Tag Archives: final fantasy 8

World of Final Fantasy Part 10

Turn Those Corners Up: Part 2: We’re Back! A Fox God’s Story
Initial Stream: 11/24/20



00:00 – As my esteemed colleague has noted in the previous chapter, we’re working toward the good ending here, which involves collecting all the legendary summon monsters. Last week we scored (good) Bahamut and Diablos, now we’re going for Leviathan. Faris has something to say about that. Given all the “important summons” are Final Fantasy 8 dudes, us dudes go on to talk about Final Fantasy 8.

14:00 – Lightning battles Odin with Ramuh’s granddaughter as we discuss Ready Player 2.

24:31 – Not a mandatory quest, but defeating Odin allows us to see (FF13) Shiva and Snow versus Shivalry, the male cousin of Shiva. Shivalry is more of a sentai archetype than a himbo, unfortunately. However, we do learn that BEAT is a himbo.

34:00 – Yakuza: Like a Dragon is discussed as we fight to reclaim our dead mascot creature. This section of the quest is stupid. Seriously. The whole thing seems to be hung on a character relationship from thirteen chapters ago, and it is not compelling in any conceivable way. It seems to exist as a prelude to what happens during the true ending, but the true ending does it so much more successfully. This “preview” version of the concept with forgettable characters is ineffective, and only serves to make the twins appear even dumber when they’re surprised by the inevitable outcome (coming next part).

48:00 – Do you suppose the most popular search engine in a Final Fantasy universe is Moogle, or did the little fluffballs cash out by inventing Final Fantasy digital commerce?

53:00 – Tama, our foxy (not like that) mascot is revived, reality is restored, and maybe we were talking about Earthbound too much to notice.

What actually happened in the plot:

· Faris avenges her distant ancestors, who were killed by Leviathan. Or Leviathan is faking her defeat, as apparently she wasn’t distinctly responsible for the death of Faris’s ancestors, she just happened to be in the area.

· Lightning loses a duel to Odin. So she recruits Ramewl, Ramuh’s granddaughter, and then returns to claim victory by battling with a rad lightning sword.

· Refia’s uncle is still possessed by a Bahamutian spirit (see Chapter 7), but the “spirit” is still attempting to kill the mythical fox monster that killed Refia’s aunt (before the possession). This apparently proves that there’s some part of the “real” uncle still alive in there. Or whatever. What’s important is that Evil Uncle finally dies after a fox battle, and our heroes claim a “life” from the fox monster. They use this life to revive Tama. With Tama revived, reality resets to a version where Tama was always there… so it’s kind of ambiguous if anything in the last two updates canon “happened”. Huh. Regardless, the party is now back to 100% complete, and, with the support of The Seven Deadly Summons (or whatever), we’re ready to retry on destroying the final general of the Bahamutian Army.

Turn Those Corners Up: Part 3: Everybody Dance Now
Initial Stream: 11/24/20



01:00 – The final battle approacheth. But we’re mostly focusing on Dr. Weird quotes.

7:30 – The first actual Game Over in this Let’s Play! Granted, I’ve been cheating (almost) the whole time, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve been practically invincible… but still! Incidentally, if you’re wondering about the cause of death, it was a doom “countdown timer” status effect that I was completely unprepared to encounter.

13:30 – Revenge! I have triumphed over my previous failure, and am making progress. So let’s talk about Gungrave and Trigun. Hey, wait a minute! This isn’t a Wild Arms Let’s Play!

19:30 – I am always happy to visit the concept of Freud sucks. Regardless, we have to fight mom twice, so Sigmund would likely have something to say about that.

26:00 – The final boss, Brandelis, appears again. Looks like he has the ancient weapons of Final Fantasy 5 at his disposal, but I just might be thinking that because a bell is involved.

31:00 – Here it is: the absolute final boss! In typical Final Fantasy fashion, it is some hulking monstrosity that can’t even fit on the screen. We take this time to label our respective Bouncer-sonas.

37:00 – We Officially won! The World Ends With You 2 is being released! We also beat the final boss!

42:00 –



It would have been super cool if these moves were at all available during the actual gameplay of World of Final Fantasy. Or at least anywhere other than a fight with a cactus.


46:00 – Time for an ending parade/choreographed dance number. I will claim that the volume on the game on this recording is so low because I was trying to avoid copyright issues with the obviously trademarked to all hell song here in the ending.


57:30 – As a chaser, we tackle the final (vanilla) intervention quest with “other mascot” Serafie learning from Siren how to gigantamax or whatever.

