Vicarious Visions is an American video game developer based in Albany, New York. Founded in 1991 by Karthik and Guha Bala, the company was known for developing the handheld versions of various multi-platform games, including the Tony Hawk's games and some Crash Bandicoot spin-offs, particularly for the Game Boy Color and Advance, as well as the Nintendo DS. In 2003, they acquired technology company Intrinsic Graphics, and renamed their game engine, Intrinsic Alchemy, to Vicarious Visions Alchemy. In 2005, Vicarious Visions was acquired by Activision. During their time with Activision, they developed games for multiple platforms including Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, some Skylanders games, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. In 2021, Activision sold the company to their sister company, Blizzard Entertainment, and in April 2022, they fully absorbed themselves into Blizzard, and renamed themselves Blizzard Albany.
1st Logo (1996)
Logo: We see a gray 3D letter "V", which is common for the text "VICARIOUS" and "VISIONS", which are situated to the right (in two lines). The red light spot is seen behind. Above the logo, there is the letter "A", and below its the word "production" in white.
Availability: Seen only on Synnergist.
2nd Logo (September 30, 1997)
Logo: We see the letter "V" sign from previous logo, with the text "VICARIOUS" above, and "VISIONS INC." below it on a golden plate.
Availability: Seen only on Dark Angel.
3rd Logo (September 1999)
Logo: There is a double "V" with upper solid triangle (with a sky picture) folded into a white "V". Below, there is the text "vicarious" in a thick font and "VISIONS INC." under it. To the sides of it we see "a" and "game".
Availability: Seen only on Zebco Fishing for Game Boy Color.
4th Logo (February 2000-2001)
Logo: A red "V" letter flies to the screen, and blue arcs fade in around it. Then the text, "VICARIOUS VISIONS" is drawing by light streak below (from left to right), and the "V" becomes 3D.
- On Terminus, the logo is white on a gradient blue background.
- For the Game Boy console, the logo is still.
- Sometimes, "A" and "GAME" fade in.
Technique: 2D computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A whooshing sound when the "V" zooms, then the sound of a sword unsheathing. None for the still version.
Availability: Seen on Polaris Sno-Cross and Terminus. The still version was used in a lot of Game Boy releases during 2000.
5th Logo (June 6, 2001-October 16, 2011)
Logo: The letter "V" with the arc appears similar to the previous logo, but it is all red, black, or white (depending on the game) and the text is right to or below the symbol. "inc." is in small font, moved a bit up. Sometimes the URL is below the logo. The logo also appears on a variety of backgrounds, again depending on the game.
- A common version exists, where an orb of light flies forming the silhouette of the logo with particles, then, in a flash, the logo appears (on some occasions, it includes the website URL), lastly, a trail of light flies around.
- On the GBA version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, the red V symbol deforms and a skater rides up it, does a lip trick, and skates away.
- On the GBA version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the logo in red is seen on the deck of a skateboard.
- On Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace for GBA, the logo (in red) is on a billboard. The titular hero can be seen on the top left of the billboard if you look closely.
- On Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, we start on a red background, which zooms out to reveal it's a close up of Spider-Man's back as he climbs down a wall with various graffiti drawings and the VV logo in white spray-painted on it upside down. The camera then rotates to the correct direction and the wall fades out.
- On the Crash Bandicoot games developed by the company (except for Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage), the logo is made of chunky blue and purple metal.
- On the GBA version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, a skater (probably Tony himself) appears in front of the logo from the right and attempts to do a board grab, but falls off his board. He gets back up, skates around the logo then ollies away.
- On the GBA version of SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, the logo appears on an aquatic blue background, and the "Vicarious Visions" text is in the SpongeBob font.
- On the GBA version of X2: Wolverine's Revenge, the logo gets cut by the titular hero's claws.
- On the GBA version of Finding Nemo, the moonfish from the movie form the V symbol, then they move away and the text in white fades in. The whole logo is set over an ocean blue background.
- On the GBA version of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, a small gray robot lands on the V symbol, then hovers away, followed a larger blue one.
- On The Muppets: On with the Show for GBA, the logo appears on a red curtain.
- On Spy Muppets: License to Croak for GBA, the logo is golden and is seen on a blue spotlight background with smaller duplicates of it.
- On the GBA version of Jet Set Radio, the logo is spray-painted in red on a brick wall.
- On The Lion King 1½ for GBA, the food items from the Let's All Go to the Lobby advertising film appear on a cinema screen. The gum stick holds a drum with the V symbol on it, and the popcorn bucket and the candy box hold flags with "Vicarious" on the popcorn's and "Visions inc." on the candy's. At the bottom, we can see the silouhettes of Timon and Pumbaa.
- On the GBA version of Shrek 2, the logo is integrated into a cornfield. The onion carriage from the movie can be seen scrolling to the right at the bottom.
- On the GBA version of Shark Tale, the logo is pink-orange gradient graffiti. A fish can be seen spraying the logo, before swimming away.
- On Shrek 2: Beg for Mercy for GBA, the V symbol is cut onto a tree, and the text, along with the URL underneath, appears next to it.
