Friday, March 1, 2013

Tiptup Isn't Who You Think!

If anyone at all has been paying attention to my Everything I Own Challenge, they'll know that I've started a new playthrough of the masterpiece known as Diddy Kong Racing. A game so good I had to have it twice. It's a game I'll be reviewing shortly (I only have three more worlds to complete in Adventure Two before I've 100% the game!), but we're not going to talk about how good the game is right now (maybe a little). Nope, today's post is going to be a bit of a throwback to my Mysteries of Modern Media posts... which were mostly about Diddy Kong Racing anyway.

FIRST some less-than-necessary history! It all started about fifteen years ago on a blistering cold winter day when my friend and I were cooped up in his game-and-cable-equipped basement. The N64 had just come out (I think) and I was a little slow to get on board with all that newfangled stuff, as I was pretty content with Mega Man X and King of Dragons on my Super Nintendo. That didn't stop me from digging through his library to play the ever-loving crap out of every game I couldn't yet have! And on this fine day I stumbled upon Diddy Kong Racing.

The game was a lot like Mario Kart 64, except twelve times better and with a far more memorable cast of characters (which is weird, since they're all Looney Tunes rejects.) Having not yet mastered game-fu, my friend hadn't unlocked anything, really, so all we had to pick from were the core eight members of the line-up: Krunch the Kremling, Diddy Kong, Bumper the Badger, Banjo the Bear, Conker the Squirrel, Tiptup the Turtle, Pipsy the Mouse, and Timber the Tiger. I had wanted to be Pipsy, but she was snatched up forevermore by my friend, so I settled for Tiptup, who had similar stats.

From that day forward, I was Tiptup. Whenever I was player two, I was Tiptup. Tiptup and I, we formed a bond. A tight one. He'd come to me at night and whisper sweet nothings through my window, offering turtle shell-shaped lollipops and "Magic Rocket Balloons." They were magical times. We really understood each other. He trusted me, and I trusted him.

I'll never forget that April First...

Not terribly too long after all that, I got myself an N64 and a copy of DKR, and swiftly brought the game to its knees. That was when a little-known classic called "Banjo-Kazooie" came out. It was something magical. I knew Banjo! He was that hick bear nobody ever played as. And now he had his own game. Oh boy, oh boy!

Of course I got the game. Of course, I fell in love with the game. And of course, it revealed that Tiptup wasn't who I thought he was. The Tiptup I knew was a small and frightful little guy who barely came to Banjo's knees. But when he showed up leading a choir of tiny turtles in Bubblegloop Swamp, he towered over the honey bear. Dwarfed him, even. There was no way this was the same turtle. No way this was Tiptup. It couldn't be, it just couldn't!

My life unravelled. Everything I knew was a lie. The late nights we'd spent together, the weekends lounging on the sunny beach, it meant nothing! To Tiptup I was just another kid with a joystick in my hands. It was foolish to think I was anything else. And matters only got worse when Banjo-Tooie rolled around and revealed that Tiptup was not only a user, but that he was already the father of nineteen tiny squirtles. Oh, the humanity! The betrayal!

But then something happened. Something that made my faith return! Something that brought the fond memories into a new light! Tiptup had a son, before Kazooie's very eyes. It was a beautiful thing. A beautiful thing named Tiptup Jr. A beautiful thing named Tiptup Jr. who just so happens to be the right size to climb into a go-kart, battle an intergalactic space pig, and be called a "kid" when facing older challengers.

That's right, you all know what I'm telling you. The Tiptup from Diddy Kong Racing is actually Tiptup Jr. Now, some of you weird people are going to go: "But why would they say 'Tiptup' instead of 'Tiptup Jr.'? Even the character refers to himself as 'Tiptup.'"

Think about that for one second. If your friend was named Mike Jr. would you call him Mike Jr. everytime you wanted to say something to him? Did he introduce himself as Mike Jr. and does he say he is Mike Jr. to his friends? No, he's Mike. So to his peers, Tiptup Jr. is simply Tiptup.

Saving the world, one race track at a time...

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