A horse is a horse, of course, of course, And no one can talk to a horse of course That is, of course, unless the horse is wearing a purple tux.
I have spent the last month doing literally nothing but making jokes about Everybody 1-2 Switch! I have not lived, I have not loved. I have not sought the companionship of others, nor the solemnity of solitude. I have not eaten, and yet I do not hunger. There has been no laughter, nor tears.
There is only Horace.
This is a grinding monotony. This is a prison of my own mind, with myself as both jailer and inmate.
In a horse mask.
This hooved hoosegow has hampered, harmed, and harangued my other weekly task: writing Warriors pitches.
You and I are trapped in this elevator together, neither of us is getting out until this grim obligation is complete and we explore the intersection of 1-2 Switch and Warriors. Horace Showpony will be satisfied. So, sit down, dress like a cowboy, and get ready to DRAW.
Normally, I start this article by putting on a rhetorical striptease, denying you the actual subject as I build the excitement with flourish. There is artistry and entertainment in the presentation. Today I will get right to it. If the average article is burlesque this is a “tube” site. There’s no thin veneer of a plot; I know what you’re here for. We’re going to make a 1-2 Switch! themed Warriors game.
Why? Because this is my burden. There’s no good argument for this enterprise beyond it not being Zelda and Fire Emblem. Despite two titles, the series only has a single named character. He is our demigod; he is our cursed totem; he who lies above and beyond the scale of balloons to aliens. His plane of being is as astral as it is equine. He is Horace Showpony.
We’re going to give 1-2 Switch! something it has never had, a premise. You, the player, received an invite to see a new game from Nintendo. A low-subscriber influencer, this might be your big chance to break out. You readily accept, and a plane ticket shows up in your inbox. The fight is in three hours. A rush to the airport and a 14 hour flight later, and you arrive in a foreign land. Your heart is racing as you collect your luggage, and are met by a chauffeur holding a placard with your name. You’ve arrived.
And then, there’s nothing. You remember sitting down in the back of a car. But now, you’re suddenly in a dark room, head splitting, limbs not responding. Then, there’s a flash of light. A curtain is falling, and on the other side is a hotel conference room. You’re not alone, seemingly hundreds are there with you. At the center of it all, a horse. A man. A horseman in a tuxedo.
He speaks, there’s no way out for you. There are so many hotel rooms like this one, stuffed full of influencers. He has grown weary of "influencer culture." There is only going to be one survivor. The winner gets their freedom.
And a bag full of balloons.
It’s time to thin the herd. Let's play a game...
We’ve established that every branded Warriors title needs a hook to set it apart. This isn’t a particularly challenging task.
A defining feature of 1-2 Switch! is the use of video of actors to get across the way games are played. These are actual human actors, not rendered characters. In order to make something worthy of the 1-2 Switch! name, we must do the same.
Therefore, all enemies in Everybody 1-2 Warriors! will be presented with new technology we are building for the task, taking 360 degree video of the actors playing their role and presenting each on the screen as their own interactive “video.” There will be no CG enemies in this game. I’m not sure if this means we’ll have 3D models and we’ll just be mapping images of the actors over them, like a modern Mortal Kombat (but not that modern Mortal Kombat) or if we will be inventing new technology. It doesn’t matter. These will be photographs of real people. This is immutable. It is not for me to solve the technological hurdles, only the creative ones.
The other defining element of the series is simple motion control activities. If this were WarioWare we’d call them microgames, but it isn’t so I wont. The head-to-head challenges might judge who can draw their six shooter quickest, or pump up a balloon most effectively, or milk a cow dry… or get Bingo first.
They don’t all work as well.
This is a motion controlled Warriors game. While the player might normally brawl their way through hundreds of non-descript enemies on their way to a boss, Everybody 1-2 Warriors! asks them to intimidate their foes by banging their chest like a gorilla. For average enemies it’s enough to hip thrust like…a bunny and watch them fall. Against captains and the ultimate bosses you’re going to have to go into a one-on-one challenge. Keijo your way to victory against a man in an Easter Bunny costume to take another step towards our prison warden.
