As some of you may know, over the weekend there was an incident where one of our users decided it would be a good idea to use series creator Swampy Marsh's name to "verify" information that was simply his fan theories and ideas. For more information on the situation and what we're going to be doing to help protect the privacy of the series creators, check out RRabbit42's article below.
As you probably guessed, this is a very serious violation of trust. In order to get the best information possible, we trust our users to make truthful edits and not pretend to be other people for their own amusement or gain. Without a basic level of trust, we start questioning everything on the wiki and our jobs become even more difficult.
One of the rules of the web is that if you wouldn't do it in person, you shouldn't do it online. This means that things like lying and cheating are off-limits. Just because your name and face aren't directly associated with your username publicly, that doesn't mean you are completely anonymous.
There are plenty of ways for people to find out information about you. This is why it's very important to stay safe and smart online. Don't give out your personal information like your full name, age, school, hometown, etc. If you haven't already watched it, please check out "Common Sense with Phineas and Ferb" and our User page policy for more tips.
Odd 'n' ends
With the increase in traffic lately, edit counts are way up. To help, you can make sure you're using the preview button and not making extra edits when one edit will do. (Peer pressure goes a long way on this.)
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We have added information to the Create a Blog page to better explain the do's and don'ts.
We are still looking for feedback about all of the new "Unnamed" character pages here.
They may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but we have a few policies that need approval. One of them is the long-promised policy on videos. Check the Policy candidate listings for more details. Please look them over and cast your votes. Don't let them get implemented by default.
Ever since it was discovered in the early 1990s that more children could recognize Super Mario than Mickey Mouse, Disney and Nintendo have been frequently linked, which is perhaps appropriate given that both entertainment giants have their own recognizable stable of stars and franchises that many young and old have fond memories of. Many gamers of my generation vividly recall the now-classic Nintendo games made by developers such as Capcom which featured Disney characters under license. Nowadays, Disney themselves have thrown their mouse ears in the video game ring, manufacturing a number of games featuring familiar Disney characters as well as a number of games for the Nintendo DS featuring Disney Channel shows. So it's no surprise that Phineas and Ferb have shown up in a Nintendo DS game from Disney Interactive Studios called- not surprisingly- Disney Phineas and Ferb, which was originally released last year. With a sequel on the horizon, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the original game and see how it fares.
In the game, you control Phineas and Ferb as you help them go through an ordinary day. But, of course, an ordinary day for this duo is anything but- their idea of an "ordinary day" is collecting the pieces they need for their projects, be it a roller coaster, snowboard course, monster truck, or water slide, while trying to make sure their antics don't raise Candace's suspicion. Both brothers have special skills- Phineas is able to root through piles of junk for helpful scraps, while Ferb is able to use some of those said scraps to repair rusty gates or broken objects to help open new areas of the levels. The two can also team up in order to climb ladders and cross ropeways.
Gameplay is very straightforward: Phineas and Ferb make their way through the level searching for the parts and blueprints they need. Along the way, they'll find a few minigames which will help them open new parts of the level. These include everything from pounding nails in the right order to sawing a log to blowing into a fan. Both the main game and the minigames make nice use of the DS's signature stylus and microphone features. But as they continue to search and do things, Candace's "busted bar" gets higher. If it fills up, they'll have to outrun her in a Pac-Man style maze game where they have to collect all the screws scattered throughout the maze without running into her. Some items you find, such as cake and invisibility potion, will allow you to help calm Candace down or do actions without her noticing, respectively.
Once Phineas and Ferb have found all the parts they need, it's back to the backyard to put their new invention together for a test drive. As they go through their obstacle course, you'll have to collect a certain number of stars to open the next level. You can also go back and upgrade the ride to open more paths and twists which can send their ride under the water, through a hole to China, and even into outer space, where Agent P will help them shave some seconds off their time- which is helpful, as you need to beat the clock three times as well as find all the stars hidden on the course to complete it 100%. Although a fun diversion, I didn't really enjoy these parts of the game as much as the main exploration portions.
The game was developed for Disney by a Japanese company called Altron, by my understanding without the knowledge or participation of the show's creative team, which you can tell from the fact that the game features a soundalike version of the show's theme song rather than the geniune article (presumably to avoid paying royalties) and features no voice-overs other than some appropriate stock clips of familiar lines such as Phineas's "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today," Isabella's "What'cha doin'" and Perry's growl (which is subtitled as "gyururu," an onomatopoeia which definitely shows that the game was made in Japan). Given the fact that the game is intended for children rather than the more general audience of the series it's based on (despite how some people interpret the film rating, "general audiences" is definitely not a synonym for "kids-only" as Phineas and Ferb proves), some of the more nuanced aspects of the series are also lost in translation, such as the witty dialogue and clever jokes. For example, in the final face-off where you control Agent P, Dr. Doofenshmirtz becomes more of a stereotypical video game end-boss bent on eradicating the player character rather than the well-developed clumsy would-be "villain" he actually is. Despite these setbacks, Altron was still able to capture the quirky and fun spirit of the show by including bright graphics which frequently utilize the familiar triangle background motif as well as cameo appearances by recognizable imagery such as the infamous Giant floating baby head and brief optional conversations with familiar supporting characters that remain in-character if not laugh-out-loud funny. The story is advanced through cutscenes which are adapted from actual moments from the episodes the levels are based upon. The characters are rendered in three dimensions and for the most part don't look half bad that way (although sometimes Phineas is shown at an angle that makes him look like he only has one eye, which looks a little odd). The sound effects are appropriately cartoonish and the music is fitting, though nothing to write home about (except the very catchy winterish theme in the S'Winter levels, which humorously enough reminds me a little of the theme song of rival TV series iCarly).
