Player Two Start!: A Salute to Battle Circuit

Today Player Two Start pays tribute to one of Capcom’s lesser known and less celebrated titles, Battle Circuit.


For those who don’t know, Battle Circuit (or Batoru Saakitto as it’s known in Japan)  is an action “beat ’em up” game developed and published by Capcom for the CPS-2 arcade hardware for Japan and Europe in 1997. Taking place in an alternate future earth, the game revolves around a group of bounty hunters who must capture the mad scientist Dr. Saturn and secure a sophisticated computer disc carrying a program known as the “Shiva System”. The game contains comic-like characters in a futuristic science fiction setting.

Intro time:

Battle Circuit‘s arcade cabinet provided support for up to four simultaneous players who can each assume the role of five possible characters. The five playable characters are all super-powered bounty hunters who each possess their own unique attacks and Battle Download ability. Though each of the character’s real names are mentioned in their individual character profiles during the opening demo, they are mostly referred to by their codenames, each indicating a physical attribute and corresponding color.


Taste the Rainbow!

They are:


“No problem!”

Brian Bruno, aka Cyber Blue: A seasoned bounty hunter with several cybernetic attachments to his body, giving him the ability to discharge electricity and project energy from his fists. Cyber Blue makes a cameo appearance in Project X Zone 2 in Captain Commando’s Solo Unit attack.


“Your other high-voltage hero!”



Andrey Mishucin, aka Captain Silver: A highly accomplished bounty hunter who can stretch and shape his body at will. His powers give him the ability to project ice particles from his body, as well as create a number of objects from his suit, morph into a cannon and even transform into a chair and sit on himself. Because of the vast nature of his powers, they will threaten to overwhelm him if he should ever lose concentration.


“Ooooooooh, Freak-Out!”


Diana Martines, aka Yellow Iris, called Yellow Beast in the original Japanese version): A part-time fashion model whose feral appearance gives her access to a number of clawing and agility-based techniques. She is also skilled with a whip and is accompanied by her pet fox “Fin”.


Not that Finn.

Yellow Iris makes a cameo appearance in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a DLC costume for Felicia.


“Oh, baby!”

Pinky, aka Pink Ostrich: A large, sentient, pink ostrich with an eye patch and jewel necklace who is always accompanied by her owner, a young girl named Pola Abdul.


“I get it!”

Purportedly, she is the “only ostrich in the world who can fly”, and attacks with an assortment of aerial and spinning techniques. Yeah, one of the bounty hunters is a bird, but we’re not gonna make any lame bird jokes.

OK, maybe one:


Alien Green (real name unknown): An alien creature of unknown origin who resembles a large Venus flytrap with leg-like roots and a large eye in its abdomen. Its attacks mostly center around its vine-like arms, which it can quickly swing to create whirlwinds, as well as grab opponents and slam them against the ground. Sorry, whenever I see this thing I expect it to shout “FEED MEEE!”


“Ew.” “Seriously?” “So gross.”

The Plot: Taking place in the future year 20XX, Battle Circuit follows the exploits of a group of super-powered bounty hunters as they apprehend wanted criminals (identified by special serial numbers) in the city of Neo Koba. The game begins with player attempting to apprehend criminal 9696X, a scientist named Doctor Saturn (who resembles Freakazoid! villain The Lobe with a ring around his head and a Dick Dastardly mustache) and his blob-like sidekick aboard his spacecraft orbiting Earth.


Even by super-villain standards, this guy is no looker.

After the battle, the character selected by the player returns to his employer, Harry,


“Pick a card!”

No, not that Harry, but that would’ve been awesome.

….And is promptly given another assignment to capture the leader of the “Delete Gang”, Johnny Fever,



No, not that Johnny Fever, though that too would’ve been awesome.

