Dynamic Duos: Jak and Daxter

Warning! The following will contain major spoilers for the original video game trilogy Jak and Daxter.

Greetings from GuardianTree12!

jak and daxter

Of all the games I played in my childhood, the Jak and Daxter trilogy has to be my favorite. Jak and Daxter are the most fun and bad-ass heroic duo I know, and I consider them to be one of the best. They complement each other perfectly. Jak is bold and serious, but is easily angered and a little rash. Still, he always does his best to help out his friends. Daxter isn’t as brave as Jak but I wouldn’t call him cowardly, he has his own brand of courage. He’s more lighthearted than Jak often making sarcastic remarks (though both can be sarcastic at times), telling tall tales, or hitting on women. He’s the perfect example of a good comic relief character.

Human Daxter

No offence Daxter, but you look better as an ottsel.

It is implied that Jak and Daxter have been friends since childhood, but we never know how they meet or became friends. Still, they have a very strong bond and have more of a brotherly relationship (I like to think of them as brothers). Except in the spin-off game, Daxter, and when Jak was in prison, Jak and Daxter are always seen together.

Their adventure begins when Jak and Daxter go to Misty Island against Samos’s orders. There, Jak accidentally knocks Daxter into a pit of dark eco. Daxter comes out as a ferret/weasel thing called an ottsel. They travel around the world to find a way to change Daxter back to his original form, but they don’t. They do find something that may or may not change him back but Daxter reluctantly decides to use it against the main villains of the game, Gol and Mia. Even though Jak is the cause of Daxter’s transformation, he doesn’t blame him too much and eventually he learns to deal with it.

dark jak

I will eat your babies!

Now Jak in the first game was a completely different Jak than the Jak in the last two games. He was kinder and not as rash but he still brave and he loved adventure. But he had very little personality; he was mostly just an avatar the player controlled. Jak become his own character in the sequel, Jak 2. At the beginning of this game, Jak, Daxter, Keira, and Samos are sent to another world and get separated. Jak gets captured and is experimented on. Even though it takes two years, Daxter does manage to rescue him. Though when he does, he learns very quickly that Jak has changed. Through the dark eco experiments, Jak has gained the ability to transform into “dark Jak,” but it’s not under his full control. The rest of the game has our heroes trying to find their back home while also trying to get revenge on the Baron. Eventually, they find out that the world they were sent to is actually their world in the future. At the end, they find out that they can’t go back to the past because the boy they met at the beginning was actually young Jak, and he and young Samos are the ones who need to go back to the past. Don’t think about it too much, time travel is always confusing. But our heroes are more than happy to stay with all the new friends (and let’s not forget all the new toys they collected) over the course of the game.

jak 3 ending

Life is good.

In Jak 3, it seems that the people of Haven are not too happy about having a mutant rage monster in their city, so they throw Jak into the desert. Jak doesn’t want Daxter to be banished with him but Daxter tags along anyway, proving once again how inseparable these two are. Luckily, they are rescued by the Wastelanders of the desert city Spargus. The rest of the game has our heroes trying to clear their name by saving Haven, Spargus, and the world from rampaging robots, bloodthirsty Metal Heads, Dark Precursors, and a crazed cyborg. Jak also gains new dark eco powers as well as light eco powers over the course of the game, which is pretty cool because you get to stop time and fly! At the end of the game, Jak has the chance to explore the universe with the Precursors, but he decides to remain behind with Daxter, who stays because he now has two things he’s been wanting since game one: pants and a girlfriend. It is then suggested that they go on many new and exciting adventures together.

dark daxter

I mean Dark Daxter? Really? I think some things are best left in fan-fiction.

I had always hoped Naughty Dog would at least make one more Jak and Daxter game (I wasn’t impressed with High Impact’s Lost Frontier) that wasn’t a racing game but alas this never happened. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. But I am pretty satisfied with Jak 3’s ending and at least there’s the remastered HD version. I love Jak and Daxter and I love their games. They are fun and simple, and these two characters add a certain charm to their games that I find it impossible not to love them. Even now I still enjoy playing this trilogy from time to time, even though I know where everything is, how to beat all the challenges, and how the stories and the characters progress. I just love them and I think they are worth playing over and over again.

GuardianTree12 out!

Advertisements

Dynamic Duos: Isaac and Miria

Warning! The following will have major spoilers for the anime Baccano!

isaac and miria on trainGreetings from GuardianTree12!

