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Webcomic / Consolers

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The Big 3 Consolers. From left to right. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.

A webcomic by our very own Zanreo, started in February 2013 and hosted on ComicFury and Tapastic, Consolers is a webcomic starring Anthropomorphic Personifications of video game companies. It covers video game history, current events, and various fun facts and stories about the companies, focusing (arguably) on the "big 3" console creators Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.

Most of the news- or fun facts-based comics are one-page gags, often presented in a four-panel format, while history-based arcs tend to go over several pages.

"Consoler", by the way, is an in-comic term for a game company who makes their own console. Of course, these are very big, mighty and important figures in the industry, but being a Consoler also carries a lot of risk and responsibility to keep that status. And you're constantly fighting with the others.

Has a Characters page.

Strips can be found here and here.

Consolers provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of the game industry, game companies and video game history.
  • Alternate Self: The 2P versions of the characters, only shown on twitter and facebook, are this and for some past selves.
  • Alt Text: Several comics uses this.
  • Alien Blood: Companies bleed money instead of blood.
  • The Ageless: Companies don't physically age (120+ year old Nintendo being a good example) and won't die from simply aging. However, they can still die, usually from going bankrupt or otherwise going out of business - they have to "keep themselves alive" as a company. However, as long as they manage to stay in business they'll still stay alive even for hundreds of years.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Trope Namer and this type of Cultural Translation is referenced in this comic. HAL is not impressed.
    • Another comic has people suggesting Nintendo make Pikachu more muscular for the American release. Laughter ensues.
  • Anachronic Order: The events and stories aren't shown in chronological historical order.
  • Anachronism Stew: A minor one - in the Atari backstory, Nintendo is shown wearing a big red tie, obviously in the style of Donkey Kong. However, Donkey Kong didn't wear his iconic tie back then - this wasn't added before the Donkey Kong Country SNES game years later.
    • In general, several companies are shown wearing outfits representing certain franchises even when set at a time when said franchise/game didn't exist yet.
  • Animesque: Many characters are drawn in an anime-inspired style, and the comic commonly uses Japanese Visual Arts Tropes. Justified as many of the characters personify Japanese companies that run on those tropes.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification / Moe Anthropomorphism: The characters are personified video game companies. (In certain cases they're made to represent their fanbases just as much as the companies themselves.)
  • April Fools' Day: On 1st of April 2015, Zanreo announced that she had lost most of her interest in console games and the comic would from now on focus more on mobile games, especially Apple. This was obviously a joke.
    • In 2016, Zanreo claimed she was opening up an online store selling various merchandise, getting weirder and weirder, starting with t-shirts and mugs, up to body pillows and trash cans.
  • Art Evolution: The art has improved a lot throughout the years.
    • Several characters has had minor design changes as the series went on: Nintendo's hair got "spiked out" to the sides and she now wears her ponytail to the left side instead of the back, and Sony now wears a black shirt instead of a gray one.
  • Art Shift: This page references the E.T Atari game.
  • Author Appeal: Word of God can confirm this is pretty much the reason the comic exists. The author loves personifications and video games.
  • Based on a True Story: Most comics are based around real events that happened in game history or recent news. Though that doesn't mean that some details won't be exaggerated or slightly changed at times.
  • Bigger Is Better: Apparently not the case for the original Xbox, which here is shown as a ridiculously huge device almost as big as Microsoft himself. He struggles to lift it as Nintendo and Sony mock it for being unnecessarily and inconveniently huge, and ends up dropping it on top of himself and getting stuck underneath it.
  • Bland-Name Product: In the first page of "The Rise And Fall Of Atari", Atari complains about Pong rip-offs, and we're shown a row of arcade cabinets, including "Ping".
  • Blatant Lies: Ubisoft claiming his lagging game is supposed to "mimic epic slow-motion action scenes and make it feel more dramatic" Of course, this is all a cover-up.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: given the nature of the comic is there really no protagonist or any antagonist. They can however Take A Level In Jerkass and do bad things so it can also fall into Black-and-Gray Morality as they are companies who want your money after all.
  • Bond Gun Barrel: Parodied in the Goldeneye comic.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Microsoft offers 377 million dollars to Rare this way.
  • Cast of Personifications: It's about the personifications of the three biggest video game companies, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, with their antics riffing on the interactions between the companies. Personifications of smaller companies like Namco and EA also appear, though they aren't as focused on.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Sony has one in this comic.
  • Chest Insignia: Most of the companies have this on their shirt, in form of their company logo, or the first letter of the logo.
  • Color Failure: Namco upon seeing Atari's version of Pac-Man.
    • Sony after Nintendo rips apart the contract.
  • The Cameo: Page 3 and 4 of the rebooted "Contract" story features various characters from other webcomics in the audience.
    • Hideo Kojima has appeared in several comics. The E3 2015 comic also had Unravel creator Martin Sahlin show up during EA's presentation.
