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Countdown to Infinite Wizbits

Page history last edited by K 2 years, 3 months ago

Back to Graphic Novels

 

Countdown to Infinite Wizbits

 

Released in January of 2006, Countdown to Infinite Wizbits is a graphic novel set in Battal 925, also referred to as "Battal Prime." Ostensibly, the purpose of this novel was to reboot the entire Wizbits multiverse and restore order to the Timenes of Battal. Also, Elemenstors of the Peninsula marketing executives determined that "rebooting universes is in right now, it's what all the big players are doing."

 

 

 

Pre-crisis Battal

They say it started with ElamenSTAR. It was intended by its authors to be the definitive telling of the story of the Four Underdogs, those Grand Elemenstors whose adventures culminated in the founding of the Cerulean Citadel and the defeat of Char Reyarteb.

 

But then someone had to get creative.

 

In August of 1996, just two months after the premiere of ElamenSTAR, the Elemenstor Radio Dramas aired on BBC. Somewhat more palatable to Western tastes, the dramas directly contradicted several points of the backstory established in the Japanese cartoon. Documented responses from various company sources failed to make clear just what was going on.

  • "No worries," Realmworlds Publishing owner Mich Fehkoo insisted. "Uh, you know... timesorc'ley."
  • "Er, alternate universes, you see," said the head of PR. "There's, um, more than one Battal, of course."
  • "Jesus Christ, look, a wizard did it, okay?" said one of the writers.
  • The CFO would only reply, "Moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney..."
  • And one Realmsworld janitor went on-record as saying, "Look, kid, it's a fictional world with almost as many creators as it has fans. It's not like there's any factual basis for any of this, just fertile imaginations and a common backdrop known as Battal. You can't reconcile every contradiction, you'd be mad to even try. Just enjoy the stories... and get on with your life."

 

Later deconstruction of exactly what happened was explored in a fairly frank interview with the Realmworlds Marketing Director from 1994-2001 Mark Humble-Grommet which appeared in the Dec '05 ELotH:TES Magazine:

 

Long story short, initial plans were being put into motion to begin leveraging all the narrative potential still untapped within the CCG. Sets of cards were divided thematically, and then various marketing strategies were devised for each set based on an interally developed four point evaluation of content. (This document, referred to as "The Path," expanded by the addition of cards and supplimented by additional ELotH works still maps the future course for the company and is one of its most closely protected documents.)

 

The Four Underdogs were at the time vaguely outlined in a (now infamous) set of 22 cards. The story of the Underdogs was viewed as having high international appeal. Two different assistants took the Underdogs set and sent them with a brief sketched outline of a narrative to two different production companies, one in Tokyo, and the other in London. Before anyone knew what had happened they had two fairly decent pitches returned with the concepts significantly more fleshed out. They both got the green light, and the rest is, as they say, mired in the unknowable murky depths of history.

 

Then came The Wizbits Cartoon.

 

A dramatic reimagining of ElamenSTAR headed by the renowned and/or reviled James Langomedes, The Wizbits Cartoon stormed the shores in 1999. Although an enormous hit with children and retailers, American fans of the original anime were disappointed. Violently, violently disappointed.

 

Things went downhill pretty fast from there. The final few episodes of the Japanese series wrapped the timeline up very messily, with a sort of philosophical, Myth of Sisyphus-style, total-lack-of-closure wrap-up. The Dreaming Feculence, Wizbits Extreme, ElamenSTAR Shuffle, and a host of other animations, movies, and book tie-ins flooded the market, extensively diluting the brand and confusing the fans. Just how many alternate timelines could they be expected to keep up with?

 

The problem was compounded by the fact that no other era in the long and storied history of Battal seemed to be suffering from this problem... not yet, at any rate. Granted, the ElemenstorLance novels had their fair share of contradictions, and the Magic Sword Kings Period was occasionally a subject of debate... but when it came to the 925 years from 19,109 to 20,034, the retellings seemed to be coming faster with every passing week. Some of these retellings actually purported to "solve" the swelling continuity problems, but these solutions were ultimately just retroactive continuity tweaks; retelling the retellings didn't improve things, and in some cases it actually made things worse.

 

Something had to be done. Something drastic. Realmworlds Publishing responded with a Crisis.

 

The Canonical Crisis

It split once, and almost no one noticed. But then it split again. And again. The timeline degenerated from simple fracture to full-blown temportal replication. Soon, reality would shatter, gutted like an enormous metaphysical trout under the strain.

 

Now every version of the Four Underdogs must assemble to save Battal from its greatest threat ever: their own incompetent meddling with timesorc'ley!

 

When two different versions of the Four Underdogs meet each other on the Spaghetti Plane, they immediately know that something is wrong. But before they can communicate with the Chronoclave, they are set upon by two different versions of MooMaa!