What actually happened in the plot:

The original ending went poorly when the twins tackled Brandelis alone on his own home turf. Reynn has full knowledge of that “bad end”, so the plan this time is to enlist all the champions (aka Final Fantasy characters) in various support roles, and attack the Ultima Gate at the top of the Crystal Tower. (Oddly enough, the summons that we had to fight to see this ending are not involved at all.) The Summoner Sorority is going to seal the Ultima Gate with the assistance of Hauyn (the twins’ adopted sister, BEAT), and the battle-ready champions (Cloud, Lightning, etc) are going to run interference on Brandelis. Quistis and Shelke were supposed to distract The Man in the Golden Mask (secretly Dad) and Plumed Knight (Mom), but those champions fail, and Lann and Reynn are forced to fight their possessed parents again.

They succeed in defeating the evil mirages, but learn that Mom and Dad have been dead since their possession started (or thereabouts). Ghost Mom & Dad bid tearful goodbyes as Lann and Reynn move on to battle Brandelis. Brandelis has apparently been able to siphon some of the Mirage Keeper power of the twins and their parents, so he is effectively invincible with the ability to rewrite reality at will. It could be a stalemate, but the Ghost Parents help the twins to fashion an infinity cube as a prison for Brandelis. Right about then, the summoners finish up their job, and all the bad machines across the world are sucked back into the Ultima Gate. This also begins to absorb Brandelis, who once again breaks free from his infinity box. The twins attack Brandelis, and subdue him at the cost of being sucked into the gate, too. Brandelis, Lann, and Reynn are all banished to another dimension, but Hauyn and the champions are free to help rebuild the world. Hauyn is chosen as the new Mirage Keeper for this dimension, and goddess Enna Kross seems so happy with this outcome, she starts a goddamn dance party.

But wait there’s more!

Next Time on World of Final Fantasy: Just because we saved the World of Final Fantasy doesn’t mean it’s all over. We’ve got bonus dungeon(s) and content exclusive to the Maxima upgrade of World of Final Fantasy. And, yes, we will finally get to facing a certain omnigear…

World of Final Fantasy Part 09

Chapter 21-3: Back to The Grind
Initial Stream: 11/16/20
Due to my wedding occurring the week of this stream, this write-up is provided by BEAT



00:00 – Alright, that’s a load of stupid sidequests out of the way. Let’s see about doing some PLOT

02:00 – "I don’t think ASIMO has religion."

ALSO 02:00 – So I THINK this is the story’s BIG reveal, as the anime teens are trying to appear serious and the FF7 OC is expositing all over the place. I’m too busy reporting a bot in Gogglebob’s chat to notice.

05:30 – I HOPE YOU DIE.


09:00 – I stand by my theory that Roald Dhal became a Children’s Author just to give himself an outlet for his deep-set urge to MURDER CHILDREN.

10:19 – Anime brother just teleported away anime sister because he couldn’t help but try the handprint scanner. He then freaks the fuck out because he thought he murdered his sister. His sister, who’s totally fine, decides to let him sweat it out for a little bit. Anyway that’s how the game tells us this dungeon has teleport mechanics.

18:00 – To all aspiring rappers: it’s okay to sell out as long as you make it apparent you do not give a shit about the product, and are only doing it for the money.

XX:XX – GOD THIS DUNGEON IS FUCKING BORING.

23:10 – Caliscrub joins us! His mic has NEVER worked upon joining a call EVER!

25:10 – Oh damn they made it to the evil castle.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN THE PLOT? Nothing. Literally nothing. The fuck you want from me.

Editor’s Note: Technically, we did learn that Brandelis’s big plot kidnaps his religious devotees and drains them of their life force, Matrix-style. Other than that, yeah, it was just a long walk.

Chapter 21-4: We’re still doing this, huh.
Initial Stream: 11/16/20



00:00 – You know when we got to the EVIL CASTLE at the end of the last video I sort of assumed SOMETHING would happen. I was wrong.

ALSO 00:00 – Caliscrub regails us with tales of the noise complaint he got from his neighbors. Apparently he got very excited about street fighter and his neighbors were like THAT’S NOT ALLOWED. Caliscrub’s neighbors suck.

00:57 – Greatest tweet of all time.

10:20 – "Please respect the jargon, Cali. They’re called FUCKOS."

14:00 – Don’t even talk to us if you don’t know about Street Sharks Season 4.

20:00 – For a brief moment, we all break kayfabe and admit that we’re actually glad we started this hell project because it allows a regular human connection in these trying times. Then we all dive right back into talking shit about each other and about this game, which is bad.

XX:XX – At some point between the prior timestamp and the next timestamp, we talked about THE WORST WEBCOMIC. I’m not telling you the time, or the webcomic, because I want it to be a surprise.

