As the whole “The Player and the Doodler” channel comes to a close, the Doodler and I figured we’d select our top favorite projects from the three-ish years we’d been doing this whole Let’s Play thing, which we narrowed down to twenty projects. These are not necessarily our most (in)famous projects, nor ones where our catchphrases or running gags come from, but simply the ones that one or both of us enjoyed the most, either when making them or rewatching them (or both). So, with no further ado, here are the Top Twenty(-ish) Player and Doodler projects!
20: Race In Space
Often before we played a long game during a stream we’d do a 20-minute warm-up game, usually a short Atari or NES or similar game, just to get the juices flowing and for the Doodler to play a little bit too before he settled into doodlin’ for the evening. Race in Space was one such game, and one I thought would be more-or-less forgettable after we were done. Boy, was I wrong! Between the Doodler misunderstanding what “warp speed” meant, thinking it was the “win the game” button, and the chaos induced by the “negative universe”, this turned out to be a surprise gem, and still one of our more fun arguments to witness.
19. Ken’s Labyrinth
This early 90’s 3D precursor to games like Doom and Duke Nukem 3D is memorable for a few reasons: the silly enemy design, the fact that the labyrinth resembles the basement of an office building, and the nearly-monotone “Welcome to Ken’s Labyrinth” voice that opens the game, but for us what made this great was the cheesy music, specifically for the third level. Eight measures over and over again of something so generic and unmemorable that it loops around to become the most memorable earworm in the entire history of the channel! Duh duh duh dududuh duh duh, dudududuh duh duduh doooooo…
18. Demon Attack
One of the Doodler’s favorite games even before we did it on the stream, this simple shooter featured a memorable endboss (possibly the first in video game history) that was so huge and demonic-looking that he eventually bought a T-shirt featuring it. Also our commentary was pretty fun (GAY MARRIED NAZI SPACE CRABS FROM BEYOND THE MOON!).
17. (tie) Encounter & Way Out
These were both featured in the first TIM?!? (The Doodler’s brother and occasional guest star) Blitz, though neither were originally planned for that particular stream. Both these games were great examples of the superior hardware of the Atari 800 vs. its contemporaries, as they are both 3D-rendered games oozing with atmosphere. Between our discussion of the behind-the-scenes hardware stuff and the reactions to the game itself, these two projects strike what I believe is a great balance between informative commentary, humorous reactions, and game showcasing that typifies the best examples of Let’s Play videos. Plus, for some reason I still don’t quite understand, the Way Out video is (as of this writing) our second-most-watched video on the entire channel, so it’s gotta be doing something right!
16. Peasant’s Quest
This project came about for April Fool’s Day shortly after our one-year anniversary, and was a blast to do. With the Player and the Doodler switching not just roles (becoming the Gamer and the Scribbler) but personality tics and catchphrases, it was a lot of fun to imitate each other. Plus, we both gained an appreciation for the role the other person normally played on the channel, and we got a few “memorable” doodles to boot (I doubt I will ever live down the “melty-pizza-face” doodle).
15. King’s Quest V
The main focus of our channel, especially early on, was the Sierra line of late 80’s to early 90’s adventure games, particularly the King’s Quest series. Of those, King’s Quest V is probably our most famous work (and part 1 is our most-watched video that is part of a larger series). The game itself seems to have been made for humorous Let’s Plays: beautiful graphics, extremely silly and bad voice acting, nonsensical puzzles, and a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously without being an outright comedy. The Sister joins us in this one, and between continuing the Doodler’s Square Castle fixation, the “Hot Pixel Action” meme, and Cedric’s apparent obsession with the bakehouse, this one is a blast to rewatch. Some may be a bit surprised to see this one so far down the list, however; and while it’s great, there are a few that the two of us personally enjoy even more.
14. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
One of the few games where the Doodler and I are actually working together (he was moving the character in dungeons while I shot the arrows), this game turned out to be both kinda creepy and really funny. Between this and Way Out, it’s clear that sometimes less is more, and the silent spooky atmosphere of the dungeons in this game as you’re striving to hear where the monsters are is spine-tinglingly effective. Plus we were positive most of the time, and even though (spoiler) we didn’t actually win it, we got really close.
13. Metroid Series (1, Zero Mission, Prime & Super)
It’s probably cheating to pick four games as one entry, especially since they’re all multi-video projects, but I decided to do it anyway, as I like these projects for mostly the same reason: not only is the Metroid series one of my favorite game series of all time, but these particular projects are ones I worked hard and practiced on. Most of the games we did were either not based on skill (such as the adventure games we’ve done) or I went into without having practiced and let the gameplay happen as it did, for good or for ill. These four projects, however, I practiced over and over again so that the gameplay itself would be something interesting to watch, and I’m actually quite proud of how they turned out. Granted, none of them are anywhere near professional-level gameplay, but I like to think at least that they are impressive to see (assuming the audience knows anything about Metroid).