 

Wands in hand, the Grand Elemenstors of the Cerulean Citadel determine that Battal is breaking to pieces, each separated by a sea of Timenes. The shards of reality are currently large enough to withstand the violent forces jostling them about, but the replication of timelines is accelerating and soon all of reality will be devoured by creeping paradox.

 

Helping this process along is none other than several versions of their long-defeated foe, Char Reyarteb. With typical narcissism, the Chars are wildly working mighty gears of timesorc'ley, convinced that they can create a timeline wherein Char Reyarteb reaches his ultimate goal of total world domination--and then destroy every other timeline. To this end, Char has recruited many versions of the Four Underdogs' greatest foes, assuring them each a place in the perfect timeline. The various heroes of Battal are also forced to contend with a group of evil counterparts to the Four Underdogs known as the Dark Overdogs. These evil versions come from a Battal where they rule with iron fists and are not content with merely ruling one Battal--they are determined to rule all of them.

 

The Four Underdogs respond by recruiting as many versions of themselves as they can, along with friends from their past--friends living, and friends long dead. Together the mighty mass of Elemenstors formulates a plan to restore stability to Battal Prime--but in order to execute their plan, they must do battle with an infinite horde of their greatest enemies!

 

While the Four Underdogs in their many incarnations fight back their enemies, a group of Battal's most powerful Elemenstors (including Harbinger Portent, Aklom Reklats, Gendoman Ovelkus, and several incarnations of the Four Underdogs themselves) carefully snip the original timeline out of the history of Battal 925 and insert the most stable timeline (as measured by the fewest number of Timesorc'ley Incidents Per Second, or T.I.P.S.) in its place. The remaining infinity of timelines are carefully encapsulated in wards of paradox-negation, allowing them to exist as discrete entities within the Timenes, 925 years contained within a single moment (known as The Shortest Millennium) and folding back on themselves to maintain their own existence as essential preconditions to the ultimate stability of the newly restored Battal Prime.

 

Selected Scenes and Passages

 

Lander Phoenixsong has explained the problem and its consequences to a vast gathering of Underdogs. Then he comes to the part about sacrifice.

 

"I won't lie to you. Some of us will die. Some of us... some of us, it will be as though we never were. Some of us will make the ultimate sacrifice, to have our existences confined in Timenes with no past, no future, and no hope of escape. We will fall. By the hundreds and the thousands we will fall. But we will fall so that others can live. We will fall... so that Battal can live. So I ask you, my brothers and sisters, will you follow me?"

 

"YES!"

 

"Will you fight with me?"

 

"YES!"

 

"Will you die with me?"

 

"YES!"

 

Lander Phoenixsong smiles. "Then let's kick it into overgear."

 

The audience erupts, echoing his words. "LET'S KICK IT INTO OVERGEAR!!!"

"Wow... am I really that sexy?" --Fantasmaphila (from Una Hora de Acción con los Wizbits!), meeting herself for the first time.

"So... what you're saying is... I'm supposed to be a woman?" --Archimedes Breakwind

 

"Well that certainly explains a few things." --Wendell Frozeyou

"I have journeyed from one edge of this timestream to the other. I have seen Battals far beyond the dreams of mortal men and furniture and I have learned, at great cost, a terrible truth: that there is nowhere in this multiverse, nowhere in this millennium, where any version of Char Reyarteb successfully defeats the Underdogs. We were all of us doomed to failure... for today, at least. But a time will come. When there are no Underdogs to oppose me. When the world is ready for Reyarteb. And on that day, I will be ready for the world." --Char Reyarteb Prime, foreshadowing his own return shortly before being annihilated by the combined forces of the Four Score Underdogs

 

Anatomy of a Temporal Crisis

 

"Whatever we do, whether we win or we lose, whether we live or we die, this is the truth of Battal: in the end, there can only be one." --Lander Phoenixsong, Countdown to Infinite Wizbits

 

 

This diagram shows the timeline situation as it exists at the end of Countdown. At the top is the fully healed, internally consistent Battal Prime timeline, with the period of the Four Underdogs marked in yellow. Below this is the so-called Paradox-Negation Ward or Shortest Millennium, a completely inaccessible region of Timenes which contains all the previously existing Four Underdogs timelines, and all their unpleasant temporal convolutions. The Shortest Millennium exists for a single instant at dawn on Primanary 1st, 19,109, at the very beginning of the Four Underdogs period.

 

Post-Crisis Battal

 

The history of Battal 925, the prime timeline (or "primeline") post-countdown directly incorporates the Elemenstor Radio Dramas, which is why both appear yellow on the chart; this is the timeline which was "patched in." However there is some question of what the writers intend to do with the newly restored timeline. A 24-issue comic book which will cover the span has been announced; called Epic Legends of the Four Underdogs, it will be coming out every two weeks starting in March 2006.