30:00 – Caliscrub asks if we can tell where we are in the dungeon. We cannot. This game is bad.

40:30 – Oh shit, an actual cutscene! The horrible Mascot character is weak to the aura of the bad guys or something, so it leaves. Thank god.

53:00 – ACTUAL PLOT RELEVANT CUTSCENE TIME! Turns out the dude with the dumb mask and the knight with all the feathers were…

57:30 – …THE ANIME TEENS PARENTS!!! DUN DUNN DUNNNNNNNN!!!!! Oh also we killed them. and froze our older system or our aunt or whatever the white haired lady’s deal is inside a crystal. Like a piece of shit wizard.

1:04:00 – FINAL BOSS TIME!

1:07:00 – Final boss did that JRPG bullshit where you totally won but once his HP’s at zero he’s like HAHA I WAS ONLY PRETENDING TO LOSE YOU CAN NEVER DEFEAT ME LOL. It’s a bad video game. (Pedantic Editor’s Note: Okay, technically this is Brandelis revealing that he has so much power, he can just Cure4 his wounds as much as he wants. Subtle difference between here and that earlier chapter where he actually was faking. Same ultimate result, though.) This causes Anime boy to crystal the bad guy AND ALSO HIMSELF. Everyone’s dead or dead-adjacent except Anime girl… ROLL CREDITS.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN THE PLOT?: Turns out the Anime Teens caused all the problems. They fixed all the problems, except doing so killed them. Everyone is dead and/or sad. This is the final update, there definitely won’t be any more updates after this one because the game is over forever and ever.

Turn those Corners Up Part 1: LOL JK
Initial Stream: 11/16/20



00:00 – IT WAS A CLEVAR DECEPTION!!!!! Did you think the game was over? I sure did!

02:30 – I HOPE YOU WOAH DEJA VU


Okay for real, it’s kind of genuinely clever how the BAD END RESET takes the form of Anime Girl basically bargaining with God to get a do-over. Sort of like if the good end of undertale played out in the text instead of just being subtext. 6/10 for being kind of clever almost. Also apparently the COST of getting a do-over was the horrible mascot’s life! So 8/10!

08:40 – Hey it’s our aunt or our sister or our older friend that we trapped inside a cube or some shit. I guess we’re gonna try and be like "Hey… our bad" this time? Whatever. We’re talking about The X-Men Movies. Logan is so fucking good, holy shit.

15:00 – I am forcing you to become aware of the greatest new word. BAHAMUDONK. You have been enlightened. You’re welcome

17:00 – So it turns out the amazing timeline-saving thing we need to do to PROPERLY PREPARE for the final battle so it doesn’t go to hell is… pick all the good end items from a menu. The first one is bad Bahamut or maybe good Bahamut who cares (Editor’s Note: I do! It’s good Bahamut. Bad Bahamut is the final boss.). I’m talking about how the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy fucked up so badly at the finish line it retroactively poisoned the whole thing. Fuck you JJ Abrams.

25:00 – I’m not sure where this Giant Robot came from, and honestly I’m afraid to ask.

35:40 – That boss fight took around 15 minutes and Gogglebob was literally sitting on the fast forward button the whole time. This is a bad video game.

39:00 – I got distracted by real-time models of the solar system, which caused Gogglebob to continue into the next bullshit sidequest, dragging out the length of this video. I’m sorry.

49:00 – Yeah the entire chat is at the "oh god let it end already" point.

AND THEN WE JUST TALKED ABOUT RANDOM SHIT UNTIL IT ENDED.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN THE PLOT?: Anime Teen girl sacrified the mascot for a reset. Then the teens met up with the… relative(?) they killed(??) earlier, and figured out that they have to do a lot of sidequests to get the good ending, and start by fighting visually identical dragons FOR FUCKING EVER.

Editor’s Note: We also learned from Wynne that the twins were known as the “Demon Dyad” a hundred years back, and they commanded the most powerful summons on the planet… albeit poorly enough to be publicly known as “demons”. During this section, we reclaimed (good) Bahamut and Diablos. With Ifrit, Shiva, and Ramuh already on our side, only two more to go!

And special thank you again to BEAT for writing all of this!

What’s next in World of Final Fantasy: Good ending! Everybody dance now!

