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Gaming Genres: Roguelikes

What is a roguelike?

Well, it’s a game like Rogue. (Obviously).

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Top 10 – Finishing Moves

GeekOut Top 10s

The fight is fought and won, there is no more glory to be had here, so why are you lingering? Why it’s to finish the job in style of course; because no epic fight is finished with one guy just bleeding from his wounds, or simply limping away to feel sorry for himself. You have to let them know who’s won, you have to do it in style!

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Top 10 – Video Game Films

GeekOut Top 10s

“Wow, this game’s story is so complex, it’d make a great movie!” – Ancient proverb.

Okay, so the above isn’t really an ancient proverb, but let’s be honest: You’ve heard a gamer say this at least once in your life. I know I’ve heard it a dozen times and nine times out of ten, this ends up being a bad decision. However, sometimes we get something that’s a little bit special. Video Games are interactive media, as opposed to a static media, which means the stories they tell can be varied and even of branching plots.

Whatever you think about video game movies, we’re here to discuss the Top 10 Video Game Movies. Before we get into the actual list, this means that the film must have a game as well. The film doesn’t have to be based on the game or the game doesn’t have to be based on the film, but the actual setting and world needs to be used in one capacity or the other.


Top 10

10) Ratchet and Clank

For the uninitiated, Ratchet and Clank are two very strange fellows indeed. A mechanic ‘Lombax’, a cat-like fictional race made for the purposes of the franchise, becomes friends with this adorable little robot who he names Clank. Ratchet having learned of an alien race known as the Blarg, who were going around on a ship called the deplanetiser, wanted to join a resistance group against them, but is ultimately rejected. Still keen to ensure the safety of his planet, Ratchet goes on a mission.

This was a box office flop, so even if you’re a fan of the games this could not go any higher than this. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people will barely know this film exists, but we had to make a mention to it. The film was released in 2016 and whilst critics panned it and it wasn’t profitable (indeed losing money), it was cute enough to be considered for the list. But it wasn’t just because it’s cute; The film was made of pretty well done CGI, but more importantly, it used game assets to make the film. This really was a non-playable version of the game.

9) Angry Birds Movie

Let me begin by saying that I wanted this spot to go to Max Payne! But somehow, SOMEHOW both the box office and the critics disagreed! I understand that Angry Birds is a more popular game (which is just… I mean it was done to death before the game was even released) and that Max Payne is something of a brutal game series lacking in “family friendliness” but there’s no question which was the better film.

Parents of rabid children who are allowed to get at mummy and daddy’s iPad were dragged to a puerile plot beleaguered with fart jokes and characters thinner than the premise, whose announcement was greeted by disbelief by both fans and detractors. That popularity earns it a place at #9 on our list, and is probably to blame for the Emoji movie that’s on it’s way.

8) Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter

There can only be one true fighting game film.

Mortal Kombat is well known for having reached number one in the US box office for three weeks! We look back at this film and can barely believe it, as it’s such a cheesefest. The plot of the film basically revolves around the tournament, featuring all of your favourite characters, such as Raiden, Liu Kang and a guy who basically says he’s Johnny Cage (I don’t know what I was expecting really). It’s a tournament of goodies vs baddies; if the baddies win, Shao Khan will be able to invade and take over Earth. Marvellous!

Conversely to Mortal Kombat then, we have Street Fighter. Featuring some massive names, such as Kylie Minogue as Cammy, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile and Raúl Juliá (known for being Gomez Addams in the first two Addams Family films) as M. Bison. Cheese galore, character roles are switched up as Ryu and Ken become swindlers and BANG – You’ve got yourself a film that was a humongous flop in the box office; costing 35 million and earning them less than a million. Yeowch!

But, it’s all about the impact these films left on you – Which of these two packed the most punch?

7) Super Mario Bros.

An early example of video game films going bad, Super Mario Bros. was a film based on the hyper successful video game franchise of Mario. Featuring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi, the two brothers find a parallel universe, where King Koopa (Bowser as we better know him) is a ruthless ruler. Upon finding out about both universes, King Koopa wants to merge them to rule over them both. The Mario Bros. team up with Princess Daisy to stop King Koopa in his tracks.

Okay, so this film was a flop, being criticised on almost every front. It still managed to win some awards and in some cases, it won our hearts. It’s somewhat of a cult classic these days, which isn’t too surprising when you think about it. But, overall, this wacky film just wasn’t the best way to adapt the plumber brothers to the big screen. A crying shame too, as the cast was actually pretty good!

6) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Jerry Bruckheimer brought Dastan to the big screen, and while it was amongst the first big titles to be spat at for Hollywood whitewashing, Jake Gyllenhaal is rarely bad in anything. In effect Sands of Time may have ended up something more akin to a repaint of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it managed to give us the wall running, fast paced action one might expect of a platformer, an edge of the mythic, a Disney love story, and ostrich racing.

The plot is transparent and incoherent in equal measure, the action sequences are beautiful if a little over-padded to fill run time and give us stronger ties to the game, and yet the final result is a video game that got real blockbuster attention long before Assassin’s Creed or Warcraft. Ok, a forgettable blockbuster amongst a flood of bland blockbusters, but it got its own Lego set.

