Hello there, fellow WiR fans! After watching the movie again, I became fixated on the four palette swaps with terrible names that acted as filler in the Random Roster Race along with the Candlehead/Minty Zaki confusion, so I decided to write a little story about them and Sugar Rush as a whole.
Disclaimer: Wreck It Ralph belongs to Disney, not to me, although I lay claim to the redesigns of the characters.
When it was all said and done, Vanellope von Schweetz wasn't the only racer to benefit from Sugar Rush's reset.
It was taken for granted that there were palette swaps amongst the sixteen racers. After all, there needed to be competition for the chosen avatars, and what was the point in creating even more characters when a few lines of code could clone one of the more rounded racers? Minty Zaki prided herself on having two palette swaps, especially since they tended to place in the top nine more often than say, Adorabeezle Winterpop's clone. The clones were there to take up space when needed, and nobody gave them any mind after the arcade was closed.
That was, until the racers discovered how deeply Turbo had altered their world and the people in it.
Entire characters had existed before he arrived, entire tracks and carts and grand stands filled with adoring citizens who all vanished when he tore their princess out of the code and damaged the lifeblood of Sugar Rush nearly beyond repair. The game, making up for the sudden loss, had cloned characters and gave them nonsense names out of a random name generator (after all, just what did "Sticky Wipplesnit" even taste like?), but once Vanellope was restored and Turbo's presence eliminated, the roster changed along with the rest of the world.
A girl peered out from behind a gumdrop towards the towering Diet Cola Mountain. Wiping sugar crystals off onto her cola-colored jacket, she hesitantly walked towards the rows of sugar-free lollipops. In the Before Time, when she was a no-name brown Minty Zaki—or was it Sour Appleblossom now?—recolor, there wasn't anything here but a dummied out track. But now Pollipop Fizzydrizzle stared into the maw of a level deep within the mountain, complete and recognized by the game. Her level, all for her to explore.
Before, she had a butterscotch-flavored cart but after the reset it was nowhere to be found. Probably gone forever, seeing how it didn't need to exist now, but she wasn't complaining; it was nice to be as rounded of a racer as her old model, but now she could be herself. And all she had to do was go in there, find her cart, race to her heart's content—
And smack right into the former resident of the mountain.
Pollipop landed on the chocolate earth with a small cloud of cocoa dust, before sheepishly helping her leader up. She hardly recognized Vanellope—after she had won her first trophy, extra code had caught up to her programming and 86ed her ratty hoodie and stockings for her originally designed racing suit. Now she really looked the part of Sugar Rush's Princess or President or whatever she was, especially with the paper cup skirt. "Oh, I'm so sorry."
"It's ok, I didn't even know anyone else knew about this place." She looked at the mountain fondly then, and Pollipop wondered if Before her track had existed enough for Vanellope to live in as a glitch. Had she loved the track as much as Pollipop was programmed to? Did she hate Pollipop for taking it away? "Well, guessing from your colors I'd say this is your track, right?"
"Oh-yes, I was going to see if my cart was—"
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Vanellope adjusted her gloves and held a hand out to Pollipop, grinning as brightly as the lemon drop sun in the minty sky. "What's your name?"
"Well then, Miss Fizzy, let's go see if the bridge is finished yet!"
Pollipop skipped off with Vanellope into the cave, letting a smile grow onto freckled cheeks. Becoming her own person now seemed even better with a friend to explore her limits with.
Candlehead was having a confusing day.
Well, it was Minty Candlezaki now, and that was the crux of the matter.
She played with her new mint-colored jacket, glaring at the chips stuck to her hair. It wasn't really that much of a difference, her cart and level still seemed the same, but the thought that his actions had affected her on a personal level was a bit disturbing.
At least she wasn't Minty Zaki/Sour Appleblossom, who was testing out her remodeled cart. So far the only difference was that it was made of sour apple instead of mint, and it had a less powerful but longer-lasting boost than before. Sour Apple took it with stride and concentrated facial expressions that seemed as sour-sweet as her name, much to Candle's amusement.
She looked towards the ice cream cake range to the east, and wondered what else might have changed.
"Still pouting, Candle?"
Candle looked up to see Sour Apple smirking over her bright green windshield. "I thought that you'd be happy, since now you've got the corner of minty freshness."
She shrugged and absently tugged on a chocolate chip. "I'm just getting used to the new stuff, that's all."
"Well, how 'bout this then." Sour Apple zoomed forward and put herself parallel to Minty's cart. "I'll race you to my track—let's see if the peppermint bridges turned into hard candy or not."
Candle giggled and jumped into her own cart, revving her engine before chasing after Sour Apple. Today was a confusing day, but she was still better at drifting than Sour Apple, and that was something she could light a candle with.
