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Space Channel 5 is a rhythm-based video game created by United Game Artists, and released on the SEGA Dreamcast in 1999. The game follows Space Channel 5's last hope, Ulala, as she struts onto the scene to keep the station on the air. She copies the dance moves of her opponents set to the rhythm of the music, all the while uncovering the reason behind the invasion of the aliens known as the Morolians during her report show.

The game was given a budget DriKore release in Japan on December 21, 2000 in simpler packaging. In 2002, Space Channel 5 was ported to the PlayStation 2. While it was released alone in both countries, the game was released in North America in 2003 as part of a sole package called Space Channel 5 Special Edition which included the sequel, Space Channel 5: Part 2.

For those who ordered Space Channel 5 directly from SEGA or certain retailers, they received "Space Channel 5 Planet Dance [The Worlds Greatest Club Hits] Sampler", a CD that, aside from having Ulala and and the title of the game on the cover, had nothing to do with Space Channel 5. [1]


Set 500 years in the future where space travel is now the norm, it’s apparently still difficult to maintain ratings for a television station. Channel 5, after years of broadcasting, has plummeted in the ratings, and if something isn’t done soon it will be permanently canceled. Enter Ulala, station director Fuse’s last hope of reviving the nearly dead Channel 5. He sends her out as the final resort to report on the invasion of an alien race called the Morolians.

Report 1: Introducing...Ulala![]

Report 1: Introducing...Ulala!

Ulala arrives on scene at Spaceport 9, the first area the Morolians invade, where chaos has broken out. She struts and dances her way through the main lobby, then the Flight Control Tower where the Space Rescue Police's mission to save the workers of the spaceport has gone awry. Things seem to be going well until the rival reporter of Channel 42, Pudding, strides in front of Channel 5's camera. She and Ulala quickly have a dance-off to see who is better. Ulala proves to be a formidable opponent, making Pudding and her Henchmen to retreat. With that taken care if, Ulala and the people she rescued head off for the Launch Pad. There, the hypnotized robot Coco Tapioca confronts them in a dancing duel. It isn't long before the mecha is defeated and Ulala's report show wraps up successfully.

Report 2: Spaceship S.O.S.![]

Report 2: Spaceship S.O.S.!

Onboard the Luxury Spacecraft G is where Ulala finds herself next doing her Swingin' Report Show. She heads from the cockpit to the dining hall with the crew of the vessel right behind her. It's after she saves the Space Diva that a shadow looms over her and her posse. It's the Rogueship-A-Go-Go and the Space Pirates! Some technical difficulties are brought to the broadcast of the report show, and when the static clears the camera focuses on the infamous Space Pirate Jaguar. He challenges Ulala to a dance-off, though the pink-haired woman proves she can get down. She perks Jaguar's interest before he zooms away with his jetpack. Ulala has no choice but to continue onto the Observation Platform. As Jaguar and the other Space Pirate Broadcasters get away, following after the mothership of the Morolian fleet, Ulala and the rescued victims of awful dancing face off against Morolina, yet another dancing robot. She uses space children and Morolians alike as shields before using her tongue to attack. Even against such dishonorable tactics, Ulala prevails, shooting up the ratings for Channel 5 even more as she and her posse march away.

Report 3: Catch the Scoop![]

Report 3: Catch the Scoop!

Somehow, the secret base of the Morolians has been discovered within the Asteroid Belt. Ulala rides the Astrobeat Jr. as she races reporters from other channels to get the scoop. Pudding, her bodyguards, Shinichiro Tachibana, and 88MAN are among those whom Ulala shoots at in order to clear the way to the secret base. Jaguar shows up, his ship blasting a large asteroid in front of Ulala soon after he confronts Ulala with his Space Pirates. He's able to hold her off long enough, incidentally, for Pudding to make it inside of a humongous, modified asteroid. However, her luck quickly changes as she's hypnotized by the Morolians and in need of saving.

Freeing the former teen idol, Ulala delves deeper into the far-out twists and turns of the base until she reaches the Head Office. A wide-screen television is setup there, with the strongest dancebot of them all lurking within, and it goes by the name of Morolian Monroe. It attacks safely from inside the monitor, but soon emerges from it, revealing that it’s a two-in-one robot. Morolian Monroe changes tactics quickly, forcing Ulala to trace the trail it leaves from one side of the bot to the other. Although when it splits up into two robots, one green and one pink, Ulala hops off the Astrobeat Jr., the battle becoming even harder. The bots gang up on Ulala, making it impossible to get a single shot in.

