Ape Escape is a platform video game, developed by SCE Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation in May 1999 in North America, and June 1999 in Japan. The first in the Ape Escape series, the game tells the story of an ape named Specter who gains enhanced intelligence and a malevolent streak through the use of an experimental helmet. Specter produces an army of apes, which he sends through time in an attempt to rewrite history. Spike, the player character, sets out to capture the apes with the aid of special gadgets.