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Video Game / Blinx
aka: Blinx The Time Sweeper

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Blinx: The Time Sweeper is a platform game by Artoon and Microsoft Game Studios, for the original Xbox released on October 8, 2002. It was an ill-fated attempt to give the console its own mascot, like Mario or Sonic, and was in fact, created by Sonic's creator, Naoto Ohshima. The game didn't do as well as Microsoft had hoped, sending Blinx to an early oblivion—but not before starring in the game's only sequel, Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space, released on November 16, 2004.

Blinx, so the story goes, is a Time Sweeper, an employee of the Time Factory dedicated to the creation, distribution, and maintenance of time all across the dimensional axis. His job is important, because if glitches in time aren't found and fixed hastily, they could result in Time Monsters that threaten innocent civilians. When a group of evil pigs called the Tom-Tom Gang cause a major disruption in World B1Q64, the Time Factory makes the decision to stops its time stream, freezing all of its inhabitants indefinitely. In spite of this, Blinx receives a distress call from a young local princess, Lena, pleading for help.

Disregarding orders, Blinx leaps into a Time Portal and sets out to help her and save B1Q64 from its doom.

This game and its sequel feature examples of:

  • 100% Completion: To get the Infinity Plus One Sweeper you must slog through and complete all the levels while finding the hidden cat medals.
  • Abandoned Mascot: Blinx was supposed to be the Xbox's mascot. He was designed similar to previous cutesy mascots like Mario, Sonic, and Crash. After the game underperformed, he was dropped as their mascot in favour of Master Chief from the vastly more successful Halo games. This change also created an Audience Shift where Xbox was marketed as "for mature gamers". Come 2015, Microsoft had abandoned the trademark for "Blinx". They still own the IP itself, but without the trademark, this means they've essentially made it unlikely any new games in the series could happen.
  • All There in the Manual
    • Owing to the game's lack of cinematics beyond a brief opening and ending, Blinx's personality doesn't show particularly strongly in the first game. The Japanese manual, however, has its entire latter half-written and illustrated by Blinx himself, giving some insight into his feelings on different characters and other minor aspects of the universe. In a peculiar variety of No Export for You, the manual was entirely rewritten for other regions without any first-person perspective from the protagonist.
    • Further exacerbating the issue of certain details being released only in Japan was the lack of in-game explanation for what the various areas of the game actually were and why the environment seemed so hostile. One of the Japanese strategy guides gives a brief description of what each area was like before the Tom Toms came in and screwed everything up (saying that the Mine of Precious Moments is the world's highest-altitude mine and the machinery strewn throughout Everwinter is actually for extracting oil, for example), and explains that strange hazards such as machinery operating on its own are the result of distortions in time warping the world itself.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In Blinx 2, after the first Sweeper mission, the base is overrun by Tom-Toms. Also, later, when the Sweepers have several of the Big Crystal fragments, you have to play as the Tom-Toms breaking into the Time Factory to steal them.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The current page image of Blinx shows the cute cuddly Blinx from the Japanese box. Elsewhere, Blinx shows his many, many spiky teeth.
  • Anvil on Head: One of the second game's weapons for the Tom-Tom gang drops a metal tub on the target's head.
  • Artifact Title: In Blinx 2, Blinx is not playable.
  • Ascended Extra: Benito, the leader of the Tom-Tom Gang, was barely present in the first game. In Blinx 2, he appears in the cutscenes, has more characterization, and stars in a brief subplot where he wants to save Mina and falls in love with her.
  • Attack Of The 50 Ft Whatever: Benito the Great.
  • Batter Up!: The Grand Slam from the second game. A one-use item that makes the victim A Twinkle in the Sky. Very satisfying to use on an annoying guard.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Benito and his Tom-Tom gang may be considered enemies of the Time Sweepers, but both games show them being completely out of their league against the time monsters that become bigger threats for Blinx to deal with.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The various areas of B1Q64 from Blinx 1, corrupted by the breaking of time, have been twisted into far stranger versions of themselves, with particular note being the incredibly warped streets and buildings of Time Square, day and night existing at once in Deja Vu Canals, and minecarts in the abandoned Mine of Precious Memories moving on their own without operators due to the aforementioned broken time.
