Cyd Sherman struggles to limit her time online, where she games as her alter ego Codex, a member of the Knights of Good. After the guild realizes that Zaboo has been offline for 39 hours, he appears on Codex’s door step. Zaboo misunderstood Codex’s in-game chats as flirting, and became a stalker living in the same apartment. On the in-game side, trouble also arises when Bladezz is banned from the game for using a macro (to spam expletives “a few thousand times”) in the trade house. Codex uses this as an excuse to have the guild help her with her Zaboo problem. The guild (sans Bladezz) reluctantly meets up in person—for the first time—at Cheesybeards, a local restaurant, only to find out that Vork had transferred all of their in-game valuables to Bladezz’s account as part of a team building strategy. If they decided to kick out Bladezz, they would lose everything. Things get worse when Bladezz begins to slander the Knights of Good by showing inappropriate videos of the members’ characters, and Codex is no closer to getting Zaboo to go home. Then, Zaboo’s home comes to him in the form of his overbearing mother. Zaboo confesses that his mother controls every aspect of his life besides the Internet, which she is beginning to read about. He saw this as his only escape.
Codex comes up with a plan to bring Bladezz down, using Zaboo’s stalking skills. Zaboo finds out about Bladezz’s modeling career and blackmails him into giving the gold and equipment back to the Guild. The Guild then fights off Zaboo’s mom, and Bladezz redeems himself by landing the final blow. Codex soon realizes that she got Zaboo’s mother’s loot- Zaboo.
Season 2 (2008–2009)
Zaboo’s mother takes revenge for losing Zaboo by having Codex evicted. Codex and Zaboo move into a new apartment, where Codex meets a new love interest: Wade (Fernando Chien), a stunt man. Codex tries to get Zaboo to move out by telling him that he needs to level up before they can be together. She arranges for him to live with Vork, who will take in-game gold as rent, something Zaboo is really good at: farming. Codex focuses on trying to get Wade interested in her. The Guild finds a valuable in-game orb which Clara and Tink fight over. Just as Vork lets it go up for bid, Clara’s children unplug her computer from the Internet and, upon re-connecting, Clara finds out Tink wins it. Clara vows revenge on Vork for giving it to Tink, and spends an entire weekend betraying Vork by corpse camping him on an alternate account as well as searching for her own orb.
Bladezz believes Tink is romantically interested in him and begins to max out his mother’s credit cards to buy her stuff, when, in fact, Tink is using him to get what she wants. Vork is annoyed with Zaboo’s lack of logic and his antics in trying to ‘man-up’ for Codex. Codex finds out that the stunt-man has a “stupid tall hot girlfriend,” Riley (Michele Boyd). The Game announces that the online play will be shut down for maintenance for four hours, during which Vork plans a strategy lecture for Zaboo and Bladezz, while Codex plans a quiet party with Clara and Tink. Bladezz coerces Vork to abandon the lecture in favor of a poker game (offline), hoping to make up some of what he spent on Tink. Clara advertises Codex’s party and it becomes a crowded kegger.
Among Clara’s random invitees, Wade and Riley come to the party. After finding out that Riley is Wade’s roommate and Wade is single, Tink and Clara try to hook Codex up with him. Zaboo, learning of this, persuades Vork and Bladezz to go to Codex’s party to try to stop it. Vork discovers that Clara has been attacking him, and begins to question his quality of leadership. Bladezz confronts Tink about their relationship; upon learning that he has been used, Bladezz steals Tink’s laptop and deletes her character. Meanwhile, Zaboo walks in on Wade and Codex kissing and challenges Wade to a fight. Wade is a much better fighter, but Zaboo’s seriousness about Codex leads to Wade giving up his interest in her. Codex yells at Zaboo that she doesn’t like him, and he leaves dejected. Then Codex sees a drunken Clara kissing with Wade, and decides to chase after Zaboo to apologize, but is hurt when she sees him making out with Riley.
