Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The setting, which is likely inspired by the Disney film Tron, is in the inner world of a computer system known by its inhabitants as Mainframe. Mainframe is divided into six sections: moving clockwise, Baudway, Kits, Floating Point Park, Beverly Hills, Wall Street, and Ghetty Prime. Mainframe is populated almost entirely by binomes, little creatures that represent either 1's or 0's, as well as a handful of Sprites who are primarily humanoid creatures of more complex design and are the main characters of the series. ReBoot is considered by many as one of the greatest cartoons ever. One poll by Cartoon Network asked, "What is your favourite Toonami show of all time?" ReBoot garnered 49% of votes.
Since 2001, many of the show's fans have carried out a movement with the hope of convincing Mainframe Entertainment to produce more ReBoot episodes. These efforts have been unsuccessful up to this point, possibly due to the lack of support from the Cartoon Network.
The main characters are:
- Bob: Guardian 452 and defender of Mainframe from both internal and external threats. He is equipped with a Guardian Keytool, Glitch, which can transform into any device with a voice command. Bob is often criticised by other Guardians for his unorthodox views regarding to viruses: Unlike other Guardians, who believe that viruses should simply be deleted on sight, Bob theorizes that viruses can be rehabilitated to live as normal Sprites. Despite this criticism, Bob is still respected as one of the finest Guardians ever to come out of the academy.
- Dot Matrix: Proprietor of Dot's Diner, Dot later became Command.Com of Mainframe in place of Phong. She is admired for her brilliant and invaluable tactical skills.
- Enzo Matrix: Dot's little brother. Enzo hero-worships Bob and intends to become a Guardian. He has a crackling, mid-pubescent voice and often uses phrases such as "alphanumeric" and "high-density" in place of real-world utterances like "cool" and "awesome" to express enthusiasm. Enzo is very energetic and loves to play games like Jet Ball and Circuit Racing.
- "Matrix": Enzo Matrix when he's grown up. Ashamed of the child he used to be, whom he views as weak, he prefers to be addressed by his surname, Matrix, instead of his given name, Enzo, which reminds him of his childhood. With a cold personality, violent behaviour and a "built-like-a-tank" physique, he's nothing like the child he used to be. He harbours an unparalleled hatred towards viruses and won't hesitate to delete them in a violent and sadistic manner. He's in love with AndrAIa, who has now matured as well, but is also quite jealous and protective of her. His right eye was severely damaged in a game, but was replaced with a cybernetic eye. This eye grants him extended visual powers, such as magnified long-range vision and X-ray vision. Matrix has also acquired a gun, the aptly named Gun, which has many functions that Matrix invokes with voice commands. Matrix's mechanical eye also works in conjunction with Gun for lock-on targeting and tracking purposes.
- AndrAIa: A backup copy of a Game Sprite who met Enzo in an undersea-themed game. She fell in love with him at "first sight." (Ref: ReBoot 4.03 What's Love Got To Do With It?) The original AndrAIa piggy-backed her icon on Enzo's. This allowed the backup to escape the game and stay in Mainframe with Enzo, but the original remained in the game. (Ref: ReBoot 2.06 AndrAIa) Because of the nature of the game from which she was born, AndrAIa has many mermaid-like qualities: she wears fish-skin garments, wears starfish in her hair, and utilises such armaments as paralysis-inducing fingernails and a trident in combat.
- Phong: System administrator for Mainframe who lives and studies in the Principal Office. A wise old sprite somewhat evocative of Confucius, he often dispenses advice in the form of confusing and vague philosophical quotes gleaned from old README files. Very fond of Pong, one must defeat him in a game to be considered worthy of his knowledge. Phong is immune to forced viral infection, but may still be harmed by other means. (ref: ReBoot 1.02 The Medusa Bug)
- Megabyte: Evil virus operating out of the Silicon Tor in Sector 1000. Megabyte plots constantly to corrupt and control Mainframe in order to turn it into his own domain, "Megaframe." Megabyte is a malignant virus, with the ability and the desire to infect other programs.
- Hexadecimal: An insane virus operating out of Lost Angles and who has a not-so-secret crush on Bob. She has a cat-like pet named SCSI (pronounced "Scuzzy"). Hexadecimal has the ability to control nulls (sprites downgraded to slug-like status for losing to the User in a game), which has earned her the title "Queen of the Nulls." 'Hex' has transfinite power - likely meaning that it has no limit, though not that it is infinite; Hex can be weakened and takes time to restore herself to full power. She is a benign virus, meaning she doesn't infect other entities.
Secondary characters include:
- Hack & Slash: The red (Hack) and blue (Slash) flunky sprites resemble bizarrely constructed robots. The pair originally served Megabyte, but adjusted their loyalties to the side of good later on. They are frequently torn apart, although they seem to take it in stride.
- Mike the TV: An extremely annoying ambulatory television who is constantly pitching bizarre products (like the famous Bucket-O-Nothing) often for 9999.99 or simply rambling until somebody shuts him up. He appears at random and inappropriate moments to irritate the rest of the cast. His remote control ran away, so he can't be turned off.
