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Top 10 – Rituals

It starts with an incantation, sometimes followed with some sophisticated dance. Often requiring some form of reagents, other times it requires sacrifice, we can only be on about one of the most complex types of magics. A mix between pure voodoo, religion and powerful forces unseen in the physical realm, today we’re delving deep in the world of rituals.

To lay some ground rules down for this, a ritual can be anything involving some complex mantra, activity or set-up. It can be easy enough to understand in principle, so long as there’s a reason behind the simplicity, these are rituals which have been prominently displayed in a series, a franchise, or even just as a one off in an episode. It also can feature in a video game, an RPG or otherwise.


Top 10

10) The Rite of Ash’Kente – Discworld

Click for original artist Puggdogg

Click for original artist Puggdogg

Not even the wizards of Unseen University know everything, but they do know a way to contact someone who does. It’s very inconvenient to drag Death from his eternal duties whenever you need an urgent question answered like “What’s that massive new star that keeps getting bigger?” or “What the hell just happened?” and He regularly appears in a bad mood, on one notable occasion still holding the pineapple-cheese stick from the party He’d just been abducted from.

Death is of course subject to wandering off and leaving His family to do THE DUTY, and they also take His place in the circle should the Rite be performed. There are many ways Ash’Kente can be conducted, many of which involve something dying and therefore summon Death by default. The most basic method requires three sticks and 4cc of mouse blood or an egg, but is often dressed up with dribbly candles and octagrams, for the look of the thing.

9) Eidolon Extraction & Cleyra’s Protective Dance – Final Fantasy IX

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Final Fantasy IX, or FF9 as many people know of it, is one of those games that I talk about a lot. Sorry, not sorry. However in this particular instance, it’s worth noting that the game has many different rituals scattered throughout. These are just two of the main ones that affect the game in huge ways:

The Eidolon Extraction ritual is conducted by Zorn and Thorn, the two court jesters to Queen Brahne (and later working for Kuja). They do this to extract the power of the Eidolon’s so their masters can use the power of these beings to wage war across Gaia. They are successful at first, by taking away Princess Garnet’s Eidolons right at the start of the game. They try this at a later point in the game, too.

Cleyra is a settlement of the rat-people, the same species as one of the main protagonists, Freya Crescent. Cleyra is surrounded by an ancient sand storm which keeps their peaceful town safe from all outsiders. To keep the sand storm safe, occasionally they must perform a sacred dance, with music played from their harp. If the sand storm were to disappear, they would be open for attack and thus… war. See how these are all linked, now?

8) Anveena’s Sacrifice – World of Warcraft

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I’d not like to go into too much detail with this one, but this is a condensed version of what this is about. She’s a manifestation of pure energy and was captured and corrupted by Kil’Jaeden’s minions. With the energy of Sunwell Plateau captured and their intent of using all of her existing life force to summon Kil’Jaeden himself into Azeroth via a portal that she would be opening with her own power.

However, true to all heroic characters form, she snaps out of it and she was almost too late. She’s already opened the portal and the humongous demon Kil’Jaeden was already on his way through it. When she realises this, she uses the last of her strength and powers to make the ultimate sacrifice. She seals the portal around his torso, allowing the heroes of Azeroth to unite against this serious danger to their planet. So in short, Anveena both summons and weakens Kil’Jaeden, allowing Azeroth to hold off from disaster and even prevent it… Until Legion happened but we’ll have to wait and see what dangers from the Burning Legion this presents.

7) Summoning Exodia – YuGiOh

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The theory – In order to summon the great Forbidden One you must gather his parts, head and body, and each chained limb. With his entire collection before you he is made whole and you automatically win the game.

The practice – Decks are basically built so that you can do a short series of delay tactics, all while ensuring that the parts come to you quickly and easily so that you slam the lot down on the table and claim a weak victory that no one enjoys.

So far as instant-wins in card games go it’s got a rather nice theory behind it, but sadly Exodia can be readily exploited. If you’re looking for a more interesting instant win then look up M:tG’s Hedron Alignment for something requiring a bit more effort. If you want an enjoyable experience with Exodia it’s readily found in the Abridged Series.

6) Rary’s Telepathic Bond – Dungeons & Dragons Wizard Ritual

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Oh did we ever have some choices here. Amongst the catalogue of spells for all classes and all occasions in the D&D rulebooks, the magic mouths, the unseen servants and floating disks we eventually settled on one that any right minded wizard would have prepped and ready to go every damn day. You see only a right minded wizard should be allowed to do all of the planning and tactical decision making, these stick-waving imbeciles in metal underpants don’t have a clue!

What better way to make your thoughts known (and only amongst your allies) than to have them implanted directly into their minds? The Telepathic Bond allows for immediate mental communication between a full party anywhere in the world (other planes may incur roaming charges) to swiftly and accurately allow the wizard to share his/her ingenious insights into the situation, and to have those insights ignored more profoundly than ever before. A must have for anyone level 10 or above.