And even if you don’t notice that, there are a lot of fun moments in these videos, from the Ridley voice (that we stole from Retsupurae) to the Super Metroid work robot having his own Doodler-created adventures to Ted the Only Smart Space Pirate in All of Metroid Prime. All four of these are ones I enjoy quite a bit.
12. Mario Paint
This came at the end of our Edutainment stream and gave the Doodler a chance to take the spotlight. However, since Mario Paint isn’t exactly the most artistic paint program out there, what ended up happening was a monstrosity of a cat drawing with a madness-inducing song to go along with it. This is something that the two of us probably find a lot funnier than most, but we still had an incredible amount of fun with it and it’s certainly one of the more unique things we’ve done.
11. King’s Quest III Redux
If the King’s Quest series was tailor-made for our brand of Let’s Play videos, the fan-made AGD remakes of the earlier King’s Quest games were even moreso, taking the whimsical and winking nature of the original series and turning it up to eleven, showing a passion for the series and its characters that only fans are able to muster, combined with a knack for fun storytelling, great art comparable to the official VGA games, and some fanmade additions (some great, some not-so-great-but-fun-to-make-fun-of) that add up to some of my favorite projects we’ve done. KQIII Redux, in particular, has some real fun running gags we come up with, from the wizard Manannan jump-scaring poor Gwydion every 45 seconds, to the weird gags about Millennials and purple shirts, to the Doodler mishearing a line as “You eagerly pee in your wallet,” we had a great deal of fun with this one.
Ballblazer (by Lucasfilm Games before they were Lucasarts) was a game we revisited a few times with a couple of guests, but our favorite was definitely our first time with it, when it was just the Player and the Doodler. This was one of our earliest videos made (only our second Atari video ever after Bruce Lee), and it was so much fun that we were in tears by the end. I don’t have a lot to say about it; it was just fun and action-packed!
9. King’s Quest VI
Though King’s Quest VI didn’t produce as many memorable running gags as King’s Quest V did, I find it even more enjoyable to rewatch. King’s Quest VI is by far the best of the official King’s Quest games, and there’s something about this series that slots in really well with our particular brand of commentary. There is enough down-time between events that we can tell stories or let our comments build, but at the same time there’s usually enough going on that we have very little dead air or space where we can’t think of anything to say. Plus this series is one that I know a lot about and feel like I have a lot to say about it, which helps tighten those gaps, and is probably why so many King’s Quest games have made it onto this list.
Between the voice acting gags, the “The answer is love!” gag, and the commentary on Alexander’s true love of (aka stalking obsession with) Princess Cassima, King’s Quest VI is enjoyable on a lot of levels, and my personal favorite of our official old-school King’s Quest projects.
8. Dokapon Kingdom
Dokapon Kingdom is a bit hard to quantify, since it’s our longest project by far (nearly twice as long as the runner-up Chrono Trigger), and there are plenty of mediocre videos in this mix. However, Dokapon was less like a movie or stage play and more like a sporting event, and in that sense the bits of craziness and reversals of fortune more than made up for the slow bits. It was also a lot of fun to see the personalities of the four bounce off each other, especially over the long-term, and between the Player’s experience (and tendency to over-explain everything to everyone), the Doodler’s frustration and incredibly bad luck (VENGEANCE, anyone?), the Mystic’s low-key determination and wit, and the Krazy Kat’s focus on trolling everyone as the Darkling as many times as possible, to the point of self-sabotage, this game was a perfect storm of insanity at points, and I, for one, loved it.
7. Micro Machines Series
One of our more frequent guest stars on the channel was “TIM?!?”, and that’s because whenever he was there, we all were able to loosen up a bit and just have fun (the Doodler especially). This shows especially in our Micro Machines shorties, where TIM?!? is in all of them except the first. The games themselves are chaotic and quirky enough on their own, but add in stuff like the Doodler’s increasingly bizarre descriptions of what happens to Jethro’s grandmother every time he loses, and you have videos that are infectiously fun to watch for the reason that everyone involved is just plain having a good time.
6. Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
This project is probably a bit subjective compared to others on this list, and I doubt many would rate it as high, but there were just a bunch of gags in here that just make me laugh a lot, such as “My name is Ann *bleep*”, “Charles de Gaulle, seen here” (as it shows a picture of a showgirl), “Smell my hands, conquistador”, and the weird Gandhi jokes (“Don’t feeeed meeeee…”). I Just Like It!
5. (tie) Super Mario Bros. 3 & Super Mario World
Take a drink! Both of these projects are famous for the same reason: they gave us the Player and Doodler drinking game, which turned into one of our most memorable features, even though we only did it twice (we had a third one planned that we still may do some day). It was also a lot of fun to do a longer project that both of us could play, and as these two are the two most fondly-remembered Mario games of our era, we were at that level of “I knew how to play this game twenty-five years ago; let’s see how good I am now!” I’d personally give the edge to Super Mario Bros. 3, as that’s the game I like more (and we both did really well in our playthrough), but I’d bet most viewers would prefer Super Mario World, as that one has us suffering more (particularly Wendy O. Koopa’s castle for no good reason).