- On Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage for GBA, the spinning white logo zooms to the screen, followed by Crash jumping down and giving us a thumbs up. The "Vicarious Visions" text is also smaller.
- On Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy for GBA, Spyro pops up from the bottom of the screen with the view of the Dragon Village in the background. He then breathes some fire, which forms the logo. It then fades away to make room for the title screen.
- On the NDS version of Spider-Man 2 and the GBA version of Ultimate Spider-Man, the logo in red ("Vicarious Visions" is in a different font and the V symbol has spider legs attached to it) zooms out on a spider-web and zooms in shortly after. On the latter game, it is still.
- On the PSP version of Spider-Man 2, the logo appears in a red light splash.
- On the Xbox version of Doom 3, a spotlight appears (as if lit up by a flashlight) and lights up a wall with "Vicarious Visions" and two right arrows on it. It moves left and right for a little bit before going off-screen. After a few seconds, the VV logo in red fades in. It looks noticeably different from the regular logo as the text is in a futuristic font with the V symbol replaced with a single letter V surrounded by brackets. It then fades out.
- On the GBA and NDS versions of Madagascar, Marty is seen using a treadmill in front of the logo, with the URL underneath.
- On the NDS version of Ultimate Spider-Man, the logo is seen on a stylized red background with elements of the logo scrolling around at the top and bottom of the screen.
- On Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation: S.O.D.A. for GBA, the logo is constructed out of work supplies, and a hamster running on a treadmill can be seen on the lower left.
- On Madagascar: Operation Penguin for GBA, the red logo is seen a yellow sticker on a shipping crate. Kowalski (one of the namesake penguins) appears from a hole in the left of the crate and slaps the sticker.
- On the PSP versions of X-Men Legends II and Marvel Ultimate Alliance (as well as the Wii version of the latter game), we fly through a tribal-looking temple (which strangely lacks a ceiling) to find the logo engraved on a stone floor.
- On the GBA version of Tony Hawk's American Sk8land, the logo is seen on a sticky note on a yellow wall.
- On the GBA version of Over the Hedge, the logo is watery blue and is integrated onto some grass in a field. Interestingly, this logo is interactive as you can move RJ around it.
- On the NDS version of Over the Hedge, the logo is seen on the wrapper of a candy bar.
- On the GBA version of Shrek the Third, the logo (in red) is seen on a large wooden sign in front of a sea landscape. Below, we can see the titular Shrek, Donkey and Puss aboard a pirate ship that moves to the right.
- On the GBA version of Spider-Man 3, the logo in red is seen underneath a picture of a burning meteorite in a crater in a city street.
- On the NDS version of Spider-Man 3, the white logo gets pulled by Spider-Man's web against a black background with with a spider-web, some small hexagons and a smaller gray V symbol.
- On the PS2, PSP and Wii versions of Spider-Man 3, we fly through a city skyline to find the logo on a billboard atop a building.
- On the NDS version of Kung Fu Panda, the logo writes itself on a piece of Chinese parchment.
- On the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, the red logo zooms in on a white background with rays and rotating stars. A red line runs down the screen causing it to split in half. The colors invert and we slowly zoom into the opening while the camera rotates clockwise to the right. If you look closely while we zoom, a blue nano texture can be seen appearing on the V symbol.
- On Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, the orange logo is integrated onto a volcano while lava flows around.
- On the 3DS version of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, the logo in white appears on a cloudy backdrop.
Technique: None for the normal variant. The animations on the variants.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.
- The animated version has otherworldly humming with a synth splash when the logo forms, and ominous whirring when the trail of light flies around.
- On the Enter Electro variant, we hear an ominous lullaby with the sounds of Spider-Man crawling and a brief ominous whirring sound when the wall fades out.
- On the X2: Wolverine's Revenge variant, we hear the sounds of Wolverine's claws.
- On the Crash Nitro Kart variant, the announcer (voiced by Clancy Brown, in his Neo Cortex voice) says "A turbo-charged extravaganza by Vicarious Visions!".
- On the Doom 3 variant, we hear various mechanical whirring sounds, and then a brief synth note when the logo fades in.
- On the X-Men Legends II/Marvel Ultimate Alliance variant, we hear a suspenseful musical composition as we fly through the temple and the sound of Wolverine extending his claws when we fade out.
- On the Spider-Man 3 variant, we hear a brief rock-orchestral theme with whooshes.
- On the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 variant, we hear a whoosh as the logo zooms back, a slamming sound when it stops, an explosion when the screen splits, and ominous synthesized whirring when we zoom in.
- On the Warriors of Rock variant, we hear a guitar riff which continues over the other logos.
- Many of the variants have the opening theme of the game or silence.
Availability: Common, mainly on handheld platforms like GBA and NDS. The animated variant can be seen on some games such the PS1 version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Whiteout, and the Xbox and GameCube versions of Star Wars: Jedi Outcast. The Crash variant can be seen on the Game Boy Advance Crash Bandicoot titles as well as Crash Nitro Kart. Can be seen on Sea-Doo Hydrocross. This logo was last seen on the Nintendo 3DS version of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.
