It may be a decade (or two) late and a few tokens short, but I finally got around to writing this thing.
For those who still don't know the score, Space Ace was a laserdisc game that first appeared in the
video game arcades in the later part of 1983 and has been ported over to many game consoles/platforms since then.
In my not so humble opinion, the ports didn't even come -close- to the arcade experience until Digital Leisure
put out the HD versions. Please don't get me started on the SNES adaptation...
In the game, Borf is the first Bad Guy you see and last attacker you face.
After every death scene, Borf appears and taunts the player, thus adding insult to injury. That big blue alien was -the- primary threat and Don Bluth's electronically altered voice helped to re-enforce that notion. A bit of trivia here; Don Bluth originally wanted to call that villain "Barf" . I'm glad somebody talked him out of it
because "Barf" is a ridiculous name that would have dailed down the threat factor of the
game's main villain. The writers at Ruby-Spears probably knew about this because Dexter
constantly taunts Borf by calling him "Barf" or "Barfy" in the cartoon.
In the cartoon series, Commander Borf terrorized the Moon Colony twice and raided Space Command HQ once. Okay, he was usually (but not always) the main threat, but more often than not seeing him in action was a joke. (Meh...it's not Arthur Burghardt's fault that Borf had some really corny lines; he just delivered them.) That version of Borf just didn't seem nearly as threatening. His simplified R-S animation design didn't help in that department either. If you were wondering where the cape came from, look no further than the modelsheet[link goes here].
Speaking of less threatening, Shag was a -lot- smaller in the cartoon. In the game, Shag was a mountainous alien who could eat Ace in one bite. The cartoon incarnation was nowhere near that size, as shown below:
Some of the aliens weren't named explicitly in the game, so it was up to the cartoon to fill in those holes...the Groots (blue feline humanoids...hmmm...),Babaloons (the pig/chicken hybrids from the motorcyle scene), and LaGrin (the orange robot) are prime examples. Heh. I used to call the orange robots "Shocky 'Bots" before I saw their R-S counterpart.
Ace is still a cocky, alien-blasting hero but in the cartoon his "younger self" was scripted as a complete idiot!
(*mumble* It's the -Infanto- Ray, not the -Stupidity- Ray!*mumble*)
Officer Kimberly is a sassy redhead...but that's about all she has in common with the gal in the game. Casting her as some sort of Space Police Officer seemed to take the character in a totally opposite direction. Not that I minded; the Ruby-Spears incarnation had more to her personality than just whining about stuff.
At least the RS version can back up her attitude; I have trouble picturing the Kimmy from the game as an officer of -anything-. In the game, Kimmy neither looked like po-po nor acted like po-po; she looked & acted like a civilian (not that there's anything wrong with -that-). And is it just me, or did it sound weird whenever a character addressed her as "Officer Kimberly"? (Aren't officers normally addressed by their title/rank followed by their -last- name?)
Also, in the cartoon she is Ace's partner, whereas in
the game Kimberly is his girlfriend. Yeah, his -partner-, NOT his sister; the Wiki entry was wrong. I wonder if the person
who wrote that bothered to watch all the episodes. It's pretty obvious that Kimberly was covering for Ace by convincing
Space Marshall Vaughn that "Dexter" (who is really Ace in his younger form, but none of the other Good Guys are supposed to know this) is her brother because:
1) She doesn't want her partner removed from the Space Command active duty roster until a cure for the Infanto Ray's effect is found (cuz that might not happen). This was even given explicitly to the viewer in "Cute Groots"!
2) It is the simplest explanation for "Dexter" being in unexpected places at unexpected times.
BTW, Space Marshall Vaughn didn't even -exist- in the game. I -still- wonder who was responsible for his creation (yeah, I -still- don't like him).