So you think every story needs a beginning, middle and end? Ha! How naïve you are! Baccano! has no definite beginning or end and the story jumps from time period to time period and from character to character, so the story is very loose. And that’s the point, it introduces you all these characters and then takes you on all their adventures in a nonlinear fashion as you try to fit all of the pieces of the story together. It does have some drama and suspense in it but Baccano! is more like a fun joyride rather than an inspiring journey of love and sacrifice and hope. And while I do love inspiring dramatic and suspenseful stories, I love dark comedy more, and Baccano! is a perfect example of dark comedy. No, Baccano is THE dark comedy, It’s my favorite anime next to Fullmetal Alchemist.

baccano baseballbandits

Stealing from the mafia with baseball bats… epic.

But enough about Baccano! as a story or genre, this is a character analysis, dynamic duo analysis to be exact. Baccano! is more character oriented than story oriented, so it has a lot of great characters and character duos. But I chose to talk about Isaac and Miria because, well, they’re my favorite characters in this series. They’re the most fun out of all of them, and  I think the best scenes are the ones with Isaac and Miria in them. If things are getting too hairy, you can always count on Isaac and Miria to lighten the mood.

Isaac Miria dressed up

Why? Don’t ask why, this is Baccano! screw logic and consistency.

Isaac and Miria are two very odd lovers that also happen to be robbers. The two have a very strange sense of logic. For example, they believe that a train robbery consists of using the train to get to their destination, performing the robbery, and then using the train to escape. They also like to dress up in various costumes as they are carrying out their heists which can range from stealing millions of dollars from a mafia family to stealing the door of a museum. The two are very upbeat and they don’t seem to be affected by what’s happening around them, which may be why they’re so successful in almost everything they do despite how illogical they are. They later become immortal after mistaking an immortality elixir for a bottle of liquor, but they don’t realize they’re immortal until about seventy years later.

Isaac and Mira may be idiots but they’re loveable idiots.

GuardianTree12 out!

Dynamic Duos: Edward and Alphonse

Warning! The following will have major spoilers for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist.

ed and al

Greetings from GuardianTree12!

One of my favorite animes of all time has to be Fullmetal Alchemist the original anime (I haven’t seen Brotherhood but it’s on my list of animes to watch before I die). There are so many aspects I love about this anime- the setting, the music, but most of all the characters. There are a lot of good, strong characters in this show that I love but the strongest out of all of them are the Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse. The bond between these brothers is the strongest brotherly bond I’ve seen in any story, and they might possibly have the strongest bond of any two characters period.

al disappearing

Brother, I’m starting to think this was a bad idea!

Their journey begins when after their mother dies, they try to bring her back with alchemy. Human transmutation is forbidden, but hey they’re kids, kids break the rules all the time. Their plan of course backfires, resulting in Alphonse losing his entire body and Edward losing a leg. Edward then gives up his arm to rescue Al’s soul and trap it in a suit of armor. Afterward, Ed’s arm and leg are replaced by a mechanical arm and leg. Edward becomes a state alchemist so he and his brother can look for the philosopher’s stone with the army’s help. Their ultimate goal is to use the stone to get their bodies back so they can go back to living their normal lives. The journey they go through, the friends and enemies they meet, and the tragedies they endure challenge and attempt to shatter their bond but they always pull through, proving time and time again that their love, brotherly love not romantic love, for each other is unbreakable.

Edward is the older of the two and he’s the one who becomes the state alchemist, thus he has more responsibility and is more mature and rational than the two. He’s very protective of his brother- in fact he doesn’t let Alphonse become a state alchemist because he doesn’t want his brother to be used by the army and he loses his arm on more than one occasion trying to protect him- and he often feels guilty for Al’s current state (well it was his fault). He’s also against killing, seeing that all life has value, but of course he is forced to kill off two characters: Greed and Sloth (who is the homunculus of his mother in the original anime). He can be overconfident, sarcastic, and a little stubborn at times but overall he’s very rational. Alphonse is the younger of the brothers but he’s not exactly immature he’s just very sweet and trusting. He’s still a child so it’s harder for him to accept death and sacrifice. He is good at alchemy though, almost as good as Edward, but he needs a transmutation circle. He’s also good at hand-to-hand combat so he does most of the non-alchemy fighting. Both brothers are very kind-hearted and will stop to help out anyone who needs their help.

failed transmutation

Yes, Al, I cut off my own limbs, wrote your seal in my own blood, and went on a journey to find something that we may or may not ever find because so I could have an imaginary friend.

