Gaming Post 29: Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

The random number generator has determined that the next game I should write about is Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.

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Wario Land is an interesting game in that it continued an existing series by transforming it. It is the last game in the Mario Land series as well as the first in the Wario Land one. You play as Wario, who was the main antagonist in the previous game, Super Mario Land 2.

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I bought this game from the 3DS Nintendo eshop when I was bored, along with Mario Land 1, Wario Land 2 and Wario Land 3. I already had Mario Land 2 from an eshop sale.

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After finishing Mario Land 2, PAX East 2014 happened. I didn’t have a Ticket for the Friday, but I did meet my friend Absol from the Internet outside the venue that day. I then sat for a few hours and streetpassed with people who were in line to get in. This campaign finally ended when my 3DS ran out of battery power and I decided to take the train home.

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When I got home, I was experiencing gaming withdrawal. Though it was true that I had been playing the Mii Plaza games Puzzle Swap and Warrior’s Way, I had only played them so intently that day because PAX East presented me with an opportunity to progress faster in those games than I usually could. That said, you can only play the street pass games for so long before they stop being fun.

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That afternoon, I played through the entirety of Super Mario Land 1 and then started Super Wario Land.

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“Best adventure yet”? More like “Shortest adventure yet”!

Super Wario Land is pretty easy, even without Restore Points, but I did use them for the sake of convenience. I ran into a problem early on in the game that taught me to be careful with restore points. I had accidentally created a restore point at a moment in the game when Wario was healthy, but there was no possible way to survive to the end of the level (there was a moving platform I was supposed to have jumped off of). This taught me that there are dangers to using restore points, and one should always be careful in their use.

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Wario Land 1 plays similarly to regular Super Mario games. Wario can obtain power ups like the Dragon, Bull or Jet to traverse levels differently or attack enemies more easily. If you get hit by an enemy, just like in Super Mario, you lose your power up, and if hit again, you become “Tiny Wario”. If Tiny Wario gets hit, it’s a death.

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Following Wario’s defeat in Mario Land 2, Wario wants to build a new castle. To pay for it, he decides to steal treasure from pirates.

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He eventually duels with Captain Syrup, the leader of the pirates, and her genie.

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After he wins, the genie builds Wario a new castle. Depending on how well you do collecting treasure, you get ranked at the end by how big the castle is.

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The genie built me a birdhouse.

Wario is a character defined by his flaws. In that way, he’s a much more believable character than his doppelgänger Mario. This game introduced his greed, and other games would feature his sloth and gluttony. Greed is his primary personality trait, because that’s what motivates him to get off the couch once in a while.

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The only Wario Land game that I haven’t beaten yet is the one they made immediately after this one, which was for the Nintendo Virtual Boy gaming system. The process of writing this article incited me to bite the bullet and order a Virtual Boy gaming system online along with the Wario Land title for it. I’ll hopefully play it soon.

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Even 9-Volt has a Virtual Boy. I wonder if he has Wario Land.

Through the process of writing this article, it can be said that my life has been slightly affected by a random number generator. Thanks for Reading! I Appreciate it!

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Gaming Post 28: Pokémon Platinum Version

The random number generator has determined that the next gaming article I should write should be about what was probably the most important video game in my online career. That game was Pokémon Platinum Version, and I recorded an entire live action adventure when I originally played it in Spring of 2009.

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I’m not sure if my words can do justice in describing what the release of Pokémon Platinum meant to me and what my friends and I did following its release, but I will try. To make a long story short, I had decided to start over catching all 493 Pokémon that existed back then without trading with anything besides game files that I created after the release of Platinum. The main reason I did this was to ensure that, when I would eventually complete the Pokédex, none of my Pokémon would have been created due to cheating. Since people are technically able to create cheated Pokémon or clone previously legitimate ones (thus making both the copy and the original cheated), and they can also trade those Pokémon to people who don’t know that they are cheated, who can (without even knowing) offer a cheated Pokémon to you or a Pokémon who is descended from the cheated Pokémon via breeding, the internet is not a safe place to obtain Pokémon when you want to maintain 100% legitimacy.

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Not only did I reset my adventure for the sake of legitimacy, but also for the sake of honor. I wanted to prove that I could catch all of the Pokémon by myself and become a Pokémon Master.

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Trainer Zelgerath, @Zelgerath on Twitter

To see the full details of my endeavor, please watch the embedded video. It’s pretty long, but it took several months of work to create. It all started on March 22, 2009. There were a few surprises here and there along the way, but I don’t want to spoil them, so here’s the video in its entirety. Enjoy!

