#003: The Level Aquatic

koobismo

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#003: The Level Aquatic

The third episode of "Game On, Hardcore" takes us underwater, setting up upcoming events in near-total silence.

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Apr 17, 2009
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I like how you got Ecco looking creepy without having to actually alter his appearance at all. No need to add fangs or tentacles, just draw attention to the fact that dolphins are just as much predators as sharks no matter how much more cuddly we think they look and they will absolutely fuck your shit up, those murderous rapey psychopaths...
 

Guffe

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Jul 12, 2009
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I'd rather have the triforce tattoo on my upper back in stead of on the front...
Each to their own I guess :p
 

Sofox

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"The marks on your head look like stars in the sk-" Hey wait a minute, the marks on Ecco's head aren't in the shape of the Delphinus [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinus] constellation. Okay, I know it sounds a bit nit-picky, but that's a key part of Ecco's character design, having marks in the shape of a constellation that literally translates as "dolphin".
 

koobismo

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Pallindromemordnillap said:
I like how you got Ecco looking creepy without having to actually alter his appearance at all. No need to add fangs or tentacles, just draw attention to the fact that dolphins are just as much predators as sharks no matter how much more cuddly we think they look and they will absolutely fuck your shit up, those murderous rapey psychopaths...
Yessir! As much as I am an Ecco fan (and I am, a huge one), I've seen my share of "you won't believe what these dolphins did!" YouTube videos, creeping the hell out of me forever.

Guffe said:
I'd rather have the triforce tattoo on my upper back in stead of on the front...
Each to their own I guess :p
Ha. Well, you haven't yet seen things tattooed on her back! :D

KaZuYa said:
HalfLife Symbol on her hand and episode 3 = HalfLife 3 confirmed.
Yes, I have been in constant contact with Valve in regards to this announcement. Half Life 3 is, indeed, confirmed.

Sofox said:
"The marks on your head look like stars in the sk-" Hey wait a minute, the marks on Ecco's head aren't in the shape of the Delphinus [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinus] constellation. Okay, I know it sounds a bit nit-picky, but that's a key part of Ecco's character design, having marks in the shape of a constellation that literally translates as "dolphin".
Not at all nitpicky, Sofox! Or, rather, nitpicky but correctly so! I'm very aware of Ecco's star pattern (huge fan, the game was a huge experience for my young self, opened me up to abstract thinking, etc. etc.), and just like those Normandy lines, textures, even bits of shape aren't exactly right, just like the Shovel Knight is missing golden ornaments, while his weapon of choice is in a slightly different shape... Neither of these characters or objects are an exact copy of their real life selves. As dictated by our story! :) Still, a definitely good catch.
 

koobismo

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KaZuYa said:
It took me this long to notice that was the Normandy
Guess I obscured it a bit too much. Will be clear what it is in the next ones, I believe, as we're now officially inside.
 

koobismo

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Johnny Novgorod said:
Is the 2nd lady Lara Croft, Alyx Vance or an amalgamation of the two?
You could say she's inspired a bit by Alyx, but she's definitely an original character.
 

Xman490

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May 29, 2010
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Sounds like fun.

In all ironically brutal honesty, I'm afraid that this is what games will become. People left and right are somehow falling in love with the Souls series, Bloodborne, Monster Hunter, and multiplayer online games infested with experts (a different beast, but still jarringly difficult). I might really miss the old days of the Zelda and Half-Life series that allowed you to overcome enemies with mere scratches instead of physical in-game gashes and psychological real-life scars.
 

Bob_McMillan

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"SPLOOSH"

I love the Archer series, so seeing that used in a serious tone is funny :)
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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Another interesting one. Lot's of video game goodies in it too. Glad to see the Normandy make it in (though it appears to have a different name of some sort) considering your avatar.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the triforce tattoo. I recognize the main triangle symbol but not the rest. But I haven't played the more recent Zelda's so I'm just guessing it's a more prominent symbol now with the feathers and such. Initially I got a borderlands feel from it but I don't know why.

It's interesting to see these objects through a different lens. Clearly familiar but usually with a twist.
 

