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January 9, 2013

Spirit Showdown -- Round 3 Recap

So here we are again, with another set of heroes revealed.  How fitting is it that the New Year would start off with a pair of characters who are just barely qualified to be heroes?  Oh well; in their universe, they’re the best the world has got.  Though you could pretty much apply that to every character introduced so far, but that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, I’ll hold off on posting a summarizing video, mostly because the “full set” hasn’t been revealed yet.  It’ll come next time, but for now you can either read the posts for Alice, Raze, and Tony/Beat -- or you could do the more natural thing and wait for the highly-condensed version in about a month.

The reason, obviously, is that I promised ten characters -- and that’s precisely what you’ll get.  So I’d rather not make a video now (which with my limited tool set takes much longer than I’d prefer), only to make another video for one character.  It seems wasteful, is all I’m saying.  But in addition, there’s also the story arc that I’ve been developing for quite a while -- the one in which I (or at least my virtual stand-in) actually die.  So for the sake of providing a refresher, I'll give you a quick summary.

THE STORY SO FAR (with the appropriate music)

It started with me (or should I say Voltech) starting off this feature, and showing off the posts with great gusto to a less-than-enthused viewer.  But as one savvy commenter was quick to note, the viewer had a very clear mind of his own -- and with it, his ability to travel across the internet as he saw fit.  Even if each post in the Showdown grated him, he kept coming back over and over for reasons unknown -- but it wasn’t until the end of the 4th post and the start of the 5th when his confident airs started to evaporate.  There was a notable divide between Voltech and the viewer, and it reached a climax at the end of the fifth post; the viewer up and left without a word, though for what reason and to which corner of the internet, nobody knows for sure. 

Nobody except for FX, of course -- or so it seems.  One of Voltech’s creations given form, the wily coyote appears before him.  How much he knows remains to be seen, but he gives Voltech just as much info he needs.  With some info in mind -- or lack thereof, given that the viewer’s name, origin, and even face are all a blank -- our hero begins strategizing, and setting a plan into motion.  Reasoning that the viewer has been coming to Cross-Up because there’s something he needs, Voltech sets a plan into action to ensnare him, and put an end to the threat he poses -- one that could unravel the internet, and the very fabric of reality.  But before the threat can be stopped, the viewer strikes: he stabs Voltech with a lethal blow, and leaves him for dead as he begins roaming the internet once more.  Of course, he ends up returning -- and Tony and Beat, under orders from a left-behind letter, are there to reel him in.  Beat goes on the offensive, but with little success; just as Tony’s about to make a desperate move, FX steps in with a smile on his face.

So that’s about where we are in the story arc.  And there are plenty of questions that still need to be answered.  What is FX doing back on the blog?  What is the faceless phantom really after?  What is the mysterious “File Zero” spoken of in Voltech’s letter -- and why is it so dangerous?  What on earth is “Cross-Up is alive” supposed to mean?  And can Voltech return from the shadowy abyss he’s entered -- and defeat the viewer and save the internet in one fell swoop?

Maybe.  But he’ll have to beat Majora’s Mask first.  Don’t worry, reading the “Let’s discuss Majora’s Mask” posts isn’t required, but it’ll certainly enhance your understanding of what’s going on.  Also enrich your soul.  Because I like the game.

Anyway, that’ll just about do it for now.  No poll this week, so if you want to mention which character is your favorite (if any), just leave a comment.  In the meantime, let’s have something a little different.  As you likely know, I’m a fan of games -- and as such, it’s not uncommon for me to associate one concept or product with another.  In this case, it’s voices.  So I’ve assembled a quick smattering of voice samples that, I hope, capture each character’s essence (all of whom are sequentially listed in the Showdown’s archive).  Not exactly 1:1, but close enough.  Most of them are from a Newgrounds user, so just click around and test out the soundboard -- and if you so deign, give thanks.  Or click on the proper video on Behind the Voice Actors.  And of course, if you have suggestions on potential voice actors -- or even real-life actors that could act as stand-ins -- then leave a comment below.

In any case, there's nothing like audiovisual aids to spruce up a presentation, eh?

Ocelot V: Todd Haberkorn
Cobalt: David Vincent
Shino: Tara Strong
FX: Johnny Yong Bosch (because no list is complete without the Black Ranger)
Tony: TJ Rotolo/Beat: Laura Bailey

And that’ll just about do it for now.  See you guys…wait.  Hold on a second.  It feels like one of these is different from the others.  I haven’t overplayed my hand, have I?


  1. You're a good person so I'll be honest, the picture of Jack made me not want to read this. I fucking hate that damn movie. But you're good, bro, you're good.

  2. Oh, really? Well, I just used it because I used pictures of Jack for posts around Halloween and Christmas, so it seemed appropriate to keep up the trend.

    To be honest, I'm more familiar with Jack in the Kingdom Hearts games than I am the Jack in the movie, so if not for those I wouldn't know...well, anything about him. Funny, though; I always figured The Nightmare Before Christmas was a universally-loved movie. But here we are, I guess. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

  3. Johnny Yong Bosch I`ve been seeing this name everywhere today, and now here! Who is he anyway?

  4. That Random Game BloggerJanuary 10, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    I'm kind of the opposite, I freaking love the movie, but it's mostly because I've always like musicals and the movie's songs are actually pretty clever.

    with that said, The Nightmare Before Christmas has become the poster boy for Goths, hipsters and whatever, so I can see why a lot of people may be tired of the 'movie' (or rather, it's fanbase)

  5. Nowadays, he's a pretty prolific voice actor in the video game and anime industries; generally speaking, you can't play or watch anything Japanese without hearing his instantly-recognizable voice.

    He's also notable for being the second Black Ranger in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. I don't think anyone's about to forget that fact anytime soon...

  6. Hmmm. That's true, I suppose; I've seen people with Jack Skellington patches sewed onto their bags, so I wonder if they're celebrating the spirit of the movie or just putting it there because they think Jack looks cool. Probably the latter, if I had to guess.