fox travels around the globe in order to destroy the robots and protect the tomatoes.
In SPY Fox, Napoleon LeRoach returns and has stolen all the compost in Britain. SPY Fox breaks into LeRoach's secret headquarters in order to recover the compost.
In SPY Fox: Operation Ozone, Poodles Galore has launched a giant, ozone-depleting aerosol can into orbit. SPY Fox travels around the globe in order to destroy the aerosol can.
A demo version of Dry Cereal can be downloaded from Infogrames.
Tropes in the Spy Fox series:
- Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Quack.
- Absentee Actor: Monkey Penny is absent from Cheese Chase.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Napoleon LeRoach has a secret base built in one, including an escape pipe to Fiji. And one to SPY Jail, of course.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Cheese Chase and Operation Ozone.
- Affectionate Parody
- Air Vent Passageway: In SPY Fox 2, there is one point where you have to jump down a fan room using a cape and land on an air vent to make it to the next room.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: See what S.M.E.L.L.Y. stands for below. Also, Russian Blue's crimes include "jay-tangoing" and "tangoing out of season."
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: LeRoach's plan for the Giant Evil Dogbot in Some Assembly Required. He pulls it off, but SPY Fox is narrowly able to deactivate it before its rampage gets too out of hand.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animals
- Berserk Button: William the Kid being called "Billy."
- Big Bad: William the Kid in Dry Cereal, Napoleon LeRoach in Some Assembly Required and the Comic Book Adaptation SPY Fox, King Konglomerate in Hold the Mustard, and Poodles Galore in Operation Ozone.
- Big Good: Monkey Penny.
- Bigger on the Inside: The Mobile Command Center in SPY Fox 2.
- Blatant Lies: When Mr. Udderly details how he was kidnapped by Kid's nappers, he paints himself as far braver than the actual footage of his kidnapping shows.
- Boss Dissonance: The bosses in Hold the Mustard are all about a fifth of the length of the normal levels, and all it takes to beat them is to stand in one spot and hit their weak spot, highlighted on the radar. Their only way of attacking is by their robots, but on most of the bosses, you'll end up destroying it before they can even make it to you.
- Camera Spoofing: SPY Fox has to do this in Some Assembly Required's regenerator path, using a postcard. Despite text on the postcard being plainly visible, the guard never catches on.
- Card-Carrying Villain: S.M.E.L.L.Y. stands for "the Society of Meaningless Evil, Larceny, Lying and Yelling." That should give you a good idea what the organization is like.
- Comic Book Adaptation: SPY Fox, which was published in the British magazine Planet PC.
- Cool Car: SPY Fox's Asti Spumoni SPY Car from Dry Cereal and Operation Ozone.
- Cool Ship: The M.E.S.S. (Multiple Environment SPY Ship) from Hold the Mustard. A giant version (M.E.S.S. II, the Super SPY M.E.S.S.) appears in Operation Ozone.
- Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Talking to Monkey Penny will cause SPY Fox to ask a pointless question, followed by her asking why he isn't doing what he should be.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: William the Kid in Dry Cereal, King Konglomerate in Hold the Mustard, and Poodles Galore in Operation Ozone.
- Cut Song: Some games' HE4 files contain Dummied Out music.
- Cutscene Incompetence: The opening cutscene of Cheese Chase.
SPY Fox: She won't get away with this. Not with Fox, SPY Fox, on her trail.
(Russian Blue zooms away in her car)
Professor Quack: Uhh, it appears that she's getting away with it, SPY Fox.
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Some Assembly Required's Dummied Out cutscene.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Usually averted with the talk balloons--asking characters about things SPY Fox wasn't meant to be able to ask them about (which can only be done by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger) has no effect in most cases. However, Some Assembly Required plays it straight in a few instances:
- Using Madame Ladybug and Victor's talk balloons (which are normally only obtainable in the flytrap path) on Elmo (who only appears in the regenerator path) triggers Elmo's Dummied Out responses.
- Using any of the Caped Cod's talk balloons (which are normally only obtainable in the regenerator path) on Doll or Lee in the flytrap path triggers a dialog box with the message "CHEATER! You shouldn't have the cod talk balloon on the flytrap path!"
- Double Take: The worms in Dry Cereal do this in the White Water path.
- The Dragon: Russian Blue in Dry Cereal.
- Dragon Their Feet: ...who subsequently steals the prized Limburger Cheese in Cheese Chase.
- Dual Boss: Hold the Mustard's eighth and final Florida Swamp Lands level.
