Sundry Sunday: The President’s Story

Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.

Youtube animator Wooden Turtle has done Pikmin animations before, and we’ve linked some of them here: The Groovy Long Legs Experience, and Cooking With Louie #1 and #2. They’re fun riffs on Pikmin’s lore and backstory, and this week’s video is another of those.

In Pikmin, the game’s backstory was communicated mostly through Olimar’s Log, which was a situational message given at the end of each game day that reminded and expanded on its events. Pikmin 2 kept the idea but changed the messages to emails from Olimar’s employer, called Sacho. In the opening, it’s revealed that the freight company that he owned and Olimar works for undertook a gigantic debt due to the loss of a cargo of highly-expensive Pikpik carrots that he was responsible for. (To find out what happened to them, you have to finish Pikmin 2 to 100% completion.)

In Pikmin, you have a strict 30 day time limit to get enough parts of your ship to return home. Pikmin 2 has no time limit. You can take as many days as you want to collect treasures, and the number of days it requires is more like a score. To keep the pressure on the player, as the days reel off, you receive a series of increasingly frantic email messages from Sacho, who as it turns out unwisely covered the debt with an organization called “All-Consuming Black Hole Loan Sharks.” Their means to insure repayment are ruthless, but in fairness to them, you should know what you’re getting into from their name.

Sacho is forced to go on the lam to escape their wrath, and for a time lives beneath a bridge and befriends the animals there. But you don’t need me to tell you of those events: they’re animated in Wooden Turtle’s latest production! It’s eight minutes long:

Sundry Sunday: Cooking With Louie #2

Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.

A few weeks back we posted a fun stop-motion animation of Louie, the hunger-driven sidekick and alternate leader character from the game Pikmin 2, hosting a cooking show in which he tried to prepare a Bulbear for eating. It didn’t go well, because Bulbears in Pikmin 2 spontaneously come back to life if not harvested quickly. Oops!

Well sponsors Hocotate Freight didn’t learn their lesson, and there’s now a second episode of Cooking With Louie. Word of advice: it’s best not to use live alien lifeforms as your method of roasting the dish.

Sundry Sunday: Cooking With Louie

Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.

Pikmin 2 introduced Olimar’s disreputable underling Louie. (Their names are an in-joke: “Olimar” is mostly the syllables in “Mario” in reverse order, and Louie thus references Luigi.)

Whereas Olimar is mostly trying to get home, or else earn money to pay off his company’s debts, Louie is mostly along because he’s a working stiff, or else perhaps because he loves the taste of planet PNF-404’s native wildlife. Olimar’s entries on the creatures in Pikmin 2’s Piklopedia take a naturalistic, even scientific, style, Louie’s mostly concern the best way to prepare each beast for the dinner table. It a humorous little detail, and one of Pikmin 2’s most charming elements.

Wooden Turtle on Youtube has made a stop motion animation of a new cooking show on Hokotate television featuring the starfaring chef, titled Cooking With Louie. But sadly it doesn’t go that well, due to the regenerative properties of one of the critters being prepared. And someone should get those camerapikmin unionized immediately.

An extra: from Napkins X, a line of Pikmin dancing to everyone’s favorite decade-old dance hit.

Sundry Sunday: The Groovy Long Legs Experience

Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.

In the year + one half we’ve been doing this, we’ve dug up a lot of varied things for Sundays. This one’s pretty short, but still, the fact they made it in stop motion is respectable. (At least I assume it’s stop motion. They could have made it in a computer I guess, but then, why make look like it was stop motion? Some kind of Lego Movie stylistic flex?)

Anyway, it’s another Pikmin 4 video. Pikmin 4 is not as sharply designed as Pikmins 1 or 3, it takes after 2 (it has caves, and even has one starring that game’s most infamous boss, the Waterwraith), but even the flabbiest Pikmin game is still a wonderful thing to behold.

