As some of you may recall, a few weeks ago, RetroforceGO! Did a podcast on rhythm games. Within the podcast, mention was made of one of my favorite games of all time, and possibly the best rhythm game ever, Space Channel 5. Nothing beats the music, visuals, or pure sexiness that this game delivers. Reminded of this, I scrounged up my old copy, and popped it into my Dreamcast. 3 crazy-awesome hours later, I had relived one of my favorite gaming experiences ever by playing the 5th and final level of the game, entitled Evil in The Galaxy Revealed! Now, for this episode of Level-Headed, come with me as I show of an amazing level filled with funky jams, a pedophile in a space suit, and Rupert Murdoch…IN SPAAAAACE!!!
As usual, the level starts out with Space Channel 5’s only cutscene. Well, to be fair, there’s a different cut-scene at the beginning of every level…kind of. No matter what scene you watch, the action on-screen is exactly the same. Seriously; it’s really weird. Anyway, so far in the story, in the 25th century, an alien race named the Morolians have invaded Earth, and reporter super-hottie Ulala has shaken her ass through 4 levels, fending off the alien invaders, and trying to figure out why they invaded. Apparently, the Morolians were being controlled by the head of Space Channel 5, Mr. Blank. The level begins as Ulala, with the help of super-bitch reporter Pudding and super-studley reporter Jaguar, bust into Blank’s office to figure out what’s going on. Upon entering the office, you find a bunch of still-brainwashed Morolians, and you’ve gotta snap them out of their absent-mindedness. How, you may ask? By shooting them in the face while dancing, of course! Once the Morolians come to their senses and join your group, you walk out of Blank’s office, and stumble upon the greatest character ever created in gaming…
SPACE MICHAEL!!!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, for some reason, according to the game, Michael Jackson gets to live 500 years in the future, and work for an outer-space news organization, until he gets brainwashed. I can’t make this up; it’s way, WAY too awesome to even attempt. So, you must now dance-battle the 2 Morolians holding Space Michael captive. During said dance battle, whenever you’re finished dancing, Michael “woo”s to show his immense approval. And, for some reason, he’ll randomly break out into a dance number, with the damn aliens that just captured him! While it makes no sense, it is very damn precious. Once you free him, and he thanks you in the creepiest voice possible, you make your way to the control room of SC5 studios, all while dancing like Michael to the rhythm of the in-game music. This is, without a doubt, the greatest 4 minutes in gaming history.
OH SHIT, HE'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!
The control room houses another group of Morolians, holding “Keyboard Grrrl” captive (no…seriously, that’s how it’s spelled). After saving her, and disbanding the final group of brainwashed Morolians, you make your way up to a room filled with lights that no news organization needs, like a brightly-colored Situation Room. In this room, you learn Mr. Blank’s evil plan: since he wants his reporters to share his vision, he has created a line of robotic reporters, including your shadowy-robotic-evil twin, Evila!
*cue dramatic music and thunder crash*
Now, you must fight against Evila, and somehow destroy her by dancing. Which, of course, you do. Once the robotic reporter is down, the dome opens up, revealing Mr. Blank’s giant robot, who has just captured your ship. Knowing the only recourse of this atrocity is to dance, you fight one of the hardest boss battles in the game. For those that don’t know, the game is Simon Says, basically: a direction is shout out, you point in that direction during your turn. This time, though, you have to do the exact opposite of whatever Blank’s evil robot does (he says up, go down, he says right, go left, and so on). I always got caught up in this and died, which, unfortunately, sends you back to the beginning of the level, wasting all the work you just did. It’s a pain in the ass. ANYWAY, once the gigantic Blankbot is knocked out, you find out about Blank’s true intentions: he’s been brainwashing people through his broadcasts of SC5, hoping to get the best ratings in the universe, no matter the cost. Seriously, towards the end, this game becomes Fox News: The Rock Opera. Also, during his whole diatribe, the music in the background has changed from the normal soundtrack to people singing. It’s really pretty cool, and one of the best songs in the game.
After his I-want-to-rule-the-universe spiel, you and Blank are sent to…THE BLANK DIMENSION!!! Where Blank becomes a giant, multi-television robot…who can dance. As always, a lengthy dance battle ensues. Somehow, about ¾ of the way through the fight, your dancing is so powerful that you and Blank are kicked back into the real world to finish your fight. Only, you now have a crowd behind you made up of every enemy and person you’ve saved in the game. Awesome.
A little more groovin’, and you’ve completely destroyed Blank and his robot, sending him screaming into space. As expected, everyone gets happy, and starts jumping around with joy. With Blank defeated, and the Morolian “invasion” quelled, Ulala does what anyone of us would do in that situation: march to the end of the galaxy.
No. Really. Once it’s all done, she lovingly shouts out, “Alright, everyone! Now, let’s march to the end of the galaxy!” I honestly told myself when writing this piece to steer clear of drug references, but, Jesus Christ, how can you NOT be on acid and think up that line?!??! “March to the end of the universe”??? Hunter said saner things in Fear and Loathing, for God's sake. Still, it's one of the better endings I've ever seen in a game.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s 2 videos detailing the final report:
(Mega Man X)
(Skies of Arcadia)
Chainsaw Hedgemaze Mayhem
(Zombies Ate My neighbors)
Temple Of Ice
(LoZ: Phantom Hourglass)