The Indrema Revolution [REVAMPED] - An Alternate History of Indrema, Pop Culture, and Gaming

(psst… if you want to suggest launch titles for the LSeries, original or not, write ‘em down in the conversation! [or maybe a thread?])
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (real game) (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Meier's_Alpha_Centauri)
- Galactic Odyssey (Ai generated): A game where players dive into a science fiction universe teeming with alien civilisations, with it intentions to gather a functional space crew and ultimately defeat the boss.
 
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (real game) (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Meier's_Alpha_Centauri)
- Galactic Odyssey (Ai generated): A game where players dive into a science fiction universe teeming with alien civilisations, with it intentions to gather a functional space crew and ultimately defeat the boss.
I’ll definitely consider the first one, Although the latter sounds cool, but I’ll have to reject it because it’s AI-generated. Sorry if I didn’t come up with regulations before this. (IIRC @Otakuninja2006 came up with the “contest“ idea in the first place and I followed along)
 
LSeries Launch Titles: The Book of Aeri
The Book of Aeri
The LSeries flagship title (ITTL exclusive)

The Book of Aeri is a 2002 action-adventure game developed by Vicarious Visions and Indrema Studios (which also published the game and owns the rights to the IP) for the Indrema LSeries, released on February 22nd, 2002 as a launch title and pack-in game for the system. It was praised for its visuals, gameplay, and writing, and its status as a pack-in played a role in making Indrema a major fourth competitor in the console industry.

STORY:

16 year old Joe Anderson and his 8 year-old brother, Anthony, who live in the typical American suburban town of Plaintown, have their parents announce that the children are going to stay at their grandparents’ home in the outskirts of the town during summer vacation. Joe is not pleased, while Anthony is excited. The next day, as they go inside the rural house of their grandparents, they discover the attic. Although Anthony is reluctant to get inside the attic, he realizes it is not that bad up there. While Joe wants to find something “cool”, Anthony discovers a dusty book and opens it up. He gets sucked into the book, while a worried Joe follows his lead. Both find themselves in the planet of Xsona, heralded by Queen Aeri. As Aeri greets the children, Reebo, her spherical robotic servant, alerts that an eldritch creature nicknamed “The Unknown” is spreading across the galaxy. Aeri trains Anthony and Joe to defeat the forces of “The Unknown”. The team travel through distant lands, such as:
  • Cabezaville - A 1950s-style town where all the residents are heads in a jar. (think of Futurama)
  • Hall of the Great Ape - A community led by a group of simian creatures
  • …and the team travels to Plaintown to defeat the final boss.
They meet other inhabitants of the galaxy, like Boltz, a grumpy robot that owns a bar, Aero, a traveling skilled bounty hunter who is also Aeri's twin brother.

GAMEPLAY:

The Book of Aeri is an action-adventure game (think of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) where the player can either play Joe or Anthony in third-person, with Aeri, Boltz and Reebo (two characters in one), and Aero unlocked later. Each character has special abilities. For example. Aeri can use her mana to stun enemies, Boltz’ compact size can fit spaces the others cannot, while the player characters can get equipment and weapons to gain abilities. The game also has some third-person shooter elements and RPG elements (like Joe and Anthony leveling up). There is also a multiplayer mode where players work together in a third-person shooter environment, either locally or online.

RECEPTION & LEGACY:

The game received generally positive reviews, praising its graphics and gameplay. It has a score of 96/100 on Metacritic, to universal acclaim, while IGN rated 9.5/10, stating “Overall, The Book of Aeri isn’t a bad start for Indrema and its LSeries console. It's a great game that really shows what the LSeries can do. It's not just a glorified tech demo; it's actually a fun game that blends drama, comedy, and a dash of horror together.” The game’s word of mouth would boost the LSeries’ popularity, influencing gamers and developers. It, along with Indrema's other flagship games Astro Armadillo, and Railpunchers, cemented Indrema as a major competitor to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

Due to the success of Aeri, rumors that a sequel was in early development was spreading, while Indrema was considering going public due to the LSeries’ success.



There’s more where that came from…
 
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2001 (Part 2)
Think Outside the Box (posted this earlier but it was deleted, and I'm reposting this to be better)



Indrema went all out on the promotion of the LSeries. With a $75 million marketing budget, the company would ensure that Indrema became the “hip and sleek” alternative to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Although it had a smaller advertising budget compared to its much bigger rivals, Indrema unveiled their marketing campaign, “Think Outside the Box”, a not-so-subtle jab at Microsoft’s Xbox and the fact that LSeries could do a bit more than what its rivals had.

