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It's weird to think of yourself as "the old guard" in something that's like 3-4 years old, but shit's changed for the better and worse. What will Let's Play be like in 2011? You can read all about it in my upcoming book - "Let's Read" subtitled: "2007 - the Year of the VLP" and sub-subtitled: "This is as meta as it gets." Ghost written by Stephen King and Proton Jon. On the back of the book jacket you will see a picture of me holding up a bunch of controllers while a camera is on me, and the wires are all tangled and I'm sorta shrugging as if to say "I think I'm in over my head here!!!"
In 2007, Something Awful user Slowbeef (Michael Sawyer) posted a video of him playing The Immortal with commentary over it. Numerous others followed him, thus creating the video Let's Play. In 2008, he along with fellow Something Awful user Diabetus created Retsupurae, a YouTube account in which the two make fun of the worst LPs out there, for which he has gained an even bigger following than his Let's Plays, which he still continues to do. Retsupurae also spawned a spinoff called Webcam Ward, in which the same principle is applied to non-gaming YouTube videos.
Slowbeef's Lets Plays provide examples of:
- Action Duo: Slowbeef and Diabetus, though sometimes other guests fill in for Diabetus
- Actor Allusion: Slowbeef and Diabetus often make comments based upon Retsupurae
- When Slowbeef finally took the time to play Metroid Prime 2 and got to Quadraxis, the very first thing to spring to his mind was SNES9X.
- In this video from that very same LP, Diabetus mentions "light beam aquaired."
- Similarly, Diabetus also named Part 15 of his Metroid Fusion LP DIFFUSION AQAired.
- In this video guest Toffile asks slowbeef if he combined the banana, knife, and rope.
- During one part of their Dead to Rights: Retribution Let's Play, they talk about the critical reviews that the game received.
Diabetus: A 7/10 rating usually means the game is fucking awful.
- In one part of the Metroid Fusion LP, slowbeef mentions the folly of looking up 'Metroid' on Newgrounds.
- In his Let's Play of the NES version of The Immortal, Slowbeef said "WHOOPS!" loudly when he kept fucking up a spell.
- When discussing Let's Players becoming popular through websites other than Something Awful, Slowbeef mentions Billy MC.com.
- In the Dead to Rights Let's Play, when trying to think of British phrases, Diabetus mentions "Teleport!"
- Non-Retsupurae example: when they discover that one of Corruption's enemies is called a Snatcher, they run with it.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: He is fond of doing it
- Ridley, who seems to be their favorite target, is a forum troll, Final Fantasy VI fan, mall cop, train engineer and enthusiast, sitcom star, owner of his own hotel/resort/casino, and guest commentator Vicas's boss, all with a screechy Joisey accent.
- The Lava Clam in Magmoor caverns is an Expy of Eeyore
- Rezbit, 'Vinnie the Virus', is a huge nerd until you make him angry.
Diabetus: I'm Vinnie the Virus! I've got a shield, oooh. I represent the future of technology. DON'T FUCK WITH VINNIE THE VIRUS.
- In the Super Metroid Justin Bailey LP, Samus is a Valley Girl/Stripper, Crocomire a Otaku shut-in, Draygon a Overprotective Dad/adulterer and Ridley is a forum troll into online dating.
- In Metroid Fusion, Adam is a Giver of Lame Names.
- During the Lets Play of Dead to Rights, where he said that this was how "Slate Views the World" when the NPCS were all named "Target".
- In their Dead Rights: Retribution LP, they interpret Shadow as a demon dog who can teleport, and Jack as an Unreliable Narrator telling his story in every single detail to Faith.
- The Adventure Continues: The final episode of his Metroid Prime 1 Let's Play ends with him unwrapping the box to Metroid Prime: Echoes.
- Ancient Grome: In the Metroid Fusion LP, Diabetus mistakenly calls the Greek letters Alpha, Gamma, Zeta, and Omega as being part of the Latin alphabet.
