Late summer and early fall seem to be popular times for bloggers to host community events. I’m neck-deep in the Blogger Blitz: Black Sheep competition and also the featured blogger this month in Later Level’s Question of the Month. The Well-Red Mage is asking big questions and Normal Happening is working up a massive collaboration all about the games that impact our lives. It’s a good time to be a game blogger, and today I’m submitting my entry into yet another community project: the Video Game Reality House, created by Luna over at Gamers United!
Luna is looking for a collection of 16 video game characters to populate a house where all kinds of wacky video game challenges will take place. She’s opened it up to the community to submit their own competitors for the competition, and fans will be able to save their favorites using a voting process on Twitter and by posting their own articles about why their heroes would win. You can get the full details on Gamers United: for now, I’m here to propose a character to compete in the show. Or rather…I’m here to interview him.
A little background on our guest. This is a video game character I’ve known for a long time. As a kid, we hung around all the time. I guess you could say he mentored me, in a way. As I got older and his franchise became less and less successful, we didn’t see each other as often. It’s been quite some time since I’ve played a game with him in it. But often, I’ll revisit the first game where we met, and when I do it’s just like old times again. So I imagine that our conversation today will be as if we never parted. Without further ado, allow me to introduce today’s guest and my submission for the Video Game Reality House: Peppy Hare!
A tall rabbit enters the scene, wearing a long white coat over flight gear. An older rabbit, he hobbles slowly towards the chair which Ian has readied for him. Ian hurries to Peppy’s side and guides him to the chair, easing the rabbit into the cushioned seat before returning to his own place across from it.
“Your father helped me like that, too!”
Ian nods. Peppy had been friends with his father and even his grandfather – his close relationship with the family was how Ian had come to be so close with the eccentric rabbit. Ian reaches to the small table beside his seat and picks up a black leather-bound notebook, along with a black ink pen. He opens the book and begins to write as he speaks.
“It’s been a few years since we last spoke – how are things?”
Peppy gives a hearty laugh and gestures to his prodigious rabbit belly.
“This is Peppy, all systems go!”
Ian chuckles in response and writes down Peppy’s answer. He then reaches for a glass sitting on the table where his notebook had been placed. Picking it up, he takes a sip of the pulpy, orange liquid within before sitting the glass back down.
“So you’re about the enter the Video Game Reality House competition? Do you know much about it?”
Peppy nods in response to the first question, but shakes his head as Ian finishes the second.
“I’m going ahead. Back me up, Fox!”
Ian balks for a moment at the name but nods as he remembers. Ian’s grandfather never calls his grandchildren by their proper names – he says it’s so that when he finally goes senile, no one will realize any difference. When he told Peppy that story some years ago, Peppy loved it so much that he adopted the strategy for himself. Ian couldn’t remember the last time the old rabbit had addressed him by his real name.
“Alright, I’ll back you up Peppy. Here, I have a flyer.”
Ian picks up the flyer off of his table and hands it to Peppy. Their chairs are positioned closely enough that he only has to lean forward, no standing needed. Peppy accepts the flyer and squints at it, moving it closer to his face and then holding it as far away as he can reach. He begins padding his pockets as if looking for something – clearly, he can’t find his glasses. Ian gives it a few moments and then clears his throat, tapping the top of his head. Peppy reaches up to the top of his own head, where his bifocals are placed. He gives a wry smile and shakes his head.
“They’re on me! I’m getting careless!”
“No worries, Peppy, I’ll just explain it. The video game reality house is a competition where lots of characters from video games will live in a house together while competing in various events. You’ll probably have to do things like relay races, balancing challenges, cooking competitions, throwing things, even work together with other competitors on a team.”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Fox.”
“Oh don’t be modest, Peppy, you have all sorts of skills that you bring to a competition like this. First of all, you have an extensive military history and you’ve survived battles where the rest of your squad was slaughtered. That shows you’re tough and an overcomer, qualities that are very important in a competitive setting like this one.”
Peppy, who has been busying himself reaching for his own glass of orange juice, takes a deep drink from his cup. He seems to consider Ian’s point for a few moments, and then nods.
