On this week’s episode of Channel F (The Fanbyte Video Game Game Show™), host merritt k and friends/coworkers/contestants LB Hunktears, Nerium, and Fūnk-é Joseph gather together to celebrate the third anniversary of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, a beloved game held in the possible highest regard by everyone on the show, except for Fūnk-é, who’s never played it. Fūnk-é also wasn’t warned about the day’s theme ahead of time and thus was given no opportunity to prepare, but merritt assures me that everything is on the up-and-up with regards to her challenges’ impartiality, so I’m inclined to believe her.
Though the quiz in question pertains specifically to merritt’s Blue Lions playthrough of Three Houses, each contestant is expected to answer questions about who was killed, who was saved, etc. This includes Fūnk-é. who — and I can’t stress this enough — has never played Three Houses. I’m not even sure if Fūnk-é has played a Fire Emblem game, period (not that it would help much here). They somehow manage to make a respectable showing during one of our longest quizzes to date, but is it enough to snatch an unlikely victory from the romantic/tactical jaws of defeat?
Later, the gang takes a quick trip to the skyscraper zoo (there are giraffes!) before testing their knowledge of limited edition video game consoles in Fact or Fiction (Console Special Editions Edition). What’re the odds that there actually was a Men in Black-branded version of the original PlayStation? Or a Taco Bell Xbox 360, for that matter? Did the Cenobites from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser series help promote a related tie-in console? And was there any series too stupid to get its own edition of the PlayStation 4? Find out by listening to this week’s episode.
Segments: Fire Emblem: Three Houses merritt k Playthrough Retrospective Spectacular, Fact or Fiction (Console Special Editions Edition)
Channel F Ep. 170: Acheron of Phlegethon Transcript
Transcribed by E. Powers
merritt: Hi, and welcome to Channel F, the show where we pit your favorite Fanbyte staff members against one another in contests of skill and knowledge. I am your host, merritt k, and let’s get started. I would like to start the show by talking about ads. And these aren’t people who have paid us, but we use a site called time.is to sync up our recordings, because it has a clock that we all use to clap, and then our producer Jordan Mallory makes the files play nice together. But I don’t use an ad blocker on this computer, because I rarely use the internet on it. It’s mainly just for recording podcasts and playing games. So I get ads on this site, and I don’t know if you all do as well. If not, you can make some up. But right now I’ve got an ad for Lowe’s July 4th savings, which that was a week ago, so I don’t know if that’s still going on or what. I’ve got an ad for Best Buy. Just Best Buy, it seems. Like, just laptop at Best Buy. And I’ve got an ad for skincare at Sephora, so they’ve sort of got my number. I like computer, I like skin, and I like grilling or appliance. Fanbyte Senior Managing Editor Nerium, what you got for us?
Nerium: Yeah, I got an ad for The Crew 2, which is…
merritt: Oh, interesting.
Nerium: A 25 year old Ubisoft racing game.
merritt: Yeah. [laughs]
Nerium: That is fucking terrible, is the crucial thing about that game. I reviewed that game. It’s godawful. And I guess they’re still putting out ads for it, ‘cause it just gave me an ad that said there’s now a 60 frames per second mode.
merritt: Wait, I thought this was a joke.
Nerium: No. No, no, no, no.
Fūnk-é: How are you getting ads for that?
merritt: Wait, sorry. Sorry, hold on. [laughs] I thought this was like a funny joke that you were doing of like, oh, wouldn’t it be funny if games companies like continued to advertise their old games? Like, “Hey, you can still play this one. You can’t play the Assassin’s Creed that we’re taking away from you, but you can play The Crew 2.”
Nerium: You can play The Crew 2.
merritt: But you’re saying that there’s a real ad for The Crew 2 on the time is website.
Nerium: [sighs] So, here’s a terrible thing I know about The Crew 2, partially because I have a certain…I used to review a lot of games. I don’t do it much anymore now, but back in the day when I worked for Ars Technica mostly, mostly what I did was review games for my good friend Kyle over there.
Nerium: And I have sort of developed a weird sort of like fascination with like following up on some of the worst games that I used to like check in on, and just–
merritt: Yeah, like a “Where are they now?”
Nerium: Where are they now? We know where they are now, but where are they now now? kind of situation.
Nerium: And one of those games, obviously, we’ve talked about on this podcast, Hello Neighbor. Another one of those games, The Crew 2.
merritt: I love this.
Nerium: My understanding with The Crew 2 is that, despite being terrible, they have continued to support the shit out of that game ever since it came out, and that game has like slow– like many Ubisoft games, like Rainbow Six Siege before, had gone on to sell really, really well over time, because they just never stop. They just don’t give up. They just like brute force success into their video games, so it’s like actually still pretty popular. And also, there’s not like a ton of competition for that sort of open world racing game. There’s like the Forza games every once in a while, but that’s an Xbox exclusive, for instance. There’s Gran Turismo, but that’s obviously extremely simulation-heavy. But, so yeah, The Crew still holding it down, and by holding it down I mean controlling like shit.
merritt: [laughs] I love this like checking in on terrible people from high school on Facebook kind of thing. [Nerium laughs]
merritt: But like, Hey, I wonder what The Crew is up to. Ah, still just sliding around all over the road, you fucking dipshit.” God.
merritt: Fanbyte Social Editor+, is that right? LB Hunktears?
LB: You got it.
merritt: I got it! You got any ads for us, or you got adblock?
LB: I do have adblock, but I turned it off just for this.
LB: And then Nerium started talking, and I was like, “Fuck, we’re supposed to do a bit?” but then it was a real ad, and I relaxed again. [merritt laughs] Uh, you’re invited to Camp McDonald’s: new menu hacks, deals, merch drops, and performances, July 5 to July 31. There was also a thing about, “These are the most beautiful twins in the world. You’ll never believe what they look like now.” Shopper’s voice. And, uh, those are my ads. Yeah.
merritt: Okay, so…wow, where do I start? [Nerium laughs] The Camp McDonald’s thing. Do you remember like when you were a kid and you got summer off school, which doesn’t make any sense, by the way. I don’t know if y’all have thought about that recently, but nobody’s doing any farming and–
Nerium: I mean…
Nerium: I literally was.
merritt: Really? In the summer?
Nerium: I was going to my– both of my grandparents have farms and many of my aunts and uncles.
Nerium: So I would, on the weekends, go down and help with the cows, and I would drive around on four wheelers.
merritt: Well, on the weekends.
Fūnk-é: People be farming.
merritt: But you can do on the weekends during the school year.
Nerium: No, not as much.
merritt: No, okay. Well, I apologize to our rural listeners and to Nerium for erasing them with my urban-centric bias, [laughs softly] but let’s just say that many people– farming is not as common as it once was, and there’s no real reason for kids to be off in the summer except that rich people like to go to their fancy vacation homes. But do you remember when there’d be things like this? Like, oh, Camp McDonald’s or like Camp Hyrule on the Nintendo website, and there’d be all these like cool like–
LB: They had Camp Hyrule?
merritt: Yeah. It wasn’t a physical camp.
LB: You could go hang out with Zelda– oh.
merritt: It was a weird online thing, but at the time when you didn’t really understand how the internet worked, it seemed very cool. I’ll probably write about it. [Nerium laughs]
LB: I want to go to camp and it’s like, “Oh no, we gotta get back in our bunks in time, or Ganondorf’s gonna find us! We’ll be in trouble!” [laughter]
Fūnk-é: That’s nightmare mode. That is a Goosebumps episode.
merritt: [voice] “Campers, the blood moon,” [laughter] just over the PA.
