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I'll tell you what happens if it takes you more than three tries to solve my riddle.  I'll *gasp* dock you picarats!

I’ll tell you what happens if it takes you more than three tries to solve my riddle. I’ll *gasp* dock you picarats!  (You really don’t need to understand this reference to read this post, but I figured at least someone would get this.)

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.

And for all those still doubting this could be done on a girls' show, Twilight Sparkle would like to refute you.

And for all those still doubting this could be done on a girls’ show, Twilight Sparkle would like to refute you with a magical rebuttal.

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:

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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:

LD_throne

Dark, corrupted noble from a girls' cartoon with the power to make bug-like creatures do your bidding, meet fellow dark, corrupted noble from a girls' cartoon with the power to make bug-like creatures do your bidding.  If this is anything to go by, I know just the character to make Darkar's day perfect, if you get what I mean.  *raises eyebrows* In other news, these two are now my OTP.  xD

Dark, corrupted noble from a girls’ cartoon with the power to make bug-like creatures do your bidding, meet fellow dark, corrupted noble from a girls’ cartoon with the power to make bug-like creatures do your bidding. If this is anything to go by, I know just the character to make Darkar’s day perfect, if you get what I mean. *raises eyebrows*
In other news, these two are now my OTP, and I have no shame when it comes to shipping. xD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

Um, Faragonda...considering that Musa has music magic and Aisha apparently has dance magic...would you let me switch to shopping magic?  Don't get me wrong, I like the whole "sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake" thing, but it isn't really my passion in life, you know?

Um, Faragonda…considering that Musa has music magic and Aisha apparently has dance magic…would you let me switch to shopping magic? Don’t get me wrong, I like the whole “sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake” thing, but it isn’t really my passion in life, you know?

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

 

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Hello again, everyone.  This post will be a bit different from the ones I normally do because it is in two sections.  The first will be a regular, article-type like the ones I normally write, and the other will be music-based.  I’m doing this as a beginning to the Summer Rainbow Festival, a special celebration on this blog that will involve music, articles, fan fiction, and (hopefully) a revamp of the site layout.  There are two points I want to make here: that Zenith of Corruption took a bit more time to write than I thought (but it will be released in the festival), and that the revamp will not be a complete one, since fans tend to dislike it when sites do this (the Neopets revamp still makes some people mad, and that happened 4-5 years ago).  But for now, here’s the article portion:

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If there’s one thing that’s been polarizing about Season 5, it’s Tritannus.  Dare I say it, there hasn’t been this much ruckus over a Winx villain since Darkar.  But, while the Wizards of the Black Circle and Valtor were largely accepted by fans, Tritannus couldn’t be more different.  So why do we think the way we do about this new antagonist?  And could he have been, in different hands, a more successful character?

  • Tritannus is too much like Valtor.

This is likely the major problem most of the fans have with him.  Both mutate mermaids, target Andros, fall in love with one of the Trix, and eventually end up with a mutant form.  Before S5, every villain was essentially handled differently, but if you look at these two, it’s easy to see why they could be seen as being too similar.  And let’s face it: a lot of the reason why Valtor is more well-liked by the fans is because a lot of them see Tritannus as just an angsty person who has tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, which leads us to our next point:

  • Tritannus is only doing this because he wants to overthrow his brother.

A lot of villains on Winx are evil just because they want to be, but Tritannus is really just jealous.  This isn’t to say that jealous villains can’t be good ones: take Scar from The Lion King for instance.  He’s one of the most popular villains in the Disney universe, if not in the animated universe, because he doesn’t just whine about his plans not going right.  Rather than attacking all his family members (like someone else we know), he tries to turn them over to his side (or at least the impressionable Simba).

If Tritannus had done more things other than trying to get to the Infinite Ocean, he might’ve turned out a lot better.  For instance, Valtor didn’t have to blind Aisha or mess with Diaspro.  He could have found other ways to do these things, but he did them just because he wanted to mess with people.  Tritannus lacks charisma, and perhaps that’s part of the reason why the fans don’t find him to be any better than the characters do.

  • Tritannus is not a big enough threat.

Since he mainly stays close to his little corner in the Infinite Ocean or Earth, he doesn’t pillage random magical territories.  Therefore, he doesn’t seem like a problem in places other than the aforementioned two.  I could understand the Sovereigns’ Council trying to address Valtor or Darkar, but just Tritannus?  Really?  While his mutant figure can be intimidating at times, if you’re not a selkie, a human, or a Winx, he won’t attack you.  Also, did you notice that Faragonda hasn’t put up the Alfea shield yet?  Whenever there’s a huge threat coming (other than the Wizards of the Black Circle), the force field comes up.  Therefore, this comes across as him being an amateur, wannabe villain, and honestly, I agree with Faragonda.

  • He messed up the Trix.

