Space Channel 5, Alive?

I gotta hand it to the organisers of Summer of Sonic – it was awesome. Well, it would have been more awesome if hundreds hadn’t very nearly died by my hand due to me being robbed of first place at the cosplay competition! OK, so no one was actually castrated, decapitated, immolated or defenestrated (I couldn’t find a window to throw them out of), but they were still discombobulated by my appearance (isn’t ‘word of the day’ toilet paper great) as still many people didn’t know who I was dressed as.

Yes, I went to Summer of Sonic dressed in my white PVC Ulala costume from Space Channel 5 Part 2… and I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids. The damaged ones who grew up with the Sonic X cartoon; the ones who played the bad (post Sonic Adventure) Sonic games; the ones who love that little emo shit Shadow; the ones who obviously are not big enough Sonic fans to have played Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing and Sega Superstar Tennis to even learn who I am!  But that still didn’t stop them trying to look up my skirt!

So it may be understandable why Ulala is not really a character that would be recognised at Summer of Sonic, she’s not really a Sonic character – and Billy Hatcher has had a video game out more recently – but the love for Ulala is still strong amongst those who know about her. Her own game, Space Channel 5, even had Michael Jackson in it – because he saw work on the game and phoned up Sega himself. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an awesome rhythm action game with a space theme and cool aliens called Morolians, and a nemesis of Ulala called Pudding! Michael Jackson and Pudding, what could be better?

Ulala appears in many other Sega games, in 2002 you could play as Ulala in the really awesome volleyball game Beach Spikers. She doesn’t wear her normal hoop skirt attire, but instead a pink Space Channel 5 bikini. I have been very tempted for a long time to make myself the bikini, but sorry boys (and lesbian or bisexual girls), I will not be cosplaying this outfit around any expo this year… or ever. As much as I love Ulala, her waist is a physical impossibility in a world with physics.

And if the Summer of Sonic fanboys love stupid gimmicky crap like Shadow, then she did her own stupid gimmicky crap! In 2004 she was a playable character in the game Sega Superstars for the PS2. It was an EyeToy game and she had her own minigame. Like in Space Channel 5, you needed to remember different dance moves when they were shown by the Morolians, then repeat it in time waving your arms crazily on screen trying to make the EyeToy bloody work. You know, like everyone will soon do again when Kinetic gets released for Xbox 360 this Christmas.

The original Space Channel 5 is a 10 year old game but Ulala is still found in a lot of games, some of which are relatively new. In 2006 Ulala was one of the racers in Sonic Riders, the main reason I bought the game. Unfortunately, she was an unlockable character, and even more unfortunately, the game is so unbelievably hard that I never even got to play as her (even more unbelievably, I’m admitting to that in public), though her artwork for the game was pretty cool.

Even Vodaphone phones got Space Channel J, and the GBA wasn’t immune from Ulala’s charms with the now surprisingly valuable Space Channel 5: Ulala’s Cosmic Attack. Even more obscurely, Sega Splash Golf is a PC only golf game that came out in 2007, and saw Ulala cruley demoted to being a golf caddy… yes you heard me, a bloody caddy! If anyone ever comes up and asks me to dress as the caddy verison of Ulala, expect a golf club shoved somewhere so… wrong, that only the top surgeons can remove it. And when they do, I’ll be using a portion of your lower intestine as a golf club sock.

More recently she turned up in Samba de Amigo on the Nintendo Wii. Now due to the clumsy recognition of the makeshift maracas in this game – playing this game can be more painful than twatting yourself in the eye with a Wii remote, and you may twat yourself accidentally in the eye with a Wii remote.  Or perhaps after getting frustrated by Mambo Number 5 for the umpteenth time, twatting yourself deliberately with a hammer. I doubt many people played it long enough to unlock the Space Channel 5 levels with Ulala, so I will let you off, as it took me longer than I am willing to admit, but I hammered through.

But even for the Emo loving, skirt peeking kids there really is no excuse for not finding Ulala in Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing and Sega Superstar Tennis. OK, I’ll admit… these games are not the greatest in their genre, but if you are a stupid Sega fan like me, you will buy these games regardless of a crap factor. And… they’re dirt cheap! In All-Star Racing Ulala has to be bought for 12,500 miles which you pick up after about thirty minutes of play – and in Sega Superstars Tennis she is just there! Right there, in the character line up!! And you can unlock Pudding!!!

Other than appearing as herself in many games, other game characters like to dress up as Ulala… Sarah Bryant in Virtua Fighter 5  Revision B has her very own Ulala costume complete with guns, in Project Rub you can get Ulala’s hair and headset and Hatsune Miku can get dressed up as Ulala in Vocaloid Project Diva. I mean who wouldn’t want to dress up has her. You have non-breathable PVC outfit, but that’s fine because there’s not much of it. You get 7 inch heels, which allow you to tower over people, look menacingly down apon them, then break your ankle repeatedly as you trip down a step. You also get shiny headphones that allow you to hear absolutely nothing, but secretly loving the fact that people talking to you might get a nasty sore throat when they have to shout at you just so you can hear then.

Hopefully with Ulala popping up in more places she will finally get a brand new game of her own, her designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi mentioned the fact that he would love to do a game with her. Plus, Space Channel 5 part two was jammed full of Michael Jackson songs that most people have never heard – and despite the fact that he was avoided by children 10 years ago – these days people won’t stop til they get enough. Maybe then more people under the age of 15 will recognise my cosplay character… and OBEY ME! Well, that last part is optional, but comes highly recommended.







3 responses to “Space Channel 5, Alive?”

  1. John avatar

    I’m almost struck dumb by the breadth and depth of your knowledge. Where some would slowly shake their heads and pity… I applaude!

  2. Michael avatar

    I am ashamed to admit I didn’t know he made that. ASHAMED. Well, not that ashamed or I wouldn’t have admitted it. I like the band he put together though 😉

    Salute the knowledge! 😀

  3. Liam avatar

    I tried shouting for you, but it was no use. It was complete injustice! You definitely should have won. I’m guessing it’s because Space Channel 5 is slightly obscure here, unfortunately.

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