"Zathura", stylised as "Zathura: Adventure is waiting", is a magical board game with a mind of its own and also known powers. When the game is played, it comes to life and takes the players (including the player's house) into outer space on a journey to reach the planet "Zathura".
The "Zathura" game's origin is unknown as it was probably being either cursed or possessed by a strange force, incorporating the space dangers inside of it. In the film however, it does however have a company known as "Fairview" on the side of the box indicating they manufactured it.
In the book, the "Zathura" game resembles "Jumanji" by having a normal looking board game design with dice and tokens (it is even found inside the latter's box). In the film, it is a clockwork driven space themed, mechanical board game operated by a key, where two players get to race each other from Earth to the black planet "Zathura". Illustrations of The Robot and Zorgons are also present on the board's art.
Rules of How to Play the Game
The rules of how to play the game was to turn the key on the board clockwise, which then pops the red button that marks "GO", the player then pushes the button which then spins the dial number (1-10) of how many spaces the rocket pieces need to move. As soon as the dial stops spinning, the rocket pieces will move of how many spaces the dial says and then the card pops out of the game. The player takes the card out and whatever the card says, effects reality which means the characters, ships and planets will come out of the game who attack the players.
There are other cards who allow the player to move to go back a few spaces. There are yellow cards that when a player has cheated, the game will punish the player to be sucked out into space via an automatic ejection. There are other cards that will help the players to reprogram malfunctioning robots and golden cards which allows the player to make any wish of what the player wants via a passing shooting star.
These are the cards that have been seen in the film thus far.
- METEOR SHOWER Take evasive action – Meteors and comets start coming down into a room where the players have to avoid getting hit by the meteors.
- YOU ARE PROMOTED TO STARSHIP CAPTAIN Move ahead 2 spaces – a normal card which allows the player to move two spaces forward.
- SHIPMATE ENTERS CRYONIC SLEEP CHAMBER for 5 turns – a non player will get frozen in an icy cryonic sleep and will remain in that state for the next 5 turns.
- YOUR ROBOT IS DEFECTIVE – A malfunctioning robot will attack the player as it will think that the player is an alien life form.
- YOU PASS TOO CLOSE TO TSOURIS-3 Enter gravity field – The house will get too close to Tsouris-3 (also known as the sun) and its strong gravity field will pull house furniture and the players straight to the wall or the door. Some of the house's tiles were sucked into the giant star.
- YOU ARE PROMOTED TO FLEET ADMIRAL Move ahead 4 spaces – A normal card where the player is allowed to move four spaces further.
- YOU ARE VISITED BY ZORGONS – The players and the house will get attacked by heatseeking lizardlike aliens called Zorgons who attack the house with their firing power.
- REPROGRAM – A card that will allow the player to reprogram a malfunctioning robot. Causing the robot to shut down and turn back on and be on your side and attack the Zorgons.
- RESCUE STRANDED ASTRONAUT – An astronaut named Walter that has been stranded in space for 15 years after wishing his brother Danny was never born will help the players to get rid of the Zorgons and give them advice about the dangers of the game's world.
- CAUGHT CHEATING Automatic ejection – A yellow card that will punish the player by sucking him or her into the vacuum of space if the player tries to move his, her or their opponent's rocket piece back the way it was before and causing the number panel to spin non-stop.
- LOSE MAP OF GALAXY Go back 2 spaces – A card which makes the player's piece go back two spaces due to losing the galaxy's map.
- SHOOTING STAR Make a wish as it passes – A bonus gold card which allows the player to make a wish of whatever he or she really wants.
- FLUNK SPACE ACADEMY Go back 1 space – A card which makes the player's piece go back only one space.
- HIT TIME WARP Go back 3 spaces Repeat last turn – A card which makes the player's piece go back three spaces to repeat the last turn effect (which allows Walter to gain the Shooting Star card again).
- WOULD YOU LIKE TO SWING ON A STAR? Move ahead 9 spaces – A card which allows the player to move extra nine spaces to reach the ending: "Zathura".