Both Ulala and Fuse are startled when Jaguar finally catches up with them. Instead of taunting or challenging Ulala, however, he extends his help to the Channel 5 reporter and together they are able to defeat Morolian Monroe. Victory doesn't last long as strange images begin appearing on the giant TV. Morolians crowd around Ulala, and she questions if the aliens were brainwashed too. Fuse tells her to "Shoot at the TV", and once she does the screen blows out. The Morolians immediately revert to normal, being free at last and Fuse come to the conclusion that someone has hypnotized them to force the earlier hostages to dance.

The secret base shakes and everyone is forced to jet as the place begins to explode. As Ulala is riding out of the large tubing leading outside and pulling double duty in saving the burning Morolians, Jaguar comes over the commlink between Ulala and Fuse, saying: "I found where the brainwash signal's coming from. Looks like it's frequency is the same as Channel 5's." In an unbelievable turn of events, the Channel 5 team knows where to head to next: The Channel 5 studio.

Report 4: Evil in the Galaxy Revealed![]

Report 4: Evil in the Galaxy Revealed

Ulala, Pudding, and Jaguar strut into Channel 5 Headquarters to find the source of the mastermind at work behind the invasion. It turns out to be none other than Channel 5 CEO Chief Blank. He runs - more like teleports - away from the trio and the chase continues. Space Michael is encountered in the connecting hallway and he's saved from the Morolians, joining Ulala as she heads for the Control Room. Inside of the elevator there, Mr. Blank is seen sitting on a chair. Taunting the pink-haired reporter, he zooms up to the roof while Ulala is left with a mass of Morolians to take care of. Saving Hoorg, the Morolian Leader, completes the group following Ulala up to the final confrontation.

Emerging from the elevator, Ulala and her companions learn a surprising fact about Chief Blank. He doesn't care about truth. In fact, he wants every reporter to share his vision. The "Ultimate Reporter" Evila is sent to outdance Ulala, but the robot fails against the groovy moves of the talented reporter. The puppet is taken care of, it seems that Ulala has won. At least until the roof of the dome opens up and Fuse yelps for help. A humongous robot, Giant Evila, has taken the broadcasting ship and the director inside hostage, leaving it up to Ulala aboard the Astrobeat Jr. along with Jaguar and Pudding on their own crafts to dance-off against the new threat. Ulala must move in the opposite direction of what she hears to keep Fuse safe.

Giant Evila gets bold, knocking away both Pudding and Jaguar before the sound system fails and Ulala loses her rhythm. Ulala is knocked away, let to float in space. An acapella beat picks up and Jaguar reaches out to grab Ulala, twirling her slightly back onto the Astrobeat Junior. Ulala now has a chant support, giving her a rhythm to groove to. She retaliates and finally Giant Evila's head disconnects from the rest of it's body, hovering above everyone. It shifts to the image of Chief Blank, who reveals that ratings are everything to him. If television was all for ratings, then what was the problem with brainwashing the masses?

Chief Blank, now called Blank TV, activates the "Blank Dimension" sucking him and Ulala into a separate space to do battle, yet the chant support is still clearly heard. Through a somewhat confusing game of TV laser tag wherein Ulala must shoot the screens with the correct beam (either "shoot" or "rescue"), the strength of her support increases. More people start singing along to support Ulala, even when Blank's screens act as feet and hands in a way one could only see to believe. The Blank Dimension shatters and Ulala is free. When the energy of the crowd is pumped up, Fuse tells everyone to focus all of their energy on the station's antenna. Ulala, Jaguar, Pudding, and some Morolians each get a line in as the energy builds, becoming tendrils of a brilliant blue against the dark, speckled canvas of space. Those tendrils work their way up the antenna just as Blank says his last three commands: "Chu! Chu! Chu!" Everyone shouts the same right back, fully charging the antenna and blasting Blank, claiming he'll be back, into deep space.

Ulala wraps up her final report and marches off with friends and former foes alike along a glittering trail left by the Astrobeat. They make their way to the end of the galaxy.

However, the report isn't truly over until the results screen pops up.


Ulala: Space Channel 5's last minute reporter to help bring up the ratings. She carries with her trusty microphone and two guns. The Chu Beam is used for shooting aliens, robots and other attackers while the Rescue Beam is used to rescue hostages being forced to dance. When ratings are high, she emits a pink aura, signifying she is full of groove energy.

Fuse: The broadcaster of Space Channel 5. He remains in the broadcasting ship all the time, and his face is never seen. He relays instructions to Ulala to help her through her missions, although he often gets fascinated by Ulala's moves. When Channel 5 is on the brink of being canceled for good, he supports Ulala when she winds up being the only reporter left who could possibly save the station.

Space Michael: Space Michael, based on Michael Jackson, appears as a cameo in Report 4. He later becomes a fully involved character in Part 2.

