Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm
|Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm|
|Date||June 25, 2008|
|Developer||Stainless Games Ltd.|
Puzzle & Trivia (Xbox)
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm was a Happy Tree Friends video game released for Windows via Steam and Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE Arcade, developed by Stainless Games Ltd. and published by Sega. False Alarm is a puzzle-oriented action game and the first and only Happy Tree Friends video game to utilize 3D models instead of only 2D sprites. It is no longer available to download legitimately from Steam, having been removed from the platform in early 2010.
False Alarm features a Happy Tree Friends short movie that is first played upon accessing Story Mode for the first time. However, the movie ends halfway through. As the game explains, the player has to complete all 10 zones and earn at least one Gold Award in the junkyard zone in order to unlock the rest of the movie.
The full game originally cost $19.99 or 400 Microsoft Points (originally 800), but a trial version was available that lasted up to 2 hours. On Xbox LIVE Arcade, the game is available for all Xbox LIVE regions except Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The game currently costs $4.99 on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
The cute, cuddly Happy Tree Friends meet with one horrible, twisted disaster after another and only their friend Lumpy can save them! Armed with a helicopter pack, Lumpy hurls flaming napalm or explosive nitro to blow open areas where his friends may be trapped, or puts them into a deep freeze if they're about to walk into danger. And that's just the beginning. The creators of the popular TV series deliver all the gory yet comedic action the series is best known for in 10 exclusive disaster-filled scenarios, each with three frantic levels and all-new Happy Tree Friends video content. Help save the accident-prone friends from ultimate disaster!
- Playable Happy Tree Friends character - See the famous friends in 3D for the first time and control Lumpy as he rushes to save his friends, including Cuddles, Toothy and Flaky.
- Disaster levels created exclusively for Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm - Ten original and engaging disaster scenarios include mishaps in a Mine Shaft, Candy Factory and Museum.
- Exclusive Happy Tree Friends content - Check out all-new video content created exclusively for the game.
- Gameplay true to the TV franchise - Experience the non-stop hilarious Happy Tree Friends-style action where their accident prone universe means gore and mayhem are inevitable.
For the Steam release, the minimum system requirements were:
- Supported OS: Windows® XP or Windows Vista™
- Processor: Pentium® 4 2GHz or AMD® equivalent
- Memory: 512 MB of RAM for Windows® XP or 1GB of RAM for Windows Vista™
- Graphics: DirectX® 9.0c-compatible video card with 128 MB RAM
- DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c or later
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card and speakers or headphones
- Hard Drive: 100 MB free uncompressed hard drive space
- Peripherals: Microsoft®-compatible mouse and keyboard
Recommended system requirements:
- Supported OS: Windows® XP SP 2 or Windows Vista™
- Processor: Pentium 4 2.8 GHz or AMD equivalent
- Memory: 1 GB of RAM for Windows® XP or 2GB of RAM for Windows Vista™
- Graphics: 128 MB Direct3D®-compatible 3D Video Accelerator card, SM 2.0 or later, DirectX 9.0c-compatible (ATI® Radeon® 9800 or NVIDIA® GeForce® FX 6800)
- DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c or later
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card and speakers or headphones and microphone
- Hard Drive: 100 MB free uncompressed hard drive space
- Peripherals: Microsoft-compatible mouse and keyboard
- Main article: Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm (episode)
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm contains a short movie the player can watch. It is in two parts, with the second part being available after the player completes all ten zones and earns at least one Gold Award in the junkyard zone to unlock the rest of the movie. The movie has no relation to the main game. The episode's theme concerns video games, including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man references. The episode stars Nutty, who initially cures his candy addiction, but he eventually gets addicted to video games instead.
- "Oh no it's finished early! To see the whole movie you must complete all the zones and earn at least one Gold Award in the junkyard. Go on! Lumpy needs all the help he can get!"