World of Final Fantasy Part 08

Intervention Quests Part 1
Initial Stream: 11/10/20



3:00 – Everyone had two weeks to vote on whether or not they wanted to see additional story progress or the Final Fantasy character vignettes/side quests… and I didn’t see a single vote. Turnout is terrible this year. So we held a vote on the stream, and fanboymaster and BEAT both agreed it was time to hit the Final Fantasy Intervention Quests. As a reminder, these are all “out of time” moments provided by The Girl Who Forgot Her Name, and our heroes only pitch hit for the featured Final Fantasy character during battle, and the rest of these sections are simple “slice of life” stories (that often involve giant, malevolent sea monsters). First up are Tidus and Yuna aping some Final Fantasy X plot beats.

16:00 – The “bullet points” for the Intervention Quests are going to be mostly here to let you know when a new vignette starts. At approximately the sixteen minute mark, we are discussing “politics” and/or Quistis while Squall gets a featured story about future planning.

25:00 – Discussing Tidus while Faris and Edgar discuss something other than Tidus. And then it’s time to point out how Edgar is a pedophile.

33:00 – Terra encounters a certain unpleasant octopus while another bot invades the chat.

39:00 Bartz and Rikku is the crossover event you didn’t ever know you needed. It is mostly ignored in favor of Dragonball Z discussion.

46:23 –


What actually happened in the plot:

All Intervention Quests are canon in World of Final Fantasy, but are (almost) all considered “sidequests”, so this is all “optional” plot. That said, here’s what happened in this update:

• Yuna and Tidus, who met for the first time as part of the main plot, bond over repelling Bismarck (not the nazi ship) from Besaid.

• Squall, unlike his fellow Final Fantasy buddies, doesn’t have future plans, which worries his bulbous little head. Squall and Shelke go on a monster hunting mission, and Shelke tricks Squall into caring and planting a garden. This somehow makes Squall smile.

• Faris’s ship is attacked by Omega Bane, and she tracks it back to a potential dimensional gateway at the center of the desert. Edgar is familiar with the area, so he banishes Omega Bane with the help of Vivi.

• Terra teams up with, and then realizes she must destroy, Ultros, the least prime octopus.

• Bartz and Rikku try to rob Ifrit’s cave, but wind up inadvertently becoming friends with the fiery summons when they team up to repel some behemoths.


Intervention Quests Part 2
Initial Stream: 11/10/20


1:00 – Rikku is sailing the seven seas, and, hey, we’re actually discussing Rikku! It’s game related! It’s a game related, on-topic discussion! That hardly ever happens!

5:00 – Eiko makes a new wolf friend, so let’s talk about Justice League. The animated series, to be clear, as that is clearly the best iteration of the ol’ hero club.

10:00 – Tifa meets some zealots. How old would you be in the Final Fantasy universe? And would your hat stay on your head?

16:00 – Yuna and “The Sad Spiral” sounds like a good time. Final Fantasy characters need therapy, and so do we after discussing Fountains of Wayne.

26:00 – After some wedding discussion, here are Yuna and Rydia in a Volcano. Then BEAT gets hungry, and we fight Lady Ifrit.

32:00 – Cloud and Lightning are palling around while we discuss terrible streamers, teenage sins, and how we’re all attractive. Also, please remember the duck stream.

What actually happened in the plot:

• Rikku battles the Mimic Queen and discovers that literally all the treasures across the sea were a bunch of (now dead) mimics.

• Eiko investigates a “weird feeling” and discovers her ancestors’ “Fenrir” mirage, Elefenrir, who offers a cryptic warning.

• Tifa fights off a gigantic, robotic hand, and tells some religious fanatics that Enna Kros helps those that help themselves.

• Yuna helps Ami of Green Gables (thanks, Zef), a poor woman who wants to sacrifice herself for the good of her hometown. Valefor’s non-union equivalent, Nirvalefor, guides Yuna to help Ami by defeating Ultima Weapon. Thus, Ami no longer has to be a martyr, and she didn’t even have to lose her imaginary dream-boyfriend to do it.

• Yuna and Rydia enter a volcano to find Ifreeta, Ifrit’s cousin who has been possessing humans to be a general nuisance in the world. The two summoners banish the fire cat girl.

• Cloud and Lightning investigate a mirage (Iron Muscles) menacing a local village, but apparently Sephiroth has been in the area repelling the mirage. Cloud ventures off on his own to hunt his mortal enemy, but Terra convinces Cloud to go back and help Lightning. Cloud and Lightning destroy Iron Muscles, and Sephiroth is never seen.

Intervention Quests Part 3
Initial Stream: 11/10/20



0:30 – Vivi and Golems accompany a brief description of quests that have gone before. Long story short: when boiled down to their base archetypes, nearly every male Final Fantasy protagonist becomes Zidane. It’s weird!