After catching every Pokémon available in the Sinnoh Region, there were only a few left I needed to catch, and as Summer vacation had just started, I went on a continuation of the quest to obtain all the Pokémon that at that time had to come from older games. I called it The Platinum MasterQuest, and it can be viewed below. Again, it’s long, but several months of work went into it, and I honestly think it’s worth a view if you liked the video above.

The video ends just before Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver’s release, with only Celebi missing from my Pokédex, but that’s a story to be concluded in another article on Zelgerath.com! =)

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Celebi’s empty space bothered me for years.

One thing I really liked about the game Pokémon Platinum itself was its inclusion of an alternate dimension called The Distortion World. It was only featured for a short amount of time during the story, but I thought it was pretty neat.

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Here’s a silly Assassin’s Creed and Pokémon Platinum crossover picture I made. Pokémon Platinum features The Distortion World, the home of Giratina, where the laws of physics don’t apply.

Thanks for Reading/Watching! I Appreciate it! =D

Gaming Post 27: Ice Climber

The random number generator has chosen for me to write about the first game I finished after starting this website. The game I finished right after I purchased Zelgerath.com was Ice Climber!

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Right after “beating Duck Hunt” (See my article about the endeavor) I was in an NES Virtual Console mood. Most NES games weren’t designed to be beaten, but to go on indefinitely like an arcade game, yet I am still able to find ways of defining for myself when I have beaten a game like that. I’m also pretty lax about it; Barring the occasional exception, I’m not really into beating games to 100% completion anymore, and I also use restore points when they are available if they make a difficult task much more possible for me to overcome.

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I say this to note that I am not actually good at Ice Climber, but I was patient enough to struggle through the 32 mountains in the game using the Wii U Virtual Console’s restore point feature.

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As daunting a task as beating all of the Nintendo games might be, it’s best to think about it one character/series at a time. Part of why I beat Duck Hunt in such an enthusiastic rush was that Duck Hunt is the only game in its series, so when I finished the game I also finished all of the games associated with an entire fighter in Super Smash Brothers. Following my Duck Hunt achievement, I remembered that the Ice Climbers were cut from the most recent version of Super Smash Brothers, so I decided that it was time to take on the entire Ice Climber series (which is only one game long) to avenge them.

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And avenge them I did… Ice Climber is essentially a vertical Mario game. Instead of going from left to right, the Ice Climber goes from bottom to top. His weapon is a hammer, which helps a little bit, but most of the challenge is very precise platforming. I found the platforming to be archaic and difficult; The jumping in the first Super Mario Bros. was much better. There were many times in Ice Climber when I had to jump a gap and it looked like I made it, but didn’t because the visual area of the ice climber didn’t correspond with what the game considered his location to be. Luckily, I knew this was a problem with the game and so I used lots of restore points at moments like that and at other dangerous parts.

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In the course of a few days, I slowly made my way to the summit of every mountain in the game, always successfully reaching the bonus Pterodactyl at the top because my use of restore points made me the master of time and space.

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Yes, I know. I’m a total cheater.

The mountains got more and more treacherous the further I went, but after I climbed the 32nd mountain, I was brought back to the first one. Like an arcade game, Ice Climber never ends until you get a Game Over, but I knew I was done and so added Ice Climber to my list of beaten games.

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Also, concerning the Ice Climbers’ absence in the newest Super Smash Bros. game, I think that they will come back, if not as DLC then in the next installment. The only reason they were cut from Smash Bros. 4 is that presumably the original 3DS couldn’t handle 4 players playing as 4 different sets of Ice Climbers fighting at the same time without significant lag, which could potentially happen if players were allowed to fight as them in the game. I’m sure the Wii U could handle even 8 sets of Ice Climbers fighting, but Nintendo probably wanted the same fighters in the Wii U version to be available in the 3DS version, so they canceled their appearance this time.

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But once they bring the Ice Climbers back to Smash Bros (and they will), I’m sure they’ll also make an Ice Climbers Amiibo.

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Thanks for Reading! I appreciate it! =D

Gaming Post 26: Sonic and the Secret Rings

It’s been a while since I last wrote a gaming article. I’ve been mostly playing video games and adding them to my list. I have reached my 250 beaten games milestone, which I assure you I have only reached because I am willing to play crappy games alongside great ones. I’ve been putting off writing this article for so long because it was about one of the (comparatively) crappy games I beat. That’s one downside to using a random number generator to determine the order in which to write articles. You can never be sure what’s coming next.

