Thursday, April 10, 2014

Scooby Doo And The Cyber Chase:

This is an old article pending revision.

Might Contain Spoilers:

Scooby Doo And The Cyber Chase is the last of a movie series that I nicknamed "They're Real This Time". The reason why the nickname fits is because there are real creatures and poltergeists and the villains and mysteries are more complicated. The animation and color and picture quality is improved and Asian animators provided a different character design, especially for unnamed background characters. "The Gang" is older now, and are in their 20s, which is revealed when fellow genius and friend of Velma (and everybody else) is a young student at some state university. The Mystery Machine appears to be a painted Dodge Caravan from the late 1980s, but has double doors for the back instead a lift gate. A Dodge Caravan is much smaller than a Dodge van or Ford E Series, or Volkswagen Transporter, etc. (and whatever that red thing was they drove during The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo era), but that could be because computers have gotten smaller yet more efficient than they were in the 1960s.

They are invited by Eric, who is an honors student at University and is a candidate for a $250,000.00USD prize along with another honor student who both worked together to create a giant laser beam that is capable of making the physical world and the virtual world coexist. There is a drawback to this wonderful invention, which is the fact that it can make the world even more dependent on technology than it already is. Each student also created a virtual reality computer game. Eric's game is based on the early years of Mystery Inc., and Bill, the other student, had a game that was about baseball.

Eric's game gets infected by a living computer virus and it somehow activates the giant laser, which is conveniently broken. The Phantom Virus breaks out of the computer game and the computer system, and is capable of hacking all the contents of the computers as well as destroying objects of whatever he wants to.

Fred, Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma all arrive at the university, and are stopped by longtime security officer Wimbley. He points them into the direction of the labs and the location of Scientist, Technology Expert, and Professor Robert Kaufman and two of his students. Professor Kaufman appears to be strict and also German (and could be related to Albert Einstein). Officer Wimbley follows and spies on them. They are very impressed with Eric's work as he explains about the object of his game, which is to find The "Scooby Snax" at the end of each of the 10 levels.

The Phantom Virus finds them and chases them into the game in which they are trapped. If they do not escape, they could die. Because of the glitches, the only way out is to play the game within it, and win. It is uncertain on how Eric's game is actually played since The Phantom Virus alters it a lot in an attempt to destroy Mystery, Inc.

Level One: They are on "The" Moon, and are attacked by moon ghosts.

Level Two: Level two is set during the Roman Empire, and are in a Gladiator ring being chased by Gladiators and a Lion. Fred gets the attention of The Lion by treating it like a bull and waving a flag around.

Level Three: They are sent back into somewhere when dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures were everywhere.

Level Four: They are underwater in the ocean.

Level Five: They are just outside... and they are also very small, even smaller than insects which are the monsters in this level.

Level Six: Sometime in ancient Asia.

Level Seven: They are in Ancient Egypt.

Level Eight: Medieval Europe.

Level Nine: Arctic Ocean.

Level Ten: The tenth level is set at an amusement park. This is the most enjoyable level because of the laser, everything is real, including the food and the rides... and the monsters. They run into several of their very first creeps, but this time they are real creatures and not people in a mask to cover up a crime. Specifically they are "The Creeper", "The Tar Monster", "Ol' IronFace", "Jaguaro", and "The Gator Ghoul". They also meet themselves and are now remembering all their former clothing. To distinguish Cyber-Scooby from Scooby-Doo, he is wearing a red collar which matches Cyber-Shaggy's red shirt from Shaggy's green shirt. This never happened in the physical world when Shaggy was wearing a red shirt; Scooby-Doo always wore a blue collar. They also drive around in the very first Mystery Machine. Cyber-Freddy tells them that they refer to their level as Cyber World, and things never get old in Cyber World. There are 5 monsters, one for each member of "The Gang" while they each split up with their double. The Phantom Virus is blocking the Scooby Snacks which would end the game. They discover that he is affected by magnets, but so is the Cyber-Gang. They are able to "quarantine" the virus for good, and later a Vortex appears which will bring them back. They say goodbye to themselves and then wave one last time before they are out of the game.

There are many baseball-related clues that The Phantom Virus had revealed, which means that the suspect is actually Bill, who had much jealousy in Eric who thought he was regarded as The Best Student. That wasn't true, even if Eric's game was more recognized. He wanted all the credit to himself, but ended up with absolutely nothing.

The cast of characters is Scott Innes as Scooby Doo, and Shaggy; Frank Welker as Fred; B.J. Ward as Velma Dinkley; Bob Bergen as Eric Staufer; Mikey Kelley as Bell McLemore; Tom Kane as Professor Robert Kaufman; Joe Alaskey as Officer Wembley; Gary Sturgis; and Grey Delisle as Daphne. Grey Delisle replaced Mary Kay Bergman after her terrible death after the production but before the release of "Scooby Doo And The Alien Invaders". Notice that Daphne's hair is darker in this movie compared to the previous three. These films are direct-to-video releases, and were shown on television afterwards. There would be other films but with different character designs. They would still wear different clothing, but they went back to driving their old Mystery Machine again. This was a sign from introducing it in this movie that their next movie could be different. This is similar to COSBY on CBS, where Madeline Kahn died during the 4th season, and the show was not renewed afterwards and Bill Cosby himself would retire at the end of the season. It would make sense for any further movies would reflect "What's New Scooby Doo" and not the movies that had Mary Kay Bergman as Daphne. To me this movie is noticeably different than the previous three, and in my opinion would have been better explained as a television series with the same character designs than as a 4th movie.

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