Groove is in the heart, baby! Part 5: Austin Powers: Welcome to My Underground Lair! (2000)

Saving the world is fun and all, but what about those who have a bone to pick with society, who want to bring the earth to its knees for financial profit, or pure vengeance? In the year 2000, to complement the growing franchise and the release of the shagedelicly good version, Tarantula Studios released a Dr Evil themed minigame collection and portable computer-based operating system called Welcome to My Underground Lair.

Oppressive blue is the default theme choice of Welcome to My Underground Lair!

Welcome to my Underground Lair, starts similarly to Oh, Behave! Only this time, the game begins with an interrogation with Dr Evil, grilling you about your favourite lair and your preference in evil accomplices. Once you get past that, the bulk of the game begins. Despite the now eviller name, Welcome to My Underground Lair operates like Oh, Behave! but the themes included are vastly different. E.g. the psychedelic symbology of the folders is replaced with a cold and imposing steel aesthetic. For those wanting to make a billion dollars on the go, in a less than scrupulous fashion, Welcome to My Underground Lair provides the tools, to exploit the information age.

Most of the apps return, although some are renamed…

With practically the same game inside, Welcome to My Underground Lair allows the player to do some introspective soul-searching and decide, if they want to side with the forces of good or evil. Or even still, decide whether they like vibrant Woodstock-esque colours or the moody blues of Dr Evil? Both games being released around the same time will likely exacerbate this dilemma. But those players who have existential dread about the paths they did not pick, will be relieved to learn that there might not be that much difference between the two.

…And the boot-up process is a tad more eviler!

Most of the minigames from Oh, Behave! are here too, although there are one or two substitutions worth noting. Whereas players could enjoy the platform perfection of International Man in a Platform Game. Players here can instead enjoy stunt-bike spectacles in Kin-Evil (get it?!). Here you play as Mini-Mi, as you attempt to drive a bike with Dr Evil on board. You cannot go too fast on certain turns as you might tip the bike and kill your master (not very good indeed), requiring balancing tricks and precision in compelling gameplay. Mojo Maze is also practically the same but with the player as Dr Evil as opposed to Austin. Throw Me A Frickin’ Stone also returns, although once again you are Dr Evil (which I guess makes more sense considering the title). Domination also got a nice palette swap, and some interesting accents around the board, but retains the same Reversi/Othello charm as the Oh, Behave! variant.

Kin-Evil is one of the exclusives if you pick Welcome to My Underground Lair! over Oh, Behave!

Cosmetic changes have long been an expression of personal preference over abilities and capabilities. However, without sacrificing too much of the fun of Oh, Behave!, Welcome to My Underground Lair offers a suitable experience for those who prefer their Number 2 to their Vanessa or Shagwell. Completion enthusiasts, and Austin Powers diehards will probably want both, but I suggest you pick a side between this game and Oh, Behave! So, whatever reason you have for world domination; at least you can do it with a bit more organisation and style, from the comfort of your Game Boy Color.

Still fits!

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