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The random number generator has determined that the next game I should write about is Sonic and the Secret Rings. It was a vaguely interesting game which I played when I wanted to catch up with the 3D Sonic games.

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Back when I was a kid I watched VHS tapes of the Sonic cartoon and was a fan of the video game series ever since playing Sonic R on the computer and seeing a commercial for Sonic Adventure 2 randomly at a Toys R Us store. By early high school, I still liked Sonic, but I wasn’t following the game series since my most advanced system was the GameCube when the games “Sonic 2006” and “Sonic and the Secret Rings” came out. My friend Puck had a Wii and a copy of Secret Rings, but I never really played the game when I was at his house. I was far more interested back then in playing his copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, as I was slowly discovering the joy of the Zelda series at that point in my youth. Still, I did notice that the box art for Sonic and the Secret Rings was absolutely beautiful. I made a note in my mind that I would eventually try the game out some time in my life.

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Look at that artwork! The game must be great! …Right?

Years later (I believe it was 2012) I was enjoying having a Wii System, going down the list of games for it that had not been my main reasons for wanting to get a Wii but I still wanted to play. Of course the main reason I got the Wii was to be able to play the Super Mario Galaxy series and Skyward Sword, but at that point I wanted to play all of the 3D Sonic games. I had heard many people say that Sonic games had gotten bad in the years that I had missed, but I still wanted to play them for myself so that I could have firsthand experience with them before passing judgment.

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The game is the first in what was supposed to be the Sonic Storybook Trilogy, however, the third game never came out, probably due to the bad reviews the first two got. As such, the Sonic Storybook Trilogy is actually what I call a “Dulogy”. This first game takes place within the stories in the famous anthology known as The Arabian Nights. The main antagonist is named Erazor Djinn, who is the same genie of the lamp from the Aladdin story.

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This guy isn’t quite as fun as when he was voiced by Robin Williams.

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Erazor Djin hits Sonic with a magical arrow, and from what I can remember, Sonic has to keep running or else he will die. I think that’s how they explain why you have limited control over Sonic’s movements in this game and you have to keep moving for the most part on a single path. This is also the only Sonic game in which Sonic is wounded for the entire story.

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Sonic and the Secret Rings wasn’t actually that bad. Its gameplay consists of Sonic automatically running a certain path through an environment while the player avoids obstacles. As the game is technically a rail platformer, you have much less control over Sonic’s movements than in his other games. The motion controls are also unintuitive at first, but I eventually got used to it in my playthrough. And although the game is split up into small missions that get unlocked as you complete more of them, the environments are pretty good throughout and make up for that a little bit.

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I was planning on beating all of the challenges, but some of them were pretty difficult and frustrating because of the controls. When I disclosed this to my friend Magic on Skype he convinced me to put the game away and move on as I had already completed the main story.

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This is Sonic’s Super Form in this game. Final Forms are always pretty neat when they’re there.

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The music in Sonic games tends to be pretty great, but I was a little disappointed in this installment. I no longer expect a full soundtrack of great tracks like we got from Sonic Adventure 2, but I was hoping for at least one compelling song from this game. The main theme is called “Seven Rings in Hand”, which is played on the title screen, but I honestly can’t remember much of the song like I can for Sonic Adventure 1 and 2’s main themes. The song I remember the most from this game is about Sonic and how he’s going to rock the place… place… place…

I think the main reason why people consider recent Sonic games to be bad is not because they are technically worse than other games, but because we expect Sonic’s games to be a lot better given the series’s history. We know what the Sonic series is capable of, given that the Sonic Adventure games were great. It’s just gradually gotten worse over the years (with a brief period of getting better around 2010 and then reversing after Sonic Colors and Generations)

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The newly announced Sonic game

A new Sonic game was announced recently called “Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice” for Nintendo 3DS, and despite my better judgment, I do feel a hint of excitement. I know that the game is going to be bad, but I guess it also means I get to play through another Sonic game that has a slight chance of not being terrible. My expectations are low, so I’ll probably have an alright time when I eventually play it some day. That’s just how the Sonic series is for me now.

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Thanks for Reading! I Appreciate it! =D

THE FIRST EVER “CAPSLOCKE” OF LEARN WITH POKÉMON: TYPING ADVENTURE!!!