The name “LSeries” and its redesign was mainly a result of making the console more appealing to consumers, while it was referred to as the “Indrema LSeries” as the company was unsure if LSeries by itself could be trademarked. Although Indrema’s first three in-house launch titles showed different capabilities of the system, The Book of Aeri was the game that pushed the LSeries’ limits. Working with an established game developer (Vicarious Visions) gave the games the polish they needed. Aeri along with Astro the Armadillo, became one of Indrema's flagship titles.

Near the release of the LSeries, the skepticism of the LSeries died down a bit as people were mesmerized by the launch games that Indrema was announcing, including exclusives, games that were releasing for other systems as well, and PC games that hadn’t been released on consoles.

As Indrema was gearing up for the LSeries, the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox would release on the same dates as OTL. Behind the scenes, Indrema had set the specs of the LSeries in stone. They’d already had some money for finding a partner to mass-produce the LSeries, but who? After considering many different companies that could bring the system to life, they decided on Sanmina, an OEM manufacturer that could help Indrema bring the system to market.

They agreed to manufacture the LSeries along with the aforementioned Intel (CPU) and ATI (GPU), with new partnerships such as Maxtor (supplying the 10GB 7200RPM hard drives, planning to have larger hard drives later), InterAct (known for the GameShark, manufactured the controller for the system), and Samsung (who supplied RAM, optical drives [2], hard drives for the system), while buying a stake in Indrema. Although it would be sold at a loss like other systems, Indrema would make up for it with game sales and accessory sales. The LSeries officially started production in November.

Although somewhat squashed by the Xbox and GameCube's release, the LSeries spread through word-of-mouth as more people became aware of the console in addition to Indrema itself through the internet, television, or in print. To give potential LSeries buyers a feel of what it could do, Indrema installed kiosks in stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City and Toys "R" Us that let gamers play the LSeries before it got released, and pre-orders started for the system in-store and online. But there was another group who wanted the LSeries; hackers. Unlike its competitors, Indrema encouraged hacking its systems and let them tinker, but drew the line against piracy.

In addition, Indrema officially revealed the UI of the system, known as the Launchpad, that ran over the Linux kernel.

View attachment 873242
A mockup of the Launchpad's default theme. (pretend it's rendered in 3D) [1]

Indrema had successfully attracted developers, big and small, and consumers alike. It combined the PC-like architecture of the Xbox, the built-in multimedia functionality of the PS2, and the quirky design of the GameCube. It was dubbed "The FrankenConsole".



MISC:

[1] Inspired by the IDN website ITTL and IOTL.
[2] Other manufacturers of the LSeries' optical drives included Phillips and Hitachi.

2001 Recap: A recap on how popular culture is ITTL, and also the sixth generation line-up. On an unrelated note, the economy will be better than it was IOTL.
2002: Indrema's LSeries releases, and a certain company might be interested in it... but who is it? I don't know. However, they can distribute the LSeries outside of North America.
That's awesome!
2001 Recap
(somewhat inspired by @Otakuninja2006)

While the dot-com recession happens like OTL, Indrema gets successfully funded and gets developers on board for the LSeries. Another factor is 9/11 being completely butterflied out, resulting in the world being a little more optimistic than ITTL.

Indrema’s LSeries website launches, including information about the system, forums, news, and a countdown to the release of the system.

Meanwhile, Sega discontinues the Dreamcast and Sega leaves the industry, the Xbox and GameCube release. While the GameCube is the same as OTL, the Xbox has an AMD processor instead of the Intel processor, while Sony’s PlayStation 2 is still dominating the industry.

Viacom partners with Microsoft to make exclusives based on its franchises for the Xbox, while Fox Family (which survives ITTL) picks up the American broadcasting rights to Mario’s World, set for release in 2002, while Nintendo announces plans to buy out Rare, expected to complete in that same year.

Nickelodeon doesn’t reject Nicktoons like Constant Payne while SpongeBob and The Fairly OddParents! becomes the network's most popular shows just like OTL, and Cartoon Network launches its adult block, Adult Swim while Hanna-Barbera survives. Not much is known about Disney Channel’s future though…

Other than that, 2001 feels more like an extension of 2000 ITTL because of the butterflies.