6th Logo (October 28, 2007-September 28, 2010) (Guitar Hero series variant [Wii only])
Logo: We see a rockstar inside a tattoo shop. He sports a red headband, an earring, spiked bracelets, and a heart tattoo on his left shoulder as well as an infinity tattoo on his left pectoral. He's sitting on a chair, and is getting a tattoo made on his back. He has three contacts with the machine, and the pain keeps getting increasingly excruciating, making the rockstar suffer more and show disturbing views (culminating with a view of the man screaming bloody murder in extreme agony as his skin turns pale green, his headband, lips and eyelids turn purple, his tongue becomes snake-like and flaps around, his eyes turn red and bounce in and out from the sockets like bouncy balls, his ears become pointed and his hair flies everywhere). Then we see the tattoo artist wiping off the finished tattoo on the rockstar's back, which features rock imagery including a fire-breathing demon with two guitars on the bottom, black smoke around the flames and a hellish landscape behind it, a hand flashing the "Devil's Horns" sign above the demon's head while surrounded in grayish clouds and a trail of hardened magma, a vine with thorns, the word "Cliché" and a spider-web tattooed on his left arm, and finally a stylized demon skull, another heart pierced by an arrow, some flames and a snake tattooed on his right arm. In the middle of the back tattoo is the Vicarious Visions logo, without the "inc." text. The tattoo artist later adds on the "inc." text, causing the rockstar to scream in pain.
Trivia: The art and animation of the logo was done by Dave E. Phillips, a former employee from Vicarious Visions. Also, if you look at the tattoo menu behind the rockstar, you can see an eyeball tattoo; this may be a nod to Neversoft, who developed the primary versions of the Guitar Hero games that this logo appears on.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: We hear the sound of a chime and a door sound in the beginning. Rock music plays throughout the logo, while loud buzzing is heard during the rockstar's tattoo procedure. When "inc." is burned, the rockstar can be heard screaming in pain.
Availability: It can be seen on Guitar Hero ports for Wii by Vicarious Visions, starting with GH3: Legends of Rock and ending with GH: Warriors of Rock.
7th Logo (November 18, 2012-October 16, 2016)
Logo: We see a scrawny knight with a big nose, a blonde mustache and holding a mace standing on a cliff outside a sinister-looking castle. An off-screen woman screams, causing the knight to put his hand to his ear. He then turns around, jumps off the cliff and enters the castle, where he finds the source of the scream: a red-headed princess in a green dress and a matching pointy hat hanging from a rope above a cauldron, guarded by a large cyclops-like monster holding a dagger and wearing skull-shaped shoulder pads. The knight jumps on the monster's head, knocking him out cold, and rescues the princess from the rope. The Vicarious Visions logo in white with a red outline and a slightly different font, lowers down to the screen by four ropes.
Technique: 2D cut-out animation.
Music/Sounds: The aforementioned princess screaming, the sounds corresponding to the actions and a short adventurous tune.
Availability: First seen on the Wii U version of Skylanders: Giants, and has since appeared on Skylanders: Swap Force and Skylanders: Superchargers up until Skylanders: Imaginators (Crash Edition).
8th Logo (June 30, 2017-June 29, 2018) (Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy variant)
Logo: The current Vicarious Visions logo, consisting of two 'V's on top of each other (one green and one blue), with the blue text 'VICARIOUS VISIONS' below it, is seen against a machinery background. Dr. Neo Cortex, continuing his narration over the logos, says "Developed by Vicarious Visions!". The dial on the background "turns on" and the logo glows as machine starting up noises are heard. We zoom back to reveal the logo has been on something resembling a giant metallic wood chipper attached to a conveyor belt. In the background are some crates which resemble the ones in the original Crash Bandicoot PS1 games. Crash Bandicoot as he looked in the PS1 games pops up and waves to us. Neo Cortex continues "It's Crash Bandicoot!". PS1 Crash approaches the machine with an armful of Wumpa fruits also in PS1, but trips over a crate and throws them in the machine along with a few falling crates. The objects come out looking like they do in N. Sane proper. PS1 Crash notices this, dives into the machine, and comes out on the belt in a posing pose looking like how he does in N. Sane proper. He gives a click-click sign to the audience and ultimately rolls off the belt. After getting up he spin-attacks off, revealing the title screen.
Technique: 3D animation rendered in Vicarious Visions' Alchemy game engine.
Music/Sounds: Cortex's lines, the opening theme, all the machine and Crash action sounds and an audience gasping as modern Crash comes out.
Availability: Only seen on Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
9th Logo (September 4, 2020-June 25, 2021) (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 variant)
Logo: In a grimy skate park, we quickly slide from the left to see a skateboard with the Vicarious Visions logo from the last logo, with "VICARIOUS" and "VISIONS" in a blue graffiti-like font forming a ring around the V's. On the right side of the board, we can see an orange illustration of a trash can, and on the left, we can see an illustration of an orange domestic cat vomiting. After a few seconds, we slide away from the board and fade out.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: Sounds of people skating.
Availability: Seen on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.