- Dummied Out:
- Dry Cereal:
- Some Assembly Required:
- Elmo has six unused responses that can be triggered by using Madame Ladybug and Victor's talk balloons on him (which can only be done by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger).
- SPY Fox has an unused cutscene that can be unlocked by adding "FryFox=BurnBabyBurn" to the game's section in the INI file. This scene is a Shout-Out to Dragon's Lair.
- The game's HE4 file contains unused music.
- Hold the Mustard:
- The game's HE4 file contains unused music.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Hold the Mustard.
- Expanded Universe: The Tie-In Novels (if they were even published) and Comic Book Adaptation.
- Expy: SPY Fox for James Bond, Monkey Penny for Money Penny, Quack for Q, SPY Corps for MI 6, S.M.E.L.L.Y. for S.P.E.C.T.R.E. - the list goes on and on.
- Fan Boy: Elmo.
- Femme Fatale: Russian Blue would be a good candidate. She basically seduces SPY Fox with a tango, even in a Red Dress.
- 555: Used in the beginning of Dry Cereal.
- Freudian Excuse: LeRoach's reason for coming up with the Giant Evil Dogbot plot? Because he was made fun of for being too short for a particular ride at the World's Fair.
- Fun with Acronyms: The M.E.S.S. (Multiple Environment SPY Ship), as well as SPY Corps' nemeses N.O.G. (Nectar Of the Goats) and S.M.E.L.L.Y. (Society of Meaningless, Evil, Larceny, Lying and Yelling).
- Gadget Watches: Complete with communicator and a different arcade shooter minigame for each entry in the series. Doubles as Painting the Fourth Wall, as it's where you save and load your game.
- Game Within a Game: The SPY Watch games.
- Government Agency of Fiction: The SPY Corps organization to which SPY Fox and his team belong.
- High-Class Glass: William the Kid from Dry Cereal wears a monocle.
- Hub Level: The first two games have a sort of central square where most of the other areas can be accessed from. Averted in Operation Ozone, where you instead use your SPY Car to fly around the world.
- Humongous Mecha: The Giant Evil Dogbot in Some Assembly Required.
- I Know Kung Faux: In Dry Cereal SPY Fox must learn Cock-a-Doodle-Fu to get past a certain N.O.G. guard. This becomes somewhat of a Running Gag in the later games.
- Invisible Wall: Hold the Mustard's Outer Space levels each have one at the top and one at the bottom.
- Iris Out: At the end of Dry Cereal.
- Lampshade Hanging: From the second game:
Walter Wireless: And the 74 million dollar question is...who invented the retractable TV?
- Late to The Punchline: Kids may not know everything the games were parodying.
- Level Editor: Cheese Chase.
- Literal Surveillance Bug: Walter Wireless, who is also an Ink Suit Actor of Tom Brokaw.
- Logo Joke: For some reason, Cheese Chase has a different intro to the Humongous Entertainment logo at the beginning of the game.
- Mad Libs Dialogue
- The Man Behind the Curtain: In Hold the Mustard, halfway through the bonus Atlantis levels, King Konglomerate is revealed to be some sort of rodent (possibly a gerbil or guinea pig) piloting a gorilla robot. He then has to abandon his robot suit due to it getting wet and breaking, and he doesn't get it back for the ending.
- Marathon Level: Hold the Mustard has a reputation for being full of these, sans the boss levels mentioned above. They are about 4 to 5 minutes early on, and for a game with 101 levels, that is outrageous. Then you get to the ones with double the amount of enemies.
- Master of Disguise: Parodied in each of the adventure games, where SPY Fox has only to don the appropriate uniform to go incognito.
- Mini-Mook: The Gyro Grub, Gnat, Red Oy, and (to a lesser extent) Spry robots from Hold the Mustard.
- Misguided Missile: In Dry Cereal, after putting the fuses together, the missile flies off, and we hear SPY Fox say, "I guess that guided missile was misguided." Then it flies back, crashing into the door, and then he says "of course, I planned that. I like a dramatic pause."
- Mission Control: Every game but Cheese Chase has Monkey Penny play this role, joined by Professor Quack in Hold the Mustard.
- Most Common Card Game: In Dry Cereal, one mini-game has SPY Fox play a game of Go Fish for trinkets with a big pig, Artemis J. Bigpig, a parody of Kasper Gutman in The Maltese Falcon.
- Multiple Endings:
- Dry Cereal, Some Assembly Required, and Operation Ozone all have two endings: one where the Big Bad gets away, and another with a few more screens of gameplay culminating in the capture of the Big Bad.
- Hold the Mustard always ends the same way, but finding the bonus Atlantis levels gives the ending a visual difference (see The Man Behind the Curtain above).
