raocow (real name Samuel Tanguay) is a notable, though somewhat minor, personality in the Let's Play community, known and loved by many for his Non Sequitur commentary and pleasant-yet-amusing voice. He became a YouTube partner on March 17, 2011.Also artist and co-creator of Artificial Time XS. His community forum, Talkhaus, created A Super Mario Thing, which raocow also contributed to.
A full list can be found here. Note that due to server problems from a while back that list is very outdated as of the moment, but for now this youtube account has also created and currently maintains a full list.
AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: He has a surprisingly large English vocabulary, but often pronounces things strangely, due to English not being his first language.
He stated that he doesn't mind people correcting his pronunciation, but that sometimes his odd-sounding words are on purpose. In addition, words that have a French origin often confuse him due to his uncertainty of which native pronunciation to use.
Adorkable: His silly commentary and happy-go-lucky nature is rather charming.
Advancing Wall of Doom: An extremely annoying version can be seen in this VIP 4 video in the Temple of Homing level, where the entire second half the level is trying desperately to outrun a homing missile at top speed, including flight (link to video)
When he's having trouble with an especially hard game, he'll often randomly switch to playing Voxatron for a day or two.
Angrish: Inverted when he, after numerous attempts, completes level 8-5 of MariAri2. It's complete gibberish to symbolise relief.
BASHISHUSHAJBUAY! Whew! Which I'm pretty sure is pig latin for bashishushajbuay.
Arc Words: While his stream of consciousness commentary style may seem completely random at first, certain words get referenced semi-regularly. raocow himself mentioned he notices he uses the word "laundromat" a lot when he tries to think of a random word.
New Jersey and Tim Hortons are referenced a lot as well.
Ascended Extra: Not with raocow, but with N!SMW2 Yoshi's Island, Lord Puddington was originally just a one-level appearance enemy (Although it did make another appearance in the GBA version) that wasn't necessary for collecting any Red Coins or Flowers.
Bilingual Bonus: raocow occasionally speaks his native Québécois French, leaving what he's actually saying to whoever else understands the language. Most of the time though, he's just venting his frustrations with the level at hand, incorporating the French cuss words of merde* shit, tabarnak* approx. goddamnit, and simonaque* According to Wikipedia, stems from the sin of simony, along with the non-swear exclamation voyons* approx. oh come on!.
On a few occasions, he does translate:
raocow: Hello. How's it going? Rock'n Nonne. That's the name of Sister Act in [Canadian] French, for some reason.
In one video, where he finishes a Castle, he proceeds to read the English text as if it were French.
Double Entendre: The episode title "La petite Kappa" translates (with some awkward French grammar included) to "The little Kappa", aka Nitori, the main character of the game he was playing. But, seeing how he replaces one word in all the episode titles in Nitroid by "Kappa", one can figure out that the title is actually a reference to the French expression "la petite mort" (little death), which roughly translates to "having an orgasm". Said expression very accurately describes his commentary in that particular episode.
Black Comedy: Discussed at the end of his playthrough of Mario Gives Up 2. His consensus is that, while the ending (Mario sending Peach into a lava pit, like in the intro of the first game) would have been funny to him if he were younger, it strikes him as disturbing as an adult.
"That guy is wearing a helmet, but it doesn't protect him from the dangers of mustard. Probably because mustard is something you eat. I've once received a drop of mustard on my head and I don't think I've suffered a lot of brain damage although, I mean, I could be wrong. I've been wrong about a lot of things in the past such as: Yogurt is not a cat, I had to learn that the hard way, and you can not play the piano if your piano is resting precariously on top of the CN Tower."
The title of his Youtube channel even says "WARNING: non-sequitur content ahead"
"I just collide words together and stare at the train wreck."
Break the Cutie: Some of his LPs are of games he's actually highly looking forward to, which turn out to be loaded up with Fake Difficulty or poor level design, causing him to become more frustrated or lose interest in the game, which he still tries to complete out of obligation. The biggest example is probably N!SMW2 Yoshi's Island.
The same boss is referenced in one of his Bowser's Last Stand videos, when the identity of the Man Behind the Man is revealed in the penultimate castle- he refuses to use its actual name and calls it Black Plague instead, since both are equally as ridiculous.
