The enigmatic video game SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab revolves around SpongeBob, Patrick and Plankton, who find themselves in several very different dream worlds that are all connected — yet remain unique enough to be memorable on their own. However, they all have one thing in common: Their dreams started in Bikini Bottom. First, SpongeBob awakens in a bed transmogrified into a hot rod and a Bikini Bottom converted into a racetrack for not only himself, but Patrick and Plankton as well.
Race Around Diesel Dreaming With SpongeBob
Although the opening level of Creature From the Krusty Krab, Diesel Dreaming, revolves around SpongeBob, fellow characters Patrick and Plankton are there too, as SpongeBob’s competitors. Gary also races against SpongeBob, and while his presence in Diesel Dreaming is significant, its full implications for the game don’t come to light until much later.
The competition is hosted by announcers Dale and Rick, who lend their voices to multiple events throughout the game. Dale and Rick’s recurring announcements indicate that the dreams are all connected.
Another hint is found in the Krusty Krab restaurant, which SpongeBob passes through on his way to recover his license and become the Diesel Dreaming champion. In the end, SpongeBob emerges as the victor in his race. Unfortunately, his celebrations distract him, causing him to drive off a cliff.
Suit Up as Starfishman With Patrick
Afterward, players find Patrick asleep under his rock. He is awakened by a TV report that announces the Dreaded Patrick is on the loose. In response, Patrick suits up as the superhero Starfishman to bring him to justice.
Upon emerging from his rock, Patrick finds himself perplexed that the Bikini Bottom he’s sworn to protect looks different. Specifically, Bikini Bottom has taken on the form of a comic book: Some of the buildings and enemies are flat, and some of the walls are paper-thin.
As he explores, Starfishman notices SpongeBob isn’t home. This means SpongeBob must still be missing after his disappearance in Diesel Dreaming. As Patrick explores the comic version of Bikini Bottom, he develops his abilities as Starfishman and learns how to fly from the Dreaded Patrick. In the end, the Dreaded Patrick sends Starfishman into space, but a space rock ends the Dreaded Patrick’s reign of evil for good.
Avoid a Krabby Patty Rampage With Plankton
Plankton awakens from a painful nightmare and sets his next evil plan in motion. He has managed to steal a Krabby Patty crumb from the Krusty Krab, presumably, the same Krusty Krab from Diesel Dreaming.
As Plankton fires a growth ray at the crumb, his computer-wife, Karen, makes a critical miscalculation, causing the crumb to grow out of control and mutate into a giant living Krabby Patty creature. In response, Plankton uses the growth ray on himself, but due to a power failure, he’s only able to grow as large as the average fish.
The Krabby Patty chases Plankton around Bikini Bottom, which has calmed down from the thrills of the race and its transformation into a comic book. It’s hard to tell if this level is Plankton’s dream or the Krabby Patty’s. Players know that the Krabby Patty sleeps — quite a bit, actually. In the Pouncin’ Poundin’ Patty minigame, the Patty sleeps while Plankton scrambles to gather his equipment so as to avoid him when he wakes up.
Also, there are multiple sunbathing crabs in Plankton’s path that get flattened during the Krabby Patty’s rampage. Since Mr. Krabs and Plankton are arch-rivals, this could be a representation of Plankton’s disdain for Krabs. It could also be a sign that the Patty resembles Krabs as well — the crumb was the one that Krabs allowed Plankton to get away with after all. Perhaps it was both Plankton’s and the Patty’s dream, since they wake up in the same bed later.
Save Bikini Bottom From Giant Plankton With SpongeBob and Starfishman
Speaking of which, SpongeBob’s journey after Diesel Dreaming continues when he wakes up in his hot rod bed still falling down the abyss. Eventually, SpongeBob falls into the mouth of an Alaskan bull worm and needs to help Old Man Jenkins build a plane to escape. There are also crab enemies in the worm that hint at something else at work within these dreams. SpongeBob soon finds the parts he needs to escape, but the worm clenches its teeth before they make it out.
Starfishman wakes up on the rocket and has to reassure himself that his dreams of worms and patties didn’t actually happen, although this belief is soon shattered when he realizes that he is still tied to the rocket and flying through space. This implies that at least Patrick has been dreaming about the activities of SpongeBob and Plankton, another conspicuous hint that the dreams are connected.
Starfishman quickly finds himself flying for his life against a Krabby Patty UFO. There’s also a rock in the shape of a snail. Despite these bizarre circumstances, Starfishman is able to destroy the Krabby Patty UFO, saving the people of deep space from a weapon of high cholesterol. Just afterward, Starfishman finally flies back home, but he can’t stop the rocket before flying underwater.
Meanwhile, Plankton wakes up from his good night’s sleep next to the giant Krabby Patty. Fortunately, the growth ray works properly for once, and Plankton grows into a colossal single-celled monstrosity with super-strength, an atomic eye ray and a destructive roar at his disposal.
In his new giant form, Plankton chases down the Krabby Patty and destroys SpongeBob’s and Patrick’s houses along the way. Thankfully, they aren’t home, as SpongeBob was escaping the worm and Patrick was escaping from space. Just before Plankton can exact his revenge on the Krabby Patty, SpongeBob escapes the worm and knocks the patty out of his hands, incurring the wrath of Plankton. He’s still able to hold out long enough for Starfishman to return, fight off Plankton’s army and return Plankton to normal size with a shrink ray.
It then comes to light that the cause of all their dreams was a biorhythm imbalance caused by SpongeBob and Patrick eating Krabby Patties before falling asleep and Plankton eating his much-coveted Krabby Patty crumb before falling asleep himself.
After one final race, announced by Dale and Rick, SpongeBob, Patrick and Plankton finally wake up for good, and it’s revealed that it was all just a dream of Gary’s. Upon awakening, he notices a half-eaten Krabby Patty next to him, meaning the entire game was happening in Gary’s dream the entire time.
Diesel Dreaming hints at this revelation when SpongeBob, Patrick, Plankton, and Gary all play roles as racers. Creature from the Krusty Krab is also littered with little hints that the Krabby Patty was the cause of all these unnatural dreams, and it was Gary who was dreaming, rather than SpongeBob, Patrick and Plankton, like gamers were led to believe.
Creature from the Krusty Krab achieves a difficult balance between hinting at a twist and keeping it surprising. It’s only once you go back and connect the dots that you realize how connected it all was and how the circumstances behind the dreams influenced the dream worlds they created. It’s about the story.