What if instead of playing through fetch quests, time travel missions, and volcanic mountain ascents, you could just watch them? Guess what? Bravest Warriors is the non-interactive video game you never knew you wanted.
Premiering on Frederator Studios' Cartoon Hangover channel in November 2012, Bravest Warriors takes the old school gaming nods from Adventure Time and turns them into full episodes, complete with bosses like Great Plains Wildebeest, world saving missions like Ultra WankerShim, and endless running segments like in Cereal Master. It's been out for a good while now, but since my stint at Kotaku is brief, I thought I'd fill you in now.
If Bravest Warriors sounds mega-absurdist, that's because it comes from Pendleton Ward, Adventure Time creator, and his studio. Set in 3085, four teenagers travel around universes and times to rescue alien species from alien problems. Take, for instance, the two butt-beings that have to fall in love or doom a civilization for an era. I mean, come on.
The spirit of the show is rooted in gaming from the premise all the way to the little details in its execution. Take, for instance, the plucky chiptune soundtrack. Or, if you like, observe the wonderful world of "kids on their own," (gasp). The Bravest Warriors are living the video game dream.
Let me give you a sense of just how deeply this show pulls from gaming culture.
1. The Great Plains Wildebeest Battle feels like one part fighting game, one part fantasy game, and two parts nature documentary. That's one powerful throne.
2. These Animal Totem Weapons would be fit for any hall of Skyrim or... well, there's that bee. I don't know, maybe it could shoot honey to cause unwanted status effects (stickiness, tasty tea).
3. Lives in a video game are just a function of time, like in Super Time Force and here in Bravest Warriors. Usually you don't have to look at all your corpses, though, unless you're playing A Valley Without Wind.
4. I've only ever seen a lava maze three times. First, in Runescape. Second, in a nightmare. Third, in Bravest Warriors.
5. I can trace my history with armies of gun-toting bugs as far back as Jet Force Gemini, and as recently as Earth Defense Force 2025. Who is equipping these bugs, anyway?
6. Hologram-covered future cities are nothing new (see: Coruscant), and cryptic future languages that look like Sumerian cuneiform have also been done. Seahorse dreams, now that takes a true Bravest Warriors moment to realize.
7. I remember when Donkey Kong 64's team approach to multi-world objectives still blew me away. Today, MMOs have turned these kinds of quests into everyday business — the good kind.