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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 206: Gaming is FUNdamental

Gatsby, old boy, that's a fine go-kart you have there!

Welcome, to another Nerds Without Pants that, despite hardly having any listener interaction, still snuck past the three-hour mark. I don’t know, y’all. This is the reality you have created for yourselves. We won’t be held responsible. You fell in love in the first place.

00:00-08:35 Introduction

08:49-1:41:49 STAGE SELECT: We turn our favorite (?) books into video games, with…results.

1:42:00-3:09:30 CONSUMPTION JUNCTION: Yakuza: Like a Dragon closing thoughts, Tomb Raider (2013), Julian’s Series X, Road 96, Twelve Minutes, Hades, Tales of Arise

3:10:07-3:27:05 VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Loaded vs Crusader: No Remorse

3:27:45-3:35:11 Outro


STAGE SELECT: What are some of your favorite character introductions?

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Super Mario Odyssey vs Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey


Twitter: @NWPcast


Our theme song “Relax” and interstitial tracks “To the Maxx” and “Moody Grooves” are written and performed by Megan McDuffee.






08/27/2021 at 03:14 AM

TV Tropes actually has a trope called "Death by Newbery Medal," which covers all of those award-winning books we read as kids that had kid protagonists watching their beloved pets or best friends die in horrible ways, or worse still, having to kill their beloved pets for one reason or another, and those deaths somehow being a rite of passage for the protagonist. The specific book you guys were talking about was "A Day No Pigs Would Die," by Robert Newton Peck. It didn't win and wasn't even nominated for a Newbery, but it was an ALA Best Book in 1973. That book also had a somewhat graphic depiction of the pig being bred by a boar that probably wouldn't fly nowadays because it looks uncomfortably like a rape scene. Even when I read it as a teenager I was like "WTF? This is for kids?"

Incidentally, "Stand By Me" is referenced in Pokemon Red/Blue, in the player's house.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

08/30/2021 at 11:56 AM

Yeah, I just don't get it. I didn't enjoy any of those books, and didn't take away anything from them besides a boiling hatred for Southern slang and accents.


08/30/2021 at 03:58 PM

Ten years ago, there was a debate as to whether the Newbery awards were doing more harm than good. One expert went so far as to say that he believed that the Newbery medal had done more to turn kids off of reading than anything else out there. 

I did enjoy some of these books. One I did enjoy was Johnny Tremain, which was assigned reading at school. As a coincidence, I had to read this book at the exact same time the  Simpsons episode "Whacking Day" first aired. In that episode, Marge is home-schooling Bart and makes him read Johnny Tremain. My reaction was about the same as Bart's: "they should call this book, Johnny Deformed!" My mom, naturally, was quick to point out that even the Simpsons were telling me to read "good" books. 


08/27/2021 at 03:46 AM

Stage Select: Favorite Character Introductions

The opening animation for Donkey Kong, where he's carrying Pauline up to the top of the structure and then stomping on the girders. At the age of 4, when I first played DK, that intro was legitimately a bit scary and added to the overall experience. To this day, DK is my favorite arcade game.

Cloud's flashback that introduces Sephiroth. Everything about the intro is meant to show the player that Sephiroth doesn't screw around. Additional props to the Mako mutant and the dismembered body of Jenova hidden behind the angel statue at the end of the sequence.

The introduction of the Pigmasks in Mother 3. The first time you encounter them is a fairly brief appearance, with a static-filled, faint rendition of the Pigmask Army theme. Subsequently, you get more complete versions of the theme as the Pigmasks encroach upon Tazmily, symbolizing the gradual, frog-boiling style of takeover the Pigmask Army engages in as the game progresses, and the eventual deterioration and death of the village as the villagers submit to the will of King Porky. 

On a related but off-topic note, damn, I wish they'd localize this game. I read that Nintendo had recently considered a localization for the Switch, but they tried to look at how certain scenes might play out in the US given the present social climate, and thought about the likelihood that they probably wouldn't win no matter how they approached the project. It seems like they finally said "Nope."

Cage Match:

Mario had AC Odyssey pinned to the ground, stuffing leaves and dirt into its storage case. Peach called Mario and said she had a cake waiting for him at the castle. Mario sternly told AC, "I want you to keep filling your case with crud until I get back." AC Odyssey meekly said, "Yes, sir" and continued to stuff leaves and dirt into its storage case while Mario was gone. Winner: Super Mario Odyssey.

Exrian Contributing Writer

08/27/2021 at 07:10 PM

Great episode guys. Loving every episode. Upset I missed last weeks Stage Select but it's been hectic here. This weeks tough but an excellent topic. I'll have to think about it. I'll probably put some down now but if I get to really thinking about them, I'm sure I'll change it up. 