5) Assassin’s Creed

We’re under no illusions here, despite the massively award winning cast and the enormous franchise it built upon, Assassin’s Creed isn’t going to be winning any awards of its own. It suffers a lot of the same issues harboured by a lot of video game films, but did a lot of very positive things for the format. It played well to the core concept, took an original stance without destroying everything that came before, and made the sensible decision to include an original central character.

The enormous animus arm offered a more dramatic take on the link between host and memories, and gave us a very “video game moment” for the final escape from the Templar compound. The narrative may have been very rushed but it was fairly well executed, may have been a little over-reliant on people knowing the games, but overall it was a well presented and stylish spectacle that may very well have helped the video game blockbuster along just a little more.

4) Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart and friends return, two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. With Sephiroth gone, a trio have been found kidnapping children, inflicting upon them a dreadful disease. After being summoned to a meeting, Cloud and co find out that the trio were a physical manifestation of Sephiroth’s soul, which was inflicting serious damage. The crew get back together to find and stop the trio.

Stunning; truly stunning is what I’d call this. The animation was fantastic, even if the plot itself was a little bit lacking. You also need to take into account that the film was made back in 2005, which eventually got remastered in 2009. Over the years, the animation quality got more and more impressive, seriously spurring on some top quality CGI that could make even Pixar cry. Yes it’s true; we can’t rate it higher, as really this is a pretty niche game to put in the list – Especially since the film was a Direct-to-DVD release.

3) Resident Evil vs Silent Hill

Our second versus in one article; there can only be one horror video game movie!

Resident Evil

Resident Evil has been a constant success in the box office; the first film alone more than tripled the production cost. The Umbrella Corporation, with a lab underneath Racoon City, called The Hive, are doing genetic research; creating the ultimate lifeform. When a thief tries to steal the formula, the Red Queen awakens, sealing The Hive and killing everyone who was inside. In an attempt to get an antivirus to stop the now spreading gasses which were causing the dead to walk!

Resident Evil is a bit of a weird one to place in this list, if only because it’s sometimes hard to think back about the films. In 2016, the franchise of films was finally finished with a film decisively called “The Final Chapter”. Okay, see you again in a few more years then, Resident Evil production team! I jest, but honestly, the films have gone up and down in ratings over the years, but none can deny the amazing scene in Resident Evil 2 where Alice rides through a Church window on a God damn motorbike. Holy mother of God, that scene is cool!

Silent Hill

The nightmarish world of Silent Hill lends itself beautifully to the big screen, a visually haunting spectacle that directly impacts the character who appears therein. In the case of the film it becomes a town enslaved to the malice and vengeance of a little girl burned for witchcraft, the zealous monsters within trapped forever by monsters born of her worst nightmares.

Lots of monologuing makes for a hard sold plot in between visual spectacle, and the less said about Sean Bean’s accent the better, but we were presented with the classic imagery of the game franchise, and all of the monsters who dwell in its fog ridden streets. It’s even a very watchable film, positively enjoyable, but ties to the game may have gotten a little too tenuous for some fans to tolerate.

2) DOOM

Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban head up a team of expendable jarheads played by equally expendable actors, but between them and Rosamund Pike we get some comfortably high quality performances plunged into a very FPS style narrative complete with horrifying demon monsters. The film suffers in AvP Requiem style darkness to hide the rubbery monsters, cheese levels spare us such horrors as “wooshing” torches, but spare no cliches on dialogues, crappy jump scares and unlovable one-dimensional characters, but DOOM didn’t get this far in our list by being adequate.

DOOM has been cited as a prime example of “what not to do” when adapting a video game to film, but take a moment to really consider some of the key components and you may come to appreciate what was being attempted. A group of combatants are given a quest, to sweep a compound and secure three servers for data, important information is drip fed to them gradually, giving a slow burning horror, culminating in the film going full on First-Person for Urban’s final showdown against big-boss The Demon-Rock Johnson. In many ways the content would have made for some fantastic video game moments, but did not make for a terrific film. Not bad for 2005, but at the time we saw a glimpse of what might be…

1) Warcraft

With the Fel Orcs tearing apart their homeworld, the Warlock Gul’Dan looks to expand his people’s homes into a new world – Azeroth. The Guardian of Tirisfel, Medivh, is warned by a young mage, Khadgar, about the fel energies that were appearing. The Frostwolf Clan who came with the Fel Orcs try to liaise with the humans to warn them of the dangers coming their way – Only for them to be ambushed. With such tension between Orcs and Humans, the World of Warcraft’s story has begun in a big way.

Anyone who saw this blockbuster will be filled with hope; that video game films are finally on the horizon of becoming a massive thing. Blizzard put so much love and care into this film, that honestly, you could feel like this was a love letter to their fans. This was the sort of tip of the hat we expect from Blizzard when they’re not being complacent. This is the Blizzard we love; and this film was their thank you to their fans. Hopefully, this film made a few new fans… and I can’t wait for the next film. Want to know more? Check out our full review of Warcraft. Also, let’s not forget the fact – This is the highest grossing video game movie adaptation of all time as of the time of writing.


Honourable Mentions

Now it’s over to the less popular opinions; the honourable mentions. These we felt deserved to be included, because they might not quite fit our criteria, or they were just absolutely dreadful. It’s worth noting however, these still basically count for the video game movie category we’ve defined, it’s just they kind of fall outside of the direct criteria.