  • Creator Cameo: Zanreo herself appears in a Q&A, and is asked as the creator about where she gets all her info for the comic. She says she usually reads various gaming news and history, but lately has considered looking into "new ways of getting info". note 
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Tecmo swears to get revenge on Namco, even suggesting "nuclear missiles over 100 times"... all because Namco once said Dead or Alive was "just ok".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Some of Nintendo's spam mails are of this type:
    • "get all the Companys with your Huge Moneys"
    • "FREE Money Enhancement Samples... order NOW"
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Frequently inverted, as Zanreo often explains the reference in the comments for people not familiar with the event. Sometimes this can make it funnier when you know what actually happened.
  • Dream Sequence: Sony has a nightmarish one here after selling Square Enix's shares.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Several characters have gone through design changes since the start of the comic:
    • Nintendo started off without the flipped-out hair spikes, and had a ponytail at the back of her head which later got moved to the left side of her head.
    • Sony had a grey shirt instead of a black one. In his first appearances he also didn't have the Playstation buttons and the yellow Sony Entertainment Network mark on his shirt.
    • Square Enix's first appearance gave him cyan hair, purple eyes and a slightly different outfit.
    • Ubisoft wore a white hoodie instead of his blue and purple one.
    • HAL had black hair with pink stripes instead of her current all-pink hair.
    • Namco used to wear a blue visor along with his ear coverings.
  • Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: Several characters are 30-40-50+ years, but don't look older than their early 20s at most... and also act accordingly to this.
  • Enemy Mine: All of the Consolers can agree on hating Apple, a mutual threat to their collective business.
    • PC, too, mainly for his superior attitude towards them.
  • Ensemble Cast: By the nature of the series, there's no one 'main' character, and any company can be a "main" character in the strips and stories focusing on them (though the Big 3 do get the most focus).
  • Faceless Masses: Characters used to represent "regular people" (except for cameos of other webcomic characters), customers, fans ect. are usually drawn as simple, blue chibi-humanoids with no face except for a mouth.
    • Nintendo's investors are also presented in this way... with an "I" on their face.
  • Failure Gambit: Nintendo's plans for mobile games are portrayed as this. By making them as terrible as possible, filled with annoying gameplay mechanics, she ends up with low sales and can tell the investors (who's been bugging her about making mobile games for years) that these games "just don't sell on this platform".
  • Flipping the Table: Used here when Nintendo convinces Rare to make Dinosaur Planet into a Star Fox game.
    • Taito also did this with her workdesk when being annoyed over been given too much work - hitting Square Enix in the process.
  • Friendly Enemy: The Consolers with each others sometimes, when they aren't outright enemies.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Rare's new games after working for Microsoft sell terribly... until he starts working on Kinect. He thinks it's a bad idea and finds development really boring and exhausting, but since these are the games that end up selling much better, that's what he's stuck doing.
  • Groin Attack: In the "Xbox Hueg" comic, Microsoft gets hit in the crotch by his own Xbox controller as it swings back after lifting the giant Xbox.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Nintendo and Sony secretly likes each other's games in this comic. Of course, they can't let anyone know.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Phillips is only mentioned by Nintendo and never seen. Which… is probably for the best.
    • Tose is never actually seen, working from behind a door in complete secret.
  • Historical In-Joke: With video game history and events. Pretty much the point of the series.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Sega and Atari.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sony complains that "copyright law sure is messed up"... right after he tried (and failed) to register a trademark for "Let's Play".
  • I Can Explain: Microsoft is seem playing Mario Kart in one picture, saying the Trope Name.
  • Idiot Hair:
    • Sony has a hair spike pointing up from the left side of his head.
    • Square Enix has one sticking out from the right side of his head, above his headband.
    • Apple also has one, as part of his Apple-logo shaped hair.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Used in a comic when Nintendo has a feeling there's something just not right about releasing the NX in 2017. Next panel, we get a cut to analyst Michael Patcher being happy about actually having got one of his Nintendo predictions right.
  • Irony: Often used as punchline in the comic, for example in this comic page and in this comic page.
  • Just Before The Crash: the Rise And Fall Of Atari arc.
  • Made of Incendium: Capcom manages to set a SNES console and game cartridge on fire just by putting the cart into the console.
  • Mythology Gag: As expected of a series with this premise. Tons of references to various franchises, and gaming culture in-jokes/memes.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: Hideo Kojima manages to hide from Konami by hiding in a box... and making "box sounds". She falls for it.
  • No True Scotsman: Microsoft accuses the Wii U of not being a "real" next-gen console.
    • The Consolers all think Apple's games aren't "real" games.
  • Nothing Personal: Sony's reason for selling Square Enix's shares.
  • Off the Chart: The Rosalina amiibos are selling so well the lines go not only off the charts, but out of the panel itself.
  • Oh, Crap!: The moment The Crash happens.
  • Older Than They Look: Most characters look like they're in their older teens or early twenties, even when representing companies that have existed for 30 or 40 or 50 years. In 120+ year old Nintendo's case it's bordering on Really 700 Years Old.
