Specter, the leader of the ape world, was just an ordinary ape at the zoo. That is -- until a "pipo-helmet," which was invented by the brilliant, but absent minded, Professor, was accidentally dropped into his cage. When Specter puts the intelligence-boosting helmet on, he suddenly is given the intelligence of a human and even starts to look human.
What is a super intelligent ape to do in a world dominated by people?!!
Specter decides to design his own pipo-helmets to provide to his legions of apes in order to build an army to conquer the human world. Unfortunately for Specter, the mind controlling helmets that Specter designs make the apes smarter -- but not that much smarter, and his apes are too simple-minded to complete any task correctly or even to remember to "stay evil!"
Now earth as we know it is inhabited equally by humans and apes. For any job or personality one can think of, there exists an ape counterpart such as painters, plumbers, airline pilots, policemen, cheerleaders, disco dancers and pirates are everywhere to be seen.
Because the apes' pipo-helmets are flawed, Specter's apes cause both the humans and Specter nothing but stress, confusion and comedic destruction yet always with a good-natured attitude. These apes are the "Harpo Marxes" of the "Ape Escape" world.
How do the humans of the world react? They are, for the most part, indifferent to Specter's plans. In fact, they are so jaded from seeing these zany apes in their every day world that when they find an ape suddenly piloting their airplane or delivering their mail, they simply accept it and -- hope for the best.
Lucky for us, the Professor and his protege, 12-year old Jimmy and Jimmy's 13 year old friend Natalie, have all sworn to stop Specter at all costs. It is thanks to them that the human race just might stand a chance! Or does it?