While playing Mushroom Kingdom Meltdown, raocow spends several minutes on a non sequitur about skeleton growth being the cause of bodily aging, to the point where the skeleton will pop out of the flesh. Weeks later, during Nezumi Man, this happens. He mentioned skeletons pushing on skin several times in the LP; it's one of the few jokes that he repeats. If I'm not mistaken, he also makes the reference in his Yoshi's Island hack LP.
During The Great Empire, in episode 10, there's a stage called "Boomerang Bro Bonus". It features a single Hammer Bro, rather than a Boomerang Bro. In episode 11, he calls a Hammer Bro's weapon a boomerang.
Was subtly referenced in Ikachan's LP itself, which raocow made up a political backstory for. During the Ironhead fight, it was more explicitly mentioned, with raocow asking Ikachan if he knows what he's doing with all that political power.
He references this again at the end of New! Super Mario World 2. The game in general gave him a lot of trouble, and the final level was particularly massive and confusing. He ended one video stuck in the middle of a long sewer section, and then picked up the start of the next video back in the same sewer saying "No sewer should be able to hold so much power."
In Distorted Travesty 2, early on Claire mentions a key boss. Now, where did we hear that before...
In Super Talking Time Brothers 2, he pretended to have forgotten Kirby's name, calling him "Zbambabar", among other random words (see Laser-Guided Amnesia in this same page). When playing the prequel, he says that "it's a shame that Zbambabar is not here".
In one episode of Notte Luminosa, he jokes that him saying "oh man" actually means "brrr," because he lives in Canada and it is cold. Later, at the end of the episode:
"Oh man. (beat) I really should close that window."
In ASMBXT, the final boss is the Key Boss. The Toads you meet just before the battle are talking about how they finally found a way to beat him once and for all.
In Mushroom Kingdom Meltdown, raocow says "That was some quality playing, courtesy of raocow and friends. The friends are the many voices just kind of chilling in my head. I don't hear them, but they're there," and then goes off on a tangent about whether that makes him crazier than someone who actually hears voices in his head. Three-and-a-half years later, during an episode of Apocalypse of Foroze, he casually mentions the voices in his head that he can't hear.
Canon Discontinuity: raocow does not make any mistakes. Any mistakes he makes are either "demos" to show off what happens when you DO fail, or experiments done For Science!. When he does make a mistake, he will call a mulligan.
"That totally just happened."
Catch Phrase: "Hey there, everyone, this is raocow..." "That was a demo." "It's pretty great." (sometimes pronounced "S'pretty great") "Oh boogers." "Chipmunk time!" "Panic panic panic." "Not gonna lie." "Like it was no thing." "Science." "Jesus-hell!" "Good times." "This is raocow, see you guys."
"Destroy the world!" when something chaotic is going on.
"That totally happened." He says this when state-rewinding to avoid a cruel and/or unfair trap.
Characterization Marches On: It's really weird hearing raocow swear a lot in his earlier videos. Though you probably won't hear a Cluster F-Bomb, he still swears a lot more in his earlier LPs. Also, his typical Talkative Loon personality evolved slowly, to the point that he barely even seems eccentric in his early videos.
Cloudcuckoolander/Talkative Loon: raocow's Let's Plays are filled with some of the most bizarre and surreal commentary one would ever hear. It helps that he's a French-Canadian for whom English is a second language, although he's still rather fluent in English.
He periodically speeds-up random bits of footage to squeeze a video in Youtube's 11-minute (or 15-minute as of July 29, 2010) mark. Sometimes the chipmunked footage is no less intelligible than the real-time.
Cliffhanger: This video ended right after the game explained to him that the level he was about to play could potentially break the game simply by playing it.
Cluster F-Bomb: During his Let's Play of Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand, he talks about a point in another game he was trying where it becomes a series of "'Fuck you' after 'fuck you' after 'fuck you.'"
From the same video, when a Toad points out that the Toad raocow's looking for is in a different cave, he exclaims "Oh no, I have failed my mission! I did not get all the dragon coins!"
