Parodius is possibly my favourite game series.
Certainly I'm a huge fan of Mario and Kirby games and the like, and there is certainly a lot more of them to be invested in, but the fact that Parodius only has six games to its name means I can like the entire series without any weird outliers that I never played, or spin-off genres I wasn't interested in.
There is also some level of appreciation that comes from something being a bit obscure, a bit lesser known, perhaps so we can feel like we "own" it a bit more.
I also have a rather extensive collection of Parodius merchandise (the largest in the world, perhaps?) which is much easier when the entire series only lasted for six games over ten years in the 1990s so there is a very finite amount of stuff that one can collect.
I've drawn a lot of characters from this series and I'm going to do some more, so I'm giving it its own page.
This first set of images is quite old, but you might have seen them before because people like to take them and use them in YouTube thumbnails or t-shirt designs.
It's frustrating, but at least one person has told me they mistook my work for official artwork so maybe it's not as vindictive as I thought.
Many years ago I had the lofty ambition of making a Parodius poster.
The plan was to draw every playable character, boss and significant NPC from the entire series then compile them into one huge collage.
Not the best way to design a poster but I did manage to draw quite a few of the characters.
I have no intention of realising that old idea but I recently had the urge to draw some characters again so it has somewhat been reborn as the Parodius Character Card series. I'll be going game by game so for now here is the cast of the first arcade Parodius and its various console ports.
I said I'd never do another one of these, but then I did.
My reasoning was that there wasn't a character I was quite as invested in as a Smash Brother than Captain Syrup and that's quite true but as an entire series, Parodius is definitely up there.
You see, there is no singular character who appears all the way through the Parodius series. The first game revolved around an octopus simply called "Tako" (Japanese for octopus) and he maintained that role in the seuqel, but subsequent games started featuring Tako's descendants. There was always an octopus front and centre but it wasn't always the same one.
However this particular octo, now that we're twenty years in the future, is still pretty well recognised as the "mascot" of the series, so it does seem pretty appropriate for him to act as an envoy for the Parodius overall, and I've said before that Smash needs more quadrupeds, so how about and octoped!?
In Japan he is known as Tako, in England he is known as Octopus and in both he receives the nickname "Mr. Parodius" and I use all of those interchangeably throughout this moveset so try not to get confused.
The Parodius series, if you didn't already know, is a parody of the Gradius series of side scrolling space shooters so this character and everything around him is geared towards comedy. I like a comedy characters in Smash Bros. There are already a few and I think it's good to have a variety of character types - funny, cute, serious, cruel etc. but I'm all for another funny guy!
The colour variants offer the chance to feature all of the important octopodes throughout the Parodius series. This wouldn't be very practical in an actual game, since most of them are mainly red but considering characters like Pac-Man and Sonic generally maintain their signature colour between variants, perhaps slightly altering the shandes would be a suitable method around this.
1 - Octopus/Tako/Mr. Parodius, as seen in-game throughout Parodius (MSX) and Parodius! (Arcade)
2 - Tako as seen on boxart and in other promotional materials for Parodius! Why he had two such distinctly different designs is anybody's guess.
3 - Tako(suke?) as seen in Sexy Parodius. There is conflicting information about whether this is Mr. Parodius or Takosuke, but either way here he is.
4 - Takosuke from Fantastic Parodius. The first son of Mr. Parodius, this one is definitely Takosuke and takes over from his father as main character.
5 - Takohiko from Live Chatting Parodius. The second son of Mr. Parodius, who is searching for the Phantom Takoyaki (octopus eating octopus!?)
6 - Takosuke Jr. from Paro Wars, the oft overlooked spinoff to the Parodius series. Tako's grandson, we can presume.
7 - Belial, the second player octopus character in several games. She is apparently not related to the other octopodes but keeps showing up. Very mysterious!
8 - Tako as he appears in the instruction manual to Parodius (MSX). A throwback to his simple, original incarnation in the monochrome booklet.
With eight prehensile limbs, Mr. Parodius has a lot of scope for basic attacks, so many in fact that I won't be making any suggestions for them.
His smash attacks, however, I think could make use of the Japanese fans he is often pictured with. In Japanese comedy whacking somebody over the head with a paper fan is a classic comedy trope and since this is a comedy character (and the paper fan item was removed from Smash Bros) it's only appropriate for the octopus to incorporate it into his fighting style.
Now here's a move that's all Parodius!
As well as borrowing from Gradius, the Parodius series also included elements from Twinbee, specifically the bells which act a second type of power up, usually single use abilities or temporary transformations.
The white bell is well known throughout the series for equipping the player with the powerful megaphone, a weapon which overrides all of your usual attacks with huge shouted words that rip through all enemies!
These are of particular note for being nonsense phrases, some choice excerpts from the English version of the game being GET A STINKFOOT and SHAVING IS BORING!!
As a Final Smash, Tako simply generates a huge rectangular hitbox with his scream that launches anybdy that touches it. Maybe it works like Samus's Zero Laser by holding enemies in place to rack up damage before launching them, but it could just as easily be a one hit wonder that takes them out instantly.
Plus, as long as the hitbox is the same size each time, the words could change every now and again and we could knock people out to the tune of E=MC2 or the quadratic equation!