The 50 Greatest Video Game Characters of All Time
September 21, 2011 7:39 AM   Subscribe

How many of these classic video game characters do you remember? A list of the 50 Greatest Video Game Characters of All Time. Obviously, it's a difficult task to create a definitive list of all our beloved favorites, but this seems to cover all the really significant characters. A little surprised (in a good way!) that Gestalt actually came in at number 10, TBH.

Empire Magazine and Guinness World Records have also compiled lists, but frankly I've never heard of most of those characters
posted by Greg Nog (225 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
Murderchode 6: Grinding Gutwobbler was such a bullshit sequel. It was basically 5 but with some cleaner textures and functioning doors. I'm still not sure why they decided to replace the Michael Nyman soundtrack with the pitch-shifted screams of game testers working unpaid overtime, but I guess that was just different, not necessarily bad.
posted by griphus at 7:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


Sorry, but if it doesn't include Pac-Man and Pengo and Sonic how classic can it be??
posted by SLC Mom at 7:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not enough schoolgirls.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:48 AM on September 21, 2011


I'm still not sure why they decided to replace the Michael Nyman soundtrack

Don't mean to threadsit, but I've heard that Michael Nyman pulled it after Damon Albarn contacted him to use most of those songs as the soundtrack for Ravenous. (which: interesting bit of trivia here, Ravenous actually began as a Rayman spinoff before being adapted into a movie!)

At any rate, 4 is still my favorite, but I guess I'm just a bigger fan of the health pack system there.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:48 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this something that you'd need to own a portal to a parallel universe to understand?
posted by oneironaut at 7:49 AM on September 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


The 50 Greatest Video Game Characters of All Time So Far.

Unless the author knows something about the future that we don't.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:50 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Greatest video game villain lists: 1 | 2 | 3
posted by Nomyte at 7:50 AM on September 21, 2011


15. Teachings of Jesus (Mr. President That's Called a Bible, Pro - PC)
posted by three blind mice at 7:51 AM on September 21, 2011


No "Despair of Ever Fitting in to Normal Society Once the War is Over-bot" from Space Marines from Space Marine? Pfft. Rigged.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Went in expecting Gordon Freeman, John Shepard and JC Denton to crack the top ten; I guess my definition of "Video Games" and Something Awful's are somewhat less than parallel.
posted by Gordion Knott at 7:52 AM on September 21, 2011


Why have I never heard of any of these games?
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sorry, but if it doesn't include Pac-Man and Pengo and Sonic how classic can it be??

All of those characters are blatant ripoffs of characters from this list. For example, Pac-Man is clearly based on Circle Eating Friend from the arcade version of Jah, Eggmon.

The 50 Greatest Video Game Characters of All Time So Far.

If anyone ever creates a character better than Crimson Summoner from Todd 2 I will eat my hat.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:54 AM on September 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why have I never heard of any of these games?

Maybe you only play mainstream games.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 7:56 AM on September 21, 2011 [23 favorites]


No Bentley Bear?

Sigh. ( Showing my age. :) ... )
posted by Bindyree at 7:56 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I know just enough to get that this is a joke, but not enough to know what the joke is or why. It is not an unaccustomed position.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:57 AM on September 21, 2011 [43 favorites]


Isn't picking Boss Ape from Elevator EscApe sort of cheating, though? All the other subordinate apes spring from his various hidden holes, and after killing those apes, you are allowed the privilege of a brief glimpse of the world through the Boss Ape's eyes. I mean, that's basically like picking all of Elevator Escape as a character, excepting of course the titular escalator itself, which I guess had sort of steep steps.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:57 AM on September 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


If anyone ever creates a character better than Crimson Summoner from Todd 2 I will eat my hat.

Crimson Summoner was just a ripoff of Maroon Wizard from UbiVision's Ted 3. BAM! I look forward to the Youtube clip of you eating your hat.
posted by kmz at 7:57 AM on September 21, 2011


No Microbots 3-D? Lame.
posted by grubi at 8:00 AM on September 21, 2011


ok thanks something awful i will talk to you later ok have a good one
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:00 AM on September 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


...Circle Eating Friend from the arcade version of Jah, Eggmon.

You know, Jah, Eggmon was originally supposed to be called Jah, Eggman, but if you put a single stroke through one of the kanjii characters on the arcade marquee, the meaning of the title changed to "The Emperor is a drunken louse." After seeing this graffiti during his tour of Tokyo's arcades, the CEO of Nihon Slamjam Games committed seppuku. His family now live as exiled fishmongers in Seoul.
posted by griphus at 8:01 AM on September 21, 2011 [25 favorites]


Man, when I was in grade school Adventures of Cuddy & Buddy had just come out and they were everywhere. If you weren't wearing a day-glo green Bart Simpson shirt, then you were covered head to toe in Cuddy merchandise.

Well, at least the other kids were.

I was soooo jealous and I begged my mother daily for something, anything Cuddy so I wouldn't be such a pariah on the schoolground. We weren't exactly a rich family, so it was a very big deal for her to waste that kind of money on turning me into a walking billboard. But bless her heart, she did. I came home one day and there, waiting for me was my very own, carefully branded honest-to-goodness licensed backpack...


... Covered in Buddy.

Oh. My. God. The shame of it. Even as the ungrateful little shit I was at the time, I knew not to make a fuss. I thanked her as best I could (in retrospect, I hope she thought I was choking back tears of joy and not disappointment. Shit, now I think I need to call my mom and thank her again after all these years...)

I tried using markers to recolor Buddy to Cuddy (I mean, they're just palatte swaps of the same sprite) but somehow that made it worse. The teasing for having the wrong character bag was worse than having the crappy no-name bag from Zayre's. The topper was that since she spent so much on the bag I was made to use it again the following year. Still, most kids had moved on to Jelly Commandos that year (who were totally snubbed on this list!) so that the kid with the Blert pencil case got most of the teasing that year.
posted by Freon at 8:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [21 favorites]


Jet Pack Youth Pastor (Bible Pyramids of Mesoamerica: Bibles Built the Aztec Pyramids - PS2)

If you shoot down the jet pack youth pastor with the celebutante crossbow, he gives you a code before he dies that transports you to the metatron bonus sudoku murder stadium.
posted by clockzero at 8:03 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Crimson Summoner was just a ripoff of Maroon Wizard from UbiVision's Ted 3. BAM! I look forward to the Youtube clip of you eating your hat.

Maroon Wizard? Seriously? In order to rip a character off, there has to be some substance to that character. Just because the outfit looked similar doesn't mean it was a rip off. Crimson Summoner had real depth; Maroon Wizard was just a bunch of pixels.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:03 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, Jah, Eggmon was originally supposed to be called Jah, Eggman, but if you put a single stroke through one of the kanjii characters on the arcade marquee, the meaning of the title changed to "The Emperor is a drunken louse." After seeing this graffiti during his tour of Tokyo's arcades, the CEO of Nihon Slamjam Games committed seppuku. His family now live as exiled fishmongers in Seoul.

Please stop spreading this old urban legend. In fact they had to change the name because of a trademark claim by Ian Lennon and the Beetles.
posted by kmz at 8:05 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


38. Natalee (Die, Natalee, Die! - Jaguar)

Oh, bullshit, that doesn't even make sense. Natalee was a thematic construct, not a character; the game's narrative was completely built around Billy Bomb's attempt to puzzle out her identity and her location. Piecing together the Map of Ages by visiting all those NPCs and interviewing them about their Natalee-centric theories and anecdotes, exploring Gerrymander Cave with that goddam broken flashlight, confronting his father's alcoholism in the third act, it all contributes to BB being a far more complicated character than the Cool Rad Dude sunglasses-and-skateboard cover art and intro sequence suggests.

And that may have been an accident, I don't know; the designers responsible for D,N,D! certainly hadn't shown a lot of interest in nuanced characterization with their previous work on Tank Gun and Tank Gun 2. But even if they did so unintentionally, what they created was a story that postured itself as being about a foolish man chasing a mysterious woman (and even at the end she remains a mystery, appearing only in shadow in what I think can be fairly interpreted as a dream sequence) but was in fact about a man defining and discovering himself in his attempt to explore the void that was Natalee's absence from the narrative.

You might as well say that "Jason - Corvette Form" was the best character in Mr. President You Can't Touch That. Jesus.
posted by cortex at 8:05 AM on September 21, 2011 [24 favorites]


No Microbots 3-D? Lame.

The problem is that the Microbots were far too small to be seen with the naked eye - hence the "micro-" prefix. While some enjoyed the gritty realism of controlling robots far too small to be seen, I think most mainstream gamers preferred the cartoony hand-holding of being able to actually see and understand what was going on in their games. You might as well just duct-tape a cartridge of Mario Party into your mouth.

And so it goes in the video game criticism industry as a whole: it exists to polish pebbles and dull diamonds.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


you guys

i think maybe these are all pretend
posted by elizardbits at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


Little-known false fact: the name Eggman actually comes from the Greek ηγεμον, "hegemon," because Naoto Ōshima studied classical Greek at Tōdai.
posted by Nomyte at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mornington Crescent!
posted by PlusDistance at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


(How many FPPs today will start with the words "How many"?)
posted by kmz at 8:08 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


elizardbits is that the joke

if that is the joke please tell me, i want to get the joke
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:08 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The witch doctor from Space Coolies never gets any love.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:09 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I demand a game with Tennis Dorfo in it.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:10 AM on September 21, 2011


Natalee was a thematic construct, not a character; the game's narrative was completely built around Billy Bomb's attempt to puzzle out her identity and her location.