- — Message after the first half of the short
False Alarm can be played with either keyboard and mouse or an Xbox 360 controller. The player is represented by Lumpy, while 5 out of 7 other Happy Tree Friends characters appear in a level as victims that need to be rescued. The Happy Tree Friends move automatically towards the destination located at the end of a level. However, obstacles can impede or outright kill them. The player, however, has four abilities that can be used to manipulate either the level environment or the Happy Tree Friends' movement:
- Water: Freezes Happy Tree Friends to stop them from moving. Holding down the use button while the Happy Tree Friends are close together will freeze the group entirely. This ability can also put out fires, temporarily block off vents, and freeze certain objects to prevent danger.
- Nitro: Thaws out frozen Happy Tree Friends and destroys certain objects. Holding down the use button will increase its blast radius.
- Fire: Scares off Happy Tree Friends to make them run temporarily. This ability can also be used to burn down certain objects.
- Action: Used to interact with pumps, switches, levers, or handles.
In a level, the player controls a colored reticle (nicknamed "rescuer aim") on the screen and the camera. The reticle is used to point at any part of the level, but if a suitable ability is used, an object can be affected. This is indicated by the object pulsing. The reticle's color depends on the ability currently selected, so a blue reticle means the player currently has the Water ability active, yellow is Nitro, red is Fire, and green is Action. Holding down the use button can amplify an ability's range, but this is limited by the blue gauge located on the left of Lumpy, meaning that overusing it will make the gauge take longer to recharge.
The Happy Tree Friends walk by default. Leaving them frozen or exposed to certain debilitating hazards will stop their movement. Placing Fire within their vicinity will make them run, increasing their movement speed. The Happy Tree Friends can also collapse briefly after using a lift, swim across safe liquids, or flung off using ramps (they cannot jump on their own). Environment-based hazards serve as threats to the Happy Tree Friends. Most hazards will cause a Happy Tree Friend to take damage, which is reflected on their respective red gauge (blue if health is less than 25%) on the damage indicator and their 3D models showing injuries. Some slow them down temporarily (a numeric timer appears on the affected character), some stop them in their tracks as they take damage (like being electrocuted), but some kill them regardless of their remaining health (like getting cut in half). If a Happy Tree Friend falls down a pit or gets caught in certain inescapable traps, though, they will respawn on nearby safe ground. The damage indicators on the HUD also change depending on the current state of the Happy Tree Friends. For example, a frozen over indicator means a Happy Tree Friend is currently frozen. An empty health gauge will show the character crossed out to indicate they are dead.
Every level is timed. This is tracked on the Scoreometer located on the upper right corner of the screen. It has three segments which determine the Award earned from clearing the level, going from Gold, to Silver, and then to Bronze. The Scoreometer goes down steadily, but it can be brought back up if a Happy Tree Friend successfully arrives at the end of the level. On the other hand, the Scoreometer is reduced significantly if a Happy Tree Friend is dead.
After a level clear, score is calculated based on the Happy Tree Friends saved multiplied by 5 (Rescue Multiplier) plus an additional multiplier depending on the Award attained (x3 for Gold, x2 for Silver, x1 for Bronze). Score from all levels are cumulated as Career Score.
On mouse and keyboard, the controls are as follows:
- Mouse: Move cursor/reticle.
- A or left arrow key: Move camera to the left (level), menu navigation.
- D or right arrow key: Move camera to the right (level), menu navigation.
- Up/Down arrow key: Menu navigation.
- Left mouse button: Use ability (level), confirm selection.
- Right mouse button or mouse wheel: Switch abilities. Selection cycle is done in a clockwise manner.
- Enter: Confirm.
- Esc: Pause the game.
On the Xbox 360 controller, the controls are as follows:
- D-pad/Left stick: Menu navigation, move reticle.
- Left trigger: Move camera to the left.
- Right trigger: Move camera to the right.
- A: Confirm, use Action ability.
- B: Cancel or return to the previous menu, use Fire ability.
- X: Use Water ability.
