This is one of the early books that uses a video game for its narrative. Reading this book made me want to learn what Sunsoft’s initial narrative was. Who was the Blaster Master in the game?
Well, in the Japanese version of the game, things are very different. The game’s manual explains that the vehicle is called the Metal Attacker, and the planet it comes from is called Sofia the 3rd. The game takes place in 2052 after the Invem Dark Star Army, led by Goez, had taken over the universe. Apparently, the planet Sophia the 3rd is the only holdout.
That was way too complicated for a western audience. We got a story about a kid named Jason, his pet frog named Fred, and the Metal Attacker is changed to SOPHIA the 3rd. Oh, and the big bad guy is the Plutonium Boss.
The Western plot was the basis for this book. It gives you more of a reason for why all of this is happening and who these people are. The cast is also expanded with the additions of Alex, Eve, and Alex’s pet lobster, Plutarch.
This isn’t a long book. It is supposed to be for kids and is an easy read. The plot is okay and expands on what was explained in the game’s opening cutscene. This cutscene wasn’t in the Japanese release because of the changes made to the plot.
Jason is our main character, and he gets into trouble when he chases his pet frog, Fred, into the swamp near his house. We get told that no one goes to the swamp, which feels strange to me. If I were a kid in this fictional town, I would play in that swamp!
Jason and Fred end up falling down a hole that no one knew about. Not sure how no one in the town wouldn’t know about all of this. I mean, a colossal exhaust vent is created in this town, and two kids go missing!
It was the 90s, though, and I suppose parents weren’t as paranoid about their children. It would have also been an incredibly dull story if Jason just went to the police.
Once he comes around, Jason meets Eve and learns about what is happening. The Plutonium Boss will destroy the Earth just like he did to Eve’s planet. Eve is an alien, and her real name is “Yvtrkizj,” but we can just call her Eve.
Jason learns how the SOPHIA the 3rd works, Eve gets kidnapped, and then Jason finds Alex, who helps him pilot the SOPHIA the 3rd. They defeat all Underbosses as they close in on the Plutonium Boss.
There is a moment where you learn that the Plutonium Boss has turned Fred into one of the Underbosses. It seems like this big bad guy can mutate creatures with radiation and other technology. You also learn that the Plutonium Boss looks different based on what a person fears.
Eventually, they meet the Plutonium Boss and can defeat him. They then race out of the base and reach the surface. It seems like no one missed them while they were gone. To go along with that, no one seems to question who Eve is or why she is here. She is fortunate that her alien species look human.
Oh, and their pets made it out okay. That is nice. The Earth is saved, and Alex can return to being the weird kid with a pet lobster. Seriously, who gets their kid a pet lobster? I understand Jason’s pet frog, but what weirdo has a pet lobster.
It ends with a happy moment. Jason wakes up, and he gets scared by Alex. He finds that his pet frog made it back and that everyone is okay. The world doesn’t seem to know what happened, and no one seems to care.
Scholastic Books and F.X.Nine
This is something that I would have found at one of the Scholastic book fairs that came to my elementary school. I think I saw them up to the 6th grade. I don’t remember seeing them in middle school or high school.
I don’t remember seeing these books while I was looking through the shelves that were there. I remember looking for Goosebumps or other horror stories. I’m sure the Worlds of Power books were there; I just don’t remember seeing them or hearing anything about them until decades later.
All of the Worlds of Power books are written under the pen alias of F.X. Nine. Five authors wrote the ten books in the series, and Seth Goodin was responsible for bringing us this series of books.
I think this was a fun book that told the story of a video game without having to have played the game. Sometimes the narrative of a game can be better than the game itself. In the early days of console games, the story wasn’t all that important to me.
I didn’t need to know why the aliens were attacking, why the guys in a beat-em-up were so mad at me, or why the people in a fighting game were hitting each other.
So far, the Worlds of Power books feel like something I would have enjoyed growing up. I think I can appreciate them more now, though. I probably would have read them and then forgotten about them.
Looking at them now, I can see some historical value to them. Nintendo and Sega would make other books based on their video games. Scholastic didn’t have a relationship with Sega as far as I can tell.
I’m sure that you can find these online if you look hard enough. I just like having a physical copy of a book. There isn’t anything like turning the pages of a good book as the story unfolds for you.
I didn’t know about all of these books when I was little. It has been fun to look at them so far, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of these books.