Wreck-It-Ralph

It may not be entirely possible to summarise the whole of the arcade gaming world in a film so elegantly as Wreck-It-Ralph. Not only were there cameos from diehard classics like Cubert, Sonic, and Pac-Man, but we also got a heartwarming story from the perspective of a bad-guy about how much easier it is for other people to accept us when we accept ourselves.

While Ralph may not be based on any real in-game character like his friends were, there’s a rather obvious parallel to Donkey Kong, whose nemesis was a plumber rather than a builder, the game-style is very similar, and of course Donkey also went on to be a heroic character himself. Even without that transparent homage we’d be doing this list a disservice by omitting this one.

Pokemon Movie

Relegated to the honourable mentions section because – let’s be honest with ourselves here – the Pokemon film is more directly linked to the supporting anime series, a tie-in to a tie-in if you will. We’d still be incredibly callous to leave it out. In this standalone story we follow the origins of Mewtwo, derived from the genetics of Mew. In an unsurprising Mary Shelley twist, creation turns on creator, and a civil war of sorts ensues.

Unapologetically heartbreaking, the film sets out to give us a lesson of unity and togetherness as Mewtwo comes to realise that he has become everything he despised in his master, and that that can be genuine love between Man and Mon. If only Ultron could have seen Pikachu trying to wake up Ash, I bet his vibranium heart would have melted.

A Dishonourable Mention

Just one, despite a dearth of bad films, many of which receiving bigger praise than they deserve here, I must spontaneously bring to bear the one name that all will hold aloft as the curse wrought upon the marriage of video game and film industries, and the only director whose name I curse more highly than Zack Snyder. Mercifully retired, but a blemish that shall linger, courtesy of Bloodrayne, In the Name of the King, and Alone in the Dark. Many of his films were somehow crowdfunded, meaning people wanted to see them happen!

If you gave money to Uwe Bol, you are an accessory to Uwe Bol. Let us say no more.


That’s it, your time is up and it’s now game over! Time for us to count the scores for the potential list for next week, so click on the one you most want to see listed and we’ll be sure to throw together another high quality article… At least, we’ll push our articles through our Quality Assurance guys. What? There’s a bug in our articles? NOOO!

We’ve seen enough video game movies to last a lifetime, however we hope that with the recent rise in quality of video game movies, we start to see the medium taken even more seriously. Perhaps video games will be the next comic movies? Or perhaps not. What did you make of our list? Did the best ones get in? Did we forget any really big video game movie? Is our order right? As always, let us know what you thought in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

 


Top 10 Grass-Type Pokemon

Last week we planted the seeds of an idea in your mind, an idea that you’d like to see a brand new Pokemon based Top 10. Your decision has been logged, and we’ve gotten down and dirty trying to root out the best examples of grass type pokemon, based on style, popularity, and combat effectiveness. We aren’t going to judge for all of these points at the same time; We estimated how much we thought each of these Pokemon fit in one or more of the criteria and went from there.

Let us run down our prize turnips, our growers and climbers, our Top 10 Grass Type Pokemon.

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Top 10 Flamboyantly Ominous Characters

GeekOut Top 10s

Last week, our vote was a tie. Usually what we do in these situations, is roll a die for odds/evens and whoever calls it gets the one they choose. This time, Timlah said to Joel: “I think we can do this”. Lo and behold, we managed it. We combined the tied votes to create a brand new Top 10 that you all voted for. Perhaps the will of the people wasn’t to do this, but the votes sent us this way.

Flamboyant characters can be hard to judge: they’re often more than just a bit player in their franchise. Often they’re scary, in fact, they’re usually a little bit ominous. They stand out in a realm of “the norm”, they dress fancy, they talk differently and their minds are wired in a very unique way. They’re dangerous but fabulous, they’re ominous, they’re flamboyant… they’re in our Top 10 Flamboyantly Ominous Characters list!

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Top 10 – Characters Who Shouldn’t Have Bothered

GeekOut Top 10s

Don’t you hate it when you’re all hyped up for a fight; only to find out that you’re so severely outclassed, that you really shouldn’t have actually mustered up the energy to make your way there? Or when you’re surrounded by people who are constantly just… better than you? This is when you’re so seriously out of your league, that you’re basically walking to your death, or your own obscurity. Welcome back to our Top 10 readers, where this week we look at our Top 10 characters who shouldn’t have bothered.


Top 10

10) Batman – The Lego Movie

Let’s get this kicked off with an unpopular choice, we’ll make it up to you though. While his performance more than earned a spinoff feature length that was freakin awesome I find myself asking the question… in the first Lego Movie, what did Batman actually do? He picked up Emmet and Wyldstyle during their escape from Badcop, and after that… well that’s it.

And to be honest, there were many ways they could have escaped that jam without having to bring Batman into play. Would the film have been as funny? No, but the poor guy saves the hero who eventually takes his girlfriend. Not only did he basically show up to do not an awful lot, it also screws him over quite badly. Best he got out of it was a spinoff, in which he was sad and lonely but did manage to save the day.

9) Jar Jar Binks – Star Wars

Told you we’d make it up to you. The simple fact is that Jar Jar holds a fundamentally important role in the Star Wars universe, and there’s a great deal of good he did as the Otoh Gungan representative of Naboo in the senate, the greatest of which being providing providing emergency powers to Senator Palpatine… what a good idea that proved to be.

