Category Archives: Game Characters

I don’t mean to brag, but…

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NAILED IT.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Obligatory Legal Crap

I’d like to assume I don’t need to do this for a joke post, but for the record, I’m not affiliated with Nintendo. Nor am I a ballerina, a lemur, or a quasar in deep space if we’re going to point out everything I’m not.

…That’d be cool if I was, though.

Halloween Special: Playing with Dolls

Today is Halloween! Those of you that were here last year might recall that I celebrated by discussing a spoopy spooky head canon concerning the game Sonic & Knuckles. Since this series has been a hobby of mine for well over three quarters of my life now, I have no shortage of head canons to talk about, and today we’re going to explore the one you’ve all been waiting for. The one that every Sonic fan mentions at least once every October.

Oh yes, my friends. Today, we’re going to discuss the infamous Tails doll, and what exactly makes it tick.

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Treat it like a weeping angel: Don’t blink.

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Father’s Day: Blood vs. Electricity

Father’s Day is often characterized by imagery of backyard barbecues, early morning fishing, and two little kids hugging their daddy from either side. Candies, golfing equipment, barcaloungers, and ties that will never, ever be worn to work make for popular gifts. Department stores slap the phrase “#1 Dad” on just about anything that can be imagined, guaranteeing that you can remind your father of his status no matter what his interests are.

I, however, did not engage in any of those things Sunday. I bought my father a card, as I do every year, but that was the extent of our activities for the day. My relationship with my father has always been very… iffy. Between his intimidating, military presence and my meek and people-pleasing childhood outlook, we never really had a strong foundation to start out on. He came off as cold, judgemental, and clearly favoring my brother. I couldn’t make him laugh when I tried to entertain him, but boy did he laugh anytime I was embarrassed. Rather than telling me he loved me, the phrase I heard at the end of every conversation was, “Keep your grades up.” As for video games, I never felt so much disapproval as when I dared to bring games to his house, and he and his wife called my decision to study game design “stupid” two days before my first class. As of an argument over a series of lies he’s been telling for the last four years, my father and I rarely speak anymore.

Which is why I chose to spend the holiday with this guy — and learned a few things about myself.

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(Warning: Major spoilers ahead.)

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The Secret Legend of Princess Zelda

Well, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you by now that the interwebs are buzzing like a hive of fangasming hornets about the plethora of reveals made at E3 so far. Gamers around the globe have been inundated with so much new information that many folks can’t even pick a topic to squeal about, which I quickly noticed when a friend of mine IMed me as soon as I got online and covered three different topics in a single sentence.

Among the many reveals Tuesday was Nintendo’s announcement of a new collaborative spin-off for the Legend of Zelda series. Partnering with Tecmo Koei, Hyrule Warriors offers a departure from the typical LoZ dungeon crawl and keeps a much tighter focus on the combat. Between the Dynasty Warriors-esque gameplay style, the abundance of playable female characters, and Link’s decision to partake in the trend of protagonists sporting rad new scarves, there’s been a lot of chatter in the last 48 hours.

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Leaving that much vital chest area exposed doesn’t seem very wise for the person the holding the Triforce of Wisdom.

Zelda in particular has been getting a lot of the attention. While this isn’t the first time she’s been playable, one would think that the series’ title character would’ve had a lot more active roles by now as opposed to spending the bulk of the last 25 years as the proverbial carrot on a stick. Furthermore, the only two games in which Zelda is actually the protagonist are sorta… well… they’re not quite… they… okay they suck. For this reason, many a fan is celebrating the news that we’ll all be able to assume the role of the iconic princess without having to bother with possessing phantoms, entering a fighting tournament, or obtaining outrageously rare hardware and software that isn’t even fun to play.

But perhaps the bigger news is the fact that we’ve all played as Zelda plenty of times before without even realizing it.