Blatantly derivative: they should've listed "V." from Stencil's Quest instead.
posted by RogerB at 8:10 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]



you guys

i think maybe these are all pretend


Well, duh, when was the last time you saw a video game character in real life?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:11 AM on September 21, 2011 [19 favorites]


Unless the author knows something about the future that we don't.

Well, now we know you either:

a.) didn't click the link

b.) didn't play enough videogames

Which would be sadder?!
posted by adamdschneider at 8:12 AM on September 21, 2011


Oh sweet jesus. NEVER google "Jason - Corvette Form" with safesearch off. My childhood just died.
posted by minifigs at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


i think maybe these are all pretend

You know the whole "I think it ruins the franchise I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist" thing really got worn out around Attack of the Clones. Yes, Diver Dave 64 wasn't the best sequel and is, admittedly, an incredibly inferior sequel to Dave 5 or even Dave 3 -- Dave 4, as American gamers know it, is just a localized version of Ichi Fish Wrestle Gaiden, as Nihon Slamjam didn't think the west was ready for actual game's moral ambiguity w/r/t the fish hatchery industry -- but they were good games.

Look at all the rip-offs you see around Dave 5: Swimming Sally, Deep Water Dave, and why do you think the main weapon in The Legend of Ace 3 is a harpoon? These games influenced a generation of gamers and developers and for that I think they deserve our respect.
posted by griphus at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Crimson Summoner was just a ripoff of Maroon Wizard from UbiVision's Ted 3

Sigh, yet another UbiVision fanboy. Ted 3 was a complete mess, most of the original developers from the first two games had left and were replaced by the team that had been working on the scrapped sequel to Roboman. So that's why Ted turns into Robo Ted after level three and you end up spending the rest of the game on Space Station Delta. Maroon Wizard, who should have been the main villain, ends up being overshadowed by Mainframe to the point where he's just a background character. If you were at all objective about it you would realize that Techniqs actually created a real character with Crimson Summoner, with believable motives and feelings. Whenever I play through the part where his wife dies at the end of the balloon level from Crimson Summoner maxing out the Chaos Crystal, I have a hard time not tearing up.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:16 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


MISSING: J Tetromino (Tetris).
posted by Wolfdog at 8:18 AM on September 21, 2011


Was it the Atari 5700 that came with 'sensory enhancement' patches? I think they had some kind of hallucinogen. I wasted a lot of the space/time continuum playing Cyber Platypus on the ol' 5700.
posted by hot_monster at 8:18 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Look at all the rip-offs you see around Dave 5: Swimming Sally, Deep Water Dave, and why do you think the main weapon in The Legend of Ace 3 is a harpoon?

Um, I think that would have something to do with the fact that the mob boss was a W-H-A-L-E in Legend of Ace 3. It's not like every time you do battle with an anthropomorphic sea creature in a suit and tie, voiced by Stephen Tobolowsky, that that happens to be a reference to the Dave series. Maybe for a-r-t-i-s-t-i-c reasons, they just decided to have a mob-connected cetacean as the main villain, voiced by the boss from Little Black Book.

Irregardless, the themes from the games were totally different. In the Diving Dave games, you're constantly swimming downwards, whereas in Legend of Ace 3, you sometimes swim up. Completely different. That would be like calling my jerk stepdad who makes fun of my bandana my real dad.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:21 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is this something I need to pay another $5 to Metafilter to understand?
posted by oneironaut at 8:21 AM on September 21, 2011


Dave 4, as American gamers know it, is just a localized version of Ichi Fish Wrestle Gaiden

Diver Dave didn't hit its peak until they came out with Diver Dave's Factory Ship LOLocaust with the motion-based fish-gutting. Knife goes in, guts come out!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:23 AM on September 21, 2011


I know they tried to pull a consciously controversial move by picking Enough With The Zombies, You Boring Fuckers on PS3 as producing the best character of all time. But I think they may have accidentally backed into a profound point.

EWTZYBF was a tremendous step forward in taking metacommentary on video games from WITHIN a video game beyond the stage of five-minute flash games and into a fully formed, 60 hour exploration of video game psychology. The unforgiving, Demon's Souls style enemy difficulty serves to constantly remind the player that, hey couch potato, in the event of a zombie apocalypse you wouldn't be a hero! You'd be devoured in the first two hours, without some focused training in order to increase your survivability.

But the greater comment of the game, too, is on how banal an analogy zombies have become. Zombie Cuddy as the adorable mascot who denies her zombification, even as the player watches it occur, I think really successfully achieves the detournement of the genre as a whole. Watching Zombie Cuddy, her name floating beneath her sprite, shouting "I am not a zombie! I am either a furry or a werewolf or a witch! Or a furry witch! Brains!" is one of the most poignant and dissonant moments in videogaming since the climax of Shadow of the Colossus, or the introduction of Crimson Summoner's devil baby. Her limbs fall off; we know she is a zombie; we know there is no such thing as zombies; we know she will never know.
posted by penduluum at 8:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Leaving aside SA and the humor, the real problem is, how do you define "greatest"?

In terms of votes in an online poll? No. Just no.

In terms of sales?

That has promise, but by "greatest" do we mean "most popular" or do we mean "most influential"? Or something else? If "most influential" then sales numbers wouldn't necessarially really tell us much. Often games/characters that changed the industry weren't especially financially successful.

In terms of what then? What video game historians think?

Tough question, made tougher by the ambiguity of "greatest". I think if we went with "the fifty highest grossing video game characters up to now" we'd be able to get a more definitive list, but also one with less potential for interesting argument/discussion.
posted by sotonohito at 8:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man I didn't know anyone even bought the Pro version of Mr. President That's Called a Bible. My friends and I spent hours just playing the Demo version.
posted by graventy at 8:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You did not just say "Irregardless"!!!!
posted by Brocktoon at 8:30 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Leaving aside SA and the humor, the real problem is, how do you define "greatest"?

"Most hit points." Other metrics make literally no sense. Yeah, sure, Mario, whatever, dude has like one to two hit points max. That's literally the most ridiculous thing ever.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:30 AM on September 21, 2011 [19 favorites]


I seem to be the only one here who remembers all of these. When I wrote up my list, I had number 4 as the Portabella mushroom in Tweaker's Third Dilemma: Hashback!, otherwise, by an odd coincidence, our lists were identical.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:30 AM on September 21, 2011


"the fifty highest grossing video game characters up to now" we'd be able to get a more definitive list, but also one with less potential for interesting argument/discussion.

Wrong. You might have to move Serpent Fiend somewhere in the top ten and drop Nyo-Nyo down a couple of notches (though I'm not sure how the followup Bahamas Missions sold for F22, so I may be wrong about that.) Otherwise, the list is pretty much a sales / popularity contest.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:30 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


cool, i like list sites like Cracked etc.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:30 AM on September 21, 2011


You did not just say "Irregardless"!!!!

I could care less, for all intensive purposes its the same thing.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:31 AM on September 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


29. Potion Merchant (Scowl Innit's Footie Champtain - PC)

Whoa! I hadn't thought about that game in years, though many hours of my youth were devoted to concocting the ultimate footie champion. The soundtrack was way ahead of its time and the theme for the potion shop (featuring the list-making Potion Merchant) was particularly infectious. It was one of those irresistible blends of shattering glass, crying babies and slap bass. Classic.
posted by MUD at 8:31 AM on September 21, 2011


This whole thread makes no sense unless you already know the joke. I don't see why you had to come and frustrate those of us who didn't by having this circle jerk here.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:36 AM on September 21, 2011


The argument "Are video games art?" started by last year's list continues this year with several references to more abstract or metaphorical concepts.

I understand that they needed some rationale to shoehorn "Crushing Ceiling Object" from Pumpy Pod: Remix XL into the list, just to appease that game's legion of fans, but do we really have to have the "are games art" debate again just because that one character, in that one game, spoke to such a universal human experience? I mean, sure, we all agree that everyone who played PP:RXL had an amazing eureka moment when we played through World 3-1 (Look Out Below!) and suddenly realized that it connected with our quotidian real-life experiences. We all thought to ourselves "How many hours have I spent moving back and forth to dodge huge objects falling very slowly from unknown sources directly above me without realizing that that experience could be the stuff of ART?" But it's not like any other games have capitalized on that since then; we still go through our everyday lives killing thousands of tiny midless pests, collecting coins and weapons, and jumping from home to work on tiny precarious platforms — but nobody tries to make a fun game about that. Game audiences are lazy; we all just play our game characters through psychological turmoil, adult emotional revelations, and multipart gray-area political scenarios as if those had anything to do with our real-life experiences. PP:RXL is a unique masterpiece in the history of gaming, sure, but let's not pretend Crushing Ceiling Object started some new trend toward artistic depth in games.
posted by RogerB at 8:38 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like video games. I like funny jokes. I don't get this one. Can someone please explain it?
posted by pazazygeek at 8:38 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Erm.....Carpenter Cuddy, Banjo Cuddy, Dark Cuddy, Super Cuddy, Zombie Cuddy?? No love for Bizarro Cuddy? Bizarro Cuddy was the Big Lebowski rug that tied that whole game together. Idiots.
posted by iconomy at 8:40 AM on September 21, 2011


ARRGH I HATE JOKES
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:41 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I thought the thread made sense even though I didn't know a lot of these games, it was a real eye opener, I will def be looking some of them up! I guess it just reflects on my childhood that the only one I remember is Turbo Typing Tutor : / oh well!
posted by little cow make small moo at 8:42 AM on September 21, 2011


Aww...I'm not sure why he's there, but the cute little dinosaur on the second page, for anyone interested, is Nigersaurus. One of my old professors discovered it. Yes, he realizes how adorable he made the model look.
posted by phunniemee at 8:43 AM on September 21, 2011


Erm.....Carpenter Cuddy, Banjo Cuddy, Dark Cuddy, Super Cuddy, Zombie Cuddy?? No love for Bizarro Cuddy? Bizarro Cuddy was the Big Lebowski rug that tied that whole game together. Idiots.