2002: The Indrema LSeries launches, but will it make waves? Find out! (this might be in separate parts)
This will be all about the launch of Indrema's first product; the system, the launch titles, and the Indrema experience.
How does HB survive?
2002
The Dawn of a Revolution: The Launch of the LSeries (Part 1)

LogoView attachment 873710
CodenamesIndrema Entertainment System, L600
Full NameIndrema LSeries Entertainment System
CPUCustom Intel Celeron @ 800 MHz
RAM128MB DDR SDRAM (64 core + 64 local)
GPUCustom ATI R200 GPU (Radeon 8500 based, on par with the GeForce3) @ 275 MHz
MediaDVD-ROM, CD-ROM
Storage10 GB IDE hard drive (with plans for larger storage later)w
Operating SystemDV Linux (modified Linux kernel)
VideoComposite, component, S-Video, via the LSeries’ proprietary AV cord, “Indrema AV”
AudioAnalog stereo, optical audio (TOSLINK), Dolby Digital, DTS
Input6 USB ports (4x front (1.1), 2x back (2.0))
ConnectivityFast Ethernet/LAN, 56k USB modem (sold separately)
Initial Price$299.99

Final final specs at launch (for reals this time)




In December the year prior, Indrema started partnering with the rental giant, Blockbuster, in a promotion that allowed gamers to rent the LSeries before its official release (3). These systems came with a DVD-ROM with demos of LSeries games. Indrema promoted the LSeries heavily on TV and Print, with advertisements stating the slogan “Powering on 2.22.02 for 299” (1), with The Book of Aeri, Astro the Armadillo, and Railpunchers headlining the advertisements for the system. The backlash had died down more as the hype grew.

By February 21st, the day before the LSeries officially launched in North America, many people camped out at stores such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart as the first public LSeries units were shipped Indrema expected to ship out 75,000-100,000 units during launch week. Many retail chains threw launch parties, with some providing food, while the system was being officially launched at midnight. When stores opened, people got the system they’d been waiting for almost two years. Despite all the troubles Indrema had while bringing the system to market, the LSeries launched, being the most powerful system at the time in theory, as it one-upped the Xbox's 750 MHz processor ITTL and its nVidia GPU (same IOTL and ITTL) and mostly positive reviews. The LSeries would be shipped into stores across North America throughout the year.

By the time the LSeries released, InterAct’s controller, known as the “LPad”, had changed significantly, with it being a hybrid between their AxisPad and Hammerhead controllers, with 4 face buttons and “start” and “select” buttons, rumble (powered by the LSeries), a D-pad, two analog sticks, in a layout not unlike the DualShock, while the chrome casing on the prototype was replaced with with a matte silver with textured rubber grips for better handling. As a last minute decision, Indrema swapped the 766MHz Celeron with a faster 800MHz one.

The system included:
  • The LSeries itself
  • 1 LPad (controller)
  • Indrema AV to composite
  • Power plug
  • The Book of Aeri
  • …and of course, a manual and some other documentation.
Its user interface, the Launchpad, which was designed by MANEX [2], who made the SFX for The Matrix, was shown if a disc was not inserted or if the user exited the application. It could be controlled by the LPad, the LBaton (remote control), or a USB keyboard and mouse. It had these apps built in:
  • Indrema Game Channel: where one could download some LSeries games, including indie titles, from the Internet
  • Indrema Music Channel: allowed playback of audio files, which also could be burned onto the LSeries’ hard drive
  • Indrema Web Channel: a Mozilla-based (not Firefox) browser functioning like a PC's browser, complete with add-ons such as Flash and the ability to download
  • Indrema Cinema: launched when a video disc was inserted, also supported progressive scan DVD playback
  • Indrema Photo Channel: allowed photos to be viewed on the LSeries
The Launchpad could be customized with skins, from original skins to skins that imitated the UIs of the other consoles.

The LSeries could play CDs, Video CDs, and DVDs. LSeries games were distributed digitally, on DVD-ROM, and on CD-ROM.

Consumers praised the LSeries’ sleek design, widely known as “a product ahead of its time”, the Launchpad user interface, its multimedia functionality, and its online connectivity. The concept of browsing the web on a console had been attempted by Sega and InterAct, but Indrema’s browser was based on the same technology as Netscape’s and allowed access to the full internet like a PC did, complete with Macromedia Flash support. However, it was criticized for its heaviness (thank to its use of PC components, shared by the Xbox) and some of the earliest units had failure-prone DVD drives. Because of that, Sanmina and Indrema repaired the drives with improved ones for free. Regardless, the slot loading drive was one of the LSeries’ innovative features although it couldn’t read irregularly shaped discs or mini discs. It was capable of rendering and playback up to 1080i (with a Indrema AV to component cable).