Season 3 (2009)
Codex was able to recover from the disastrous party by the announcement of the new expansion pack for the game, Spires of Dragonor. The Knights of Good are first in line at GameStop until a rival guild, the Axis of Anarchy, cuts in front of them. After the Axis tricks a GameStop worker into sending the Knights to the back of line, Vork, still not over the events of the party, resigns as Guild Leader. Codex is elected as his successor, causing Tink to leave the Knights and join the Axis.
While Vork goes on a self-discovery journey, Clara’s husband George demands that she spend more time with the family after discovering her gaming has severely distanced her from him. As a result, Clara proposes that he take Tink’s place, after auditions for a sixth member fail. Riley, who becomes increasingly domineering to Zaboo, offers to join, but Codex chooses Clara’s husband instead, adding “Mr. Wiggly” to the Guild. Meanwhile, Bladezz begins to be targeted by Tink and the Axis of Anarchy, who expose his modeling alias to his school and plant weapons in his locker; later, Bruiser (J. Teddy Garcia), a member of the Anarchists, seduces his mom. Codex issues a message on the game’s public forum to stand up against the Axis for the behavior, and in retaliation the Axis puts a bounty on the Guild. Mr. Wiggly unknowingly gives away information about the Guild to other gamers in exchange for loot, which leads to his expulsion from the Guild. With this he tells Clara to quit the game, and she does to save her marriage. To end the Axis’s harassment of Bladezz, Codex and Zaboo track down the Anarchist Valkyrie at his job, where is he playing the game on company time. After they take away some of his character’s possessions and threaten to expose him, Valkyrie tells them where and when the next Axis of Anarchy meeting will take place. Vork returns after regaining his confidence to lead and, with Codex, reassembles the Guild to challenge the Axis at the Internet café where they planned to have a group raid. The battle begins, but both sides lose members quickly. Some of the Knights die in-game when their real life problems manifest: Clara’s husband shows up, angry that she is playing the game; Riley destroys Zaboo’s computer for not meeting her demands. Clara tells her husband that they are going to have another child and he forgets about their argument, and redeems himself in the eyes of the guild by helping Clara kill the Anarchist Kwan in game. Zaboo breaks up with Riley, who then proceeds to make out with Venom.
Finally, only Codex is left to face off Tink and Axis leader Fawkes (Wil Wheaton). After Codex makes Bladezz apologize to Tink, Tink decides that the Axis members are even bigger jerks than she can stand and lets Codex kill her in-game. Codex, in a hallucinatory conversation with her game character, musters the courage to defeat Fawkes. The Knights welcome Tink back into the guild, and Bladezz makes tentative peace with the Axis member who seduced his mother. Fawkes invites Codex for drinks; she initially refuses but, in a twist ending, wakes up in bed with him the next morning.
Season 4 (2010)
An unexpected and unintentional one-night stand with Fawkes (Wil Wheaton) causes Codex to stress over what the guild thinks of her and persuades him to cover for her in a pretend relationship. But after spending more time together, Codex realizes he is a “total tool-bag” and reevaluates her criteria for relationships with men. Her computer breaks and she is forced to get a job at Cheesybeards to pay for repairs but has no idea how to fulfill the expectations of her boss, Ollie (Frank Ashmore). Zaboo tries to be a good friend to Codex during her fake relationship with Fawkes instead of trying to win her love. He dives into this new pursuit with his usual smothering intensity. When the truth of the relationship is revealed he realizes that his feelings for Codex have changed and he wants to be her friend. An earnings competition for a new guild hall sparks a real life business for Tink and Clara that strengthens and strains their friendship.