Now, you could say that the Trix have gone downhill since S2, but there is so much more they could have done with Tritannus.  Even though they don’t all go mooning over the villain like in S2 and S3, they could still act as bruisers or bodyguards (think the hyenas from our Lion King analogy) who don’t really care that much about his needs.  But no, Icy’s the only one he acknowledges, and many fans think he ruined her character forever.  (If the Trix have to return, I’d really like them to be mercenaries who are just in it for the money and have minimal loyalty for the actual villain.  Ooh, I could just see them pulling something like that for their own self-gain!)

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That’s the end of the article segment.  However, this is far from the end of the post.  This new section is called “Station WINX” (believe it or not, there is an actual radio station with these four letters).  With every summer post, I will include two to three music videos with songs that I feel reflect Winx characters or plotlines.  Now, my musical taste isn’t like a lot of peoples’.  I’m into more of a retro-type thing, so if this isn’t your type, you don’t have to participate in this, but it might be nice to try something new.  Let’s get started!

 

The first song up is called “Last Resort” by the Eagles.  Season 5 is a very environmentally-based season, so I decided to show you one of my favorite ecologically-themed songs.  To warn you, it’s about seven minutes long, so if you aren’t fond of long songs, this may not be the one for you.  It also plays very softly, so make sure you have your computer volume up high enough to hear it.

 

Now, onto our next song: “Tough Guys,” from REO Speedwagon.  This song is meant to encompass Aisha’s personality from Seasons 2 and 3.  In other words, it’s her “single” song (since people really do change in relationships). It’s also louder, so you don’t have to have your volume on as high.  It is also the shortest of the three.

 

This one is the most mainstream out of all of them, meaning that it’s probably the most likely of the three to be played on an oldies station.  You may even have heard this one before: it’s “Copacabana” from Barry Manilow.  But if you look at the lyrics, it pretty much suits Aisha’s S4-S5 personality.  To me, while it’s upbeat at first, it truly captures Aisha’s intense anguish in these seasons.  It’s not so much a song about her problems with Tritannus as it is about her mourning for Nabu.

And speaking of these two, I’ve heard a poem in one of my English classes that suits them very well.  It’s called “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” and it’s by John Donne.  A link to it can be found here: http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/mourning.php .  However, it’s an older poem, so if you’re intimidated by Renaissance literature, I’m not forcing you to read it.  (If anything, it shows my nerdiness towards the English language.)  So only read this one if it actually interests you.

Also, I’d like you to post which one of the songs you liked best.  Perhaps we could even have a voting competition between this song feature later in the summer.  See you then!

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I knew you were probably expecting my next post to be the first chapter of Zenith of Corruption, and as a matter of fact, that’s the way I myself was expecting it.  However, with the success of my last post, The Rules of Winx Fandom, I felt like I wanted to take a more serious side on one of the issues brought up in that post.

So, before I bring up the actual main idea of the post, I’d like you all to listen to this song. 

(Now, it’s in French, but don’t worry.  The English lyrics are here: http://planet-leesti.co.uk/music/goldman/neen.html)  Pretty much, what the song’s all about is rivalries throughout history and how, if you were to put yourself in their shoes, you might make the same decisions they did.  Doesn’t apply to Winx Club much, does it?

Actually, and sadly, it does.  That gets me to my main point: the RAI/4kids rivalry.  It’s been around forever, at least ever since there’s been an English dub of Winx, and all Nick did was throw another party into the battle.  Most of the time, the fans of the two groups just criticize the other group, simple as that.  That’s not what I have a problem with.

Now, I don’t want to name names, and I want this to be completely anonymous.  However, I saw some people on the Winx blogs discussing how, not only is the 4kids dub not “really” Winx Club, but also implied that 4kids fans were not true Winx fans.

I know that 4kids fans had some difficulty moving on to the Nick dub’s changes, and I know that this caused people some annoyance.  But can’t there be a way to criticize a certain dub without criticizing its fanbase?  Are those commenters truly correct?

If you look at some of the most successful Winx blogs out there, Believix Wings and Just Another Winx Fan, both of their creators, Sibylla and Eric, originally started watching the show through 4kids.  Even if you are on the same sides as they are, put yourself in the shoes of another dub fandom: would you still go on their sites or stop going there because they’re different?  If they find news that has been reported by no one else, would you believe them?

I have faith that you would.  I too originally watched 4kids, and didn’t have that much trouble adapting to the new changes.  I can somewhat understand where the RAI fans may be coming from, as yes, 4kids did make a lot of changes, and a lot of their fans didn’t know that Winx Club was from Italy and thought Nick stole it.  But I found out easily enough: it’s on the Wikipedia page for it.

