The Alternates Episode #8 Recap: “Big Ship on the Ocean”

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
mistergone
mistergone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 40 min ago
Joined: Jan 14, 2015
The Alternates Episode #8 Recap: “Big Ship on the Ocean”

Here's a recap of the latest session of my Sentinels RPG campaign "The Alternates"! As per usual, there's a narrative recap (written as if it was in-metaverse) and then I go over the actual running of the game, and any lessons I learned as the GM.

If you're lost, you can catch up with the previous Game Recaps: Game 1Game 2Game 3Game 4Game 5Game 6, Game 7

The Alternates Episode #8 Recap:
“Big Ship on the Ocean”

By Eddie Jaczerkowski

This week, I’ll recap the second episode in a row that shows the comedic side of “The Alternates,” this time entitled “Big Ship on the Ocean.” As always, spoilers for this episode abound, but no spoilers for the future!

Episode Recap

For the first time in this show’s run, the episode picks up right where the last left off! There’s no flashback, no vignette, just the scene of the bank’s windows blowing out as a deep, dubstep bassline plays.

The Alternates (plus the West Coast Guardians of Freedom probationary member, New Wave) rush toward the bank’s front doors. As New Wave told us last episode, she suspects that the individual behind this robbery is her older brother, who goes by DJ Doctor Dancefloor.

As the heroes cross into the bank, they are subjected to the deafening beats of Reel 2 Real’s hit song, “I Like to Move It.” The starting hook of the song plays as the scene pans through the bank’s lobby, and the song continues throughout the ensuing fight scene.

The scene is odd, but also haunting. The bank has about two dozen bystanders who are all twitching and jerking in time to the beat of the song, like poorly-worked marionettes. From this, it’s clear that DJ Doctor Dancefloor’s substantial control of sound waves isn’t limited to breaking windows or making loud noises, but rather the “Doctor” can somehow use sound waves to actually control the minds of his victims.

The heroes are clearly affected by this as well - they involuntarily twitch and grimace with each beat of the soundtrack. They make their way forward, but struggle against the effects of DJ Doctor Dancefloor’s powers.

Behind the teller windows, on the other side of the bank, the heroes spot the lavishly-dressed DJ Doctor Dancefloor. He wears a wide-brimmed white hat and a loose-fitting white suit. We can also see visual representations of the sound waves emanating from his outstretched hands.

With him, both in the lobby and behind the teller windows, are about a dozen minions. Some of them carry shotguns and pistols, but others carry some sort of sonic gun, each with a black cone around its thin barrel.

The gunmen all sway in time to the beat, possibly making them immune to the deleterious effects of the music.

Over the din of the music, DJ Doctor Dancefloor introduces himself, and then introduces his gang. First up is Electroclash, a rail-thin woman in a black vinyl uniform decorated with lightning bolts, who has some minor electricity-wielding powers. Next is Acid Trance, a woman in a lime green jumpsuit with bell bottoms, who has acid dripping from her fingers. Last is Power Noise,  a man who is dressed kind of like a glam metal reject, who has super-strength.

The fight breaks out quickly, as DJ Doctor Dancefloor turns up the volume and bombards the heroes with sonic waves. First, Power Noise goes right for Quasar Kid, and the two start to duke it out. Electroclash stands at the back of the bank, zapping Dr. Comet with small lightning bolts. Acid Trance stands close to DJ Doctor Dancefloor as Cytoblast charges toward the villain.

The middle part of the episode is a lot of action and fighting, so please excuse me if I don’t give a precise blow by blow. It’s a visual medium! You should definitely watch the episode!

In general, one would think a fight against a guy who calls himself a DJ and manipulates sound wouldn’t be that tough. But DJ Doctor Dancefloor can manipulate sound waves in incredible ways, and he both blasts the heroes and disorients them throughout the fight. His gang members are no slouches, either - although their powers are clearly not top-tier, they work together and make the most of their abilities.

Kid Radical, who seems to be getting a little frustrated during the early moments of the fight, stops mid-skateboard trick and chews out DJ Doctor Dancefloor. “You stupid, stupid man,” he says. “You have these powers and you rob a bank? Actual DJs get paid way more money for way less work!

