Although the colourful cast of characters helps make The Outfoxies stand out initially, the levels are the real stars of this game. Each killer has their own turf where they fight you in the one-player mode, and in another similarity to Smash Bros. and Power Stone, each one has unique hazards and points of interest. The main thing about the levels in The Outfoxies, though, is that almost all of them have some sort of change or event mid-fight which will make a big difference to the arena, such as a bomb going off, or the train you're on going through a tunnel, and so on. More often than not, the entire area is literally crumbling around you! Let's start with one of the simplest stages, a train heading through the Rocky Mountains...
Bernard White's Stage:
Rocky Mountain Train
There ain't no getting offa this train you're on now! Bernard fights you on a train with three separate carriages, as well as the locomotive itself- the passenger section has chairs that obscure the player's vision, the next carriage along is blocked at first, but opening it up gives you some crates to throw at your enemy (which contain more weapons), and the coal train gives you an infinite supply of lumps of coal to toss about. It doesn't really get much simpler than that- just two different tiers and a straight line between you and your nemesis. However, the smoke billowing from the train can sometimes obscure your vision, making it hard to get a shot in.
Should you fall off the train, instead of instant death, this happens- a rather handy man gets you back on track with one of those really cool push-it-yourself contraptions! However, if you stay on it for too long, the poor bloke gets tired, and slowly drifts off-screen. The train also sometimes goes under a tunnel, with a horn blaring seconds beforehand- if you stand on top of the train before or during this, then wave goodbye to a huge chunk of your life bar, you won't be seeing again. The appearance of the tunnel also signals some weapon respawns in case they're starting to thin out... Although this stage is very basic, the threat of falling off the train adds a nice little extra danger to the fight.
You encounter Dweeb on a freight aircraft, heading to the South where Dweeb is apparently going to 'gather more munitions'. They probably mean 'more bananas' but whatever. It's a much smaller place than the train, so the fights are relatively close-quarters. To aid you in horribly injuring your opponent, there's a lot of crates to smash up, and a very handy turret gun that you can spin around to shoot at your enemy. Fun times with weapons! Speaking of which, you'll definitely want to pick up the rocket launcher on this stage, as hitting the walls of the aircraft with a rocket causes it to jerk violently in reaction to the explosion. The further the rocket flies before hitting the side, the more violent the movement. It's quite the spectacle, and really good for getting your enemy off-balance.
Eventually, the plane will descend into some much darker clouds, but it doesn't really change the fight that much, aside from a little change of scenery... Just like on the train stage, if you fall off, you'll lose a chunk of health but you'll be brought back on-board, courtesy of the helicopter you're hanging on to for dear life. Some hostile choppers also appear from time to time and drop crates on top of the plane. Namco seems to have a bit of a thing for helicopters, as we'll find out on John Smith's stage...
Danni & Demi's Stage:
Apparently hoping to escape from the festivities, Danny and Demi encounter you on a small but sound boat, heading through some particularly choppy water... Only a little bit bigger than the plane, the two stages are very similar, but this thing doesn't need a rocket launcher in the side to start to-ing and fro-ing. It starts the stage relatively stable, but as the ship's journey progresses, it gets more and more erratic, swaying from one side to the other with wanton abandon. Staying on your feet is pretty difficult on this stage, and it makes aiming a tall order.
A much better idea is to just get your enemy off the ship instead- if they're knocked into the water, they'll have to swim, catch up, and get back on, usually taking damage in the process from the local aquatic life. If they lollygag around for too long in the drink, they'll be given a friendly push back onto the ship courtesy of the computer. That's all there is to this stage, although on occasion, a fish will get flung onto the ship, but generally, they can't hurt you when they're out of their element. Amusingly enough, sometimes a crab will show up, and shuffle away from you. Bless!
Professor Ching's Stage:
Professor Ching fights you in a munitions factory, which is busily making missiles. Although there aren't any drastic changes to the level's structure during the fight, the gimmick here is the sheer size of the place- when it's completely zoomed out, it's very difficult to even see where you are (This is also known as 'Hyrule Temple Syndrome') so it's best to keep the fight as close as possible. There's lots going on, too- you can get carried away by conveyor belts, shot at by lasers, and flattened by big presses, so try to stay out of their way.
The cool thing about this stage is that they're actually making weapons here. Blocks of metal are flattened, worked on, and eventually get picked up and put on the set of lifts to the left of the arena as finished missiles- you can pick them up at any stage in the production process to throw them at your enemy. If you pick up the final product, though, take care not to jump too far- you'll fall and be able to test the explosion given off by yourself. Play safe with them, OK?
The next page has been wired with a bomb. Proceed with caution!