- Y: Use Nitro ability.
- Start: Pause the game.
Rescuable Happy Tree Friends
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm consists of 10 zones, each having 3 levels, thus giving 30 levels in total. The player only starts off with the Candy Factory zone and its first level, Better Choco-late Than Never, but more levels are unlocked with every new level clear until the very last Junkyard level, I've Got A Crush On You, where the player will be taken to the full version of the movie shown in the beginning of the game if the player has earned at least one Gold Award in any of the Junkyard levels. There is also an optional Tutorial level accessible from the main menu. As its name suggests, the player can learn the basic gameplay mechanics by playing a simple level with tutorial messages, ability indicators on objects, and only Flippy needing rescue.
|Candy Factory||Better Choco-late Than Never|
|You're On A Roll|
|Gimme Some Sugar|
|Hospital||Just Be Patient|
|Malpractice Makes Perfect|
|Leave 'Em In Stitches|
|The Mine||A Lode Off My Mine|
|From The Bottom Of My Cart|
|Can You Dig It?|
|Saw Mill||Shiver Me Timbers|
|Your Days Are Lumbered|
|I Saw That Coming|
|Whale Carcass||All's Whale That Ends Well|
|Quit Your Blubberin'|
|A Whopper Of A Tail|
|Museum||Now Museum, Now You Don't|
|Kick It Into High Gear|
|Ski Lodge||Come Up And Ski Me Sometime|
|Snow Skin Off My Teeth|
|Power Plant||All Charged Up|
|More Power To You|
|Building Site||Lost & Foundation|
|No End In Site|
|Paved With Good Intentions|
|Junkyard||Down In The Dumps|
|Pain In The Wreck|
|I've Got A Crush On You|
- Any Happy Tree Friend (except Lumpy) can splatter completely if his/her health gauge is empty.
- Any Happy Tree Friend (except Lumpy) can die instantly regardless of remaining health if he/she is cut in half or hit by other certain lethal hazards.
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm features Xbox/Steam achievements that are unlocked if the player fulfills certain conditions in-game. In Xbox 360, this totals 200 gamerscore.
|Icon||Name||Xbox gamerscore (G)||Requirement|
|Beginner's Luck||5||Complete the tutorial.|
|Just what the doctor ordered||10||Finish a zone without harming any Happy Tree Friends.|
|Sweet Smell of Copper||10||Achieve a Bronze Award.|
|The Midas Touch||30||Achieve a Gold Award on each level.|
|Playing With Fire||5||Burn 200 characters to death.|
|Piece of Cake||20||Achieve at least a Bronze Award in 15 levels.|
|You Da Bomb||25||Achieve a career score of at least 18,000,000.|
|The Last Drop||10||Finish a zone with all the characters under 25% health.|
|That's a Wrap||25||Unlock the 2nd part of the movie.|
|Give Yourself A Hand||25||Score at least 500,000 in every level.|
|Hi Ho Silver||15||Achieve a Silver Award.|
|You're Golden||20||Achieve a Gold Award.|
- Main article: List of Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm staff
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm was developed by Stainless Games and published by Sega. From the Mondo Media side, Kenn Navarro was the director while John Evershed was the executive producer. The included movie was animated by GHOSTBOT.
According to Kenn Navarro, when adapting Happy Tree Friends into a console video game, he was adamant about not adapting it into a regular platformer game, which according to him has been overdone by other video game adaptations of licensed properties from other mediums. Fighting game or first-person shooter ideas were not considered as they do not fit the world of Happy Tree Friends. Two concepts were considered, the first of which being a microgame collection in the vein of WarioWare as Navarro is a huge fan of the series and thought that this type of frantic gameplay would go well with Happy Tree Friends. However, the idea was shot down because of market oversaturation of this video game genre.