- Old Man Pearson: Owns a waste disposal system (analogous to a computer Recycle Bin) and data dump in Sector 1001. Pearson is a cranky old Scotsman and the former Codemaster known as Talon.
- Al: Never seen, only heard to shout, "What?!" Al owns Al's Diner and (a.k.a. Al's Wait & Eat) on Level 31, and also serves as cook. According to his waiter, Al runs at 3 decahertz (30 Hz).
- Al's Waiter (Front Counter): Never named in the series, he stands behind the counter at Al's Diner.
- Al's Waiter (Roller Skater): Also never addressed by name, he is stereotypically flamboyant and makes Bob a bit uncomfortable.
- Mouse: Bob's old flame. A hacker extraordinaire, equipped with a katana to cut her enemies into small pieces. Mouse became a main character over the course of Season 3. She speaks with a sugary Southern accent.
- Ray Tracer: Web surfer introduced in Season 3, he became a main character upon the return to Mainframe. During Season 4 and beyond, he is romantically involved with Mouse.
- Captain Gavin Capacitor (The Crimson Binome): A software pirate and captain of the Saucy Mare. Capacitor is armed with a hook for a right hand and a peg leg in place of his left leg. Fits the pirate stereotype perfectly, complete with pirate catchphrase mutations such as "Shiver me templates!" and "By the code!"
- Mr. Christopher: Captain Capacitor's bookkeeper is a nerdy and timid binome who's never seen without his laptop. His name is likely a tribute to Fletcher Christian, the Master's Mate from the HMAS Bounty.
- Frisket: Enzo's dog, vicious toward anyone other than Enzo with a particular dislike of Bob. Frisket has uncanny physical strength comparable to that of Megabyte, and is known to catch cannon balls in his teeth. Frisket is extremely loyal to Enzo and wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice his life to protect Enzo's.
- Turbo: Prime Guardian and leader of the Guardian Collective. He is equipped with a Guardian Keytool, Copland, which can transform into any device with a voice command. He speaks with a Texan accent.
- Herr Doktor and his assistant: Megabyte's evil scientists whose practices are disturbingly unethical. The Herr's assistant is, in relation to other binomes, anatomically dishevelled.
- Gigabyte: A Class-5, malignant, energy-absorbing, extremely powerful virus. The upgraded version of Kilobyte, a virus who is only seen briefly in one episode. When Gigabyte was separated, he became Megabyte and Hexadecimal; he was briefly reformed when a possessed Megabyte merged with Hexadecimal.
- Nibbles: Megabyte's pet null. Nibbles' identity as a Sprite does not become clear until the fourth season.
- Welman Matrix: Scientific genius and father of Dot and Enzo Matrix. He designed a gateway device that allows Mainframers to connect to outside systems. Unfortunately, his experiment backfired and he was nullified in the explosion that destroyed Mainframe's sister city, the ruins of which were later to be known as Lost Angles.
- Daemon: A super-virus with powers beyond those of even Gigabyte. Bent on infecting the entire net, she succeeded in infecting the entire Guardian Collective - with the exception of only Bob and Matrix - and turned the Super Computer into her base of operations. She is religiously worshipped by those she infects, and known to them as "The Word". Though she claims to strive for peace and unity in the Net, her true malicious intent shines through her veil of benevolence.
- Deacon: Daemon's main advisor and assistant, and under the influence of The Word. Not much else is known about him.
With the exception of a few characters, such as Enzo, most ReBoot characters are named after technical computer terms or pieces of computer hardware.
History and summary
The first season of ReBoot was highly episodic, with a single two-part episode. Most of the episodes established characters, locations, and story elements, such as the gigantic "Game Cubes:" When the User (a godlike figure to the sprites and binomes of Mainframe, who is actually the human in control of the computer system) loads a game, a Game Cube drops on a random location in Mainframe, sealing it off from the rest of the system and turning it into a "gamescape." Bob frequently enters the games, "ReBoots" to become a game character, and fights the User's character to save the sector - if the User wins a game, the system the Cube fell in is "nullified," and the Sprites and binomes who were caught within are turned into energy-draining, worm-like parasites called Nulls.
The second season contained a deep story arc that began with the episode "Painted Windows." The arc revealed that Hexadecimal and Megabyte are brother and sister, and that Megabyte's pet Null, Nibbles, is their "father." It also introduced an external threat to Mainframe, "the Web." A creature from the Web infected Megabyte and forced him to merge with Hexadecimal, forming a super-virus called Gigabyte, Destroyer of Systems. When the Web creature was cornered, it escaped Mainframe and opened a portal to the Web. The protectors of Mainframe had to team up with Megabyte and Hexadecimal to close the portal, but when they defeated the Web creatures that had entered the system, Megabyte betrayed the alliance, crushing Bob's keytool and sending him into the Web portal before closing it.
