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Armed & Dangerous - Feature

Armed & Dangerous

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Let\'s Get Dangerous: Darkwing Duck\'s Video Game Adventures

Disney characters have popped up in video games for years, particularly in popular franchises such as Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts and Junction Point Studios's upcoming Epic Mickey. While these titles have benefited from featuring a hodgepodge of Disney properties, not every worthy character has made the cut for new adventures. It's been a while since we've seen or heard anything from the world of Darkwing Duck, which readers in their late twenties and early thirties may fondly remember from three seasons of animated adventures as part of The Disney Afternoon animated programming block back in 1991. Consider that the star of the property - the eponymous Darkwing Duck himself - is making a bit of a comeback in the form of new comic book stories, it seems only right to take a look back at Darkwing's gaming exploits and speculate on where the masked mallard goes from here when it comes to digital entertainment. Introducing The Terror That Flaps In The Night Constructed as a genre parody smash-up of popular superhero and spy properties such as Batman, James Bond, and The Shadow, Darkwing Duck follows the adventures of the purple-and-black clad masked hero as he protects the city of St. Canard from evildoers (while providing his own narration, natch). Assisted by his sidekick (and biggest fan) Launchpad McQuack (imported from The Disney Afternoon's other animated duck series, DuckTales) and his adopted tweenage daughter Gosalyn, Darkwing uses a combination of gadgets and overinflated ego to save the day. His adventures tend to alternate between his freelance activities hunting down the villain of the week and taking on the Fiendish Organization for World Larceny (FOWL) on behalf of the MI6-like SHUSH (an organization so secret that even it does not know what the acronym means). Unfortunately, the city considers him to be a pest at best and ignores him at worst, yet his efforts are indispensable. Without him, the city would surely fall to a Rogues Gallery that calls to mind parodies of such popular comic book and film villains such as Electro, the Fluoronic Man, the Joker, and Jaws. Consider some of Darkwing's catalog of nemeses which include colorful characters such as the electric rat Megavolt, the half-plant/half-duck scientist Dr. Reginald Bushroot, insane toymaker Quackerjack, and the metal-mouthed FOWL rooster Steelbeak. Other villains who took a nod at pop culture include twisted underground scientist Professor Moliarty, watery salesman Liquidator, and thieving walrus mastermind Tuskerninni. The whole series is greater than the sum of its parts, although as in most superhero and spy fiction, the villains tend to overshadow the hero with their colorful characterizations and charismatic capers. Indeed, the various Darkwing Duck video games all star the self-proclaimed "terror that flaps in the night," but each adventure tends to center around Darkwing's Rogues Gallery. However, near the end of the episode, Darkwing says his catchphrase - "Let's get dangerous!" - right before swinging into action and vanquishing the villain. It seems only natural that the character would lend himself well to video games. Two publishers acquired the rights to the property, giving rise to three games based on Darkwing Duck. Read More