Ape Escape

Ape Escape

Infobox VG
title = Ape Escape

caption = Game cover for the Platinum PAL release.
developer = SCEI
publisher = SCEA
designer =
engine =
released = vgrelease|NA=May 31, 1999|JP=June 24, 1999|EU=July 2 1999
genre = Platform game
modes = Single-player
ratings = vgratings|ESRB=Everyone
platforms = PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
requirements =
input = DualShock

"Ape Escape" is a platform game for the PlayStation, which launched a series of the same name.

"Ape Escape" was first released in North America on May 31, 1999, and shortly after in Japan under the name nihongo|"Seru! Get You!"|サルゲッチュ|Seru Getchu, on June 24, 1999. The brainchild of Kenkichi Shimooko, "Ape Escape"'s Pipo Monkeys went on to become unofficial mascots of Sony. Ape Escape was the first game on the PlayStation to require use of the DualShock controller. Electronic Gaming Monthly rated it an 8.75/10.


"Ape Escape" tells the story of a monkey by the name of Specter that comes into ownership of a Peak Point Helmet (Pipo Helmet), which greatly increased his intelligence but also gave him evil intentions. He obtains helmets for the less intelligent monkeys (not identical to his own) to assist him in his plan for world domination by travelling through time, and it's up to a young boy named Spike/Kakeru, with the aid of the Professor/Hakase - the original inventor of the Peak Point Helmet - and his granddaughter (known as Natalie in the U.S. version, Katie in the UK version, and Natsumi in the Japanese version), to chase them through time and capture them all. He must also rescue his friend (known as Jake in the U.S. version, Buzz in the UK version, and Hiroki in the Japanese version), who has been brainwashed into being Specter's slave.

Spike/Kakeru travels through various places in time, from the Dinosaur Ages to the Age of the Celestial Empire, in order to catch Specter's legion of apes. He also runs into the hypnotised Jake/Hiroki during his adventures, and must defeat him in bonus levels that involve racing to complete an obstacle course.

Spike/Kakeru soon comes to the Present Day, where Specter and his monkey army have retreated due to their failed attempts to rewrite history. After defeating him at his factory, where he is trying to create more Peak Point Helmets, and the TV Tower, Specter creates a malevolent theme park, where he challenges Spike/Kakeru to find his imprisoned friends, the Professor/Hakase and Natalie/Katie. Spike/Kakeru finds Jake/Hiroki along the way and defeats him in a final battle, then races to a large castle, which takes off into space. In a final effort, he traverses through the castle and Spike/Kakeru finds Specter, who before the fight, tries to persuade Spike/Kakeru into being his slave, now that Jake/Hiroki has been turned to normal. He shoots a blue ray at him, delivering the boy pain, and tells him that if he doesn't surrender, "this pain shall last into eternity." However, Spike/Kakeru disobliges, and destroys the barrier surrounding him, making Specter flip out of his chair. Spike/Kakeru then tells Specter that "power alone isn't the true strength, or something like that..." as he tries to regain himself, meaning that it takes more than power to win the fight. Specter, however, is furious with Spike/Kakeru, and then hops into a large robot to destroy him. (The robot would later be known as the Goliath Armor). Spike/Kakeru destroys the robot, but Specter escapes. The castle floats back down to Earth, where Spike/Kakeru is reunited with his friends.

But the battle is not over yet. Specter is found again, hiding in a mysterious dimension called the Peak Point Matrix. After rounding up all the remaining monkeys, Spike/Kakeru travels there and engages Specter in a one-on-one final battle. Spike/Kakeru finishes the battle by catching the villain in the Time Net, ending his evil crusade.


"Ape Escape" was the first PlayStation game to fully require the use of both control sticks to play (one needed to purchase a DualShock controller to play this game, as the original PlayStation controller would not work). The right stick is used in many different ways, such as aiming and swinging weapons. Players can have four items equipped at once, on the X, Square, Circle and Triangle face buttons. Unlike some platformers, "Ape Escape" uses the R buttons to jump.

At the very beginning of the game, Spike is hurled into a level set in the dinosaur age. After completing this level, where Spike learns the basics of the two primary gadgets and catches a handful of monkeys, he is transported to the Time Station, the hub of the game.


"Ape Escape" has several gadgets, which each have their own unique function. Spike's primary gadgets are the Stun Club and the Time Net, which are often used to subdue and catch apes, respectively. Throughout the game, Spike will acquire more gadgets that will be useful to him in the next world, and are often needed to get some of the apes in earlier levels. When a new gadget is obtained, players are dropped into a training level, where the basics of controlling the gadget are learned and practised. These levels can be revisited in the Training Room (see above).


Each monkey in "Ape Escape" has a unique personality, with a name and description, seen as a "Data File". Players can view this on "Monkey Cam", a feature of the Monkey Radar gadget that is used in-game by pressing the L2 button when pointing the radar towards a monkey. After the monkey is caught, its Data File can be read in a log book, called the Monkey Book, accessed from the main hub of the game. These names often hold many humorous jokes and pop culture references. For example, a monkey named Kubrick is described as one who "enjoys thrillers". Each monkey also has three fields of skill: Speed, Attack and Alert, all of which are ranked out of five. This combines to a level of difficulty, which is also denoted on the File. Ape escape does promote crulety to animals as monkeys are caught in small nets.

An amusing yet useful feature of the monkeys is that their pants can tell the player the main traits of their personality by use of a color code. For example, a monkey with red pants would be a strong attacker. Players can use this to employ the best strategy to use in order to catch the monkey.


Throughout the game Spike collects Specter coins, large treasures with the antagonist's likeness printed on them. When he collects a certain number of these, he can unlock minigames to play in the Minigame Room.

PSP version

A PlayStation Portable port was released as "Ape Escape: On the Loose" in North America, "Saru Get You P!" (サルゲッチュP!) in Japan and "Ape Escape P" in Europe. It was developed by SIMS and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released in March 17, 2005 in Japan, March 22 2005 in North America and May 5 2006 in Europe. In North America, it was one of the system's launch titles. It features 2-player minigames that can be wirelessly played between 2 PSP systems. It is one of the first titles for the PSP Greatest Hits collection in the U.S.

One key difference between "On the Loose" and the original "Ape Escape" (apart from the new aspect ratio, 16:9) is that this game can only be played with one analog stick. Also, the R shoulder jump button was replaced with the crawl action, and the jump button is now the x button, meaning the amount of Gadgets the player was allowed to have at once was reduced from 4 to 3. The first unlockable minigame was also changed. The PS1 version was Rocket-ski racing, and you used both analog sticks to control the appropriate ski. In the PSP version, since there is no second analog stick, The Skis were changed to a Snowboard. The tracks were also changed to a Slalom over the original Circle circuit.

ee also

* Ape Escape series
* Ape Escape (TV series), an animated series

External links

* [http://www.ape-escape.com/ Official "Ape Escape" website]
*moby game|id=/ape-escape
* [http://apeescapecartoons.com/ Ape Escape Cartoons]

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