Shall we build on the fact that this illustrious career was built on the back of being banished by Boss Nass for being a klutz? And spawning one of the most laughable fan theories in fan theory history. For all he manages to accomplish as a senator he undoes it a thousand times over in and out of universe, by also being a tremendous nail in the coffin of the prequel trilogy. Even as a general he manages to bumble his way into some tremendous acts of heroism, an embarrassment that somehow made it to the upper echelons of galactic government.

8) Butters – South Park

We considered Kenny, but in between his constant demises he accomplishes a great deal. Butters on the other hand spends most of his existence as little more than a patsy to Cartman’s diabolical scheming, and on the off chance Butters tries to get in some scheming of his own under the guise of Professor Chaos, he’s almost always outdone by his own incompetence, lack of imagination, or fear of what his parents might do to him.

His greatest accomplishment to date has to be the war in Imaginationland, resurrecting imaginary heroes to fight for goodness and light, but the reality of that entire incident is highly questionable, and was in fact the subject of a court case that didn’t even involve him. It’s a wonder he gets out of bed in the morning, but that sunny disposition is apparently indestructible. It needs to be.

7) Iago – Aladdin

Ultimately, when we looked at characters to add to this list, we needed to try to get an understanding of what the purpose of a character is. Now, this might sting a bit, as Iago is a cool enough character, within reason. The problem happens in a few ways, such as how Iago kinda does nothing of any real importance throughout the entire film, but he talks a lot.

The real failure however lies in what type of character Iago is. You might be happy to obviously point out that he’s a parrot and yes, you’re right there. That’s not his problem. He’s a sidekick, which is secondary to the much more lovable Abu. He’s also supposed to be comedic relief, but he’s once again second to the mighty Robin Williams as the Genie. If anything, Iago shows us how good the film was, because in any other Disney film, he may have stood a chance at standing out.

At least he’s a parrot.

6) Robert Paulson – Fight Club

His name was Robert Paulson…

Albeit Robert ‘Bob’ Paulson is cast by the fantastic Meat Loaf, which when you say that out loud sounds derogatory, considering the gimmick of Bob, he never manages to get off the ground in this film. Oh sure, it’s definitely a classic title, which I’d reckon everyone should watch at some point in their lives. However, Bob is a terribly tragic character that we first encountered in a support group for men with testicular cancer.

Bob was originally a ‘juicer’, or someone who takes steroids to make their body appear larger than is. In return, he gained his testicular cancer and had to have his testicals removed. He joined the Fight Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays, meaning that he never met the narrator. On his first Fight Club operation, where he was supposed to be part of a group who went in to destroy a piece of corporate art and trash the place. He took a gunshot to the head and that was the end of Robert Paulson.

5) Negative Man – Mother 3

Exactly what you expect from this disappointing encounter, he’s just really negative about everything. Except his damage, to which he poses no threat what so ever. He’s ultimately absolutely worthless and he hates his existence so much that he tells you just how worthless he is. A crying shame for the Spongebob wannabe, who could have amounted to so much more.

Heck, he’s not even a fight you have to do! He’s so upset and useless that he’s put himself away from the action, just so you don’t have to bother with him. It begs the question of why he even bothered going there? I mean he wants the protagonists to defeat him, yet he hides away. He’s a mess; a contradiction and forever a character who shouldn’t have bothered.

4) Theon Greyjoy – Game of Thrones

Oh Theon, poor unloved little Theon. After being taken in as a ward to the Stark family he endeavours to reach out to his father to aid the Starks in their own war. His father naturally refuses and demands instead that Theon go back and take the lands once owned by his adoptive family to prove his loyalty to house Greyjoy. To his credit he pulls it off, and then immediately loses the whole of the North of Westeros, his freedom, his identity, and his ~cough~ favourite toy. The rest of his life is spent as a nameless servant to the mad Boultons, and no one cares, probably not even his sister any more, she has other things on her plate.

It’s one thing in Game of Thrones to be hated, or even loved; your death will invoke a reaction from the crowd. Celebration, despair, shock, but when Theon dies will anyone say more than “Oh  hey, finally put him out of our misery”? Truth be told he might even live to see the end, after all he has nothing left to live for now.

3) Nicholas De-Mimsy Porpington – Harry Potter

Failing in life is one thing, bearing a constant reminder through the afterlife is rather another. After an unpleasant incident involving the teeth of a woman for whom Nicholas De-Mimsy Porpington had affections for, he was treated to execution by an apparent amateur. Forty-five swings of the axe left the remaining spectre with the nickname “Nearly Headless Nick”.

And afterlife is no picnic for the partially decapitated. Though he holds station in Gryffindor tower, Porpington’s haunt is only improved by his proximity to Harry Potter, earning him some reputation amongst the institution’s other ghostly inhabitants, but sadly not quite enough to earn him a place amongst the Headless Hunt. And how unlucky must one be to be turned to ghost-stone by a basilisk? All in all Nearly-Headless Nick doesn’t have much fortune, before or after death, and probably shouldn’t have bothered coming back.

2) Dan Hibiki – Street Fighter

Arrogant, overconfident and feeble is how the Street Fighter Wikia represents him. In fact, in every way that Dan exists, he’s something of a disappointment not only to his peers but really himself too. But in his mind, he believes he’s a man of many talents. He’s created his own martial art, he runs his own dojo and none of that matters – Because even his dojo is failing. Nevertheless, his arrogance keeps him coming back for more punishment.