A few quirks and tips I noticed: you can send Candace's busted bar all the way back down to 0 by exiting the level entirely and making your way back to the backyard. However, doing so also resets all of the scrap piles in the level (which is helpful if you need more scraps, but isn't really necessary). In each level, you'll find a number of workshops which will allow you to construct upgrades such as spring shoes which will allow you to go to parts of the level you couldn't before. These workshops will also allow you to build the pieces for your current project, though I suggest waiting until you go back to the "Summer Fun" area of your backyard once you've got everything you need before you do this, since building those parts in the level itself really doesn't do anything. For example, there is only one soapbox racer part you need to build the rollercoaster in the entire game, and if you build it in one of the in-level workshops rather than in Summer Fun, you'll not only have nothing to show for it, but no other way to get another soapbox racer.
Phineas and Ferb's first foray into the world of video games is by no means an epic, but it's not a bad game, either. I can't think of a better way to adapt Phineas and Ferb into a video game- unlike most video game heroes, Phineas and Ferb would never injure small creatures (no matter how evil or mindless), nor are they on a quest to save a princess or what have you. For them, it's all about exploration and having fun, and this game captures that perfectly. Much as one of their own projects might be, it's a fun diversion that's sure to make you smile for a few hours. Children, fans of the series, and casual gamers- or even older gamers who cut their teeth on platformers but haven't really advanced forward with the technology- will probably find it the most fun. I'm sure we'll get more of the same when Phineas and Ferb Ride Again next month. Until then, may all your troubles get zapped.
A preview of the gameplay can be watched on YouTube.
Bi-Weekly Top 5
as voted on by the members of the wiki
Poll #19: Who was your favorite guest star in Season 1?
Voting dropped off quite a bit from last time, so either we didn't pick a very interesting subject or there were too many choices. Or maybe it was because everyone was getting mentally prepared for going back to school. Oh, wait. That's Baljeet, and he pretty much doesn't stop thinking about school even when he is on summer vacation.
Largest total number of votes:
1. Brenda Song as Wendy. — 48 votes.
2. Billy Ray Cyrus as Buck Buckerson. — 30 votes.
3. Evander Holyfield as himself. — 14 votes. ("Raging Bully")
4. Diedrich Bader as Vance Ward. — 13 votes.
5. Clancy Brown as the Sergeant. — 10 votes.
With all the new Phineas and Ferb merchandise now available for sale with many more to come, our Merchandise page is going to be replaced with a portal similar to the one we have for our Community Portal. You can see the beginning stages of the Merchandise Portal here. At the moment, it redirects to the sandbox where it's being worked on, but after it's finished, it will be moved to its final location.
Recent Changes Patrol update
To keep up with all the edits that are made every day and to be ready for new features that Wikia adds periodically, we're going to try Dividing up the Recent Changes Patrol. If we get enough people to check specific areas that they're interested in on a regular basis, then it becomes easier for everyone to make sure problems on the wiki are fixed, rather than having to go through a process of catch-up every month.
Last issue, the spotlight was on back to school items. This review continues that theme with some clothing that you would be proud to wear at school and anywhere else.
You don't have to be near a Disney Store any longer to find Phineas and Ferb t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and more. Back in July, I saw three shirts in the kids clothing area at a Fred Meyer store. At the time I thought it was great that non-Disney stores were finally starting to get some shirts. I planned to come back later and buy them because I hadn't seen those designs before, but by the time I made it back to that store a few weeks later, they had sold out and hadn't got any new shirts in.
Double-teaming with a no-nonsense attitude
That illustrates something that I didn't know would be a problem. Some of the Phineas and Ferb merchandise is going to be available for sale for a short period of time. I had already seen that happen with the first round of talking stuffed Perrys from the Disney Store not being sold any more, but it didn't sink in until those shirts were gone.
On a shopping trip at Walmart, I found the next round of P&F shirts, including the first one I had seen in an adult size: Agent P's visage staring back at you. Match it up with your very own Agent P face baseball cap and you're sure to strike fear into the hearts of maniacal evil scientists all across the Tri-State Area. The shirt is also available in children's sizes, and each was reasonably priced: $7.00 for the shirts ($7.50 for the one in the adult 2X size) and $10.00 for the cap. The second shirt has some glitter in the Phineas and Ferb logo and it's designed to look like a comic book cover.
A similar Agent P face shirt is also sold by the Disney Store. It's an organic shirt that's a little more of a teal color than this blue one and sells for $12.50. At the moment though, it's not available, so you might have to go into a Disney Store retail location to find it. You can learn more organic shirts at Track My T.