AND PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE!

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HELLO, I AM ZELGERATH, AND I RECENTLY PLAYED THROUGH A SHORT GAME CALLED LEARN WITH POKÉMON: TYPING ADVENTURE.

I BOUGHT THE GAME DURING AN ANIME CONVENTION, AND I HAVE SINCE BEEN WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME TO UNLEASH MY NEWEST “CHALLENGE SCENARIO” UPON THE WORLD.

THE SPECIAL CHALLENGE IS CALLED A “CAPSLOCKE”. MUCH LIKE A NUZLOCKE CHALLENGE SCENARIO THAT SOME PEOPLE PERFORM FROM TIME TO TIME, A “CAPSLOCKE” HAS A SPECIAL RULE BEYOND THE ACTUAL COMPLETION OF THE GAME. THE RULE IS NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE TO RECORD AND UPLOAD YOUR GAMEPLAY, BUT YOU MUST ONLY WRITE ABOUT THIS FEAT USING UPPERCASE LETTERS AND PUNCTUATION. NO LOWERCASE LETTERS ARE ALLOWED!

THIS IS WHY I AM TYPING THIS COMPLETELY IN CAPITAL LETTERS. IT’S NOT EXACTLY DIFFICULT, BUT IT IS TYPING THEMED, AND THIS GAME IS A TYPING GAME.

YOU MIGHT BE THINKING THAT THIS ENDEAVOR IS COMPLETELY SILLY, AND YOU WOULD NOT BE WRONG, BUT LET’S COMPARE THIS TO MY MOST RECENT CHALLENGE SCENARIO THAT I MADE UP…

IT’S CALLED A MAX RUN, AND THE VIDEO ABOVE SHOULD EXPLAIN ALL OF IT TO YOU.

NOW, YOU MIGHT BE UNSURE ABOUT WHICH CHALLENGE SCENARIO IS THE SILLIER OF THE TWO. I SURE AM UNSURE. THIS CAPSLOCKE IS THE SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR OF THE MAX RUN.

POKÉMON TYPING ADVENTURE WAS PRETTY FUN, AND I ACTUALLY LEARNED A THING OR TWO ABOUT HOW PEOPLE SAY CERTAIN LETTERS AND PUNCTUATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

FEEL FREE TO WATCH. YOU MIGHT NOT REGRET IT!

(YOU MIGHT NEED TO INCREASE THE VIDEO QUALITY FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE; IT’S USUALLY A GEAR IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER)

THANKS FOR WATCHING IF YOU DID! AND DON’T WORRY… THE NEXT ARTICLE ON THIS WEBSITE WILL CONTAIN LOWERCASE LETTERS AGAIN.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS ZELGERATH, SIGNING OUT!

“NO SAIL ZELDA WIND WAKER CHALLENGE”

Hello readers! My friends convinced me to start working on recording Let’sPlays this year and so we have recently started up doing a challenge that has been on my quest list for some time.

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The challenge is to play through The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker without using a sail at any point and with only using the warp song the minimum possible amount of times and still finish the game. My friend Bryan will play through the land content and I’ll do all the ocean content. We’ll also be in a room full of commentators. We’ll commentate throughout the whole thing.

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Here’s Dave and Bryan…
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Cam and Dave…
Harlan and Nick...
Harlan and Nick…
And me, Zelgerath.
And me, Zelgerath.

People used to say that the Wind Waker overworld was too big and empty, but I didn’t mind very much, which is why I came up with this plan. Keep in mind that the Wii U version that we’re using has an increased speed both in sailing and cruising and there is also slightly less sailing to do in the game, but the original plan was for us to play through the GameCube version. I just couldn’t get my recording method working in time, but this should be good I think.

EDIT: We have completed the entire quest. You can watch them all in the following playlist if you want, although I must warn you not to give it your full attention as it gets arguably pretty boring at times.

The audio mix for the first 8 Episodes was a little rough, but we steadily improved as we went on. The playlist continues into the remainder of the series with better audio.

Our next Let’sPlay will be the obscure title, “Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure” For the Nintendo DS, imported from Europe.

I hope you enjoyed if you decided to watch. We’ll keep at it!

Gaming Post 25: LarryBoy and the Bad Apple

A while back, the random number generator told me to write about one of the games that I’ve beaten, however, I’ve been procrastinating about it for some time now (of course while also playing lots of new games). The game was LarryBoy and the Bad Apple on the PlayStation 2. To explain why I played this particular game, I’ll need to explain what VeggieTales is and why it was so cool when it first came out.

