Island Themes: Lanfuest Quest vs Jak and Daxter

DACAPO and Gaumont Animation just released the first animation test from India of their new children’s show Lanfuest Quest. I covered a little bit about the production on my old blog, where I communicated my shattered dream of voicing an animated skank. My rejection as a voice actor on the show not only robbed me of the opportunity to voice a cartoon skank, but a cartoon skank that COUNTS AS CANADIAN CONTENT!  I know, obviously this dream is beyond the deluded grasp of a regular live-action skank like me.

Still excited to see the screen test though! Obviously I would have preferred the show in good old 2D, but such is my excitement to see animated productions in Winnipeg that I’m more than willing to let this one slide.

Here’s the screen test:

Lanfeust Quest (26 x 26′) Animation Test from Gaumont Animation on Vimeo.

The first thing that struck me (and only thing afterward, because I became instantly obsessed) is how much the look and feel is EXACTLY like Naughty Dog’s Jack and Daxter the Precursor Legacy, which is the first installment of their Jak game franchise.

jak hanging

Wow check out that similar landscape.
The rope bridges, the little islandy things.

Why the Jak Franchise is the Greatest

This will probably need some explanation, since although all three of the games in the Playstation trilogy, Jak and Daxter, Jak 2 and Jak 3 (also some shitty racing game, and a weird bug killing game on the PSP- but we’ll just ignore those) made it to the Playstation greatest hits collection, yet in my travels, none of them seem to have been played by or heard of from anyone.

jak on zoomer

These games were awesome. They had everything I like: characters with pointy ears, tons of vehicles, third person platforming, magic and melee, guns that are nowhere near realistic and therefore actually fun. Goggles, so many goggles- and actually reasons for wearing them sometimes (the third game is mostly set in the desert). AND SO MANY ANIMATED SKANKS to dream about voicing.

jak - kiera ashlen tess

Keira, Ashelin and Tess
(Tess and Ashelin aren’t introduced until the second game. Ashelin is some kind of fighter and Tess is a gun manufacturer)

The trilogy started with lighter themes, but eventually grew to be pretty dark as the main character (Jak) grew to be more angsty and muscular through experimentation with dark eco. The plot becomes a long saga to find the lost creators of the world by relating to the magical units of creation, eco, with the characters falling upon tons of political-type themes and obstacles. \

Additional game-darkening bonus: the annoying Ottsel character (Daxter) eventually stops ranting about bedtimes and switches to discussions about the mystical way bikini-clad girls jiggle.(Sexist, which I hate, yet still somehow less annoying than insipid child-Aaron-Carter-Type problems) ie:” I spilled juice on the couch :O .”

What is an Ottsel?

For all those who don’t know what an Ottsel is, it’s a Cheetos looking orange thing that is a mixture between an Otter and a Weasel. Remember friends, this is Naughty Dog we’re talking about, annoying creature combos is their calling card.

Or have we already forgotten about (ignore the watermarks. Being an artist, I try to use screencaptures and official concept art instead of fan art):

dingodile

Dingodile

rilla roo

Rilla Roo
(You can’t see the tail, but this “rilla” is also part kangaroo, as the name would suggest.)

Zam the not instantly obviously dog-lizard

crash bandicoot

and Crash Bandicoot (just kidding, bandicoots are reaaaaaal)

Probably, but that’s beside the point.

Here’s some of the characters you can enjoy if you go out and get the Jak series.

Jak and Daxter Characters

jak transformation

Jak
Plucky mute child who becomes an angsty magical adult.
Evidently good at fighting
P.S. Look at that “shoe” original Jak is wearing. I’m sure that toe-separating fabric comes in really handy tackling the mountainous island terrain

daxter

Daxter
Whiny buck-toothed human, transformed into an ottsel through the magic of “daarrrrk eco”.
Can be found hanging off of Jak’s shoulder

kiera

Keira
Mechanic, inventor and Jak’s original love interest.

samos the sage

Samos the Sage
Master of green eco (which apparently has something to do with the environment)

Are these characters starting to look  A LOT like the ones in the first video yet?
Also, check out the inside of that cabin: porthole windows, slanty shelves the works.

OK

Obviously this is a super coincidence resulting from the fact that all island-themed 3D animation, draws on the same design ideas. (It’s not like Donkey Kong Country the TV show didn’t look like this too) But I enjoyed these games so much as a kid that any excuse to talk about them is definitely good enough for me.

Haha look- same characters again! Old Sage Buff Adventure Type Whiny Short Sidekick Hot Chick in a crop top Bonus here for the addition of the mustache character

Haha look- same characters again!
Old Sage
Buff Adventure Type
Whiny Short Sidekick
Hot Chick in a crop top
Bonus here for the addition of the mustache character

Anyway, here is the intro for the first game. It starts at about 29 seconds in.
Also don’t worry, that hideous red-haired child turns into a much less (but still very) annoying ottsel within seconds, so you don’t have to put up with him for long.

Don’t forget to listen for that similar island music!

Anyway, high hopes for the show. High hopes that somebody will FINALLY talk to me about the Jak trilogy.

P.S.: I just discovered that there is actually another non-racing game in the Jak series that came out in 2009. I didn’t find out about it because it’s not promoted by Naughty Dog. They only served as co-developers, with High Impact Games as the main developer.

  

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