Nerium: Did y’all go to camp like that, like summer camp?
LB: A little bit. I didn’t like it.
merritt: I went to summer camp. I hated it.
LB: And it’s expensive.
merritt: I got heat rash.
Nerium: I went to summer camp a couple of times, and my most vivid memory of it was…I don’t know who this person was, because it could not be me anymore, but I did, when I was younger, catch frogs and snakes and bugs and things a lot with my friends.
merritt: Yeah, that’s like a child activity, for sure.
Nerium: Totally, totally. But now I’m just like, eww, it’s just like, you know, I’ve completely flipped around. At the time, though, we went around at summer camp one year and gathered a bunch of snakes and put them into boxes, and we were like, “Well, we want to keep them with us, ’cause they’re our friends now. They’re our pets.
merritt: Of course.
Fūnk-é: Uh huh.
merritt: The Pokémon that you’ve caught.
Nerium: Right. We’ve caught the Pokémon, just like Pokémon is based off of. And we brought them indoors into where we would sleep that night.
Nerium: Now, the problem with that situation was that these were cardboard boxes, and we were children that didn’t understand how animals do and how animals animal, and they got out immediately.
LB: Of course.
Nerium: And that night was just everybody getting into their sleeping bags and stuff like that and discovering that there were– now, to be clear, non-venomous. It was like garter snakes and stuff like that, but snakes everywhere.
Fūnk-é: A snake is a snake.
merritt: [sarcastic] Oh, so it’s fine. I wouldn’t be worried then, if I, you know–
Nerium: If you crawled into your sleeping bag and found a snake?
merritt: I wouldn’t be worried if I knew, “Oh, it’s just a non venomous snake.”
Nerium: Yeah. Just–
LB: I don’t want to be surprised by a snake.
Nerium: Nobody wants to be surprised by a snake.
merritt: No, snake surprise sounds bad. Hey, that’s…
Nerium: But we did that.
merritt: That’s like some eighties movie hijinks, right there.
LB: It is.
merritt: That’s some coming of age movie, like, comic relief moment.
Nerium: Totally. It did not feel like it at the time. At the time, it was just us getting yelled at a lot and people very mad. [laughs]
Fūnk-é: By the snakes or people?
merritt: I feel like that’s going to happen in the next season of Stranger Things. Like, they’re tuning into this podcast right now, and they’re just like, “Ah, this is good. This is great stuff. We gotta get Eleven and the other ones doing this.” I can’t–
Nerium: Mm-hmm. One through Ten.
merritt: If you put a gun to my head and asked me to name a Stranger Things character…I mean, Eleven is one, I think.
LB: Yeah, you got Eleven.
LB: That’s one.
Nerium: Demogordon? Gorgon? Jeff Gordon?
LB: Did you just say shaft?
merritt: Wait, is the guy from Metallica in Stranger Things?
Nerium: James Hatfield?
Fūnk-é: Uh, I don’t think so, but there’s the crimbler?
merritt: The crimbler is in it!
merritt: Fūnk-é Joseph, Featured Contributor. Thank you for chiming in. Do you have any good ads?
Fūnk-é: I do, and I actually have a challenge for y’all. Can you guess what this ad is about? I’m just gonna read the text and not tell you what the image is.
Fūnk-é: “Good girl gone bad, gone good, gone bad. The stories continue. Stream now.”
Fūnk-é: What is this advertising?
LB: Is this about like a Lifetime series?
Nerium: Does Lifetime stream?
merritt: Before you said “Stream now,” I was gonna guess like a webtoon or like an Amazon original audiobook or something, but hmm.
Fūnk-é: It’s pretty popular.
Nerium: Is it She-Hulk?
Nerium: Is it Evil? That show that everybody keeps telling me is really good that I’ve never heard of until people just kept saying it’s in its fourth season or whatever, and everybody’s like, “It’s so good.”
merritt: Wait. Is it WandaVision?
Fūnk-é: It’s WandaVision. It is evil.
Fūnk-é: Yeah. Like, she’s evil, I guess.
Nerium: Wait, that show came out…
merritt: Like a year ago? Over a year ago?
Nerium: Way longer ago than that, right?
merritt: There’s no way of knowing, unfortunately.
Nerium: It’s the Crew 2 of television.
merritt: Yeah, what? [laughter] I guess like, so it turns out that the ad space on time.is is not that valuable, because it’s just people advertising their shit that came out like six years ago. [Nerium laughs] They’re just like, “Yeah, I don’t know.”
LB: It’s ironic, [merritt: “Yeah”] for the website that tells you exactly what time it is right now.
LB: They’re advertising all these things from the past.
merritt: Oh, interesting.
Nerium: I guess it was last year. It was 2021. Maybe early 2021?
LB: Yeah, but early 2021. It was like– yeah, right.
Fūnk-é: Maybe they have a time machine and they’re going back in time and getting big ad money [merritt: “Oh”] and then just putting the money over to today. [LB laughs] I don’t know. They could be onto something there.
LB: All time professionals have time travel powers is a very good idea.
merritt: That is a good take. Speaking of time travel powers.
Nerium: There was– oh.
merritt: Or did you want to add something? There was what?
Nerium: Well, there was a Stephen King story that was very funny to me once about a guy who found out that like his diner freezer was a portal to the past. And what he did was use it to go back in time to buy meat for really, really, really cheap and then sell it at like more exorbitant prices in the present.
LB: What? Wait. What? [laughs]
Fūnk-é: That’s gonna go bad.
Nerium: Well, it was time travel.
merritt: That’s incredible.
Nerium: But I was just thinking about– I love the idea of like advertising executives going back in time to like get stronger ad dollars before inflation or something like that.
Nerium: Anyway, that’s nothing. Sorry.
merritt: No, it’s everything. Speaking of inflation…no, not that. [“Wha–”] Nope, not that. Never that.
merritt: It’s never gonna happen.
Fūnk-é: When were we speaking about this?
Nerium: You’re opening the wrong freezer door if you want to go talk about inflation. [merritt and LB laugh]
merritt: So, speaking of time, I think there was time travel in this game, but you know what? We’re all always time traveling is the thing, so. [someone snaps appreciatively] This is a game that I’ve crafted around Fire Emblem: Three Houses. And, so, I realized that this game is three years old this month. It came out near the end of July 2019, and, you know, Three Hopes just came out as well. So I figured we could talk about and revisit all of our memories with all the great characters: Eleven and Jeff and Metallica and…
Nerium: Jeff Gordon.
merritt: Jeff Gordon was there.
LB: Geoff Keighley was there too.
merritt: Geoff Keighley. It’s all Jeffs.
LB: [laughs] All the Jeffs!
merritt: It’s the league of extraordinary Jeffs. [Nerium laughs]
LB: The secret fourth house is the Jeffs house.
merritt: Oops, all Jeffs. So, instead of just doing a general quiz, like, “Hey, what’s this guy’s name?” or “Who did this?” this is a quiz based on my playthrough of the game. This is the Fire Emblem: Three Houses merritt k playthrough extravaganza.
Fūnk-é: Do we have to have played the game to…?
merritt: Uh, it would help, but you could just shout things out.
LB: Honestly, even if you had played the game, you’re– I’m–
merritt: I don’t think that that will have helped.
LB: I don’t know why merritt did this, because– well, would it have helped? Because I’m gonna just…I’m gonna win this.
merritt: Well, we’ll see.
LB: There’s like, no one has a chance of beating me at this game.
merritt: We’ll see. We’ll see.
Nerium: Yeah. I played all the way through this game once. LB played all the way through this game like six times. [merritt sighs]
LB: It was four and a half times.
merritt: Well, I do cater–
Nerium: [laughs] That’s closer to six than one!
merritt: Listen, there is a bias towards the guest. There has always been a bias towards the guest on this show.
Fūnk-é: I’m starting to think this is rigged.
merritt: Well… [Fūnk-é laughs] I had a whole like intro song and everything, but I’m not gonna do that now, ’cause…
merritt: You’re all being very negative.
LB: No, do the intro song!
Fūnk-é: We want to hear it. We want to hear it!
merritt: It’s not a song. It’s just things I would say and then Jordo would put music under it.
LB: Well, do it.
Fūnk-é: Let’s hear it.
LB: It sounds really good.
Nerium: That’s a musical collaboration.
merritt: Yeah, it is. It’s a collab. So yeah, this is…this is the game. So, I’m gonna ask you: [music in background] Who did I kill? Who did I save? Who was a coward, and which one was brave? Did they get married or did they get dead? Was I left wishing I could take them to bed? It’s the Fire Emblem: Three Houses merritt k playthrough retrospective spectacular! [canned applause] And Jordo, if you could put some music, like in that episode of I Think You Should Leave with the buff boys kind of, or the babies. [laughter] Either one of those.
Nerium: Discord is eating it, but I’m applauding that bit too.
merritt: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Fūnk-é: That was really good.
merritt: Yeah, just picture me holding one of those weird little stick mics with the cable coming out of it. And it’s just like a game show mic. But, uh…
Fūnk-é: Are we in those spinny chairs?
merritt: Yeah. Yeah, you are. Sure.
merritt: That’s where contestants normally sit. All right, let’s start things off. I’m gonna give you a description of a character, and you’ll have to tell me which character it was. You may wish to open a list of characters. That’s not cheating for this.
Nerium: I think I remember most of them.
merritt: But if you just wanted a sort of like, you know, visual reminder, then that might help. All right, let’s start things off. She turned into a giant monster, and I killed her.
Nerium: Uh…uh, fuck! I always just call her the Pope. [laughter]
merritt: Eh, you could not be more wrong. [incorrect noise]
LB: LB. Hello.
merritt: LB, go ahead.
LB: It’s Edelgard.
merritt: That is correct. [correct noise]
LB: Von Hresvelg.
merritt: In the Blue Lions playthrough of the game, [“Oh”] Edelgard does turn into a giant monster and you kill her.
Nerium: Fuck. You played the Blue Lions playthrough, right?
Nerium: All of my information just goes out the window.
merritt: See, yeah, because all the characters do different things. I recruited this pacifistic character from another house and immediately turned him into a dark mage killing machine.
merritt: Fūnk-é, go ahead.
Fūnk-é: Sylvain? [Nerium laughs]
merritt: I’m afraid not. [incorrect noise]
Fūnk-é: I got the list up here. I don’t know who the fuck–
merritt: Noble effort.
Nerium: Pacifist Sylvain. Welcome to my AU.
Fūnk-é: [laughs softly] Is he not?
merritt: LB, go ahead.
LB: Was it Linhardt?
merritt: It was Linhardt. That’s correct. [correct noise]
Nerium: Linhardt’s less pacifist and more just passive.
LB: He’s just lazy. [laughs]
merritt: I’m pretty sure he says he doesn’t want to kill people at one point.
LB: Yeah, he doesn’t like blood. He has a fear of blood, which is a fun irony, because he’s a…he has like a lot of benefits to healing, so it’s funny.
Fūnk-é: Why is he in the army?
Nerium: He’s in school, technically. [LB laughs]
merritt: Because he’s a rich child, and so all rich children are sent to the…
LB: To war school.
merritt: To fights, war school, war high school. [laughter]
LB: It’s like if the Vatican ran high school for anime war criminal teens.
merritt: That’s a pretty good description of it.
LB: But the Pope was.
merritt: What if the Pope was hot?
Fūnk-é: Okay. [LB laughs]
merritt: Yeah, Fūnk-é, I think you would like this game, actually. It’s good.
Nerium: [laughs] Okay, I will say I do have– I’ve used Google to pull up a list of all these anime criminal war teens– war criminal teens. And it’s a very funny list, because it shows like little icons next to each of them. Some of the characters are mentioned twice, because sometimes– like Google is just pulling names, and so it like sees the word Caspar and then puts Caspar von Bergliez as a different character, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] ’cause it’s like the full name versus the not full name.
Nerium: It is very funny to me that there’s– Dimitri is on here twice, and it makes sense. It’s like, oh, it’s Dimitri, and he looks normal. And then we’ve got post time-skip Dimitri [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] that’s says Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd with the eye patch. With Caspar, the only character on this like Google auto-generated list: “Caspar,” picture of Caspar. “Caspar von Bergliez,” it’s a picture of Caspar…
Fūnk-é: I see it.
Nerium: [laughs] Okay, great. It’s a picture of Caspar shirtless that is very clearly like a…
Nerium: It’s clearly fanart. I don’t want to disparage the fan-artist. It is not a professional artist, I would say, probably.
Nerium: Who has drawn him kneeling shirtless, making a suggestive pose on the ground in front of an archery target. [laughter]
Nerium: And Google is like, “That’s the character, right?”
merritt: That’s him. That’s the one you wanted, right? That’s him? From Nintendo? I maneuvered this stoic best boy and this overachieving cook/sorcerer into getting married, and they [Fūnk-é: “Buzz”] lived happily ever after. Fūnk-é, go ahead.
Fūnk-é: Buzz. Raphael and Manuela.
merritt: Uh, both are wrong. [incorrect noise]
Fūnk-é: Okay. [merritt laughs]
Nerium: What was the first one?
merritt: Stoic best boy and overachieving cook/sorcerer.
Nerium: Well, buzz.
Nerium: The first one is going to be Dedue.
merritt: That’s correct. [correct noise] I’ll give you a point for that.
Nerium: Who’s a cook? I don’t remember. I mean, they all kind of cook if you’re– if you want. Like, they’ll all cook with you.
merritt: I mean, they all can cook.
LB: I’ll buzz in when, uh…
merritt: When Nere’s…
Nerium: I’ll just take a guess.
merritt: Uh huh.
Nerium: You know, like that’s how you win at this game, is you just like–
Nerium: You just shoot your shot before everybody else.
merritt: Just guess wildly.
Nerium: Uh, Flayn.
merritt: Is that a character?
Nerium: Yeah. [laughter]
Fūnk-é: Oh no. The odds aren’t looking good.
merritt: Oh, wait. Flayn is the character whose hair looks delicious. [correct noise]
merritt: Whose hair I wanted to eat.
LB: [laughs] What?
Nerium: It’s like salt water taffy hair.
merritt: Like, her hair– yeah, her hair looks like taffy. [laughter]
Nerium: So I’m gonna guess that I was correct, yeah?
merritt: Uh, unfortunately not. [incorrect noise]
merritt: I forgot that Flayn was in the game, but man.
Nerium: [laughs] Yeah.
merritt: Yeah, no, her hair looks delicious. I wish I could just pull off a bit of her hair to chew on, you know?
LB: An overachieving sorcerer cook. Phew. That’s an interesting combo.
LB: I’m gonna guess Annette? I mean, it’s Dedue, and is it Annette or is it Mercedes? Mercedes isn’t overachieving, though, so it’s Annette.
merritt: That’s correct. [correct noise]
LB: Again, this wasn’t…I gotta know who…you gotta just ask like “Who’d I kill?” period. Then I won’t get– I won’t be able to guess it.
merritt: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
LB: I’m sorry, everybody.
merritt: If there was any–
LB: I played 102 hours of Three Hopes.
Fūnk-é: Don’t be sorry for being good.
merritt: No, don’t be sorry. This is your domain expert. It’s, you know, it’s good. Listen, the next game you won’t know, so.
LB: Okay, great.
Fūnk-é: Hell yeah.
LB: Okay, so I’ll get all my points right now.
Nerium: I love this.
merritt: If there was any justice in the world, you would be able to pair up these two: a fuckboy par excellence and his brooding mean buddy.
merritt: Go ahead, Nerium.
Nerium: Sylvain and Felix.
merritt: Correct. [correct noise] Correct.
LB: Oh, you didn’t get their paired ending?
merritt: Wait, what?
LB: They have a–
merritt: But no, they can’t like get married.
LB: No, they can’t get–
Nerium: They can’t, but like, in the post credits thing, they kind of hook up.
merritt: [quietly] What?
LB: They have a significant…yeah, if you get to their like…their highest support level [merritt: “Uh huh”] and then you have them like be each other’s highest supports by the end. Yeah, they have like a juicy little…
merritt: Welp, the episode is on pause while I look this up. [laughter]
LB: Also, they’re the most popular ship on AO3.
Nerium: Yeah, that’s why I knew them immediately.
merritt: Oh, yeah, no. They’re an incredible ship.
LB: Or second most.
merritt: They’re very good. Okay, I’m reading this now. “After the war, Felix and Sylvain inherited their respective titles of Duke Fraldarius and Margrave Gautier and set to work restoring the kingdom. Each led a busy life, but that only seemed to enhance their friendship over the years. Each became known for surprise visits to the estate of the other in order to deliver the latest taunting in a friendly but relentless game of one-upmanship. It is said that in their later years they became so close that they passed away on the same day, as if conceding that one could not live without the other.” Aww.
merritt: That’s sweet.
merritt: Sorry, what?
merritt: What are you–
Nerium: Buzz for what?
merritt: What are you buzzing for? [laughter]
Nerium: Fūnk-é? What is it?
merritt: You’re free to buzz, but what is it?
Fūnk-é: Uh, I was gonna say Romeo and Juliet? [laughter]
merritt: Okay, well.
Nerium: Famously had many later years together, Romeo and Juliet.
merritt: Famously in Fire Emblem. Yeah, I mean…
LB: They did die on the same day.
merritt: They should make a Fire Emblem game, like a tactics style game with like romance and stuff based on the Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet movie.
Fūnk-é: That one’s fun.
LB: What if it was all the Shakespeares, though? And it included them.
merritt: Yeah, the Shakespeare AU– the Shakespeare cinematic universe? It’s all public domain. We could do this.
Fūnk-é: Oh. Yeah!
merritt: We could just make this. [laughter]
LB: A tactics game of all Shakespeare characters, but the Romeo and Juliet characters are all the ones lifted directly from Romeo + Juliet, the film.
merritt: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Nerium: [sighs] You’re kind of both describing Fate.
merritt: God dammit.
Nerium: That’s kind of what that is.
merritt: No, it wouldn’t be that though, because that’s…I’m not, no, that…
Nerium: You wouldn’t be as like corny about it.
merritt: That’s like, “What if history had boobs?” and I’m not interested in that. [laughter] What I’m interested in is: What if young Leonardo DiCaprio and, uh–
LB: And boobs. [merritt laughs] Sorry.
merritt: And the guy who played Mercutio in that movie. What’s his name again?
Nerium: Is that John Leguizamo’s character?
merritt: That is super not John Leguizamo’s character.
merritt: You are thinking of Tybalt.
merritt: Who is also very good. Mercutio is…
Fūnk-é: Harold Perrineau.
merritt: Harold Perrineau.
LB: He’s so cool in that movie.
merritt: He is very cool.
Nerium: It’s been many years since I’ve seen that movie. I was like a child when I saw that movie. I was too young to be watching that movie.
LB: You were too young for the classics?
merritt: Harold Perrineau also features in Sons of Anarchy, [“Oh”] Constantine [pronounced con-stan-TYNE throughout].
merritt: He was in The Matrix as Link. That was a sort of a smaller role. He’s great, though.
Nerium: Wait, sorry. Constantine the movie or the TV series?
merritt: The TV series. He’s in King of New York as “Thug Leader,” so. And his initial role was in Shakedown, which is a really good movie that was called Blue Jean Cop outside of the US.
Nerium: [laughs] Okay.
Nerium: Jordan in the chat also writes the word “Constantine” in quotes as if like we are pronouncing it incorrectly.
merritt: Nope, that’s how it’s pronounced, Jordan. [incorrect noise]
Nerium: That’s how it’s pronounced. The later versions of it, when they released it in America, changed it to “Constan-teen” for American audiences, but the comic book Hellblazer is Constantine. The creator of John Constantine, um, what’s his name? Alan Moore, has spoken on the record about this.
merritt: It’s a gif/jif situation.
LB: Are you sure it’s not just his British accent?
Fūnk-é: [British accent] Hello, I’m Alan Moore. It’s pronounced Constantine.
Nerium: But Constantine is a British man. Except in the movie.
Fūnk-é: [British accent] If you say it differently, I’ll do a dark magic on you.
LB: Oh, he’s British? He’s been British all along?
merritt: Alan Moore?
Nerium: Constantine? Yeah.
merritt: Yeah, he’s British. He’s one of the only good British people.
LB: What about merritt k, my favorite?
merritt: His boyfriend’s a shark.
LB: What? He has a shark boyfriend?
Nerium: Well, they dated for a while, yeah.
merritt: King Shark.
Nerium: Yeah, Constantine has like fucked everybody in the DC universe.
LB: Wait, King Shark from DC comics?
Nerium: Yes. Yeah.
LB: Good for them!
merritt: The only things I know about comics are like which weird pairings of characters canonically exist. Uh, speaking of war criminals. [LB laughs] Probably King Shark is a war criminal, let’s be real. [laughs]
Nerium: Oh, Constantine is definitely a war criminal.
merritt: Okay, cool.
Nerium: Constantine’s like introduced as a war criminal.
merritt: Oh, sick. Cool, cool, cool. All right. The force of my wanting to kiss him when he got sad and became a war criminal nearly changed the game code and made it possible.
merritt: Fūnk-é, go ahead.
Fūnk-é: Claude? [incorrect noise]
Nerium: Uh, Dimitri.
merritt: That’s correct. [correct noise]
Nerium: Yeah. You gotta remember. Well, I suppose you wouldn’t know, Fūnk-é, that merritt played Blue Lions.
merritt: Also, Claude doesn’t become a war criminal, does he? I mean, I guess everyone in that game is, but…
LB: Everyone’s a war criminal. Also, Discord ate your question, so I didn’t actually hear what you asked.
merritt: Oh. I was gonna– I was wondering why you didn’t jump on that. Claude doesn’t get hot though, I don’t think.
Nerium: He doesn’t really change.
merritt: He just gets– doesn’t he get weird facial hair?