Fasckira

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Oct 22, 2009
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Fantastic art work, and looks to be shaping into an interesting story! I'm with Bob_McMillan though - hard to see "Sploosh" and keep a straight face these days post-Archer. :p
 

koobismo

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Xman490 said:
Sounds like fun. In all ironically brutal honesty, I'm afraid that this is what games will become. People left and right are somehow falling in love with the Souls series, Bloodborne, Monster Hunter, and multiplayer online games infested with experts (a different beast, but still jarringly difficult). I might really miss the old days of the Zelda and Half-Life series that allowed you to overcome enemies with mere scratches instead of physical in-game gashes and psychological real-life scars.
I'd say the games you've mentioned are a part of a pretty specific niche - one that will expand or collapse based on the gaming trends and focus, but is unlikely to dominate the market from A to Z, even in its heyday. I'm not particularly big on any of these titles, granted, but I'm all for niches. I find myself hoping for further compartmentalization of games (as opposed to the push to create a homogenized/blended one-size-fits-all uberproduct), as a way to actually make the medium more interesting for folks like myself. So, hey, all the power to people who want to torture themselves with the Git Gud genre. :D

Bob_McMillan said:
"SPLOOSH"
I love the Archer series, so seeing that used in a serious tone is funny :)
Fasckira said:
I'm with Bob_McMillan though - hard to see "Sploosh" and keep a straight face these days post-Archer. :p
Gentlemen, do not insinuate that the choice of switching the initial "Splash" to the very Pam Poovey-ish "Sploosh" wasn't a conscious one! :D

whazup said:
I wonder what's tattooed on her left hand
Not sure if this counts as a spoiler, but, hey, since we can use these tags to any extent...
The hand tattoos are two "leafs" of a bigger tree-like thing, showing the Gears of War gear-skull and Half-Life's lambda.

Lightknight said:
Another interesting one. Lot's of video game goodies in it too. Glad to see the Normandy make it in (though it appears to have a different name of some sort) considering your avatar. The only thing I'm not sure about is the triforce tattoo. I recognize the main triangle symbol but not the rest. But I haven't played the more recent Zelda's so I'm just guessing it's a more prominent symbol now with the feathers and such. Initially I got a borderlands feel from it but I don't know why. It's interesting to see these objects through a different lens. Clearly familiar but usually with a twist.
The next ep will go a long way in setting us up more firmly in the story/universe department, I believe - and you're spot on with the observation that all these instances of well-known characters, locations, objects appear somehow skewed, different.

Right on the money about the name on the Normandy, again, as it is, is in fact, different. An inside joke for myself, and a memory I've transplanted onto one of our protagonists: I have once made an innuendo-heavy playthrough of Mass Effect with Ron Burgundy Shepard, rechristening the Normandy as the Burgundy (which is also a region in France). Fun times were had as crappy impressions flew around.

As for the Zelda tatoo - it's actually the Royal Crest of the Hyrule Royal Family, which I think first appeared in Ocarina of Time. Some more info: http://zeldawiki.org/Royal_Crest

Fasckira said:
Fantastic art work, and looks to be shaping into an interesting story!
Thank you for the high praise, Fasckira! Do tune in for the next one!
 

A.K.B.

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Feb 27, 2014
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Yeah those God damn dolphins!! Always smirking and acting friendly and happy and shit....
they're Up To Something, I tell ya!
Heed My Words!!

Anyway, nice strip, as usual.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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koobismo said:
The next ep will go a long way in setting us up more firmly in the story/universe department, I believe - and you're spot on with the observation that all these instances of well-known characters, locations, objects appear somehow skewed, different.
Great to know! It certainly adds a lot to it that they're familiar but with your own flair to them.

Right on the money about the name on the Normandy, again, as it is, is in fact, different. An inside joke for myself, and a memory I've transplanted onto one of our protagonists: I have once made an innuendo-heavy playthrough of Mass Effect with Ron Burgundy Shepard, rechristening the Normandy as the Burgundy (which is also a region in France). Fun times were had as crappy impressions flew around.
That's hilarious. Thanks for telling me the story behind the name. I figured that one would just be a random inside joke to the grave.
 

CaitSeith

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KaZuYa said:
It took me this long to notice that was the Normandy
Really? It took me about a second. Although I have been playing Mass Effect a lot, so I pretty much see it everywhere. For example: Koobismo's avatar reminds me the Ilusive Man... oh, wait!