The second concept is accompanied with a concept art (pictured). The idea is that the game is more puzzle-oriented than twitch-based, with puzzle mechanics being inspired from The Incredible Machine where the player is given tools that would interact with the environment. It was also going to retain the 2D graphics from the show. The basic gameplay would involve the player taking control of firefighter characters trying to rescue trapped victims from dangerous situations. In the example shown on the concept art, the firefighters consisted of Lumpy and Mole, though Navarro explained that the player would be given a choice of crew members before setting out, implying other characters may get involved. Each crew member would have a unique power, for example Lumpy uses a match to burn objects and Mole uses a fire hose to douse fires. The challenge according to the concept is to figure out how to break through obstacles that can hinder or outright end the mission before the player could solve the actual problem. The interactivity with the environment would allow players to think of various ways to solve the problem. Plans to include limited power use were also considered. The menu would involve a map as the UI and the reward mechanics would involve pins that depend on the mission score (Bronze, Silver, Gold), both of which were brought over to the final game.
After the successful pitch to Sega, originally the game would be developed by Secret Level, Inc. (now Sega Studios San Fransisco). However, during development, the project got put on hold for a few months. In addition, during this moment, Sega decided to re-shuffle their resources. According to Navarro, it was rumored that Secret Level got too busy with the higher profile titles that they were working at the time. As a result, the developer was changed to Stainless Games. As a consequence, much of the original game concept was scrapped as the game was turned into something different entirely due to Stainless Games' different skill set and the Happy Tree Friends crew was unable to use the original game engine which was proprietary to Jeff Tseng, formerly a Director at Secret Level who came up with much of the original game idea, and Secret Level itself.
Navarro also told the behind-the-scenes aspect when working with Stainless Games via the second "Burn After Reading" blog. Notably, one of the earlier plans would have Lumpy, now the only playable character, flying around in a one-man helicopter rig that would be directly controlled by the player instead of the "rescuer aim" cursor in the final game. The blog also provides four images of level designs and game mechanic ideas, specifically of Building Site, The Mine, Saw Mill, and Whale Carcass.
Pre-release and unused content
Despite the game's official description mentioning Cuddles as a character in the game, he is not present in the actual gameplay and only appears in the included episode. The game's files contain unused graphics that indicate Cuddles and Handy were at one point intended to be included in the game, but were scrapped. There are loading screen text that are never called in the game.
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm received average to poor reviews from critics. IGN gave the game a score of 6.2, describing the game as "a decent game that will please fans, but will end up boring most gamers", while Gamespot gave the game a score of 4.5 and described it as "clunky, unimaginative, and more like a false start than a fun game." Common points of criticism included the game's poor AI, clunky controls, and short length. The included episode, however, was generally praised as funny.
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm.
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm on Steam
- Archives of the game's Steam store page begin redirecting to the Steam website's homepage in February 2010, with the last working archive being from January 2010.
- Arcade: Happy Tree Friends False Alarm - Xbox Wire
- Happy Tree Friends on Xbox Marketplace
- Burn After Reading - Part 1 on Happy Tree Friends (archived version on March 22, 2009)
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm (Windows) - The Cutting Room Floor
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm Review - IGN
- Happy Tree Friends False Alarm Review - GameSpot
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm for Xbox 360 Reviews - Metacritic
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm for PC Reviews - Metacritic
|Happy Tree Friends Video Games|
|Home Console Games||Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm • The Crackpet Show: Happy Tree Friends Edition|
|Mobile Games||Blood Money • Deadeye Derby • Flippy's Flying Frenzy • Homerun • Run and Bun • Slap Happy • Spin Fun • Strandead|
|Web Games||Aggravated Asphalt • Aim to Freeze • Candy Cave • Disco Inferno • Double Vision • Fire Escape • Going Overboard • Hare Trigger • Hot Potato • Lumpy's Lame Card Trick • Milk Pong • On Thin Ice • Run and Bun • Stay On Target • Strandead • Socks To Be You • Sugar High • This Game Is All Flocked Up • Tightrope-A-Dope|