Neglected Mario Characters
(often abbreviated as Neglected Characters
) is a webcomic
on a Nintendo
fansite, arguably the originator of the "sprite comic
" style, having started on September 6 1998
. It was created and is primarily written by Jay Resop, but other contributors include Codiekitty, and Lord Reid. The site updates irregularly.
The style of the comic is notable. Each "episode" typically is a webpage that includes several dozen vertically stacked .GIF files serving as panels. The comic serves as an homage to, and is illustrated using graphics ("sprites") from Nintendo and Super Nintendo games, primarily the Super Mario franchise. The minimalist style of the comic predates other video game-themed webcomics such as Bob and George. The humour of the comic is highly absurdist and includes many non sequiturs, such as the running gag of the inclusion of the author, Jay Resop, as a character, represented as an intentionally-crude stick figure with an image of prominent politician Bob Dole as a head. (This technique has been repeated throughout the comic's history, leading to other figures being represented by stick figures with the heads of various pop culture icons)
In spite of the strip's title, most of the characters were created exclusively for the strip, rather than Mario's underappreciated co-stars. However, their appearances are based on actual game characters, mainly from the Super Mario Bros.
NES games or Kirby's Adventure
. Also, several of them are stated to be nameless enemies that actually did appear in the games, and several strips (such as Neglected Character Chronicles
) even reveal their in-game locations. (For instance, Dr. Donez is said to have once encountered Mario as Super Mario Bros. 2
's second Tweeter, and Bill the Extra Guy is known as that game's first Pidgit.)
- Bill The Extra Guy - Bill The Extra Guy is, well, an extra no-body. He is an easy going guy but will fight back if pressured. He has also been perfecting his skill called the "Extra Power", which he claims he learned from the Discovery Channel. Bill tries to avoid confrontation whenever possible. Bill may have a more mysterious past then he lets on. His appearance resembles that of a Pidgit from Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Fred The Spanyard - Born somewhere in the Isles of Span on Pop Star, he's a Spanyard. He's crazy, angry,loves tacos, and loves to fight. He acts first and thinks later but Fred is more than prepared for any danger. His Deathray, Ray of Death, Quazi-Flight of Death and Deathly Deathray of Deathly Deathness make up Fred's attack force. His appearance resembles that of a Buggzy from the Kirby games.
- Dr. Donez - Dr. Donez, a native of Sub-Con, is an evil genius, but he's not a REAL evil genius. He fights for the common good, as long as it doesn't sidetrack him from his real goal, which happens to be world domination. When in trouble, Donez either runs away or whips out his Ice Pick, one of the most powerful weapons in the world. He also runs an advice column His appearance resembles that of a Tweeter from Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Captain Churro - Captain Churro is insane. Really insane. Like Donez, he is a Tweeter, but with a different color scheme. Captain Churro thinks that he is a superhero, but he really has no idea what he is doing.
- Jill the Extra Gal - Jill, is well, an Extra Gal. She resembles the common Kirby enemy drone Bronto Burt.
Secondary characters and villains
- Jay Resop The creator of the comic. Jay used to be portrayed as Bob Dole's head on a crude stick figure body. Recently, Jay has been portrayed as a sprite.
- Citrus Man During the 'Mushroom Wars' Lemmy Koopa uses the Crystal of Reststop on Mario to turn him into his mindless slave. Inside Mario's head Reststop fairies think mindless slave means not having a brain, so they blow it up and replace it with an AOL CD. Later Luigi uses it on him so he can help Bowser. The reststop fairies realize they blew up his brain, so they replace it with an orange. This caused Mario to think he is a superhero named Citrus Man. This gag appears in Mushroom Wars, Bill and Fred's Quazi Mediocre Adventure, NC/SSS Crossover, and NC/SSS Crossover Mach 2. He is basically Mario in his raccoon form.
- Gooba the Goomba - As the names suggests, Gooba is a Goomba. Simply a servant to greater master.
- Lemmy The Lemming - A Lemming. For more information about Lemmy, see Codiekitty.com
- General Magruder - He is something that is quite lacking in NC Land, a true hero. Magruder's appearance is based on a Hammer Bro from Super Mario Bros. 3.