Cytoblast closes in on DJ Doctor Dancefloor, knocking his underlings out of the way on his approach. But as the gang members attack the Alternates, Cytoblast turns his attention to defending his friends from harm. Meanwhile, Dr. Comet and Jersey Devil try to fight the various enemies, but are constantly disrupted by their limbs uncontrollably flailing, or the dazing effects of the sonic guns used by the minions. Quasar Kid is struggling with Power Noise, as the two grapple with each other near the bank entrance.

During this struggle, Jersey Devil notices several of the bystanders are endangered by their uncontrolled actions. He teleports one civilian away before the victim dances himself off a balcony, and he saves another before she stumbles unwittingly into a small fire. Even though we see this clearly human and heroic side of Jersey Devil, we are also treated to his monstrous side when he turns into a shadowy mass of tendrils and smoke and overwhelms some of the enemies.

Finally, the Alternates turn the tide, knocking out the cohort of enemies who are carrying the various guns. Without the distractions, they focus on DJ Doctor Dancefloor and his lieutenants. Kid Radical and Jersey Devil help get Power Noise off of Quasar Kid, and Quasar Kid knocks Power Noise out with a mighty punch. During this part of the fight, Kid Radical also insults the villains, criticizing how their costumes don't match thematically.

Then, DJ Doctor Dancefloor shouts, “Everybody get down,” and, as his lieutenants duck, he unleashes a massive wave of sound across the room. This seems to hit Quasar Kid especially hard - he’d been ignoring the disorienting effects of the sound as best he could, but all in one moment, it all came crashing down on him.

The scene focuses on Quasar Kid, who is obviously very dazed and badly hurt. The room spins, from his perspective, and the view cuts to show his face, where glowing green blood drips down from his nose. He closes his eyes and shakes off the stunning effects as best as he can. Then, in a rush, he crosses the room to DJ Doctor Dancefloor and unleashes a devastating “Mass Driver” punch on the villain. Clearly not expecting it, DJ Doctor Dancefloor’s head twists around, and his body soon follows. Quasar Kid exclaims, “Move that!

DJ Doctor Dancefloor staggers to the back wall of the bank, as Acid Trance intercedes herself between Quasar Kid and DJ Doctor Dancefloor. Suddenly, DJ Doctor Dancefloor vibrates his whole body, and with a clap of thunder, he moves at the speed of sound into the bank’s vault.

Quasar Kid knocks out Acid Trance, and Electroclash, taking stock of the situation, flees out the front door of the bank. Dr. Comet rescues one final bystander, who is hanging from a chandelier (somehow) by unleashing an ice storm that creates a platform under the victim We see a flash of the demonic entity that gives her powers, however, as she carelessly hits Kid Radical with some of the ice as well.

With the fight seemingly over, the heroes run into the vault. They find it empty, and mostly undisturbed, aside from one safety deposit box which lies open on a table in the center of the vault. The heroes investigate, and they find an odd piece of technology in the safety deposit box.

The team discusses the device - Cytoblast notices the deposit box seemed to have several items, and posits that DJ Doctor Dancefloor took the rest. Dr. Comet deduces that it has no internal power source, so she assumes that it’s actually just a component that would be added to another device. Kid Radical, with his experience with gadgets, says the device is something like a logic device for a robot or other machine. The device itself looks kind of like it was decades ago, even though it’s an advanced technology.

Before they can talk about it much more, New Wave (who spent the fight ineffectively trying to hit enemies with sound waves) walks into the vault and tells the heroes that the West Coast Guardians are asking for her to go help them with the sea serpent (that we saw last episode, attacking the Golden Gate Bridge).

Kid Radical pulls out a form and starts writing on it hurriedly, then hands it to a bank manager, explaining it’s a receipt for evidence (because they’re taking the device with them). The bank manager, confused, says, “Was… was he the police?”

As the Alternates (and New Wave) move to exit the bank, police swarm into the building, coming to the aid of the bystanders and employees. The police raise eyebrows at the exiting costumed heroes, and Quasar Kid gives them a smile and a salute (a green bloodstain still under his nose).

With that, the credits roll, under the song “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool.

Final Thoughts

Well, DJ Doctor Dancefloor certainly has a silly name and a ridiculous costume (and his gang was equally hilarious), but he also had a dangerous and powerful power set. This whole episode really gives us a new frame of the Alternates as a cohesive (if somewhat dysfunctional) superhero team (although they don’t call themselves “The Alternates”). They’ve hinted that they’ve considered themselves a team since the Oblivaeon Crisis (which ended a year ago, in the story), but they haven’t yet had a chance to… y’know, fight evil.

