It's not a terrible game; it only seems that way when you play it.
 

 

 
This page will be brief and easy to read, like the old ones, because I'm only going to write about the shareware version.
-my brain, April 3, 2005

Let's not fiddle-faddle about. Here's the requisite scary title image. Understand that I had to see this cover the whole screen every time I activated the game, so I think you're getting off pretty easily.

Are you waving at me or flipping me off?


Of course. By definition, cosmic implies just that. "Cosmic" being "of or from or pertaining to or characteristic of the cosmos or universe." "Cosmo" being the controlled character's name and a widely accepted abbreviation of the game's title.

No other type of adventure can be had.

The pluralization of "cosmo" in the definition obviously refers to the game's division into three "episodes," as was a regular custom with PC games of the time. One who has completed all three chapters could quite reasonably demand to be addressed as "Conqueror of the Cosmos."
If not for that, I should think the title highly inappropriate, for the game takes place entirely within environments accepted as "normal" in non-cosmic adventures. The only other possibility is that this game is actually based on Homer's epic The Cosmad, which, as a scholar of the text, I can assure you it is not. For one thing, the Cosmo in that story is left-handed and has yellow spots.


Before we go any further, I feel obligated to point out that the hoof-looking things at the end of our cosmic adventuring clod's arms are used to grab onto walls, so that higher planes may be accessed. I will not likely again mention this, but I didn't want you thinking it was just because artist Stephen Hornback can't draw hands. Maybe he can't, but we don't necessarily know that. I'm certainly willing to overlook it if it means not having to climb ladders or wait for lifts all the fapping time.

Here comes file_id.diz. When it comes to hyperbolic, over exclamatory statements of questionable legitimacy, nobody beats the diz.

COSMO'S COSMIC ADVENTURE - APOGEE! ޳
ALL-NEW, Mar. 1992. SUPERB EGA/VGA graphics.
Full-screen wide adventure/action game made
with SUPERIOR graphics than our Duke Nukum. 
Show-stopping animation!  FIRST EVER IBM PC
GAME WITH MULTI-SCROLLING LEVELS!  9 AD LIB
theme songs!   Help Cosmo rescue his parents
on a peril-packed planet!   80286+ required!

One feature which I'm surprised isn't mentioned, is that this is the only Apogee game whose diz contains an ENTIRE SENTENCE in CAPS-LOCK. Maybe they just thought it would be awkward to refer to. FIRST EVER IBM PC GAME WITH MULTI-SCROLLING LEVELS! The previous sentence! But that is a great sentence. It's hard to believe so few people have heard of the indicated FIRST EVER. It's almost like that aspect of the claim is entirely superficial and indicative of a rush to release so that someone else couldn't say it first! To think...!

Next, Ad Lib, or Adlib, as it was known after selling its space for cheese in 1993, is a music playing device, the first decent one for personal computers. Its mention here, then, does not indicate that the wordless, and therefore unsingable, and therefore entirely un-songlike theme songs were hastily improvised and inserted in the game within a week. Even if they were, that's not what that means. What it does mean, is that, quite regardless of merit, that there's music at all is the feature.

The animation of the MULTI-SCROLLING LEVELS and all the glittery bits that are always flying around are "show stopping" in the aspect that it would stop a computer of the time from showing it. It seems that, this was quite a graphical juggernaut in early 1992.

Due to this game's animation requirements, it requires an 80286 or better CPU (80386, 80486, etc.) in order to run.
This game will NOT run on XT computers, which contain the 8088 or 8086 CPU.

Definitely, if you'd never seen a 1991 arcade machine, a Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo or Macintosh computer, and only played Apogee games, you'd be pretty impressed.

When you ("you" are hypothetical here) first start it up and hear that music with that title screen, you might think, "oh, I see, this is one of those games with a sick, twisted edge that belies the non-threatening-by-regular-person-standards graphics." Nowadays you'd just as easily accept it on a diaper advertisement, but in 1992 it might make you expect more. Don't.