Giant fondant trees on almond-layered hills rose in the distance, marking Adorabeezle Winterpop's destination. On the back of her cart was her former palette swap, decked in fruity colors and a large basket of sweets balanced on her head. Marzipanne Sweetifruit was babbling away, marveling at every taffy pond and peppermint tree that whizzed by, and Adorabeezle didn't have it in her to tell the girl to pipe down. As Nougetsia Brumblestain (really, the name made Adorabeezle want to retch), she had never made it past the first third of any given track, so seeing so many different levels had whipped her brain into a whirl of excitable cream. "Ooh, what's that? Double striped trees, I always hated those on Swizz's track, I always fell—ooh that taffy pond has Swedish fish! I never got to see them past that river in Taffyta's track, and over there they would try and eat—ooh we're almost at my track!"
Marzipanne was giggling and bouncing and Adorabeezle felt a stab of guilt. Sure, she wasn't the greatest racer out of the group, but her palette swap had all of her strengths taken out and dummied down even more. Had President Vanellope raced with her pedal cart—and didn't that memory take the sweetness out of her flavoring—she probably would have lapped Marzipanne. "Umm, Marzipanne—"
"And once I get my cart I'll be able to be a really good racer, just you watch! Maybe I'll even be on the roster!"
Adorabeezle bit her lip. "I'm sure you will, Marzipanne—"
"And if I win that'll be the greatest thing ever! Ooh, but Princess—oh I mean President Vanellope's a really great racer, I'll have to try super hard!"
"I know you will, Marzi—"
"Do you think if I do make it onto the roster the gamers will like me?"
Adorabeezle came to a stop before looking at Marzipanne, who's bright green eyes were wide with fear. And in that moment Adorabeezle remembered how Before, after every race she would abandon her clone and go cause trouble up in the northern tracks. How terrible did Marzipanne feel, or any of the other recolors or even Vanellope? She clenched her fists before placing a hand on Marzipanne, watching the girl's eyes light up like sunrise over the ice cream mountains. "They'll love you Marzipanne, I know it."
Marzipanne broke into a grin before jumping off of the cart and running into her track. "Come on, I'll show you where it is! I know it's over here, I just know it and then we can race each other and be best friends and racers forever and all that good stuff!"
Adorabeezle smiled before chasing after her. If Marzipanne could race as fast as she could run and talk, she'll have no problem beating out the competition. And if Adorabeezle could help her do it, then maybe she'll be as sweet as her programming said she was.
Swizzle Malarkey, or The Swizz as he liked to be called, kicked at the twisted taffy tree in frustration. Even with the help of Gloyd and Crumbelina, he hadn't been able to find her, Sour Apple's former teal palette swap.
He and Sticky Wipplesnit had been best friends since the game turned on. She, being the best out of the recolors, shared his incredible speeds and terrible turning, so they had trained together, pushing their carts to the limit and blowing the other racers away like clouds of flour dust. And now that she was missing, The Swizz felt like tearing up the track until he could get at the code and get her to spawn somewhere he could find her. Granted, Vanellope would probably throw him in the fungeon if he did that, but he was getting pretty desperate. "Gloyd, did you find her?"
"I looked all over my track and Snowanna's, but there's nothing." He nervously adjusted the large pumpkin on his head. "Crumbelina found a new track but it belongs to Jubileena's old clone, and Sticky wasn't there either."
The Swizz nodded before stalking off to his cart. He figured he would go up to the castle and ask the President-Princess for a map or something. He hadn't even found Sticky's new track, and the whole matter was making him want to throw that Turbo jerk into one of the bubblegum dispensers until he was flattened into a new candy covering. He sped out of the Laffy Taffy forest and towards the center of Sugar Rush, planning out revenge as twisted as the colors on his cart. He was musing on the possibilities of turning Turbo into a lollipop when a lemon larger than three of his wheels crashed down onto the front of his cart and squished The Swizz into a layer of meringue.
Well, at least he'd found the new level.
Swearing death to all citrus, he struggled to dig his cart out of the creamy goo but it had burrowed itself into the lemon cream below. He was ready to eat his cart when a voice snorted, "Yeah, that happened to me too. Stupid lemon pie."
The Swizz turned to meet his lost friend standing in bright lemon and white, braided buns carrying white hair out of her teal-brown eyes. The same eyes as Before, and he pulled her into a bear hug. "Help me and I'll help you, umm..."
"Lemonetta Creameringue, and while I'm not as sticky as before I'm still the fastest on the time trials."
"Only because you cheated!" He had his friend back and a whole new level to race her on, and all was good with the game.