Think of this as my equivalent to a moment in Season 4.  I’m being like Roxy right now, trying to convince the Earth fairies that not all humans are bad.  And I’m saying that not all 4kids fans are bad, and that not all RAI fans are bad.  Same goes for Nick fans.  There are just those people out there who put us in a negative light, and I understand that you want to take it out on others.  But at least try to reason with one another.  Look past the dubs and realize that fandoms should be categorized by similarities, not by differences from within.  Look for those similarities, and don’t take the easy way out with stereotypes.  See into the person’s true nature.  If we reject all new fans, or all fans that don’t meet certain requirements, we won’t have a fanbase anymore.  Because even if they meet their goal, and the opposing parties go away, they’ll just find more things to fight about with one another.

That doesn’t mean that you have to pretend to like something you don’t.  That’s not what I mean at all.  You can still have your opinions, your constructive criticisms.  You don’t even have to listen to me at all.  But don’t label the fans themselves.  They deserve better than to be insulted.  At the end of the day, they like the same characters, the same animation, just with different scripts and somewhat different plots.  And I am not ashamed to be a 4kids fan.

No, I refuse to call myself a 4kids fan.  That just goes along with the labeling, the cliques, the teasing.  Why use their terms when I’m really just trying to stop all this.

I am not a 4kids fan.  I am a Winx fan.

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The picture on the box. I don’t know how to use a camera *quite* as well as some other people I know, so I’ll stick to what I know and write a text-based review!

This is the Pink Enchantix Bloom doll everyone’s been waiting for!  The Walmart by my house didn’t have any, so my mom and I went around the area looking for them until we eventually found one.  At $29.99, she’s more expensive than the average Winx doll, but from my observations, she’s totally worth it!

So, some people have been complaining about how “Bloom gets all the doll recolors,” but while I’d love to see certain dolls on the market (such as a silver/chrome Tecna Believix, purple Flora Enchantix, red Aisha Enchantix, a Roxy doll, or anything involving Mirta dressed in Gothic Lolita), any Enchantix doll is a happy occasion for me.  But seriously, I would jump up and down about any of these doll ideas, especially the last one.

Now, I don’t have as many Winx dolls as some people, and that’s okay with me.  I also have a Blue Bloom Believix, an Aisha Believix, a Musa Believix, a Flora Believix, and somewhere in my old toy box, I have an old Mattel Bloom doll that came with a Lockette light-up figurine.  I think I played with the adorable Lockette more than with the Bloom, but that’s just me.

Anyway, her outfit is adorable.  There might be some nitpicks, such as “this Bloom doesn’t have her fairy dust necklace or her heart hairpieces.”  As much as I would have liked to see the heart hairpieces, I understand the necklace issue.  In-show, Bloom has a very dangly necklace, which I’d imagine would be hard to replicate.  Chokers like Stella’s or Tecna’s would probably be much easier.  But at least they put a little heart jewel on the dress to make it still look like it’s there.

On an unrelated note, has anyone else ever noticed how much her necklace looks like an Easter egg? Then again, that could be a clever videogame/Internet pun!

I especially like the different layers of glitter on her skirt.  There are about three different shades of pink glitter, which makes it look textured and very detailed.  The wings are probably some of the nicest parts: with Jakks Pacific’s amazing quality of making the wings and the incredible showiness of the Enchantix wings, you know you’re in for a great combination!  The eyes aren’t as detailed as the Blue Bloom Believix eyes, but I’ll cut them some slack on that because my other Bloom doll is a super-exclusive, so more detail is probably to be expected.

However, I did the one thing most Winx doll reviews tell you to never do: since my Bloom came with a part in the hair, I did a simple, light comb to get it out.  She actually doesn’t look that bad with it, though, as long as you’re gentle.  It can mess with the ends, though, so if you like poufy curls, I wouldn’t do it.  I prefer wavy-type curls, so the combing came out just fine.

The disappointing thing, though, is that the stock picture fails to show that Bloom wears her beautiful Enchantix sandals with pink knee socks.  They’re the same that come with the Flora Believix, but unlike in Flora’s case, where the socks look natural with her high boots, it comes off as being unfashionable.  After all, don’t a lot of people bash socks with sandals in the first place?  Luckily, the shoes come off just fine, so you can take off the socks and put the shoes back on for a more stylish look.

I tried doing the same with the arm warmers, but ended up learning a doll lesson the hard way.  If you don’t want them on your doll, think long and hard because they are incredibly hard to get back on!  While they sag on the arms and look like they would come off easily, that is deceptive.  The way they design the hands, one of the fingers (often the thumb) will always get caught in the fishnets and will only end up causing frustration….and of course, damaging the poor fishnets.  And if you try this on a Blue Bloom Believix…if this is any indication, you just might be in for a nightmare.

All in all, though, she’s a very well-made, beautiful doll.  I’d probably give her a 9/10, while the Blue Bloom Believix would slightly edge her out with a 9.5/10.