Disney is starting to offer shirts for adults. The first two above are from the Disney Store and are also in their organic shirt line, at $16.50 each. You really can't see it in the picture because the black text doesn't have enough contrast to the gray shirt, but the middle one says "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor". Hot Topic sells the third shirt for $22.00, as well as several others for men, women and kids. Each of these three shirts are a "distressed" style, which makes it look like it's already worn out a bit. Is this a hot trend for adult t-shirts?
Our final items for this review are jewelry/ornamentations rather than clothing.
The Disney Store I visited last month had some "Zipper Clips" which, as the name says, clip onto zippers. Phineas, Ferb, Agent P and his Perry alter-ego can be dangling off the end of your coat for $5.50. They are amongst the items that haven't been added to the Disney Store website yet, but if you go to that site, you'll see some items that aren't in the stores yet (such as more t-shirts than what are featured in this review), so it evens out.
But if Zipper Clips aren't your thing, maybe rubber bands are. I'm told that elastic wrist bands are very popular right now. These are a little different than the "Silly Bandz" that were found earlier by some other members of our wiki. The ones I bought are made by H.E.R. Accessories and are sold at Toys R Us. Six different shapes in six different colors. Package of 24 for $4.99.
And now you're ready to go back to school in style. Next time, I will have a review on Ferb-tacular update on a classic game.
As always, if any of you buy a Phineas and Ferb item and would like to review it, feel free. We'd love to see more reviews from other people.
Some of you may know that the word "fan" is short for "fanatic". People that are enthusiastic about a subject, movie, person or anything else. We're fans of Phineas and Ferb. It's why we're building a wiki about it and it's why you're reading this newsletter.
Being a fan is great. Sometimes you get to meet or talk with the people that make the show. You talk about it with your friends. Other times you support the show by buying merchandise. There's instances where the people that make the show earn more from merchandise sales than they do from the show itself. Merchandise sales also reinforce TV ratings which are used to determine how long a show runs.
Topher already discussed in his "Crat Corner" what happens when being a fan is taken too far. This may be an extreme example of that kind of situation, but it does show what happens when you take things too far.
However, there are other ways that things can get out of hand. I have been going through just about all of the edits that have been made during the last two months to get the Recent Changes Patrol caught up. I see that people are focusing on some really small details. Not to make fun of the person that added it, but one example that highlights this was the statement that "this proves Phineas and Ferb are meat eaters".
Another has been the "near death experiences". Besides not being accurate for what a near death experience is, the people that have been adding them are going against the spirit of the show. Phineas and Ferb are positive and do helpful and fun things. Listing each time they might have been hurt displays a negative attitude.
These are the kind of things that make me think we may be going too far in-depth. There's a difference between catching an animation goof or seeing some neat reference to another episode and recording every detail of a character's actions.
It may be time to start asking questions like "is this really significant?" and "does this reveal an important aspect of the character?" before it's added. Without questions like this, the pages can get flooded with trivia items that are very trivial in nature.
One of the projects for the wiki will be to look at the Background Information and Continuity sections to see if we're going overboard in those areas. Background Information was originally intended for production information like the broadcast date, but has grown to include what might be better listed as Trivia. We should probably split Background Information into a "Production Information" section and figure out how to handle the rest.
There is another area where we're going overboard. Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh have been kind enough to stop by a few times and give us information and answer our questions. A few questions here and there are not so bad. But when it reaches a point where a few fans are asking a lot of questions or a lot of fans ask a few questions each, it can overwhelm a person.
We've reached that point. Swampy has said he has to cut back on answering questions. Everyone means well and wants to experience what it's like to get a personal answer. But the reality is that Dan and Swampy's main job is to make new episodes. Talking to us has to be secondary. It won't go away because they know that some of the most popular shows became popular not by TV viewer ratings, but by creator/fan interaction. It just has to be scaled back.
Let's give Dan and Swampy some room to breathe and to concentrate on making the new episodes we want to see. Here's how we're going to do it.
Please do not leave any more questions for Dan or Swampy on their talk pages. I have set up a forum where you can ask your questions about the show. This will be a central point that everyone can go to for show-related questions. If you happen to know the answer to a question, you can provide it. Dan and/or Swampy will stop in as they can.
For anyone that had previously e-mailed questions to Dan or Swampy, please do not send any more that way. Use the forum for your questions.
If you haven't received an answer yet to a question you've asked, understand that they are busy and may be working on new episodes. There may also be instances where they can't give an answer because it would be a spoiler for an episode that will be coming up.
Any time you do talk with them, be it at an event like Comic-Con or via any other means, be polite. They are being courteous by talking to us. Return the favor and show them respect.
If we can do these four things, then everybody benefits. The wiki continues to grow, we get to continue having the privilege of the show creators stopping by, and we get to enjoy new episodes.
Coming in two weeks:
Results of the next Bi-Weekly Top 5
Hands-on with the new merchandise, part ten
Retro Reviews or a review of a new episode
Updates on the policies that are being voted on now