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Game 128: Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon - Introduction

bigajeff

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By Ilmari
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, —
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?


-Shelley:
To the Moon
Although we who know it’s just another lifeless rock in the vast emptiness of space might not recognise its magic anymore, there’s something inherently lyrical about our silvery friend in the sky. After all, it is the biggest and most luminous light in the night sky, lone companion of our Mother Earth, wanderer who waxes and wanes with marvelous constancy, sometimes bright and yellow disc, sometimes faint greyish blob, sometimes even bloody red, bringer of light to a dark world, but also a swallower of Sun during eclipses.

Even in ancient times, when the Moon was thought to be a living divinity with a body made of fiery aether and moving through crystalline spheres, people were dreaming of journeying there, usually with fantastic devices like ships lifted by water sprouts, flying carriages or giant moths. Eventually, rocket ships were selected as the most believable mode of transportation for lunar trips, which quickly became a staple in the budding genre of science fiction.

Nowadays, well, it’s been almost half a century since we last went to the Moon, and despite occasional promises to return, no one seems to actually want to spend any money on going there. Even in science fiction, Moon trip is not as prevalent topic as earlier, mainly because apocalyptic dystopias and galactic empires are just so much more interesting to read about than technicalities of engine propulsion.
Cover art by courtesy of Mobygames
In one genre of fiction, Moon is even now a big thing. For children, Moon is still a magical and mysterious place, even if it is a barren, lifeless desert, with no atmosphere of its own - just check such children shows like Lunar Jim and Planet Cosmo. Rockets are fast and fun, and a good way to lure children to learn about the wonders of the universe.

The second game in the Putt-Putt -series fits well into this tradition of educational children space shows. Humongous Entertainment advertises the game with lines like these: “Kids’ problem-solving skills are sharpened as they discover how their decisions affect what happens to the world around them.” On a more specific note, the game supposedly teaches math. I am looking forward to this!
Maybe I’ll learn to land this contraption
The crew behind the game is mostly same as in the first game. Thus, I’ll end this intro with few events I would like to see in this game (5 CAPs if you are the first to recognise a source for one of these):
  • Putt-Putt’s capacity to handle G-forces is tested in a centrifuge. A menacing figure turns the speed of the centrifuge to lethal levels, but Putt-Putt manages to survive, because he’s just so tough.
  • While being rocketed to space, Putt-Putt shows symptoms of intoxication. The reason for this is the high amount of oxygen in the ship air, caused by Putt-Putt leaving a valve too open.
  • Putt-Putt decides to relax himself during the space journey with a sip of Loch Lomond he has hidden inside a hollowed-out book. When he is about to drink, artificial gravity stops working and his drink flies out of the glass.
  • Putt-Putt’s rocket ship hits the Moon in the eye.
  • Evil wizard turns Putt-Putt into a toy car. Now Putt-Putt has to find the Man on the Moon, greatest of all wizards, to turn him back normal.
  • Putt-Putt meets on Moon’s surface a Martian with a mission to blow up planet Earth. Putt-Putt has to steal the Martian’s space modulator to prevent this from happening.
  • Putt-Putt befriends a local multi-intelligent AI. Together they declare Moon independent, start a revolutionary war and bomb Earth with an electromagnetic catapult.
  • During the return trip, Putt-Putt finds that the rocket has too much cargo and will crash on Earth’s surface. In a touching scene, a former villain decides to redeem himself, and at a moment when no one is watching, ejects himself out of the airlock, leaving only a farewell note behind.

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