…Who holds a valuable floppy disk in his possession. The bounty hunter then confronts Johnny at his disco hideout and learns that the disc contains a malicious computer program known as the “Shiva (Tentei) System”, which is capable of controlling all computerized systems in the world. After selecting one of the available characters, players must travel through various levels- fighting through a variety of enemies from the Delete Gang- to obtain the disc and claim their bounty. Stages like this:


Kind of looks like a missing stage from TMNT: The Arcade Game, doesn’t it?

And whatever this is.


Seriously, what the actual what??

Players must progress through a number of levels made up of horizontally scrolling screens filled with enemy characters that must be defeated using a combination of attacks and movement abilities each character utilizes. Every character is given a selection of these abilities that can be expanded as game play progress by purchasing special “upgrade discs” after the completion of each level using coins obtained by defeating enemies.


“We can give you special upgrades and enhancements, but you can never use any 3rd party software ever again and it’ll cost you the price of a new car!”

These techniques are often a combination of either of the two action buttons and the joystick, and can add additional varieties to a given character’s arsenal. A player must attack enemies until their health (indicated by a bar under the player’s when the enemy is attacked) is reduced to zero and they are thus knocked out. If a player’s health bar is depleted, they will also become knocked out and must use up one life to continue. If all of a player’s lives are depleted in this fashion, the game will end unless more credits are purchased.

There are also special techniques called “Battle Downloads”, which can be used by pressing both action buttons while jumping, resulting in the player and his allies (if any are present) gaining a certain attribute, the effect of which is unique to each character. Cyber Blue, for example, can use his Battle Download “Power Up” to increase the amount of damage dealt by attacks, while Yellow Iris’ “Speed Up” increases attack speed. A character will start with a stock of two of these techniques to use per life, and can obtain more from capsules scattered throughout the levels, up to a maximum of five.


If you’ve never seen, heard of played this game, I wouldn’t be surprised. Battle Circuit saw a speedy translation effort that effectively made the title available in both Japan and parts of Europe on the same day. Though there are no game play differences between the Japanese and other language versions of the game, a few pieces of Japanese dialogue were omitted from the European release. The game was not released in North American arcades or any other part of the world after its initial release. I remember reading about Battle Circuit in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly (back when that was a thing) and looking for the game in arcades, only to discover it was harder to find than this guy.


I would have never played it myself if our brother Chaz didn’t have an emulator. It helps to have a hardcore gamer in the family.


So here’s to you, Battle Circuit. This game was weird and wacky, but I’m a fan of weird and wacky. BC never received the exposure or fan base that titles like Street Fighter and Mega Man did, but it gave me some hours of enjoyment. It was just goofy, imaginative, dumb fun, and for that, we at Twinsanity salute you.



Player Two Start: Marvel VS Capcom Stages

Today’s Player Two Start looks at Marvel VS Capcom.



For those who don’t know, Marvel VS Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes  is a crossover fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It is the third installment in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, which features characters from Capcom’s video game franchises and comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The game debuted in Japanese arcades in January 1998. It was ported to the Dreamcast and PlayStation, which were released from 1999 through 2000. The game was re-released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as part of the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins collection.

Players select a team of characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes to engage in combat and attempt to knock out their opponents. In contrast to the series’ previous entry, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, the game features characters from numerous Capcom video game franchises, rather than strictly Street Fighter characters. While the gameplay is largely identical to its predecessor, Clash of Super Heroes features two distinct changes: the removal of the traditional character assist system and the introduction of the “Variable Cross” attack.

The selectable Capcom characters were Ryu (with the ability to switch to ‘Ken Mode’ and ‘Akuma Mode’ to make up for those characters not being chosen for the game…)


It DIDN’T make up for it!”