Continuity Nod: When experiencing a lot of slowdown in the fourth video of his Romancing Mario LP, he says "Hey there, everyone, this is raocow playing Mushroom Kingdom Meltdown." Later in the same video when he got to a section that had a white foreground and white background, he said, "Hey there everyone, this is raocow playing What the Hell."
raocow: This is just barely hair-singing me, because you know, lava, normally, like, at this proximity, Demo would be something like evaporated by now, but I mean we're talking about reverse-gravity lava, which has COMPLETELY different physical implications.
Corpsing: There are some videos in which raocow laughs continuously for several consecutive seconds (sometimes even minutes). It helps that he has perhaps the most contagious laugh you will ever hear.
He discusses it when he goes from Super Mario Bros. X's controls to Super Mario World's slightly looser controls, and the differences cause him to (among other mistakes) die 8 seconds into the first level of the ROM hack Romancing Mario.
Dethroning Moment of Suck: In-universe: New! Super Mario World 2 Level 2-E is the one of the few levels he's publicly insulted outright, and by his own admission, the least fun he's ever had playing a mod. Just clearing through it left him drained mentally and emotionally, (you can hear his controller hit the floor when he's done) and by the end, he was downright angry at the creator.
During his playthrough of the English patch for VIP 1, he mentions that he felt the giant floating mass of carnivorous plants in the film adaptation of Life of Pi was the point where the film "jumped the shark."
raocow [While playing TSRPR]: "A castle without forest is like a dalmatian without a tongue. It has a lot of trouble eating."
In the description of this video, it says that his playthrough is an allegory of the effects of smokingnote The entire thing is: "This playthrough is an allegory. At first everything goes fine and you think you can handle it, and then you just keep litteraly dying. Multiple times. But then if you keep at it you'll make it through and become the immortal king of man.". At the end it says "The analogy is perhaps flawed."
Easter Egg: The video tags after they got removed, since they still can be found in the pages' source codes.
Easy-Mode Mockery: Inverted. When he turned the difficulty down for the Climax Boss of Distorted Travesty just to see what the final phases would be like, he stated that the game has become unfair in his favour. Could also be seen as a reversal, as he's essentially mocked the easy mode. Note that the game did proceed to kick his ass anyway for a while.
"Yeah... hammers bros. shouldn't have a gun. It's Ultimate Tank, though... so... I can sorta understand, but I don't know, man. (laughs) Yeah, they're allowed to have tanks and, you know, airships and a navy, but a gun... that's just going too far! It's like giving Sonic the Hedgehog a black persona that is also a gun-haver! That's just going too far, marketing!"
"I don't know what any of these words mean, by the way, but the world and the sun is approaching. And the sky is falling, and Chicken Little wasn't around to warn us. The result? Slight disaster, but only a little bit. Luckily, we have some form of hero-like critter to help us. It has a smile, and also a pair of eyes, only one of which is available in profile obviously."
raocow: "with a grin on her face eclair shouted let's do this again next week." Man, they live in like some sort of weirdo municipal hell together...
Genki Guy: Pretty much the only time he runs out of energy to commentate is when a level is really hard.
Game Mod: raocow plays many Super Mario World mods, which have been a mainstay of his LP ensemble since he began. The members of raocow's community have also designed a mod for him to play titled A Super Mario Thing, complete with tons of Shout Outs to raocow's many Catch Phrases.
He's also made his own Kaizo-level romhack appropriately titled What The Hell?
Genre Savvy: raocow is very genre savvy when it comes to platform games. He can sniff out a secret exit with almost no hint of its existence, and he even figures out puzzle levels, the bane of most platformers, without too much difficulty, mostly because he's Seen It All by now.
Gentle Giant: In his "tagged" video, he says he's 6'5", and in "Opening Pandora's Box," he described himself as "nearly two meters" tall. Both in and out of character, he seems like a friendly, easygoing guy.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Lampshaded in one of the GMC Jam games that raocow plays. The game ends with the Microsoft Sam-voiced Final Boss helicopter from the creator's previous Jam entry appearing and proclaiming "I AM HERE FOR NO REASON."
A God Am I: In his Copy Kitty Let's Play, raocow gets just a little drunk on power and declares himself the Supreme Being. He then goes on to destroy the world (as usual) and kill Satan.
