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News Update was a feature on the Insomniac Games official website. It provided updates at irregular intervals, prior to the release of Deadlocked. The updates took the form of Vox News co-hosts Dallas Wanamaker and Juanita Alvaro, and were presented in the form of sports updates, entertainment news, and action news updates. The updates provided backstory leading directly into the opening of Deadlocked.

Update 1

This update went live on the 14th of October.[1]

Dallas: Sasha Phyronyx, the recently appointed mayor of Metropolis, is under increasing pressure to explain the rash of mysterious disappearances across the city. In the last few months several of Metropolis' most heroic and beloved citizens have simply vanished. First Quaternion X, then the Brown Ranger and last week the city's most famous resident, Captain Starshield, disappeared without a trace. Could there be a sinister plot unfolding? Perhaps so. Our own crack team of action news investigators has uncovered shocking allegations and disturbing rumors that suggest Ms. Phyronyx herself may be behind the disappearances. Our completely credible anonymous sources have given us exclusive details and shocking third-hand rumors which suggest Ms. Phyronyx is actually a shape-shifting Zygonian robot vampire who is devouring heroes and hiding their bones in the black hole deep in the Cromquillian nebulae. And so we have to ask ourselves, what do we really know about this 'Sasha Phyronyx?'

Juanita: Well, Dallas, our research team discovered that until recently Ms. Phyronyx was Captain of the Starship Phoenix. She was only appointed as interim mayor by the Galactic President, her father, when the former Metropolis mayor stepped down amid a sordid scandal involving illicit funds from the amoeboid mafia. If you ask me, though, the appointment was really just a means of distracting attention from the President's own involvement in the scandal.

Dallas: It's just scandalous, Juanita. Meanwhile command of the Starship Phoenix was turned over to a former Q-Force member known only as 'Ratchet.' In making the appointment the President claimed he chose Ratchet for his proven skills as a pilot, but an anonymous inside source tells us the President was simply trying to keep Ratchet away from his daughter until he could set her up with Captain Starshield. And in a move that casts further suspicion on the president's judgement, a diminutive robot named 'Clank' was appointed as first officer of the Phoenix and the equally suspicious sounding 'Big Al' is the new chief engineer. This reporter smells something fishy here. Oh, wait, never mind. It's fish sticks day in the cafeteria!

Juanita: Just stick to the script, you moron.

Update 2

This update went live on the 17th of October.[2]

Dallas: Welcome sports fans to another edition of The 'Zone! We've got the latest DreadZone action comin' at you straight from the Shadow Sector, baby, and tonight's highlight reel is nonstop Starshield! This guy is setting records faster than a Tyllurian lava beast devours spleens! Captain Starshield has been in the 'Zone for one week and he's already reached the rank of Vindicator! The DreadZone construction crew is working overtime to build BattleCourses that will make him even break a sweat. To date not a single DreadZone gladiator has been able to so much as touch this guy! In fact, he wiped out an entire year's production of DZ Strikers in his first day! I'm telling you, it scares me just looking at the footage. Even our elite Exterminator team is afraid to face him. I know what you're thinking. Where in the name of Blarg did this guy come from!?

Juanita: Well, Dallas, let's be perfectly clear: Captain Starshield's participation in DreadZone is 100 percent voluntary. Each contestant enters the competition under his own volition, completely aware of the dangers inherent to any televised combat sport. DreadZone's parent company and affiliates are in no way responsible for death, dismemberment, mental anguish, or contestants breaking down and bawling like little sissies. Furthermore there is no intimidation, coercion, or blackmail involved.

Dallas: And there are certainly no 'highly explosive plutonium neck collars tied to a red button under my desk' as certain unethical tabloids like to suggest. Don't listen to these whacko conspiracy theorists talking about 'mysterious disappearances' or 'phantom distress calls' or 'strange crafts with DreadZone logos on the sides capturing people in the middle of the night and holding them prisoner at a secret space station in the Shadow Sector.' Sheesh, what a bunch of loonies!

Juanita: We get the point, Dallas. So, where did Captain Starshield come from? Well, apparently he made quite a name for himself before he joined our humble little program. He saved the Solana Galaxy from a robot ghost pirate invasion back in galactic date G2.16.918. He saved the Thyrullian Galaxy on two separate occasions from ravenous space locusts. He saved the Bogon Galaxy back in G2.14.173 when it was being terrorized by a pan-galactic amoeboid mafia ring. And just one month ago he was declared Citizen of the Millennium in his native Metropolis.