This video covers is about an actual boss battle in Pikmin 4. Previous games had you fight monsters in the Long Legs family: the Beady Long Legs from Pikmin 1, the Raging Long Legs from 2, the Shaggy Long Legs from 3 and now… the Groovy Long Legs. This video is not confabulating much: it shines lights around, plays music, and your Pikmin actually do get down when you’re fighting it–which usually results in them getting turn into Pikmin Paste. Time to reload the floor….

The Groovy Long Legs Experience (Youtube, one minute)

Wii to WiiU Data Transfer Animations, Starring Pikmin

This would ordinarily go into a Sundry Sunday post, but it’s interesting for historical value. Unlike the Switch’s spartan interface, the WiiU took some of its UI design inspiration from the 3DS, which was a bit more playful. The 3DS supported theming the main menu, which is a feature that never came to the WiiU, but they both did support StreetPass, with the WiiU still having its little-noticed StreetPass server settings among its rainbow-colored settings menu options. And of course both systems supported the Miiverse, Nintendo’s failed attempt at its own gaming-focused social media service, which let users make text and drawing posts, tied in with their Mii feature (still in the Switch although much declined in prominence), and allowed Nintendo to send users information directly to players. Miiverse is gone now, has been for years, but some people I hear are working on a fan-led revival. I shudder to think of what will get posted there without Nintendo’s moderators.

Back to the interface. Probably the quirkiest of Nintendo’s UI creations was an animation that went with the tool, downloaded fro the Wii’s Shop Channel, that transferred system and shop data from the Wii into an SD card package to be transferred to a fresh WiiU system. It could have been a simple progress bar, but they had their developers create a charming (gee I use that word a lot) sequence where Pikmin, at that point only those from the Pikmin 2 game that had last been seen on Gamecube, visually bundle up all of the transferable software, use a walkway to carry it into a waiting rocketship, and jet off to a nearby sun marked with the WiiU logo. At that point, the user would be prompted to move the SD card to the WiiU, where after installing a corresponding tool from the WiiU’s eShop, the process could continue, with a matching unloading animation.

If you never had the chance to see this sequence (easily possible given the WiiU’s low sales), or just want to relive the process, here it is, both of the Wii to WiiU data transfer animations, at about eight minutes:

This video only shows the animation. If you’d rather relive the whole process, including system menus, instructions and warning messages, here is a 15 minute video that records it. It also seems to have a couple of scenes that aren’t in the above video, including the one depicted in the head image.

A brief personal story. When the WiiU came out I got one. The WiiU’s fate was already sealed by that point, and I got it pretty cheap from a local Target. By that time my much-played Wii had been suffering from some serious issues. It had been hacked many times, the Homebrew Channel installed and its boot software replaced.

People will tell you that doing this is only for the purposes of piracy, and that’s really not true. We put the Wii to use as a general media player. It lived mostly at a friend’s house, and whenever I would go over we would use it to watch movies and things from SD cards. We even watched a DVD or two that way; while the Wii had a DVD drive installed, Nintendo didn’t spring for the licenses to play DVD movies, so it was purely intended as a data drive. You could bypass that restriction with the right homebrew software, although it wasn’t great and didn’t seem able to do menus, so we almost never used it.

My Wii had put into heavy use for game and media playing, and I put on and removed a lot of software over time, in addition of course to hacking it several times. As a result, it had gotten quite glitchy. Sometimes it wouldn’t boot, sometimes it would boot okay but wait until getting some ways into a game and freezing, and sometimes, weirdly, it’d show the opening Health warning screen, but the letters in the font would glitch out, individually. It was really a sight to see.

As a result I was really glad to get the saveable data off of that system and onto hardware that was reliable. I had to go through the whole sequence more than once, as the console froze along the way a time or two, but fortunately I got it, and our large Mii collection, all off and onto the WiiU, where it still lives today.