But while I love Fullmetal Alchemist, it isn’t perfect (nothing is) and there are a few things that really annoy me about this anime. The first deals with Alphonse. After the brothers discover a secret laboratory, they go there in the hopes of finding more information on the Philosopher’s Stone. They get separated and Al ends up having to fight off Barry the Chopper. I don’t know if this happens in the manga or Brotherhood, but during the fight Barry tells Al he doesn’t really exist and Edward just made him up out of his own memories. And Al believes him. Al believes the word of a murdering psychopath, who tried to kill Edward and is now trying to kill him, over his own brother. After the laboratory incident, Al goes all emo and runs away. I know that Al is young and naïve and it was stated earlier that he was having trouble remembering things but having him instantly trust the word of a psychopath makes him seem really, really really, really, really, really, really, really stupid. But at least this doesn’t last long and Al is eventually convinced that he really is Edward’s brother.

ed last transmutation

We’ll just keep on doing this until it works.

The second thing I didn’t like about the anime was the ending. Towards the end, Alphonse is transformed into the philosopher’s stone and then is captured by the homunculi. Edward had to rescue him and in this attempt, he is killed. Alphonse uses the philosopher’s stone to resurrect Edward. He succeeds, but then his mechanical body is used up in the process. After Edward is resurrected, he uses his body to resurrect Al. He is able to get back Al’s soul and human body, but instead of dying, he gets trapped in the parallel world on the other side of the Gate of Truth. So in the end, they only got half of what they wanted, Al’s body, and the two are separated. But at least they get back together at the end of Fullmetal Alchemist movie The Conqueror of Shamballa, so I’m not too disappointed with the ending.

Ed and Al back together

Together again.

Still, despite its flaws, I love Fullmetal Alchemist and I highly recommend it. The bond of these two brothers is really inspiring. Look up Fullmetal Alchemist OST: Brothers on YouTube. This song sums up their struggles, their regrets, and most of all their love for each other.

GuardianTree12 out.

Dynamic Duos: Tidus and Yuna

   Warning! The following will contain major spoilers for the video game Final Fantasy 10.Yuna and Tidus

Greetings from GuardianTree12!

tidus and yuna laugh

Though I will admit this scene is weird.

Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, so I thought for my next analysis I will discuss one of my favorite duos in all of Fictiondom (Fiction + Kingdom). But why stop with just one duo analysis? For the next two weeks, I will be discussing couples who I think shared the most interesting and/or inspiring bonds. Not all of these dynamic duo analyses will be about romantic couples because even though I’m a girl, I’m not into romance that much and romance isn’t the only bond two people share. I might talk about the bond between two best friends, or the bond between mother and daughter, father and son, brothers or sisters. Any two characters who shared a bond that left the most impact on me I will talk about. So without further ado, here is my first Dynamic Duo Analysis.
Tidus and Yuna, this will probably be the only romantic couple analysis that I will do because like I said before, I don’t like romance that much. Most of the time I find them either completely boring, pointless, cliché, and unrealistic (Romeo and Juliet), or mind-numbingly annoying (Sonic and Amy). And stories that focus on romance is just torture to me. But what I like about Tidus and Yuna’s relationship is that it isn’t the focus of the story, sure it’s still a major part of the story, but their journey together is nothing short of inspiring and it isn’t the “love at first sight” cliché we see all the time.

Their relationship begins when after Tidus arrives on the island of Besaid, a priest expresses his concerns to Wakka about a summoner (Yuna) that has been in the Cloister of Trials for three days. Also concerned, Tidus enters the Cloister of Trials to look for the summoner despite protests from both the priest and Wakka. Once at the end of the Trials, he sees that the summoner is not some wise old man as he expected the summoner to be but a young, teenage girl. They talk briefly that night, nothing big or spectacular or romantic, just a short introduction. Afterwards he joins Yuna on her pilgrimage but doesn’t officially become part of the group until after the tournament in Luca. He only joins then to face his father who he has just learned is Sin, the monster rampaging across Spira and the whole reason for the summoners and their pilgrimages, and because he can’t really do anything else. Tidus is a stranger in a strange land; he really has no place to go except with the group. He grows closer to Yuna as the journey goes on because she is the only one he seems to believe he really is from Zanarkand and because he is curious of her status and powers as a summoner. And she grows closer to him because she is curious about his Zanarkand and because his father was one of her father’s guardians.

tidus fades away

Irony is a bitch.