Dallas: But of course that's all just piddly do-gooder nonsense, Juanita! In a few short days he'll be squaring off against the undefeated Ace Hardlight in a life-or-death match up that will shake the very foundation of the time-space continuum! Stay tuned, sports fans!

Update 3

This update went live on the 19th of October.[3]

Juanita: Tonight in entertainment news we regret to inform you that the long-awaited Secret Agent Clank film 'Androids Are Forever' has been postponed. Industry insiders say the film's star left the set on short notice and is currently on an unspecified mission aboard the Starship Phoenix.

Dallas: I'm afraid so, Juanita. But what I'd like to know is what's he doing on the Phoenix that's more important than witty one-liners and revenge fantasies? Our inside sources say the Phoenix was headed to Aquatos where famed aquatic adventuress 'Hydro Girl' has recently disappeared. The young heroine apparently disappeared while helping to construct a shelter for baby lunar seals that were injured in a recent interplanetary tanker accident. *Yaaaaaaaawwwwn.* Anyway, witnesses claim they saw a large, box-shaped ship with red triangular markings shortly before her disappearance. Could Clank somehow be involved in Hydro Girl's disappearance? You decide!

Juanita: Well, Dallas, you've made a very convincing argument. Other news networks might dismiss that as a jumble of unrelated events and vague conjecture, but let's face it: They're losers. And speaking of losers, it's time for the Celebrity Harassment hour!

Dallas: That's right, folks, it's time to ridicule the personal lives of people more famous and popular than us! It's just good to know we're making a difference, Juanita.

Juanita: Shut up, Dallas, this is my bit. *ahem* Celebrity couple Sasha and Ratchet, or 'Satchet' as we like to call them, are reportedly no longer speaking to each other. Friends of the couple say that diverging career paths forced the two to spend long hours apart. Others have speculated that Sasha simply hated the name 'Satchet.' The couple has not spoken to each other in several weeks, following a heated argument in which Ratchet admitted to voting against Sasha's father in last year's election. Tune in tomorrow when we bring you candid photos of Ratchet looking like a poor broken hearted sap!

Update 4

This update went live on the 21st of October.[4]

Dallas: Now, in a breaking-action-news-alert-update-bulletin, we have exclusive insider information that suggests the Starship Phoenix is currently traveling at warp speed to an uncharted part of the galaxy! Apparently a distress beacon is emanating from quadrant J0713, an area thought to be completely devoid of any form of life. So, Juanita, it is now up to us to boldly speculate just what insidious mischief the crew of the Starship Phoenix is plotting.

Juanita: Indeed, Dallas. What horrible, horrible crime could those evil-doers be hatching at this very moment? What diabolical plot could require them to travel to such a remote and hidden quadrant of the galaxy? Perhaps they planted the distress beacon themselves as a cover-up? Frankly, I wouldn't put it past them.

Dallas: Too true, Juanita. Too true. But suppose for just a nanosecond that the distress beacon is genuine? What could it possibly be? A new alien race? A wayward starship trapped in a giant dust nebulae? Or could it possibly be a clever trap intended to capture Ratchet and force him to compete in a deadly underground combat sport for the entertainment of trillions of fans!!? Oww! What was that for?

Juanita: (whispers) Just read the holo-prompter, you twit!

Dallas: Oh, Juanita, you feisty vixen! I love it when you play rough. OWWWWW! My spleen!

Juanita: Hahahaha, don't pay any attention to him, folks. Whatever the Starship Phoenix is investigating it certainly has nothing to do with DreadZone, its parent corporation, or any of our sponsors. These so-called 'mysterious disappearances' are just lies and media hysteria generated by rival news networks.

Dallas: And tune in for sports later tonight when we'll have a new DreadZone contestant whose name rhymes with Splatchet! OWWWWWW!

