It was important to me that the 'Battlepuffs' had a sense of fiction to them, as I wanted them to have a strong Saturday-morning cartoon vibe. I wrote some biographies and fiction to flesh out the characters and give me a better sense of how to design the final outcome.
The Battlepuffs live in a dimension called Orn, on the planet Zirn. The fighting elite of Orn travel to Zirn from all over the galaxy to take part in the legendary BattleFights. It is the dream of every Zirnian to triumph in the Triennial BattleFight Arena Tournament, known colloquially as the Dools. The Doolmaster is the Zirnian who can best all other challengers in the Dools. No food is consumed in Zirn but cereal, because a nutritious bowl of cereal is the only way a true Dooling champion starts their day.
Half game cartridge, half kitty cat, Gamecat is King Ding, Exalted and Most Honourable Lordy Lordy and undefeated Doolmaster of the Battlepuffs’ dimension of Orn, where no challenge can be refused. Gamecat lives in a castle a mile high shaped like a FunBit, a handheld pinball gaming device popular on Zirn. Gamecat’s stately composure and casual-yet-deadly fighting style have made him the most celebrated leader in all of Zirn’s history.
Steely and suave, he holds every gaming high score on the planet. He consumes a dozen double White Russians in a day, claiming his fondness is only for the milk, and he has a weakness for the Zirnian equivalent of snuff, nip. Gamecat’s only true passion, besides carousing and Tetris, is honourable victory in the Dools. To this end, he trains for 122 hours in a day, the standard Zirnian day lasting 123 hours. When asked why he trains so hard to be Doolmaster, Gamecat often quips, ‘how else would I afford my nip?’
The Zombie Shoe from 4002
The Zombie Shoe from 4002 is an undead interdimensional being from 1000 years in the future, and is totally unique in Orn. The Zirnians are divided as to whether it is to be reviled or revered. The green flames that lick from its unholy tongue are said to bring dead flowers back into full bloom, yet the stench from its inner sole will kill a Zirnian instantly. This is the eternal paradox of the Zombie Shoe from 4002.
The shoe is mute, but its arrival was foretold by mystics at the dawn of Orn itself. It can fade in and out of existence in the blink of an eye, delivering crushing kicks from all angles as if at once. Only the most agile and wily Doolers can avoid severe injury from its razor sharp spurs. Zombie Shoe fans, known collectively as the Ornian Inners, wave rattles at the Shoe’s Dools, to imitate the deathly click of the spurs. The Ornian Inners hold the belief that the shoe will be able to return to 4002 when it triumphs in the BattleFight tournament, but it has yet to best presiding Doolmaster Gamecat.
Pondris Loris is a philosophising Loris from the biggest jungle on Zirn, known as the Deep Dark. Pondris is an introspective creature who is in a constant state of meditation, even whilst seeming to engage in other activities. He knows truths that are too deep to be spoken aloud, and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all Zirn’s philosophies and religions. Pondris wishes to win the Battlefight Arena Tournament as the winner’s speech is broadcast live to the entire population of Zirn, who listen avidly. It is at this moment that he believes Zirnians will be most receptive to his philosophical revelations, and he refuses to impart his wisdom until then. He says that this moment will be the dawn of a new era, and will come to be known as “The Epiphany.”
A measured and nimble fighter, Pondris’ Dooling skills are a result of a lifetime spent in the most perilous jungle in Orn. As a Loris, his fangs contain a deadly poison, and his innate grace and poise make him a keen martial artist. Pondris’ only limitation is an unusual sense of mercy and guilt in battle, which some Dool experts believe indicate that his philosophy may be the most of radical of all on Zirn – that of Pacifism. It is likely that Zirn will only know the full extent of Pondris’ fighting ability when he has finally resolved his deep inner struggle.
Luchamallow is the son of the greatest marshmallow wrestler in Zirn’s history, the notoriously underhanded and vicious Senor Puff. Senor Puff was a grizzled stalwart of the wrestling scene, who preferred ad-hoc, illegal brawls in underground locations rather than the strict and official BattleFight Arena matches. Puff was merciless and strong, and was known for never giving up on a fight. He lost his life in battle in old age. It was always his intention.
Luchamallow has much of his father’s fighting spirit, but wants to prove his honesty by triumphing in the Dools. He has been unable his whole life to shake off the stigma of being his father’s son, and relishes entering a match as the underdog and emerging with a clean, just victory. Luchamallow is a fine, assured Dooler when he is sober, but unfortunately, a foggy head from too much tequila has undermined his true potential on more than one occasion. Every day, he remembers the vow he took as he watched his father roast on the ceremonial toasting stick. To become Doolmaster by just means.