The music is by Prince. Truly it is. Bobby Prince, professional white-haired video game music composer. You might know Prince from every frupping single other PC game with music in it. That the one most people kept on long enough to see the credits of, Doom, names him "Robert" is surely among the betting odds for motives cited following his future stint as serial prank-caller. A few people who aren't me have noted that some of Robert Prince's less immemorable pieces in Doom are direct ripoffs of hevveh metal songs from CDs the Doom people gave him to listen to. Why would he need to do such a thing? Now we know. The music from the title screen is, then, not surprisingly, derived directly from a Zizzetop song. No, really. He's made a career out of this. I think it's called "Tesh." Once you know that, it completely changes your view of our vagabond Venusian. "Who said anything about my parents? I'm just looking for some Tesh." I really don't want to think about that.

With original works, this Prince is hardly inept, but his composition by transposition method can get highly grating in a game with levels this size if the tunes are very blatant and not constantly interrupted by screaming hellspawn, and I tell you that you will not progress far if you keep making Cosmo run into things.

Bobert allegedly remarked about this game: "It seems to be especially loved by women and children." In other words, men hate it. And thus we encounter one more bit of evidence suggesting that Bob Prince, who reportedly liked making the music, is a forest gnome. If we do not see the truth out in our lifetimes, his will be free to extend many centuries beyond that, and we will have only ourselves to blame.

A title this had during development was "The Adventures of Zonk." I wonder why it was changed. That doesn't sound any more dumb. Maybe if it had been the misAdventures of Zonk;" then I'd understand. I'd have to register just to express my gratitude for that not being allowed to happen.

It was my intention to use the names interchangeably, for reasons I don't have to give, but realized that this whole page is mentally unsettling enough as it is. Let's not further confound things.


This doesn't rule out the possibility of places all kids would love to go to in other galaxies, nor does it specify what circumstances must be met in order for the kids to love to go there. They would love to go to Disneyworld if what? If there are no places in other galaxies. After floating about the universe for a while they gave up and said "flob it all, let's just go to Disneyworld."



See what you get! Let this be a lesson to all you space aliens out there: Don't go to Disneyworld.


Alas, I don't know enough about science to say with certainty how plausible it is that anything struck by a comet would remain intact, let alone after falling the full distance through a planet's atmosphere to the ground. Assumedly that is the "Forbidden Planet" of the game's subtitle. However, I think if the route from dimension Q to Disneyworld is charted, but large masses along the way close enough to be emergency landed upon aren't, that reflects more negatively upon the charters than the merit of the planets. People seemed to find Forbidden Bridge easily enough, and presumably that's much smaller than a full planet. Granted, the giant stone head continually shouting IT'S FORRRR-BIDDON! probably gives it away somewhat. But now we are venturing to the trivial, inconsequential matter of a dumb, made up game from thirteen years ago from the paramount, importunate issue of Cosmo's family being hopelessly marooned on an uncharted planet. Oh no!


Apparently the ship is repaired by doing The Hustle. Who knew?

Dance Magic!

I don't know why I find it so funny that Cosmose Dad has a bald spot. It seems like that should strike me as being of subordinate oddity to the fact that with green skin, platypus heads and no clothing, they attempt to emulate human hair configurations which don't even look that good on the people who invented them.


What fun is being had here? This picture doesn't clear anything up. At least, if it does, I wish that it was less clear. You can be sure, whatever it is, it doesn't involve playing this game. For that would be a paradox. Also: why is the sky blue on a planet that appears orange from space?


Seeing as the footprints go right past the gangplank without stopping, you might consider looking for Mom or Dad on the ship. I serioudsy doubt they needed the full hour. Also: Bonus points for spelling footprints as two words. I might have been tempted to part even with a secret bonus point if that had been hyphenated.


Maybe I'm being needlessly analytical, but it seems to me, whether it was on purpose or not, any time you travel to a planet not your own, you are the alien. Maybe the hungry creature is a bad host, but even that might be disputable by local customs. Sparagmos, in which a person is violently and fatally mutilated to amuse a god, was considered a huge honor in some ancient earth civilizations.

You can tell this is from the early days of mascot-powered games. While most of the characters you've seen or will see in such games appear, by default, either with a content expression or one of "attitude," the artist formerly known as Zonk seems, at all times, more confused than anything else. Not in a "where is this? who are these people?" kind of way, more something like "why do I continue to live? What is helped by gathering these giant peanuts and mounds of peas?"