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Nowadays, lots of our entertainment comprises of 3D rendered content, whether that’s monoscopic or stereoscopic 3D videogames, films, or television shows. It was not so prevalent when I was born though. There are plenty of full length 3D animated films available today, but the very first one was Toy Story which came out in 1995. Every film in this category came out in the past 20 years, which in the grand scheme of things is not a very long time. Before the first Toy Story movie came out, there was a “straight to VHS tape” series that was fully rendered in 3D. This series was VeggieTales, whose first episode came out in 1993, when I was 1. It must have been the coolest thing around.

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At the time, there had never ever ever ever ever been a show like VeggieTales. They even say so in the theme song!

VeggieTales was really great. I think I discovered it when I was about 4, when VeggieTales was 3 years into its run and there were only 5 episodes of the show. I think one of my cousins showed it to me after discovering it himself when he went to college. At the time, 3D animation was very exciting no matter what age you were because it was so new and fun. I’m sure many of us don’t even notice it today when we see it, because it’s become such a staple of entertainment in our society. It’s a technology that no longer seems new.

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VeggieTales episodes often feature moral dilemmas, sometimes through the retelling of Bible stories but also through original stories. There is always some humor to be found in the episodes, even though the plots of some of them can be slow for older viewers. I kept up with the series until about 2001 when I was 9, but the show seems to have continued at a steady pace.

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My favorite character was LarryBoy, the alter ego of Larry the Cucumber. Of the episodes that I watched, LarryBoy was in three of them, and was featured heavily in the two of them that took place in the fictional city of Bumblyburg. LarryBoy is a superhero similar to Batman, but he’s also a vegetable like most of the characters in VeggieTales.

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Sometimes characters can be fruits. After all, Bob the Tomato has seeds and is thus technically a fruit.

Years after I stopped following VeggieTales, I was going through a shelf of old PS2 games at a GameStop store, and I found a game called “LarryBoy and the Bad Apple”. The game is based on LarryBoy’s third adventure of the same name. I hadn’t seen the episode, so I figured that playing the game would be an approximation of watching the episode, but with added interactivity. That’s when I decided that I would play through the game.

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It was a pretty fun experience simply because I grew up watching LarryBoy and had sort of thought that a game about him would be cool. The gameplay was especially good in the segments of the game in which LarryBoy has to fly through the air. As a whole, the game mostly consists of puzzles and platforming. There are cutscenes taken directly from the VeggieTales episode that the game is based on.

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LarryBoy isn’t completely based on Batman. They went ahead and threw in a reference to Spider-Man too.

The main villain is an Apple who personifies temptation. This is especially interesting because as VeggieTales is limited to a cast of vegetables and fruit, casting the villain as an apple that tempts people cleverly draws a parallel between the villain in this story and the Apple of Eden that tempted Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. In that way, this was both an original story and biblical. The thematic use of apples to represent temptation and evil is quite old and prevalent throughout literature and other media.

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The main villain is called The Bad Apple. She is an apple who tempts people. LarryBoy’s temptation is eating too much chocolate.
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A witch tells Snow White that eating this apple will grant her a wish. Snow White gives into her temptation and eats it, but it is poisoned.
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The future that the forbidden fruit foretells… I shall change the dream into reality. -Death Note Intro Song English Translation
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The Piece of Eden is temptation given form. -Al Mualim talking about the mechanical device called the Apple of Eden (Assassin’s Creed)

The villain, so called “The Bad Apple”, goes around tempting people to neglect their responsibilities to do other things they’d like to do instead, getting the mayor to vainly obsess over her appearance and a cook to watch an entire science fiction TV series. LarryBoy breaks people free from their temptations by completing levels, each one given the theme of the person’s temptation. Ironically, one of the people in the game who the Bad Apple has tempted is someone who wants to play video games all day. What’s ironic about this is that in order to make this character pay attention to their real responsibilities, you have to beat a level of this real life video game. The moral of that chapter is to not play videogames all day, and yet this is exactly what I did to finish this game.

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Am I subject to temptation? Absolutely. Do I give in to my temptation? Oh yes, definitely. That’s how I beat so many games.

And so with that, I’ve finished another article on Zelgerath.com. Maybe I can get back in the swing of things. As always, Thanks for Reading! =)