#2: Fun With Link
I think this followup strip is golden, but the first panel depends on your knowledge of the hidden room in Link to the Past. It has the name of a Nintendo Power contest winner in it....Google for more.
#3: Just Go For It!
"Just Go For It" is one of the many catchphrases of Viewtiful Joe, which this skewers expertly. The final gag is a little hard to get--the basic idea was a code for an MMORPG Star Wars game that let you play as George Lucas, and the end result would be that everyone would beat you up. It was a funny enough idea to try, but there were no MMORPG Star Wars games for consoles at the time, so I had to fudge it a bit by saying the code would also make KOTOR online.
It was only a matter of time before I put Cyndi Lauper into a strip. Someone sent me a link to that photo of Tom Jones, and I said I'd find a way to fit it into one of my cartoons. This one is also horribly small.
I wrote the first few before any of them got on the site, and I didn't know what orientation--tall or wide--they were going to want. I did some of both and assumed they'd accommodate for that, what with webpages being flexible and all. They didn't, and after I saw the really small horizontal strip displayed here, I had to repaste all my upcoming horizontal strips as vertical ones--which really messed up a few of them.
SEE THE ORIGINAL STRIP
I pity anyone stupid enough to buy the American Idol-based video game, but the use of it was merely an excuse to get in my "Celebrity Get!!" gag. You might have seen this before--it was also in a Mulberry sample strip. I just really liked it. This one was first, and the clipart of Dokopon with his hand raised in that "shocked" look was so good that he was drawn like that in Mulberry.
#6: Secrets of Tony Hawk 9
The Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games had some unusual choices for unlockable characters--Spider-Man being the latest. One could only imagine what would enter the producers' heads in the future.
I'll admit that background is ugly, but keep in mind that up to this point I was creating these by scanning in pen drawings and adding colors with a computer mouse. Seeing art like this on a commercial website drove me into finally tracking down a Wacom pad.
SEE THE ORIGINAL STRIP
The X-Box-exclusive return of Ninja Gaiden was surprisingly hard, given the mainstream audience the Box usually grabs. They would have appreciated this code if it were real. The end panel isn't an excuse for yet another webstrip to make a tired Penny Arcade reference so much as it was an excuse to get a photo of the Gilmore Girls on Codejunkies.com.
This also has an old game-related Marin Meadow strip attached to it at the end. It was a new idea I was trying--adding something extra at the end so that if the reader didn't like one thing, he or she might like the other. Response to this strip was strong among those I forced to read it, so I used that technique several times after.
This one was the one most hammered by the size discovery. It was obviously designed to be read horizontally. As for the joke....so, Yugi is Pee-Wee? What's that supposed to mean? It's embarrassing to come back to an old strip and have no idea what you were thinking when you drew it up. Sorry, folks. Let's move on.
SEE THE ORIGINAL STRIP
I was starting to explore the limits of the basic formula already. I don't have a very high opinion of the "Hitman" series of games, as I suspect they're little more than a gimmick desperately trying to be controversial. So, how will they make him MORE edgy? Like that, I suspect....
I was very right. The PSP did indeed become "Game Gear 2." In its native country, it was smashed into the fringe by the DS, and UMD was abandoned by most movie companies within 18 months. They could have saved a lot of money by listening to me.
Can you name the Bloom County strip Mei Ling's proverb is based on?
#12: I Got No Strings
This was a clever idea: a hack that would free the video game character from the user's control, bestowing it free will. If the strip had gone on, I would have come back to this notion......
I'd worked out an agreement with the CodeJunkies editor. I had to submit these things a few weeks in advance, but if there was some event that had to be commented on immediately, it could be put into position for release ahead of anything else I'd already sent. What I wasn't counting on is that nobody at that website knew how to count, or maybe they thought it was too much work, so they just called this strip "Special" and kept the number 13 on the one after it. I don't know how many people read this and wondered what was so "special" about it.
I had finally received my Wacom pad, and the first thing I drew with it was this. It looks a lot better than the previous strips. It's drawn to take advantage of being vertical and narrow, and it's built for scrolling. You see the jets first and then the pyramid and then.....
At the time, I didn't know Adam Sandler had released albums before.
#13: Super Psi Me
I asked that "Weird and wonderful codes that never were" be taken off the logo to the left. I hadn't put it there, and I felt explaining to the audience that the codes were phony lowered the humor. The editor's response was that even with those words, he was still getting letters from people complaining that my hacks didn't work.
Naturally, this amused me and I wondered what else I could get them to try. So I wrote this.
This strip was completed, but never sent in because the people I showed it to didn't get it. They'd never even heard of the game.
When the first X-Box was in development, there was going to be
a launch game for the machine called Malice. Not many details had
been released, but they did reveal you were going to be a little
girl named Malice running around smashing a giant mallet
three times the size of you. Now, this appealed to me. I knew
nothing of the plot or graphics or gameplay. But I really wanted
to play as a crazy little girl carrying gigantic blunt weapons.
Oh, it gets better. She was supposed to be...get this...a goddess.
Think about what could have been as far as the X-Box launch was concerned. I know it launched with Halo, but it could have had MALICE!
It didn't show up for the X-Box launch, but it was re-announced later for both X-Box and PS2. Then they admitted they were bringing No Doubt into this and giving the voice of Malice to Goofy Gwen. That idea was a little repulsive, but I realized they needed something extra to make a splash now.
Time passed, and Malice had not shown herself anywhere other than a prerelease magazine ad. It was finally revealed that the publisher had suspended work on the game and sold it off. A small developer called "Mud Duck" bought it, sewed a few ugly patches over the unfinished areas, and released the game with a tamer-looking, older Malice as boxart. (This did not affect the model in the game--they were just that bad at illustrations.)
So, there the game finally was, but it was missing much of what was promised. When I said the company sewed patches, I mean they only did as much work as was necessary to make it playable. Blades of grass that swung individually on the X-Box build were now gone, the only remnants being short stubs. Enemies were scarce because not all of them had been completed. And Gwen was gone; the voice acting in the game was now cheaply dubbed by Mud Duck employees. It was just plain sad.
I doubt Malice would have had much success either way; mascot platformers were dying when she was in production and this would still hold true even if the game had been finished. But still...I loved that little girl. In the way a man loves ice cream.
#14: This Guy Are Sick
One of my proposed ideas was that, every so often, the strip could print a code that sounded just as outlandish as the others--yet was actually real. The strip could announce real codes every so often, which would keep things interesting. To pull that off, I'd need help from the other departments of the site. I told the editor about this idea, but I'll never know if it would have gotten anywhere. After this, my strip didn't have much longer.
The code mentioned at the end DOES work, and it wasn't on the Codejunkies site, so I used it to try out the idea.
#15: Assorted Hacks
Yeah, I know, the Link one is BEFORE this one in the list. But like I said, they couldn't count.
This is a good one. The uselessness of a hack for a preschool game, "strength enhancing" sports codes that work as steroids, and of course Bill Gates is always good for a larf.
#16: Link Trips
How about one that hacks into the main character's brain and actually gets him high?? I had a lot of fun drugging out Link. I could draw this scene better now, though.
First Playstation 3 Screens
This one never appeared on Codejunkies, and I thought it was the funniest Random Codes that had ever been done. I was proud of it, but this is the point when their Email quit working. There was one more strip after this one, but it was honestly terrible. Knowing me, I would have sent that one in too as it was, so the situation is kind of a tradeoff.