“I’ve taken a few hits, but I’m okay!”
“And you may not be in as good of shape as you used to be, but that doesn’t mean your physical skills are anything to sneeze at. No one on Team Star Fox is better at jumping than you, and you know your way around a blaster so well that you can charge it at four times standard charging speed. And once you’re charged up, all you have to do it hit ’em in the weak spot, right?”
Peppy makes finger guns and mimes taking a shot at Ian.
“Go for the eyes!”
Ian winces and looks behind Peppy towards the representative from the Video Game Reality House, who gives an intimidating shake of his head.
“Uh, sounds like the eyes are an illegal move, Peppy.”
The rabbit, flustered, readjusts the aim on his finger guns.
“Maybe it’s an arm. Aim for the arm!”
The man behind Peppy shrugs his shoulders in a universal “so-so” gesture.
“We’ll work on it. In all honesty, your blaster skills might be a bit overkill for an event like this, but I’m sure you have some other athletic skills for events like doing races or jumping off of cliffs and stuff. Can you tell us about some of the cool maneuvers you know?”
At this Peppy seemed to get very excited.
“Try a somersault! Do a barrel roll! Try a U-Turn!”
Ian sighs deeply and cuts Peppy off before he can go any further.
“Uh, Peppy, those are all Arwing maneuvers. I’m talking about techniques that you use when you’re running or diving or doing any of the other things that you might actually have to do for this competition. Can you give us just a little sneak peak at your strategy?”
“I’ll take care of everything below!”
Ian sits for a moment and stares at the camera. He seems lost for words. After a moment, a lightbulb seems to go off and he turns towards Peppy excitedly.
“Oh, I get it, you’re going to use your jumping prowess to get an edge! That’ll certainly make a big difference, as I doubt there will be anyone else in a video game competition who specializes in jumping ability. There’s one thing we haven’t talked about, though, and that’s the part of the competition where you’ll be living with these people. Have you watched any of these shows, Peppy? Do you know the kind of stuff that happens in these houses? Or are shows like this not popular at your country club?”
Peppy furrows his brow at the jab.
“Watch where you’re flying.”
“Sorry, that was a cheap shot. Look Peppy, in these reality shows the real focus isn’t the action during the challenges, it’s the action in the house, if you know what I’m saying. Hook ups are common occurrences during these things. A more traditional fellow like you might find himself unsettled by the carnal indulgences of the other competitors. Then again, you know what they say about rabbits-”
“Quit dinkin’ around, Slip!”
“In all seriousness, Peppy, I’m not too concerned about you getting in a romantic entanglement – it’s part of why I picked a geriatric rabbit as my competitor. But how do you plan to resist the temptation of things like alcohol that might cut into your ability to perform during the challenges?”
“Be careful, it’s a trap! Don’t let any of them through!”
“Abstaining entirely, eh? I suppose as an experienced pilot, you’re accustomed to putting off indulgences so that your mind can be as sharp as possible when operating your very dangerous machinery. Alright Peppy, I have one last question for you and then I think we’ll call it a night. What’s your motto going into this competition?”
Peppy thinks on that a moment. He gets a far off look in his eye, as if he is thinking back on all the advice he had ever given. Finally, he settles on a motto and smiles.
“Never give up. Trust your instincts.”
Ian nods profoundly and writes those words in his notebook, circling them.
“Truly an excellent motto to live by! I hope it serves you well in the competition, Peppy. I think that’s all the time we have for tonight, so I want to thank you for coming by to talk to me. Now that you’re all signed up, the nice gentlemen from the Reality House are going to take you to where the competition is being held, so please cooperate with them.”
The imposing figure standing in the background throughout the interview suddenly steps forward, coming up right behind the rabbit in the chair. With a single smooth motion, the man picks up the entire chair with Peppy still in it and begins to carry him away. Peppy flails wildly, calling out to Ian as he is dragged out.
“Take care of the guy behind me, Fox!”
Ian simply waves as Peppy is carted away.
“Good luck, Peppy! I’ll be rooting for you!”