[2012] Remembering “The Bulbears: Lordess to Nomad”

In Summer 2012, I was at church camp for a few days.

At church camp, it’s basically your life constantly segmented into hour-long blocks where you go to listen to church music, then a sermon, then a small group, then a meal, then an activity, then more music, then another sermon, then the church-group meeting, then another meal, then… Okay, you probably get it. It’s segmented just strictly enough that there isn’t much free time, probably by design, but there are obviously a couple hours each day open so you can play ultimate frisbee outside or flirt with the cute girl from Louisiana (because, I mean c’mon, it’s hundreds of teenagers cooped up together on a small college campus for a week).

I think I went to church camp three times as a teenager, and each time, I got absorbed by writing weird fiction, wasting a lot of time doing that instead of actually socializing like normal human beings. In eighth grade, I wrote half of some old fantasy thing that makes no sense and I will decline to share. In eleventh grade, I wrote… for some inexplicable, impossible-to-justify reason… a Pikmin parody fan fiction.

And not just any Pikmin fan fiction.

This one was the origin story of a specific enemy, a Bulbear, that always aggravated me in Pikmin 2.

This is the story of The Bulbears: Lordess to Nomad.

See, the best part about Pikmin, besides being an extremely fun game, is the wide variety of enemy designs. And the Bulbears are one of the most interesting of the bunch.

In Pikmin 1, they’re just like the series-staple Bulborbs, but bigger and way more dangerous. There’s also like, a total of two in the whole game. They sit there and sleep until you get too close or attack them, and then they chomp all your Pikmin up until you kill them.

But in Pikmin 2, they’re given a big power upgrade, and are also much more widespread in that game’s many deep caverns. The game makes that immediately apparent the moment you land on the game’s third world, the Perplexing Pools.

Unlike the original game, Bulbears aren’t like Bulborbs that just sleep all day. They are active predators, roaming around their territory looking for food, and you are the food. They also have a bunch of Dwarf Bulbear babies following them around, making them a bigger threat. And right past the landing area in the Perplexing Pool is this main Bulbear’s haunting grounds. You’re liable to get half your Pikmin eaten the first time through if you’re not ready for it, and as a child playing Pikmin 2 for the first time, I was not at all ready.

So this specific enemy, this specific Bulbear and its bratty children, were the source of great anxiety and annoyance in me for many years. I eventually learned how to kill it pretty easily with some well-timed purple Pikmin launches, but it took a long time and lots of bye-bye Pikmin.

Therefore, at age seventeen, I decided to make a fan fiction making fun of this Pikmin. It’s pretty short; you should read it!

However, this story went all-out with being idiotic. I’m talking all-out.

I decided to do a classic badwriting element and stick to several rules with the story that would aggravate as many readers as possible:

  • I would write the story as an epic fantasy, with many tribes and intra-racial politics that seem to indicate that these random Pikmin monsters have an intricate and detailed society with lots of history cribbing from all the worst high fantasy.
  • I would insert lots of “original language” words just for the sake of adding in footnotes that went on and on about superfluous worldbuilding. (Yes, I added in literal footnotes, though they translated poorly to fanfiction.net)
  • I would make all attempts possible to obfuscate the passing of time in-story by having timeskips or other transitions happen mid-paragraph.
  • I would write all dialogue in haiku.

And so I set out to write the dumbest story of all time. I may have succeeded.

The protagonist’s name is M’tsargh’i, which is one of the best names I have ever created. The naming schemes in the story are all extremely stupid in the same way, and very few are actually pronounceable. I may have accidentally made a Lovecraft High Fantasy story by accident.

Plus, you’ve got amazing dialogue like:

Let us get down here,

To the business of war,

Of which you will learn.

Thedude3445, 2012

And the fantastically droning, run-on sentence prose like:

Only it could possibly give gracious suave, glittering beauty, and gloriousness to such a scene of most intense death, which loomed all over the world, which is known as M_ichgvill5 or “Our land is my land” in the Bulbear tongue, and perpetrated great suffering in the dark hour of the abyss of this mighty war, called the Second Great War by many a soldier, these soliders being the ones who were destined for a valiant battle; eight hundred strong were M’tsarhg’i’s forces, and they were vying for a clean victory to call their own after a slosh of whippings; blood had been spewed aplenty in battles of yore.

Thedude3445, 2012

It set up this elabroate and very stupid civil war between the various Bulbear tribes, or something like that, and eventually, the Bulbears were crushed by the forces of Empress Bulblax, a monster that is one of the biggest bosses of the Pikmin series.

All of this was build-up to the finale, which is that our protagonist, exiled and with her entire race defeated, now must live as a nomad in the Perplexing Pools and do whatever she can to survive.

So now, every time you have to fight that specific Bulbear in Pikmin 2, you are stuck remembering this dumbass fan fiction a teenager wrote in 2012. It never goes away.

The story isn’t THAT funny, to be honest; it’s way too short to really make the impact that it needed, and my self-imposed rule about confusing timeskips makes the narration a bit TOO difficult to parse sometimes. But this thing lives and dies on its gimmicks, and it lives thanks to the awful, wretched haiku dialogue gimmick.

The intentional laziness, the stupid gimmicks, the half-ironic tone of it all… this story was a really important training ground for my writing, and really set the stage for the dumb stuff I’ve written in the years since. ATL would never exist if not for The Bulbears.

Source

Also, this story may have been the establishing factor in two of my long-standing story tropes:

The protagonist’s mom is named Bwo’m’n, which is clearly an allusion to Michael Guy Bowman. I adore his music and tend to reference him, or his songs, in a good majority of everything I write.

And, as far back as I can think, this was the very first case of Secret Lesbians, a trope I held for quite some time in my early writings. M’tsarhg’i is stated to have failed with courting several “suitors,” which if you parse the text enough, is an exclusively female position. It comes up only in one line and is very easy to miss, which was the point. I used to do this all the time as a joke, and you can see it in a lot of stories I wrote in high school, but after a certain point, the winds changed and I decided that I wanted to promote LGBT characters head-on instead.

Also, I wrote this at church camp.

Finally, one thing that has impacted my writing significantly from The Bulbears: its only fanfiction.net review.

i have not read this fic nor do I ever plan to. but in the spirit of generousity {man letting them know I’m not being mean spirited is tiring} I have to Point out that having a gibberish word in the title is not gold.

Lordesses do not exist the feminine version of lord is lady.

hope this helps you out and good luck. 🙂

[I might read it if there is nothing else to read, now that I think about it.]

ps. I am writing this on a 3DS FTW!

Q. ui. n.N, 2012

Their insistence that “Lordess” is not a real word has led me to include the term Lordess in a great number of stories since then, especially in The Glory of Bowsette, where Bowsette herself is frequently termed as a Lordess. I hope that you, too, will begin to use the word Lordess more often so that the world can finally gain this amazing word and I can get my revenge on this reviewer from over seven years ago.

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