5:00 –


13:30 – Discussing Fire Emblem/Lucina /Gachas while Quistis and Squall hang out in Garden.

16:00 – Ample Vigour arrives, and then leaves us wanting as Einhänder shows up again.

20:00 – Penguin time means we have to repeat a whole dungeon. There’s crying underwater from that stupid queen and yours truly, as this Intervention Quest contains an entire “level” that we already completed once. And it wasn’t that good the first time! Regardless, this appears to be the only Intervention Quest that is so intensive, so it’s at least noteworthy.

28:00 – “We’re going all in on this fried bread thing.”

41:00 – And the moral of the story is we’re never going to stop talking about that mysterious liquor lady.

What actually happened in the plot:

• Vivi stops a golem uprising and decides to live another day, confident he is not a mere golem (which makes sense, as golems in this game are basically just Pokémon).

• Celes tries to cheer up the still-recovering-from-vampirey folks of Tome Town by performing an opera, but Ultros arrives, and messes it all up. Ultros is repelled, but, sorry, Celes won’t be singing in this one.

• It is confirmed that Balamb Garden is apparently a mirage, Eden, even if stuff discovered there, like the Gunblade, could be Cogna related.

• Shantotto attempts to open a secret vault by killing the Quacho Queen, but Lann and Reynn convince the Quacho Queen to open the door without bloodshed. Unfortunately, there’s a monster in the vault that could potentially explode and crack the continent in half… but Shantotto uses a spell to disarm the volatile kraken. The day is saved, and our heroes loot the vault.

Intervention Quests Part 4
Initial Stream: 11/10/20

00:00 – There is some interesting discussion regarding the production of Marvel vs. Capcom/Howard the Duck opposite Bartz and Gigglemesh saving a town. Eventually, there is discussion of Spider-Man arcade, a game near and dear to my videogame preserving heart.

8:00 – Additional discussion of Marvel vs. Capcom and what could have happened to Street Fighter 3 while Snow and Celes do… nothing.

14:30 – Moonboy and Devil Dinosaur are not Edgar and Vivi, but they’re not Primal, either.

19:00 – There’s no battle in this vignette, just cutscenes. This is weird, and prompts a discussion regarding Mr. Bucket, and how he wants you to put your balls in his mouth.

21:00 – Faris, Ifrit, and we’re apparently not worshipping Satan.

25:00 – Refia and Sherlotta venture into the snow while we discuss children’s cartoons and fetishes and let’s not talk about Totally Spies.

30:00 – We are done talking about Goodfeathers and how much we hate aspects of Animaniacs just in time to watch the ongoing adventures of Undead Princess.

34:00 Goblin Princess and the immortal question: is high school worse than working in The Simpsons writing room?

What actually happened in the plot:

• Gigglemesh and Bartz are more or less tricked by Bahamutian Soldiers, but team up to recover a victory.

• Snow and Celes fight Gigglemesh over absolutely nothing. Typical crossover fight, I suppose.

• Edgar and Vivi win over the support of the Figaro guard ostensibly through Vivi being annoying.

• Faris sponsors “Underdog Day”, a day when her crew can challenge the captain for control of the ship. An overeager moogle accidently summons Ifrit, whom Faris has to knock off the plank.

• Refia and Sherlotta battle Undead Princess (another refugee from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time), and then hire her to promote the Inn. Then Sherlotta and Undead Princess work together to stop some Metalliskulls that are haunting the area.

• Princess Sarah was kidnapped by Princess Goblin, who apparently has a crush on Warrior of Light. Warrior of Light lets Princess Goblin down easy, and rescues Princess Sarah.

Additional note that seems to explain a lot: In game, there is a running encyclopedia for characters encountered in World of Final Fantasy. The entry for Undead Princess reads:

Hey, Wait a Second…
You may be wondering why so many characters from the CRYSTAL CHRONICLES series have been popping up in Grymoire. Well, take a look at the person doing character design, and you may have your answer.

So that solves at least one unsolved mystery of World of Final Fantasy.

Intervention Quests Part 5
Initial Stream: 11/10/20


00:00 – Refia tries to build a bridge while we discuss how to own people on the internet. Or maybe we’re just looking at Dril tweets again. Or Spider-Man?

6:00 – Time for (what I’m pretty sure is) the DLC event. It is not a Gundam.

9:30 – Kishi joins us. Kishi is not a Gundam.

22:00 – We finally win as Omega God bonks over.


“He” is now Ted Woo, author of Shadow Mad.

31:00 – Kishi requests a repeat performance, so we’re watching the Faris bit again. Let’s consider this an example of how you can repeat these quests unlimited times.

