Wreck-It Ralph opened last month, and I may well have become obsessed with it. I’ve seen it three times now – twice in 2D, once it 3D. I’d love to see it a fourth time at the El Capitan before it vanishes. It came at a pivotal time in my life – in September I had what I can only describe as a small breakdown, in October I lost my job, and in November my girlfriend and I parted ways. My life is in a state of upheaval right now.
At a time in my life when I’m questioning every action I’ve taken, every decision I’ve made, that has led me to this point, and when I find myself wanting more out of life, Wreck-It Ralph speaks to me.
About two weeks ago I was with some friends discussing what a possible sequel to Wreck-It Ralph might be about. Director Rich Moore has all but confirmed that they’re doing one, and he’s suggested he’d want the follow-up to explore console gaming and online gaming. That got me thinking: How exactly would they do that?
As I was talking, the story I’d write for a Wreck-It Ralph follow-up basically fell out of my mouth. It was, I thought, basically perfect, though not strictly speaking accessible. Literally no one at Disney would want to make my idea. Nevertheless, I’m going to share it with you now. Mild spoilers for Wreck-It Ralph follow.
2012 was the 30th anniversary of Fix-It Felix Jr. It was also a bad year to own a Fix-It Felix Jr. machine – like clockwork, on the night of the game’s 30th anniversary, almost every machine broke down. The problem commonly reported was that Ralph wasn’t appearing anymore. Most arcades chalked it up to an aging ROM board, and put their machines out to pasture.
The truth, of course, is that almost every single version of Wreck-It Ralph that existed within those Fix-it Felix Jr. machines’d had the same identity crisis that the Ralph in the machine at Litwak’s Arcade, but without the same experiences to guide them they’d either gone missing or died in other games, or had simply not wanted to return to their machines without a Medal.
The worldwide failure of almost every Fix-It Felix Jr. machine causes a commotion. It’s reported on gaming news sites everywhere – Kotaku, Destructoid, Joystiq, IGN, you name it. They all pick up on the weird simultaneous failure of the game.People are talking about Fix-It Felix Jr. again, and the company who now holds the rights to the game takes notice.
They decide to do two things. Firstly, they’re going to develop a modernized reboot of the game. Secondly, they want to release the original arcade classic as a multi-platform digital download. But there’s a problem – even their Fix-It Felix Jr. machine has died. Where to source a working machine?
Well, Litwak’s arcade has one, don’t they? And they wouldn’t need to keep the machine. They’d just need to go to the arcade and make a ROM dump.
Fix-It Felix Jr. is released for downloadable platforms, and Felix, Ralph and the Nicelanders find themselves existing not in an arcade but on a console hard drive alongside characters from games like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Left 4 Dead and Silent Hill. The console world is much more scary than the arcade ever was. And it’s about to get scarier.
The same week, the Fix-It Felix Jr. modernized remake is released. It’s a much grittier reboot that isn’t even remotely faithful to the source material (think Bomberman: Act Zero). The rebooted version of Felix is cold, rude, aggressive and unpleasant, but he’s nothing compared to the Reboot Ralph. What’s more, Reboot Ralph loves being the bad guy – he wants to dominate not just the Fix-It Felix Jr. reboot, but the entire console, endangering everybody on the Hard Drive.
It would be up to the “classic” Ralph and Felix, with some assistance from Reboot Felix, to stop Reboot Ralph from taking down the Hard Drive altogether.
It’s got problems, I know. It’s flawed, it’s unfinished, and it’s heavy on technical detail and low on plot. But it’s a great groundwork, and from a story perspective it’s perhaps the best way to get the important characters from the first film into a console so the second can explore those ideas.