Drawn Characters – Geekout 4

I’ve now found a very interesting one in my page-a-day calendar! All three of the prompts deal with drawn characters. For today, I need to list: Six Recurring Animated Female Characters on 1990s Television, Six Characters from the Mario Bros. Game Franchise, and Two Dark Horse Publications.

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These are just fun! I’ve got good choices for all of them! And I think my category guesses are correct; general, gaming, and comics are the categories this time.

Six Recurring Animated Female Characters on 1990s Television

Now here’s a prompt that my wife exclaimed about when I revealed this page. Considering we both watched quite a few 1990s cartoons, we’ve got quite a few choices!

Barbara Gordon – Batman: The Animated Series

Starting off strong (even speaking literally!) Who wouldn’t have chosen Batgirl? She has always been one of my favorite characters from the Batman franchise, so she was a must include for this list. Through her incarnations, she’s had some changes, but I do enjoy this TV series.

Jean Grey – X-Men

Staying on that strong note is Jean Grey, a mutant of impressive powers. I’d fault this version of the character for her goofy outfit, but that’s just kind of what was worn for this era of the X-Men. It’s definitely nostalgia more than anything else that I like about that era. The colors were crazy. Oh, did I mention that she’s also Phoenix? Yeah… Badass..

Dee Dee – Dexter’s Laboratory

One of the greatest agents of chaos to ever exist, Dexter’s wonderful sister, Dee Dee is a source of endless strife in Dexter’s Lab. Oh how she manages to foil so many of his plans. My favorite of those was when he made her smart, but she was smarter than he was then. Haha!

Bulma – Dragon Ball Z

This brilliant dragon ball hunter may not have been one of the primary combatants of the series, but she was terrifying in her own right (no Chi-chi of course). Bulma was often the person that we could relate to, since she was almost sane. Almost. Her common sense, technical expertise, and tenacity made her an always valuable member of the team!

Harley Quinn – Batman: The Animated Series

Didn’t think I was going to skip this one after bringing up this TV series, did you? Harleen Frances Quinzel was introduced in the 1990s in this series to be exact! Her current portrayal and relationship you may have seen in a recent movie seems quite different from what existed in this series. She may love “Mistah J”, but in this series her relationship with him almost seems abusive.

While I hate discussing a female character based more on her connection to a male character than herself, this one is a bit of an exception. Since I chose Harley Quinn specifically, I’d say that the Joker created her, so that relationship is extremely important. She’s also got an interesting relationship with Poison Ivy, so that’s a thing.

Angelica – Rugrats

And for the show about a bunch of babies, the young, bullying child is a great choice. She’s in an interesting role in that show considering how strange their whole dynamic is in general. I guess when you’re applying wisdom and intelligence to a bunch of babies, you get some weirdness.

Six Characters from the Mario Bros. Game Franchise

Wario

“I’m-a Wario, I’m-a gonna win!” I shouted, crossing the finish line seconds ahead of my nearest opponent! He’s about as “American” as you can get. He’s greedy. He’s overweight. He pushes people around. And he’s such a good driver…

Toad

This topic reminded me of a time I was playing a game of Telestrations, and I was supposed to draw the word “Toad”. I didn’t draw the animal, since I’d have no way to avoid the frog/toad debate in a cruddy marker-drawn picture. Being the nerd that I am, I drew our mushroom-headed friend, Toad with some question blocks and a pipe for added clarity. My drawing was guessed correctly, and the next person, also being a video game nerd, chose to take the same route, drawing a picture very similar to mine. The guess? “Video Game Character”. That could have gone better.

Toad is really interesting though. Considering how many there are, I guess I’ll have chosen the one from Mario Kart, since that game is a blast. Sometimes literally!

Daisy

As the games shifted away from the main titles and more into all of the spinoffs, Daisy became much more prominent. I’m really glad that she was added to the games, because these games would have a broad appeal and were somewhat lacking in interesting female characters. If I’m remembering correctly, she’s athletic and quite capable (despite her initial appearance being as a captured princess).

Bowser

Hooray for the villains! Although, I may like him best in Mario RPG, which casts him in a very different light! Always kidnapping, scheming, and causing problems. I enjoy how he causes problems in the Mario Party games as well. As is there way, Nintendo finds ways to make the villains fun (even the monstrous ones).