- Angrish: Not as angry as the usual examples, but the beef's first encounter with kinetic orb cannons in Echoes completely destroys his ability to speak coherently; you can tell that the illogical nature of the device has hit a Berserk Button.
Vicas: Remember how there were those one-meter tunnels that you didn't understand?
- Back From the Brink: Both the Gandrayda and Metroid Hatcher boss fights in Prime 3.
- Big Yes: After finally beating the Dark Aurora Unit.
- Performs one earlier after discovering he can Instantly kill the Metroid Hatcher with Nova Beam after spending most of a video killing one before.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Part 22 of the SD Snatcher LP, he interrupts a description of a game weapon to explain his shock at a guy reading a porn magazine in public right near him as he writes the LP at a bookstore.
- Brief Accent Imitation: In the Metroid Prime series alone, they come up with voices for Ridley, Amorbis, the Rezbits, and the Lava Clam.
- They also keep saying that they're going to come up with a voice for Kraid.
- Brick Joke: During a dull moment from Metroid Prime: Echoes video, Diabetus notes that he's playing Super Mario Galaxy 2. This was then followed up a few videos later when Slowbeef started a video with him playing said game.
- BLAM Episode: In this video the commentary turns into a heated Mac vs. PC debate between slowbeef and guest proteus4994, respectively.
- Catch Phrase: Their alternate Ridley's catchphrase is "It's a livin'!"
- In Prime 3 it became "Still fallin'."
- Throughout the Prime LPs, nearly every time slowbeef encounters a new enemy, he says some variation of 'What the hell is this?'
- From the same LPs, Diabetus has a habit of saying "Corruption!" in a funny voice.
- Slowbeef, in general, will often say "God Almighty" when faced with a particularly trying or annoying obstacle, and "Oh. fuck me!" when there's a sudden hazard.
- Censorship by Spelling: As slowbeef battles Warp Hounds:
Diabetus: See, what you need is the T-R-E-A-T beam.
- Chekhov's Skill: After he gets the X-ray Visor and Nova Beam in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Toffile pipes up to instruct him on how to use them together to one-shot kill certain enemies that have Phazite armor. Later, he encounters a Metroid Hatcher and is totally pissed off since he had so much trouble with the last one... until Toffile directs him to read its scan data again, which mentions its Phazite armor....
- Chirping Crickets: Spliced in by Diabetus as reaction to a particularly bad joke told by Slowbeef in the Fusion LP
- Cliff Hanger: After defeating the Omega Pirate in Metroid Prime, Slowbeef expresses relief at his victory... just before the Omega Pirate falls and crushes Samus, cuing the hanger.
Slowbeef: DID HE JUST LAND ON ME!?
- Companion Cube: Mr. Sunabouzu becomes very attached to "The Dynamo" in Metroid Prime Echoes, which makes it all the more saddening when slowbeef destroys it in the next video. All for a Power Bomb expansion.
slowbeef: (Faces camera towards the remnants of the destroyed dynamo) GAZE UPON IT, MR. SUNABOUZU!
- Continuity Nod: The Dead to Rights: Retribution Let's Play included several references to the Dead to Rights 1 Lp.
- Deadpan Snarker: As with Retsupurae, Diabetus fills this role in contrast to slowbeef's Hot-Blooded nature. But guest commentator Mr. Sunabouzu outshines him on that aspect, who always sounds deadpan. Even when excited.
- Depending on the Artist: Guest commentators for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption have personalized Miis made by slowbeef. They are made without reference and almost certainly do not resemble the actual commentators.
- Despair Event Horizon: slowbeef nearly crosses this in Torvus Bog, culminating in a priceless fight with Chykka. He gets better once he gets to Sanctuary.
- Dies Wide Open: After coming across a dead Federation Trooper in Echoes, slowbeef wonders if Samus has a command for the typical action movie "close their eyes" thing. Vicas pointedly doesn't say anything, because that exact scene occurs one cutscene later.