Compare and contrast:
Smirk Smedley doesn't know who he's messing with! Cumin ta gitcha!

Gaw, gee! Ol' Professor Gigglepepper's at it again!

I'm late for work because I got mugged. Please don't fire me.

The doctor told me I can never have children.

With full screen ega graphics, there are but a few pixels between happy and hopeless. No longer depressed or angry; our crimson crested cretin is now accepting of the situation, understands that there is entirely nothing to look forward to, but knows crying won't solve anything. That's perfectly appropriate considering the kidnapped parents/lack of offensive capabilities/afflicted with smallpox theme; my point is that resigned misery doesn't sell video games. Sure. We all know that now.
It's the lack-of-edge attribute, perhaps, that endears me towards our plunger-phalanged protagonist. Lovable? Ehm... Pityable? More plausible. That works out better, because I'm not capable of love.
Like Skunny of pages past, Cosbo (excuse me, I have a cold) is a loser. The difference is that with Skunny, there is extensive official documentation stating to the contrary. Apogee has slightly more integrity than Copysoft, only extolling virtues which are present, saying things like "Champion to all orthodontists Halloween Harry" or "Saviour of money at Wal-Mart Mylo Steamwitz," and it is merely out of tact and politeness that there is no such epithetical title or legend for frogface here. If there was, it would say something like

Imagine a large, less talented lemming. I can sympathize with someone like that. Sympathise with, but not necessarily admire. Seriously, how vain is that wallpaper?

This product is notable in the aspect that I could not find one single Abandonware website with the full version for download. Not even one of the Dutch ones. It's not a matter of standards, since they regularly carried Body Blows and all manner of buggish, slipshod PC ports of slipshoddier non-Japan produced Super NES games. Is that more or less sad than the fact that I spent over two hours looking? When making your answer, consider that a Connecticut minumum wage job pays more than the [admittedly, still somewhat laughable] discounted, ten-dollar price of registration in that time. It seems that the sole aspect of me in which I am not lazy is seeking out ways to prolong my laziness. Not that, if I'd done that work and come into possession of that money, I'd spend it on this. You have to remember I was raised on romsites. I'm going to jail anyway. If I got that desperate, I'd resort to the easy way, typing "cosmo3.zip" into google, and then spend that hypothetical money to get rid of some of these website advertisements or buy candy. I'm an economical scoundrel.


I do wonder what Apogee/3DRealms/Halls of Medicine/Whoever ships it in, though. The only computer game I ever received through the mail was Moraffey, and the disks came in a Kraft Single-sized envelope (although it did not contain Kraft Singles, which contain as much calcium as an eight ounce glass of milk) with a small picture of the more recently displayed green dorkish thing on it. However, that immediately below here looks like it would not fit in such a small space, and additionally is so garishly decorated as to be very obvious to whoever was delivering it. Maybe it's hidden in an inconspicuous brown paper bag. "Hey, what's that ya got there?" "It's, ah... pornography! Child pornography! And anthrax mix! Really!"


I found some peculiar website (which, had I known about before starting this page, which I wouldn't have, I might not have) that contained a picture of the box this is rumored to arrive in following a successful order. Or more likely a long abolished Canadian distributor's uninspired repackaging. Alas, no creepy original artwork adorns it, only a gang of unruly squiggle arrows, an entirely inappropriate font and a thoughtlessly selected off-colour screen capture. Why would I want to play this game, if they, who think I'd pay money to do so, won't even bother for free?

Further intriguing is this sparkly tome:

What, besides the word "adventure," could possibly be in that book that isn't covered right here:


I think, in fact, even just inside the game there's entirely too much information.


I'm not declaring the impossibility of the existence of someone who once knew that but forgot it, only that whoever that is probably forgot how to read also, which explains the next item:


I was wondering what you meant by that.


Using them properly, however, is clearly a bit farther off.

Back to box, the non-front of it gave just the slightest bit more insight, with but a few choice bits of wisdom imparted:


If this seems like a lack of emotional attachment on the part of our pajama-skinned plodster, it's probably hard to feel much love (or impetus to form proper contractions) for legal guardians who take you to a place they've never been to before --recall, it's not even on the chart-- and just let you run off unsupervised. I bet they're actually hiding on the ship and planning to leave as soon as you disappear again. Beyond that they aren't even your biological parents. I think you're old enough to know the truth that you are actually the neglected bastard offspring of Gyro from Ducktales and Baby Bop. Accept it! You know it to be true! Results were achieved!