I can’t believe I just wrote such an incredibly cursed sentence.
Clear the conference hall of one hotel after another, and fight your way to your one-way ticket home.
We are not limited to H.S.P., as those in the industry call him. 1-2 Switch! and Everybody 1-2 Switch! both have extensive casts of extras. Our task is now to find a home for them.
The Influencer Mob
The host of Warriors’ foes are largely populated with generic uniformed units. There may be a few variants, to create the illusion of visual variety, but they are largely just chaff. Everybody 1-2 Switch! gives us the source of our generic mobs in its literal only marketing material: the 100 influencer timeshare conference.
Defeating members of the mob requires only using whatever 1-2 Action you currently have equipped, sending waves of Switch Power into their huddled masses, yearning to earn clout. Clear them out as you see fit, but there are always young adults, seeking their shining spotlight.
1-2 Switch! dares to go with no names, and we shall likewise. Here are some example stages Everybody 1-2 Warriors!
The doors to this conference center look like an old-timey saloon, and inside waits “The Cowboy.” From his invisible holster comes a pair of finger-guns. While the power of imagination motivates him to act, be forewarned his digits will still put you six-feet-under, partner. If you want to duel you’re going to need to clear out this town. It’s not big enough for the 100 of you.
The Hip Bunnies
Two people in [non-sexual] bunny suits stand at the top of the heap, bouncing their hips [non-sexually] against each other. Perfectly balanced, unable to break the tie. That is now your task. Defeat the influencers, climb the tower, and send these two into the drink.
"Shhh! I just got her to sleep!" A room full of twenty-somethings are gingerly rocking a...baby? At the center of it all, the nanny looks on disapprovingly. Wake the baby and its sonic screams will ensure you'll never live to make that mistake again. Can you outlast the babysitter herself?
In a hotel ballroom decorated like a barnyard sits a woman in overalls and a straw hat. Entering the cavernous hall, full of influencers each jerking their arms in a downward direction, she makes eye contact. While the masses move without any flow, she is almost graceful, extracting milk from a cow unseen. Her movements would be beautiful if they weren't so upsetting. To clear this space, you must milk the cow.
The Ball Machine
It’s not a name, it’s a thing. This room looks like the basement of the local Catholic high school, but smells like ink and desperation. Each influencer here believes that they will win their one-way-trip to stardom with five simple stamps. At the head of this deception is the random number generator itself. It isn't alive, it has no motive. It is a machine, and next up is N-43. How can you possibly win in a game that’s all about random chance?
The Big Eater
Show daddy’s Joy-Con your teeth! A banquet hall, with table settings of the finest linen and china. 100 chairs, occupied by 100 butts. Teeth gnash but there is no food to be seen; air satiates no hunger. At the captain’s table, all alone, a man in a green bib stares blankly into space. His jaw moves like a finely tuned engine. To move one step closer to freedom, it’s time to feed…om nom nom.
Our master of ceremonies, the horse at the head of the herd. He is as mysterious as he is festive. What is his past? Why has he assembled this motley crew to play this game that no one seeks to play? I am no longer sure if Horace is a joke or a longing. Do I look upon him, vibrancy horsonified, and feel envy? Revulsion? Did I create this from my mind? Am I awake?
No. To find freedom, there is only one path - through the horse.
Everybody 1-2 Warriors! is a different kind of game, for a different kind of age. We are no longer innocent, we have watched as Nintendo has attempted to get rid of their literal garbage as a contest prize. We have seen them release a game so bad, it was sealed away like a haunted object.
We have witnessed them launder this thing through #influencers pursuing #content, and try to make it stand out via a party store horse mask.
This very article stands as testament: it worked.
We are no longer pure.
Everybody 1-2 Warriors! is a game that speaks to this dark new age. It is the athlete selling sugar water, calling his peers a sellout, while showing how much money he is making doing the ad.
Everybody 1-2 Warriors! is my last chance to be freed from this prison. Are you in here with me? Will it free you, or will you find true stardom and influence… under the mask?