- Dissimile: In Prime 3, Slowbeef attempts to compare Admiral Dane and Adam before guest Baldurk points out he's not like Adam at all.
Slowbeef: [He is] basically like the Adam of Corruption, I suppose.
- Draconian Popsicle: In the Fusion LP, 'Ridley's' interjections always end with a mention of just how cold he is.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: From Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Galactic Federation Marine Corps specialist M. Angseth, communications officer, Samus fangirl and Late to the Party victim. Slowbeef holds her in high regard and continues to reference her many videos later.
Slowbeef: (After failing to convince Diabetus that the Space Jump and the High Jump were distinct from each other) ...Angseth would've understood.
- From the same LP, slowbeef tends to look at all its enemies with disdain. Except Rezbits. Even going as far as to ask whether they reappear in Corruption. And in the actual Corruption LP, he excitedly hopes aloud whether similar-looking enemies he came across were Rezbits.
- Eureka Moment: Discussed after slowbeef has one soon after getting the Gravity Suit in Metroid Prime:
Slowbeef: Man, this underwater doesn't mess me up anymore. I can get right back to that crashed frigate and... oh, I bet that's where I'm supposed to go now.
- Failed a Spot Check: Occasionally in his Metroid Prime LPs, he'll spend most of a video blundering around blindly due to missing something extremely obvious like a grapple point.
- Fake-Out Opening: The beginning of this video.
- Foreshadowing: In the Dead to Rights: Retribution LP, after arresting Julian Temple, Slowbeef remarks: "Grant City's under martial law, right? So what are we gonna do? Go to the police station, kill everyone in it, and throw him in an empty jail cell?" No points for guessing what happens in the very next chapter.
- Fun with Acronyms: In the videos with guest NGDBSS, Slowbeef and General Ironicus make several guesses as to what exactly said guest's name stood for.
- Norfair Gargoyles Do Best, Samus Struggles
- North Germany Distributes Bad Swastika Stickers
- Nine Grunting Deadbeats Say So
- News Gets Damn Better Sometime Soon
- Naval Gratuity Does Boats Several Services
- Nifty Grunge Destructive Bands Save Soldiers
- Necromonicon Goes Deadly Before Sitting Still
- They also say that Vicas stands for Varia Ice Cannon And Stuff
- Heroic BSOD: Near the end of SD Snatcher he closes an encounter with a particularly new enemy, after half a minute of silence and grasping for words with
Slowbeef: Fuck you, Hideo Kojima. That is all that's left. That is all that is god damn left. I went through a god damn mirror maze to fight a robot in a panda suit. That's my life... that's... you... I'm broken, I'm broken. Good night.
- Done rather literally in Diabetus' Metroid Fusion LP. After Diabetus forgets to save after defeating Yakuza and gets sent back before the boss fight, the video immedately cuts to a test pattern and ends.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: With Diabetus, at least, in his LPs. He lives in Jersey, Diabetus lives in Alabama.
- Hidden Depths: Judging from this video, as well as his work on creating an unofficial translation patch of Policenauts, Slowbeef is quite skilled in the Japanese language, skilled enough even to know the distinctions between accents.
- Hope Spot: After he gets the Dark Suit in Metroid Prime 2, which greatly reduces the life-draining mechanic that was his biggest complaint about the game, Slowbeef actually starts enjoying the game for a few videos...then comes Torvus Bog... and then the Grapple Guardian... and then Chykka... all of which totally cement his hatred of the game.
- Hurricane of Puns: While facing Thardus (who's made up of rocks), Diabetus makes several rock/stone-based puns.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: The Metroid Prime videos tend to feature guest commentators who know far more about where slowbeef needs to go than he does. Particularly Vicas. This is lampshaded a few times.
Slowbeef: How much do I have to pay you to play this for me?
- Hypocrisy Nod: In 2008, Slowbeef and Diabetus posted a Retsupurae video mocking a Youtube LP of Snatcher, commenting on what a terrible idea it was to LP Snatcher in video form. One year later, the duo made their own video LP of the game, and one of the very first things they comment on is the apparent hypocrisy.