 

Creator Reactions

 

Reactions from creative groups around the globe have been mixed. Some creators, attached (as the writers of ElamenSTAR were) to their own personal vision, have expressed displeasure. Others have expressed disinterest, while still others act inexplicably relieved that, no matter how many tellings The Wizbits get, at least for the moment Battal is safe.

 

"Didn't I already deal with this problem?" asks Lord ElamenSTAR Q. Of course as the one responsible for one of the most egregious shatterings of the timeline (namely, the reviled Wizbits Extreme: Ultra battle Final), he failed to understand that the purpose of this project was not to revisit his previous "solution," but to fix the enormous mistake of trying to maintain "multiple Battals."

"Brilliant, really. At first I thought it was a restriction, you know? But then I realized, no, this actually opens up a whole new realm of possibility. If I want to write something in-canon, well, then, I'd better do my research, right? But if I just want to let my imagination run wild, dream up a whole new version of those fantastic Four, that's okay too. There's a place for that, in the Shortest Millenium--and nothing we do in "pre-Countdown" Battal is going to accidentally break the overall continuity of this grand project." --Jerry Chang, Writer for The Wizbits Cartoon

"Those bastards at Realmworlds Publishing think they're so slick, you see what they did here? They just made every single Wizbits retelling irrelevant to the greater story of Battal. They just marginalized a hundred writers. Well we'll fix them, you'll see. This isn't about continuity. This is about art. We can't fetter creators with consistency and continuity. They must be free to express themselves, without being cordoned off like children behind filthy "paradox negation wards" or what have you. When we release House of Char, you'll see. The Elemenstor Cycle be damned, we have no need of what has gone before. We will retcon Tycho Brahe's epic out of existence if necessary for our artistic vision! We will not look back! We will be gods of literature..." --Anonymous Multigame Corp script writer. He goes on like this for a while but you get the point. It is these comments that have led some fans to belive that House of Char is a plot initiated by TSotS infiltrators... but it would appear that we have to wait for July 2007 to find out.

 

Fan discussion

 

My question is how long it'll be before the so-called Primeline gets irreparably screwed-up. I mean, it's pretty much inevitable, right? - SamSim
Unless they don't ever "define" the primeline. -Tim edit: oh.. I hadn't heard about the comic series...
Inevitable? Sure. I mean, that's how these things work, sadly. Back when DC Comics did "Crisis on Infinite Earths," it rebooted the universes, brought everything back down to one main continuity, fixed all the contradictions... and then within two decades they pulled out hypertime and Infinite Crisis and all this garbage. Marvel does it too, though usually on a smaller scale and a little more frequently. Of course DC and Marvel don't try to enforce cross-genre continuity like in Battal, where the movies and books and comics and cartoons all intersect.

Anyways, long story short, I personally hope that Battal doesn't get fractured again, but only time will tell. My hope is that by incorporating all these timelines into the Paradox Negation Wards or whatever, Realmworlds Publishing (or whatever they call themselves now) is saying, "yes, these timelines exist canonically, and stories can be told within them, but when push comes to shove, the greater continuity of Battal has to fall back to one primary, internally consistent timeline.

It's all moot anyways. There are already plans to ret-con all this with the House of Char starting next year - Zeta
Seriously? "House of Char"? I had a dream involving something like that once... well, honestly, more of a nightmare. Rainstorms of blood, howling winds of fear and terror, men casting out their own eyes rather than bear witness to... no, it was nothing. - J to the M

 

Comments (7)

Anonymous said

at 6:48 pm on Feb 20, 2006

wow.. this article is the best thing ever...

Anonymous said

at 7:10 pm on Feb 20, 2006

Heh... well this subject is fertile ground!

Anonymous said

at 10:22 pm on Feb 20, 2006

Do we know which Elemenstor ends up having the power to snip out the alternate timelines and replace it with one version? Harbinger Portent? Aklom Reklats? Gendoman Ovelkus?

Anonymous said

at 10:25 pm on Feb 20, 2006

It was a group effort, actually. It's such dense material, I'm having a hard time getting all the players named and linked to. Virtually everyone from every timeline at least makes an appearance.

Anonymous said

at 10:27 pm on Feb 20, 2006

yeah.. I don't think that a definative list would be possible

Anonymous said

at 2:00 am on Feb 22, 2006

I remember hearing about this a few years ago, but I can't believe they're actually doing it! When I heard about it they were kicking around the idea of a Crisis on Infinite Battals, but I like this title better. Who do they have writing it?

Anonymous said

at 10:11 pm on Feb 22, 2006

This is great! I'm so proud of you, folks.

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