Pudding: A former idol and rival reporter from Channel 42. With her bodyguards, groupies and her catchphrase "It's me, Pudding!", she challenges Ulala but usually finds herself beaten. She later teams up with Ulala.

Jaguar: The leader of and reporter for the Underground Pirate Broadcasting System. He is dedicated to giving viewers the truth. He is a former member of Space Channel 5 and is the reporter that saved Ulala's life many years ago. Jaguar challenges and teams up with Ulala multiple times.

Hoorg: Leader of the Morolians. He decides which plans should be used in the ongoing invasion of the earth people. Doesn't realize that the Morolians were brainwashed by Blank into attacking people and forcing them to dance. He is one of the last Morolians Ulala has to face before confronting Blank.

Chief Blank: The head Chief of Space Channel 5, Blank became corrupt and brainwashed the Morolians to stage an alien invasion, so that he would get high ratings. He despises reporters who 'spread truth like disease' and even creates a robot clone of Ulala called Evila to replace her. He is soon defeated using the dance energy of the crowd and sent flying into space.

Extra Mode[]

Once the game has been completed and the credits roll, the player has the option of saving and playing through a more difficult version of the game, although it is most noticeable in Reports 1 and 2. The timings are stricter and the dance turns tend to be longer.


The game is a "listen and repeat" game; players are given a rhythm containing multiple gestures and must repeat them back exactly as heard. The dance commands merely use the existing movement buttons. The "up" button corresponds to the aliens raising both hands or Ulala raising both hands. For "down", Ulala lowers only her right hand. Her left hand contains a microphone. When either the "left" or "right" button is pressed, she only moves her hand in the respective direction. No other input is needed for her to dance.

The "A" or "X" button is used for shooting at the Morolians or simply another dance move. The "B" or "O" button is used for rescuing hostages (In report 2, however, in the first phase of the boss, the "B" or "O" button is not used for shooting directly at the hostages. There also appears to be mispronunciation of "shoot" when the player presses either the "A" or "B" button. In the manual, it says "shoot", but the Morolians say "chu" . Ulala, Fuse, Jaguar and Evila say "chu", but Pudding says "shoot".

In between these scenes, Ulala appears to be taunting the opponent, or in a slump, dancing badly, depending on how many moves the player got or missed respectively. The performance also extends to the music. If Ulala misses a certain number of moves the music changes to an off tone one and if she has a better performance, certain extras will be played (for example: a guitar solo in the first level). Ulala is given a certain number of hearts in case she misses a move or makes an incorrect move. If she does so, she will lose a heart. If she loses all the given number of hearts, she will then hunch over and become upset, with Fuse shouting at her. In a boss fight, losing all of the hearts results in a game over. The same goes for if Ulala doesn't meet the expected percentage or ratings in a report.


Main article: Space Channel 5 Original Soundtrack

Version Differences[]

PlayStation 2 versions[]

As far as gameplay and visuals go, there aren't any recognizable changes in the Playstation 2 port of Space Channel 5. However, in Space Channel 5 Special Edition, some things have been altered from the original version. This section also details the differences between Part 1 and Part 2.[2]

Changes Made in Space Channel 5 Special Edition[]

  • Naturally, lines referencing a certain button have been updated to match the hardware.
  • There is more variety to the lines Fuse will say in first 3 reports.
  • Ulala says "No! Get your clutches off of me!" when Morolina grabs her with her tongue.
  • When Jaguar says "I'm gonna steal your show, Space Channel 5" Ulala says "What are you talking about?". In the Dreamcast version she says 'What the...?'
  • At the start of Report 3, Fuse says "Don't let anyone beat you to this scoop! Get this story Ulala! Whatever comes just use your X button beam!" In the Dreamcast version he says "Don't let anyone beat you to this scoop. You've got to get this story. Whatever comes just use your A button beam."
  • In Report 1 after Fuse says "All lines are clear Ulala, let's see what you're made of." Ulala says "Let's go!" really quickly, but in the Dreamcast version she says it at a slower pace.
  • The students in that boss battle glow rather than just have hypnotized rings above their heads.
  • Fuse specifically says "X button beam" rather than "A button beam" for obvious reasons. The same applies for "Circle button beam" and "B button beam".
  • There are a few timing flickers when battling Jaguar in Report 3.
  • There are a few graphic delays when battling Blank right after the Blank Dimension battle.
  • Evila now says "I am the Ultimate Reporter, Evila!" without a robotic filter over her voice.
  • The News Flashes are in a different font, and lower case.
  • Ulala's "Hey there Space Cats!" is delayed by a few seconds.
  • "Ulala's Swingin' Report Show!" is now said by Ulala's Japanese voice.
  • The Title Screen now reads "Space Channel 5 Special Edition" and also says "Reprogrammed by UGA."
  • The save screen is more fluid and not just a list of files like the DC version.
  • The Agetec logo appears upon startup and in the credits.

Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Attack[]

Main article: Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Attack


Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Attack was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003 by THQ as part of an agreement that gave THQ the exclusive rights to make Game Boy Advance games based on SEGA franchises. It is a remake of the original Space Channel 5.


Deen-Guns and the male main character, Noise Takayama.

Space Channel 5 was born from the desire to have polygonal models move over a pre-rendered "movie" background. [3] The concept was first given from in a project called "Deen-Guns" (電眼) and featured a male main character named Noise Takayama (タカヤマノイズ). It was a spy shooter that featured rhythm-like elements such as shooting with correct timing to the sound as to not waste ammo. At this point in time it did not have a musical theme.

5 and the female main character.

This project would continue and evolve into something close to Space Channel 5. Now being titled "5", this version of the project had a retro future aesthetic, a female main character, and musical theme.[3] Much like the final game, the background music is "Mexican Flyer," which was picked out by Tomoko Sasaki, a Sega of Japan composer, from a complication CD called "The Thriller Memorandum."

Mizuguchi has also stated that Space Channel 5 was inspired by the dance troupe Stomp . He highly enjoyed the performance, and began thinking why musicals were so much fun, but more importantly "How can we get this feeling into an interactive process?".

In discussing the study of target demographics, Mizuguchi related the story of designing Space Channel 5, which was at first a vague assignment from SEGA that asked only that Mizuguchi design a game with a broad enough appeal to draw in even casual female gamers. "This was the first I'd heard of casual female gamers", he said, "so I didn't really know what to do. I personally interviewed a lot of young girls, trying to find out what they like." Women, he says, tend to enjoy puzzle games, while male gamers "want to be on top, they want to accomplish something and be the champion." It's difficult, he insists, to create a game that appeals to both males and females on an equal level.[4]

A few months before the game was released, a demo for the game was given out at an event. The demo features an early but close-to-final version of the first section of Report 1.

A beta (v.0900) version of the English Dreamcast release is known to exist. This build is dated April 20, 2000. Naturally, as this beta only applies to the English translation of the game, the only differences between this version and the final release are related to its dubbing and translation. Notably Ulala and Evila have different voice clips for their commands compared to the final released version. Additionally, the character profiles for Chloe Cachooka, Euclid Ephrodetes, and Melody McBean while similar, are different in this version.

Michael Jackson 's Cameo[]

Michael Jackson makes a cameo appearance as Space Michael in Space Channel 5,[5] near the end of the game.

The May 2007 issue of EGM contains a quote from series creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi concerning what it was like to work with Michael:

"We were in the middle of production of Space Channel 5, in 1998 or 1999. I got a call from the U.S. from my partner - the executive producer of Space Channel 5 - and he said, 'Oh, Michael wants to act in Space Channel 5.' I said, 'Who's Michael?' 'Who is Michael Jackson?' he said, The Michael Jackson - the real Michael Jackson'
"My partner had shown him the 60-to-70 percent complete version, when it was almost at the end of the game. We had one month to finalize. But Michael wanted to do something, so we suggested that if he was OK with it, we could program the people in the game to do the Michael Jackson dance when taken over by aliens. he said 'yeah.' We initially had five aliens who danced. One of them became Michael Jackson."

He has a more prominent role in Space Channel 5: Part 2 where he is the new Chief of Space Channel 5. In both versions of the game, Michael speaks in English, which is subtitled into Japanese in the Japanese version.


In early 2003, Lady Miss Kier, formerly of the band Deee-Lite, initiated a lawsuit against SEGA corporation for allegedly stealing her former persona and using it as the basis of a video game character. The lawsuit was based on accusations of copying her look of knee-high boots, short skirts and a pink ponytail, for SEGA's Ulala character design.[6]

Lady Miss Kier (real name is Kierin Kirby) claimed that SEGA offered to pay her $16,000 to license her name, image and songs for the game, though she rejected their offer. Kirby later learned that the videogame maker went ahead and used her resemblance anyway, and she decided to initiate the lawsuit. She ultimately lost the suit and a later appeal and was liable to pay SEGA's legal fees of $608,000 (reduced from $763,000 requested).[7]

Image Gallery[]

Video Gallery[]


An example of Ulala appearing to be "floating" above other characters.

  • All of the backgrounds are pre-rendered .m1v files with character and object models overlaid on top of it. Although, a few cutscenes are also pre-rendered .m1v or .mlt files.
  • The box art of the American Dreamcast version of the game has a holographic case which makes the Ulala in the box art move.[8]
  • In the English beta (v0.900) of Special Channel 5, Ulala and Evila have different voices clips for their commands.


External links[]