- Redox - A mysterious character who hides in the darkness, Redox is a ninja. We will only learn more about Redox when he chooses to reveal himself again.
- Biggs and Wedge - Guardians of the Forest of Illusion who mainly try to do interpretive dances about everything (which always consists of them just jumping up and down). They are two specimens of Ninji from Super Mario Bros. 2. They are of course named after Luke Skywalker's wingmen from A New Hope. Biggs and Wedge also commonly play minor characters in games in the Final Fantasy series.
- Narrative Guy - The aptly-named Narrative Guy (a grey Shy Guy) gives a face to the anonymous voice that narrates the NC Comix.
- Darth Butch - Little is known about Luigi's evil alter ego. Most believe that Luigi became Darth Butch after being "Player 2" for so long.
- Phone The Clone - Phone, an inverted recolor of Toad, is a clone, simply put, and he's not a very nice clone.
- Prof. Executrain - Born in the Mushroom Kingdom, Prof. Executrain, who has the appearance of a Boomerang Bro, is the arch-nemesis of Dr. Donez. While Dr. Donez has his good side, Prof. Executrain has no good side. Executrain's main weapon is the powerful Philips Screwdriver. It is believed that he hasn't seen his brothers, Zadok and Magruder, in years.
- Colonel Zadok the Huntmaster - Zadok is a Huntmaster. But not just any old Huntmaster. He's THE Huntmaster. Master of the Hunt. He is not evil at heart, but definitely a dangerous character.
The author Jay Resop has noted that the word 'comics' is spelled as 'comix' "in a lame attempt to be 'cool'".
The EVIL Luigi Story (1998, Completed)
Created by Jay Resop
The First Serial Comic to be put on NC. The story is based on Luigi finally becoming fed up being the secondary role to his brother, Mario, and becoming Darth Butch. The Story introduces Fred the Spanyard, as one of Darth Butch's henchmen, and Bill the Extra Guy, in a parody scene of Super Mario Bros. 4, featuring Bill as one of the four playable characters.
After Butch is defeated, he makes a few cameo roles in other comix, including NC/SSS Crossover Mach 2.
In 2004, Patrick VanDusen made a special edition encompassing all four parts of the story in a more modern NC-esque story.
The Mushroom Wars (1998-1999, Completed)
Created by Jay Resop and Lemmy Koopa
The Second Serial Comic to be brought to NC, and the first series to be written by more than just Resop (A trend that will continue through all of the following series, except the Random Comix and The NC Chronicles). The story is about Bowser's children, the Koopa Kids, being angered by the cutting of their allowence and rebelling, while Bowser and Luigi form the Dual Alliance of Death (DAD). This is the first appearance of Phone the Clone and Citrus Man, the alter-ego of Mario.
Lemmy Koopa wrote the odd parts, and Jay Resop wrote the even parts. Note that the parts written by Lemmy Koopa are text only, while Resop wrote his parts more traditionally with sprite comix. The odd parts are being converted to Sprite Comix as of 2004, and is up to Part 11.
Bill and Fred's Quazi-Mediocre Adventure (1999-2001)COMPLETED
Created by Jay Resop and Steve Reich
The Third Serial Comic to be brought to NC, also one of the most popular (being featured on the main page's icon saying NC is "The Home of Bill and Fred's Quazi-Mediocre Adventure"). This is the first appearance of Jay in the story, portrayed by Bob Dole's head and a crude stick figure body, as it will be portrayed in all other stories. It is also the first appearance of Dr. Donez, and the only appearance of the other "Jays". The running gag of Luigi appearing in the story by saying he's not in the story begins in this story.