LB: Mm, the thing is, if you–
LB: The problem with Claude is that his English voice actor is very good. However, he did a McDonald’s breakfast radio ad that I heard [merritt laughs, Nerium: “Ah”] about 10 times a day every day at my old job, so that I couldn’t hear him talk without A) wanting McDonald’s breakfast and B) thinking about McDonald’s breakfast. His Japanese voice actor, though, makes him like 6 million times hotter.
merritt: Interesting. Wow.
LB: Just my opinion.
merritt: What if he brought– what if he’s like, “Hey, I’m Claude, and I brought McDonald’s.”
LB: Oh. [laughter] “Hey, I’m Claude,” and he took out his cool bow and arrow and he sent you over a McDonald’s hash brown on an arrow, and then you caught it, and you said, “Thanks, Claude.”
merritt: That would be really cool. [LB laughs]
merritt: Yeah, I don’t remember what happened to Claude in my game. I think he got away?
Nerium: He just kind of runs away if you don’t play on his team.
LB: He just bails.
merritt: Yeah, he got away.
LB: If you play his route, you understand where he goes, but if you don’t, then you don’t know.
merritt: He goes to see…what’s his name? That old fuck?
merritt: No, it’s like a really goofy name.
Nerium: The evil like…
merritt: Like Flogathon or Smogathon or whatever?
LB: Oh! Acheron of Phlegethon?
merritt: Sure. Yeah.
Fūnk-é: What? Say that. [laughter]
LB: Acheron of Phlegethon is my favorite name of a Fire Emblem character. He’s this goofy blonde-haired dude. He is in Claude’s territory. But he has this like blonde hair that is like a little flippy, but it’s like, it stops like around his temple, you know? That style of haircut, the like middle part, and it…
LB: Anyways, and he’s got like a funny mustache, and he’s a huge coward.
merritt: And his name is Agathon of Phlegethon?
LB: Acheron of Phlegethon.
Nerium: Oh, I’m looking at this person now. What?
LB: He’s the best. I love him.
Nerium: This is a little boy wearing like a fake mustache.
Fūnk-é: I don’t know how to spell it.
merritt: My favorite Fire Emblem characters are the ones that aren’t attractive enough to be protagonists, so they’re like, “We can’t make this guy hot. We gotta make him look real fucked up. [Nerium laughs] Let’s give him like a weird haircut or like a stupid mustache or…” God. This guy.
Nerium: [laughing] Why does he look like this?
LB: We gotta show Fūnk-é.
Fūnk-é: Oh my gosh.
merritt: He fucking…he looks like a child with a mustache.
LB: He does! Like a very tired child.
Fūnk-é: This is what I imagine Hamilton characters look like. [laughter] Like, that’s what they’re aiming to be.
merritt: Wait, wait, what characters?
Fūnk-é: Hamilton, the musical.
merritt: Do you know the conceit of the musical Hamilton?
Fūnk-é: Uh, yes.
Nerium: Are you sure? [laughter]
Fūnk-é: Yeah, but I’m talking about the people that like are dressing up as them.
merritt: You mean like King George.
merritt: This is like King George.
LB: I just, I’m so glad we get to talk about my favorite guy.
merritt: I’m so glad.
Nerium: Why does this man get such a cool name? That’s my question. [laughs]
LB: [laughs] Because he’s– I mean, the thing is that most characters like this get no character design whatsoever.
LB: Like, most of the things that are just a guy who you have to fight, they don’t– they’re just like bland face nothing man.
Nerium: Yeah. They have like a wide-brimmed hat that like casts a shadow so they don’t even have to draw eyes on that character.
merritt: Mm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
LB: Yeah, but there’s just like three NPC faces, but Acheron of Phlegethon gets a face and a fancy mustache, and I just think he’s fabulous.
merritt: You know what? Good for him. Despite—or maybe because of—having a weird fixation on Byleth’s dad, she ended up marrying him.
LB: That’s Leone.
merritt: That’s correct. [correct noise]
merritt: That’s who Byleth married in mine.
Nerium: Real– okay, interesting.
merritt: Yeah, she’s like obsessed with your dad.
merritt: She’s like, “I’m gonna kick your ass to prove to your dad that I’m better than you,” and it’s like…
Nerium: “I really want to fuck your dad! Ugh!”
merritt: But I can’t, ’cause he’s dead, so I’m gonna get the next best thing!
merritt: Except not really, because you are not–
Nerium: Not biologically related.
merritt: Yeah. You’re the child of a–
LB: You want to know a fun–
LB: You want to know a fun Leonie fact?
merritt: What’s that?
LB: In her paired ending with Felix, they join the circus.
merritt: [stifled laugh] Why?
LB: [laughs] I don’t know, but they do!
merritt: They’re not…why?
Nerium: All right, guys. We gotta like write 500 of these fucking things. There’s so many different pairings. [laughter] Okay. Uh, what do you guys got? “Uh, they grow old together and die on the same day, because they’re so in love.” Love it. It’s great. So good. What did you come up with? “Uh, um, uh, Leonie and Felix, uh, join the circus?” [laughter] All right. Fuck it. We don’t have enough time to change it at this point. The game’s gotta come out by November.
merritt: I’m writing it down. It’s in the game.
Nerium: It’s in the movie.
merritt: Yeah. [laughs]
Fūnk-é: How many pairs are there? I haven’t played it.
Nerium: A lot.
merritt: Wait, does every pair have a unique ending or no?
LB: Only ones where you can– so, Fūnk-é, you know like in a Persona game when there’s like social elements.
Fūnk-é: Social links and stuff? Yeah.
LB: Yeah, social links. So, all of your units in Fire Emblem like have social links and you like have them do activities together and fight together and protect each other in battle, and then it levels up their things.
LB: There’s C rank, B rank, and A rank. If you get two characters– and A rank isn’t available for every pairing, but every pairing that has–
Nerium: Nor is S rank.
LB: Well, S rank is only for Byleth, only for your player character.
Nerium: Oh, right.
LB: So any two characters who have an A rank like friendship, familiarity, whatever, can have a paired ending, as long as they have like the maximum number of friendship points by the end, based on like how you pair them up for training and stuff.
Fūnk-é: Ah. Okay.
LB: Yeah. ‘Cause like, you can also assign somebody, like in a battle, you can just assign them like an assistant who will like heal them or follow up their stuff or…
LB: And that like jacks up their support points a lot.
merritt: Fūnk-é, I really think you would like this game.
Fūnk-é: I’ve been told that a bunch, but I’m always like, I don’t want to play a game that’s like 90 plus hours!
Nerium: Oh, yeah.
LB: Yeah, it’s really long.
Nerium: Really long.
Fūnk-é: I’m so used to long playing kind of short burst games, like that’ll run a match or something, mostly competitive or fighting games. But maybe I should just like sit down with a game and actually like play it over a month or two and try that out.
merritt: No, I get that, though.
Nerium: The problem is that like, this formula of a video game would be actually like great if people could pare it down into something much more digestible, ’cause honestly Fire Emblem: Three Houses especially is just too long. Like, most of the back half of that game is just doing really, really, really easy battles—if you’re playing on anything but like the most extreme difficulty—that you can’t autoplay and you can’t like…there’s a thing that lets you make auto moves on the tactical battles, but you have to press auto move every single move. You can’t just like let the battles play themselves or just do like the Total War thing of like, “Uh, you know, I just want to skip this battle. Just tell me who won.”