…Chun-Li, Captain Commando, Strider Hiryu, Rockman/Mega Man (freakin’ MEGA MAN! This was back when Marvel still gave a crap about Rockman), Jin Saotome, Morrigan and Zangief, while on the Marvel side we had Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Gambit, Venom and War Machine. There were also a bevvy of Strikers who could be chosen to run across the screen lending a hand temporarily, including Thor, Juggernaut, Jubilee, Psylocke, Arthur (from Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts), Michelle Heart (from Legendary Wings), Devilot & Dr. Stein, Pure & Fur and others, making for a total of 52 characters in all. The final boss of the game was Onslaught, who was the combined negative energy of Prof. and Magneto or a manifestation of their combined ids or the result of a bad plate of ribs they ate or something; it tied into some multi-issue event Marvel was doing at the time, comics are weird.

Intro time:

Now that we’ve gone sufficiently crazy, the Versus games sported too many characters for each one to have their own specific stage, so they typically just had a finite set of interesting ones. MvC in particular had 9 stages in all (10 counting the Final Boss stage), each of them unique in their own way. Today Videots takes a look at each of them. NOTE: These won’t be in any particular order, so I won’t be numbering them.



This is Strider Hiryu’s home stage, taking place in the first stage from his first game, St. Petersburg.

The stage is set in the red platforms from the initial area, overlooking the capital city and their various mosque buildings while several searchlights waves around in the background, much like in the original game. Original for this game is the inclusion of a zeppelin floating up in the center of the stage, bearing the Kazakh Federation’s half-star symbol, which is also present in three buildings.

Two laser signs can be seen at times in the sky: the first writes “Казахскар CCP” a misspelling of “Казахская CCP” (Russian for “Kazakh SSR”), while the second writes intermittently “A.D. 2048” and “Санкций” (Russian for “sanctions”). The first two are direct references to the intro scroll that opens up the Arcade’s first stage, while the third word is original for this game. The Third Moon can also be spotted high up in the sky, in front of the real moon.


“In Neo St. Petersburg, ninja throwing stars impale YOU!”



It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky…

The stage takes place inside a worn-out live house, with the zombie Lord Raptor (aka Zabel Zarock) playing guitar on the stage while two punk skeletons are headbanging to his music and two skulls in the table are opening and closing their mouths while watching. (Also I just now noticed that freaky neon face above the door. Eeeehhh…) In the last round, ghosts approach the defeated fighter. This is considered Morrigan’s home stage. Morrigan’s and Gambit’s endings take place in this stage. (I know Gambit’s been known to hang out in some seedy dives, but I’ve never figured he’d be the type to rock out with spooks. Well, he is from Voodoo country, after all.)


“Hey, you reek of blood and defeat. Tasty! Feeding time, boys!”



Spider-Man, Spider-Man, fights wherever a spider can…

This stage takes place in New York City, between the rooftops of the Daily Bugle (with the first three letters from its name visible) and a neighbor building, webs connecting the two to avoid the fighters from falling. The background has several buildings, the most notable being the Baxter Building. This is considered the home stage of Spider-Man and Venom. My favorite part of this stage is the Baxter Building/Four Freedoms Plaza, the HQ of the Fantastic Four, in the background.


“Greetings. Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic here. I just wanted to pop in here and mention to any prospective filmmakers out there that my team, the Fantastic Four, is still available should anyone be interested in making a Hollywood blockbuster movie about us, just as long as 20th Century Fox stays as far away from it as humanly possible!”



Some Assembling Required

This stage takes place inside the Avengers Mansion, with the Avengers Support Crew monitoring several screens. Psylocke, Magneto, Storm and Wolverine appear in some of the screens. (All X-Men, as it happens.)


“I’m keeping an eye on those super-freaks! Oooooh, I hate mutants! I hate all metahumans!”


“We super-freaks aren’t crazy about you either!”

In Captain Commando’s ending, an Avengers Crew contacts the Avengers to tell them that Onslaught was defeated. Captain Commando appears in the screen and says that he and his team took care of him. Similar to the ending from his game, the Avengers Crew asks who he is, and he says “I am Captain Commando”.

In Captain America’s ending, he is in the HQ with the Capcom characters and explains that Onslaught was the embodiment of the dark emotions of Professor X and Magneto, and his conscience summoned heroes to stop him. With Onslaught’s demise, the Capcom heroes return to their world and Captain America salutes them.





This stage takes place inside one of Dr. Wily’s many secret bases, with the mad, mad, mad scientist walking around and angrily yelling to the fighters with a megaphone. In the background there is a Metall Potton with several Mettaurs, giant Killer Bullets, Baccones, Mad Grinder, and Dark Man 1 moving back and forth carrying a damaged sack. This is considered the home stage of Mega Man and Roll. Speaking of Megs, one little touch I always liked is when Mega Man delivers the final blow, you’ll hear the signature “You Got a New Weapon” tune from his games instead of the usual Victory music.


“Geez, how many of of this guy’s robot masters do I have to take out before this nut-cake gets the point? Shade Man? Wood Man? Search Man? Clown Man? I think Wily’s running out of ideas at this point!”


“Seriously bro, when are you gonna let me borrow your Mega Buster? For once I’d like to clean house figuratively instead of literally! I’ve gotta talk to Dr. Light about an upgrade!”



This stage takes place in the Blue Area of the Moon, an artificial, Earth-like environment in the Moon containing the ruins of the Inhuman city of Attilan and the citadel of Uatu the Watcher. The background contains some alien ruins and an old American flag. The blue planet Earth is visible far away. Ryu’s ending takes place in this stage, where he starts training Sean.


Hey, Dark Side of the Moon. You knew someone was going to say it!



Boo! Hiss!

This stage takes place in the headquarters of an unknown evil group. In the background, the Forgotten Worlds bosses Whodin and Laidin are holding an Earth and a Moon, and in the top center in a gigantic version of the evil god Bios.


The stage also has many other unknown characters that were apparently created for this game.

Chun-Li’s ending takes place in this stage, where she tries to face M. Bison but is defeated by him, and he plans to make her a member of Shadaloo (This stage presumably having links with the organization). Fortunately, Shadow appears and saves her.


“Say, I like that design. I’m going to start holding our Legion of Doom meetings via Skype from now on. Solomon Grundy’s got a weird odor, and when Gorilla Grodd isn’t crossing his legs, I can see his junk!”



This stage takes place in a cliff at an unknown location. As the rounds pass, the stage changes from day to sunset and to night with lightning.


“Oh, wowsy-wowsy-woo-woo. Miserable stage, isn’t it?”



“I see London, I see France, I see….eeeww.”

This stage takes place in E. Honda’s bathhouse in Japan, his stage from Street Fighter II. This stage has 2 parts: the guy’s bathhouse, which you see here, and if you scroll to the right and manage to break the wall…


…You get to see inside the ladies’ bathhouse. Rowr-rowr!


“Don’t give me that look! The bathhouse is a respected piece of my country’s culture! We don’t just use it as an excuse to get naked and ogle hot bods…well, not entirely.”

So there you have it. My little tribute to Marvel VS Capcom‘s stages.



2 Funny/Player Two Start!: Pac-Man 256 Schf@#!

Today’s 2 Funny serves double duty as a Player Two Start, as it’s from Battle Geek Plus. The BGP gang’s rousing play of Pac-Man 256 (so named because the original Pac-Man automatically glitched out after 256 levels rather than having a true ending, as its’ programmers didn’t think anyone would actually get that far) inspires Josh Christopher to bust out with this truly bumpin’ geek rock earworm. I’ve been grooving on this one since last night. Here’s “Pac-Man 256 Schf@#!” WARNING: the language is a tad saltier than we usually try to get here. If there are young ‘uns in the house, you might want to put your headphones on.

I can never get enough geek rock, myself.

Player Two Start!/The Couch: Viva Pinata

Hey! Y’all remember Viva Pinata?