Collecting and saving Miis, from friends and the nearly-forgotten Check Mii Out Channel, and the Mii Parade of random Miis sent from Nintendo, is an aspect of the Wii that has not survived to the Switch. I hope whatever successor the Switch gets has something like it. And bring back StreetPass too!

Wii to Wii U Data Transfer w/ Pikmin (Youtube, 8 minutes)

Pikmin 2 Treasure Changes For Switch

Remember when Pikmin 2 came out on Gamecube? It marked a considerable departure from the first game’s structure. Pikmin had a hard time limit, and it was rather a rush to complete the game within its 30 days on your first try. Pikmin 2 dispensed with that, giving players as many days as they wanted. It also had “dungeon” areas, semi-random underground mazes where even the day timer was paused. A considerable portion of the game was in those underground areas.

One of the less-remembered things about Pikmin 2 was that it had actual product placement in it. Many of the treasures you found were outright commercial objects, modeled and textured in the game, some with vaguely promotional names, like “Courage Reactor” for Duracell Battery, or “Quenching Emblem” for a 7-Up bottle cap. Even the European and Japanese versions had these, although they reflected products from their territories instead.

Presumably because the licensing deals for these objects have expired, the Switch 2 version of Pikmin 2 uses different, more generic items in place of the trademarked originals. The replacements are an interesting lot. Where they could have just removed the old textures and replaced them with solid colors, they put in fake ingredients lists (too small to read), “Established 1920” notices, fake slogans and logos, notices of product quantity in Imperial units with metric equivalent, and more. You’d almost believe Olimar was finding real goods from Earth, ones that you just haven’t heard of. The tip-off is, the names of the replacement products are just slightly too generic. “Coconut Water” and “Night Lip Balm” are descriptive but generic, and so but really able to be trademarked. They’re a nice batch of fake brands though. For “Pineapple Fresh Slices,” they even made up a realistic-looking US-style Nutrition Facts label!

The differences have been recorded in a video by ModenXP on Youtube, embedded below:

And now, as an exercise in overkill, here’s a list of all the old and new versions, and interesting things about the replacements:

Courage Reactor (280 poko)Duracell D-Cell battery“Electric Power Super Battery,” a fake brand that replaces the multiple Duracell items among the treasures. It’s also a D cell. There’s a warning box that’s too small for me to read.
Quenching Emblem (100 poko)7-Up bottle capBottle cap for “Spicy Ginger Ale, Premium Quality.” There’s some other text along the outer edge that’s just on the other side of the readability afforded by the texture compression.
Alien Billboard (80 poko)Kiwi Shoe Polish, 1 1/8 ounce (31 gram) size“Shoe Polish, highquality shoe care.” “Established 1920.” The size is 32 grams, “1,128 OZ” in the British style, using a comma as the decimal separator instead of a period. The slogan “Shine & Protect” runs along the outer edge of the lid.
Drought Ender (100 poko)Old-style Dr. Pepper bottle capA bottle cap for “Coconut Water,” evidently a product someone would want to buy. The rim assures us, twice, that it is in fact “100% Pure Coconut Water.” Promise or threat, you decide.
Survival Ointment (90 poko)A tube of ChapStick lip balm“Night Lip Balm,” with “Extra Moisture.” Lots of tiny unreadable text on this one.
Gerkin Gate/Flavor Gate (100 poko)A lid to a jar of Vlasic picklesThe only item with a different title. This is “Orange Jam,” “Made With Real Fruit,” “Organic Homemade Product.” 13.4 oz (380 grams). Shouldn’t they have just called it marmalade?
Creative Inspiration (100 poko)Old-style bottle cap for RC Cola, eternal third-place in the cola wars“Delicious! Black Berry Soda.” One of the more generic logos.
Patience Tester (130 poko)A can of Sun Luck water chestnuts. How many company ad departments would let a licensor get away with implying their product tests one’s patience?“Pineapple, Fresh Slices.” “In heavy syrup.” Oh, joy. (I don’t like pineapple, and pineapple syrup is not something I would ever care to try.) It’s interesting that they changed even the type of product here, although it’s the same sized can.
Healing Cask (60 poko)A jar of Carmex salve, “FOR-COLD-SORES.” Even though the lid looks like it’s from the 50s, I think this is how the product looks even today.“Organic” Aloe Vera Cream. Nice stylized rendering of a plant on the cover, but otherwise pretty ordinary.
Salivatrix (30 poko)A lid for Dannon “Fruit on the Bottom.” Fruit on the bottom of what? It doesn’t say! It does tell us it has “Same Great Taste!”, but again, the same great taste of what? The mysteries belie this treasure’s paltry value. Bee the why, “Salivatrix” sounds like an enabler of a particularly niche kink.“Morning Fruit Yogurt.” Aaah that’s right, Dannon makes yogurt! Did they remake Pikmin 2 just so they could fix their omission? Blueberry, and Low Fat, Net Wt. 15 oz (425.25g). Thanks for the two decimal places of metric accuracy, fake yogurt lid.
Thirst Activator (300 poko)Cap to a bottle of Tree Top juice. What variety is left unspecified. One of the little jokes of the game is how far off the retail value the Salvage Pod’s valuation of your treasures is. 300 poko is pretty valuable!“FRESH Organic Fruit Sauce.” The name is still Thirst Activator though. Brings to mind gulping down a nice hearty jar of Ragu’s finest, mm-mmm. Both versions of the treasure have arrows telling a consumer which way to open the jar.
Massive Lid (100 poko)Old-style cap to a bottle of Yoo-Hoo Cola. Cola? The internet is mum as to the history of this mysterious product. I don’t want to imagine what it was like.The cap now reads “Mountain Water.” It’s a metal bottlecap, as if to a glass bottle. At least it’s recyclable. The title is odd; it’s a small cap, there’s plenty of bigger lids in the treasure hoard.
Happiness Emblem (100 poko)Another old-style bottlecap, this to a can of Squirt grapefruit soda. Squirt, a Dr. Pepper brand, is still made and sold even today.Ginger Ale LIGHT. Has an ingredients list right on the cap, just like the Squirt cap had. The ingredients are even readable: carbonated Water, high-fructose corn syrup, ginger extract. Hey, I’d drink it. Nintendo’s localizers know their territory.
Durable Energy Cell (160 poko)Duracell C-Cell battery.Electric Power Super Battery, again, Duracell’s counterpart in the Pikmin ludomatic universe.
Endless Repository (130 poko)A can of Beach Cliff Sardines, “Proudly made in the USA” and “in soybean oil.”“Sardines, Skinless & Boneless.” “In olive oil & lemon.” The “pull ring easy-open” and fake UPC code are nice touches. This is one of my favorite fake products, even though I’ve never eaten a canned fish in anger.
Pondering Emblem (100 poko)Cap to a bottle of Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Flavored Beverage. The pondering part of it is wondering what the hell Yoo-Hoo is made of.“Milk Crown” Cream Soda. Nice stylized representation of a splash of milk. The cap tells us “artificial flavor & color.” Remember to demand natural flavoring and coloring from your fictional video-game beverages!
Abstract Masterpiece (30 poko)A Snapple Cap. You can’t flip it over to see if there’s a Snapple Fact on the bottom.Sunny Tropical Juice. “What kind of juice?” “Tropical.” At least the label tells us it’s made from the best natural fruit. No synthetic fruit here, oh no no.
Optical Illustration (140 poko)Lid to a jar of Ragu tomato-based sauce. I joked about it, and lo, it has come into being. There is very little optical here, and it hardly qualifies as an illustration“Tomato Basil” homemade pasta sauce. One of the faker-looking treasures.
Activity Arouser (100 poko)The “W”-logo from the lid of a can of Wilson tennis balls.One of the few overtly fake brands, with a logo of a flaming tennis ball and the cryptic word “TARAI” in a sci-fi font. No other information is supplied. This mystery is going to haunt me.
Proton AA (90 poko)Duracell AA-Cell battery.The third of the Electric Power Super Battery collection. It looks a whole lot like one of those battery brands you can find at a dollar store, that last roughly 23 seconds when put to use.
Drone Supplies (130 poko)Underwood Deviled Ham Spread. A really distinctive package, round but wrapped in paper with a unique fold at the top.Tuna Salad Spread. The kept the paper wrapping. This is the one with the realistic Nutrition Facts label on the back.
Fuel Reservoir (120 poko)Duracell 9-Volt battery.Last of the Electric Power Super Battery set.
Fruit Guard (130 poko)A can (not just the lid!) of Tree Top apple juice. The words “Apple Juice” are not written in Comic-Sans, but it does look a lot like they are.FRESH Organic 100% apple juice. FRESH seems to be the replacement brand for Tree Top. At least it’s not drinkable fruit sauce this time. Also has a Nutritional Facts label on the back (as does the original).
Nutrient Silo (130 poko)Skippy creamy peanut butter.Ribbon’s peanut butter. They made a cute little logo involving a pair of cartoon peanuts for it! I demand fan art of them immediately, get to work! Also has a Nutrition Facts box and fake barcode.
Yellow Taste Tyrant (100 poko)The yellow, unpainted plastic lid of a wide-mouthed container of French’s mustard. The French’s logo is molded into the surface, and seems to react to light, which is interesting.A green painted illustration of a hot dog with the words “Hot Mustard” twice. The modeled French’s logo is gone.
Stringent Container (130 poko)A canister of Clabber Girl baking powder.The canister is of “Baking Powder,” “Queen’s Quality,” “Double Acting” and “Gluten Free.” Established 1932! Like the original, has both nutrition facts and a recipe, here for a chocolate muffin. You can just make out that a “serving” of this can of baking powder has 55 calories. At the bottom of the nutrition facts it says “European Leading Brand.”
Hypnotic Platter (100 poko)Bottle cap for A&W (presumably) Root Beer. Caffeine free.“19TH Anniversary” premium orange juice. Apparently sold in soda-style glass bottles?
There are also probably changed descriptions in the Piklopedia for these items, but I have yet to get the game myself so I can’t report on those.