Vork enlists Zaboo’s mother, Avinashi (Viji Nathan), for her “brilliant economic mind” in his pursuit of his vision for the guild’s hall and he sets up a stock market and loan company that is bankrupting players. However, her smothering tendencies enrage him to the point that he “make[s] a giant gesture that’s really inappropriate” and proposes marriage in an attempt to repulse her. To his horror she accepts. Codex and Bladezz film an online Cheesybeards commercial but the result is so horrible that it spawns a series of prank calls to the establishment. Ollie is furious and fires Codex. The guild helps Codex get her job back by organizing a celebration at Cheesybeards that attracts a large population of gamers. Bladezz attempts to perform a magic trick involving fire, which ends up torching the restaurant (costing Codex and Bladezz their jobs). Zaboo begs Codex to intercede in the upcoming nuptials between his mother and Vork. And when Zaboo reveals he has used the money from auctioning a romantic painting of Codex and Fawkes he had commissioned to buy her a new computer she is touched by the gesture and resolves to break up the wedding.
Avinashi and Vork are about to speak their vows to each other, at a virtual wedding ceremony in the newly purchased prison-like Knights of Good guild hall, when all of the guild members object. Codex manages to convince Zaboo’s mother that it is wrong to marry “someone [she] can’t stand in order to be close to someone who doesn’t want to be near [her]”. Zaboo helps by suggesting that she visit every few weeks when she gets lonely, causing Codex to realize that he possesses all the qualities on her new litmus test, and consider a relationship with him. The season wraps up with an official gamemaster crashing the ceremony to put an end to Vork’s “Trogothian Stock Market” scheme. Codex convinces the GM, Kevinator (Simon Helberg), to change the design of the guild hall to the “bitchin’ fairy palace” that Tink and Clara wanted. Kevinator is impressed to meet Bladezz, who has become an internet celebrity, and invites the whole guild to a gaming convention.
Season 5 (2011)
The Knights of Good travel to MegaGameORama-Con, a three-day gaming convention. Bladezz believes that he is invited by Kevinator as a special guest, but his name is not on the invite list. With all nearby hotels booked, Rachel, a member of the convention staff, manages to secure a room for them. However, it is not offered for free, and Bladezz convinces the rest of the guild that he will clarify the situation to Kevinator. Meanwhile, Codex is more interested in getting close to Zaboo, but he becomes engrossed in attending the events and panels. On the first day of the convention, Bladezz and Vork discover that Kevinator had been fired from The Game before the day of the convention and Bladezz was one of his joke invites. To compensate for hotel fees, both of them start up a photo booth for the Cheeseybeard’s pirate. Tink attempts to sell the T-shirts she and Clara made, but is forced to find a booth to avoid from being caught by the convention staff for selling without a permit. When she and Clara come upon a steampunk-themed booth, Clara is more interested in it than selling the shirts. Zaboo is denied entry to a panel because the seats are full, causing him to form a seat-saving network.
Codex tries out the new demo at The Game’s booth, but unknowingly insults the creator, Floyd Petrovski (Ted Michaels). She becomes even more preoccupied when Zaboo spurns her advances, and is continuously stalked by a convention-goer in a furry costume. When she follows Floyd to apologize, she discovers that he plans to sell The Game into a mainstream market. Codex becomes concerned about the future of the game, which is the only thing in her life holding her friendships together. Tink, who continuously changes costumes to hide her identity, reveals to Codex at a party that she is hiding from her adoptive family, who have attended the convention, fearing that they will discover her switching majors from pre-med to fashion design. Codex arranges a dinner with her family to reconcile against Tink’s will. Meanwhile, Clara tries to join the steampunk group and is trained as their fourth member to help them win the costume contest, but the members of the group ultimately turn her away. Zaboo has become so preoccupied with his seat-saving network that he briefly goes power-hungry. He is stopped by Clara, who brings back his old personality, ending his involvement with the seat-saving network.