Peach

Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle! Well that’s frustrating. Perhaps next time I should figure out which castle looks best defended and go there first…

I remember there being some strange things about her name. I don’t think she really had one at first, or maybe it came from a manual or something. Was this always her name in Japan? Was it something else at first? Either way, she definitely had a name when Mario Kart came around, and I think that name was just “Peach”. Did she sign her name as “Peach” in the note on the cake in Mario 64? Either way, great character.

If you played the game released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US, she was just awesome. Love that she wasn’t a “damsel in distress” in that one. She was a playable hero right alongside Mario, Luigi, and Toad! And in some ways better than they were!

Birdo

Now here’s one with some extra weirdness if you dig more deeply. Being a recurring boss-like character in Super Mario Bros. 2, this egg-spitting, bow-wearing creature was more of a nuisance than anything else. It took a real mistake to get hurt by her/him. If memory serves, Birdo is actually male, but wears the bow? Not sure where the eggs are coming from then… Either way, Birdo came back and was featured in more stuff, which is very cool. The games could always use more non-humanoid characters.

Two Dark Horse Publications

Clearly there are none of these on my bookshelf! Why would there be? And I definitely can’t just turn my head and see plenty of Dark Horse logos! No way!

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Comics

If you read the previous ones of these, you may have noticed that I like Star Wars and specifically The Old Republic, having played the single player and MMO games. I don’t think Dark Horse is still the ones publishing these, but they did for a time. That whole Disney acquisition of Star Wars changed many things.

Serenity – Comics

While I agree that restarting Firefly would likely make the series worse than it is, I am glad it received a movie to help wrap things up. Getting canceled before a season completes tends to leave much unanswered (as plenty still is). There are some comics that do as the movie did, helping to tie up additional lose ends and add bits to the story.

I’m happy where Firefly/Serenity is today. Although I really wish I could see what the show could have been!

Wrap Up

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And no one will ever guess how I chose those two Dark Horse publications…. And if you’re paying careful attention, you’d notice additional Dark Horse publications I didn’t mention…

Elves, Cameos, and Companies – Geekout 2

On today’s Geekout challenge from my page-a-day calendar, I’m supposed to list: Two Middle-earth Elves, Two Celebrities [who] have Made Cameo appearances on The Big Bang Theory, and Four Video Game Companies.

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Looks like those icons must indicate the category, I’d guess it’s fantasy, general geekiness, and games.

Two Middle-earth Elves

I’d say the toughest part for this one is choosing from which of Tolkien’s texts I should make my selections. I’ll admit that I’ve never finished the Silmarillion, but I’ve read half the book more than once. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, however, each have more than enough elves to choose from.

Elrond

Appearing in The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Return of the King, this elf stays important throughout the series, unlike some who make appearances in only The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Additionally, he always seems somewhat mystical, and is relatively nice to the characters we’re following.

Thranduil

The more reclusive and less-trusting elf, Thranduil and his elf brethren create an interesting challenge for Bilbo and his Dwarven allies, imprisoning the dwarves until their barrel-riding ally manages to plan their escape. While I’m not too happy with his portrayal in the recent movie adaptation, I like the character, since he offers such a different view of the Elves than we received earlier in the book while meeting Elrond. Not all elves share the same opinions it would seem!

Two Celebrities with Cameos on The Big Bang Theory

Now here’s finally a tough question for me. I’m not much of a fan of The Big Bang Theory. While it’s got some good geeky humor, the show seems to ridicule nerds and geeks, casting us often in a poor light. There are funny points, and jokes that are certainly for us exclusively! Maybe it’s just me though!

Wil Wheaton

As a child actor, I was not a fan, however, I’ve come around to Wil Wheaton following his roles on Leverage and The Guild. I do know that he was on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t watch the episode, but I heard something about the cast and him. For some reason I’m remembering something about bowling. Maybe I’m way off on this one.

Brent Spiner

I heard about this as well, so I hope I’m right here. I remember something about it, since it made for a double Star Trek cameo. I recall something about a birthday. Either way, Data is an awesome character with really interesting development in The Next Generation, and Brent Spiner really played him well. Since Star Trek, I’d have to say my favorite of his characters was in Independence Day. So many people didn’t even notice it was him!