The game bundled with the system, The Book of Aeri, proved that the LSeries could be a success and was praised for both the gameplay and the visuals, while the story was an interesting twist on the isekai formula. Its other flagships, Astro the Armadillo was a fun platformer not unlike Crash Bandicoot, and Railpunchers gave Indrema the attitude that could fill in Sega’s shoes.

The LSeries was attracting more than just consumers. Not too long after the launch, not unlike the Xbox, hackers started modding the system, leading to a community that made their own software/hardware for the LSeries, finding new ways to install unofficial Launchpads, exploits, and even tricking the LSeries to load pirated games by modifying the optical drive’s firmware to bypass the security check. Indrema was not fond of the hackers pirating their games and filed cease-and-desists to remove websites that encouraged Indrema game piracy. However, Indrema embraced the hacking community, unlike the other manufacturers, as long they weren't pirating their games.

The LSeries was a moderate success with general consumers and Linux geeks alike, selling 96,300 systems during launch week. It would inspire a boom in the Linux gaming industry as more developers, indie or not, flocked to the LSeries as a gateway to make Linux gaming as big as gaming on Windows and console gaming. Indrema officially became a fourth competitor, as companies welcomed Indrema to the gaming industry. One of those companies was a company famous for Half-Life and its inability to count to three. That's right, Valve, who was invested in Linux gaming earlier ITTL, supporting the LSeries with ports of its titles.

But other games are on the LSeries at launch? Stay tuned! (psst… if you want to suggest launch titles for the LSeries, original or not, write ‘em down in the conversation!)



[1] - pronounced as “two twenty two oh-two for two ninety nine”
[2] - wanted to make the IES’s UI IOTL, too IIRC
[3] - inspired by a similar promotion with Sega and Hollywood Video
I forgot about this, but Loki Software will survive ITTL because it’s merging with Indrema Studios as they become a proper game studio.

[1] IOTL, Loki filed for bankruptcy, while Indrema had been dead for almost a year.
Now we're playing with power! I also see you made a earlier version of the Wii...........
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (real game) (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Meier's_Alpha_Centauri)
- Galactic Odyssey (Ai generated): A game where players dive into a science fiction universe teeming with alien civilisations, with it intentions to gather a functional space crew and ultimately defeat the boss.
I’ll definitely consider the first one, Although the latter sounds cool, but I’ll have to reject it because it’s AI-generated. Sorry if I didn’t come up with regulations before this. (IIRC @Otakuninja2006 came up with the “contest“ idea in the first place and I followed along)
This timeline is interesting and hopefully the Indrema has what it takes to hold up against the competition.
Yeah.
The Book of Aeri
The LSeries flagship title (ITTL exclusive)

The Book of Aeri is a 2002 action-adventure game developed by Vicarious Visions and Indrema Studios (which also published the game and owns the rights to the IP) for the Indrema LSeries, released on February 22nd, 2002 as a launch title and pack-in game for the system. It was praised for its visuals, gameplay, and writing, and its status as a pack-in played a role in making Indrema a major fourth competitor in the console industry.

STORY:

16 year old Joe Anderson and his 8 year-old brother, Anthony, who live in the typical American suburban town of Plaintown, have their parents announce that the children are going to stay at their grandparents’ home in the outskirts of the town during summer vacation. Joe is not pleased, while Anthony is excited. The next day, as they go inside the rural house of their grandparents, they discover the attic. Although Anthony is reluctant to get inside the attic, he realizes it is not that bad up there. While Joe wants to find something “cool”, Anthony discovers a dusty book and opens it up. He gets sucked into the book, while a worried Joe follows his lead. Both find themselves in the planet of Xsona, heralded by Queen Aeri. As Aeri greets the children, Reebo, her spherical robotic servant, alerts that an eldritch creature nicknamed “The Unknown” is spreading across the galaxy. Aeri trains Anthony and Joe to defeat the forces of “The Unknown”. The team travel through distant lands, such as:
  • Cabezaville - A 1950s-style town where all the residents are heads in a jar. (think of Futurama)
  • Hall of the Great Ape - A community led by a group of simian creatures
  • …and the team travels to Plaintown to defeat the final boss.
They meet other inhabitants of the galaxy, like Boltz, a grumpy robot that owns a bar, Aero, a traveling skilled bounty hunter who is also Aeri's twin brother.

GAMEPLAY:

The Book of Aeri is an action-adventure game (think of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) where the player can either play Joe or Anthony in third-person, with Aeri, Boltz and Reebo (two characters in one), and Aero unlocked later. Each character has special abilities. For example. Aeri can use her mana to stun enemies, Boltz’ compact size can fit spaces the others cannot, while the player characters can get equipment and weapons to gain abilities. The game also has some third-person shooter elements and RPG elements (like Joe and Anthony leveling up). There is also a multiplayer mode where players work together in a third-person shooter environment, either locally or online.