The third season started with Enzo, freshly upgraded into a Guardian candidate by Bob during the Web incursion, defending Mainframe from Megabyte and Hexadecimal with Dot and AndrAIa at his side. When Enzo entered a game he could not win, he, AndrAIa and Frisket changed their icons to game sprite mode and rode the game out of Mainframe. The rest of the season follows older versions of Enzo and AndrAIa as they travel from system to system in search of Mainframe. The older Enzo only acknowledges the name "Matrix," carries a gun called Gun, the damaged Glitch, an eternal hatred of Megabyte, and looks like Dolph Lundgren in The Punisher. As the season progressed, Matrix and AndrAIa reunited with Bob and the crew of the Saucy Mare and returned to Mainframe. Upon return the heroes fought a final battle for control of Mainframe. Hexacdecimal and Megabyte were defeated in confrontations with Bob and Enzo respectively. All final problems in Mainframe were dealt with by restarting the system setting everything right again for our heroes. Season 3 was largely free of the network censorship that plagued the first two seasons; this is evidenced by the series establishing that the adult Matrix and AndrAIa have become lovers.
After the end of the third season, two TV movies were produced in 2001 as a sort of "fourth season," Daemon Rising, which addressed the problem the Guardians were facing in season three, and My Two Bobs, which brings back a fearsome foe in a cliff-hanger ending that has yet to be resolved. The two movies, broken up into eight episodes in its US run on Cartoon Network's Toonami, also reveal much of Mainframe's history, including the creation of Lost Angles and Bob's arrival in the system.
This series, first broadcast on Saturday mornings in 1994 by the ABC Television Network, proved to be an instant hit with children and their parents, only to be abruptly cancelled when the Walt Disney Company purchased the network. Episodes from the second season could still be seen when Claster Television distributed them for a short period of time during the 1996-97 season. The entire series aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami in the US in March 1999, marking the first time Americans saw the third season of ReBoot.
The success of this series helped establish Mainframe Entertainment as one of the predominant computer animation studios in the world.
It is important to note that when the series debuted in 1994, the first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, had not yet been released.
As of December 13, 2004, only the two-movie 4th season is available on DVD in the US. The 3rd season is out of print, but a re-release of volume 3.1 is currently scheduled for mid-January 2005.
ReBoot is full of computer and popular culture in-jokes that few people get the first time around.
The episode "Talent Night" centred around a surprise birthday party for Enzo. Dot and a cubistic binome called Emma Fee are giving auditions for the birthday party show. Emma Fee is a prog sensor (presumably to be heard as "program censor") who keeps rejecting nearly every act for trivial reasons or to preserve morality or prevent depictions of violence. She heartily approves, however, of a group of male singers and dancers called the "Small Town Binomes," who sing, "It's fun to play in a non-violent way, with the B, S and P." They are singing this to the tune of "YMCA," a hit tune of a 1970s disco group called the Village People, who were notorious for the homosexual undertones and double meanings of the words of their songs. The "Small Town Binomes" are also dressed in the same "macho" costumes the Village People wore on stage. In addition, "BS & P" happens to be the initials of the Broadcast Standards and Practices , ABC's censors. "BS & P" was used in a first-season episode to move Bob through a stained-glass window rather than shattering it, a technique the BS & P felt children would emulate. Further references to the American networks dropping Reboot were inserted in the "Web World Wars" episode when Megabytes's Armored Binome Carriers ("ABCs") betrayed the Mainframe CPU fighters in mid-battle ("The ABCs have turned on us! Treacherous dogs!") and in the first episode of the third season, on a tombstone inside the "Evil Dead" game cube that read "Here lies the Mainframe joint venture, an unholy alliance."
"Talent Night" also featured "Johnny O. Binome," whose binary joke translates as "Take my wife, please," and the YTV robot (the large, red, cyclopean figure). In syndication, the "YTV" logo on the robot's chest is omitted.
Later episodes featured direct parodies of films (the 'James Bond' oeuvre; Toy Story) and TV classics such as Thunderbirds, Star Trek and The Prisoner. Other binomes to have had quick cameos included KISS, Sailor Moon, Indiana Jones, an Elvis Impersonator, and most famously, Fax Modem and Data Nully, who parody Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the X-Files. In fact, in one episode when Mainframe is under going a system crash, Modem is looking at two signs, one saying "B.C" and the other "L.A." This lampoons the fact that David Duchovny moved the X-Files from Vancouver (where ReBoot was produced) to Los Angeles.
Although the "User" opponents featured in early episodes were usually invisible or designed with a minimalist appearance, increased computer generation power allowed the third and fourth season game cubes to feature users who were parodies of known game characters and actors. These included a Sonic the Hedgehog/Crash Bandicoot hybrid ("Rocky Raccoon," a Beatles reference, no less), Elmer Fudd (whose form Enzo reboots into), Bruce Campbell (in the "Evil Dead" game), Brandon Fraser (in a game reminiscent of "The Mummy"), Scorpion (of Mortal Kombat fame) and a variety of action figures from G.I. Joe to Barbie.
Unofficial Sites and Fan Sites
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