After Yuna is captured by the Al Bhed, Tidus becomes really guilty for talking so nonchalant about Zanarkand and the end of their journey when he learns that all summoners die when they defeat Sin. Then after the group obtains the airship, rescues Yuna, and escapes Bevelle, Tidus apologizes to Yuna and promises to help her defeat Sin without her dying. Their relationship is then kind of put on hold for a while. At the end of the game after defeating Sin for the final time, Yuna confesses her love for him as he fades away. This scene here is the saddest event in the game and possibly one of the saddest moments in gaming history.

Image

If this guy was my father, I’d hate him too.

Yuna and Tidus have the most character development in the game. At the beginning of the game, Yuna is shown to be kind and strong willed but she only acts like this because she feels she has to. A lot of pressure is put on her because she is both a summoner and Braska’s daughter; deep down, she’s just as scared of dying as anyone else is and she’s really unsure of herself. Her speech after the end of the final battle indicates she now has confidence in herself and shows how much she has matured. Tidus is young and naïve (they both are) and a little bit of a crybaby, but you’ve got to respect a guy who continues to fight even after learning that at the end of the battle, his very existence will be wiped out. He fights not to save the world or because it’s the right thing to do, but because if he doesn’t, Yuna will die and he’ll never get over his daddy issues. It’s sad that they don’t end up together but their growing bond and the way they help each other overcome their own personal obstacles is really inspiring.

Yuna FFX2

Burn abomination! Burn!

And I know that Tidus comes back at the end of X-2 but you have to complete a certain amount of the game for that to happen and once that sad excuse of a game, I guarantee you will destroy the game and everything it touched, imagine a slow, agonizing, gruesome death on all of the characters you once cherished, and wage an all-out ragewar against SquareEnix within the first five minutes of playing. Besides, resurrecting Tidus takes away the impact the end of the last game had.

GuardianTree12 out.

Character Analysis: Spyro the Dragon

Warning! The following will contain some spoilers for the Spyro franchise.

spyro the dragonGreetings from GuardianTree12!

The original Spyro trilogy was one of my favorite game series as a kid. It was simple yet fun and I still enjoy playing these games today. The music was upbeat, and the artwork was pretty good for a PlayStation 1 game. I loved exploring all the worlds and collecting gems. But the main thing I like about these games is- you guessed it- Spyro the Dragon.

Spyro is the hero of these games (obviously) and is often accompanied by a yellow dragonfly named Sparx, who acts as his health bar. He is a young, purple dragon who’s always looking for an adventure. He’s very upbeat and often sarcastic and a little rash. He will help people who ask for his help, but I think he mostly does it because he thinks it will be fun. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about what’s going on, he just wants to have fun while he’s saving the world. He makes friends easily and is very protective of them. Sometimes he’s a little stubborn but overall he’s a pretty likeable fellow.

The Spyro in the PlayStation 3 trilogy is a completely different character (which is one of the many things I hated about the new series). He’s no longer as sarcastic or stubborn; he’s now more serious and has a “take charge” kind of attitude. He’s very caring and selfless, and he works hard to save the world. All these are noble qualities, but what made the Spyro games so great was that Spyro wasn’t the typical hero. He fun and upbeat and he never worried much, which made the game fun and upbeat.

And that’s all there really is to say about Spyro. He’s fun and I love him.

GuardianTree12 out.

Character Analysis: Cat

Greeting from GuardianTree12!

red dwarf cat

How am I looking?

tongue tied

Tongue tied, one of my favorite Red Dwarf scenes.

I know I said I was going to talk about Spyro in my last post, but I was watching Red Dwarf the other day and I decided to do an analysis on one of the characters (don’t worry I’ll do Spyro next I promise). Red Dwarf was a British Comedy back in the 80s, and it is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. It takes place on a mining ship called Red Dwarf where everyone onboard was killed by a radiation leak, everyone except for Dave Lister who was in stasis when the accident occurred. After three million years, the radiation levels are safe enough to let Lister out of stasis. Holly, the AI of Red Dwarf, creates a hologram of Arnold Rimmer, Lister’s roommate, so Lister won’t go crazy from loneliness. The only problem is the two despise each other. Later on, they find a creature they refer to as Cat who is the subject of this analysis (even later on, a robot called Kryten and officer Kochanski join the team).

cat

Cat’s first appearance.

While I do think all the characters on this show this show are hilarious, I’m going to talk about Cat because I think he’s the funniest (just note that the Cat is not my favorite of this show as I love all the characters on this show, so I don’t have a favorite). The Cat is a member of this human-cat race that descended from Frankenstein, Lister’s cat that he had stored away in the cargo hold. He doesn’t particularly care about what’s going on or for the well-being of the other crew members, preferring to bask in his own coolness, though as the series goes on, he becomes more involved. He wears the weirdest and most flashy outfits and takes great care to make sure he’s always looking sharp. He often claims that he is so beautiful, any woman will love him.