Update 5

This update went live on the 24th of October.[5]

Juanita: Tonight on a very special update of Galactic Glamour, we are happy to announce that Courtney Gears is recovering nicely after she was nearly killed last year by two deranged members of her fan club. Ms. Gears' career hit an apparent low point last year after spurious allegations that she was conspiring with Dr. Nefarious to destroy all organic life in the galaxy. Then, shortly afterwards, she was brutally assaulted while minding her own business in the privacy of her Biobliterator Testing Laboratory. The two fans who so cowardly attacked her are still at large.

Dallas: My heart goes out to that dear, poor, sweet girl, Juanita. It was bad enough that she was left in a smoldering pile of scrap, but then her record label had the nerve to dump her and replace her with Skidd McMarxx! Oh, the horror! Sure, Skidd's latest album of spoken word poetry is profoundly moving, but he just doesn't appeal to the all-important teenage robot demographic. Or the "Dallas" demographic for that matter. I mean, who of us out there hasn't been up at 3 am dancing to "Robots of the Galaxy" in our pink frilly underpants while our mothers are yelling from upstairs 'Dallas, turn that music down or there'll be no choco-tarts for breakfast!'

Juanita: I think I'm going to be sick.

Dallas: And speaking of sick, fans of Courtney Gears are just sick of waiting for her upcoming album: Oops, I Got Vaporized By A Level 7 Shock Blaster! But thanks to Gleeman Vox, they won't have to wait much longer. Ever the altruistic philanthropist, Mr. Vox personally oversaw the careful reconstruction and rehabilitation of Ms. Gears by his own team of specialist robotic surgeons. In exchange, Mr. Vox has merely asked that Courtney Gears sign over all past and future rights to her music, her image, her name, her likeness, and her personal collection of Secret Agent Clank memorabilia. Quite a deal if you ask me.

Juanita: It's the deal of a lifetime, Dallas. And we're all looking forward to Ms. Gears cinematic debut as she stars alongside one of DreadZone's hottest Exterminators in Reactor: Rise of the Sociopathic Bloodlust. It's sure to be fun for the whole family!

Final update

This was the last update update released.[6]

Dallas: This is it! IT! The big I-T! The most explosive, destructive, mind-splitting, galaxy-shattering event in the history of holovised combat sports! Captain Starshield is just moments away from an epic showdown with the undefeated, unrivaled, and unscrupulous Exterminator grand champion, Ace Hardlight! I can't wait any longer! My heart is racing like a seven-legged sand shark! Feel it Juanita! Feel it beat! No? Fine, I'll feel yours. OWWWWWW! Say, is that a new brand of mace? It's kind of minty.

Juanita: DreadZone fans, the moment you've been waiting for is here at last. In a mere two weeks, Captain Starshield has obliterated every DreadZone record ever set. He has proved so unstoppable that even the Exterminators themselves are refusing to fight him. All except for Ace Hardlight, of course. The brave, handsome, sweet, virile, hunky Ace Hardlight. Oooh, just saying his name gives me shivers of joy.

Dallas: We get the picture, Juanita. Just like Ace Hardlight got the 72 pictures of you taped to his locker all saying 'Call me, I'm desperate.'

Juanita: Laugh it up, Dallas. I put poison in your coffee.

Dallas: Really? I thought it was just the new coconut-mango blend. (sluuurp) No, you're right, that's poison. *THUD*

Juanita: Stay tuned for the answers to the most burning questions in the galaxy! Will Captain Starshield finally meet his match against the fearless Ace Hardlight? Will Ace use the illegal one-shot-kill Quantum-Demoleculizer I snuck into his locker? Will Dallas get his stomach pumped before he dies an excruciatingly painful death? Only time will tell!

References

  1. Entertainment News (The 'Zone 14 OCT 2005). Insomniac Games (archive). Accessed August 16, 2017.
  2. Entertainment News (The 'Zone 17 OCT 2005). Insomniac Games (archive). Accessed August 16, 2017.
  3. Entertainment News (The 'Zone 19 OCT 2005). Insomniac Games (archive). Accessed August 16, 2017.
  4. Action News Update (The 'Zone 21 OCT 2005). Insomniac Games (archive). Accessed August 16, 2017.
  5. Entertainment News (The 'Zone 24 OCT 2005). Insomniac Games (archive). Accessed August 16, 2017.
  6. Sports Update (The 'Zone final). Insomniac Games (archive). Accessed August 16, 2017.
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