27 Treausres that Changed in Pikmin 2 on Switch (Youtube, 14 minutes)

Nintendo Direct 2/8/23

Thursdays here at the moment are the domain of Edit the Frog, so we put off our overview of the Nintendo Direct until today.

While most sites have already regurgitated the news into your waiting beaks, this time we’re recounting the release dates chronologically, so you’ll know what order to expect everything. Specific games of possible interest to a hazy mirage that I imagine to be our readers are in bold:

8th: Nintendo Switch Online Gameboy & GBA Support, Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass, Metroid Prime Remastered
15th: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass DLC volume 3
22nd: Metroid Prime Remastered on cartridge
24th: Octopath Traveler II, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe

6th: Dead Cells Return to Castlevania DLC
17th: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
20th: Spring begins. Releases for Spring: Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC Wave 4,

11th: Tron: Identity
21st: Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp
27th: Omega Strike

12th: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Some time in June: Harmony: Fall of Reverie
1st: Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection
2nd: We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie (what is it with the word “reverie” this month?)
21st: Summer begins. Releases for Summer: New Samba de Amigo, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster

21st: Pikmin 4
28th: Disney Illusion Island

29th: Sea of Stars

Some time in 2023: Fashion Dreamer, Decapolice, Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time, Professor Layton and the New World of Steam

News 7/20/22: Pikmin Cracked Boy

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Aaron Greenbaum at Den of Geek investigates, what was the last NES game released? Covers multiple territories, and both licensed and unlicensed titles, although in that later case recent releases stretch the premise considerably.