36:00 – In an effort to torture fanboymaster, we close this stream out by taking a look at the World of Final Fantasy pokédex.

What actually happened in the plot:

• Refia tries to build an ice bridge, so she recruits Sherlotta to additionally recruit Shiva. The bridge is built, but doesn’t last long.

• Enna Kros has a conversation with Alexander, the gigantic mirage currently serving as a motionless bridge. Apparently they fought “for the throne” at one point. Eden of Balamb Garden, Lute of Ragnarok in Cornera, and Midgardian Ormr (presumably) of Midgar are all mirages, too. Alexander had Omega God hanging out on it in a pocket dimension (or something), so Enna Kros summoned Lann and Reynn to fight him off. Omega God is defeated and captured, and now, having completed all available Intervention Quests, Lann and Reynn are free to journey on to the endgame.

Next time on World of Final Fantasy: This stream was the same week I got married, so BEAT is responsible for the Bad End.

FGC #562 Q*Bert

No colorLet’s look at the evolution of gaming/Q*Bert over the years.

In 1982, gaming was just taking its first, tentative steps towards Gaming as we know it. Pac-Man and Pong had blazed the trail with their joystick/wheely thing controls, but now we were seeing new and innovative ways to play. Kangaroo, for instance, was a game that was very similar to the likes of Donkey Kong, but added an all-important offensive action to its heroine’s repertoire. Kangaroo could punch out monkeys and apples alike, and one could argue this simple act was the start of “videogame violence” for years to come (sorry, dead monkeys, you gotta start somewhere). And speaking of offensive options, Dig Dug first started digging in ’82, and he had the ability to “pump up” his opponents until they popped. This had the dual purpose of inspiring a generation of bizarre fetishes and featuring a hero that always had the ability to turn the tables on his opponents. Unlike Pac-Man or Mario that had to rely on sporadically distributed powerups, Taizo the Digger was hunted and hunter all in one. This would become the norm for practically all of gaming to come.

But if one game presciently granted a glimpse of gaming of the future, it was Pitfall. Nearly four decades ago, Pitfall Harry explored a large world of tricks, traps, and treasure. Harry had much to do in his (certainly not Mayan) adventure, and, while his moveset was limited, it was contextually sensitive to all sorts of challenges. Harry didn’t simply jump over opponents, he leapt to swing across vines, or hopped over the heads of gators. Pitfall was a revelation for everything its protagonist (and by extension, the player) could do, even if this was still the era of extremely blocky dudes puttering around monochrome backgrounds.

Lookin' GoodAnd 1982 also saw the release of Q*Bert. Q*Bert only need move from block to block in a generally diagonal manner. He changes block colors simply by touching blocks, and his only “offensive option” is baiting a malevolent snake into a bottomless pit. Q*Bert does not have a bonus jump, “punch”, or other abilities. Q*Bert simply hops.

Ten years later, in 1992, the face of gaming had irrevocably changed. The arcade gave way to the domination of the console, and now Sega and Nintendo were battling it out. But there was the Personal Computer, too! Wolfenstein 3D had just been released, and the whole of the FPS genre was just starting to congeal into Doom (to be released the next year). For some, the “3-D” nature of first person shooters promised to be what “the future of gaming” was always expected to be: fully immersive fighting (through the legions of Hell/nazis, apparently).

But away from the monitor and back at the television, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was pushing the boundaries of the genre that had become known as platforming. Sonic could run, jump, and dash; but he did it at speeds that could not have even been imagined ten years prior. And this latest Sonic allowed for two player simultaneous play! Just like in those competitive fighting games that had been making the scene! And Mortal Kombat was the most prominent “new fighter” of ’92. Now there was a radical shift in gaming! Kangaroo might have punched out a monkey, but, for better or worse, she never tore the head off of an opponent. And look at all those buttons! “Punch” is a thing of the past: Sub-Zero had a variety of punches, kicks, and fireballs (well, snowballs) at his disposal. You didn’t just need an instruction manual for your average fighting game, you needed a strategy guide (thanks, Nintendo Power!).

Good bless QBertBut while we’re considering strategy, let us also consider Super Mario Kart. Mario had cameoed in a sports title here or there over the years (he got really good at Golf, apparently), but he mostly just starred in his own adventures that involved running and jumping. Super Mario Kart was a great success as a fun racing game, but it also showcased how a videogame mascot could shift all their normal “verbs”, but still be unmistakably that familiar mascot. Mushrooms can make you super tall, or they can give you a speed boost. Turtle shells can become projectiles divorced from their turtles. And anyone that has ever played any Mario Kart knows the difference between a Starman that allows you to mow down goombas and one that allows you to speed to the finish line. Mario Kart showed that even the most rigidly defined mascot could be anything, and paved the way for the Sonic Racing or unprecedented crossovers of today.