For those who don’t, Viva Pinata was a 2006 life simulation game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360. The game inspired a Saturday morning TV series of the same name, which was produced by an American company, 4Kids Productions and Bardel Entertainment, a children’s animation company in Canada. Since today we’ll be looking at both the game and the cartoon show, this article is a hybrid: part Player Two Start!, part Couch.


It’s 2…2…2 entries in one!

Here’s the show/game intro:

Viva Pinata the video game revolves around the player tending to a neglected garden in Piñata Island, in which different variations of piñatas must be bred whilst fending off disruptive interlopers. The player uses gardening tools, such as shovels and watering cans, to plough their garden, sow seeds, create ponds, and sculpt the garden to their liking. When certain requirements are fulfilled, the garden will attract a black-and-white outline of a given piñata species. After fulfilling additional requirements, the piñata will become a resident, changing into a full-color version. Once two piñatas of the same species are residents and their mating requirements are met, they can perform a “romance” dance. If the player successfully completes a maze minigame, the romance results in a baby piñata egg, which is delivered by a stork. The piñatas are not gendered, and hence any two piñatas of the same species can mate.

Pinata Species

OK, OK! Par-tay, Par-tay!

All of the various pinata species names are a portmanteau of some animal species and a type of confectionery/dessert. They were:


  • Barkbark
  • Goobaa
  • Kittyfloss
  • Moozipan
  • Ponocky
  • Pudgeon
  • Pigxie
  • Rashberry


  • Badgescile
  • Cinnamonkey
  • Dragumfly
  • Ellaphanilla
  • Fudgehog
  • Galagoogoo
  • Hortsachio
  • Profitamole
  • Pretztail
  • Tigermisu
  • Twingersnap

“Hey hey hey, pass those candies my way!”

The game’s antagonists include the “Ruffians” led by Professor Pester and “sour piñatas” who occasionally enter the player’s garden with the sole intent of wreaking havoc: eating seeds, dropping poisonous piñata candies, and destroying objects. The player may tame sour piñatas by constructing fences around them. Weeds may occasionally sprout in the player’s garden and will quickly spread to destroy vegetable rows if the player does not kill them in time.

The game also boasted a unique cast of characters:

  • Seedos: Originally named Sidos, he is the youngest child of Jardinero. Even when he was small, he had a natural knack for raising Pinata, displayed by his sucess in raising a family of Shellybeans. After Lester lured Stardos into the jungle, Ruffians swarmed on Jardinero’s garden, destroyed it and stole the Pinata. Sidos ran and hid in the swamp with his Shellybeans. Until Jardinero returned, Sidos lived there with the Shellybeans and the time greatly changed him. From then on, he loved seeds (as all Shellybeans do) and changed his name to Seedos. He wanders your garden and gives you seeds when you talk to him. He is the only one you can get brand new seeds from when you cannot buy them at Costolots.
  • Leafos: Jardinero’s oldest daughter and second child; she proclaims herself the ‘brains of the family’ and is the creator of the Journal. When the Ruffians attacked, she hid in the house. She occasionally gives advice and gossip, both true and false, when spoken to.
  • Dastardos: A witch doctor who lives in the gnarled tree on the outskirts of Jardinaro’s garden. It is heavily implied that he is Stardos, since he was first noticed sometime after Stardos went missing and Jardinaro comments that “he reminds [him] of someone he used to know”. Whenever a Pinata gets sick and Doc Patch does not arrive soon enough, Dastardos will float out of his tree and destroy the Pinata.
  • Willy Builder: Builds pinata home so the pinatas can romance. He also can build any other building. He is married to Lottie.
  • Costolot’s: The store run by Lottie. Most items can be found in this store. She is married to Willy Builder.
  • Gretchum Fetchum: A Pinata hunter. She finds Pinata’s for people who pay her.
  • Doc Patchingo: A recent graduated doctor that comes to the rescue when pinatas are sick. He is always nervous when you talk to him.
  • Ms. Petula: She sells some pinatas and clothing for pinata. She claims that her parents are the real owners and she is there while they are out. She has a fishbowl with a living golden fish on her head.
  • Bart: He is a “Tuner-upper”, and, for a price, he will modify your things to some better by three ranks bronze (the cheapest and with less probabilities to have success), silver (the middle point) and gold (the most expessinve and with better results than the other two).
  • Arthur: He is the owner of Arthur’s Inn where he hires helpers to help you.
  • Ivor: He is an apparent begger and owner of Ivor Bargain once you give him 1000-2000 chocolate coins.
  • Jardinero: He is the elderly father of Dastardos, Leafos, Storkos and Seedos and former owner of the garden. He moves around on a motorized wheel chair.
  • Mother: Jardinero’s seafaring wife. Went off to sea in search of how to obtain a rare Dragonache.
  • Storkos: She is the third child of Jardinaro. She brings eggs, from Egg Mountain, to pinatas that have romanced.
  • Frannie: She is the lovely and sweet postmistress of Piñata Island that sends all packages to xbox live. According Leafos, she opens love letters with steam for a novel that she is writing.
  • Professor Pester: He is the main villian in the game. He kidnapped Stardos when he was younger and transformed him into Dastardos. He is the leader of the ruffians, and the former assistant of Jardinaro (Pester was then called Lester). He is the man who destroyed the garden.

