Space Station Silicon Valley
|Space Station Silicon Valley|
North American Nintendo 64 cover art
|Release date(s)||Nintendo 64
|Distribution||64-megabit cartridge, Optical disc|
Space Station Silicon Valley is a platform game released in October 1998 by Scottish developer DMA Design (now known as Rockstar North, creator of the Grand Theft Auto series). It was initially released for the Nintendo 64, and later ported into two Europe exclusive versions, first for Game Boy Color in 1999, and later for PlayStation under the title of Evo's Space Adventures. The game is known for its game-breaking bug and several glitches, but this did not prevent it from attaining considerable critical acclaim.
The game's storyline revolves around a space station designed as a "technologically advanced amusement park" and home to numerous animals. In the year 2001, it was launched and vanished seven minutes later. Thought to have disappeared forever, it reappears in the year 3000, and its designer, Professor Cheese, mysteriously vanishes upon an excursion to the station. Following this, a duo of "Heroes for Hire" are dispatched to investigate. Danger Dan and his robotic partner Evo, a "super-intelligent, self-evolving robot" (the end result of the Silicon Valley experiment) arrive to find that over 1000 years, the animal cargo had evolved and merged with the station's technology; examples include an electronically powered fox with motorized wheels and a steam-powered hippopotamus. Throughout the course of the game, the space station is on a collision course with Earth, and it is the player's mission to save all of humanity. At the end of the game, Evo arrives at the control room in the center of the station. He confronts the Evil Brain, who is fascinated by Evo's abilities and wants to keep him to complete the Station's collection of robotic animals. The Brain believes that Evo's powers can lead him to domination of the galaxy, claiming that "with your body and my mind, we can rule the stars". The Brain threatens to fire his "Doomsday-o-Matic shrinkray" at the Earth. Evo easily defeats the Brain with his laser-vision, but is unable to stop the Space Station from spinning out of control. The station finally collides with earth, landing in New York Harbor. In the process, all of the robotic animals escape from the station. Evo (now fully constructed) must run around New York City, searching out and terminating all of the animals before they break free to terrorize all of Earth.
The player controls Evo, a robot reduced to a crawling microchip during a crash into the titular station caused by a fight over radio stations. Without protection, Evo loses energy at a steady rate. To survive, Evo must enter the bodies of animals (who each possess their own abilities) and use them to solve puzzles and defeat enemies in each level, collecting Evo's "purple power cells" along the way. As this progresses, Dan is trapped in the team's destroyed spaceship assigning Evo his missions and occasionally commenting.
While progressing through the four distinct sections of the space station — Euro-Eden, Arctic Kingdom, Jungle Safari, and Desert Adventure — the player collects the scattered remains of Evo's protective shell suit, eventually re-assembling him for the final level.
Space Station Silicon Valley was largely well received due to its intuitive mechanics, innovative level design, and comical concepts, obtaining a cumulative score of 83 on Metacritic; GameRankings also gave it a score of 84.88% for the N64 version and 50% for the Game Boy Color version.
The game has been known to freeze, but it is a rare occurrence. Freezes are more common when using the Expansion Pak. In some cases it is impossible to get past the first few start up screens if the Expansion Pak is present.
In some levels, the player may be able to pass through walls if hit at the right angle. This is more common in "Stinky Sewers", where the walls can be unstable. In places, the player may even pass through walls to the outside of the level which can result in the player dying instantly.
A further bug prevents the player from collecting all of the souvenirs in the game. Since this bug occurs, it is impossible for the player to unlock the secret bonus level. However, it can be reached by entering a code at the level selection screen.
In popular culture
Scenes from this game are featured in the music video for Mouse On Mars's song "Twift Shoeblade". The victory theme heard after completing a level can be heard occasionally on one of the radio stations in DMA's 1999 game, Grand Theft Auto 2.
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- "Space Station Silicon Valley (N64)". Nintendo Power 113. October 1998.