And then there was Q*Bert for Gameboy, and Q*Bert 3 for Super Nintendo, both released in 1992. Q*Bert only need move from block to block in a generally diagonal manner. He changes block colors simply by touching blocks, and his only “offensive option” is baiting a malevolent snake into a bottomless pit. Q*Bert does not have a bonus jump, six punch buttons, or other abilities. Q*Bert simply hops. Sometimes there are a variety of new colors and backgrounds, though. You know, at least on the system that has color.

Let’s hop forward seven years. By the time 1999 rolled around, the “mascot wars” of the previous console generation had concluded, and newcomer Sony was riding high with the Playstation and the serious, cinematic Final Fantasy franchise. This was the year we were finally going to see the sequel to Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy: Whatever, and it pushed the boundaries for what was expected of the JRPG genre. Have you ever heard of Triple Triad? Guardian Forces? Dog Missiles? If you haven’t, don’t worry about it, it was all only around for one game, but it did establish that you could have complicated battle systems that were only relevant for one title. Fight, magic, item wasn’t the only fish in the sea, anymore, let’s get ready to get some gambits up in here!

Go QBert!This was also a time when gaming was getting more serious… but “serious” as more of a teenager’s definition. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater allowed a “real human” avatar to perform intricate skateboarding tricks in a universe that apparently had unlimited and instant healthcare. Silent Hill allowed a player to explore the depths of the human psyche in a world that was going to be complete in a few years with the introduction of a certain pyramid headed fellow that really knew how to swing around half a pair of scissors. Or maybe you just wanted to be the Driver, and cruise around realistic (enough) cities? In a way, these games were just as big on the fantasy as Mario (no, you cannot drive a car into a building in reality and continue to have a good time), but they were a lot more “real” than anything Pitfall Harry ever did.

And if you wanted some fantasy, don’t worry, you still had the likes of Ape Escape or Donkey Kong 64 to hold you over. DK64 saw the collectathon at its most… collecty, and showcased all the different ways Kongs can run, jump, and shoot on their way to an ultimate goal of wringing out 12,000,000 (monotonous) hours of gameplay. And Ape Escape was no simple monkey game, it was a sneak and capture event closer to Metal Gear than Donkey Kong. Even visually “childish” games in 1999 weren’t so simple.

And then there was Q*Bert for Playstation. Q*Bert only need move from block to block in a generally diagonal manner. He changes block colors simply by touching blocks, and his only “offensive option” is baiting a malevolent snake into a bottomless pit. Q*Bert does not have a bonus jump, “punch”, or other abilities. Q*Bert simply hops. This time there was an adventure mode, but that was just an excuse to stick cinema scenes on either side of a world. Everything else was just Q*Bert hops.

BERT!The following five years allowed for a number of innovations in gaming. In 2004 we saw Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was the first Grand Theft Auto to feature extensive customization to its grand, open world. It also had planes, bazookas, and the opportunity for your C.J. to cosplay as The Notorious B.I.G. for the entire adventure. It is arguable that this Grand Theft Auto went too far into the whacky territory after its sequels eventually tried to rein everything back in with sad Russians in GTA4 and sad dads in GTA5, but the Saints Row franchise carried that whacky football straight to the end zone. Gaming had started goofy, become serious, and then migrated back to goofy all over again.

And speaking of marginally goofy, this was the year we saw Fable, which touted a rich morality system and a story that was different every time you played it. Did that actually happen? Well, not really, but it did seemingly start the trend of games that bet their whole asses on save baby/eat baby morality. It was no longer enough to run, jump, and punch; now you had to determine whether or not you were doing all those things while simultaneously becoming Mecha Hitler. Or Mecha Mother Theresa? You’ve got choices!

But on the simpler side of things, there was Katamari Damacy. This straightforward little game featured a protagonist that could only roll around a ball, but that ball could grow from the size of a paperclip to roughly the girth of a galaxy. And, more importantly than the gameplay, it was released for a whole $20, kickstarting the (now standard) belief that not every videogame had to be a AAA, 40 hour feature. Before internet connections fully graduated from 56K, Katamari Damacy showed us a glimpse of the future of downloadable titles.

Eat it!And speaking of downloadable, this year also saw an official Flash (RIP) version of Q*Bert. In a game that would be ported to “real” Windows a year later, Q*Bert only need move from block to block in a generally diagonal manner. He changes block colors simply by touching blocks, and his only “offensive option” is baiting a malevolent snake into a bottomless pit. Q*Bert does not have a bonus jump, “punch”, or other abilities. Q*Bert simply hops. At least this Q*venture was free.