Leafos, the first character you meet in the game. Keen-eyed viewers will spot Leafos briefly in the opening titles of the TV show, though she made no actual appearances in the series.


There is, however, an ‘art-house’ film generating through the video game underground in which Leafos “has some fun” with a Pretztail.

Emmet Nervind


Viva Pinata the TV series originally aired on 4KidsTV from August 26, 2006 to January 18, 2009.  4Kids TV and The CW4Kids in the United States stopped airing the show on August 2, 2008 and October 25, 2008 respectively, but it continued to air in Canada on YTV until June 24, 2011. The TV series had a somewhat different premise from the game, and featured Looney Tunes-style slapsticky situations and gags. Not all of the jokes landed, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for zany, and since Viva Pinata was one of the few comedy cartoons on a lineup that was dominated by action shows, I could give it a pass.

TV Synopsis: In a garden on Piñata Island, a multitude of happy, colorful Piñata species live, frolic, dance, and grow. The goal of the piñatas is to fill themselves with candy, so they can be chosen by Piñata Central to entertain at birthday parties or retirement parties and other special celebrations. The piñatas have their own gardens and love to party. Each species is a portmanteau of an animal and a sweet type of food.

It is here in the garden, among the burrowing Profitamole, the bovine Moozipan and the tree-swinging Cinnamonkey that we will find a small band of Piñata friends that have known one another since they were children when they first came to the garden.

Being a piñata means something different for piñatas. Some Piñatas can’t wait to reach their maximum candy level so they can leave the Piñata Factory over and over again, bringing joy to children and partygoers all over the world. Others are not happy about the prospect of being shipped off to a strange place where happy children in festive hats hang them from a tree, bludgeon them until their limbs fall off, and devour their innards. Still others physically train for the parties as if they were off to the Olympic Games—hardening their bodies to create a challenge for the children clamoring to get at their candy.

Why is it that Piñata Island is the only place in the world Piñatas can be found? Even the Piñatas don’t really know—but with so much happening in the garden, what with weird new Piñatas arriving all the time, crazed black-market Piñata poachers trying to muscle in on Piñata Central action, mysteries to solve, violent garden pests known as sours to contend with, and constant opportunities to dance—who has time to worry about it?

The only thing upon which these Piñatas can agree is that on Piñata Island, anything can happen.

On the show, the pinatas themselves each boasted distinct names and personalities, and there were no human characters anywhere to be seen on the island.