When talkhauser Otane did a "proper" translation of VIP1 for raocow, she left the level named "Dodge the Beefsteak!" alone because that was just too damn funny. (The actual translation was more along the lines of "Avoid the enemies".)
Guest Host: When he reaches the tenth place of MAGLX (made by raocow himself), Aterraformer does the playthrough. It's handwaved by him stating that before playing, he does invasive brain surgery on himself in order to forget all about the level, of which the side effects include a change in personality, voice, and name.
Guide Dang It: ThisGame Maker game provides very little instruction of any kind. Conequently, raocow has a little trouble figuring it out.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Essentially every time he submits a level to a collab hack, just to die hundreds of times in traps of his own design when playing the level on record.
Some of the difficult levels in ASMT were of raocow's own design, including the infamous Trial of Iron.
Yes, he's the one responsible for thismess. He hides it at first, presumably to receive unbiased feedback from his watchers, but owns up to it at the end of the second video.
Hypocritical Humor: After the name "madcow" appears in Karoshi 2.0's credits, he comments on how silly it is to have the word "cow" in your username.
Ice-Cream Koan: raocow would sometimes say seemingly political or controversial sounding phrases in his Lets Plays that might just actually be meaningful and insightful. But if you think of it for a while, you will realize that it's just a plain Non Sequitur.
"We got Sonic Heroes music again... Hey there, everyone. This is raocow, we're playing Apocalypse of Foroze. You can tell because it's all FOROZEN OVER! ...Sorry."note Ao F used a lot of Sonic Heroes music.
Instant Web Hit: It's usually commented that any video uploaded by raocow, or having raocow as one of its tags gets 3,000 to 4,000 views by the end of the day. This includes demos, silly cuts, audiosurf songs, or whatever.
During his LP of Clarence's Big Chance, raocow outright refused to bring harm to any of the cats in the game, despite them actually hurting you if they made contact. While he accidentally defeated one of them once, he proclaimed "That never happened."
Exemplified in this brief, simple, but very moving tribute to his cat who passed away. If you listen closely, you can hear him stifling tears in the background.
Laughing Mad: Happens very often. Just look at the Funny Moments page and count how many of the linked videos consist of him descending into uncontrollable laughter.
Lawful Stupid: In his Newgrounds Roulette, he made up some rules for himself: He'd pick one game from Newgrounds' daily top 5 each day to LP, "game" meaning anything with even the slightest bit of interactivity. This resulted in him LPing a small animation collab simply because you could choose which animation you want to watch.
This is not so much a playthrough of a game, but a demonstration of how stubborn I am about make-belief and arbritary rules that I give myself for projects.
Law of Conservation of Detail: Due to the way he cuts his videos, you know that if a reattempt of a level is shown at normal speed, or from the beginning of a section he would normally jump-cut, he will succeed during that attempt, or at least something interesting is going to happen.
The same is true of chipmunk runs, at least on newer episodes — they almost never feature a death.
Lethal Joke Character: Any enemy that was meant to be point fodder in the original Super Mario World gave raocow lots of trouble during his ascetic run.note The point of an ascetic run is to avoid scoring points or collecting coins at all. One enemy in particular - the suicidal koopa of Vanilla Dome 3 - gave raocow lots of strife as he tried to avoid it. This koopa' lack of self-preservation instinct seems to be unintentional though - it behaves more reasonable in the GBA version.
Logic Bomb: In "Mushroom Kingdom Meltdown" he claims he has voices in his head, but can't hear them.
Before starting levels, he often says, "We're gonna [part of the level name] it up."
"Nuts to you, X!"
"There's an X there and his name is Y."
Mentions of various people eating their weight in X.
When an enemy starts behaving strangely, raocow comments that "That (enemy name) doesn't know what the hell."
As of late 2012/early 2013, he's taking to adding the suffix "-on" to random words.
"Hey there ___, how's it going?"
Many of his non-sequiturs describe something as "My favorite [random object, usually some type of food product]." For example, he's described things in the game as "My favorite sports drink" or "My favorite breakfast cereal if I were missing teeth."
When encountering a boss: "IIIIIT'S [NAME OF BOSS]!"
Mood Whiplash: Happens at the end of episode 11 of Hina's Fluffy Dream, upon reaching the final world.
raocow: [after a 58-second beat] ... Guys... I think Hina's in a coma.
