In the year 2049, the human population of Earth embarks on a migratory voyage to try to colonize other planets. They leave mechanical orbots to clean up the mess they made on Earth through littering and pollution. Raster, a high-level orbot who watches Earth through a planetwide computer network, is accidentally attached to a working nuclear missile by a lesser orbot and goes insane, becoming an evil dictator named Warhead. He declares himself ruler of Earth, and begins preparing to execute any humans who dare return to their planet.
Enter Vectorman, a humble orbot in charge of cleaning up toxic sludge by discharging it into the sun. As he lands on Earth after his last trip, he finds chaos and confusion. Because all the other orbots are controlled by Warhead (Vectorman having not been affected because he was away), Vectorman takes it upon himself to destroy the errant orbot and restore peace to Earth.
There's a sequel, called Vectorman 2, that is basically the same plot as the previous game, only this time Earth is being overrun by mutant insects and he starts off evacuating his barge after being struck by a missile.
The games were very well received by critics and players alike not only for its amazing faux-3D graphics and cool techno-ish soundtrack but for highly enjoyable game that wasn't too hard to play.
- And Now for Something Completely Different Several stages change Vectorman into some other object where you'll have to blow something up, including every type of Bonus Stage in the second game.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: Levels 1-4 of the second game.
- Bug War: The second game.
- Chain-Reaction Destruction: Most bosses like to explode in that manner.
- Chiaroscuro: Quite a few environments feature intense contrasts in lighting. Vectorman's sprite darkens or brightens to reflect this. Under the right circumstances, just using the Arm Cannon can generate a dramatically half-lit sprite.
- Collision Damage: And lots of it. Most damage inflicted comes this way... for you AND the mooks.
- Digitized Sprites
- Directionally Solid Platforms: Like most examples, you can jump onto the majority of platforms from underneath.
- Double Jump: Jet Boots. Also a useful weapon.
- Down in the Dumps: Levels 16-17 of the second game.
- Flash of Pain: Vectorman's blaster makes bosses lighten up... briefly.
- Gusty Glade: The 16th and last level (briefly, before you reach the boss) of the first game, and the 18th level of the second. As a sort of Call Back, the former is called "Twist and Shout", and the latter "Shout and Twist".
- Hand Blast: The main weapon of Vectorman.
- Harder Than Hard: "Insane" really can be, given the ONE life and 3 hits (those can be gone in a flash). "Wicked" for the second game fills this slot better, thanks to the overhard enemies.
- Hornet Hole: It's not really a beehive, but levels 21-22 of the second game take place in some kind of egg-filled insect nest complex. The eggs that hatch contain enemies from every part of the game.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: There's "Lame", "Wicked" and "Insane". Replaced in the second game by "Lame", "Cool" and "Wicked".
- Lens Flare: Probably one of the earliest examples of lens flare in a video game occurs during one of the ice levels.
- Lethal Lava Land: Levels 5-7 of the second game.
- Logo Joke: The first game's Sega splash screen has Vectorman landing on the Sega logo and nearly losing his balance. You can actually control him fully here and there's a semi-hidden TV in the top right that has a smart bomb you can use to short out the logo. Not to mention the level skip minigame you can trigger.
- Mega Manning: Most of the transformations in the second game come from power-ups dropped by enemies.
- Mercy Invincibility: Also an interesting weapon if used right.
- Second game made it harder for players to use the Mercy Invincibility by sending the player half a screen backwards with every hit.
- Mercy Rewarded: Easily obtainable in some levels, thanks to the Double Jump.
- Mini Game Credits: In the first game, you can move Vectorman around the startup "Sega" screen. You can even damage it. It even functions as a sort of level skip. Bump into the logo and shoot it enough times and you get a letter-catchign minigame. Catch enough and you can start the game on later levels.
- No Fair Cheating/It Makes Sense in Context: Use a single code anywhere in the first game, and you can't see the credits. This was doubly important when the $25,000 grand prize was the factor. You can cheat all you want to in the sequel.
- Palette Swap: The first game uses several palette-swapped versions of the first level's tileset in subsequent levels.
- Can also be done to Vectorman himself in the second game by allowing him to get hit by a Paintbug. What's interesting about this is that whenever Vectorman's palette changes, so do those of the extra life icons (tiny versions of Vectorman) and any health items in the stage (spheres that share Vectorman's palette). This also happens in both games whenever Vectorman's sprite changes palette due to lighting (e.g. becoming dark when in shadow or being brightly lit by something nearby). The palette swapping of these things may have been intentional, or it may be a Good Bad Bug.
- Punny Name/Shout-Out: Many of the level names are nods to (or puns on) 90's pop culture.
- Raymanian Limbs: The orbots' limbs consist of floating orbs. As an animation for leaning on a wall, Vectorman in particular can pop out two orbs on its arm, and juggle them with the hand on that arm before tossing them back in position.
- Scenery Porn: Especially the first game with as many background effects as possible.
- Sentry Gun: These are mounted on surfaces.
- Shifting Sand Land: Levels 19-20 of the second game. Also contain elements of Remilitarized Zone, in that you're a tank.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Levels 4-5 of the first game.
- Spike Balls of Doom: First boss of the first one has them attached to its wings.
- Underground Level: Levels 8-15 of the second game. Kept from being as monotonous as it would otherwise be by including multiple level types, including standard cave areas, levels consisting mostly of dirt you have to blast a path through, and subway tunnels that Vectorman speeds through on
- Vaporware: Playstation 2 game.
- Vector Game: Subverted. The whole reason he was named what he was is because it looks like a vector game. But, ironically, the game actually didn't use vector graphics, but rather pre-rendered 2D sprites similar to Donkey Kong Country. His initial rival "Raster" is named for an inversion of this.
- Weaponized Exhaust: The best part about the Double Jump.
- A Winner Is You: The ending of Vectorman 2.