Dan has one saving grace however and that’s his actual knowledge of martial arts in general. It might seem like a strange point to make, but due to his knowledge of fighting styles, he sometimes manages to save himself. He’s also a really good guy, so sometimes, just being good can save you from complete obscurity. But don’t worry – In canon he really is a big old loser and we kind of love him that way. He probably shouldn’t have bothered, but thanks a lot for trying, Dan.

1) Hercule – DragonBall Z

Mr. Satan, or Hercule as us Westerners know him, is our top spot for this list. Now, like many of the characters on this list, there’s a plethora of good that he’s accomplished, but nothing would overcome the insanely fast loss he had to Cell during the Cell Games saga. With one backhand, Hercule, the supposed hero of Earth, lost on television. But that didn’t stop him from watching that whole tournament go down. He was convinced that he truly was the strongest man on Earth until that point.

So yes, really, when we dreamed up this list, we knew Hercule had to have a mention. But considering he tried to fight the mighty Cell and, really, caused more problems than he did good, with the media’s attention, due to the overly braggadocious nature of the man – He had to make number one. I mean he helped during the Buu saga and began to realise he was a bit of a hinderance rather than a help, but he’s seriously so boastful, that he asks people to basically leap out of the ring so he can win a televised match. Now THAT is Sports Entertainment™!


Honourable Mentions

Some people just end up finishing last, because they just weren’t ready. Some people end up dying really fast, because that’s really all they’re good for. Nevermind the fact they could help people in the process, they are just not really prepared for what comes their way. Here’s some more examples, who just couldn’t even make this list. Gosh, they really shouldn’t have bothered…

James Ellsworth – WWE

 

Oh Jimmy Dream, how you fell to a goliath so quickly. You inspired so many people with your mantra of “Any man with two hands has a fighting chance” and yes, we loved the fact you even got your own merchandise in the WWE. But since then, you turned on the one man who was trying to look out for you and you’ve now fallen out of the main event scene, likely to never go back there again.

You can argue that actually, for a guy who just thought he had a fighting chance and nothing else, that he did good with his monstrous loss to Braun Strowman. Just because you stand up to someone big though, doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to be loved. In fact, ever since the day you turned on your former friend, you’ve been relegated to being someone’s manager. Sort of. It’s really more that he’s now just become a whipping boy – And that’s fine.

The First Death in Any Film

It can’t be easy going through life with everyone around you just rooting for you to die, but it has to happen eventually. I mean it’s still a horror film, odds are not in your favour, and while the old stereotype of “black dude dies first, pure and innocent virgin gets to live” has been buried under the patio long ago, someone’s going to get killed and we’ll get just long enough to really invest in your life before that guy or terrible monster sneaks up behind you and stabs you repeatedly with its knife face.

EXAMPLE: Fujiyoshi – Battle Royale

She’s the girl who stands up in class to question the teacher – and takes a knife to the head for her troubles. She dies before she gets to the combat island. Or at least before she gets onto the island, I guess.


Man, to think that a lot of these characters we either barely knew the name of, or we forgot they even existed in their film/game or otherwise says heaps about how much they should have bothered. They really were pushing it and now we’re looking past this rabble and onto next week’s article. Why not help us decide what article we write next week in the poll below?

We saw some good characters with poor casting, we saw useful characters mess up what makes them useful, in fact, we’ve seen it all! But that’s precisely the problem – We’ve been there, done that, got the tshirt and laughed as these characters crashed and burned hard. But what did you make of this week’s Top 10? Did we get the right characters for the list, or did we forget some really uninspired characters? Let us know in the comments below or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit!


Top 10 Mad Scientists

GeekOut Top 10s

Ahahaha! Ahahaha–!!!

… Ah. There really wasn’t much to laugh about, was there? Anyway, welcome back to our weekly Top 10, ladies and gentlemen, where we take a topic that you choose and we choose the best of the best in that category. Today’s subject is a little bit experimental, as we’re going to be looking at our Top 10 Mad Scientists and write up our thesis about their potentials for the top spot. We’ve taken a lot of candidates and we felt like we’d do something a bit different for this one. We’ve put a pinch of this and a dash of that together to give birth to a list which shows off the best of the best of these mad scientists. Creation is a powerful tool; so let’s see what these scientists can bring to life!


Top 10

10) Mayuri Kurotsuchi – Bleach

Captain of the 12th Division of the Soul Society’s militarised wing of Shinigami, dedicated to hunting the hollow and damned souls who still stalk the living world, and who’s vast counterparts dwell in their own little demi-plane and covetously eye the realm of mortals. The devastating powers of the greater Hollows like the Menos Grande and the Espada require the use of increasingly terrible weapons to use against them. Enter the head of the science division, who is a brilliant master of biology and chemistry, implementing toxins and biological engineering to create defences and countermeasures of awesome potency.

But he is waaaay off his rocker. He has no regard for life, evaluating everyone by their use as a test subject, including his second in command and hand-made “daughter” Nemu. Even his own mortal shell is just a plaything for his twisted brain, keeping his organs and inner workings in jars… somewhere, having greatly improved on his own design. When faced with an Espada with the power to destroy organs with only a “voodoo” doll, he feigns his own death by vomiting blood and folding at hideous angles, before standing, laughing it off, and straight up butchering the creature with barely a thought to the others who were suffering around him.

9) Doctor Evil – Austin Powers

Frickin’ sharks with laser beams attached to their heads!