Musical Episode: He routinely sings his commentary to the tune of the level music.
My Future Self and Me: Sort of: in some of his Hyper V videos, he's been adding post-commentary in the sections where his live self (or Livecow as he calls him) gets quiet from frustration. This sometimes leads to him talking over himself, and he's even told his past self to shut up at points, making his videos even more surreal than they already are.
He calls his future self "Post Production raocow" or simply PPR. Especially amusing is when he tries to cheer up his past self with "Oh, cheer up, raocow, it's almost done." We also get more or less live translations of him talking French.
Once an Episode: Starting somewhere in the summer of 2012, punctuating dumb mistakes with the phrase "I'm pretty good at playing video games, just in case you didn't know" and an exasperated cry of "Video games!" became this.
After someone complained about this in the comments, raocow going out of his way to find other words to illustrate his incompetence became a Running Gag.
Though he sometimes mangles it, he tries to say "Hey there everyone, this is raocow" and "Next time X" in every episode.
Orphaned Punchline: A lot of his quotes can seem like this, but they're usually non-sequiturs. This actually happens occasionally when he stops fastforwarding midsentence.
raocow: ...and I am not a time-ologist, unfortunately.
Lately, he's prone to doing this for clips showing parts of secondary goals (dragon coins, or "get all the red coins" secrets).
Zig-Zagged when he replayed levels for 100% completion in Yoshi's Island: Forlorn Lands. Most of the level is in chipmunk mode, but the video slows down to normal speed when he collects a red coin, and slows even further down to walrus mode when collecting a flower.
Near the end of the eighth video of his "Ascetic Super Mario World" run, he starts listing names of symphonies Ludwig van Koopa composed. For forty seconds straight, his commentary consists of nothing but him replacing words in the titles of popular symphonies, books, and movies with "Koopa."
WARNING: If you REALLY want something depressing, just go to 17:52 (And it goes downhill from there). Not a pretty sight. And the ending's quite miserable too. At least in the next episode he's quite cheerful compared to frustrated. He even says that it's one of the only few levels that he has ever ragequitted.
It is mentioned that he did it with Acid Labs Inc. from Mario Gives Up 2. He just straight up deleted the footage and just played the level all over again.
The final level of Marisa & Alice was so unforgiving that it caused raocow to give up on the game entirely, going so far as to dump the game folder into his Recycle Bin and and empty it on camera.
In the extremely unfair hack "S. Mario" ("S" as in "sadistic"), raocow has had to "Rage Quit" a couple of times. Although one of the levels wasn't implied, he showed a video of one of his "scrapped takes" and it actually isn't too bad.
Stalagmite Ruins in Distorted Travesty made him decide to take a hiatus from that game, at least until he was done with N!SMW2.
Bugs introduced by the compiler of Tower Of Biased 2 caused raocow to give up on two levels. On one, hitting the midpoint did absolutely nothing, and the other, on several occasions, actually crashed.
He gave up on one level in A Super Mario Brothers X Thing as the result of a Game-Breaking Bug that resulted in it having No Ending. After spending four hours and over 200 lives even getting to that point.
Rule of Funny: According to the commentary in this video, he usually went into chipmunk time only if he didn't think the commentary was interesting enough to warrant splitting into two videos. With YouTube no longer having a time limit, he still chipmunks just because it's one of his trademarks, and has even lampshaded it at least once.
Insisting that Yoshi isn't in The Invasion 2, immediately dropping him down a hole whenever he appears. He's eventually forced to admit that Yoshi may, in fact, be in the game.
During his playthrough of the GMC Jam #5 entries, the references to the theme of the contest ('facade') were occasionally so blatant that raocow sometimes just replaced random words with 'facade' when reading any text the games provided.
An example: After (impressively) managing to clear more than half of Vip 4 without using savestates, Absurd Athletics completely breaks him, and his usual wacky commentary is replaced with depressed, angry ranting. He even remarks that he's been rendered incapable of saying that "purple monkey cheese shit you guys like." Needless to say, this is the level that made him give up his "no savestate" rule for the rest of Vip 4's playthrough. This is referenced when he reaches the sequel level in Vip 5... which he DOES eventually manage to clear savestateless.