Bladezz and Vork’s booth becomes successful, but Vork rejects all of the celebrities who want to spend time with Bladezz. His attention, however, is turned towards Madeline (Erin Gray), an actress who played his favorite character, Charity, on the show Time Rings. The two are invited to a party that night, but Bladezz realizes that all the celebrities lead normal lives, finding them boring. Still, he rejects Rachel and her friends for the celebrities and openly humiliates them. Vork, on the other hand, ends up repulsing Madeline. The next day, Bladezz has lost all support from the celebrities and his fans, so he is unable to continue the Cheeseybeard pirate’s photo booth. Zaboo helps Clara build a steampunk-themed blimp to help her win the costume contest. Codex and Tink discover that Codex’s stalker is Fawkes, who wants to join their guild after the Axis of Anarchy broke up, but Codex rejects him. The girls later eavesdrop on Floyd’s conversation and discover he plans on revealing his decision at the costume contest that night. Both of them convince the rest of the Guild to help them save The Game from going “freemium”. The Guild is able to stop the changes with much success: Clara wins the costume contest, Bladezz is able to win back his fans, and Vork reconciles with Madeline. As all of them leave the convention the next morning, Floyd has decided to give Codex a job.
Season 6 (2012–2013)
Codex begins her new job working for Floyd Petrovski at the headquarters for “The Game”, only to discover that he’s a thoughtless tyrant who immediately turns all the other employees against her. Meanwhile, Tink discovers that the men she manipulated for services and gifts have all slandered her on local websites, losing all of her connections. Bladezz gets kicked out of his house by Bruiser and spends time at Clara’s, convincing her long-suffering husband that she is devoted to her children by uploading videos of her parenting to the Internet, though he is more interested in monetizing the videos. Vork, who is dating Madeline, becomes disillusioned when Zaboo uncovers photos of her protesting nude, while Zaboo suffers separation anxiety from the members of the Guild going offline, seeking refuge from a collage of his ideal “sweetheart.” Codex is pressured by her co-workers to convince Floyd to release the underwater expansion pack they have been planning for months, but is forced to do menial chores in order to appease him. When the Guild visits her workplace, Tink steals Codex’s key to the testing server and initiates a casual relationship with Donovan (Corey Craig), where they agree that he will do chores for her if she spends time with him. Unbeknownst to her, she begins to fall in love with him for real. Zaboo, who enters the server posing as an IT technician, becomes smitten with Sabina (Justine Ezarik), an NPC of The Game and the spitting image of his ideal girl.
Vork, who has gotten through with an argument with Madeline about his personal goals, confronts Floyd about his unanswered complaints about The Game. This gets his character permanently banned, and he retaliates by protesting and gaining support from other gamers. Meanwhile, Bladezz is forced to spend time with Wiggly while Clara continues making videos. When Clara becomes Internet-famous, other parents turn to her for advice, one of them being Bladezz’s mother. Clara encourages her to keep dating Bruiser, causing Bladezz to convince Wiggly to quit his job. The underwater expansion patch notes are leaked onto the Internet and wildly rouses the protest. Codex is unsuccessful in finding the culprit, but convinces Floyd to release the expansion pack anyway. Donovan reveals to Tink that he was the one who caused the leak in order to push Floyd to release the expansion pack, and Tink tells him that Codex and Vork are in the same guild. He uses this information against Floyd to blame the leak on Codex and gets her fired. Vork’s protest culminates in a riot, but his acts have renewed Madeline’s faith in him and the two reconcile.
As her final act for Floyd, Codex quells the rioters by questioning their acts and informing that their poor attitudes contributed to the problems at the Game HQ. Floyd unexpectedly steps out and challenges the crowd to insult him to his face instead of typing online insults, but the entire crowd congratulate him on his work and cite their insecurities as part of their bad behaviors. Inspired, Floyd announces a troll-themed add-on for the Game. By the end of the day, Clara is successful in convincing Bruiser to break up with Bladezz’s mother and secures a position at a vlogging network, Tink and Donovan begin a relationship, and Zaboo discovers his real-life Sabina. Codex, happy with getting her job back and realizing how much her friends are loyal to her, makes a final vlog and tearily shuts down her computer, bringing the season (and the series) to a close.
The Guild is funny for it’s portrayal of the inter-personal relationships between people who are only used to talking to faceless colleagues. I was particularly impressed with Felicia Day who plays Codex and her depiction of the archetypal addicted gamer, struggling to cope with everyday life. Her reaction to Zaboo, one of her online friends, suddenly turning up on her doorstep is priceless.