Oh. Well, that changes everything! “What the heck, several bags of Skittles are hanging in the balance!”

Truth: I played this game for the first time, back when I acquired Super Games Galore, almost ten years ago, for about thirty seconds, and then quickly became so terrified of anyone seeing me doing so that I not only never ran it again, but actually forgot it even existed, totally purging it from my memory until 2005. That's pretty impressive. Consider that probably not even two years previous to that, I personally selected the Super NES Tiny Toon Adventures video game, to own, for money. If that's not a regret I take to my grave, it will only be because I'm donating my corpse to the Dick van Dyke Taxidermy company for them to dress up like a chimney sweep. That I was, this year, able to play through all available levels of this game, without cheating, and actually bothered to look for secret items, often to the detriment of progress, either means my standards have gotten lower (likely) or the game rewrote itself to be better on a read-only cd-rom that I've undoubtedly stepped on many times. (not so much)

Through as much research as I could do without typing the game's title, this seems to be more well known than a full decade of no acknowledgement of it would suggest. But even then, only by people who played other Apogee games of the time and happened to see this mentioned in an "also available" context. Or maybe they played Duke Nukem 3D and then, while looking for add-on levels or pez dispensers found a general information Duke Nukem page which mentioned in passing His Grace's "cameo" in this.

Excuse me, if I may editorialize a bit: HA HA HA. Neither respect nor a sequel for our sickly, surface-sticking sap. I think there are four gamefaqs reviews for CCA (now that it's trendy), only one of the reviewers seeming to have played it long enough to encounter any bombs, so I'm not terribly worried. Bombs are great.


These are eyeball plants. They have no offensive capabilities. They do not block our wall-hanging weirdo's path. They do not divulge confidential information to foes. What surely valid reason might our red-haired Rorschach test have for violently eliminating their race?


WOW! You're going to jail someday! Even Hitler held out for a blur sphere.

That's a remarkable talent, though, to know when you, yourself, have gained points. And beyond that, precisely how many. I usually have to ask someone, and people lie.


It is of additional concern that after the once-per-level bonus is obtained, at least every time I've played the game, our tnt-toting extra-terrestrial has continued to blow up eyeball plants. For shame!


Come to think of it, I've found our alien arsonist blowing up quite a few things which give no bonus whatsoever. Pretty much everything that moves can be blown up. Even spikes. Spikes! Spikes, I tell you! That's video game blasphemy, if such a thing exists. Though I suddenly find myself wishing our sacriligious suckglover a successful resume to the journey to Disneyworld.

Note that when I say "blow up," I refer to the process through which an explosive device detonated beside the object causes it to emit shiny particles, get flung upside-down into the air and then bounce on the ground a few times. It is science.


[stylish] Sideways spikes! This is the closest I'll probably ever get to exterminating wine enthusiasts.


Jellybean monster-spewing-plant! Also: More spikes.

Blowing stuff up is fun. Who was I supposed to be saving, again?


Generic brand Thwomps! Also, since this one was next to an eyeball plant, that means I get another bomb.


Whoever left out this bear trap is soon to be terribly disappointed.


...better blow that up, too.

Hmmm. What else can we blow up?


I think "ouch" is an understatement when you've been struck so hard that your entire physical presence is immediately vapourized without leaving visual evidence that it ever even existed. Even the usual sparkle-bits are not allotted for the occasion. After this, the image which will no doubt prevent me from sleeping the next few days ascends off the screen, all the way moping. While humans might regard admittance of their spirit to Heaven as a thing to bring forth eternal joy, they expect to have fingers with which to play their shiny new harps. The whole reason for our sorry excuse for a Spider-Man having suction hands in the first place is made obsolete by divine wings. I bet it was really hard getting those things through the sleeves, too.


All right, bombs are one thing, but this horrible obliteration actually occurs eventually quite regardless of which, often insignificant way the unfortunate green one receives damage. That's just bad genes, I think.