[spoiler alert]

Was Bizarro Cuddy a separate character? The ending cutscene in Cuddy 3 for the Nintendo 64 strongly implied that Bizarro Cuddy was just Dark Cuddy after the "accident".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:44 AM on September 21, 2011


You did not just say "Irregardless"!!!!

I could care less, for all intensive purposes its the same thing.


Assumably, you could of said same difference.
posted by clockzero at 8:45 AM on September 21, 2011


The Japanese say name things weird. It's a spoof and a goof.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:45 AM on September 21, 2011


I'm not normally one to brag but my greatest accomplishment to date is unlocking the adamantine gauntlets for Boss Ape from Escalator EscApe. People I went to college with still talk about it.
posted by iconomy at 8:48 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joel: Oh, I get it.
Servo (with Crow's voice): Oh no you don't Joel, you're crazy!
Crow (singing, with Servo's voice): Toys in the attic....
posted by JHarris at 8:49 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not normally one to brag but my greatest accomplishment to date is unlocking the adamantine gauntlets for Boss Ape from Escalator EscApe. People I went to college with still talk about it.

What the fuck? I thought that was supposed to be a hoax? How do you even get them?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:50 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


(How many FPPs today will start with the words "How many"?)

No joke. Is this a coordinated joke?
posted by scunning at 8:52 AM on September 21, 2011


I'd say they left off the only good movie tie-in game ever—which is of course Lobsterhosen: Rise of Lobsterhosen—except that there aren't any characters in it, just Pepsi cans of different sizes and angles. Still.
posted by AugieAugustus at 8:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know what's worse, the people that complain about not getting the joke, or the people that get the joke but fail in their attempt to carry it on.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:54 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Guybrush Threepwood? No Monkey Island characters at all? Of course, this is completely wrong.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:55 AM on September 21, 2011


my greatest accomplishment to date is unlocking the adamantine gauntlets for Boss Ape from Escalator EscApe.

Oh sure it is. Next you're going to show us the Sheng Long pictures, right?
posted by penduluum at 8:56 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


What the fuck? I thought that was supposed to be a hoax? How do you even get them?

He's trolling you, that feature was removed from the game at the last second before release. You can get them with a Game Efreeti code, but obviously that doesn't count.
posted by JHarris at 8:57 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd say they left off the only good movie tie-in game ever—which is of course Lobsterhosen: Rise of Lobsterhosen—except that there aren't any characters in it, just Pepsi cans of different sizes and angles. Still.

"The only video game so far to contain the power of Arthur Schoenberg's music, Andy Warhol's art, and the raw documentary footage of a genocide - and a grim genocide, at that."- EGM
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:57 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Blockovinch Blotto from Shit Just Keeps Falling got ROBBED.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Guybrush Threepwood yt ? No Monkey Island characters at all? Of course, this is completely wrong.

What is this, "Guybrush Threepwood?" Now you're just making things up, no one would believe a name like that.
posted by JHarris at 8:58 AM on September 21, 2011 [16 favorites]


Gold Bear Ripper from "Zombie Injuns" was a real eye opener for me. That's when it hit me that narrative and game play were a biaxial continuum.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:58 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It still boggles me that so many people didn't know you could restart at the world where you'd died in Elevator EscApe by holding down the A button when you hit start on the title screen.
posted by cortex at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the joke and it's making my face cry my own tears.
posted by spicynuts at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't understand the joke and it's making my face cry my own tears.

That's a reference to the save screen in Ccclomp! and I claim my five pounds.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


...by holding down the A button when you hit start on the title screen.

This only worked on the official NES cartridge. If you tried to do this on the Tengen cart, the television would emit a high-pitched shriek that drove all cats, dogs and squirrels in your surrounding area to rabid homicide.
posted by griphus at 9:03 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's making my face cry my own tears.

That's better than your face crying somebody else's tears. Cause that'd be fucking weird.
posted by kmz at 9:03 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Went to Amazon and can't even find a used copy of Learn Your Baby to Math. Do you think one of the titles with a "schoolgirl" would work? I really want my baby to math.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:06 AM on September 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wait, this is a joke, I thought I remembered that typing one??

I haven't felt like this since that time in fourth grade. I feel really let down you guys.
posted by little cow make small moo at 9:06 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow those Empire guys listed Samus at 26??? After...Bowser? The Halo guy? Are you kidding me?
posted by nzero at 9:09 AM on September 21, 2011


Pit (#45) is no joke. Pit is the one character all side-scrollers have in common, and the most feared.

Leaving Pitt the Elder off the list is a travesty.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:12 AM on September 21, 2011


I'm not normally one to brag but my greatest accomplishment to date is unlocking the adamantine gauntlets for Boss Ape from Escalator EscApe. People I went to college with still talk about it.

What the fuck? I thought that was supposed to be a hoax? How do you even get them?


You have to keep walking around the perimeter of that weird, kinda Florida-shaped room in the asteroid dungeon until you have a random encounter with the unemployed zombie. After you beat him, you can unlock the shot-put option in the beauty pageant mini-game.
posted by clockzero at 9:12 AM on September 21, 2011


Leaving Pitt the Elder off the list is a travesty.

LORD PALMERSTON.
posted by grubi at 9:19 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


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CABAL DELETION REASON FOLLOWS
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This post was deleted for the following reason: Wrong version of reality. Try again "tomorrow," but click the "Calibrate Multiverse" button on your Profile page first. -- cortex
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CABAL DELETION REASON ENDS. THERE IS NO LUCKY WANDER BOY.
**********************
posted by Rock Steady at 9:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always wanted play as Selene but I had to pick Endymion instead because I knew the other guys would make fun of me.
posted by hermitosis at 9:31 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also I had no interest in Elevator EscApe once I found out Smoot Mahootey wasn't a playable character in the console version.

Anyone know where I can find the arcade version (or even the pinball machine) in NYC?
posted by hermitosis at 9:36 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Went to Amazon and can't even find a used copy of Learn Your Baby to Math.

Yeah, 3DO titles are really, really hard to find. I cherish my pristine copy of "Professor Schmeck's Up-Turned Machine," even if it is the Japanese version in which the machine is tipped over on its side.

As for "Baby," I swear I see the Neo Geo port of that every damned time I go to the flea market. Like, stacks of them. I'll pick you one up next time.
posted by jbickers at 9:41 AM on September 21, 2011


Anyone know where I can find the arcade version (or even the pinball machine) in NYC?

Chinatown Arcade. No, not that Chinatown Arcade, but a different one. The one to which the well-known place is but a shadow of a shadow. It is hidden. Secret. There's an invisible alley on Mott St. near the Church of the Transfiguration. It looks like a wall, but if you know what's behind it you can step right through the eldritch magic keeping up the illusion. There, you will your game and all the other games you never thought you'd see again. But beware: if they should hear you talk of this place, you, and your children, and your children's children will be banned for all enternity and throughout all the planes.
posted by griphus at 9:44 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Also, they're usually out of quarters so you better bring your own.)
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I thought I liked video games and had played my fair share, but I don't even know what's being parodied here. I'm going to go lie down.
posted by vanar sena at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2011


I don't understand the joke and it's making my face cry my own tears.

Okay, being serious here. The joke, as it were, is that Spider, which this writer has listed as number 50 and Zombie Cuddy, number one, are obvious trolls. For most people that's complete heresy. As far as I'm concerned, the entire history of videogames could be charted with two points, the original Space War and Catacomb Delver. Everything before, during and after those points are just derivative of one or the other, including EWBYZF (which, frankly, was a flash game trying to pass as a triple-A title.) There's no question that Spider should be sitting at the top spot. This is the kind of stuff that causes week long flame wars at sites like NeoGAF. Hell, it's an instant ban on NeoGAF to even troll the Delverheads because people have gotten so sick of it.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:47 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah you're all joking now, but you're going to be really upset when you discover these are all real games.
posted by vanar sena at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I remember being so freaked by the end of No Dogs Aloud when it turns out that you actually have to kill Tesla if you have too MANY points. Which was like an early lesson in irony since having him on your team actually doubled the points that you got in the Pound Town zone.

Not surprising that the Humane Society never tried another video game tie in. Though I saw some sketches once that were supposed to be from their 16 bit Animal Hospital Armada, and sadly it just looked like another cheap rip-off of Pouch Pounce.
posted by hermitosis at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is telling that the author of this "list" completely ignored The Wire.
posted by seventyfour at 10:00 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


the original Space War and Catacomb Delver

Fuck Space War. It was all about Galactifear and Stellar Team when I was growing up. "Show 'em your guns, son!"
posted by grubi at 10:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


And again about Microbots 3-D. It's not that it was so good, but the Game Genie made it possible to change the size of your 'bot on the fly, and making a 'bot GIGANTIC was a thrill when trying to kill Cytoface or Sickle-Cell Sid.

Of course, Microbots Extreme and Microbots Contagion had their moments, too. But nothing beats the original ending.
posted by grubi at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, people always say "just flag and move on." But I don't know how to flag a post.

And frankly, I've never been all that good at the moving on bit either.
posted by Naberius at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fuck Space War. It was all about Galactifear and Stellar Team when I was growing up. "Show 'em your guns, son!"

Please Galactifear was so buggy on release that it was recalled (man I wish I kept one of those carts. I could eBay it and pay off my car). The v2 release still had the shitty floaty controls and the horrible localization. At the time, 1983, it had the biggest budget ever for a game and still was a total trainwreck. Grrrrr. I'm not posting in this thread anymore. You suck.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2011


It is telling that the author of this "list" completely ignored The Wire.

Yeah, Obscurity Under the Gargantuan usually gets all the credit for the emotional twist of putting the player in the moral wrong for killing a character, but the "Where Wallace At" minigame really pioneered this. (It's hard to get through, too — I've never been able to figure out the trick to finishing that level as Bodie without using the cheat code IDNOQUALMS.)
posted by RogerB at 10:10 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Grrrrr. I'm not posting in this thread anymore. You suck.

No YOU suck. Galactifear, for all its problems, spawned more quality imitators than any other in the genre (good examples include In the Darrrrk, Frightscape, and Warp Factor DIE). And the blood-warp sequnce was AWESOME.

I can't help it if you have hate in your heart. Probably a Cap'n Bob's Pink Shoe Advencha fan, aren't ya?
posted by grubi at 10:17 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm more of a casual gamer, I just play the copy of "Cripple Mr. Onion" that came bundled with my Ono Sendai running OSos V 5.5 ("Walleye"), as Ono Sendai isn't a big games platform. I'm probably going to switch to a glasses-free Sandbenders tablet, which comes with "3D Fifty-Two PICKUP!", "BeJazzled 3D" and "Burning Monkey Gin Rummy."
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Uriel from Fish Summoner 3 - nowhere in there?

She was the first playable female character in a console RPG that could be your girlfriend! As much as the legions of serious 11-year-old would-be Fish Dragoons of the late '80s would carefully avoid talking about it, the prepubescent thrill was undeniable when - after carefully selecting the most compassionate dialogue choices over the course of three conversations - she went into the same bed as Klaus at Brodu Inn! Then the screen faded to black as pink ghost sprites - Japanese semiotic shorthand for love - emanated from the bed.

Conversely, a whole generation of boys was *crushed* when Uriel was literally crushed by the summoning of Smintel's Master Whale, WHALOS. Rodriguez's mocking "UWAHAH" will echo in our collective consciousness forever. And what a way to set up the final battle - a dramatic masterstroke.

To boot, the loss of Uriel's healing spells and helpful parasol attacks made it quite a chore to fight WHALOS, Rodriguez, Rodriguez's second, third, and fourth forms, then DARK WHALOS, then Rodriguez's true form, Rodriguezeon.

Still, I think we all learned that life has its ups and down at that we have to keep fighting and summoning no matter who dies! And for that, I think we owe something to a petite and cheery sprite named Uriel.
posted by ignignokt at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2011 [18 favorites]


This list is going to be outdated with the appearance of "Mysterious Girl" forthcoming JRPG Bravely Default: Flying Fairy for 3DS.

...

What?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:33 AM on September 21, 2011


Probably a Cap'n Bob's Pink Shoe Advencha fan, aren't ya?

You know what, I was going to leave the thread and then I was going to just FIAMO, but you're just being outrageous now. Cap'n Bob was a well designed, if casual, 2D side-scrolling 4x game, the first of its kind! For that alone it was groundbreaking. Sure, the industry was flooded with imitators like Tattoo Jones vs. Flyfoot (great!) and Speed Casters (awful), but the genre itself owes everything to Cap'n Bob.

If you can't understand that, we have nothing to talk about.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:42 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


URIEL DIES

To think of the legion of fanboys who played Fish Summoner 3 over and over trying all kinds of crazy things to bring Uriel back to life. I mean, it's not like everyone who dies in Fish Summoner 1 and 2 doesn't come back to life, sometimes five minutes later.

I remember Video Game Weekly trolled them all one April Fool's Day in 1992 with supposed screenshots of her resurrection scene. Mighty was the fanboy wrath when it was discovered.
posted by JHarris at 11:10 AM on September 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


speaking of Chris Benoit, The Dead Wrestlers Society
posted by mrgrimm at 11:21 AM on September 21, 2011


one April Fool's Day in 1992

which one?
posted by little cow make small moo at 11:23 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The invisible one.
posted by JHarris at 11:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hi everyone!

A friend sent me this link, and I can't tell you how happy I was to see that people still talk about what I consider some of my best work. Nomyte, you're almost right about the name of "Jah, Eggmon"; it was from the Greek for 'hegemon', but it wasn't my idea. One of our early playtesters (his name escapes me right now, but I think he ended up fairly high on the ladder at Purple Fin studios) actually came up with the idea. We were a fairly tight knit group, so he came right to me with the idea, and I approved.

This actually caused some stress between me and Kobayashi, who was actually leading the project at the time. His pet name for the project was "Friendship Bird and the Happy Sunset" (fans will probably chuckle at the irony of 'happy sunset' :) but no one else thought that was a workable title. Eventually, we had an intervention, and convinced him his title was not workable.

Because the playtester had had such an impact on the final project, we decided to credit him in an unusual way. If you go to World 7, then press down for 10 seconds on the third mound, you'll drop into a sort of "parallel world". In this Easter Egg world, there are several NPCs, each of which is modeled after a developer, but the final one was modeled after the playtester! I won't spoil the secret, but he sells something very useful on the last boss ;)

Anyway, thanks for bringing back such good memories. Those years were the best years to be developing games, I think, and it was nice to make so many people happy!

-Naoto
posted by NaotoOshima at 11:35 AM on September 21, 2011 [62 favorites]


This list is complete horseshit, and I can't believe I have to get into this again with you philistines! Once again this list falls heavy into the console market completely ignoring the early pioneers in the computer and arcades. It's a really simple process of breaking down inherent game mechanics to see that the early systems are all based around SLINGO, and if they don't have the cajones to even include that character (yes, it is a character and I'm not going to have the conversation AGAIN with people who keep saying "a non-anthropomorphic pixelation cannot be a character." I mean, the character metamorphosis through multiple geometric shapes, battles other characters, and searches for his lost love whilst traveling through several areas which conveys the monomyth theme perfectly. And, no, I don't want to hear that I'm using the definitions of "battles", "love", and "areas" loosely. If you don't get it then I can't help you.) then I will have to just bring it up (AGAIN).
posted by P.o.B. at 11:40 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Heeey, is that the real Naoto Oshima!? Are we getting trolled? I'm calling shenanigans because why would the real Oshima come over here and post about a "playtester" who's name he forgot? Yeah, right! Cortex, I demand you check on this persons credentials!
posted by P.o.B. at 11:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gotta say, eyeballkid, you don't know WHAT in the hell you're talking about. I mean this:

the genre itself owes everything to Cap'n Bob.

EXCUSE ME? First, ideas like Bubble Shooters and Trans-Warp Shadow Machines? Stupid as hell. Certainly not "innovations". And as for being the first... BOLLOCKS. Sounds like you've never played the ABSOLUTE CLASSIC that *truly* started it all: Trapdoory Corey and the Imagination Story.

BUT whatever. Let's just ignore history, shall we?
posted by grubi at 12:04 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I loved SLINGO. I agree, it was robbed.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2011


FOUL: Slingo exists. Five yard penalty.
posted by JHarris at 12:12 PM on September 21, 2011


Mefi's own Naoto Oshima! Welcome, Naoto. I hope you stick around. If you go back a few days, JHarris posted some Eggmon-themed QuarterLyfe mods on the blue. Friendship Bird looks amazing in 3D!
posted by painquale at 12:16 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This "Slingo" thing is supposed to be a paid game that you play on the Kindle? People, if you're going to make shit up, please try to stay at least a little bit realistic. Being that outlandish just spoils the joke.
posted by RogerB at 12:18 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mefi's own Naoto Oshima!

*faints*
posted by eyeballkid at 12:19 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


wait wait wait
apparently the field density between the two universes is collapsing
everyone quick, check if your timeline now includes Jah, Eggmon
posted by RogerB at 12:24 PM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You people always want to downplay this games importance, huh? Well you all should know there were many iterations and derivations of it's original name by it's original creator Magnús Jónsdóttir, a naturlized American by way of Icelandic birth. SLINGO was the name I preferred to call it. See also BLINGO, DJINGO, SLINJO, and AXALARÖL.

I can't help it if some hack made a crappy homage on the Kindle.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:31 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, please. AXALARÖL was just a Tapper clone with the beer sprites substituted by cans of surströmming.
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I still remember the cheats for AXALARÖL. /giveall, /shattermind, and /broken make me pine for olden times.
posted by grubi at 12:44 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


What the fuck? I thought that was supposed to be a hoax? How do you even get them?

He's trolling you, that feature was removed from the game at the last second before release. You can get them with a Game Efreeti code, but obviously that doesn't count.


It was locked out of the home version, but there were several hacked Taiwanese ROM versions that made their way to Arcades. Most infamously, Escalator EscApe: Global Championship Rainbow Scavenger Edition DX which also featured an infinite invisible mid air ravage juggle combo which made the versus mode basically unplayable.
posted by juv3nal at 12:44 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man. It sure smells like weed in here.
posted by loquacious at 12:50 PM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


NO Y OU

koff
posted by grubi at 12:51 PM on September 21, 2011


AXALARÖL was just a Tapper clone with the beer sprites substituted by cans of surströmming.

Oh, how dare you?! Jónsdóttir has stated in MANY interviews that AXALARÖL was originally conceived when he was a young boy and he fell out of a wagon his brother was pulling while he was eating some kæstur hákarl. The basic premise of SLINGO has NOTHING to do with sub-blocking OR canjacking, AND it's game dev cycle is one month short of Tapper. Hardly time enough to clone. Besides, we all know BootJacker's Delight predated Tapper and was the real inspiration for the backglancing mechanic that dominates that game.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:54 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


the backglancing mechanic that dominates that game.

Which was a ripoff of the "retrovating" from Granite's Tirade. Get it straight.
posted by grubi at 1:03 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


but there were several hacked Taiwanese ROM versions that made their way to Arcades.

It's true. I had a friend of a "friend" get a hold of one of these and installed it in a broken Space Ballagans cabinet. Allegedly he played it until the callus' on his hands were killing him. He finally got the bright idea to put on some gloves and supposedly beat the Exodus level. Oddly enough I was told it's not unlike a möbius which loops back around to the Genesis level, but it's slightly deviated into Genius. Which, IMHO, makes it more of an ouroboros that constantly gnaws away at it's future/past levels but in actual real time your subconscious. The guy is now a catatonic that only responds to kiddy games like Bisbee and Her Futuristic Glamorous Pen Pals.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2011


Which was a ripoff of the "retrovating" from Granite's Tirade.

Bah! Retrovating is similiar but differs in it's motif of scumblers. Which means it only works within the confines of that schizo game.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:14 PM on September 21, 2011


Did you know that the beloved Unrealistic Demands on Working Women character almost never saw the light of day? Back when Conrad Brixton was working on his first prototype of the first Gore Frenzy in his bedroom (on a Bonobo with only 4K of RAM!?!) the Japanese company, Hanakao, was interested in publishing a new title from him. Badger Circus, Public Domains, and, of course, Tabula Casa were more than enough reasons for the games powerhouse to want to bring his work from the UK to the Land of the Rising Sun. Additionally, if you'll remember your history, this is also around the time that Hanakao had just made a deal to purchase the newly created 9079 chip from Anchorage Micro for use in their upcoming system, the Hanakao Endeavor. In light of this fact, Hanakao was chomping at the bit for fresh content for what they hoped would be the new darling system of the games industry.

So who do you think they send over to cement this deal? None other than a young Tetsuo Akihambara, the future mastermind of the merger of Epiphany and Bakkushan Studios. The execs at Hanakao still weren't totally sure about publishing Brixton but Akihambara was emphatic about his importance and pushed for him. The seniors decided to let "Ham", as his friends called him, put his money where his mouth was and send him to interview and sign Brixton.

Brixton was contacted and agreed to meet with Akihambara at a local pub (he had a custom of conducting most of his business there). On the day of the meeting, as Brixton was downing his first pint and waiting for the Japanese business man to arrive, he had one singular heavy concern weighing on him. Unrealistic Demands on Working Women was a minor, yet integral, character in Gore Frenzy. It could act as a point multiplier, an item factator, and even an invincibility core (when properly carroused). But he knew that the character may seem offensive to the strict and fickle QA department at Hanakao. Luckily, a fellow coder by the name of Chimner Sweep was on hand to over hear his woes. Chimner had an idea.

A little later the meeting began. Most of it was affable and centered around contract negotiations, Brixton's future plans, and finally, some details about Gore Frenzy. As Ham began to bring up the issue of Unrealistic Demands on Working Women Brixton suggested that he order a drink before they continue discussions. So Ham ordered a bottle of Sake and was immediately informed that they didn't serve Sake at this pub. Ham was nonplussed and sat back with a stoic and angry demeanor that said, "No Sake, No Deal". After letting him stew for a few moments Brixton pulled on a velvet rope near him that lowered a serving tray with a full Sake set right in front of Akihambara's place at the bar. The rest, as they say, is history.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 1:20 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bah! Retrovating is similiar but differs in it's motif of scumblers. Which means it only works within the confines of that schizo game.

So what if it only works there -- it was what was ripped off. Backglancing was retrovating with simpler (read: dumbed-down) controls. Arcade or console, either way, retrovating made waaay more sense. At least it wasn't something truly awful like the "electrosticking" from Vacation to Mars: The Sleepening.

But the true innovator was Rabbitron 2066.
posted by grubi at 1:22 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I now want a complete wiki page full of a list of these named games so far.)
posted by grubi at 1:23 PM on September 21, 2011


Oh, you youngsters. When I was a boy, in the early 1970s, we used to go to the Catskill Mountains for the summer to stay with my grandfather. He was a member of a resort called Grossinger, and, thanks to a member who had an import/export business, the game room there was something of a dumping ground for the earliest Japanese video games. I played them every summer; there were a few Japanese employees who worked in the kitchen, and they walked me through the games, which, after all, had no instructions and were titled in Japanese.

"Video games" may be the wrong word, though. There was a racing game called Cartwheel Hooray, which was created by having a strip of clear plastic with a cartoon character printed on it. The background was a rear-projected movie, and you would steer your cartoon character by turning a steering wheel, which would move the strip of tape back and forth across the screen. The whole thing was rigged with some sort of timing mechanism linked to the wheel, so if you didn't have the wheel turned to the right or the left at the appropriate moment, the screen lit up and then went black, and that was the end of the game.

The cartoon character? Sonny Tum Tum, who would later star in the Crazy Racer series of videogames from the 80s. Apparently, he started as a board game character, and has just been recycled ever since then.

And there was a game called Fish Flood, which was literally just a cathode ray tube the simulated firing a bullet at a series of dots, that were presumably meant to be fish. The whole undertaking would have been boring, except that Fish Flood came with a soundtrack that was literally a reel-to-reel recording that shouted encouraging things (necessarily at random) while you played. I would play, and this tinny Japanese voice would say something, and the Japanese cooks would laugh. "He says you are very handsome," they would tell me. The voice actor? Aijima Tadanobu, who would later provide the voice of Ancient Father in the Fire Pirate Series.

There were quite a few old pachinco games as well, and, as they do now, they features cartoon characters on the front: Reposition King, Apple Cheeks, and Final Kai all made their appearances on pachinco before migrating to video games.

The closest thing the place had to a modern video game was something called City Blast, which features an urban location made up of an actual, almost theatrical backdrop, into which various characters would appear, like in a shooting gallery. They had light sensitive targets, and you shot at them with a little pistol that shone a beam of light when you fired. If you hit them, they would disappear. It was structured like a contemporary shooter, with the targets coming faster and requiring more hits every time they appeared. And then, at the end of each level, a boss would appear.

Dark Cuddy. The third greatest video game character from this list.

I got very interested in these character when they started showing up in video games, so I started doing research, including mailing the creators of the games themselves. It turns out that some of them predate video games by decades, having first appeared in a popular form of Japanese stage entertainment called rakugo, which is sort of a verbal storytelling created almost entirely by a man sitting on a stage with a paper fan and a small cloth, out of which he creates long, complex stories, playing various characters just by changing his voice. The most popular characters in rakugo stories wound up getting their own short books, and comic books, and television shows, usually voiced by the actor who created them. And most of them are still working, making small fortunes in the video game industry, playing characters they created a half-century or more previously.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:27 PM on September 21, 2011 [16 favorites]


Look, grubbi, me and you have gone around on this topic enough times, my Platonic view vis-à-vis your Aristotelian view of game mechanics and it's associated themes. We can agree to disagree on that topic, but at lest we'll always have Rabbitron 2066 to commiserate on.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:28 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough I was told it's not unlike a möbius which loops back around to the Genesis level, but it's slightly deviated into Genius.

Interesting. I had no idea that Escalator EscApe ever got into the games-as-pomo-"text" craze that was so big in the Western European developers in the 90s. Surprising and prescient, especially in a Famicom exclusive.

Kind of reminds me of House of Leaves: Minotaur's Lament: HYPER Readin'. Yes, the game as a whole is turgid and prissy and unplayably proud of itself. But the mechanic of having to use the bytes of data from your own save files as ammunition to fight the last boss, Dr. Darkness, was probably about as compelling an image and gameplay variant as that philosophy ever produced. Certainly better than the bullshit "Madness Meter" in Llogior Alive!, despite that being a much better game overall. I mean, how many people even HAVE a Wii Fit?
posted by penduluum at 1:30 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod, did you ever find anything out about the stereotypical use of little Irish men, by the name of Liam and Connor, created by Mr. You-Know-Who?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:34 PM on September 21, 2011


Aijima Tadanobu, who would later provide the voice of Ancient Father in the Fire Pirate Series

Except for Fire Pirate: Beyond Exodimension, of course.

(RIP)
posted by grubi at 1:35 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod, did you ever find anything out about the stereotypical use of little Irish men, by the name of Liam and Connor, created by Mr. You-Know-Who?

I saw that game once, near the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Nobody was playing it and I tried it once, but it was completely incomprehensible. For years I thought it was just a weird American product, and only years later found out it was a Japanese import. I never understood it.

Except for Fire Pirate: Beyond Exodimension, of course.

You know the funeral for him included closing down businesses for the day? It was a national day of mourning in Japan.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:38 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


To really appreciate Rabbitron 2066, your really needed to play the original four-joystick arcade version, not the console ports. The pedal d-pads just weren't the same.
posted by bonehead at 1:39 PM on September 21, 2011


look, grubbi[sic], me and you have gone around on this topic enough times, my Platonic view vis-à-vis your Aristotelian view of game mechanics and it's associated themes.

I simply see you as a pessimist who doesn't understand that some folks prefer a blue-sky environment to roll around in, a la Insane Train. Whereas you ALWAYS talk shit about Insane Train and its add-on companion Wack Tracks. Not everything is Dark Adventure Shop or Grey Interiors VI and that bizarre "flingmonking" thing (which was something like up+B+A on the SNES). It's simply not natural.
posted by grubi at 1:40 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was worse than that. I still have two knuckles misaligned from flingmonking, and one fingernail that grows in thicker on the left. My parents should have sued. Things were different in the 80s.
posted by penduluum at 1:43 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


To really appreciate Rabbitron 2066, your really needed to play the original four-joystick arcade version, not the console ports. The pedal d-pads just weren't the same.

No kidding! It was really frustrating when you got to the Dark Warren and had to side-shift through the wall... somehow without dropping the Magicroot.

I kept dropping the Magicroot!
posted by grubi at 1:43 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still have two knuckles misaligned from flingmonking, and one fingernail that grows in thicker on the left.

Whoa. Were you the kid who wrote into Gameblast! magazine (I think it was issue #106, April 1988.) to tell them about that? That sounds really familiar.
posted by grubi at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy, shit; I just read on Gamescrapers.com that there's supposed to be a Kelvin: Absolute Zero MMORPG!
posted by grubi at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


People always confuse my Buddhist leanings with pessimism. I just don't think Insane Train was a realistic representation of it's genre. It just didn't require the expansive comprehension like Dark Adventure Shop. Ah, well, not everyone can truly appreciate the good games.

Protip: Flingmonking requires THREE fingers to properly execute. If you recall the arcade cabinet button setups were specifically configured in a fashion as to allow this.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:50 PM on September 21, 2011


Were you the kid who wrote into Gameblast! magazine

It was #104, but yeah. My friends still call me Rat-Tail when we get drunk because of that picture. We were kids! That was the style!

Funny that somebody on Metafilter would remember that. I also had a cheat code for Mr. Big Rico's Inventory published in that issue. You could invoice as many paper-goods suppliers as you wanted per turn without increasing your payroll at all. Basically broke the game.
posted by penduluum at 1:52 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I saw that game once, near the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Nobody was playing it and I tried it once, but it was completely incomprehensible. For years I thought it was just a weird American product, and only years later found out it was a Japanese import. I never understood it.

Yeah, it wasn't that popular of a game. It just didn't make sense, what with all the shovel whacking laughing zebras. But I thought someone somewhere would account for the weird almost racist connotations of the Irish.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh my God. Gameblast! I ran into somebody in Los Angeles who had worked there as an ad salesman back in, like, '82 or '83.

It was owned by a man named Boris Alexander, a Russian who had come to the US in the 60s and immediately opened a string of strip clubs in San Diego, eventually opening a few in LA. His attempts to muscle in on the town were blocked by the mob, which still had a bit of presence in LA, almost entirely in girly shows. Or so I was told.

They would have just knocked him out of town entirely, but Alexander had something that interested them. He had started publishing a little in-house newspaper in his strip clubs, filled with ads in the back that, honestly, were mostly for prostitutes. So they bankrolled him to expand the paper, and he got out of the strip club business and became a publisher, putting out skin magazines.

He actually had a lucrative side business printing small batch publications at very targeted audiences, usually capitalizing on trends, like Super-8! and Roller Queens, both of which you can probably guess the trend for. He also put out LA's first punk magazine, and, of course, Gameblast! The whole thing was mob funded and backed by adult magazines, and, if you payed attention, it was obvious -- they used the same template for every single magazine, except the weekly review of adult films in one magazine would be a weekly review of new games in another.

I was totally shocked when I found out.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


How is "41. Collapsing Bridge" a character?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:04 PM on September 21, 2011


Holy fuck! I had no idea Boris Alexander from Gameblast! and Boris from AllAvailableRockMusic were the same guy! I never put it together. Does make sense considering the ads in the back of GB!, though.
posted by penduluum at 2:06 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


9. Nyo-nyo (F-22: Raptor: The Bermuda Missions DLC - PC)

That's a strange choice. I know I'm probably alone in this, but I've alway that Nyo-nyo was at his weakest as a character in the Bermuda Missions. I think it was a suspension of disbelief issue: I just can't buy that the US Air Force would bestow a $150 million stealth fighter and a lifetime supply of AMRAAM missiles on a rogue Swedish mercenary "as a gift." The game tried to justify it by establishing that the joint chiefs were grateful for how Nyof Nyofsson single-handedly saved Duluth in the Great Lakes Siege DLC, but that seems like a mighty tenuous rationale for a series that always prided itself on gritty geopolitical realism.

But don't let my narrative scruples dissuade you from giving F22:R:TBM a try. You'll never play a combat flight sim with a better chaff system.
posted by Iridic at 2:14 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


How is "41. Collapsing Bridge" a character?

It's a comment on neo-surrealist architecture. The existentialist narrative is kind of hard to follow, but Collapsing Bridge was a very important waypoint "to get to the othe side" with VaVooom the Chicken.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:14 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


More to the point, the bridge had dialogue ergo character.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:16 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a comment on neo-surrealist architecture.

Yeah, besides which it was literally a living bridge; it would shout at the player's driver character in fits and snatches as you drove through that track, always just a word or two dopplered into oblivion as you flew over it lap after lap. Eventually, it would collapse with a suicidal moan on the fifth lap, plunging the player into a ravine and costing him the race.

The trick was to slow your car to a stop when approaching the bridge in any of the first four laps, so that the bridge could say its piece. After that, it would be satisfied, consider the player a friend ("The good at listening!" was the slightly broken exclamation in the game, this was not particularly well localized for the English-language release), and act thereafter as a speed-boosting ramp. So it was best to stop and talk to it on the first lap.

The thing with Angelo Vincenzo is that aside from being a top-tier Italian driver back in the day, he's an enthusiastic (if not particularly technically sharp) painter, and a playwright. Game design was not something he had done before Namco approached him a couple years ago for Danger Driving, but he jumped into it with more direct involvement than a typical famous-sports-name title; the bridge, and the many, many other surrealist touches in the game were directly created by Vincenzo himself. He's been called the Italian American McGee, which I'm not sure is as much of a complement as it's seemingly intended to be.
posted by cortex at 2:17 PM on September 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is my favorite MetaFilter thread ever.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:20 PM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


How is "41. Collapsing Bridge" a character?

Because that bridge found the only thing it could not support - its own disbelief - at the very moment it found that only thing that it could not suspend - its own belief.

The Collapsing Bridge from the "Neuter All the Yakuza" level serves as an apt metaphor to all of us whose steel girders of resolve can be so easily foiled by the crotch-affixed rocket-powered grenade of others' doubt. After collecting 500 scrotums and seeing the Collapsing Bridge finally collapse, I damaged my controller from all of the tears I shed onto it.

I now keep that controller in a tear-jar on my mantelpiece, right next to my wedding photos and the photo of me trading in my wife for a copy of that game.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:21 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one that actually like and played "The good at listening" Dub mix like a million times?
posted by P.o.B. at 2:21 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


More to the point, the bridge had dialogue ergo character.
In an oddly prescient bit of design, there was an easter egg in the texturing of the bridge. The patterning on one side seems sloppy and nonsensical, but viewed from precisely the right position, the texture coallesces into a gigantic anamorphic ampersand. So it wasn't just a character, it had character written all over it.
posted by juv3nal at 2:26 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


yet another gaming thread derailed by theories about the collapsing bridge blah blah blah IT'S A BRIDGE, YOU POMOS
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:36 PM on September 21, 2011


The Collapsing Bridge from the "Neuter All the Yakuza"

You are pretty clearly confusing The CB from Angelo Vincenzo's Danger Driving with "Schrodinger's Bridge" from Ungulate Studios' drive-em-up RPG Fifth Wheel, which while also a PS3 exclusive was actually released two years before AVDD as a belated port from what had originally been a PS2 development project. There are a number of similarities between the two but Fifth Wheel's polish was mostly in its inventory mechanics, while the writing and plotting was IMHO not up to par with Vincenzo's work.

I mean, I liked it, it was fun, but at the end of the day I found myself thinking, "okay, I neutered all the Yakuza, but what did it mean?" I prefer a little more depth to my genrefucking driving adventures.
posted by cortex at 2:40 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm...no love for "Square" from Advent-U-Quest 2: You's Gonna Really Have To Use Your Imagination on the Magnavox Odyssey?
posted by ShutterBun at 2:42 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Advent-U-Quest 2: You's Gonna Really Have To Use Your Imagination

Pffft, as much as I liked "edu-tainment" back in it's heyday, that game blows.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:49 PM on September 21, 2011


Incidentally, rumour has it the ampersand was a little dig from disgruntled developers who were unhappy with Namco letting Vincenzo hog the limelight by putting his name in the title, as if to say "Angelo Vincenzo & all these other neglected devs' Danger Driving." The defection of some staff to work on Fifth Wheel's sequel 6ixth Wheel may have done something to spark those rumours.
posted by juv3nal at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what was bullshit about Schrodinger's Bridge in Fifth Wheel? It was invinsible! AND IT MOVED! Frakkin pos, you never knew if it was there or not.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:55 PM on September 21, 2011


So many haters. The list is perfect.

Or, as Todd would say, "JO-PIDO!" (I never understood his accent - I think he was he supposed to be Burmese or something?)
posted by jabberjaw at 2:58 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, rumour has it the ampersand was a little dig from disgruntled developers who were unhappy with Namco letting Vincenzo hog the limelight

Which is hogwash, of course; it's a straight licensing move, Vincenzo was if anything reportedly a bit embarrassed to be named in the title but Namco wanted the name recognition to drive sales and lend the title some credibility to counterbalance the unorthodox creative direction of the game.

What I heard is that those devs who jumped ship were already pretty unhappy after a year and a half of work on Frontal Fantasy got scuttled and were looking for a reason to get out. Throwing blame around was a convenient but petty move. But the driving mechanics in 6ixth Wheel were at least a lot more solid than the original game, so all in all it was probably a good result for both Namco and Ungulate. Not that 6W wasn't kind of for shit in the non-driving portions.
posted by cortex at 3:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fifth Wheel

OH YEAH. Ever played with the "Invisicar" option turned on? I always ended driving off the damn map!

But speaking of bridge-based entertainment, nothing beats KaratArts' SpanMaster series, especially SpanMaster III: Collapse-o-lypse Wow!, where the final boss (Suspensioneer, Jr, who got his own spinoff) could be beat with the classic KaratArts cheat code (up+R+2+A, then shift+B+B2, then start, and start+1).

And the explosions. Utter amazingness. Hard to believe that game came out in 1994.
posted by grubi at 3:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not that 6W wasn't kind of for shit in the non-driving portions.

Sure, but it was the first game to support the cross-platform Drivapilot controller. (And it still works in DOSBox!)
posted by grubi at 3:02 PM on September 21, 2011


Only low-class gamers used the Drivapilot controller. It was basically cheating. I mean, why even play the games?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:06 PM on September 21, 2011


For the story, P.o.B. For the goddamn story.

I mean, did you even play the Shadowpath levels? You wouldn't ask that question if you had.
posted by grubi at 3:08 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, the learning curve involved in the game mechanics were an intrinsic part of the game! You just can't turn on the autoplotter and expect to understand what others got to realize through their kinesthetic experience!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:12 PM on September 21, 2011


Maybe some of us would prefer to experience the game rather than sit through a six-hour tutorial. We're not roto-vents1, after all.



1. Remember them? From Extra-Shade Titus?
posted by grubi at 3:17 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


nothing beats KaratArts' SpanMaster series, especially SpanMaster III: Collapse-o-lypse Wow!, where the final boss (Suspensioneer, Jr, who got his own spinoff)

I could never get past Galloping Gerty, the boss from the Tacoma Narrows level.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:19 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


grubi: "Probably a Cap'n Bob's Pink Shoe Advencha fan, aren't ya?"

It was "Cap'n Bob's Soft Shoe Advencha", and I think you know that. Please don't disparage this gem of a game. It literally saved my life.

"It's a SCROLL!" :)
posted by team lowkey at 3:23 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I could never get past Galloping Gerty, the boss from the Tacoma Narrows level.

You're gonna hate me when I tell you how I did it.

Remember the dynamite from level 6 ("Into the Waves")? You're supposed to combine it with the stickum from level 9 ("Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomurder") to make a bomb.
posted by grubi at 3:27 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was "Cap'n Bob's Soft Shoe Advencha", and I think you know that.

It was game for kids. Unless you can tell me those spinning silver wheels MEANT something. "Hoo-boy, Cap'n's got a headACHE."

Bleah.
posted by grubi at 3:29 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was "Cap'n Bob's Soft Shoe Advencha", and I think you know that. Please don't disparage this gem of a game. It literally saved my life.

It's a great little game, I loved the proto-DDR tap dance mechanics, but it kind of needs disparaging given the perhaps well-intentioned but ultimately indefensible "cameo" by the Gregory Hines caricature "Grinny Hands", who all but chomped down on watermelon slices in an 8-bit approximation of blackface. Racially problematic doesn't even start to cover it. I know it was just a short scene and that the developers were Japanese and so not really in tune with the cultural issues involved the way an American audience might have expected, but yeesh.
posted by cortex at 3:30 PM on September 21, 2011


> This is my favorite MetaFilter thread ever.

You should go back to last year's post about the 2010 list. For some reason people were making up all kinds of crazy shit in that thread.

This year it's just a bunch of trivia and flame wars. I mean, I appreciate people sharing their stories but on the whole it's kind of a letdown.
posted by ardgedee at 3:50 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude, seriously. Just Google any one of these:

Space Marines from Space Marine
Jah, Eggmon
Todd 2
Bentley Bear
Ted 3
Microbots 3-D
Space Coolies
Stencil's Quest
Diver Dave 64
Diver Dave 3
Ichi Fish Wrestle Gaiden
Diver Dave 5: Swimming Sally
Deep Water Dave
The Legend of Ace 3
Demon's Souls
Tweaker's Third Dilemma: Hashback!
Shit Just Keeps Falling
Zombie Injuns
Ccclomp!
Learn Your Baby to Math
Professor Schmeck's Up-Turned Machine
Space War
Catacomb Delver
No Dogs Aloud
Galactifear
Stellar Team
Microbots Extreme
Microbots Contagion
Obscurity Under the Gargantuan
In the Darrrrk
Frightscape
Warp Factor DIE
Cap'n Bob's Pink Shoe Advencha
Cripple Mr. Onion
3D Fifty-Two PICKUP!
BeJazzled 3D
Burning Monkey Gin Rummy
Fish Summoner 3
Tattoo Jones vs. Flyfoot
Speed Casters
Trapdoory Corey and the Imagination Story
SLINGO
BLINGO
DJINGO
SLINJO
AXALARÖL
BootJacker's Delight
Granite's Tirade
Badger Circus
Public Domains
Tabula Casa
Gore Frenzy
Vacation to Mars: The Sleepening
Rabbitron 2066
Cartwheel Hooray
Crazy Racer
Fish Flood
Fire Pirate
House of Leaves: Minotaur's Lament: HYPER Readin'
Llogior Alive!
Fire Pirate: Beyond Exodimension
Insane Train
(and its add-on companion Wack Tracks)
Dark Adventure Shop
Grey Interiors VI
Kelvin: Absolute Zero
Mr. Big Rico's Inventory
Angelo Vincenzo's Danger Driving
Fifth Wheel
Advent-U-Quest 2: You's Gonna Really Have To Use Your Imagination
6ixth Wheel
SpanMaster
SpanMaster III: Collapse-o-lypse Wow!
Suspensioneer, Jr
Frontal Fantasy
Extra-Shade Titus


...and you'll see it's for real.
posted by grubi at 4:02 PM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


You don't have to tell me this, man. I'm old enough to remember how to hack a bootloader to play the C64 version of the first Diver Dave off of, um, a backup disk. The statute of limitations has passed on that, right?

Anyway, it didn't even have a number because who wrote sequels to games back then?
posted by ardgedee at 4:11 PM on September 21, 2011


A little surprised (in a good way!) that Gestalt actually came in at number 10, TBH.

Ah man I thought they were talking about Nier Gestalt. Especially since SA got me into Nier.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:16 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex: "It's a great little game, I loved the proto-DDR tap dance mechanics, but it kind of needs disparaging given the perhaps well-intentioned but ultimately indefensible "cameo" by the Gregory Hines caricature "Grinny Hands", who all but chomped down on watermelon slices in an 8-bit approximation of blackface."

I'm afraid to say, I think you may be projecting your own issues onto this poetic masterpiece. "Grinny Hands" was not a character in blackface; he was the Grim Reaper, tap-dancing through the graveyard. 8-bit or no, I would hope you can tell the difference between a gravestone and a watermelon. I guess it didn't help that there were watermelons growing in the graveyard. Still.
posted by team lowkey at 4:16 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, looking back at it now, I can see where someone might be confused.
posted by team lowkey at 4:34 PM on September 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


I am personally disappointed that no one here has lamented the exclusion of "Woodcutter" from Rashomon! (TurboGrafx16). I mean, I was never able to find four friends with four TG16s and four copies of the game, much less convince them to lug their TVs to my house so we could play it in unison as originally intended, but it was still pretty amazing, for it's era. The rumor is it is going to have online functionality when it gets released on the Virtual Console, but that kind of defeats the purpose, no?
posted by Rock Steady at 5:51 PM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


No love for Todd 3 here? (As distinct from Ted 3, of course. Until I read this thread, I didn't think even the most hardcore Ubivision fans were willing to defend that game- I mean, it's so clearly an unfinished, buggy mess, and the control scheme made it virtually unplayable. Sure, it worked for Roboman, but trying to shoehorn it into a Ted game was an amazingly bad idea, if you ask me.) It didn't get the greatest reviews on release, and certainly Todd 2 was a hard act to follow, but I think it deserves re-assessment. Maybe there wasn't any single character in it that was quite as compelling as the Crimson Summoner, and I'd agree with the general consensus that it was needlessly and frustratingly hard in places, (and boy, have those early 3D Playstation graphics aged poorly) but I thought it was a worthy sequel, myself, and almost as innovative as the original in terms of bringing gaming forward in terms of storytelling and characterization- I wonder how many people even picked up on the plot being a thinly veiled retelling of the Mahabharata. It may be a heretical opinion, but I didn't think it was anywhere near the sort of let-down it's often made out to be.

That whole final boss fight where you're dueling Isamu, the Duryodhana-analogue (known as Biff in the American version), was kind of bullshit, though. You can't hurt him at all unless you enter this secret cheat code at the opening screen, and if you've done that, an option to hit him on the thigh shows up on the skill menu, and he goes down in one hit if you pick it. That's the only way the game can be won, and I can't believe anyone even figured out what you were supposed to do there- I mean, I get it, the whole point is that you can't beat him without cheating and sometimes you need to commit a minor evil for the greater good and it's true to the source material and so forth, and granted that it's a pretty clever way of doing it, but I can't tell you how many hours of frustration that gave me. The hints in the game are so oblique (and it doesn't help that they put the code in that Magic Eye thing in the manual, and I never was any good at seeing those) and back then, you couldn't just look this stuff up on the Internet as easily. Very impressive and well-done ending cinematic, though, by the standards of the time, even if it looks pretty dated now. I guess they left out the whole part in the original with Ashwatthama's revenge (I can't even remember who his analogue was supposed to be, in the game- the Yellow Thaumaturge, I think? You never did get to fight that guy) so it wouldn't be a total downer ending, but it still sets an appropriately sombre tone.

Or, as Todd would say, "JO-PIDO!" (I never understood his accent - I think he was he supposed to be Burmese or something?)

I'm pretty sure he was supposed to be Khmer in the original, but the American localization made him Burmese. No idea why. The American division of Techniqs made some weird choices as far as localization went in general- at least it was better than the American release of the first Todd game on the NES, where Todd was made out to be a Texas cowboy, and they actually recolored the sprite to give him blond hair. Thank God the American version of Todd 2 was, aside from a few details, reasonably true to the original- I hate to think how they would have tried to "Americanize" the Crimson Summoner.
posted by a louis wain cat at 6:32 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think that is the real NaotoOshima. Sorry, Nomyte, but it's well known here in Japan that "Eggman" originally comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia egu egu, meaning "humbly" or, originally, "in the presence of more than one person of the fifth rank". (Not to be confused with eku eku, which means "with disdain for the servants"!)

There was actually a sequel called Egu egu daburu panikku ~ come'on the cumbersome cutlery?! but it wasn't released outside Japan. I think some of the code was reused in Spoonin' Sam, though (which was itself renamed Hit-Things-With-A-Spoon Sam for the international market, so that there'd be no confusion).
posted by No-sword at 6:40 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


*sigh*
I feel like such a rube.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:46 PM on September 21, 2011


I'm pretty sure he was supposed to be Khmer in the original, but the American localization made him Burmese.

Burmese! That makes so much sense now! I always figured it was Hmong with a lisp or something.
posted by bonehead at 8:02 PM on September 21, 2011


I LIKE TURTLES
posted by not_on_display at 8:49 PM on September 21, 2011


Ugh, ignignokt, you had to bring up Uriel? Hated her. I won't deny she was valuable in battle, and I admit to spending several hours level-grinding on viceogres so I could get her Parahazzard attack (an uncharacteristically strong move for a koi mage). But she dominated so much of the storyline with her love triangle with Klaus and Edmar, and those stupid sidequests with her lost cat.

Guys may adore Uriel. But to me, she was just another reminder that as a girl gamer, I was, in Rodriguez's oft-quoted and frequently-memed words, "Some dumb girl, you can't do fight!"

The Fish Summoner series redeemed itself in my eyes with Mellis, the karate princess from Fish Summoner 4. Her combos may have been weak, but when she told her overprotective father "I can't sit around in a tea party all my life!" she was the strongest of them all.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:50 PM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Soon it starts to be less phony video games and more fodder for forensic psychologists.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:12 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, Greg, you scamp! None of those are actually real!

SNOWBUD IS A MOTHERFUCKING SLED OH WAIT DID I GET THAT RIGHT
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:15 PM on September 21, 2011


It's a pitty there aren't reviews for more of these on Scissors, Rock, Flamethrower.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:36 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Halloween Jack, Snowbud was a skiing game for Atari Jaguar. So, no, you didn't get it right.
posted by grubi at 6:06 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Soon it starts to be less phony video games and more fodder for forensic psychologists.

Sounds like someone didn't beat the Killer Butterfly (or was it Two Women on Bicycles?) in Rorschach Testimony.
posted by grubi at 6:08 AM on September 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh man Rorschach Testimony! "IN MY EXPERT OPINION, I DECLARE THE SUSPECT COMPETENT TO ... STAND TRIAL!" Hahaha good times.
posted by penduluum at 6:13 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's hard to believe the Fish Summoner series went downhill so fast. V was great with the Steampunk Submarine and all the callbacks to earlier games (Anchors available again as accessories (FIVE HIT COMBO), a race of Bloops supposedly all descended from the one in III, the legends of the Oil Cloud that menaced the world in the original game), and it arguably had the best combat design of the series. But then VI came out, and everything was polygons.

There was a certain stark, minimalist elegance to using three triangles to represent a fish, but the characters barely used more. 3D came about two years to soon to Fish Summoner, and only now that the original games are considered "retro" is RECTX considering making a VII.
posted by JHarris at 6:46 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's a shame people now revere Mother Monster, cause at the time it was totally ignored. Maybe if it got any love the creator wouldn't have committed suicide ( although super fans claim he dropped hints to his intentions and the entire game is about fighting depression, remember the Apathy Ray? The Bog Of Woes? )
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


remember the Apathy Ray? The Bog Of Woes?

And the Guilt Trap. Ugh. Hindsight and all that.
posted by grubi at 7:24 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The nagging imp that was supposed to be your friend? I mean, they've got a good case there. Pity we'll never know.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was less "totally ignored" than "universally reviled," Whelk. You know that story about how they tool all the unsold Mother Monster cartridges and buried them in landfill in New Mexico? Well, it turns out the plastic in the cartridges leached into the groundwater. For while, Mother Monster was known as the game so bad it gave people cancer.
posted by griphus at 7:51 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


*quietly loads up Rpgmaker2000*
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


For while, Mother Monster was known as the game so bad it gave people cancer.

It's not all bad though. The movie version that is coming out in 2012 looks good. It stars A-listers like Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, though I think Megan Fox would have made a better Lady Amree -- do you know her? She was in that little Dr. Terrible TV show that Aaron Sorkin made during the webwriters strike a few years back.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:39 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno. The list seems to ignore a lot of the great brawlers that came out. The alley Warrior series (Uber Alley Warrior II Turbo HD Remix FTW) is great and the Terminal Conflict series has its moments too. How can anyone forget the first time they heard "Ryuken!" come out of the mouth of Ken Scorpion in Alley Warrior, or performed a finishing move with Blue Ninja, Green Ninja, Shirtless Ninja or Yellow Ninja in Terminal Conflict?
posted by dazed_one at 9:55 AM on September 22, 2011


Oh god, I can't find it on youtube but there was actually a pilot made in 2003 for a television adaptation of Mother Monster starring William Fichtner as "Sonny Man" and Joan Fucking Cusack as Amree. The two clips I saw were super amazingly bad, honestly, Fichtner and Cusack were doing their best but the script was terrible and the direction was Lucasian in its woodeness.
posted by cortex at 10:11 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think people got turned off by MM's thing where it kept stopping the game to ask you what your greatest fear was and how you were feeling that day.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on September 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


that little Dr. Terrible TV show that Aaron Sorkin made during the webwriters strike a few years back.

Professor Terrible's Mad Monster Musical, you mean?
posted by grubi at 10:58 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


they put it against that damned talky sci-fi political thriller, Persephone. It didn't have a chance. (Note, anyone else really want the rebels to win on that show? Maybe the Senate would shut up for once)
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Professor Terrible's Mad Monster Musical, you mean?

Right. I always get it confused with the Dr. Strange TV show, since River Phoenix was in both.

a television adaptation of Mother Monster starring William Fichtner as "Sonny Man" and Joan Fucking Cusack as Amree

I have seen that actually. I think when Fichtner won the Oscar he got all evidence of it scrubbed from the Internet.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:06 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was so surprised they gave Sonny Man a cameo in Exulting Combat Exposition, once they opened it up to non-Famicom licensed games. I didn't think anybody remembered him. Or had forgiven Monster Mother.

He ended up being my second favorite tag-team partner, though. His 8 frames of invincibility during the thousand-yard-stare part of his Up+Y was really effective when used precisely. Really hard to avoid the Spidrax Sisters' laser/throw cheese without it.
posted by penduluum at 11:30 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was so surprised they gave Sonny Man a cameo in Exulting Combat Exposition, once they opened it up to non-Famicom licensed games. I didn't think anybody remembered him.

I know. He was kind of... disconcerting. He's not the only Mother Monster reference in ECE, though. If you can make your opponent cry in the Goblins Up Your Graveyard-themed level, the lightning flashes, and you can see that the background looks exactly like the Cliffs of Ineluctable Sadness. Play against Buddy if you need someone who is easy to make cry.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:16 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread sure does bring back some good memories. Does anyone know where I can download a copy of Summer Cottage Lolitaville? That was such a brilliant FPS. I still remember the first time I got to the last level and unlocked Nabakov's Gun. Ahhh, the memories.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:17 PM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a little surprised Boris Alexander was mentioned without also even addressing the long-standing rumors that he actually was ambered at Madison Square Garden back in the '99 fringe event. (Note that the tone of Gameblast! was never the same after that.)

Fringe Event 89722, never forget.
posted by hijinx at 12:24 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The two clips I saw were super amazingly bad, honestly, Fichtner and Cusack were doing their best but the script was terrible and the direction was Lucasian in its woodeness.

Own up, you're only bring this up because you saw those clips on All is Awfulness when they posted them last week.
posted by JHarris at 12:28 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Own up, you're only bring this up because you saw those clips on All is Awfulness when they posted them last week.

Come on, JHarris, not everyone here reads All is Awfulness, or Blortz Blortz, or jgruber.org, or even has a Friendster account. There's no need for a footnote on every MetaFilter comment. Cortex even said as much in ChatFilter last week, or don't you read the most popular part of the site?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


or even has a Friendster account

Now you're just making things up.
posted by cortex at 12:46 PM on September 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Okay, are we doing fake TV shows and web sites now? Because I think I can play along (rather than just laugh) there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:07 PM on September 22, 2011


On a serious note, I'm trying to clear my bookshelves and my copy of Lucky Wander Boy isn't going to make the cut. Soooo, if you've wanted to get a hold of this book and haven't gotten around to yet or really enjoyed this thread and want a full read on something like it then go ahead and MeMail me and I'll get it over to you.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:44 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now that the masks have dropped, I just want to say: everybody, it's been an honor serving with you in this thread.
posted by penduluum at 8:05 PM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


This must be what people on Gifthub feel like ALL the time.
posted by minifigs at 1:05 AM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now that the masks have dropped, I just want to say: everybody, it's been an honor serving with you in this thread.

See you all at the reunion!
posted by grubi at 5:56 AM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


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