"You'll NEVER defeat us!" - Swayzak at the end of level 2
Toonami: Trapped in Hyperspace is a tie-in game to Toonami's total immersion event Trapped in Hyperspace, aired on Cartoon Network from September 16, 2002 to September 20, 2002.
Description[edit | edit source]
In the event, the ship Absolution is infected by a computer virus named Swayzak while in hyperspace, and they are now going to crash into Earth. TOM hooks up to the systems in order to fight Swayzak, and you played as TOM in the game, which was a mix between 2D and 3D animation. His computer companion SARA provided narration and guidance throughout the game, and you'd occasionally hear Swayzak's voice. Swayzak would also show up when you beat each stage, giving negative comments on your performance and also throwing a tantrum.
The gameplay is similar to Pepworks' other Cartoon Network game: Showdown in the Sky, a PowerPuff Girlsgame, except in this game you fly a fighter jet through tunnels. You accessed new weapons, such as a particle cannon, through passwords shown on TV. According to Toonzone, the controls were WASD to move, and P to bring up the password screen. You had to find all 3 different colored keys in order to unlock the boss room. Hints were given by Nintendo via AOL, and at the end of every level, you were given a code you could use on Cartoon Orbit to watch Super Mario Sunshine cToons, as that game sponsored this event. Stage 5 revealed that Swayzak has infected TOM and this stage is focused on saving him from the inside.
Swayzak's full body, according to several, had a slim middle, digitigrade legs, and square feet with cablewires as toes (a developer told LaptiNek and Amadeo Dott about the cablewires.) He also has been described as wearing sharp-edged, futuristic power armor and wielding a trident/pitchfork in his boss fight. His voice was more human, a lower-pitched version of his voice when he cameoed in SARA's later review of Rez and also reminiscent of the voice of Rez from Gex: Enter the Gecko; and was a New Zealand accent. He spoke pretty fast (according to Toonamette on Twitter and Youko Miyamoto, Allison Yamada, and Princess Sally on YouTube) with a slight lisp and hissed the "s" sound. His voice actor was sure enough a Kiwi, in his late 20s, and was an asshole according to some of the developers; one even went so far as to claim he was "worse than Trump" (which is impossible.) In the damaged beta of the training stage, there is a deep voice that sounds like Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls saying, "Prepare." However, this isn't Swayzak; according to a Yuuki Takemoto on YouTube, it was just a generic voice when you had to use a shield. The music of the game was apparently "technoey" and "dark, ethereal, almost cyberpunk", kind of like the Metallic Madness Present theme in the US Sonic CD soundtrack.
After the event ended, the game moved to the Play page, and stayed that way until July 2004. Nobody backed it up, and the Wayback Machine couldn't save it. 3D Groove shut down and Jason DeMarco, Toonami's creator, lost his assets. He also says he can't release the games, but maybe he doesn't know this particular game is lost. The runner of Toonami Lost Data, Alshoff, contacted Pepworks, the people who made the game. Pepworks could only give copies to their clients. (As of May 2017, this is no longer the policy.) Interestingly enough, Alshoff planned to back up the Total Immersion Event games in 2004 via browser cache. He couldn't for reasons unknown, and look what happened!
The only file remaining is a preloader that shows the Cartoon Network logo and a broken file called "game_menu.jpg". If you try to go to the page on the Wayback machine, you'll only see a Shockwave loader. Cartoon Network's UK site also had the game, but its page can't be found with the Wayback machine. Pepworks has a picture of the game on the clients section of their website, and footage of the game was featured in the promo for the event on TV.
Searches[edit | edit source]
3D Groove worker Jules Urbach is trying to find the game (as well as the other 3D Groove games). LMW member LaptiNek, who leads the search for this game, started a petition on Change.org for Cartoon Network and Pepworks about the game, and is trying to trend "#FindHyperspace" on Twitter under the name @SwayzakVirus. LaptiNek emailed Simon Edis of Ezone (who used the 3D Groove engine) and got a reply that he may be able to find something. He hasn't found anything yet, but there is still hope. In May 2017, Patrick Thiel of Pepworks gave LaptiNek the only thing remaining of the game he could find on his parents' computer. It's a corrupted beta of the training stage, and it's unplayable. Thiel promises to look at some CDs sometime the next time he goes to his parents' to see if he has the full game. In the meantime, many developers have been asked about the game by LaptiNek and her friend.
Swayzak's voice actor is commonly thought to be Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords (Tamatoa from Moana), as he was in his late 20s in 2002. However, this might not be true, as he and Bret McKenzie were recording together by 2002.