Thursday, May 22, 2008

Subspace Emissary, Part Deux

So, last time on The Subspace Emissary... stuff happened. Yep. Now, for more epic fun!

I’m With Stupid:
Cut from The Sea of Clouds to a lush and mountainous jungle. A cart piled high with bananas and driven by a minor Koopa careens along the edge of the cliff. In the jungle, a giant ape trashes Koopas and Goombas without mercy. I guess King Bowser has started a banana cartel, and the ape works for the CIA or something. The great ape strikes a pose at the edge of a cliff, beats his chest and roars. Yay, Donkey Kong. But wait, it’s DK Country-type Donkey Kong. This cannot be good.
The departing banana truck fires Bullet Bills at DK, who sends for his backup. Yes, it’s little Diddy Kong, with his prehensile tail, his baseball cap, and his peanut pistol. Sigh. Diddy takes out the Bills with his peanut gun, and the “cousins” strike victory poses as the last BB goes off behind them.
Grade: Anything featuring Diddy Kong receives an automatic F. Also, why are DK and his little cousin so pleased with themselves? The Koopa got away with the ‘nanas.

The Dark Cannon Aims for the Kongs:
DK and Stupid rejoice over their banana booty, then Bowser shows up and gets all threatening-like. Stupid Diddy Kong makes menacing martial arts poses at the Koopa King, who pulls out a massive gun. DK, realizing his idiot relation is about to be killed, punches the brat into the safety of thin air and takes the hit. Stupid Diddy covers his eyes in horror as he sails away. DK falls to the ground, a lifeless trophy.
Grade: I know I promised to give anything involving Diddy Kong an F, but this was a concise action sequence, and I think the creators intend the viewer to think that Diddy is a foolish little nuisance. But this scene sets up a sequence wherein the player has to play as Diddy Kong, so I’m still going to give it an F.

The Ancient Minister Escapes Mario and Pit:
The Ancient Minister glides down the court! He has the ball! Mario leaps and misses! Pit makes a heroic lunge, and misses the ball! The Ancient Minister heads down the court unimpeded, and he’s going to score!
Grade: B- It was cute when Pit stepped on Mario’s head and caused the plumber to face-plant. Pit’s also cute when he’s annoyed. But really-- can Kid fly, or not? Is this an Idiot Plot device of some kind? Points deducted for making me even have to wonder about this.

Fox Confronts Rayquaza:
Diddy swings blithely through the trees until he reaches the shore of a lake. A smoking Arwing is visible in the background. Diddy is headed for the wreckage when a cartoonish green dragon comes out of the water and roars. Not placated by Diddy’s stupid cuteness, the dragon belches a green orb of death at the downed Arwing, which bursts into flames. The dragon then snatches up Diddy with the presumed intention of eating him.
Not all is lost! A heroic figure leaps from the flaming Arwing wreckage and frees Diddy from the monster’s three-clawed grasp using lightning-quick martial arts. Dramatic slo-mo shows the viewer that Our Hero has a bushy tail. Yes, our hero is none other than Fox McCloud, aka Star Fox, aka just plain ol’ Fox. Fox uses a hexagonal shield to reflect the energy ball right back at the dragon, which falls into the lake, defeated. Fox, cool as a furred cucumber, gestures to Diddy that monkey-boy should come along with him.
Grade: I can’t give Fox an F. Even though I don’t like his Brawl character design, I don’t want him hanging with Diddy, and I don’t precisely know why he had to fight a giant Pokemon, I have to give McCloud at least a B+. At least this “hero” actually, y’know, did something.

Diddy Kong Appeals to Fox:
Another boss defeated. Fox and Diddy stand on the shores of Lake Rayquaza. Fox gives the thumbs-up and Diddy does his asinine victory dance. Fox, his job done, walks away with heroic bearing and purpose. Diddy grabs Fox and tries to explain... something... using squeaks and sign language. Fox doesn’t care about the banana cartel and walks off a second time. Diddy drags a disgruntled Fox away by the collar.
Grade: I guess it was kind of cute. And short. B?

The Dissolving of the False King Bowser:
Fox and Diddy do their victory poses over a Bowser trophy. Diddy pokes and then rams the trophy, which dissolves into purple pollen spores. Uh-oh. Fox narrows his eyes in suspicion, and then a black arrow shoots out of the trees. Yes, Bowser is back, and he has his trophy-gun at the ready. Bowser fires twice on the pair, getting only clouds of smoke and flames for his trouble. Diddy beats his little chest and charges Bowser, but Fox grabs the monkey brat and whisks him off to the comparative safety of the jungle with a cinematic plunge off a cliff. Bowser, gun in hand, gloats over their retreat.
Grade: B Plot twist, I guess.

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