Fūnk-é: So like, by the end, the battles aren’t that interesting, [Nerium: “No”] and you just want them to be over with, and you’re like, let me get back to the other stuff.
LB: Yeah, and you’ve gotta do a lot of them over and over again, which is annoying.
Nerium: It’s a pretty poorly balanced game, honestly.
Nerium: ‘Cause your characters just become like war machines.
LB: Yeah. If they added like just auto fight, and it just went on its own, I would be able to recommend it to a lot more people.
merritt: [laughs] It’s funny, ’cause that is true, but it’s also such a weird like solution to this.
merritt: Like, just the mobile game thing of like, “I don’t want to actually play the game. I just want to see the number go up and/or like get the dialogue of the characters. [laughs]
Nerium: It’s literally what gacha games do with this formula.
merritt: Exactly, yeah.
LB: Yeah. But I mean, I don’t know. I feel like if you’re…so, a lot of the battles are like, you’re on this board, right? And it’s the same…it’s not like they have a different one every time. A lot of them are just, “Oh, hey, it’s this place, and then there’s this spot right here that only flying, you know, units can go over, and here’s, you know…” Like, it’s the exact same layout, and it’s the exact same, like, your opponents are in the same positions.
LB: Like, it seems silly to me that you can’t, after you beat it for real once, [Nerium: “Mm-hmm”] just put it on auto and…
LB: Especially when, yeah, your units are so overpowered that it’s just like boring. And if you’re a completionist like me and you do play it four and a half times ’cause you want to get all the endings. ‘Cause the routes are like incredibly different, and they all have completely different storylines, and you literally don’t get the full picture of like what the story is unless you play every route.
Fūnk-é: That’s the part that sounds so cool to me. Like, that’s why I want to play it.
merritt: I mean, yeah. I actually only played through it once, and that was like good for me, but I’m considering going back to it now, so who knows?
LB: Yeah, and you played Blue Lions, so you have no idea of anything that happens in this game!
merritt: [laughs] Yeah, I played on the idiot baby route.
LB: They tell you nothing! Well, no, you played on the…
merritt: Where they’re just like, “I don’t know, uh, evil stuff, uh…” ‘cause I…
Nerium: It’s like the most black and white route. It’s like the “The other teams are bad, and we’re the good guys.”
Merritt: Well, but the thing is, too–
LB: Every route is like that.
merritt: Like, it does…
LB: Every route has that vibe.
merritt: It does do the thing where like, it’s not just like you’re getting different perspectives on the story, like it is actually different.
Nerium: Right. It’s a different timeline. They’re all alternate timelines.
merritt: Everyone is like, “Oh, Edelgard is like misunderstood and stuff.” I’m like, she turned into a big monster and just started killing people.
Nerium: Not in my game!
merritt: That is not misunderstood. She is just a giant Godzilla monster that I had to kill. But if you’re not on Blue Lions, that’s not the case, so.
Nerium: And then like– I know the one I always hear is like Golden Deer is like the key to understanding almost– like, they get like an entire chapter that none of the other teams get.
merritt: Right, where they talk about Crests and shit, and they’re like, “This is how everything works.”
LB: The reveal of like, where all your– I played that one last, and the reveal of where all my stuff came from and like the history of this world? It shook me to my core.
Nerium: I should replay Golden Deer. [laughs]
Fūnk-é: What routes did you all play?
merritt: Let’s all replay it.
Fūnk-é: [laughs] I’m down to check it out.
Nerium: So, when we reviewed this game, we three– like me, John, and merritt all played it at the same time, and we all like decided at the beginning before we got the games. Like, merritt said she was gonna play Blue Lions, I said I was gonna play Black Eagles, and John played Golden Deer.
Nerium: And we like did, for a little while there, weekly check-ins where we were just saying, like, how’s your game going? How are things on that side of things? And it would be like, it’s completely fucking different! I don’t know what to tell you! [laughs]
merritt: Yeah, we did this fun little like letter series where we wrote about the different aspects of the game and the characters and like the narrative and stuff. Anyway, you can go check that out. It’s three years old as of this month, but, uh…
Nerium: What if we did it again and did a podcast series?
Nerium: merritt, what if we streamed both of us playing through the game on alternate routes?
merritt: Oh. We’ll see.
LB: I should stream some of Three Hopes to y’all, ’cause like…
merritt: Yes. I want to see it.
Fūnk-é: Oh, yeah.
LB: I can even just show you all the supports.
Fūnk-é: How is that connected to Three Houses? [laughter]
LB: Okay, so, Three Houses…
merritt: Oh God, we can’t.
Nerium: Alternate timeline, Fūnk-é!
merritt: We can’t.
Fūnk-é: Okay. Okay.
LB: I’ll just– I can do it really fast.
LB: I can do it really fast. In Three Houses, you play– like the player character is this mercenary named Byleth, and Three Hopes–
Fūnk-é: Oh, from Smash Bros!
LB: From Smash Brothers, yeah. And basically what happens is Byleth meets the three main characters in the woods. What Three Hopes supposes is: what if a different mercenary met the three main characters in the woods before Byleth did? And it changes the course of history.
Fūnk-é: Okay. [laughs softly]
merritt: Wow, so they didn’t really break the mold with that one, huh?
Nerium: It’s more than that too, merritt, ’cause it’s like, what if a different mercenary met them in the woods who has a different weird god living inside of their head? [laughs]
LB: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
merritt: Wow, just lousy with weird gods. All right.
LB: Them living in people’s heads, it’s constant, yeah.
merritt: We just love Fire Emblem so much. It’s a Fire Emblem spectacular. Okay, let’s burn through these last few. A fan favorite, I took this bookworm out on sight when she turned against me on the battlefield. [laughter]
Nerium: Uh, buzz? Bernadetta?
merritt: That’s correct. [correct noise] Sorry, LB, did you have question?
LB: Discord ate what the pronouns were, so I didn’t get…
merritt: Ate it again? Great. [LB laughs] Well, it’s handicapping you.
LB: It’s cool.
LB: It’s fine.
Nerium: [laughs] This is the great equalizer.
merritt: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I forgot that a bunch of people were even in the game. Name any of them who I took out on the Blue Lions route.
merritt: Go ahead, LB.
LB: Oh, people you forgot about?
merritt: People I forgot about and then realized– and when I looked at my screen caps, I realized that I had killed.
LB: Uh… [quietly] Killed Lions…
Fūnk-é: Like on your team or an enemy?
merritt: No, like just random characters from the game that I, when I was looking up characters for this bit, [Fūnk-é: “Mm-hmm”] I was like, “Wow, these guys were in the game?” And then I looked at the screenshots I had taken when I was playing it, and I had screen caps of me killing all them. [laughs]
Fūnk-é: Oh no.
merritt: Like of dealing the final blow. You can just name…you don’t have to name all of them. Just, you know.
LB: Well, I’m gonna name some of the most forgettable characters.
LB: Which is Ignatz.
LB: Did you kill Ignatz and forget?
Nerium: Fuck. I was gonna say Ignatz.
LB: ‘Cause I would have.
merritt: I’m pretty sure I did, yes. [correct noise]
LB: Did you forget Ferdinand after killing him? ‘Cause I’ll never forgive you for that.
merritt: No, I don’t think I– I might have recruited him, actually.
merritt: Um, I believe I killed– actually, I don’t know if he was Golden Deer. He’s not on my list, [incorrect noise] but I’ll give you a point.
merritt: Ash? No, no, no, no, no. [incorrect noise] Ash became…God, Ash was like a star player for me. He started as such a weakling and then just became like this merciless sniper. No, Caspar is one of them.