He’s just so cool and eccentric that you have to love him. And that’s all there really is to say about him. I think he’s hilarious. The show is hilarious and definitely worth checking out. I promise you, you will laugh for days after seeing the first few episodes.

GuardianTree12 out!

Character Analysis: Misa

Warning! The following will have major spoilers for the anime Death Note (again).

Greetings from GuardianTree12!

I was going to talk about Spyro but since my last two posts were about characters from Death Note, I decided to finish the Death Note series with Misa Amane… I don’t know what I was thinking but here it goes.

light annoyed

Don’t worry, Light, it could always be worse! People could be writing bad fanfiction about you and L- oh wait.

Recap of the last two analyses: Light/Kira is the main character/villain of Death Note who finds a Death Note and uses it to rid the world of criminals and become the god of the new world. L is a super-smart detective that tries to stop him. So how does this Misa fit in? Well Misa is a fashion model who is obsessed with finding Kira because he killed the man who killed her family. Once she finds him, she becomes completely devoted to him and declares herself Light’s girlfriend. Even though Light finds her completely annoying (I don’t blame him), he decides to use her to further his plans since she has the Shinigami Eyes. The Shinigami Eyes allows anyone with a Death Note to see the names and lifespans of he or she meets, and for an object that needs the name and face of a person in order to kill that person, the Shinigami Eyes is a really useful power to have. Light did not get this power because the user needs to trade half of his or her remaining lifespan to their Shinigami partner, and that’s not beneficial to someone who wants to be a god.

I think this is the only reason Misa is introduced to the story. They needed someone to make the eye deal or else why bring it up in the first place if no one is going to use it? It seems like whoever would make the eye deal would be unstoppable and be either a dangerous enemy of Light or a useful partner, adding a lot of suspense. And when Misa is first introduced, she doesn’t disappoint. She takes over a TV station in an attempt to contact Kira and kills all those who try to enter the building and a number of other people. She even manages to scare L which is no easy feat. So she seems like a smart, coldblooded woman.

Misa in pink

Nice subtlety.

Then it turns out she’s just an overly-obsessed fan-girl. Once her true identity is revealed to Light and the audience, she becomes a comic-relief, fanservice character (the two worst character combinations ever!). I wouldn’t mind that so much but most of the comic-relief revolves around her obsession with Light and her air-headedness and it’s constantly shoved in your face. It’s just annoying! Annoying! Annoying! She sucks out all of the seriousness of a scene whenever she’s shown. She’s also not good at covering her tracks. L finds out pretty quickly that Misa is the second Kira, resulting in being captured and Light having to come up with an elaborate plan to save her.

Gelus dies

Don’t do it, Gelus, she’s not worth it!

Rem's death

Farewell, Rem, you shall be missed.

Not to mention two Shinigami die because of her. Before Misa finds Light, Rem, her Shinigami partner, tells her about Gelus’s death. Gelus was a Shinigami who spent all day watching a certain human girl (I know sounds like a total creeper but he’s actually really sweet!). He eventually fell in love with her and even saved her from a really crazy stalker by writing the stalker’s name down in his Death Note. As a result, Gelus was turned to dust since Shinigami are meant to shorten lives not extend them. Rem reveals that the girl he saved was her, Misa, and that the Death Note she’s using is actually Gelus’s. Later on, Rem dies after Light tricks her into believing that Misa will die if she does not help him. When this happened, I was really pissed that both  Gelus and Rem died for this one annoying, stupid, useless, annoying girl. Did I mention annoying? Rem had a motherly attitude towards Misa and always watched out for her and even threatened to kill Light if he ever harmed her. And Misa doesn’t even care when she dies. She doesn’t say thank you, she doesn’t have a moment of silence for her, and she never even mentions her name. No, she’s far too busy obsessing over Light to care.

Misa interrogation

Really, L? Was that really necessary?

Now, I did feel sorry for her when L captured her and when Light was manipulating her. And at least she helped capture Kyosuki Huguchi. But I think Death Note would have been a lot better without Misa or if she was more likable. Death Note is still one of my favorite animes of all time despite this.

takada

Hell, I feel sorry for whoever talks to Light.

Well that’s all for Death Note. GuardianTree12 out.