Okay, so let me start by explaining that Doctor Evil is actually not always the one who creates; but he’s often the brains behind the operations. Sure he’s not exactly the smartest brain behind the operations, that probably belongs to his son, but he’s definitely amongst the most dangerous minds around. In fact, Doctor Evil probably is one of the least intelligent geniuses to have ever existed in all media.

You see, he’s rich as all heck (Somehow); He has legions of minions (Somehow); He has friends (Somehow) and (Somehow) he manages to do some pretty crazy things, such as intimidate the president of the United States of America, by playing footage from Independence Day. He’s not the brightest, but so long as he has access to so many people to build his crazy ideas, he’s going to keep on doing evil things. Now if only he would stop being interrupted by Austin Powers – Time to steal his mojo!

8) Doctor Albert Wily – Mega Man

Probably the epitome of a cranky old man, Dr. Wily is one crazy, creative scientist who managed to turn something good into something terrible. You see, Wily wasn’t always a cranky old man; instead he was once a colleague of the esteemed Dr. Light, a scientist who created robots for the betterment of mankind. Unfortunately, Wily being under his wing meant that Wily knew how those robots worked and was able to reprogram them into something much more sinister and evil. I guess, when your surname is ‘Wily’ you know you’re going to be trouble.

He’s actually had some degree of success, come to think of it. You see in the original game, he was actually taking over the world with the robots he stole. In the second game, he created his own robots to try and take over the world. In the third, he pretended to have changed his ways, whilst still manipulating robots. In the fourth game he captured an esteemed scientist’s daughter – and so on and so forth. If there’s nothing else to say about him, Wily somehow always manages to bounce back after being defeated by Rockman/Mega Man.

7) Algernop Krieger – Archer

Former Nazi scientist and master of cybernetic enhancement, dangerous biochemistry, and highly illegal sciences, Algernop Krieger works for the worst intelligence agency in the world, formerly known as ISIS (but undergoing several facelifts due to unfortunate connections with a present day organisation, you get the idea). Krieger has a catalogue of horrifying creations to his name, a pig/human hybrid, a goat/human hybrid, a crazy killer cyborg with multiple personalities, and some of the most messed up hallucinogens.

There are many questions best not asked about Krieger, many of which he has asked “Is it technically murder if they’re my clones?” and what happens to the hobos who he invites in for free meals, and what exactly happened to Len Trexler. Despite having never technically earned a qualification, Krieger is alarmingly intelligent, wildly unhinged, and a possible clone of Hitler himself. Probably better off under Malory Archer’s control than back in Brazil though.

6) Frank-N-Furter – Rocky Horror Picture Show

Doctor Frank-N-Furter, from transexual Transylvania, is an absolute genius madman who lives in a massive manor far away from most city life. In fact, when newly engaged couple Janet and Brad have a flat tyre, they notice the manor is the only place that they can get to. Thinking they could manage calling someone to come and replace their tyre, they’re invited in and are made to enjoy the customs of Doctor Frank-N-Furter himself, who takes extra special interest in the pair of them.

Frank-N-Furter claims to have found the secret of life itself; claiming that he was able to make a living being. He wasn’t lying, as he managed to make Rocky come to life; His vision of a perfect man. Say what you want about Rocky Horror Picture Show, but Frank-N-Furter is a true classic staple of Sci-Fi goodness. Of course, he is quite a parody of a certain “Ugly monster” which we’ll be talking about later in this Top 10, but my goodness, if I could look as good as Frank-N-Furter whilst making life, I know I would!

5) Professor Farnsworth – Futurama

Mad may not quite cover Hubert J. Farnsworth, the man who treats doomsday machines as family and family as layabout parasites who sit on his couch and shirk their jobs… because they are. Farnsworth has done it all, time machines, intelligent monkeys, killer robots – during his days contracting at MomCorps – and every other manner of reality warping and brain melting device. His masterpiece ship pushes the universe around it, all while remaining absolutely stationary, which raises the question “What if you have two?”

Farnsworth is a god amongst machines in a very real sense, and has created life on numerous occasions. The man’s senility coupled with his tendency to tinker with the fabric of reality makes for a rather daunting mix, and may indeed have been forced to destroy and recreate the universe or perform some similarly horrifying task to cover up some even more terrible blunder! And he may do it again without a second thought… but he is  already in his pyjamas.

So that’s good news I suppose.

4) Otto Octavius – Spider-Man

A megalomaniac who’s body has irreversibly fused with the mechanical tentacles that he uses to manipulate radioactive and dangerous substances, Doctor Octopus is possessed of a determination to achieve great scientific achievements and damn the consequences or who is harmed or what master is served along the way. The classic Spider-Man nemesis was superbly brought to life by Alfred Molina with a subtly different adaption, but can we please talk about the whole mind-swapping thing that happened in the comics?

Octavius managed to implant Peter Parker’s mind into his own decaying corpse (long story) and take the place of Spider-Man. After being forced to understand what made Spidey a hero, the life he’d led, Otto decided, not only to take up the mantle of the Wall Crawler, but to be an even better version! Superior Spider-Man, complete with mechanical spider-limbs! Seriously for quite some time now the Spider-Man of the comics has been the brain of one of his biggest nemeses riding around in Parker’s body. Kinda weird, kinda cool, all mad science! This may be a few too many exclamation marks for a single paragraph, but damn Marvel, that’s some seriously crazy narrative.