- GAME OVER Thank you for playing – The last card of which the game thanks the players for playing and the black hole appears and the game sends the players back home to Earth.
Picking where "Jumanji" left off, Danny and Walter went outside to play and found the "Jumanji" game box in the park, where it was previously left by Judy Shepherd and Peter Shepherd. When the brothers take the game home, Danny wanted to play but Walter was not interested as he viewed the jungle animals / adventure / survival aspect boring and childish. But then Danny finds that jammed inside the "Jumanji" box is another board game, the sci-fi oriented "Zathura".
Danny starts playing "Zathura", then he gets a card that says, "Meteor shower, take evasive action." Immediately, a meteor shower occurs. Danny and Walter soon realize the game sent them into outer space. The brothers start playing the game "Zathura", since the game won't take them home unless they finish it. Soon, Walter loses his gravity and Danny saves him from disappearing into space.
When Walter takes his turn, a defective robot chases him through the house. When Danny takes his turn, he gets close to a planet called Tsouris 3 and gets shorter and wider. Soon, a Zorgon ship appears and Zorgons board their house. The robot chases the Zorgons away as Walter takes his turn and gets sucked into a black hole and is sent back in time. Walter transports back to when he was with Danny in the park. Danny finds "Jumanji" and is about to take it home, but Walter throws it out and instead offers to play catch with Danny.
In the film, Danny found the "Zathura" board game under the basement stairs after he was banished to the basement by his older brother Walter after he threw the baseball at his face after he turned off Danny's video game and not letting him watch SpongeBob on TV and turning on SportsCenter after he spilled his drink on their Dad's car drawing and pulling the antenna off of Walter's walkie-talkie after Walter hit him for not giving it back to him. Danny took a liking to the game and decided to play it, he took the game upstairs and brought the "Zathura" board game out of its box, then starts playing it.
As soon as Danny was Player 1, a card got drawn out of the game which read: "METEOR SHOWER Take evasive action" which suddenly affects reality and a storm of meteors and comets came crashing into the living room of the house which destroyed the table and the TV, but Danny and Walter managed to survive by taking cover in the fireplace. They soon find out that the game has sent them into outer space where the game had supplied the house with water, gas and electricity and is holding an envelope of oxygen and gravity around it.
Danny and Walter prepare to keep on playing the game in order to get back home to Earth avoiding the dangers from the cards which the game has thrown on them like a defective robot, a sun with a strong gravity field, hostile lizard like aliens called Zorgons and their ship attacking the house and the players. They receive help from a stranded astronaut who helps them to keep the Zorgons away by turning off the house's lights and the heating to keep the Zorgons away from their heat signature. Danny illegally moved his piece forward which Walter moves it back, the game thinks that Walter cheated and punishes him by sucking him out into space but the Astronaut saves him. Walter takes his turn as he gets a golden card which allows the player to make a wish from a passing shooting star, he wanted to make Danny go away but the Astronaut warns him that if he does, he cannot finish the game as he will be stuck in it, the same way the Astronaut was as he was a player before and he made his wish to make his brother disappear which caused the game to trap him in its world.
When a player has won the game and has got to the planet "Zathura", the planet ball spins, rises up and opens up, bringing a black hole which sucks the characters from the game and the game's pieces will reset back to the starting line, which the game takes the players and the house back to Earth. The game has fixed the house and placed the players in the same spot of where the game had begun. It is confirmed that Danny and Walter had put the game in the basement where no one can find it and play it.
- Like "Jumanji", the "Zathura" board game's origin is unclear of how it was created.
|Media||Zathura • Zathura: A Space Adventure • Zathura (Video Game)|
|Characters||Danny Browning • Walter Browning • Lisa Browning • Mr. Browning • Mrs. Browning • The Astronaut|
|Antagonists||Zorgons • The Robot|
|Objects||Zathura (board game)|
|Locations||Browning House • Zathura (Black Hole)|