RECEPTION & LEGACY:

The game received generally positive reviews, praising its graphics and gameplay, but criticized the grinding. It has a score of 88/100 on Metacritic, to “generally favorable” reviews, while IGN rated 9.1/10, stating “Overall, The Book of Aeri isn’t a bad start for Indrema and its LSeries console.” The game’s word of mouth would boost the LSeries’ popularity, influencing gamers and developers. It, along with Indrema's other flagship games Astro Armadillo, and Railpunchers, cemented Indrema as a major competitor to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

Due to the success of Aeri, rumors that a sequel was in early development was spreading, while Indrema was considering going public due to the LSeries’ success.



There’s more where that came from…
Cool!
 
That's awesome!

How does HB survive?


Now we're playing with power! I also see you made a earlier version of the Wii...........



Yeah.

Cool!
  1. Thanks!
  2. HB becomes the brand name for the legacy IPs, while CNS is for new and licensed IP.
  3. What a coincidence! IIRC, they were called “channels” IOTL, too, predating the Wii! But the LBaton’s merely a remote for DVD/CD playback, though (planned IOTL), too.
 
Book of Aeri Bonus
A rando bonus: (L to R) a drawing of Aeri, Joe, Aero, and Anthony (with Reebo (top) and Boltz (bottom) between Joe and Anthony), and an Astro Armadillo cameo, drawn by who else but me​

IMG_1238.jpeg
 
LSeries Launch Showcase: Astro Armadillo
Astro Armadillo
Another LSeries flagship title

IMG_1242.jpeg

An Astro sketch done by who else?

Astro Armadillo is a 2002 platformer developed by Indrema Studios and Vicarious Visions and published by Indrema. The game follows on the titular Astro Armadillo as he thwarts Dr. K. Yote’s plans to take over Tumbletech.

STORY (2):

Somewhere in the wild west town of Tumbletech, where the wild west meets modern technology, Astro learns that an evil disembodied coyote head, Dr. K. Yote, is kidnapping his friends, while planning to make the little town of Tumbletech his. Astro sets on a quest to save his friends and return Tumbletech to its former glory.

GAMEPLAY:

Astro Armadillo is a platform game akin to Crash Bandicoot meets Sonic the Hedgehog with some shooter elements. The game is set in a third-person perspective as the player controls Astro. He can shoot with his pistol, use his “Rocketbootz” to reach into high places (1), and he even can roll into a ball to defeat enemies and fit into tight spaces. Tumbletech serves as the “hub” area for the game, giving players access to levels. In order to progress, Astro must collect "badges". These badges give Astro special abilities, such as temporary invinciblity or even a new weapon.

RECEPTION & LEGACY:

The game had generally positive reviews praising its writing, graphics, setting, and music, but a minor criticism was the “cliche” plot. It has a score of 93/100 on Metacritic and Next Generation gave the game 4 stars, stating “Astro Armadillo’s got funny writing, fun game play, a unique setting, and even colorful graphics. Overall, it’s an great game, but one nitpick we had was the kind of cliched plot." The game would sell 2.4 million copies by 2005. The game, along with The Book of Aeri and Railpunchers, were the exclusive flagship games of the system and became one of Indrema’s popular franchises.



[1] Think of the Hover Boots from Ocarina of Time or F.LU.D.D. from Super Mario Sunshine.

[2] As you can see, the story’s been changed up since I last posted about Astro.

We'll show you the entire list of games avaiable for the LSeries at launch, and what critics were saying about the system. Indrema is planning to bring the LSeries outside of the US, but who will distribute it?
 
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LSeries Launch Titles Overview and Reflection
Launch Titles
*indicates games planned/rumored to release for the IES IOTL