LB: Forgot– wow.
merritt: Forgot about Caspar.
Nerium: That’s wild.
merritt: Dorothea, I forgot about her.
Nerium: That’s wild!
merritt: Stupid little hat. Petra, forgot about Petra.
Nerium: Oh, you– so this is just like Black Eagles hate. You just don’t like the Black Eagles.
LB: You forgot all the Black Eagles.
merritt: And Hubert. I forgot about Hubert also.
Nerium: Okay, yeah. You just hate the Black Eagles. I get it.
LB: You forgot about Hubert?
merritt: Well, no, you just have to kill–
Nerium: How do you forget about Hubert?
LB: How do you forget about Hubert?! Hubert is the guy named Hubert who had half of us in a chokehold!
merritt: He’s got a fucked up– look, I’ve already got one dead-eyed, long-haired man in my Fire Emblem life.
Nerium: He is not dead-eyed at all. He’s got a scheme behind every gaze.
merritt: All right, fine. Last one. [laughter] This old fuck and his weird mustache have no business being in Fire Emblem. [laughter]
merritt: Fūnk-é, go ahead.
merritt: Is that a Fire Emblem character?
Nerium: [chuckles] Yes.
Fūnk-é: It says so here, at the Church of Seiros? He has a mustache. I just guessed him.
merritt: I mean…
LB: He is old and has a mustache.
merritt: No, no, Hanneman’s great. I love Hanneman. [incorrect noise]
Nerium: Uh, buzz?
merritt: Nerium, go ahead.
merritt: That’s correct. [correct noise] Fuck that guy. [laughter] Weird looking motherfucker.
Fūnk-é: What’s wrong– [laughs]
Nerium: He’s boring, but…
merritt: He’s like, [funny voice] “Hello, I’m Alois. I’m in Fire Emblem for some reason.” No, Hanneman was cool. I made him into a brawler, and so he still had his monocle [“What?”] and mustache, but was just basically just wearing a loincloth and chains.
Nerium: No! [laughter]
LB: That’s gotta be like the…can you please send me that picture? Please?
merritt: If I can find it. I need to reinstall the game, probably. All right, well, maybe we should go reinsert this halfway through, but I don’t know how we’ll do that. Let’s, uh, we’re gonna take a break, and we will be right back after this.
[elevator music in background]
merritt: Oh, wow, hey. It’s my friends and coworkers from Fanbyte. I can’t believe we’re all on this elevator together, going to the zoo.
merritt: What a wild situation this is.
Nerium: I’m so excited to see the penguins with all of you, like we’ve talked about for the past three years, [Fūnk-é: “Right?”] before the pandemic hit.
merritt: I know, I know.
Fūnk-é: Only 10 more floors to go!
merritt: Yeah, god.
Nerium: Long elevator, though.
merritt: Long elevator up to the zoo, which is, I guess, at the top of a skyscraper. Kind of a weird concept.
LB: Vertical zoo.
Fūnk-é: How else will we see the giraffes?
merritt: That’s so true.
LB: Good point.
merritt: We gotta get up face to face with them. [laughter] But while we’re waiting in this elevator…I get reception, which is weird, ’cause normally you don’t, but like, I’m wondering like, what are some cool sites I should look at?
Nerium: Websites, like on the internet?
merritt: Yeah, yeah, or like…
Nerium: Not like dig sites.
merritt: Yeah. I mean, listen, in case we get lost, I’m gonna need to…in case we get separated at the zoo, even though we didn’t come here together, because I started off by saying that I had just bumped into you.
LB: But now we are together, and I don’t ever want to be without you at the zoo.
merritt: No, me neither.
LB: You’re my new zoo friends.
merritt: So, if I need to hear from you–
LB: Can we make a vow right now, zoo friends?
merritt: Yeah, let’s take a bow, zoo friends. Take a vow? Take a vow.
LB: A vow.
merritt: Well, let’s do both.
LB: A vow to be zoo friends with you.
Fūnk-é: Well, do you need like a guide or something?
merritt: But if we do get lost, like, can you just give me your Twitter account so I can like tweet at you or DM you and say like, “I’m lost at the zoo. Please help. I’m in the wolf enclosure. It’s my haven.” [laughter]
Fūnk-é: I’m @funkefly, F-U-N-K-E-F-L-Y.
merritt: All right.
LB: I’m @hunktears, and yeah, if you are in a wolf enclosure, that is the best way to get in touch with me.
merritt: Okay, cool. I’m adding those.
Nerium: Let me know when they’re in your phone, and then I’ll…
merritt: Uhhhh…yeah, yeah, no, I got ’em.
Nerium: Awesome. You can follow me [robot voice inserted] @neriumstrom on Twitter. That’s N-E-R-I-U-M-S-T-R-O-M.
LB: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
merritt: Hear about our zoo adventures, they could do that there.
Fūnk-é: That sounds good.
merritt: And then if they wanted to read guides about how to navigate the zoo or like op-eds on metaphors [Nerium: “Mm-hmm”] that kind of get away from people who started them, [Fūnk-é: “Mm”] they could do that at fanbyte.com.
Nerium: Like, how do you feed a penguin?
merritt: Like, how do you end a bit that seems to be spiraling out into nowhere?
Fūnk-é: Oh, we’re here!
merritt: Oh, we got there! Okay!
merritt: Well, let’s go see the giraffes.
LB: They’re so cute. I can see them already from here, ’cause my vision’s really good.
Fūnk-é: Yes, it’s just like Zoo Tycoon, a video game.
Nerium: One of ’em sneezed.
merritt: It’s just like Zoo Tycoon.
merritt: And we’re back. Wow, we all love talking about Fire Emblem, apparently. I guess I need to replay this game.
Fūnk-é: I’m gonna pick it up.
merritt: Yeah, let’s all do it. But for now–
Nerium: We should do a thing, yeah.
merritt: For now, let’s do one more game before we dip out of here. This is called Fact or Fiction: Console Special Editions.
merritt: Which almost rhymes. Almost, not quite. There have been a lot of weird special edition consoles over the years. I came up with this concept when Fūnk-é was researching their piece on transparent consoles and transparent electronics.
Fūnk-é: Should be up this week.
merritt: And that reminded me of the see-through Xbox that I had back in the day, and so I thought–
merritt: The original Xbox, the clear one is still one of the most beautiful consoles I have ever owned. So I figured we would just run through real quick, and you have to tell me: is this a real special edition of a console that actually existed, or…
merritt: Or did I make it up?
merritt: Is it a total fabrication?
Nerium: Just like Jonathan Frakes.
merritt: So, we’re just gonna burn through these real quick, because we’re running long. So, let’s start off with the Mountain Dew Xbox.
merritt: Fūnk-é, go ahead.
Fūnk-é: That’s gotta be real, right? No way it hasn’t happened.
merritt: That is 100% real. [correct noise]
merritt: It is a bright green Xbox, and it’s real, and it is spectacular.
Fūnk-é: Woo! [LB laughs]
merritt: Tommy Hilfiger Game Boy Color.
merritt: That is also real. [Fūnk-é gasps] They made a Tommy Hilfiger Game Boy Color. [laughs]
LB: I believe it.
merritt: The Lana Del Rey PlayStation Vita.
LB: Uh, that’s not real. I wish that was real.
merritt: It isn’t, [incorrect noise] but can you imagine if it was?
LB: Ugh, that would be so good.