Viva Pinata Title Card 1


  • Hudson Horstachio: (voiced by Dan Green) A horse piñata with a green teal body like a pistachio, Hudson is one of the most popular piñatas in the business. As a celebrity he sometimes has to disguise himself when in public. His friends often have to keep his ego in check. He enjoys dancing and making extravagant statements about himself.
  • Franklin Fizzlybear: (voiced by Marc Thompson) A brown grizzly bear with purple and yellow stripes. He enjoys surfing, and typically speaks with a surfer accent and related expressions. He is fairly laid back and occasionally has moments of intellectualism. He is not good at lying. He also draws portraits of the other pinatas. In the video game, his surfboard is an item that the player can purchase.
  • Paulie Pretztail: (voiced by Brian Maillard) A cross between a pretzel and a red-tailed fox, Paulie is a no-nonsense kind of pinata who is easily considered to be “the clever-cloggs” of the main cast (besides Les) and Fergy’s best friend. He shares Fergy’s aversion of being sent to parties, though it seems more of an annoyance to him, rather than Fergy’s idea of thinking of going to a party as frightening, and frequently avoids them. He seems to be good at cooking as shown from the episode ‘ Recipe for Disaster’.
  • Fergy Fudgehog: (voiced by David Wills) A cross between fudge and a hedgehog, Fergy loves candy, but fears parties and Paulie’s best friend. He is frequently sought out by Langston to attend parties but always manages to escape his bugcatcher’s net. His catchphrase is “Oh, fudge!”
  • Ella Elephanilla: (voiced by Rebecca Soler) A cross between an elephant and vanilla, Ella suffers from short-term memory loss, thus contradicting the saying that an elephant never forgets.
  • Courtly_Jester_is_here!


Ella enjoys ballet. Because of her elegant moves, this caused Paulie and Fergy to both get huge, temporary crushes on her. They even asked her to a dance, but she forgot they had both asked her. No evidence has been shown that both Fergy and Paulie still have a crush on her, if they do, they are very subtle about it.

  • Les Galagoogoo: (voiced by Eric Stuart) A cross between a Galago and GooGoo, Les is smart and dextrous, however, when he speaks, it comes out as high-pitched gibberish. Les ranked second place in the 4Kids Viva Piñata character poll. It appears that the main cast may be able to understand him, but simply ignore him. In one episode, he was able to speak, but he was ignored as he always had been.
  • Tina & Teddington Twingersnap: (voiced by Kathleen Delaney and Jamie McGonnigal) A two-headed serpent crossed with gingersnap. They share a body, but argue a lot. They have both been shown to have sub-par gardening skills. Despite the fact that they appear to hate each other (after all, they are Brother and Sister), in one episode when they are accidentally separated, they end up greatly missing their other half. Teddington is the worst singer on Pinata Island and for some reason has a refined British accent.
  • Langston Lickatoad: (voiced by Mike Pollock) A cross between a licorice and a toad, Langston operates the Cannoñata. He regularly tries to catch the stealthy duo Fergy and Paulie in order to send them to parties.
  • Professor Pester: (voiced by Michael Alston Baley) The main villain of the series. In all the episodes he appears in, he and his Ruffians try to capture and destroy a piñata, (usually Hudson) if not all of them, to obtain their candy. Note that he does not appear to be a piñata. When he had his personality reversed and happily gobbled up all of Fergy’s candy, he was scanned on the way to the Cannoñata and found to have no candy. Nor do any of his ruffians appear to be piñatas; an episode shows that they were the result of a disastrous Sours experiment. His catchphrase is “I have no regrets”, and he always says it when his plans backfire and he ends up losing. He and the Ruffians are the only non-pinatas from the games to have made it to the show, though to be noted Leafos makes a split second cameo in the theme song right when the announcer states “Welcome to Pinata Island” as the screen is panning over a field..