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Obscure Observations: Parasitic Twins

Metroid: Zero Mission, released by Nintendo for the GameBoy Advance in 2004, is a title that rarely needs a formal introduction. It retold and revamped the original 1986 NES game by introducing graphics, controls, powers, and storytelling in a manner highly reminiscent of Super Metroid. It payed homage to several games in the series while still managing to stamp its own unique fingerprint on the Metroid canon. Needless to say, the game was a huge hit.

But I’m not here to talk about popularity today. I’m here to talk about bugs.

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Yeah, these little shits.

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Easter Bunnies and Banned Hedgehogs

Ahh, Easter! Today is the day whereupon millions of people celebrate spring fertility, crucifixions, and candy. This year in particular, there are also a lot of celebrations revolving around enough marijuana to choke an egg-delivering rabbit. Yes, Easter has fallen on 4/20 this year, the American “holiday” in which stoners unite to get high as a kite and keep quickie-marts in business. This year they’ll be bringing a whole new meaning to “getting a sugar high.”

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That’s not what we meant when we said we needed grass for our baskets, guys.

Unfortunately, this day is dampened by another major event: The 15th anniversary of the Columbine High School Massacre. I can’t imagine it’s easy for any of the families in Littleton, CO to enjoy their Easter baskets (or pot) with those memories looming over their heads. In addition to the tragic deaths of 12 students, one teacher, and injuries to dozens of others, the incident was also a major catalyst in arguments over the possible negative influences of video games.

At this point in the article, I’m sure a lot of you are predicting that I’ll talk about the games that took the blame for the Columbine shooting, or debate whether or not Jack Thompson can argue his way out of a paper bag, or maybe even the controversy of the game Super Columbine Massacre RPG! Actually, I’ll be doing none of those things. Instead, I’m going to puzzle over how Disney believed that this…

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…was enough to provoke children to shoot up their schools.

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Jazwares releases Classic Amy and Metal Sonic anyway after cancelling them

Collecting Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise is an interesting hobby because I find that, for whatever reason, there are some characters that just remain rare no matter how popular they get with the fans. Certain characters can have appeared in multiple games and have a strong following among players, comic readers, TV show audiences, and yet for some reason Sega shrugs its shoulders and designs another Sonic figure in a slightly different pose.

Of course, it’s hard to say whether or not all of this is directly Sega’s fault; last fall Jazwares, the toy company that’s been producing the bulk of Sonic’s American product line for the last few years, announced that they were cancelling production of the Metal Sonic and Classic Amy plushies that had been spotted floating around their booths at toy fairs. This came as a major disappointment to the Sonic fandom, as these two characters (Metal Sonic in particular) had been highly anticipated for months. Sonic Stadium marked the occasion with a particularly emotional lament over the issue last September.

Which is why I’m still trying to figure out how the hell I’ve come to own these.

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Sally Acorn plushie w/vest listed on eBay this morning

Princess Sally Acorn, one of Sonic’s original love interests, has long been one of the rarest and most highly-sought after characters in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise. Whether you love her or hate her, she can’t be ignored by a collector. Items resembling the royal squirrel… chipmunk…. rodenty-thing always draw a crowd — and extreme prices — whenever they do pop up.

If you did in fact just hear a popping noise, it was probably the sound of deep-walleted collectors flocking to their computers, because a plushie of Sally Acorn was listed on eBay this morning. According to the description details, the doll is one of the medium series (13” tall) and has minimal wear and tear, along with its original vest. The auction is opening at $100 AUD and will run throughout the rest of the week.

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Sally stared into the abyss, and the abyss looked back.

This item, like most Sally-related memorabilia, came from the Sega World amusement park in Sydney, Australia. Sally, along with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik, was one of the park’s mascots and subsequently had an extensive line of merchandise featuring her visage. Some items (usually clothing and accessories) nailed her design dead-on; others, such as most of the toys, diiiiiidn’t quite translate her well into three dimensions. Sally’s plushies are notoriously ugly, but nevertheless they remain hot targets for collectors.