She took a sip of the unsweetened sugarplum tea before meeting the eyes of the other racers. Taffyta had assembled some of the characters once she had found a former recolor sitting lost in her cart outside of her track, and had called for an immediate tea party. Jubileena Bing-Bing, Snowanna Rainbeau, Crumbelina DiCaramello and Rancis Fluggerbutter were all crowded around a table generously provided by their President (she herself was with that wrecking guy from Fix-It Felix, Jr.), and the new girl couldn't help but remember how Before she would've killed to be part of such a party. Now all she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and hide.
"So, Bubblebetty, have you run through your track yet?"
Bubblebetty Gummipop smiled nervously at Jubileena, trying not to freak out because dip her dots, her former model was actually talking to her and this is totally not weird and she needed to get her act together, like right now. "Yeah, I did a quick spin but then I kinda drifted off and then T-Taffyta found me..."
"I think I went through there to get to my track. The whole layout's changed, it's all pretty neat, isn't it?" The others agreed with Rancis' statement and Bubblebetty sank into her chair. No, this wasn't all pretty neat, this was terrifying because any second they were going to ignore her like always, and then she'd lose all her races and never get picked to be an avatar and what kind of stupid name was Bubblebetty Gummipop anyways and—
"Well, it's way better than Citrusella Flugpucker, if you ask me." Jubileena smiled brightly at Bubblebetty, and something, well, bubbled up in her stomach, making Bubblebetty smile back.
"Really, I was berry-flavored, not citrus. And what does flugpucker taste like anyways?"
"I don't even know what a flugpucker is! Wait, Francis should know! What's the flugger in your fluggerbutter?" They all paused then burst into laughter, Rancis throwing a cookie at Crumbelina's head. She then threw a lollipop, which rebounded off of Taffya's head into Snowanna's hair like an afro pick. She froze before launching a spoonful of cream, and the fight was on, fillings and cakes being hurled as the doughnut guards tried to keep order but eventually joined in on the battle.
Bubblebetty found herself laughing with the others as if she really belonged, and startled at the thought that now she did. Now she was a real racer with a real track that the others wanted to play with, and she gathered up all her upset emotions and threw it out with a slab of almond cake into the fray. It splattered and she felt the bubble in her stomach pop with a new sense of belonging.
The crowds of candy on the grandstands cheered wildly as the racers started their engines for the first Random Roster Race since the reset of Sugar Rush. Vanellope, all done up in her glittering princess dress, was launched into the air on the slide and discarded those stuffy robes for her sleek mint and cream suit, landing in her handmade cart with a soft crinkle of her skirt. All the racers steeled themselves for that beginning boost once the light turned green, and none other was more ready to go than the sixteenth racer hidden in the far corner.
Choko Pockystix was a remnant of the Japanese version of Sugar Rush, when they all spoke a different language and had five fingers. She was intended to be an unlockable character, but when Turbo came and changed the code, she had been wiped out by the virus. Now, she wasn't taking any chances—she was going to race, and there wasn't anything anyone else could do about it.
The light turned green and half the racers boosted ahead of the rest, Choko finding herself behind The Swizz and Crumbelina. The long stretch of track was to their advantage, but the giant bubblegum balls were their undoing. She snagged a power up cube and launched a pocky javelin towards Taffyta, pinning her to the track and allowing Choko to advance into 6th. The race up the cake was tougher, Choko just barely edging out Candle before she began to blow up the whole track, but then she boosted past Pollipop and flew father than the others over the jump, powering her way into 4th.
By the time she reached the ice cream mountains Lemonetta and Marzipanne were out for her blood, but she crashed through the barricade onto the hidden track and into 1st place. She was burning up the sour patch track, the finish line was ahead and she was going to win, she was going to exist and race and it was going to be wonderful.
Vanellope teleported in front of her and grinned her way, but Choko didn't waver. There was less than 200 feet left and Bubblebetty was coming in for a sudden victory; let her take 3rd or 2nd, Choko was getting 1st even if she had to alter the code to do so.
A flash of blue, the burn of a sweet seeker, and Choko took 1st place seconds before Vanellope and Bubblebetty burst their way through, followed by Lemonetta, Marzipanne, Candle, Sour Apple and Pollipop. The nine avatars of the day were chosen and the crowd cheers were deafening, especially from the chocolate-dipped pocky people in the sixteenth grandstand. Choko cheered along with them, and the racers set themselves up for the first quarter, Choko in the front with the others where she belonged.
When it was all said and done, when the arcade opened and gamers swarmed Sugar Rush to play the new and improved avatars and all of the characters flourished under the attention and freedom from Turbo's manipulation, Vanellope von Schweetz wasn't the only racer to benefit from Sugar Rush's reset.