  • Beverly Badgesicle: Hudson’s biggest, very obsessive fan.
  • Cecil Cocoadile: Cecil is the only piñata on the island who thinks Chortles’ jokes are funny, causing him to burst into tears laughing. In the piñata world, cocoadile tears make excellent fertilizer, so while laughing and crying at his bad jokes, he is also helping Chortles with his garden.
  • Chortles Chippopotamus: (voiced by Sean Schemmel) Chortles has a horrible sense of humor, but fantastic gardening skills. Only Cecil Cocoadile thinks his jokes are funny, and Chortles uses Cecil’s tears to help his garden grow.
  • Dr. Quincy Quackberry: A doctor and psychiatrist with a Groucho Marx-like personality. He wears glasses and a tie, and he customarily tells groan-inducngly bad jokes and puns.
  • The Great Bonboon (or just “The Bonboon”): A creature who pretends to be an all-knowing guru to steal candy from gullible piñatas like Professor Pester. He is usually meditating, but when no one is present, he talks to his friend Sid Sarsgorilla on the phone in his normal voice. Paulie is the only pinata who sees through his ruse.
  • Hamilton Horstachio: (voiced by Sean Schemmel) Hudson’s rival, who later on turns into a zumbug.
  • King Roario: (voiced by Dan Green) The King of Pinata Island.
  • Mabel Moozipan: She owns a well-kept vegetable garden and despises trespassers. She is friends with Florence Fizzlybear.
  • Pecky Pudgeon: (voiced by Eric Stuart) Pecky takes photos for the local newspaper of Piñata Island, the Pinata Yada Yada. He loves gossiping about everyone and will go to great lengths to bring in a juicy scoop for the paper. (He makes a cameo in the game taking a photo of Gretchen when she first appears.)
  • Pierre Parrybo: (voiced by Pete Zarustica) Pierre organizes various activities on Piñata Island. He’s also the DJ for a call-in radio show.
  • Ruffians: Professor Pester’s bumbling henchmen who usually ruin his plans, since they don’t comprehend orders well. They waddle from side to side in their walk, and they love to prank one another. According to Pester, three are boys and one is a girl.
  • Petunia Pretztail: (voiced by Sieko Shih) A kung-fu warrior who is friends with Florence Fizzlybear, Francine Fudgehog, and especially Haily Hostachio, and teaches Fergy and Paulie how to find their own “fu”.
  • Prewitt Profitamole: (voiced by Mike MacRae) A brilliant animal who seems to be the only mechanic on the island and he is a wonder at inventing. He also has a love for soaps, and watches them avidly.
  • Shirley Shellybean: Shirly is optimistic and always is ready to start a new adventure.
  • Simone Cinnamonkey: (voiced by Rebecca Soler) Hudson’s brisk and resourceful agent. She speaks very quickly, rapidly counting off Hudson’s schedule. Sometimes, she seems to want her pay more than Hudson’s fame, but she is occasionally shown to care for him in both stern and encouraging ways.

As with another animated series based on a Rare video game franchise, Donkey Kong Country, I find it kind of odd that the producers opted to not just make the series the game in TV show form; perhaps they felt the premise of raising, keeping and breeding pinatas was too close to Pokemon, who knows? While I didn’t necessarily have a problem with Viva Pinata: The Series, my personal take on the show would have been a mix of both the game and the show; I’d keep Fergy, Paulie, Hudson et al, but I’d also add Leafos and her family and the other locals as well (sort of a Harvest Moon meets Animal Crossing kind of deal, but with a tropical island makeover), allowing me to potentially get chafed by straddling the fence.


“Now that’s the wackiest proposal I ever hoid!”

2 Funny/Player Two Start!: Mario Power Tennis Intro

Today’s 2 Funny is the rather long but hilarious intro for the Nintendo Gamecube’s Mario Power Tennis. Bush-league baddies Wario and Waluigi are drummed out of the competition, but get some private coaching from a ‘mysterious’ benefactor. Enjoy.

If we could get 1 Super Mario Bros. TV show with animation and antics like this, it would more than make up for the lackluster animation from the previous Mario TV cartoons and it could even cause folks to forget that live-action Super Mario Brothers movie (almost). Make this happen, Nintendo!