- Idiot Hero: Slowbeef and co. tend to paint their player characters as this. A glaring example is the Snatcher LP.
(The main character walks into a church-like building with pews inside that has already been classified in-story as a church)
- I Fell For A Month: What happened to Ridley in Corruption.
Ridley: Still fallin'!
- Insult Backfire: During the Metroid Prime LP, slowbeef's playstyle is compared against the speedruns ScurvyKip has watched.
Diabetus: This certainly is a tool-assisted speedrun.
- Its Pronounced Tropay: Slowbeef always refers to Mario as "Marry-o." Despite BklynBruzer's best-laid plans.
- Joisey: Slowbeef is from the Garden State and will often alternate between defending or ridiculing his home state.
- Let's Play: The almighty Trope Maker and Trope Codifier.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Slowbeef and Diabetus during the Fusion LP.
- Mentors: Guest commentators Vicas and Toffile act as this for newcomer to the Metroid Prime series Slowbeef during his run through the Prime trilogy. Diabetus dabbles in this during Corruption.
- Mood Whiplash: In Metroid Prime, slowbeef goes from marveling at the scenery in the crashed pirate frigate to raging at the Aqua Pirates abruptly.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Conversed in the Metroid Prime LP, when guest commentator Khad mentioned seeing one of the infamous Evony ads while watching the stream and how displeased he was when, sadly, there were no tits in the actual game.
- Nostalgia Filter: Slowbeef admits that this may be one reason he's so fond of Snatcher, toward the end of his video LP of the game.
- Now You Tell Me: Slowbeef discovered he could freeze Mogenar with missiles right as soon as he was about to die.
Slowbeef: The things you discover with 9 energy.
- Oh Crap: His reaction to finding a scan in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes that said he had to find ten keys to enter the final area (one of which was already found for him, at least).
slowbeef: I gotta - TEN KEYS?!!
- In the first 10 minutes of Corruption, he finds he can shoot allies. 30 seconds later, he accidentally shoots someone, and he fires several more shots for the hell of it, prompting a turret to pop down from the ceiling.
AI: WARNING. HOSTILE WEAPONS DETECTED. PLEASE STAND DOWN.
- Percussive Maintenance: In Fusion, Diabetus compares shooting the malfunctioning atmospheric stabilizers in Sector One to thumping a television.
- Phlebotinum Analogy: How slowbeef explains to Scarboy what Phazon is in Corruption:
Slowbeef: Did you ever see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The cartoon? Do you remember mutagen? That's Phazon.
slowbeef: I'm going to use my hatred for Echoes to kill Chykka on the first try.
- Railing Kill: After slowbeef "disarms" a thug in Dead to Rights: Retribution.
- Refuge in Vulgarity: The second half of the Super Metroid Justin Bailey Let's Play.
Slowbeef (as Samus): I mean that in a way that makes me want to scratch my nipples with missile tips.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Slowbeef got the Wave Beam, he made sure to take out all the Pulse Bombus in the shafts that had bugged him.
- Running Gag: "The Ridley Voice"
- And his various Alternative Character Interpretations.
- He often mentions editing out things Diabetus and other commentators say and put in comments praising his skill. He never does.
- He and the guests also often act like the episode just started after he dies, as if he would edit out the failure. He also never does. This extends to Diabetus' LP of Fusion as well.
- During the Snatcher LP he did with Diabetus, the two liked to shout "SNATCHER" every time it appeared on screen, since the game capitalized every important key word.
- Always struggling with the pronunciation of guest Mr. Sunabouzu.
- The Dead to Rights LP provided a couple, most notably when Diabetus comments on one of the prison mini games and shouts "DEAD TO RIGHTS". From then on during the LP the would occasionally say "Dead to Rights" during ridiculous sections of the game.
- This would extend to the next game, where the two would mutter "Dead to Rights" at the end of every video. Eventually they would say the phrase randomly during segments of completely unrelated videos.