3) Victor Frankenstein VS Henry Jekyll

How are you supposed to choose the best mad scientist from classic literature? We didn’t. We’ll make our cases for our favourites; you choose who’s just crazy enough for the number 3 slot.

Frankenstein’s Argument – Timlah

Doctor Victor Frankenstein is a scientist who studied chemical processes for a living, when he suddenly came across a way to effectively create life itself. From understanding how living beings decay, along with a morbid fascination for how to create life in an inanimate object, Victor set about making a humanoid. Now, presumably, Victor stole body pieces, or at least was donated them but this is never really fully described.

Victor creates Frankenstein itself (or Frankenstein’s Monster as it’s often referred to) and whilst an impressive feat, he is mortified with what he’s created. He wanted to make life; but he didn’t expect it to be so ugly a being. Fleeing his creature, Victor lives with the regret of making his monster, who went around murdering. They say you cannot kill what you did not create, but they rarely tell you that what you create may kill you.

Jekyll’s Argument – Joel

Henry Jekyll’s greatest achievement in life was proving that man is capable of tremendous goodness and terrible evil. In an effort to separate, control, and ultimately destroy the evil side of man he creates an alternate personality, a wholly different creature within his own mind made of his darkest urges. Edward Hyde is a monster by deed only (not the freakish mutant that pop culture seems to have conjured up by NOT READING THE BOOK), beating men to death, indulging every dark urge with a strength born of unbridled rage.

If we’re talking about the creators of classic monsters, Frankenstein may have had a mishap toying with the nature of life, but Jekyll found out how to unleash the monster that dwells within all of us. In the end of course, the sweet and loving side of himself that remained chose to make the ultimate sacrifice to spare everyone the wrath of Hyde. Maybe not quite so mad all told, but y’know, still pretty out there.

2) Rick Sanchez – Rick and Morty & Doc Brown – Back to the Future

It’d be negligent not to list these two side by side in the same entry, as Roiland and Harmon have never hidden the parody origins of Rick and Morty.

Emmet Brown may not be quite so unhinged as his caricature but his lunatic devotion to his craft makes him rather dangerous. Building a time machine out of an old Delorian and taking a hormonal teenager back in time with him was dangerous to begin with, but from there the two just seem to enjoy toying with reality! They spend the subsequent movies generating every paradox that geeks and nerds would deliberate for years to come, but that may not be the end of Doc Brown’s legacy.

Rick Sanchez began life as a drunken parody of Emmet, but has become something unknowably terrible. Wanted by every major government in the known multiverse, including one his many duplicates formed among themselves, Rick may no longer be from his own universe, in fact he may have changed his family for an exact copy repeatedly. He’s an embattled veteran of terrible wars, a convict of the most secure prison in existence, and has fought against the galactic government, the council of Ricks and the devil himself.

No doubt which is the madder scientist, but you can’t fairly separate the two.

1) Doctor Ivo Eggman/Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Doctor Ivo Eggman, or Robotnik depending on what you’re used to, is one evil, evil man with a glorious mustache. He’s usually seen flying around the place in a strange pod called The Egg Mobile; or the Egg-Pod… Or– Y’know, let’s not list all of the names right now. The point is, he flies around in this strange pod, has some very cool theme tunes dedicated to his flying around and he’s got a very freakish obsession with trying to kill off a blue hedgehog, as well as capturing woodlands creatures.

Sure, it doesn’t sound all that mad, but when you think about the sheer volume of things he’s created, it’s a wonder where he gets all of his funding from. However as long as he has his Egg Mobile, he’ll always somehow manage to get out of any certain death situations. He’ll escape back to his hideouts, which includes a freakishly large battleship called The Egg Carrier… And he’ll just get on with his next invention. Love him, hate him, regardless it’s undeniable that he might not be far from the truth when he calls himself the world’s greatest scientist. Depending on the game, show, comic or otherwise, he can be quite the complex moral character. Whatever side he’s on, he’s always creative, always persistent and always dangerous. He’s definitely the maddest scientist on this list.

Think of it like this; whilst all of the above scientists are thoroughly accomplished in their own rights, Robotnik has made robots, who create things that he dreams up. Robotnik then has created something that is able to aid him in creating more things for himself.


Honourable Mentions

This list was full of characters that we really didn’t want to forget about; so much so that we decided that for once, two slots on our honourable mentions just wasn’t enough. So here’s six honourable mentions that we even considered putting into our main Top 10 list itself. Remember that we’re going to make a Top 10 eBook? This entry will become an exclusive Top 20!

N. Gin – Crash Bandicoot

Doctor Neo Cortex’s right-hand-man; definitely the science behind the evil masterminds plans. N. Gin replaces Doctor Biro after the events of the first Crash Bandicoot game. Being part cyborg himself, N. Gin has a natural affinity for learning about sciences and creating evil machines and lasers. He’s seriously dangerous and seemingly has a nuke stuck out of his head. He’s not one to be trifled with and in the events of Crash 2, he’s seen in a giant mech suit that he built. Crazy, inventive and dangerous – A bad-to-the-metal-bone mix.

Rintarō Okabe – Steins;Gate

Okay, he’s not really a mad scientist, but he seems to think that he is. In all honesty, the amount of things Okabe has actually made could probably be counted on one hand. But he refers to himself as a mad scientist, which is “so cool”. But, even though he seems obsessed with branding himself in this way, he might not be far from the truth. He has extensive knowledge about time machines and he’s got a small team who are willing to help him with his strange, yet often interesting creations.