- Musical Nod:
- One of the two pieces of waltz music from Dry Cereal is a remix of the Sam's Room theme from the Pajama Sam games No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside and SockWorks.
- Part of "Chase Scene a Go-Go!" from Dry Cereal and Cheese Chase seems to be a remix of one of the level themes from Pajama Sam's SockWorks.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: It's William, not Billy!
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: "The name is Fox, SPY Fox."
- Parental Bonus: More prominent in this series than most of the others by Humongous Entertainment. See the Shout-Out entry below for a good portion of them.
- Power Perversion Potential: Averted with the X-Ray gum, where if you try to use it on Monkey Penny she will snark at you.
- Press X to Not Die: Or more accurately Click Here To Not Let The Bad Guy Get Away, near the end of each adventure game.
- The Professor: Professor Quack.
- Punch Clock Villain: Every Mook in Dry Cereal.
- Piranha Problem: In Dry Cereal and Cheese Chase.
- Recursive Import
- Recycled Soundtrack: Cheese Chase and Operation Ozone each reuse music from previous games.
- Regional Bonus: Operation Ozone got an additional two songs. The Music CD page of the American version's help file mentions "two funky, hip SPY Fox bonus tracks" which were supposed to be available from Humongous Entertainment's website but may never have been available there; these are likely the same two songs.
- Running Gag: In the second game: "No, not smelly, S.M.E.L.L.Y.!"
- Same Language Dub
- Sequel Hook: SPY Fox tries this on Monkey Penny during their chat upon Fox landing on Kid's blimp and Monkey Penny telling him not to let Kid get away:
SPY Fox: But what about the sequel?
Monkey Penny: There are plenty of other villains out there. We'll be fine.
- To James Bond especially, amongst others. The ridiculousness of the gadgets is a nod to Get Smart.
- Poodles Galore's name is a reference to Pussy Galore from Goldfinger.
- Or alternatively, Toodles Galore, Tom's most frequent love interest in Tom and Jerry
- Mr. Udderly lifts a line straight from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken: "My whole body's a weapon." It helps that Udderly sounds exactly like Don Knotts.
- Fox's vocal characterization is not a shout out to Get Smart. It's Maxwell Smart's voice, coming out of a fox who is not Maxwell Smart, spoken by an actor who also is not Maxwell Smart. Mind: blown.
- On the non-spy-related references, Captain Drydock's voice characterization in Dry Cereal is a reference to Captain Kirk, right down to his speech about the sea being "the final frontier".
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Can happen in Hold the Mustard.
- Stern Chase: Inverted in Cheese Chase, which has SPY Fox follow Russian Blue around the world for 100 levels.
- Stopped Numbering Sequels: Operation Ozone (the third game) is unnumbered.
- Theme Music Power-Up
- Tie-in Novel: May not have been published.
- Title Drop: Lampshaded at the beginning of Some Assembly Required:
SPY Fox: On the side it says "'Some Assembly Required.'" Sounds like a excellent title for one of my adventures.
- Trash Landing: SPY Fox does this in the opening cutscene of Cheese Chase. The stunt seems to have been planned out, as seconds later the dumpster collapses to reveal Fox ready for action on his SPY Scooter.
- Tuxedo and Martini: SPY Fox is a parody of these types.
- Unreliable Narrator: See Blatant Lies above.
- Unwinnable: Some Assembly Required's Dummied Out cutscene replaces the Restructo-Lux room's only exit, so if you unlock the cutscene, the room can only be escaped by using the game's debug mode or ScummVM's debugger.
- Video Game Caring Potential: In Dry Cereal, it's possible to go back to the Feta Factory after rescuing Mr. Udderly and turn the piranha pool's temperature back to a comfortable level. This has no effect on gameplay, though.
- What the Hell, Player?: Monkey Penny dislikes it if you call her while you are in Mobile Command Center.
- Also if you try to use the X-ray gum on her.
- Wasted Song: "Chase Scene a Go-Go!" is surprisingly much longer than what is actually heard in-game. Thankfully, the whole theme gets played in Cheese Chase.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Bea Bear. In Operation Ozone, she explains why she changed jobs.
- A Worldwide Punomenon
- Wrap Around: In Hold the Mustard, horizontally but not vertically (even in the Outer Space levels, which prevent vertical wraparound with Invisible Walls).
- You Meddling Kids: In Dry Cereal, after being caught, William the Kid spoofs the classic Scooby-Doo villain line: "I would've gotten away with my evil plan, if it weren't for that pesky Spy Fox!"