Nerium: She hates video games.
merritt: Yeah, but it would be so ironic and funny.
Fūnk-é: Oh, yeah.
merritt: The Men in Black PlayStation.
merritt: That’s correct.
LB: [gasps] Really?
merritt: It’s a black PlayStation 1 that says Men in Black on it. It’s not– it wasn’t even an originally black console. It doesn’t even really make sense.
merritt: But okay, sure. The Char Aznable GameCube.
merritt: That is real! [correct noise]
merritt: Not only was there a Char Aznable GameCube, there was–
Fūnk-é: The Red Comet!
merritt: There was, I think, a Char Aznable Game Boy Advance, as well. Game Boy Advance SP. Possibly a 3DS, I’m not sure.
Nerium: When we have an entire game dedicated to Gundam shit, then I will be the LB of this show.
merritt: [laughs] The SpongeBob Nintendo DS.
merritt: That’s true. [correct noise] There was no SpongeBob DS. There was a SpongeBob Game Boy Advance.
Fūnk-é: They moved off that console.
merritt: But no, there was no SpongeBob DS. The Taco Bell Xbox 360.
merritt: That is true. It’s real. [correct noise] They really made that. The Shrek Game Boy Advance.
Nerium: Oh my God.
merritt: LB, go ahead.
LB: That’s gotta be real, right?
merritt: That’s real, baby!
LB: They did so many tie-ins for Shrek.
merritt: They did so many tie-ins.
LB: They’d be leaving money on the table if they didn’t make that one.
merritt: You could buy Shrek on a Game Boy Advance cartridge.
Nerium: Yeah, I have it on my–
merritt: To just watch Shrek on the Game Boy Advance.
Nerium: I have the Game Boy Advance [merritt: “Uh huh”] version of the movie Shrek on my emulated Game Boy Advance.
Fūnk-é: You’re serious? They actually sold the movie?
Fūnk-é: I didn’t know that.
merritt: It’s incredibly low res. [Fūnk-é laughs]
Nerium: Yeah, it’s like 120I or something like that.
merritt: It’s terrible.
LB: It was how Mike intended you to watch it.
merritt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Days Gone PlayStation 4.
merritt: That’s fake. [incorrect noise]
merritt: They wouldn’t make a Days Gone PS4! What are you talking about?
Nerium: Listen, they’ll do anything.
merritt: There’s no way they’d–
Nerium: PlayStation over there?
Fūnk-é: No, no.
merritt: They didn’t make a Days Gone PlayStation. What it’s like, a big motorcycle?
Nerium: Yeah, I suppose like there’s not a lot.
Nerium: Like, that game has so little personality. There’s not a lot to work with.
merritt: They just made a full– they made a PlayStation 4 that’s a life size mannequin of John St. John or whatever the fuck his name is.
Nerium: Deacon St. John?
merritt: Deacon St. John.
Nerium: You were close.
merritt: What a stupid name. [laughs]
Nerium: Every time you boot up the console, it says, “Promise you’ll ride me as much as you ride your motorcycle.” [laughs]
LB: What? You know, we don’t have time for you to explain whatever that is to me. [merritt and Nerium laugh]
merritt: Hellraiser Xbox Series S.
merritt: Uh, I’m gonna give it to Fūnk-é.
merritt: That does not exist, sadly, [incorrect noise] but can you imagine? [laughter] I guess a GameCube would be better, because it would be the shape of the puzzle box.
Fūnk-é: The pain cube, yeah.
merritt: The pain cube! [laughs]
Nerium: [laughs] The pain cube! My new movie coming out this fall.
merritt: It’s not Cube. It’s different. [Nerium laughs] Hello Kitty Xbox.
merritt: That is real. [correct noise]
Nerium: Anything Japanese, I just assume it’s real, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] ’cause they will do tie-ins on anything.
merritt: And the Marlboro Atari Lynx.
Fūnk-é: False. That’s a safety hazard.
merritt: It’s real. [incorrect noise, Fūnk-é gasps] There is a version of Atari’s portable handheld console that was cigarette branded, Marlboro branded.
LB: Amazing. Amazing. Amazing!
merritt: How cool would you fucking look playing, I don’t know, Batman Forever or Lights Out or something?
Nerium: Yeah, name all the great Atari Lynx games. [laughs]
merritt: All the Atari Lynx titles? Oh, man. Um, yeah, Lights Out ??? with that. Why do I know these things? I could know how to like do skills and stuff.
merritt: Yeah, it does look extremely cool, and it does say Marlboro Abenteuer Team, which I have to assume is German?
LB: Is it German?
merritt: Lights Out was a Game.com game. Thank you, Jordan. It’s also just called Game Com. Yeah, the Marlboro Atari Lynx. Turns out I can’t name a single Atari Lynx game. I’m pretty sure there was a Batman one on there. Well, that does it, so I’m gonna round up the points, and it looks like actually, [drum roll] for all of their talk, LB did not win this one. Nerium did.
Nerium: Wow. That was technical difficulties, though.
LB: That was technical– yeah, Discord.
merritt: Well, all right. Disqualified. [Nerium laughs]
LB: I got–
LB: Do I get extra points for– I should get extra points for telling you all about Acheron of Phlegethon.
merritt: That’s true. I will give you some points for that.
Fūnk-é: Yeah. You taught me a lot about Fire Emblem.
LB: I should get 100 points for that. [laughs]
merritt: 100 points. So, winning by 100 points–
LB: A 100 points Phlegethon bonus. [laughs]
merritt: A 100 point Phlegethon bonus. [voice] Excellent! Phlegethon Bonus Active! [laughter]
merritt: Yeah. Who cares? Who cares? [Nerium laughs]
LB: Well, I don’t need to– Nerium, congratulations on beating me.
merritt: No, no. I mean, it was–
LB: Thanks to…
merritt: There were technical issues.
LB: But that happens in F1 all the time.
Nerium: I don’t mind tying with LB.
LB: Carlos Sainz’s car caught fire, and he couldn’t finish the race. They didn’t…
merritt: Carlos Santana’s car caught fire?
LB: [laughs] That’s right, Carlos Santana ??? tires to the sun.
merritt: I knew he had passed out on stage. He’s having a rough month.
LB: [laughs] He’s so good at– he really has. But yeah, they didn’t, uh…like, technical difficulties, yeah, then you’re out. I should have had a better computer.
Nerium: Yeah, you bring your own equipment to the competition. That’s true.
merritt: That’s true. That is true.
merritt: Your rig. Yeah, you’re responsible for your rig. Management cannot be held responsible. All right, yeah, we’ll give it to, yeah, Nere– well, not give it to. Nerium won, fair and square.
Nerium: Yeah, I took it with my own three hands.
LB: The third hand is…
merritt: Your gripping hand.
Fūnk-é: The buzzing hand.
merritt: In your, uh…from that book by Ursula–
Nerium: Three houses, three hands, you know?
merritt: [laughs] Yeah. Fire Emblem: three hands. [LB laughs] You can wield a sword, an ax, and a– oh wait, they took that out, didn’t they?
Fūnk-é: A spear?
Nerium: Did they? I forgot.
merritt: Did they take– does that still happen? The triangle? Who knows, who cares?
Fūnk-é: In the GameCube one, it’s there.
merritt: That’s gonna do it for this episode. Until next time, uh…watch out for Athron of Phlegethon, wherever the fuck his name is, and stay tuned—or keep that dial tuned, however I normally say it—to Channel F. [laughter]