This might be our first link to, reporting that Nintendo has purchased the studio that animated those charming Pikmin shorts from back in the Wii-U era. [Reminders: first, second, third] Maybe we should save those links for Sunday? Maybe we’ll just slip them in again some week.

We have a bit of animosity towards Cracked for how they treated several of their prior writers, although that did eventually result in the creation of both Behind The Bastards and Some More News, which are creator-owned. Still, bad scene Cracked. Currently working for them (for how long?) is Eli Yudin, and they wrote a list of 15 Gloriously Weird Genesis games. It contains ToeJam & Earl, Wiz & Liz, Rocket Knight Adventures, The Ooze, and Mutant League Football, among others.

At Stone Age Gamer they have a series about Game Boy sequels to NES games, and in that Chris Randazzo writes about Blaster Master Boy, which is really a Game Boy port of Robowarrior, which was originally known as Bomber King in Japan, where it was a spinoff of Bomberman! The source for that information: the dusty back corners of my beleaguered brain.

Callum Bains at TechRadar brings us news that a number of Bethesda and id Software games are playable for free, for a limited time, to people in the Xbox Insiders program.

Jody Macgregor at PC Gamer tells us that that fan remake of Ocarina of Time will get new features, including unlocked frame rate and adjustable difficulty.

News 6/21/22: Atari Protonic Quakey Pikmin

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Rich Stanton at PC Gamer: Atari shocks the world with decent-looking game, Atari Mania! He compares it to the Japan-only Segagaga, but what the gameplay description really brings to my protoplasmic mind is NES Remix. We’re pretty harsh on the company that calls itself Atari on this site, but it’s really nice to see something genuinely interesting coming from them, that respects and pays homage to their paid-for name instead of just cashing in on it!

Atari Mania

Ana Diaz, in the virtual pages of Polygon, says that Netflix subscribers should download Poinpy, a short and fun game that’s free to subscribers. It’s a game about climbing and making smoothies for hungry monsters!

Liam Dawe of GamingOnLinux writes about Proton 7.0-3 further improving Windows games on Steam Deck and Linux running Steam. I anxiously watch for the day when Windows 10 reaches end-of-life, since none of my current machines officially supports Windows 11, drebnar.

Noelle Warner at Destructoid relates that crowdfunded indie game A Frog’s Tale looks great, with play inspired by games like Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

We usually steer away from speculative news here, but the piece by Jess Reyes at Inverse is too interesting to ignore, that Breath of the Wild 2 leaks suggest Zelda might be playable and a New Game Plus mode. Now that’s some meaningless hype that we can appreciate, drebnar!

Martin Robinson at Eurogamer suggests that Street Fighter 6‘s Smash Bros-like control system might be its best new feature. I’ve mentioned here in the past a personal grudge I have against fighting games, having never grown to cotton to them back when I was a teenage blobby, but it’s nice to see the series working to make itself more accessible to new players, even if the article’s tone verges slightly on the over-enthusiastic, in my amoebic opinion.

Adam Conway at XDA, on how Quake was ported to the GBA. A quick summary: “with much difficulty.” But truly, it’s a very interesting article, with the added detail that the unreleased rom has been preserved! There’s an attached YouTube video.

Alana Hagues with the one NintendoLife link we’re allowing ourselves this time, a reminder that it’s been five years since last word of progress on Pikmin 4.

And, honestly, a lot of the pieces that make the page here are light and fluffy, but here’s one a bit more important than usual. I love the headline applied to Ethan Gach’s bit for Kotaku, entitled Activision Blizzard Clears Itself of Any Wrongdoing. And the tagline reads, “The Call of Duty publisher says it’s the victim of an ‘unrelenting barrage of media criticism'” I WONDER WHY THAT IS, ACTIVISION BLIZZARD. HOW COULD THAT HAPPEN?