Stage Select:

3. SA-X (Metroid Fusion): Metroid has always made Samus the strong badass bounty hunter. Fusion makes her very vulnerable and the prey to be hunted by a mirror copy of herself. Except this version is scary and relentless. Your first glimpse of SA-X is shortly after you take an elevator ride down. The scene stays there a moment longer then usual when the SA-X breaks into the scene fully suited in Samus's iconic armor. It turns to look at the player and a quick cutscene let's you look into the cold lifeless eyes of the deadly parasite. It'll be a pain in your ass for hours to follow. 

2. Green (Gunstar Heroes): Gunstar Heroes has some fun bosses but none are as cool as Greens Seven Force Mech. Gunstar Heroes does a thing before every boss battle, the calm before the storm, where it tells you the bosses name and throws you a list of its attacks. While you're riding the train rails, you see the words, "The Boss is Approaching." Then you see it rattle off one form, then another, then another until it lists all 7 and you're wondering what the hell is about to go down? Your old friend Green comes flying out and jumps into air as his Mech forms around him and the battle begins.

1. Dante (Devil May Cry): When it comes to character introductions, few do it better than Capcoms Devil May Cry series. There's probably a dozen excellent choices throughout the series but I'll go with the original. Your first intro to Dante shows him casually speaking to the woman who just literally broke through his front door. She proceeds to attack him and uses his giant sword against him by impaling him then shocking him. She tosses her motorcycle at him and he laughs it off by pulling out his signature pistols and blowing it away. Next scene he's pulling out that sword still in his chest and continues keeping his cool. I can't recall any other character intro that made me smile like that. 

Cage Match: The amount of shit that the Assassins Creed series keeps trying to shovel down our throats with their insane interconnected plot could only be handled by a licensed plumber with decades of experience. I think we all know at least one....


09/03/2021 at 10:07 AM

Not sure how I missed last week's!  I had a couple wacko sci-fi and early dystopian books I wanted to try and spin too.  And I never heard of those other games which is pretty fun!

STAGE SELECT: While he's not a playable character I always liked when Johnny pops up in Chrono Trigger.  Your party goes into a battle stance and the battle music starts playing, and then this robot that's so disruptively cool his underlings just swoon over him breaks it up (and then you get a minigame why not).  They call him the MAN! but you lowlifes can call him Johnny.

I also like any Playable Character that shows up in like mid-battle or just kinda out of nowhere so I gotta mention Earthbound.  Jeff pops up when you're literally stuck, introduces a themed level that's far away from what you've seen before mostly, and slams a UFO through a wall to save you.  Poo is pretty similar with his Teleport command and the funky but short Dalaam area which you get after eating Magic Cake, but I kinda think he's even cooler because he has to destroy his ego with Mu training which is just a really bizarre scene of that game (which is saying something!).

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: I ran the numbers and the odds are closer than you'd think for the average man, but, I mean, come on.  You ever read an old comic like Tin Tin or Popeye or whatever?  And the assassin is trying to shoot them with a poison dart and through an absurd but slightly familiar setup the dart they shoot when Popeye is picking up a lost can of spinach off the ground or whatever the hell Belgian vegetable Tin Tin needs to eat and anyway they are bent over at the right time so it goes overhead and the dark ricochets like 50 times and hits the assassin directly in the ass?  That's this cage match, just a poison dart in the ass.  There's just no causal rationality.  It's some edgelord or -lady mean mugging against everyone's favorite mascot.  Like Mario is holding their forehead at arms length while the assassin is swinging at the air and getting madder and throwing more and more tantrums because that's their only super power in their own video games.  They are like the Washington Generals but it's not just the Harlam Globetrotters but a Harlam Globetrotters made out of like Mickey Mouse and pure video game joy?  What is even happening?

Casey Curran Staff Writer

09/03/2021 at 03:21 PM

Stage Select

3.Burt Reynolds (Saints Row the Third)- Even the zombie, who doesn't say anything else, says "BURT FUCKING REYNOLDS!?" when meeting him

2. Sovereign (Mass Effect)- The second he spoke to me all I could think was "Holy shit I'm fucked." Sovereign was too good of an introduction, Mass Effect 3 had to scramble a convenient super weapon plot together because of it. Or Mass Effect 2 could have let Shepard and Cerberus do SOMETHING to prepare against the Reapers. But I digress.

1. Godot (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney 3)- A strangely masked man stands across from you. A jazzy tune plays. The judge asks him to remove his mask but drops it after he replies "All men wear masks. Whether over our face or over our hearts." A cup of coffee slides into his hands followed with "Darker than a moonless night. Hotter and more bitter than the depths of hell. That is coffee." And all I can think is "DAMN this guy is smooth!"

Cage Match

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a game that loosely continues Assassin's Creed 3's story. I prefer games not continuing Assassin's Creed 3's story in any way, shape or form. Mario Odyssey wins.

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