Tari (Meta Runner)
Turbo Artificial Rapid Intelligence, better known as Tari, is a major character in the Meta Runner series. She bears a cybernetic arm worn commonly by a "Meta Runner", one of many professional gamers who have enhanced themselves with cybernetics. Unlike other Meta Runners, she has the unique ability to warp into the video games she plays.
Tari was originally an A.I. created by TASCorp scientist James Sheridan dubbed the Turbo Assisted Rapid Intelligence, which Sheridan claimed was advanced enough to store many petabytes of data, so much so that she was self-aware and possessed human-like sentience.
Despite her sentience, she had no choice but to follow Sheridan's orders as he searched for a human host to download Tari into in order to begin the testing phase of his research experiment: Project Blue.
Day after day, Sheridan would have Tari drill multiple videogames with the objective of completing them in the quickest and most efficient way possible in order for her to enhance her host's gaming performance, despite her disliking how her "life" is a constant repeat every day and hopes for something to change.
Months into Project Blue, Sheridan is approached by one of TASCorp's Meta Runners, Lucinia Porter who volunteers to be his test subject in order to be acknowledged by Lucks, as compared to the "young hotshot" Belle Fontiere and team captain Masa Shimamoto, whose skills are leagues ahead of her own which results in her being neglected by her boss.
Despite her confusion and amnesia, Sheridan uploads T.A.R.I. into her Meta Runner arm which connects Tari directly to Lucinia's brain and thus she sees memories of her life, including her sister Sofia Porter, her competitive moments with Masa, and her romance with Belle.
Soon, she helps Lucinia by directing her movements in different games which turns into positive results to Lucinia's delight as she claims Tari to be amazing, making Tari happy as Lucinia is the first to compliment her, only for Sheridan to tell her to enter standby mode, upsetting her. Tari chooses against this however and secretly enters the TASCorp server and enters different games and encounters the people she recognized from Lucinia's memories, with them believing her to be Lucinia using a smurf account to troll them, despite Tari's insistence that she isn't her.
Tari uses a piece of rubble to break her virtual arm off and jumps down after Lucinia and catches her. Explaining the situation to her, Tari leads Lucinia to the TASCorp server where her mind will be safe but when Lucinia asks about her, she explains that she is the only thing keeping the uplink semi-stable so she'll have to stay behind before it explodes otherwise Lucinia's body could be destroyed from the impact.
Lucinia questions if Tari will die from the explosion to which Tari claims that her CPU and sub-systems will survive, but the uplink will fry her hard drive thus erasing all her memory data and thus reverting her back to how she was the day she was made: a blank slate. Despite this, Lucinia rips off her virtual arm, representing a fragment of her consciousness, and gives it to Tari so that even if her memories are gone, a piece of Lucinia will remain with her so she'll never be alone and to ensure they remain connected.
Thanking her, Tari and Lucinia embrace as the explosion finally interrupts the neural uplink and severely wounds Sheridan while disconnecting Lucinia's remaining consciousness from her body and destroying the hard drive that houses Tari's memory, but not before Tari and Lucinia promise that they'll find each other again one day.
She is a very kind-hearted girl who enjoys hanging out with people in order to get to know them, displaying a friendly mood around the people she hangs out with and often cares for them and their safety.
Despite her innocent nature, she is shown as being insecure and shy, playing the role of a pacifist when it comes to solving conflicts through words rather than actions which sometimes ends up failing. Her persona is a result of a combination of confusion when trying to understand a problem and a lack of confidence in her ability to solve a situation that makes her very prone to danger.
But in terms of her inabilities in her confidence, she has shown be have grown during her time in TAS Corp., displaying a more mature and "cooler" mood as stated by Theo due to learning from Belle, as well as more reckless and passive-aggressive as she taunts Evelyn to distract her during their fight in the corrupted version of Ultra Jump Mania.
After escaping TAS-Corp and learning about her true identity, she is depicted as a more confident character, lacking most of her self-sensitive traits, showing confidence whenever a situation presents itself and putting herself at risk to protect others.
Why She Rocks
NOTE: This page only applies to her on Meta Runner, not SMG4 as it was confirmed they are not the same person and are two different people specifically.
- Tari's sweetness, politeness, and kindness had never been diminished in the slightest, as well as shyness. Even though she formerly lacked her optimism and confidence from Super Mario 64 Bloopers, as well as her passion for gaming, she is also far more somber and mature, lacking any of her childishness and cowardice in her first appearance. She also displays a mild temper and will sass her enemies back when they give her too much crap. This makes her realistic since she is older, is amnesiac, and has darker origins about her past in this universe, and depending on how one interprets the vague hints of her backstory and strange abilities, she could very well be a highly advanced AI/android/clone who just came online, albeit with enough of a developed mind to possess a personality.
- However, she's slowly starting to become gradually more optimistic, and already has a love of ducks, so, she may eventually become more akin to her original self. Thanks to the training she's gotten from being forced to work at TAS Corp, she's become quite a bit braver at handling situations.
- She's still the duck-loving gamer girl we all know and love, her design being different from the SMG4 bloopers, mostly around the facial area helps make her distinct and recognizable from the original.
- She first started as somewhat of an amnesiac introvert, but she was always positive-thinking and a thinker ever since her first appearance. Tari is no longer the fragile woman she started as, and she's "come a long way".
- Her goal is to find out more about her past, and she eventually learns that she's an advanced gaming A.I. merged with Lucinia's consciousness, but she's not sure how she got her body. After managing to save Lucinia and surviving by importing her data into a new server, she manages to find backups of her memory which are explored in the Meta Runner: Source comic.
- On top of her being a positive-thinking friend to MD-5, Tari can be quite expressive, especially when she got her own shorts titled "Fast Food Fight" and "Tari's Live Stream".
- Examples of her showcasing her honesty include her telling off Evelyn by expressing how she feels about her being very obnoxious and malicious in an ever so satisfying way as seen in "Hack and Slash" for example.
- Ever since the episode "Wrong Warp", Tari was always displayed as a very sympathetic protagonist you can easily root for, in the video games she and Theo are beating, or in person.
- Her love for duckies is a cute nod to her SMG4 counterpart.
- She has grown to have a strong friendship with Belle. As Belle was envious of Tari's talents, but Tari's good nature and kindness made Belle quit working as a member of TAS Corp and see the good in Tari.
- Her abilities grant her incredible feats, but because she was practically born with those abilities, she has zero preparation for the case where she doesn't have her abilities which is what happens to her early in season 3.
- Celeste Notley-Smith does an amazing job at voicing her, making her sound like a more realistic version of Tari's original persona having a lighthearted tone of voice.
- Out of all the Meta Runner characters, she alongside Lucifer and Sofia, is the most selfless person in the show, this is also shown when she doesn't like to start fighting people and still has a very rational mindset on handling these situations given the circumstance.
- Her first appearance was when she explored in, she was shown to be new to playing games, while she played so much to the point she got warped into the game itself; she has sharpshooting skills, and is quite smart about her tactics in combat.
- Many endearing quotes and lines from here include,
- “Calm down... Deep breaths... There we go.”
- “I mean, there is nothing wrong with being an otaku. Some of my best friends are otakus...”
- Ever since the episode "Wrong Warp", Tari is shown to be capable of warping into any game by just getting intrigued into the said game, and her real body’s eyes glow a bright blue. This also happens when she uses her info vision but it is much more subtle, being a darker shade of blue and limited to her iris/pupil.
- Her original persona in SMG4 was often lampshaded and seen as a cameo. On example includes her passing by a funhouse mirror-like screen that briefly mimics her movement using her SMG4 model in the first episode.
- An episode from the SMG4 bloopers reveals it was actually a two-way screen, as SMG4! Tari sees her Meta Runner counterpart on a malfunctioning television and decides she's played enough games that day.
- In the revelation of Dr. Sheridan being her creator, Tari is as far removed from his psychosis as she can possibly be. Quickly disavowing her creator when he insists that he is "like her dad".