In other news, I'm officially afraid of Heaven if those things are going to be floating along all the time. I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't kind-of-die for their sins.

I mentioned Spider-Man, but it seems to me that our pimple-plagued player character would make a great Green Goblin.

Aren't you glad you're not me?


How am I supposed to feel sympathy for a lost child that's not only bigger and stronger than everything else, but who also actively works to bring worse predicaments upon others?


Oh, why is that thing still... This picture makes me want to cry.


Unlike the Mario-related ghosts these are ripoffs of, instead of stopping because they're shy,


these ones just feel like spreading vicious rumors.

Fruit grows on trees, and maybe Cosmip can eat it; jewels are associated with caves, and maybe Costco can sell them...


Of what use and logicality are saxaphones in this quest? I hardly think that's very respectful to Mr. Prince, to suggest that someone with no fingers, who can't even play a harp, could make better music. I'm glad I don't have to.


Similarly, I don't reckon these electric ear muffs would be of much use to someone who lacks ears.


I'm glad you told me it is two tons. Otherwise, I might have made calculations for three and then... well, then where would we be? What if I'd ended up with a remainder? A decimal figure, that's what!


Why, so you can laugh?
I suppose this hint is "cosmic" in the same sense that the adventure is.


No! You must tell no one you saw me playing this!


A NASA space probe. There's only one treatment for such a sophisticated and important object:


To blow it up


and steal the flame-retardant asbestos sandwich inside it.


Even if there hadn't been a precious sandwich contained within the worthless billion dollar sputnik, the fact that it was directly beside an eyeball plant would permit no other alternative. There actually was no choice in the matter.


Did I just blow your mind?


I don't know what the proper way to battle this is, but I'm well acquainted with the cowardly method of jumping on it and then hiding. When I've just spent the past twenty minutes blowing up eyeball plants on really narrow platforms and gathering musical equipment, I'll take the prospect of not having to do that /gaze upon the frightful spectre again over a fair fight.


Escape! At last!


This might be bad.


I think you can probably walk a bit faster than that.


Uh-oh. Note the morbid smile.


No, you're thinking of Rise of the Triad and possibly Blake Stone. Cosmo might well be falling to Book Reading or Lawn Mowing.


The "grave" kind, I expect.



YES.

That is indeed the final scene of episode one.
Considering, again, my inability to leech the registered edition, and also that those teeth are clearly penetrating flesh, as far as I'm concerned, this is the end. I do not know better. I cannot know better. Why would our spot-speckled sporkbrain be at all concerned about the eating of the parents and all of these things if it were in any way plausible to continue on afterwards?

Maybe it's not that no one bought the full version, but merely that there is no full version. Maybe any persons who sent Apogee money receieved in response a postcard stating that they clearly weren't paying attention to the end sequence. If our sad little space stranger can't survive four nudges from a pigeon one fourth in size, then a three hundred twelve foot drop into a giant fanged mouth probably isn't going to treat our awful orphan hors-d'ouvre too well.


This might seem like an absurd theory, but consider that I gave consideration to another theory that Bio Menace, after seeing it crash in the exact same manner and under the same inevitable circumstances (firing gun in first level) as it did on the computer I owned ten years ago, had no second level. It was designed to always crash on the first level because, after the colossal success of Epic Megagames' Jill of the Jungle put Nintendo out of business, Apogee didn't feel like finishing this one, but wanted to increase their total anyway. "What? You can't run Bio Menace on your computer? Gee, that's too bad. Everyone else can play it. We certainly wouldn't bloat our catalog with it if it was unfinished and unplayable! Why don't you try Major Stryker! It has a Y instead of an I!" Also note that Bio Menace is no longer sold by Apogee. I guess they ran out of postcards for that one.

Ehhh?

But see. That's silly talk. Of course the other two episodes exist. No more silliness.

Episode 2: Cosmo moves to New York City and experiences difficulty purchasing soup

Episode 3: Cosmo unsuccessfully sued for copyright infringement by Cosmic Osmo
Yes, that's the biggest picture I could find.

Episode 4: Cosmo gets a job as a plumber's assistant.

(Episode 4 only available in retail expansion edition Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure: Leprechaun in the 'Hood)


Maybe tommorrow.