  • Boss Rush: Momentopolis, from the first game. The entire area is comprised of all the previous boss battles, immediately followed by the final boss.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Completing all of the challenges in Blinx 2 and saving every last medal gets you a picture of the shopkeeper from Blinx 1.
  • Colour Coded Time Stop: Blue with the pause crystals
  • Clock Roaches: Unswept Time Crystals become Time Monsters. The sole objective of the first game is to eliminate all of them in each stage. Time Sweepers are the corrective function than the monsters that result from the misuse of time factory products, however.
  • Conspicuous Electric Obstacle: Forge of Horrors has a lightning emitter that shoots electricity between electrodes.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Played completely straight in the final world, Blinx can be two inches from lava while standing on a metal surface suspended above flames and be completely unharmed.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Fairly easy to stumble into, since extra lives function by rewinding time in the stage by a few seconds. Thus, if you happened to already be stuck at the point it rewinds to, you end up having to either restart the level or just watch yourself die over and over.
  • Darker and Edgier: The second game has more of a Mildly Military feel compared to the original, and a higher-stakes plot. It's still ultimately about cats fighting pigs and blob monsters by picking up trash with a vacuum cleaner, though.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the sequel, Blinx isn't playable and isn't given as much characterization as Benito.
  • Double Unlock: In both games, collecting every Cat Medal unlocks the ultimate Sweeper in the shop. You still have to buy them, and they're both very expensive — in the first game, the TS-X7 Supreme costs 90000G, three times as much as the second priciest item.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The time monsters are a surprisingly cutesy example.
  • Enemy Mine: At the end of Blinx 2, the Tom Toms realize that stealing the Big Crystal is going to destroy time itself, so your Time Sweeper team and your Tom Tom team work together to defeat the Scissor demon.
  • Epic Rocking: The final boss takes eleven hits to defeat, and its music theme changes for every single hit, making for a song with eleven distinct sections (plus one for when you defeat the boss). When all the sections are combined into one uninterrupted song, it totals over nine minutes. Hear it for yourself.note 
  • Eternal Engine: The final world (Forge Of Hours). It features plenty of jumping between gears, spikes, and copious amounts of lava.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The best way to kill Keroppers (And the Kerofish from the sequel) is to shoot bombs at them, because they have an annoying habit of swallowing ammo.
  • Funny Animal: The page picture should be a clue. The Time Factory's staff and the Time Sweepers are anthropomorphic cats, and the time-stealing Tom-Toms are anthropomorphic pigs.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Subverted. If Blinx is equipped to sweep fire, the goggles will come down.
  • Jumped at the Call: Blinx, big time. And he's a Humble Hero to boot, not wanting to save Lena's world for recognition or gratitude, but simply because it was the right thing to do.
  • King Mook: The bosses in Blinx 1 are mostly stronger versions of minor enemies until about halfway into the game, where the bosses are just stronger versions of the previous bosses.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Although there are Time Crystals all over the place, only the Big Crystal in Blinx 2 is a proper MacGuffin. The Tom-Tom leader wants it because it's shiny.
  • Mission Control: They're there in Blinx 1, but after Blinx jumps in the portal, you never hear from them again. In the sequel, you wish you could be so lucky. Your 'Operator' directs you every step of the way and more or less gives away every puzzle.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Time Factory architecture is typically all blue with orange highlights. This carries over to the game interface when playing as a Time Sweeper. Blinx wears a blue jumper and is an orange cat (more so in the sequel where he appears in cutscenes within the Time Factory on badly calibrated TVs as an orange blur on a solid blue background. In the first game, he's more cherry red.)