  1. The Book of Aeri [by me] (action-adventure/third person shooter)
  2. Railpunchers [by @Otakuninja2006] (skateboarding) - What do you get when you combine Tony Hawk and Jet Set Radio in a blender? You get this. Skate and paint away as you please, with lots of challenges to face.
  3. Astro Armadillo [by me] [named by @Otakuninja2006] (platformer)
  4. Quake III Arena (FPS)*
  5. Unreal Tournament (FPS)*
  6. Nanosaur* (third-person shooter)
  7. Soulride* (skiing)
  8. Shogo: Mobile Armor Division* (FPS)
  9. The Sims (simulation) [1]
  10. Tux Racer* (racing)
  11. Crazy Taxi (racing, port of the Dreamcast version)
  12. Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia [suggested by @someguywithpotato] (RTS)
  13. Strangers [suggested and created by someguywithpotato] (interactive fiction/puzzle) - Oliver and his girlfriend, Clarissa are at the point of breaking up. When they unexpectedly get inside each others' minds, they find secrets about each other. It's up to you to solve puzzles and play minigames to make them make up.
  14. Descent 3 [suggested by someguywithpotato] (FPS)
  15. Frozen Bubble (puzzle, similar to Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move)
  16. TuxWorld (collect-a-thon) [by me] - Tux's greatest adventure yet! Join Tux the penguin as he travels through different worlds to defeat the evil whale Killa so he can get his girlfriend back.
  17. Indrema Music Madness!!! [by me] (a rhythm game that uses the CD music you've ripped onto the LSeries' hard drive along with some original songs)
  18. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri [suggested by someguywithpotato] (turn-based, 4X)
  19. FIFA Football 2002 [suggested by someguywithpotato] (soccer/football, EA)
  20. NFL 2K2 (American football, Sega)
  21. Rally Defense [by @Jaiken] (action adventure) - When huge insects attack your country, sometimes you gotta fight 'em.
  22. Scrap Heap [by @Jaiken] (FPS/action) - Robots battle to make each other, and use their parts to make them more powerful.
  23. Soul Baronian [by @Mr Red Stone] (action) - During the 1930s, Albedo Chassis, the titular Soul Baronian, has to deal with yo-kai that have killed his fellow crew during a trip to Japan.
  24. Rayman 2: The Great Escape (platformer) (inspired by this)
  25. Rune (action-adventure)
  26. Heavy Gear 2* (FPS - Activision was rumored to include this IOTL)
  27. Legend of Azores* (RPG - from IOTL from the same link as above)
  28. Mayhem-Mart: (?) - A game where you cause havoc in a supermarket, most known for its simplistic, classic Little People-esque style made by TTL game developer, Stargate Entertainment.
  29. Cube (FPS)
  30. Agua: An Underwater Expedition [by me] (adventure) - A game that’s like an earlier and more primitive version of Subnautica that lets you explore underwater to find new creatures. [2]
In addition to…
  1. Outside the Box [by me] (not a launch title per se as it released before its official launch, similar to GameCube's "Peach's Castle", serving as an interactive demo of what the LSeries is and what it can do, exclusive to LSeries kiosks)
What Critics Think

We’ve talked about how consumers loved the LSeries, but what did the critics think? Well, they thought the same things consumers were thinking. The LSeries was critically acclaimed for its powerful hardware, its sleek design, its multimedia capacities, and its internet functionality, with CNET stating “Although Indrema might be new, they’re capable of making a great system. With an custom 800 MHz Intel Celeron-based processor, 128MB of total DDR memory (64 MB of main RAM, 64 MB dedicated to graphics), 10 GB hard drive, and a custom ATI GPU on par with the Radeon 8200, this is one of the most advanced systems out there, on par with the Xbox. Although other manufacturers have attempted to get on the online game (while Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are dabbling with internet connectivity), the LSeries is the only one with a full browser and an online store where you can download both free and paid games. It could” giving it a 4.5 star review.

However, the system was criticized for its bulkiness due to its use of PC components, and later on, its abundance of poor quality games plaguing the Game Channel, slightly souring the system’s reputation.

Some consumers weren't happy when many of the features were scrapped, while others argued that they were too ambitious and some of its features were redundant as other devices could do them. For example, Indrema had to downplay the browser because most consumers had PCs that could browse the web, so a browser wasn't needed. However, modders created exploits using the browser.

Another factor was the delays; from 2000 to spring/summer 2001 and finally, early 2002, as some consumers weren’t interested in Indrema anymore because it would be “vaporware”, although some developers took advantage of the delays by polishing up their games. Despite all of that, the LSeries influenced the rise of both indie games and Linux games. However, it didn’t surpass the PlayStation 2 in sales.

After the LSeries’ launch in North America, Indrema started contacting other companies to distribute, market, and license the LSeries outside of the US. Some parties interested in Indrema were Samsung (who manufactured components for the LSeries and distributed Sega systems in Korea), Nokia (who wanted to tap into both the Linux and gaming industries), and Pioneer (who also was a former Sega partner).