    • Younger Than They Look: On the other side, companies started just 5-10 years ago will similarly often look older than they "really" are.
  • Once a Season: Consolers has an E3 comic once a year, parodying the conferences of the different companies.
  • Only One Name: Being personified companies, most of the characters only go by the name of the company they represent. For characters with two-part names like Square Enix, it's more of one name in two parts rather than a first name and a surname.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Konami's shell companies Ultra Games and Palcom... who are just her without her helmet, wearing a Ultra Games/Palcom t-shirt and a seashell on her forehead.
    • When Square disguises as Game Designers Studio, he just puts on sunglasses and a cloak.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After Nintendo finds out Sony had been scheming to get all the money and licensing rights from their collaboration, she decides to get her revenge by publicly humiliating him on stage in front of an audience by calling him out on his plans, and breaking the contract of their collaboration... which causes Sony to get his revenge back again by making his own console that ends up making the developers focus more on him than Nintendo.
  • Pooled Funds: Atari bathes in money after getting rich from licensing Space Invaders.
  • Pretender Diss: The Consolers towards Apple, who they refuse to acknowledge as a proper rival in the industry.
  • Pun-Based Title: Several strips have this:
  • Really 700 Years Old: Nintendo has existed for over 100 years (although not always as a game company, obviously), but still looks around the same age as the younger companies.
  • Rewrite: Zanreo rebooted the "Contract" arc several years after it was first made, because the old version was "just bad all over". While it's mostly the same story with better art, dialogue and comic layouts, a few moments gets changed slightly or expanded upon.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Just who is Tose really, anyway?
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Many comics are based on recent video game news.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: ESRB escapes through the window to avoid dealing with angry internet rage over boxart drama.
  • Shipper on Deck: One of Nintendo's investors writes Nintendo x Apple fanfic. Nintendo does not approve.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Parodied in the first page of "The Rise And Fall Of Atari", where after Pong gets big, we're shown a few obvious Pong ripoffs, including "Ping" and "Original Tennis Game Do Not Steal". In reality, a lot of companies did make obvious Pong rip-offs during the 70s.
  • Shout-Out: As expected, it's filled with references to both various franchises and series, and also gaming culture jokes.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Tecmo: I will NEVER forgive you for this unforgivable insult."
  • Shown Their Work: Zanreo often links to and/or explains the events her comics were inspired by.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Ameritendo and Eurotendo, Nintendo's younger siblings, often argue and fight over which region has it the worst in terms of release dates and available games, and how unfair it is for them.
  • Significant Birth Date: The day a company was founded will be the character's birthday - for characters with separate gaming branches it will be when this branch was started. So Nintendo's birthday is September 23 (when Nintendo was founded) and Sony's is November 16 (when Sony Computer Entertainment was started).
  • Smug Snake: Sony manages to play Nintendo like a fiddle a few times, but for the most part, he’s never as far ahead as he thinks he is.
  • Stealth Pun: Ultra Games and Palcom wear seashells on their foreheads... because they're shell companies.
  • Super-Deformed: Some panels have the characters drawn as simplified dot-eyed (or Opaque Lenses for characters with glasses), noseless, fingerless chibis, typically for comedy.
  • Take That!: One of Nintendo's "spam mails" is from the not-so-subtle "M.PachAnalyst". Many gamers will recognize this as a ShoutOut to game analyst Michael Patcher, known for his thoughts (often proved wrong later) about how Nintendo will probably do horribly and should do some major changes within the company.
    • Every Consoler becomes a Take That! against their inspiration at some point, but EA and Konami are consistently the biggest Jerk Asses.
  • Tempting Fate: Namco getting Andrew Hussie to make a dating sim featuring his characters? He sees no way this can go wrong.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Tecmo won't forgive Namco for making fun of his DoA series, and finds it a terrible insult to his honor.
  • Three Plus Two: The Consolers can be considered this, you have Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, plus the two past "big" Consolers: Sega and Atari. Though it's really more of a Three Plus One Plus Oh, That One Too.
  • Trash Talk: EA talks about Nintendo in this way in one comic. It backfires.
    • The Consolers with each other all the time.
  • Unsound Effect: BURST OPEN
  • Trash Landing: In the "Prizeless" comic, Sony throws Konami far away, and she lands headfirst into a trash can.
  • Vanity License Plate: A subtle example: Namco's license plate reads "76-50", which doesn't seem too unusual... unless you know that "765" (which can be pronounced as "na-mu-ko", or Namco) is used as an Arc Number across various Namco games.
  • Visual Pun: In his nightmare, Sony is shown to literally "bleed money".
  • We Can Rule Together: The Yakuza boss offers to make Namco the most powerful company in the industry if they work together. Namco refuses.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Sony and Nintendo, as shown in "The Contract".
  • Yakuza: The "Namco Yakuza Funtimes" storyline is based around Namco discovering a Yakuza clan is bootlegging his arcade games.
  • Yonkoma: A lot of the single-page comics are in this format.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: EA's typical way of dealing with his subsidiaries when they aren't needed anymore, shown through the "EA Graveyard" here.
    EA: "It's a shame you had to leave already... but that's what happens when your ideas aren't profitable anymore. You simply aren't needed anymore..."