It was a bit of a lack of foresight. I mean, how can I even begin a Code Lyoko month without even talking about the show in the first place? I am pretty sure that only half of the people reading this know what I am talking about.
So, for the Code Lyoko ignorant, I am going to quickly go through the main ideas, concepts and plots surrounding the show. Off we go!
Code Lyoko is an animated French TV show that originally aired from 2003 to around 2007. The show is divided into 4 seasons, each with about 30 or so episodes, with a grand total of 123 episodes. In a sentence, it's about a bunch of approaching-HS-age-kids entering a virtual world and fighting back a malevolent computer program that's trying to destroy the world; we'll get on the specifics later. The episodes usually are broken into four parts:
1. Slice of life section, characterizing main protagonists and school life
2. Problem arises, either from school or from the malevolent computer program
3. Protagonists go to virtual world and stop the villain
4. Resolution of problem, both in school and against antagonist.
Kinda like old power ranger episodes, come to think of it!
Graphically, the show uses both 2D and 3D animation for the school and virtual world. The musical score is mostly comprised of digital tunes and traditional instrument soundtracks (ie. flute, guitar, some string instruments)
The show was well received and has some awards. There's going to be a 5th season, and it most likely a continuation of the story rather than a remake (I don't know yet).
Plot, story, and so on
OK, now on to the story in detail, because from what I see the games don't set up the plot very well. As I've stated earlier, it's about five kids (well, four, actually. One observes the action all the time) entering the virtual world known as Lyoko to stop the aforementioned program called XANA. To wreak havoc upon the world, or at least around France, XANA has to activate a tower on Lyoko. Once that happens, XANA can enter the real world and do his thing. Once the protagonists find out what XANA is up to (they have a program to detect this), they enter an abandoned factory and enter large, cylindrical scanners. To get XANA away from the real world, one character, Aelita, must enter the tower that was activating it. Once inside she (Aelita) can deactivate it by entering the words "Code Lyoko" and stop XANA. To stop the kids in Lyoko, XANA creates monsters that can attack and deduct life points off of the characters. Once a kid has no life points, he or she gets sent back to the real world and reappear in human form inside the scanners.
Code Lyoko has many sectors, but for the purpose of preparing for the Lyoko the games show, just keep in mind there are five main regions:
1. Forest 2. Mountain 3. Ice 4. Desert 5. The central hub region for Lyoko known as Sector 5 or Carthage
Each region is surrounded by a body of water known as the Digital Sea. Originally the protagonists avoid the area but later on they build a digital submarine to explore it. On a further note, XANA eventually builds mini Lyoko worlds on its own so it can access the real world from there. These worlds are known as replikas, and they are accessed by the digital submarine known as the Skidbladnir (or Skid, for short).
Away from Lyoko, all the characters study in Kadic Academy, a boarding school located in a French suburb. There are some extra tidbits of course from the school life but it's more appropriate to put those trends in the characters section, which leads us to-
Other people can go on and on about each character but here's the lowdown:
Jeremy is the brains of the group. He is the one who doesn't fight in Lyoko, so he is the one who watches the actions, observing the flow and guiding his friends. He is also responsible for other major projects such as upgrading weapons and building vehicles for his friends in Lyoko, and keeping any computer bugs at bay. He is the primary techie, inventor, and strategist for the team. His main subplot has to do with his romancing with Aelita.
Odd is the life of the party and the jokester. Unfortunately I have very little to say about him other than his penchant for getting in trouble due to his exuberance or his going out with countless girls. On Lyoko, he has a purple cat costume. WIth it he is capable of climbing walls and other vertical terrain. His main weapon involves laser arrows, though you look closely he's just firing arrow heads and that doesn't count. However, the first Code Lyoko game does have him use purple grenades. His main vehicle is the Overboard aka hover-board.
Ulrich is the silent, introverted dude of the group. On Lyoko, he has a samurai outfit. His main weapon is the katana, though later on he gets two of them. His abilities include super speed and cloning himself up to 3 times. He can merge both abilities for "Triangulate": Running around an enemy at mach speed with his clones and attacking from a blind side. His main vehicle is the Overwheel, a one-wheeled motorbike thingy. In school, his main subplot is his rocky romance with Yumi, another protagonist, hence creating the majority of the romantic tension in the show. He also has to fight off the romantic advances from girls outside the group.
Yumi is the oldest of the bunch. It's not easy to call her the most mature, especially once one sees her fighting with Ulrich or how she handles her relationship with him. However, beyond that, she does seem kind-hearted and easygoing. On Lyoko, she has a geisha outfit, though later on it is replaced with an all-black ninja-esque attire. Her main weapon is a pair of sharp fans that has boomerang, return to sender properties. She also uses telekinesis, though it takes a lot of her concentration. Her main vehicle is the Overwing, a hover scooter.
Aelita is origninally a Lyoko native, having been taken there by her father, the creator of Lyoko. Like Jeremy she is extremely smart and witty, though she also has bouts of immaturity or naiveté. Her original abilities is simply entering a tower and deactivating it. However, she eventually can use energy fields (ie. energy balls) to defeat monsters. She can also create large slabs of ice, stone or other materials for traversing areas or creating large barriers. Her main mode of transportation is the Overwing, though she has also shown prowess with the Overboard, and eventually a pair of built-in wings. She is a secondary techie to the team and Jeremy's love interest.
XANA is the main villain of the show. The computer program's main power is kind of ambiguous, though it looks like control of electronic appliances and/or living beings seem to be the most noticeable things XANA can do. However, there are times when it does things like remove gravity and sink Kadic downwards like an earthquake. Exactly why the computer doesn't just control a guy with a legit weapon like a butcher knife (gun laws are strict in France), get him/her to a factory and knife up the kids is anyone's guess, however.
William is a later character who tries to pursue Yumi, hence putting him in conflict with Ulrich. He comes off as a cunning, exuberant dude but overall has a heart of gold. He shows his worth one time by disabling bombs in the factory planted by XANA, but it takes a while before he gets accepted into the Lyoko circle and begin fighting in the virtual world. However, on his first mission he gets controlled by Xana, and he is now XANA's main henchmen for a good long time. He has a large sword that can cause tons of damage, and can dissolve himself into a gas and move about that way. He rides around a black manta but also has a mini-ship for the Digital Sea called the Rorkal.
Unfortunately, this article is already getting too long, so I am going to end it here. The next blog will talk about my recollection and re-evaluation of the first Code Lyoko game. Hope to see you soon!
RC aka C