Professor Putricide – World of Warcraft

 

This is one strange, strange man – But trust me when I say he’s hugely important for the story of Warcraft in general. He’s the mad scientist behind the development of all forms of blight, plague, ooze, scourge, and death delivery. You can find him in a 25-man raid in Icecrown Citadel’s Plagueworks wing. He may be a relatively simple throw-away character in the grand scheme of things, but really if he didn’t exist, the scourge may not have plagued the world of Azeroth as much as they had.

Doctor Nefario – Despicable Me

Long time colleague and mastermind behind the villain, Gru owes most of his success to Nefario’s various constructs and contraptions, as well as the horde of genetically engineered yellow bubbles of usefulness (whose blueprints can be seen on the wall in the kid’s room, the prequel is a lie!). Nefario’s days of villaining are behind him, but he’s content to work behind the scenes so long as his works are only used for evil.

Singed – League of Legends

Literally called the Mad Chemist, Singed is one of the earliest League of Legends champions to have been introduced. He is a master chemist, so he’s great with toxins such as poison. He’s also pretty good with adhesives as well. He can slow his opponents down and just poison them; a slow brutal death. He’s able to handle himself pretty well in a fight, often favouring a slow, poisonous kill over an all out assault. He’s dangerous and can seriously change a team fight, as well as being durable in combat by himself.

Lex Luthor – Superman

It can sometimes be easy to forget that business mogul and CEO of Lexcorp is not all business, but can pull off science when he needs to as well. As a man on a mission to defeat a god, Luthor has mastered most fields of science and engineering, and constructed a suit of armour designed to tackle the Man of Steel himself. It’s no small feat, although his biggest to date may be stealing forty cakes. That’s as many as four tens.

And that’s terrible.


Everybody, cover your heads, there’s yet another assault on our cities by giant mechs! Send out those electronic pulses and switch them off – The monsters are alive and it’s all down to these mad men who got a taste of power… And they liked it. But science can be a very scary subject indeed – That’s why these men are so mad after all. They do what the rest of us could only dream to accomplish and it’s all because they have had that taste of power. Scary, to think that typically it’s age that makes you most mad.

Our experiment was a complete success and we ended up producing more in our results than anticipated; They called us mad, they said it couldn’t be done, but we’ve now listed our Top 10 favourite Mad Scientists. A little bit sad, but we couldn’t remember any female mad scientists: is this a niche that just needs to be captured? Let us know if you know of any female mad scientists in the comments below, or why not let us know what you thought of this weeks Top 10? Did we get the right candidates in our list, or did we forget about the best scientists known? Do you agree with our order? As always, leave us a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Top 10 – Fictional Celebrities

GeekOut Top 10s

Worlds filled with fictional characters require people to fulfil every role. While we may follow the riveting adventures of school children and taxi drivers, they remain fascinated by popular characters that are only popular to them. You’ll never see a film starring these actors, nor read the works of the authors listed here, but to someone who doesn’t exist they’re very, very real.

If that made any sense, plough on gentle reader, through our Top 10 Fictional Celebrities. (more…)


Top 10 Fictional Documents

Amidst the worlds of literature, film and other media there are a host of works that simply don’t exist. From novels that sweep the world, textbooks of the strange and wondrous, and instructions on how to do the impossible. Though we may never have access to the miracles within those pages, we get to see their fictitious impact, because words matter.

Here we catalogue the finest works of non-existent prose, poetry, documentation, and scripture. Join us as we list the Top 10 fictional documents.

(more…)


Interview – Christian Ward

I like comics. I take an unusual approach compared to many enthusiasts, seizing upon every little detail of a Marvel movie and studying it in depth in an effort to uncover some easter-egg a layman might not observe, occasionally picking up a volume of something that catches my eye, including a few non-super titles like Transmetropolitan or Beyond Wonderland. The art, the complex and interwoven stories picked up by dozens of writers, each adding their own unique interpretation.

The morning before the Shrewsbury Meet I had the chance to sit down in the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse with Christian Ward, comic book artist for Marvel and Image amongst others. Christian’s unusual style and colour palette sets him apart amongst the more traditionally styled comic artists, and his unique talent has led him to a unique project.

Black Bolt, leader and King of the Inhumans is receiving his first ever solo storyline, unattached to his part-alien part-god family, and Christian has been tasked with bringing the man who dare not speak to life on page. In addition we’ll be introduced to some characters entirely new to the Marvel Universe, and he got the first shot at immortalising their image. The first issue of this unique saga is released tomorrow at comic book shops everywhere, and this is what we discussed:

Much credit to Tim for editing out the sounds of the Coffehouse going on behind us, rendering our conversation to video, and finding Throne of the Cresent Moon, well done that man. And of course thanks Christian for taking the time to chat with me. Check out the amazing people he discussed here:

Scott Wegener – Atomic Robo
Nathan Edmondson – Image Comics
Kieron Gillen – Young Avengers
Saladin Ahmed – Black Bolt

If you’re in Shrewsbury on Friday then you can get your copy of Black Bolt signed by the artist’s own fair hand, information on the signing event hosted by Infinity and Beyond can be found here, but so long as your within easy reach of a comic-book shop you can grab your copy of issue 1 tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/5/17) following the Inhuman King’s first solo adventure.