Hello again, and sorry for the long hiatus! When I was trying to think about what to post, I decided on a whim that I might as well get out my old Quest for the Codex Winx DS game and give it a try. You see, while this might sound rather embarrassing, I had been unable to finish it for eight years, even on the Beginner mode. (What can I say, I’m no genius gamer!) Anyway, I finally cleared it, so I’d like to tell you some of my thoughts about it. (If you were looking forward to the Enchantix Theory article, I assure you, it will come next and will show up within a couple of weeks tops, so don’t worry!)
The weird thing is, I tried playing it on normal today and guess what? I’m already halfway through the game! I thought it’d take sixteen years to do that, but I guess once you get used to the basic structure, the other levels aren’t as hard? But to get back on topic, I’ve seen people review old video games on online articles, so I figured it’d be fun to do that with this one.
The Quest for the Codex game was available way back during the 4kids era of Winx, and it basically covers S2. I also have the S1 video game for the Game Boy Advance (though I would always play it on a DS), and I think it’d be pretty cool to come across the S3 one as well. I saw it advertised on the 4kids block back when I was about a fifth grader, and I basically bought it right away. I recall that I would always get tripped up on some of the minigames and basically ragequitted more than I should have, hence why it took so darn long to finish the thing!
First things first, though, I love the title. The name itself is enough to sound like a hardcore RPG if you’re unfamiliar with the Winx context and are just told the name itself. (If someone asks you what you’re playing, just call it that. You don’t have to say that it’s a Winx game if doing so embarrasses you. Just tell them it’s an obscure title, and people will likely have respect for you then. *chuckles*)
The gameplay itself isn’t so bad: the animation is good, and the Winx actually look like themselves. Not only that, but you get to see some familiar attacks, like the Solar Flare or that one trick that Darcy does where she splits herself, which always reminds me of that one time Nabu trolled her by doing the same. (I didn’t think I’d be able to cram Nabu into an S2 post, and I’m not sure whether to be impressed or scared about the fact I was able to do so.) There’s even a subtle jab at Icy’s trademark Ice Coffin, as the only way to beat her as a boss is to throw it back at her! (If there’s one thing I really like about 4kids, it’s the fact that they’re able to poke fun at how Icy basically used the same attack strategy every time!)
The one thing I really like about the attacks is the Supershot, which makes a fairy able to emit one of those crazy animesque giant attacks. If I had the power to do so, I’d like to see one of the Winx do that in-show. Or, better yet, one crazy Convergence shot of those. Giant magical beams are definitely something we need to see more of on Winx.
Don’t be fooled by how easy it might be to defeat, say, Stormy as a boss: this game still has some pretty tough ones. Surprisingly enough, when Darkar goes into his final phoenix form in this universe, it takes a lot more than that one neat Convergence to beat him. You could easily burn about a half hour doing that same act in this game. So, for all the other faults this game may have, at least the final boss gameplay is at least hard enough for a softcore gamer like me to really wrestle with. Now, let’s get to some of the critiques I have about this.
First off, this game uses the ever-proven, highbrow form of exposition known affectionately as the infodump. The Codex itself is brought up mainly in passing, and multiple episodes are skipped over with only a mention to their name. (For instance, it’d be really cool to see Dark Bloom’s first appearance as a boss situation, as I’d love to see the sort of special attacks she’d have, whether or not they differ from regular Bloom’s, and the like, but all anyone ever does is talk about the incident. Seeing as I am a Shadows in Bloom/Spy in the Shadows fanatic, even going so far as to declare it as my favorite episode of the entire show, I was understandably disappointed by the coverage it received. And basically any part of the Winx’s non-magical life is just covered in tedious dialogue. It’d be nice to play as the normal-form Winx, as that’s as much a part of the magical girl life as the actual fight scenes. The S1 video game did a nice job at this (if only from Bloom’s perspective), so I’ll have to give that one a slight edge.
The minigames come in at the strangest of times and are very hit-and-miss. For instance, for as long as I have been a Winx fan, this image has been enough to give me nightmares:
Please, for the love of all things good, not this game! Not only does Bloom seem to be completely misinterpreting her dream (the image of Dark Bloom appearing when Bloom catches up with her is about as subtle as a ton of bricks), but the game itself is notably picky. No matter how many points you receive or the amount of time you’re able to catch up with the “mysterious figure” (ha!), it won’t let you go on with the plotline until you fill the bar above up to an unbelievably high amount. Not only that, but if you use your magic, it depletes that same bar and takes you right back to square one! I hate Dragon Flight so much. I swear, this alone is the entire reason it took eight years to finish this. If you don’t believe me, be lucky you haven’t lost your sanity already trying to make sense of this. It’s not too late to escape it. Go, save yourselves!
Anyway, it seems a large amount of these games involve Darkar being able to control bug minions known oh-so-cleverly as “Shadow Bugs.” I don’t believe this has ever been used in-show. But that isn’t exactly my point; the first thing I thought upon really mulling this through was as follows:
Also, some of the dialogue is notably humorous for all the wrong reasons. For instance, apparently all the Winx’s magic is represented by the minigames. Which doesn’t seem that weird until it results in lines like Aisha (sorry, I just can’t tell her Layla anymore) saying that she’ll free the pixies using her “dance magic.”
Also, another example of one of these lines is one of the Winx asking Stormy if she should still be in rehab. Though this is canon, my adult mind had something completely different in mind and spent a few moments wondering just what drug she was on, and if it had any impact on why she’s so evil…
There’s also a part of the game in which Bloom states that she’s patrolling Alfea, but then the scene segways into the infamous Dragon Flight minigame, which takes place in Shadowhaunt. That in itself just made me wonder if Darkar secretly has dimension-warping powers and somehow transported Alfea to Shadowhaunt. Someone needs to write a fanfic about this sort of thing. I would, but I’m too busy with other fanfics, not to mention a real-world novel.
So basically, the moral of the story: Darkar is really a reality-warping villain who, just as Amore says, is acting completely out of love. He used to live in Equestria as the MLP villain King Sombra and fell in love with Queen Chrysalis, but got sent to the Winx world. The entire reason he’s looking for the Codex is so he can go to Realix, which would allow him to go back to that other world and find his star-crossed lover so they can then conquer the cartoon dimension and disprove the Girl Show Ghetto once and for all. When he does return, he finds that she’s been defeated, he loses all will and eventually lets down his guard, allowing an MLP artifact to finally kill him.
This is what happens when you let my imagination get out of hand. If you like me doing this to the S2 video game, please say so and I’ll allow my mind to go crazy with the S1 equivalent as well.
P.S. This is seriously my new headcanon. xD