Now we fast-forward a decade to 2014. What innovations did this year hold for gaming? Well, we wound up skipping the exact year for a lot of big’uns from this epoch, so we’re left with staring straight at Dark Souls 2. Did you ever hear about Dark Souls? It’s the Dark Souls of Bloodborne games. Love it or hate it, Dark Souls impacted gaming in more ways than we will ever admit, arguably revitalizing the general gameplay of the rogue-like and encouraging increasing your own personal gaming skills while marginally leveling up your chosen hero. In a similar manner, this was the year we saw Bayonetta 2, a shining example of the likewise “hardcore” stylish action genre. Gaming could be slow and methodical or fast and elegant, but, in both cases, it was a little more complicated than guiding a puck through a maze.

And if you still wanted the mascots of yore, don’t worry, they were represented, too. If you wanted to see everybody fight everybody, Super Smash Bros 4 WiiU/3DS was released in 2014. Smash Bros was always a shining example of videogame protagonists leaving their usual genre and sailing into something completely different (Star Fox left his ship!), but Smash 4 would eventually grow and mutate to be a veritable yearbook of every character that had ever mattered in gaming (sorry, Geno, you don’t matter). And if you wanted something new from “cartoony” characters, this was also the year that Shovel Knight proved Kickstarting retro platformers was wholly viable, and could have amazing, enduring results. Come to think of it, Shovel Knight was partially inspired by Dark Souls, too…

CHOOSE YOUR FIGHTERBut there was one game released that year that was not inspired by Dark Souls. Q*Bert Rebooted, seemingly rebooted to promote an Adam Sandler vehicle, was a game where Q*Bert only need move from block to block in a generally diagonal manner. He changes block colors simply by touching blocks, and his only “offensive option” is baiting a malevolent snake into a bottomless pit. Q*Bert does not have a bonus jump, shovel, or other abilities. Q*Bert simply hops. He also hopped to nearly every platform available, so this one is still downloadable on modern consoles.

And Q*Bert returned for the most recent time in 2019 for iOS. Do we need to review the gaming breakthroughs of such a recent year? Fire Emblem: Three Houses and its perfect blend of chess and dating simulation? Super Mario Maker 2 and its ability to grant the player full creative control over familiar gameplay? Untitled Goose Game and its goose? Whatever the hell happens in Sekiro? (I gather it is a photography simulator.) 2019 was an amazing year for gaming where we not only had all this, but also Q*Bert. And what did Q*Bert do? He moved from block to block in a generally diagonal manner. He changed blocks colors. He baited a snake into a pit. Q*Bert only knows hops.

He was Q*Bert. He is Q*Bert. The face of gaming may irrevocably change, but Q*Bert is Q*Bert forever.

@!#?

FGC #562 Q*Bert

  • Go lil buddySystem: I’m pretty sure the lil’ Bert appeared on nearly every console system, give or take a few outliers. Playstation 2? Sega Genesis? And I’m pretty sure he wasn’t on Atari Lynx, either. Other than that, there’s probably some Q*Bert in some form on your preferred console.
  • Number of players: One Q*Bert, but two people can take turns if they are so inclined.
  • Don’t make a sound: Q*Bert’s claim to fame has always been the bizarre recordings that approximate the sound an orange monster man might make when brained with a purple marble. Unfortunately, playing Q*Bert in the year 2021 just reminds me that I never want to hear from a belligerent orange creature ever again.
  • Hey, what about Q*Bert’s Qubes: The only Q*Bert to truly mix up traditional Q*Bert gameplay was… not all that different. It basically just added the idea of “rotating” cubes according to the direction Q*Bert hops (as opposed to one simple, all-purpose tap), and added a handful of new enemies (there may have been a crab). Other than that, the way it “separated” the blocks made the game a lot more difficult to visually parse, and there’s probably a reason this Q*title is generally forgotten and ignored.
  • Did you know? Q*Bert for Playstation started with a cinema scene based in Q*Bert’s blocky little world. Weird thing? His weirdass universe looks a lot like modern Minecraft. Did Steve colonize Q*World? Is that the secret origin of the franchise?
  • Would I play again: Q*Bert is great for a whole five minutes before you remember it’s just goddamned Q*Bert. I will probably waste those five minutes again in the future.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Wallachia Reign of Dracula! Or did ROB actually choose Bloodstained: Classic Mode? Actually, it’s both! We’re going to have a double header next! Please look forward to it!

GO FOR IT!