  • Press X to Not Die: Giant cannon pops out in front of you? No problem, just press X.
  • Reset Button: Whenever Blinx gets hit or falls off, the game will rewind to seconds before it happened.
  • Save the Princess: In the first game.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: World 7 - Everwinter.
  • Space Pirates: The Tom Toms are this.
  • Speaking Simlish: In Blinx: TTS, the cast spoke in a gibberish language, but in Blinx 2, they all speak English (or it is at least translated into English).
  • Stealth-Based Game: As a Tom-Tom, you're supposed to sneak into and out of Sweeper controlled areas by using gadgets with Space-manipulating powers. And while there's nothing stopping you from using power weapons to wipe the floor with the enemy, the game introduces additional enemies to make this less and less of a good idea. The very first round has guards with shields and burst rifles who can take two hits from a bazooka before being defeated. Tom Tom round 3 introduces guards with red flashlights who will raise the alarm if they see you (Summoning more units), and round 4 introduces shielded guards who are invincible unless you break their shield with a time grenade (And those reinforcements are also shielded).
  • The Stinger: The first game has a scene after the credits. Lena gives Blinx a massive thank-you hug after rewinding time, as he quietly left without saying goodbye first time round.
  • Tank Goodness: The Tom-Toms get a tank in the sequel.
  • Time Crash: The Time Factory creates and supplies time to all 'worlds' which usually flows in a way that's invisible to normal people, however if the flow of time is disrupted time crystalizes and needs to be cleaned up. Leaving unswept Time Crystals laying around eventually causes them to convert into monsters that will swell up with more time energy before exploding which can damage worlds beyond the one they form in. If not for Blinx intervention B1Q64's supply of time would have had to be frozen for the safety of all the other worlds given the sheer number of monsters present. In the sequel, an attack on the Time Factory stops the entire factory from functioning. We're led to believe that this is very bad. Then on top of that, the Time Goddesses decide that perhaps the universe isn't so great after all.
  • Time Master: The Time Sweepers, including Blinx himself.
  • Timed Mission - In Blinx 1, there's an instant game over once the timer reaches 10 minutes from Blinx's perspective, regardless of how many RETRY powers you're holding. Probably justified by the imminent collapse of time in World B1Q64.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Blinx himself. While true, he was pretty competent in the first game, by the time the second rolled around, he not only had a new (very cool) voice, but had apparently learned some new tricks: in the opening sequence alone, he saves a squad of Time Sweepers from a missile by slowing time, jumps on and across the debris while still in slow time, and even gets a good version of a Good Scars, Evil Scars.
  • Turns Red: A number of the later bosses do this around half health.
  • Updated Re-release: The Platinum Hits re-release of the original game lowers the difficulty a bit — some bosses take fewer hits, some monsters are replaced with weaker versions of themselves (or even other monsters), a few enemies are repositioned, and even others are gone (notably, no Benito Brother appears in World 1-2, though this leads to less gold).
  • Viewers Are Morons: The helpers in the second game interrupt the game every five seconds to spell out what to do, no matter how obvious it is. In some cases, they won't immediately tell you what to do, but you won't get much opportunity to try to work out what to do before they lose patience and tell you outright.
  • Villainous Glutton: The pigs of the Tom-Tom gang, especially their boss Benito. In fact, the boss of the Time Sweeper's round 4 in the sequel *is* a giant Benito that attempts to eat the player. This is also how the player is supposed to defeat the boss; by getting eaten and shooting its insides.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Rather than playing as Blinx in the second game, you design your own characters to play as.
  • Weapons That Suck: The Time Sweepers' main method of attack. The Tom Tom Gang in the sequel also has several mediocre weapons like a machine gun and burst rifle, both of which pale in comparison to the one-hit wonders that are the bazooka, crossbow, and laser gun.
  • Weird Moon: A sizable bite seems to have been taken off of World B1Q64's moon.

Alternative Title(s): Blinx The Time Sweeper, Blinx 2 Masters Of Time And Space