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!


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.


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.