Four Video Game Companies

Now this is a laughably small number of game companies to name. I’m guessing someone thought four would be a large number, since most of the questions so far have asked for two.

Square Enix

As a fan of many classic RPG franchises, including Chrono Trigger/Cross, the Final Fantasy series,  and the Star Ocean series, it would be difficult to exclude the creators of those games who now comprise Square Enix.

Their current direction is somewhat questionable at times, however, I am hopeful that the FF7 remake will not be the disappointment many predict. In addition, I’ve appreciated some of the games they’ve published, including Life is Strange.

Blizzard Entertainment

Talk about a company that really got in a decades long groove. Warcraft was a good game, and I remember IPX connection games of Warcraft II so long ago! Everything changed with Diablo, Starcraft, and Battle.net! Talk about an acquisition, Blizzard North bringing along Diablo set the stage for this company’s triumph in online gaming. Never again was there a need to try and get LAN games going with friends. Online gaming was now easy.

This company is never the first in their genre, but when they show up, they take over. Their development efforts seem to stretch on forever, but if they let a game reach release, it’s impressive. These days I think Heroes of the Storm is the closest they have to a non-success, but only because it’s not the top MOBA.

Quantic Dream

A company close to my heart, Quantic Dream does not disappoint. No, not even with Beyond: Two Souls. The creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, two of my favorite games. Interestingly, Indigo Prophecy was originally called Fahrenheit outside the US, a crazy thing, since we’re nearly the only country using that system.

The games this studio creates aren’t for everyone; story-focused games are their expertise. As a player, you’re guiding a movie more than anything else. There are skill-based challenges and story-impacting decisions to make which determine how the story will end. I’ve watched the endings of their games more times than I’d like to admit, and I’ve played through each game quite a few times as well.

BioWare

At this point, you may have noticed my story-driven, role-playing game focus. I must include the creators of the Baldur’s Gate series of games. Yes, I cite them for that, since that’s where I first experienced their games. Those games used D&D rules, so that was quite fun for me!

Using similar rules to D&D, their Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic, was (and still is) one of my favorite games. If you’ve not played it, I recommend giving it a try sooner rather than later. It’s not a new game, so the controls are starting to show their age. The story and adventure are quite fun though! They were not the creators of Knights of the Old Republic II, however, they came back to the series with The Old Republic, their MMO that I do still play!

Now, before anyone tries to have me strung up, yes, I played and loved Mass Effect and Dragon Age! They’re great games that show that BioWare can take those same skills and transition from D&D and Star Wars to their own worlds with Dragon Age and Mass Effect respectively.

Wrap Up

It seems I’ve managed two of these posts in a row. That won’t last, however, I’m hoping that The Big Bang Theory questions doesn’t become a trend – I’ll exhaust that expertise quickly!

Black Bisector

I started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic in August 2011 as a beta tester. At the time, the game was quite buggy. It’s not nearly as buggy anymore. I really enjoyed playing the game. I made time to play a lot of the different classes. I tried being light side republic, dark side imperial, dark side republic, and light side imperial. The game’s lack of balance for gray characters has kept me from becoming a neutral.

Alignment

Being a longtime D&D player, I care a lot more about character motives than just light/dark. My current character is a Jedi Knight named Zimeesa. He’s fallen far to the dark side, but not out of “pure” evil. Most decisions he makes are based on a zero-tolerance policy in saving and promoting the republic. He never questions his decisions, and any willing actions taken against the republic are always responded to with a self-judged execution. I mentioned willingness in the actions taken against the republic. Without mentioning the storyline, I will say that he didn’t always feel that way. His opinions changed. He used to not care whether the action was willing or not.

Guild

My friends and I started a Star Wars: The Old Republic guild on the Tarentatek server. We named that guild after our favorite character title, “,Black Bisector”. I would often run around as “Zimeesa, Black Bisector”. In fact, I have been doing this with every republic character I play since I started playing in the beta. The title is just awesome. If you don’t know what that means, I recommend that you blueshift your yellow tangent and assist the Gree on Coruscant.

I am a Black Bisector. We are recruiting if you want to join the Black Bisectors!