4. Mixed-Up Mother Goose
Some Let’s Plays are fun to watch because the people playing are having fun, some are fun to watch because the people playing are really good and/or know a lot about the game, and some are fun to watch because the people playing are getting ridiculously frustrated. This particular game falls into the latter camp, as the controls were garbage and the Player was getting at least mildly frustrated with them. Plus there’s always something inherently enjoyable about slightly twisting things meant for children (especially nursery rhymes, which have kind of a dark undertone to them anyway if you think about them on a deeper level), and while it was a pain to play, I think it ended up really funny to watch (let’s bring the King a bowl of squid guts and three creepy perv men!) and it ended with a nursery rhyme about Hillary Clinton for some reason.
3. King’s Quest 2 VGA
Everything that has been said about KQIII Redux applies to this project, but what puts this so much farther up the list is that I think our commentary here is some of our best work; the introduction cutscene alone is especially Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque. I don’t mean to brag, but everything was clicking for us during this project: the game was fun, we were having fun, the doodles were fun: fun fun fun! Some especially stand-out moments other than the intro were the story that Grandma told with its accompanying deviantart-esque visuals, the conversation with Death (aka Charon, or “Sharon from Accounting”), and the Graham/Gervain shipping.
Side note: one of the voice actors (specifically, the girl who did the voice of the antique shop owner) contacted us with praise about this playthrough. It’s always fun (and sometimes scary, depending on how negative your commentary was) to connect with the creators of the games we’ve featured, however rarely it’s happened, and has been one of the more fun perks of running this channel.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
Take the great commentary we had for KQ2VGA, add the fun we always have when TIM?!? is around, and add the fact that this is a game that all three of us loved and were at least semi-knowledgeable about, and you have one of the most fun shorter projects we’ve ever done. We came up with too many fun gags to list here; the Doodler’s list for the second video alone is “I didn’t kill Tim!?!? Wacky Willy! Wakazashi! Mucho Metaphysical Man! Baldur’s Gake, everyone! I’m doing the super fun move! Oh, Poo! Attack the girl! Doofenshmirtz! Toilet Duck! Triple X! He walked off the building 14 times! The gake was a lie. But sometimes when you walk off the building… Swift Taylor! Shake it off! The Jim Henson Cancer Institute. It’s either Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or ROCKET-SHOOTING SNOWMEN!!! It’s kind of a weird fetish! Can I say that word with children watching? Nobody puts snowmans in a corner! I’d vote for Leo over Trump or Hillary. I heard shredder in my brain! The integrity of that snow man is admirable. ROCKET-SHOOTING SNOWMANS 2016!!! Let’s get that Shredder corpse! Hot Pixel Action! They’re purple and I’m purple. It’s kind of a turf thing. You and your shoe fetish. He is like, “RAW!” and his mouth opens. His mouth is a gaping maw! Gary Johnson beats people senseless and then stabs them! What’s the punishment? MORE MUPPETS!!! I’d take Casey Wayman! As someone who’s laid bricks, those are the biggest bricks I’ve ever seen. Then he becomes a muppet of a man. Now King Hippo will come in! DIE, KRUSTY! Hey, I’ve got one thing I say on this stream, it’s stupid… WINTER DOG!!! WINTER SOLDIER!!! WHITE FANG!!! NEW YORK CITY!!! And now New York has global warming. It’s just like Punch-Out! ZAMBONI MACHINE!!! Yeah, a little too Raph. MICHAEL AND JOLLO!!! TENNIS ELBOW!!! PIZZA HUT!!! 1972 CAMARO!!! PEPPEROCHINI!!! Papa John’s didn’t exist in the 80’s! UR the man now, Dawg! All this information brought to you by A&W. SUPPORT OUR PATREON!!!”
Yeah, we had fun.
1. King’s Quest 2015 Chapter 4
This is a terrible game. But it was my favorite project that we did, ever.
Why? Because I think we did a really good job of analyzing this game, taking it apart, and seeing why it didn’t work. The new King’s Quest (2015) series always had tonal issues and an inability to capture an audience, but in this chapter it went overboard with some terrible character choices, in particular the relationship between Graham and Alexander bordered on abuse, and I thought it went too far in making Graham a complete *** without considering that Alexander was a slave for eighteen years… sorry, I almost went off on another rant about it. Anyway, I think we bring up some unique and interesting criticism in this project, and not to toot my own horn, but I’m actually quite proud of it, which is why it claims the #1 spot on this list!
– Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf
– LEAP Disks
– Adventure 2600
– Pickle Wars
– Golden Axe & Golden Axe II
– Family Feud
– Archon and Archon: Classic
– Megaman’s Soccer
– The Oregon Trail