It's high time someone tackled and settled, once and for all, the debate that has set the internet on fire: which of Planet Coaster's mascots is the best, which is least best, and which are somewhere in the middle? Everyone has their opinions, but it's time to trust an expert. Me, a guy who looked at the mascots for a couple of minutes.
Mascots patrol your theme parks in Planet Coaster, distracting guests from long lines and piles of trash and over-priced soft drinks with their waving, dancing, and bulky, uncomfortable costumes. Which should you place in your park, and which should you immediately fire so you can watch them sadly trudge to the exit?
Here are Planet Coaster's mascots, in order of worst to best.
Foxy is a fox, and foxy also means pretty, and I think that's about as far as Foxy's mascot concept goes. I’ve never had any sort of attraction to anthropomorphic animals, so I can't really say I find Foxy particularly foxy—not that she has any reason to care in the least—though I will say her attitude is a bit of a downer. The sense I get is that she is a rather aloof fox, absentmindedly flipping her fur-hair, sipping what I assume is a $47 latte held in her gloved hand, and waving as if she is not terribly interested in being there. "Yes, hi. Hi, or whatever."
I'm a little baffled at the reaction of the guests: a few are cheering and clapping, and at least two people are dancing, all at the sight of a bipedal fox drinking coffee. Maybe they don't get out much.
With his googly eyes, gaping mouth, and incessant cavorting, I find Tiki more than a bit offensive. Not culturally, just generally: he seems like an irritating, capering buffoon you would desperately avoid making eye contact with. “Oh, shit,” you’d mutter, looking in any other direction. “Please don’t come over here. Please. It will just humiliate us both. I don’t even know what you are.”
I do enjoy the top of his gaping, intermittently exploding head: if he were a video game boss, you could kill him by firing a rocket into it. But as a mascot, he's just too much. Watching Tiki just makes me sort of tired. You're trying too hard, Tiki. Dial it down to about an 8. You can't force people to have fun.
I give Planet Coaster points for showing the ankles and feet of the performer sticking out below the 'hovering' robot. That's a nice detail, and it would have been easy for them to just make the costume unrealistically hover.
Unfortunately, Dex-R, whose name may be some sort of pun I can't quite grasp, is otherwise a bit boring for a bot. With no lasers or gadgets, it just looks like someone hung oversized arms on a vending machine. I don't know if I should send him to replace my spaceship's power couplings or try to rent a Blu-ray disc from his chest.
He's tall, I'll give him that. Having a metal jaw is pretty badass. He shakes his fist at small children, something I can get behind. And pirates are still a little cool despite the best efforts of a certain series of interminable blockbuster films.
I guess I'm just not a fan of his confetti pistol. It undermines the entire premise of an evil pirate. Throw in the lack of an eyepatch and the zero parrot count, and I'm just not that impressed.
It's hard to hate a giant round thing with a massive smile and a jaunty walk, but it's also hard to write two paragraphs about it. His majesty's shoes appear to be rollercoaster cars, which is nice touch, but that's about all I've got. He's the kind of employee you hire and then mostly forget about, and then two years later you whisper to someone, "Wow, King Coaster still works here? I had no idea."
I feel like pop-culture princesses are played out by now. We get it, you were born rich. Congratulations. But Amelie is at least good at being a princess, and fully embraces her privilege with the way she walks right through the common park rabble as if they weren't there. That's a high-level princess move. Well done.
That's how life works, kids. You are nothing to the ultra-rich. Less than nothing. Get used to it.
Gulpee Rex gets a lot of points for being a dinosaur, simply because dinosaurs are fun and always will be. I like Gulpee Rex. I like the way he walks, and roars, and I especially like the fine detail of the see-through mesh window on his neck so the performer can see out of the costume. I like everything about Gulpee Rex, in fact, except for his name. It’s not even a pun. It’s a drink followed by the kind of dinosaur he is. If the drink was tea, then it might have worked.
But it's not, because who drinks tea in a theme park? You drink brightly-colored melting slush mixed with sugar.
While I know our boy James would rate Chief Beef #1, I’m not entirely sold on the concept of a high-ranking police hamburger. Yes, Chief Beef is an incredible name, and it's most of the reason why he's one of the better mascots. Thing is, while he has risen through the ranks of law enforcement to become chief, an impressive feat, I feel he lacks any real authority, possibly due to his rather uninspired hat and the fact that he carries a gold spatula that may as well be a magic wand. Come on, Beef, are you a cop or Harry Potter? He's also a walking advertisement for hamburgers, and I don't think that's befitting for an officer of the law.
I’m not saying I don’t like Chief Beef: I do. I just don’t respect him.
Unlike some enormous lurching pirates I could name, Elly's guns don't shoot puffs of confetti. They probably don't shoot anything, because that would be highly dangerous and result in dozens of murdered park guests, but anything is better than confetti and that includes nothing.
More importantly, Miss Elly is well-practiced in the ways of guncraft, fanning the hammers and twirling her guns, everything cool western heroes and outlaws do. Yes, blowing the smoke off the barrel at the end is a bit trite, and I do wish she wore her hat rather than letting it hang down her back, but she still puts on a rootin'-tootin' good show.
Truth be told, I find mascots kind of disturbing. Even the finest costume and the most magnificent performance can't distract me from the fact that there is an underpaid and extremely sweaty human being inside who would most likely prefer to be anywhere else.
That’s why Cosmic Cow is the best Planet Coaster mascot. She's horrifying in a way that makes me forget she's just someone wearing a costume. When I gaze at her, I only think of her as Cosmic Cow, a real creature. A cursed creature.
She bounces around the park on her own swollen, distended, no doubt aching udder, the tender pink flesh repeatedly squashed, stretched, and compressed, her thick, murky milk sloshing around inside. As she hops about on her sore and stinging mammary glands to the delight of humans who will never and can never fully comprehend her suffering, I can only imagine all the dirt, grime, sharp pebbles, loose change, broken glass, and remnants of park visitor vomit being ground into the leathery flesh of her aching, swollen organ as the days and nights wear on. It’s revolting. It's fascinating. It's Cosmic Cow.
That's what mascots are supposed to do: distract you from the unpleasant elements of the theme park, and nothing distracts someone from unpleasantness like something even more unpleasant. I am definitely distracted by Cosmic Cow. She is not just the best Planet Coaster mascot, she is a living nightmare.