The Story Begins as Bill and Fred get mad at Jay and decide to kill him, employing Mario to do the dirty work. Jay is killed via Pokemon Overdose. After SMBHQ, the host of NC, hears about this, the webmaster Kyle Orlando (portrayed by Darth Vader's head) attempts to kill Mario. In the mean time, Bill and Fred are summoned by Steve, which they think is named Silence after he yells that at them. They are to fly to Poland to meet him at his base to help in his quest, and are greeted by his servant, Bob Saget. Fred tries over and over to kill him with his deathray, but Bob Saget is immortal in the story. It appears that Steve (portrayed by Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard from The Next Generation Star Trek films) wants to kill Kyle, and Bill and Fred are to serve as his waterboys. After a while, they become tired of working for Steve, and go out to kill Kyle and Steve themselves. Fred then pressures Bill to finally use his secret move, the Extra Move, which freezes Kyle, Steve, and Mario, who was being attacked by Kyle at the time, in time. After realizing they cannot unfreeze them without breaking the "Eco-Centric-Chrono-Time-Vortex", they go to find Fred's old friend and evil-genius, Dr. Donez. After rambling on, Bill is captured by Donez's arch-nemesis, Jay Respo, who takes him to his base, conveniently located right behind them. Jay Respo attempts to use the Extra Power to destroy the 100,000 Dollar Pyramid, which has been plauging him for years. After a simple rescue plan to get Bill back foils his plans, he escapes through a warp-hole. Once the trio resumes their adventure, they unfreeze everyone but Steve, who was mistaken for Mario (now Citrus Man) by Dr. Donez. On one side, Kyle and his army are coming, and on the other, the Posernator, a gigantic evil creature (really just Jay Resop, Respo, and Reesop combined). After a heroic battle, with a few plot contrives, the story ends up in a scene reminiscent of the beginning, and a brief scene of credits follow.
BFQMA is the second longest NC comic, and one of the most popular.
On June 5, 2008 NC began putting the BFQMA episodes on youtube.
NC/SSS Mach 2 (2001-present)
NC/SSS Mach 2 is a crossover of Neglected Mario Characters and Super Smash Stadium, a fan fiction based on the Super Smash Bros. series also featured on SMBHQ.
It features Lord Reid kidnapping Bill and replacing him with a bag of Funyuns because no one will notice. While in Lord Reid's captivity, he cuts off Bill's hair which makes him angry. Meanwhile, Fred and Dr. Donez meet up with Jill the Extra Gal who was part of the Neglected of the Neglected. She ditches them to go with Dr. Donez, and the two end up in the Minus World. Fred is ashamed because he thought he ate Bill in his taco-crazed state. Bill meets up with Bill of Rights, Bill Clinton, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, which makes the reader assume that Lord Reid has an obsession with the name Bill.
Common running jokes
- Scenes where the Earth spontaneously explodes.
- Mario posing as Citrus Man.
- Close-ups of the Dr. Donez character (or any other character he portrays) whenever his name is spoken (often when he enters a scene). The same is done whenever Prof. Executrain's name is spoken.
- Extensions of the name of Fred the Spanyard's Death Ray; the most elaborate being "Deathly Death Ray of Deathly Deathness."
- Jay's excuses for lack of frequent updates.
- The fact that Luigi is not appearing in the story (although, technically, he is appearing to be pointed out that he's not appearing).
- Bill's catchphrase, "Al Gore?"
- Literal running gags which usually involve Churro just running.
- Breaking the fourth wall.
- The game Mario Is Missing and the Pokemon series are Jay's least favorite games, and thus he makes fun of them quite often in NC Comix.
- Occasional story breaks for "Sven's Commentary" in which Sven (a stick figure with Doc Brown's head) usually complains about how the story doesn't make sense and how sprite comics are terrible in contrast to flash animation.
- Whenever Kirby appears, he is always sleeping. This annoys Fred so much that he launches a Death Ray at him. This gag shows up in every one of Jay's random comix except "The 12 Days of NC Christmas" and "The First Annual VGF Telethon".
- Portrayal of human characters not represented by video game sprites (most commonly of people who work at SMBHQ or other affiliates, such as Resop or SMBHQ webmaster Kyle Orland) with the head of a character attached to a stick figure (usually a politician--see "Cultural references")
- Occasionally showing "Silence" (really named Steven Reich, a former SMBHQ staff member played by Jean-Luc Picard) "frozen" after Bill's extra move.
- The writers making Mario look like a moron.
- Churro falling from the sky.
- Someone screaming, "Save me Superman!".
- Morton randomly screaming out the name of a food.
- Churro saying "Fly away!", pausing for a second, and then running off screen.
NC, like most parodies, is full of references to popular culture. Some common examples include: