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Inspector Gadget

A game based on the '80s cartoon. PG slapstick violence; Brain and Penny can knock the bad guys over the head, the bad guys can fire guns at Gadget but nobody is ever shot, and the worst that happens to anyone is that they are captured.

TODO: find earlier writeup. I think I've written this up before.

Note that Inspector Gadget is a property of some company and the game cannot be developed without their permission.


The player controls Penny and can control Brain by getting out her laptop computer and contacting him, or the player will automatically control Brain if Penny is captured.


The Chief

The Chief only appears in cutscenes before and after the level to give Gadget his orders to capture the boss and to congratulate Gadget on capturing the boss. His appearances are exactly like the TV show: he is hiding in some silly costume, the message he gives Gadget “will self-destruct in ten seconds” inside his costume, and in the end he gives his congratulations to Gadget without acknowledging that Penny and Brain did all the work.


Inspector Gadget advances on his own, slowly making his way to the top of the building and arresting Claw's minions as he goes. Your job is to remove all of the hazards in his way, with a bonus for not being seen by him. There are some physical hazards that Gadget can pass, using his gadgets, that Penny and Brain are unable to pass.


Penny is the main player character. Penny can carry more items than Brain, can bring up a map of the base on her laptop, and can perform other skills.


Brain the dog is the secondary player character. Brain is faster than Penny and better able to deal with Claw's minions, but there are places that you will need Penny for. Brain may only be able to carry one item at a time.

Brain can knock out Claw minions for a period of time, but you need Penny to tie them up and you need both of them to move the body.


Claw's minions wander around the levels. They are witless; you can usually run away from them and hide and their AI will revert to being mildly suspicious. Brain can march past them while wearing a Claw uniform and they will stop to salute. Some minions may mistake Brain and Penny for fellow minions and order them to go to work. Accepting the task will reduce the minion's suspicion, but you will spend valuable time.

Gadget can arrest a single Minion, removing the minion from the game. If there are multiple minions on one side, they engage Gadget in a gunfight, forcing Gadget to retreat behind a corner. When Gadget is suppressed in this way, a minion approaching Gadget from the other side will capture him.

Alternate idea: a group of minions may force Gadget to retreat, and you lose if he has to retreat out of the base

Minions can capture Brain and Penny on contact. (Alternate idea: they have to reach and grab.) They may have a chance of missing if the target is running. If Penny is being captured and Brain is nearby, Brain can bite the minion on the leg to free her.


Each level has a boss. The bosses are simply unique characters who are seen pacing around the top floor, and they are defeated when Gadget arrives and arrests them. The bosses represent big shots in Claw's organization, weapons dealers he is meeting with, and so on. Each level has a time limit; if Gadget does not reach the boss on time, the boss escapes and the level is lost.

Bosses are smart enough to recognize Brain and Penny as threats and to raise an alarm on seeing them.

Boku Fume

One boss is an African general named Boku Fume. He is wanted by his country for theft of Army weapons and is believed to be planning on selling them to Dr. Claw.

Other bosses

TODO. I imagine one of them being a nervous male lanky redhead.

Dr. Claw

The last level's boss will be Dr. Claw himself. He does not move; he sits in his chair, watches Gadget's progress, and laughs. The capture scene is a replay of the TV show introduction.

If the player sends Penny into Claw's room, there is an exchange along these lines:

  • Penny: “Excuse me, Mr. Claw sir, could you please stop being so evil?”
  • Claw: “Sure. I think I'll stop financing secret arms deals and terrorism and start giving my money away to charity.”
  • Penny: (seriously) “Really?”
  • Claw: (slams fist) “NO!!! Of course not! Besides, who are you and how did you get in here? GUARDS!” (the level goes to full alert and two guards are sent to Claw's room.)

If the player sends Brain into Claw's room, he gets in fight with the cat and loses.


Each level is a 2-d multi-storied building that we view from the side. Each story has multiple rooms.


The rooms are simply standard backgrounds with standard operations that can be performed on them. The same type of room, for example a kitchen, may exist in multiple levels and in multiple places in the same level.

Each room should have multiple ways of interacting with it. Different interactions will be limited to different characters. Penny and Brain may carry objects that allow them to interact with objects in other rooms.

Rooms can have hazards. Each of Gadget, Penny, Brain, and the Minions may interact differently with the hazard. Your goal as Penny is to clear out all of the hazards that can harm Gadget so that he can reach the top floor and arrest the boss. Gadget may be better able to deal with more of the hazards than Penny and Brain.

Rooms can have “back rooms”, a simulated third dimension. Some of these are as simple as a door object that can be interacted with, that can store Claw minions who walk into the back room. The minion's AI will need a reason to go back there. Some back rooms interconnect, allowing you to warp across the map. Penny can see these interconnections on her computer.


Routes between levels include staircases, elevators, ladders, and pitfalls. Each floor will include a staircase at either end that advances only to the next floor. Gadget will tend to take the staircases unless they are blocked off, and will then attempt to recalculate a better route to the rooftop. Gadget can fly up a shaft if he is blocked from every other path.

It may be possible for Penny or Brain to tell Gadget to take an alternate route and/or hurry when time is getting low.


Strategies may include:

  • Providing Gadget with a clear route to the top
  • Routing Gadget away from clusters of Claw forces
  • Forcing Gadget to take a long route to give you time to prepare the path
  • Forcing Gadget through a short route so the boss does not escape
  • Blocking doorways to trap Claw soldiers
  • Knocking off individual Claw soldiers


Penny, Brain, and Gadget can be captured by Claw minions and rescued by each other.


Scoring is based on three stars.

  • 1 star for not being captured by the Claws.
  • 1 star for not being seen by Gadget.
  • 1 star for not causing an alarm.
inspector_gadget.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/22 16:44 by deltatango