Save Scumming: Averted in later videos, but played straight in most of raocow's earlier videos. For hard hacks like the VIP series, Kouhai, and others, he would use save states all the time, but he later stopped doing that except for the occasional science moment, unless the levels were really unfair.
Sensory Abuse: Several "bad" entries in the contests he plays end up doing this.
Aural Invasion: Thisironically bad hack in the 2010 vanilla contest had horribly corrupted music, which he commented on repeatedly.
Visual Assault: This level, Pink Zone, made for the Talkhaus's Make A Good Level 2 contest is... very pink. It's a Take That to raocow's What The Hell? which he partially realizes.
Serious Business: raocow has repeatedly said that he thinks most Let's Players ignore the "let's" part of the aspect. Among other things, this means he insists on keeping the comments open even when people are spamming him with help.
When raocow fights Ridley in Apocalypse of Foroze, he comments "Oh no it's that Retsupurae guy." referencing Slowbeef and Diabetus' Metroid Prime LP and their goofy Ridley voice that became a major Running Gag/meme.
"My prediction for this video goes thusly: I'm going to enter a level and I'm going to finish the level itself in roughly three minutes or so. I'm not going to say a whole lot of thing that relate to much of anything, I'm just gonna smash my face through everything, not pointing out much unless there's a new enemy or Nue's there for some reason. Otherwise I might, you know, share a comment with, if there's a mid-boss. I might die at the midboss or I might not. Once I get to the boss, I'm gonna try two or three lives to do it legit, unless, you know, until I get kind of tired and basically tank every hit and win by kick spamming. Of course this is assuming it's a Megaman-type boss and not a gimmick."note In the video it's 50 seconds long.
Surprisingly Good English: English is raocow's second language and he's noted to speak English pretty much only for his Let's Plays, yet his vocabulary is surprisingly diverse. Given, he flubs words occasionally but on the whole it's quite good.
In a YT comment, he stated that his father being in the military caused him to move around a lot; he apparently mostly went to French-speaking schools, but spoke English in the neighborhoods he lived in. He says this is probably why his accent isn't really all that "French Canadian"-ish.
raocow: "There's a thing that you put in your mouth and you-" [gets hit] "-chew real loud and the guy says OW." [beat] "Uh, I can't believe I said that... uh, let's... let's hope no one understands that part."
Throw The Stupid Horse A Bone: raocow has insulted Yoshi many, many times (see The Scrappy above), including calling him a "green miscreant" and "an insult to all creation". In this video, after Yoshi looks like he's going to fall off a ledge, then doesn't, allowing raocow to get back on him, he says:
"Thanks for not plunging in that hole there Yoshi. I appreciate it. I-I usually I don't appreciate you enough, perhaps, some people would argue."
Inverted in one video where a YouTube glitch causes the audio to go into half-speed before slowly cranking back up to normal, albeit about 2 seconds out of sync. Then back into chipmunk time. It's like YouTube found the one way to make raocow more surreal.
He uses "Pumpernickels!" as a swear word occasionally.
Verbal Tic: Try listening to see how many times raocow says "It's pretty great" or "oh man".
Vocal Dissonance: His voices for Marisa and Mario. Marisa's is quite deep, makes his throat hurt, and is the exact same voice he uses for Bowser, and Mario's is his attempt at reading 'normal' dialogue with Mario's canon Super Mario 64 voice.
Vocal Evolution: His voice was a lot softer, calmer and more thickly-accented at first. As he refined his Talkative Loon nature, he also developed a "wackier" tone of voice to match, while becoming more fluent in English. Even his out-of-character videos sound nothing like he did on his first LP.
Wham Episode: At the end of Vip5 episode 48, raocow game overs on a postgame level and is sent all the way back to right before Bowser's Castle, which took six episodes to complete. By the next episode, though, he's mysteriously total-cleared the level. It's still quite shocking when it happens, though.
Word Salad Humor: Just about everything out of his mouth will quickly twist its way into this.
Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Sometimes he precedes a random noun with "ye olde"note He pronounces the y like a y, rather than the "th" sound it was meant to sound like and adds an e at the end of it, resulting in phrases like "ye olde P-switche".