Really, this is the first time in 8 episodes of the show that we’ve actually seen “The Alternates,” the eponymous superhero team. And it was very cool!

So, what’s the device in the bank vault? Why did DJ Doctor Dancefloor want it? How did DJ Doctor Dancefloor escape the bank vault? Obviously, that would be spoilers! You’ll have to find out later!

Some nerdy notes:
- The credits song, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” is the “Old School Reunion Remix `96,” which features Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh.
- “Acid Trance,” “Electroclash,” and “Power Noise” are all types of techno music.
- Apparently, DJ Doctor Dancefloor’s powers include moving at the speed of sound.
- “Big Ship On the Ocean,” the title of the episode, is also a lyric from “I Like to Move It,” the song that plays throughout part of the fight. I’ll admit, I didn’t know any of the lyrics to that song (aside from the “I like to move it” part), but here’s the lyric in question:

Woman, ya nice, sweet, fantastic
Big ship on the ocean, that’s a big Titanic

    
So that’s where the episode’s title comes from!

That's all for now! Join me next week for Episode #9, “A Word from Our Sponsor”! Until then!

Eddie Jaczerkowski is a staff writer who loves comic books and writes about television.

Running the Game!

Just a good old-fashioned bank robbery turned superhero fight! This episode was mostly the combat, which I tuned up to "Kinda Difficult" because, well, the irony of "DJ Doctor Dancefloor" being a hard fight really entertained me! He is a Dampening Inhibitor Villain, and with some Minions and Lieutenants who were throwing out Hinders, he was soooo annoying (and simultaneously brutal). When he finally unleashed his "Deal Damage to each Hero equal to their penalties, then heal that much and remove those penalties," he almost took out Quasar Kid (who has an Ability that ignores penalties, so he had stocked up several by this point) and he healed himself to full. Unfortunately, without Minions, and with the team comboing with Quasar Kid to deal 60-some damage in one hit, DJ Doctor Dancefloor was knocked out in one big hit.

(If you're curious, it was Finishing Blow that KOed DJ Doctor Dancefloor. The team all piled penalties on DJ Doctor Dancefloor, then Quasar Kid invoked "Remove any number of penalties from the target. Add your Min die to the Attack each time you remove a penalty.", and I think his Min die, boosted, was a 7 or 8 (times 4). Red Abilities are very powerful! Especially with teamwork!)

Sadly, I'm still not back to 100% heallth so I haven't been sketching. But coincidentally, my 8 year-old daughter decided to draw a picture for my Sentinels game on her easel (after she drew a picture for my D&D game the other night), so we do have a drawing this week!

That's Legacy in the center, Starshadow on the right, Tachyon below him, and then Kid Radical on the far left, and Cytoblast next to him. "Setnals" is how she decided to spell "Sentinels," so... we gotta work on that. I'm somewhat surprised she didn't include her favorite character, Tempest, which is her go-to character when we play the card game.

Thanks for reading! See you next week!


I live to meet expectations!
 

Edited by: mistergone on Mar 12 2020 - 9:52pm
megabee
megabee's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 16 hours ago
Joined: Dec 13, 2013

I should've taken a picture of that pile of penalties, because that health drain took Quasar Kid down to two health. That fight was intense!


PC: Quasar Kid of the Freedom Legion (31st century) and the Alternates (21st century)

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 14 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

I love the ridiculous music-themed villains. XD What a great fight!

Quote:
It’s a visual medium! You should definitely watch the episode!

Hook us up with a Youtube rip or something! :V

megabee
megabee's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 16 hours ago
Joined: Dec 13, 2013

TakeWalker wrote:
I love the ridiculous music-themed villains. XD What a great fight!

Quote:

It’s a visual medium! You should definitely watch the episode!

Hook us up with a Youtube rip or something! :V

You mean a WeView rip?


PC: Quasar Kid of the Freedom Legion (31st century) and the Alternates (21st century)

TakeWalker
TakeWalker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 14 min ago
Playtester
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

Curses! I'm in the wrong universe! XD

Godai
Godai's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 12 min ago
Joined: Feb 01, 2016

TakeWalker wrote:
Curses! I'm in the wrong universe! XD

That sucks! Siri, play All Star.