Of all of these, Indrema chose Samsung to distribute the LSeries outside of America (Europe, Asia, Australia) as the company wanted to join the game industry with something better than the Nuon-licensed DVD players. Indrema announced the LSeries would be available outside the US during the holiday season of 2002. Overseas gamers and developers that didn't want to wait could import an LSeries and a power converter to play it in their country.

Samsung + Indrema, and an Indrema Handheld!?

Meanwhile, Samsung and Indrema also started planning on accessories designed for the LSeries, planned to release worldwide in 2003. Rumors and leaks of a potential Indrema handheld system codenamed the “Portable Indrema Entertainment System”, also known as “LBoy”, started spreading. It was in its early stages, with the plans being an ARM-based handheld system running on a Linux kernel that could render near LSeries-quality graphics with a PowerVR GPU. They were in talks with companies such as Danger and Nokia [3] to help develop the handheld. It would be expected to release in 2005.



ADDITIONAL NOTES:

[1] ITTL, because SimCity 3000 would be almost 3 years old by that point, EA decided to put something slightly newer that was Sim-related.

[2] On a side note, add Cartoon Network’s Miguzi block to the mix.

[3] Got the idea from Mr Red Stone and (somewhat) Nivek

We head to the Mushroom Kingdom to visit Mario's World! Let's-a go!
 
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"Hey paisanos, welcome to Mario's World! Wa-hoo!"
iwcUJqG.png

Welcome to Mario’s World!
(repost because I posted it too early)​

“Mario’s heading back to your TV, but this time he’s brought some friends over! Get ready for the coolest Nintendo show ever made that’s better than everything before it… Mario’s World! In this show, Mario brings you shorts based on your favorite games, such as Mario (duh), The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Metroid, Banjo-Kazooie, and Donkey Kong! Between these, there’s even shorts that show what Nintendo and Rare characters do when they’re not in their games.” - Nintendo Power, June 2002

Mario’s World is basically House of Mouse with Nintendo characters, with a dash of The Muppet Show. It premiered on Cartoon Network in the US on July 12th, 2002, with Nintendo, their animation studio, Ninimation (founded in 1999), and Cartoon Network Studios. The show’s short roster, at least initially, consists of Super Mario Adventures, The Legend of Zelda: Tales of Hyrule, Banjo-KaTOONie, Kirby in…, and Metroid: The Series, and Donkey Kong Island.

Here are the shorts in detail:

SUPER MARIO ADVENTURES:
Unrelated to the comic of the same name, this short follows the adventures of Mario and his friends in different places to stop the plans of Bowser, with elements of both the DiC cartoons and the Illumination movie from OTL. Adventure-comedy, CGI.

TALES OF HYRULE: A series full of surprises. In this action packed series, Link must face villains across the kingdom of Hyrule. Each episode has its own art style, so no two episodes look the same. Mix.

BANJO-KATOONIE: Guh-huh! The bear and bird have their TV show! Set after Banjo-Tooie, Banjo and Kazooie travel through different worlds while meeting friends and foes along the way, from Mumbo Jumbo to Gruntilda. [1] Comedy, CGI.

KIRBY: This is basically TTL’s equivalent of Kirby: Right Back At Ya! [2]. It still has the same characters, plot, and the mix of CGI and 2D as OTL, but shorter for obvious reasons. Comedy.

METROID: Straight from the planet of Zebes, bounty hunter Samus Aran travel the universe to on a quest to defeat Mother Brain. Sci-fi-drama. CGI.

DONKEY KONG ISLAND: Separate from Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong and his friends fight King K. Rool and his Kremlings while looking for bananas. Comedy, 2D.



SYNOPSIS & CHARACTERS:

The framing device of the show takes place in Nintendo Studios, where all of Nintendo’s games are made. The cast includes a variety of Nintendo characters, including the most obscure ones (Stanley the Bugman, anyone?), and later on, non-Nintendo characters like Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog as “guest stars”.

Let’s run down some of the characters:

Mario himself is the showrunner, acting like the Kermit of the show. He's a cheery Italian plumber who doesn’t back down.

If Mario is Kermit, Luigi is Scooter. acting as the stage gofer, and as cowardly, yet lovable as ever.

Link, when he’s not on camera, is a cynical jerk with a big ego, but also has his nice moments. (Later on, Nintendo requested that Link should be “softened” up a bit to make him less of a jerk.)

Link’s girlfriend, Zelda is as much a snarker as him. Despite their cynical attitudes (although not as cynical as they were in the '80s Zelda cartoon), they genuinely love each other.

Wario and Waluigi are best buds who love to prank and mess around with others.