In total, there are four varieties of Sally plush: Large, medium, small, and a plush hand puppet. All four types are extremely rare, but the largest of the group tends to pull the highest prices, if just on the basis that it’s a jumbo-size doll. Additionally, Sally’s plushies originally had her iconic blue vest, many of which have been lost over the years. Any plush that still retains its matching vest is considered even more rare, which incites even higher bids.

Luckily for you guys, I already have all four of these plushies, which is why I’m signal boosting this auction at all. The last time a Sally doll that still had its vest graced eBay, the winning bidder forked over $1,000 to claim their prize. Right now the plush in the listing isn’t that expensive (yes, $100 is cheap for a Sally doll), but who knows what’s going to happen at the end of the week. If this is a collectible you’ve been pining for and happen to have some excess money to kick around, now’s your chance while it’s available at all!

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I do not own Sally Acorn or any other Sonic-related character, as they are all © Sega.

Although I do own several Sally plushies, I do not own the one that’s being auctioned off today; the listing is run by mychildrulz, whom I have bought several items from in the past, and each transaction was always pleasant.

Lost Hedgehog Tales: Leedzie’s Sneak Peek

Never one to quit while he’s ahead, Ken Penders clashed with Sonic’s comic book fans yet again last weekend. After singularly taking credit for the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series (going so far as to call himself its “savior“), he then went on to downplay the roles of his fellow writers, invoking the fiery inferno of many Archie fans’ collective rage.

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Coincidentally, Ian Flynn had also tweeted just a couple hours earlier that night — and in such a way that indirectly referenced Penders’ unrelenting ego.

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The screenshot shows Flynn’s current progress on his Lost Hedgehog Tales project, a behind-the-scenes look at the storylines forcibly abandoned in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics due to Penders’ copyright battle. The document’s release is highly anticipated by Archie Sonic fans, both for curiosity and for closure, as several plot points received hurried and unsatisfying resolutions. Others never saw a resolution at all.

As one of the folks eagerly awaiting Lost Hedgehog Tales‘ release, I’ve decided to give you all a preview. No, I don’t have any direct contact with Ian Flynn, but I do have clues as to what was intended to happen in one specific arc of the story. All it took was some attention to detail and a little investigation.

Well, and $45.

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Old Year’s Eve: The End of the Year of Luigi

Every dog may have its day, but every plumber gets its year — and as of tomorrow, the Year of Luigi will have officially come to a close.

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Nintendo’s year-long celebration of the oft-overlooked Mario brother came with many festivities, including special fan events and a plethora of Luigi-themed games and accessories. Select gamers were even able to snag a limited edition 3DS XL featuring Mario’s beloved  younger brother.

Of course, there’s a lot that the Year of Luigi didn’t bring, as well —  namely, profits. Nintendo took a hard hit in 2013, reducing their expected Wii U sales figures to less than one third of the original estimate. The sluggish results ultimately provoked Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata to slash his own salary in penance for the company’s performance.

It’d be a stretch to say the disappointing sales are specifically Luigi’s fault just because they happened on his watch, but it’s certainly an amusing idea given the nature of his character. Luigi always manages to get the short end of the stick, no matter how hard he tries or how much he’s set up to succeed. The suggestion that the Year of Luigi sucked the profits out of Nintendo so hard he may as well have looted it with the Poltergust 3000 rings a little too true to his track record. No wonder he was able to afford all those mansions this year.

It’s been an interesting year, and with Sega already announcing that we’re now headed into the Year of Sonic, maybe it’s just as well that Luigi’s run has come to an end. My only complaint is that this whole extravaganza is off by one day. Seriously, Nintendo, Luigi’s nickname is GREEN MARIO. The Year of Luigi should’ve started and ended on St. Patrick’s Day.

Obligatory Legal Crap

The Year of Luigi and all associated games, merchandise, and… well, Luigis, are the property of Nintendo, and I am in no way affiliated with them, despite my best efforts. The Year of Sonic is also not mine (although every year of my life since I was seven has been The Year of Sonic), as that belongs to Sega.

St. Patrick’s Day is the property of St. Patrick, I suppose. But I can write about that because I’m Irish.