- The prison level also gave us "speed level 4", from a speed bag punching minigame. Jack's speed level of 4 and his quest to attain higher speed levels were commented on throughout the LP.
- slowbeef is quite fond of impersonating Edward G. Robinson's gangster persona for usually no apparent reason, yeah, see?
- Sanity Slippage: All throughout Torvus Bog.
- Seen It a Million Times: slowbeef starts feeling this way about the Shockwave Stomp that many Prime bosses use. It eventually culminates in Omega Ridley using the attack, and saying that he started doing it because everybody else was.
- Snub By Omission: At the end of each LP, slowbeef thanks everyone who guested or did something notable in the forum during the LP. Except Diabetus.
- Subverted at the end of the Metroid Prime: Corruption LP. Slowbeef makes sure to thank him first.
- So Unfunny It's Funny: The Metroid jokes that guest commentator Blister makes during the Prime LP's.
- Squee: His reaction to Sanctuary Fortress in Echoes, even going so far as to say that if the whole game was nothing but Sanctuary, it would be the best game ever.
- Stealth Insult: Occasionally, in his Super Metroid LP, slowbeef will bring up Windows Notepad and type out insults to his fellow commentators which are only visible to the audience while his partners remain blissfully unaware.
- Stop Helping Me!: During the Metroid Fusion LP, Diabetus and slowbeef quickly get irritated with Adam's constant briefings.
Diabetus: You patronizing little ass! I know where to go! Shut up!
- Take That:
- Diabetus after seeing the night club mini-game in the Dead to Rights LP asked slowbeef this:
Diabetus: "Is this like Metal Gear Solid 2 when you think Snake is the main character and after the first level it' turns out to be a stripper?"
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption manages to be the subject of its own LP only by barely edging out the mass quantity of harsh criticism of Metroid: Other M.
- Tethercat Principle: Slowbeef and Diabetus use, as a Running Joke, the idea that Ridley is still falling down the hole in which Samus fought him. Over a month later, when Samus fights Ridley again near the end of the game, they immediately conclude that Ridley just stopped falling, and the arena where she fights him just happens to be the end of the very, very long chute that Ridley's been falling down the entire game.
- Tempting Fate: While in Elysia in Metroid Prime 3:"I was hoping to roll off the edge into another endless pit…". He does.
- Diabetus seems to have the uncanny ability to make joke predictions that actually end up true. Particularly in both Dead to Rights LPs.
- That Came Out Wrong:
Diabetus: Are you ready to delve into the vast depths of Elysia? That came out bad.
- Translation with an Agenda: After having railed against Yoshio Sakomoto for Other M in earlier videos, slowbeef translated his producers log in Prime 3 as thus:
Hello, this is Yoshio Sakomoto! It’s not easy writing stories for Metroid considering my functional illiteracy. Honestly, I don’t really like Samus, and I don’t want you to like her either. I hate her and feel threatened by her. I will ruin this franchise. I’m just coming out and telling you. Fuck Metroid and fuck you.
- Unusual Euphemism: During a visit in Lower Norfair while playing the Super Metroid Justin Bailey Fan Service hack he and Diabetus suddenly start a storm of Metroid double entendres.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Upon discovering he could bounce projectiles between two doors in Sanctuary Fortress, slowbeef spent several minutes doing so.
- X Meets Y: He and Diabetus spend the aftermath of Dead to Rights: Retribution Chapter 9 imagining possible sequels, going from mundane crossovers to a Bloodier and Gorier version of New Super Mario Bros.
Slowbeef: Well I think what's gonna happen in Dead To Rights: Retribution 2; Jack will be killing all these people but on a horse with gravity wells around.
- Your Head Asplode: Every LP he's done has featured either a head actually exploding, getting blown off, or at the very least a head shot. His screenshot LP of the Dating Sim Sprung had a photoshopped explosion with the reason that "every slowbeef LP has a head explosion."