Last month, I wrote an article on the ReBoot reboot and complained that, with the exception of Megabyte, none of the original characters seemed like they would return. Turns out they will come back for the reboot, but don’t celebrate just yet.
Not too long ago, the website for ReBoot: The Guardian Code was updated with several episode summaries. One in particular, “Mainframe Mayhem, ” stands out.
Megabyte goes into Mainframe to convince his sister Hexadecimal to join forces with him. With Trey away at a basketball game, Vector, Enigma and Googz investigate and encounter original ReBoot characters Bob, Dot, and Enzo, in Mainframe. Parker tries to take his interest in Vera to the next level only to be crushed when Trey makes plans with her first.
Looks like all of the original show’s main characters will return for the reboot. Granted, side characters such as Mouse and Phong are absent, but maybe these legacy characters can turn the show around. After all, the picture of Hexadecimal featured on the characters page actually looks kinda terrifying.
Unlike Megabyte, Hex looks like an upgraded version of her original self and is exactly what I wanted from this show. While the official site doesn’t include any pictures of Bob, Dot, or Enzo, the fan site ReBoot Revival posted some leaked images earlier today. Let’s look at them, shall we?
These look terrible. Granted, the original show’s character models aren’t great (by modern standards, at least), but as I stated in my previous article, the animators used the limitations of 90s CG technology to create characters who looked as if they jumped out of a PlayStation FMV, which gave them an odd charm. These new models are all plastic and shiny, and their faces only superficially resemble the original characters. They look like prototype models that were never finalized.
The problems with the characters don’t end there, though. The new models of Bob, Dot, and Enzo commit the cardinal sin of CG animation: they lack cohesion. Compare them to the more “realistic” models of Megabyte and the human Guardians; the new character models do not look as if they are from the same show. Hexadecimal received a visual upgrade that helps her fit in with the new aesthetic, whereas Bob, Dot, and Enzo were seemingly downgraded and look out of place in the reboot. That is not how you’re supposed to treat legacy characters.
And now we get to the final problem with the legacy characters. Longtime ReBoot fans will no doubt notice the characters wear their Season One outfits, which implies The Guardian Code either takes place during that season or is indeed a reboot. However, Hexadecimal’s bio contradicts this:
A legacy character from the original ReBoot series, Hexadecimal is the Queen of Chaos, the Maven of Mayhem. Borderline artificially intelligent, she is intent on disrupting systems purely for her own twisted amusement. An unpredictable wild card, Hex has sided with the Guardians in the past, but she can’t be trusted.
Intrigued by the vastness of cyberspace and the new breed of Guardians, she senses an opportunity to spread her wings and let her scary, crazy impulses loose. She is unafraid of Megabyte and enjoys challenging him or aligning herself with him, depending on the circumstances and her mood. Hexadecimal possesses the power to manipulate energy and flings Fire Balls.
These blurbs state in no uncertain terms Hex in The Guardian Code has worked with Bob before, which she never did in Season One of the original series. This implies The Guardian Code is a continuation of the original show and not a reboot. However, longtime fans also remember Hexadecimal heroically sacrificed her own life halfway through ReBoot Season Four to save Mainframe and the Internet from a virus that would have wiped out literally everything, which only further compounds the contradictions.
Bob, Dot, Enzo, and Hexadecimal are included so haphazardly they reveal the reboot for what it is: an attempt to capitalize on nostalgia without understanding what made ReBoot a great show. If ReBoot: The Guardian Code were a straight up reboot that tried to separate itself from the original show, I could have forgiven the showrunners for misusing the original series’ title to create a sub-standard show. However, the inclusion of the original characters bring the reboot down, because from what I’ve seen, they’re nothing more than a poorly implemented and cloying attempt to gather more viewers, which only ends up confusing the show’s narrative. Prove me wrong, Mainframe Studios, prove me wrong.