For the voice cast, Charles Martinet reprises his roles for Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi, while many other characters are recast with professional voice actors, such as Link being voiced by of all people, Greg Cipes, and even celebrity guests later on, like “Weird Al” Yankovic as Fawful.



PRODUCTION & LEGACY:

The animation for the segments and wraparounds is mostly handled by Ninimation in-house, with Kirby’s being the same as OTL, while Zelda’s animation is done by various animation studios. Most of the show's segments except for Banjo-Kazooie and DK (which were produced in the UK) and Kirby, which was dubbed, are written in America, while both Nintendo of America and Japan supervise production on the shows.

The story of Mario’s World traces back to the late 1990s, when Nintendo signed a contract with TimeWarner to produce and distribute all TV shows and movies based on Nintendo franchises outside of Japan. After the success of the Pokémon anime, Nintendo wanted to adapt their other games into TV shows. One of these concepts was a Mario TV show targeting an international audience as the Mario anime was Japan-exclusive, while other countries got the DiC cartoons. Nintendo wanted something that would appeal to appeal to audiences everywhere, no matter what country they were in.

They were hesitant to adapt Mario at first due to the 1993 movie, but Nintendo decided to move forward under the condition they had to be involved with the production. Nintendo wanted to put all of their shows in one package (while Pokémon would be separate), so the Mario anime became a part of what would become Mario’s World. The American Nintendo decided that the show should have wraparounds “framing” the shows, written in California and Washington. They even helped write the main segments themselves.

The show became acclaimed by critics for its animation, voice acting, humor and wit, becoming popular with both kids and adults because of the appeal of Nintendo's characters. It made big money for Nintendo and Cartoon Network. It's spawned memes, YouTube Poops (yes, they exist ITTL), and even memorable segments like Ask Mario! [3] (where Mario answers questions looks at fanmade Nintendo (or third-party) stuff and fan mail sent by viewers, either positive or negative), the Nintendo Studios segments, and even the arcs of the Mario shorts are memorable in their own ways.



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Nintendo decided to stop being lazy and purchase Rare ITTL, which means some of their games may be different ITTL. Plus, there’s a Banjo-Kazooie animated series that actually releases earlier. (We almost got one IOTL, though)
[2] Sadly, it doesn’t have that legendary theme song.
[3] shares its name with a fanmade series on YouTube from OTL

We wrap up 2002 with a recap, what Indrema will do next, and Nickelodeon and Viacom might make an agreement with one of the largest tech companies Will they win those guys?
 
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2002 Recap
2002 Recap
(somewhat inspired by @Otakuninja2006)​

2002 is Indrema’s biggest year so far; the LSeries launched with mostly positive reviews, competing with the Xbox, the PlayStation 2, and GameCube, being the start of a boom in Linux gaming and indie games. Thanks to its original franchises and other factors, the LSeries becomes successful around the world, but not as successful as the Xbox and PS2 (while selling more than the GameCube). The LSeries would release in Europe and Oceania in November 15th, 2002, while it would release in Asia in early 2003. While in the former, it would be a bit more successful than in the west, and successful to a lesser extent everywhere else.

Mario’s World becomes a hit on Cartoon Network. Inspired by the success of Mario, Sega announced that they would be partnering with Nickelodeon to put shows based on Sega properties on their SLAM! block.

Cartoon Network signs a deal with Fox, putting their primetime cartoons on Adult Swim, and for the less raunchy episodes, Cartoon Network. Due to an agreement with The Brothers Chaps allowing them full creative control while keeping the rights to the characters, the Flash cartoon series Homestar Runner will be running to both Cartoon Network and Adult Swim in 2003 with exclusive segments. [1]

Overall, 2002 gets a bit different, with companies and networks cashing in on the success of MW by making shows based on video games to varying results and Indrema making waves in the video game industry, leading to its competitors trying to imitate Indrema’s model, including Microsoft's attempt, Xindies for Windows and Xbox.

So, what’s in-store for Indrema and the world in 2003? Will they start planning on their handheld? Let’s find out…



BONUS:

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Here's the Launchpad. As we get near to Christmas time, I'd like to thank everyone who helped, such as Otakuninja2006, MemphisC, Jaiken, Mr Red Stone, and someguywithpotato, and kirbopher15, and I'd like to thank Nivek and RySenkari's Player Two Start for inspiring me to make this TL. I'd also like to thank the people who made Indrema come to life IOTL, as they tried to make a product come to life.​


[1] IOTL, The Brothers Chaps declined TV offers because they feared that executives would meddle with their own creation. (Wired)
 
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