5) Summoning Shenron – DragonBall

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Ah yes, summoning Shenron himself can be considered to be a type of ritual. When you think about what a ritual is, it’s something that should be quite hard to obtain, perhaps because of time constraints, perhaps due to resource, or perhaps due to rarity of the objects being used. When you think of it like this, Shenron is in fact a ritual – but how does one simply summon a dragon that will grant you a wish?

You have to go across the Earth and collect all of the DragonBalls. I mean later on, they go off Earth and go to places like Namek and if you count DragonBall GT as canon, then across the freakin’ universe to summon a Dragon. Once you’ve collected all of the DragonBalls, you then have to say an incantation to summon the great and powerful dragon. Only then will you have satisfied the criteria to unleash this massive all-powerful being. I’d wish for unlimited wishes.

4) Human Sacrifice – Goat Simulator

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All shall kneel before Goat.

These days it’s fairly common knowledge that Coffee Stain Studios is built downhill from a ritual circle devoted to the great Hellgoat, whose powers are terrible, and whose physics are all kinds of broke. How else could such a success be made of a dumb little simulator game that doesn’t even work properly? But to activate the power yourself you must first have corpses, delicious corpses to feed the circle!

The most basic setting for Goat Simulator features some of the most interesting locales, like the gravity pit, the skate park, and the Tower, and within each are terrible secrets, but none require such devotion to activate as the circle. Oh sure, you could summon a bunch of lesser goats and do it, but where’s the fun when you could just snatch up the bodies of the screaming and insignificant peasantry to feed your unnatural hunger for power? Goats man, I’m telling you, they’re evil.

3) C’Thulhu Fhtagn – Lovecraft

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Between the dates of March 23  and April 2 every year, those who consider themselves particularly “psychically hypersensitive” and those of a particularly artistic disposition are visited by feverish dreams of sunken cities, ancient temples, and the slumbering gods who wait there. During the investigations of Inspector LeGrasse into related phenomena and the shocking similarities to the bas-reliefs and idols worshipped by disparate cults across the world he is shown a wide variety of nightmarish worship of elder and unworldly things.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

It’s a phrase uttered on degenerate tongues, a fallen band of New Orleans voodoo priests, devil worshipping Esquimaux, in the hasty scribbles of mad artists and the most impassioned verses of drug-addled poets. Those who worship the idols and keep Its name alive are known to practice terrible rituals of blood, and they’re not alone. The people-smugglers of Red Hook demonstrate similar necromantic rites before a squat demonic entity in deep cellars, and in forgotten times the ancient de la Poer family ancestry sacrificed humans in terrible volumes.

2) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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This is a stretch, but bare with us on this one. Oblivion is a game about the whole game leading up to the climactic moment when the big baddy comes out and you fight it off. So far, so standard. But I want you to seriously think for a moment here and let us know what you think in the comments as well. The Elder Scrolls IV is about the summoning of the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon.

Now that’s pretty cool and the game was universally praised (Even with the silliness of some of the glitches and voice issues that characters had)… However, if the whole game was about the summoning of Mehrunes Dagon, then how? Why? Do you remember those portals scattered across Cyrodil? Yes, you’re absolutely right… The whole game was actually a giant ritual to summon the Daedric Prince himself. You’re literally fighting against a massive demonic ritual… And when you stop to think about it, that’s kind of awesome!

1) Nationwide Transmutation Circle – Fullmetal Alchemist

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SPOILERS: Be warned, if you’ve not watched all of Fullmetal Alchemist and fully intend to, then this is a bit spoiler-y. You have been forewarned.

So it turns out the entire nation, the entire place the series is set in, all of it… Was a great big transmutation circle. A massively forbidden one which would see all that was within the circle destroyed. This was something that was put together by the government of the series, much to the chagrin of all of the protagonists. This was a group they had served (although somewhat unwillingly from Edward Elrics case) – and if this transmutation circle was triggered, it would see the destruction of all life within Amestris.

Why on Earth would anybody want to make this massive underground tunnel based transmutation circle, I hear you cry out? Why, of course, it was put together not because they wanted to eradicate life per se, but instead to create a massive, all powerful philosophers stone for the original Homunculus, Father. This was the ultimate plan for the Homunculi throughout… And when you think about a political power having someone that corrupt in charge, it’s enough to make you cringe.


Honourable Mentions

Rituals are one thing, but magic is a realm of almost unlimited possibilities. Although these next two didn’t quite make the cut for our Top 10 list, we felt they needed to at the very least be mentioned. After all, it’s not every day that you get to see powers like these…

Dice Superstitions

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We are creatures of habit and bizarre superstitions. For all that geeks tend towards logic and reason we also tend to observe patterns rather quickly, especially when it comes to dice. We all have that one dice that you can never ever use because it’s cursed, or a particular bag that’s lucky to keep dice in, one person at the table who can never roll a decent number until there’s some obscurely dramatic moment where they get that impossible critical.

Dice, cards, lucky controllers and mouse-mats, little habits and tics like not looking when you roll or stacking them up. We know it doesn’t make a difference, we know that they’re basically all the same, but… it is different, somehow, it’s yours and it’s special in its own way, and we hang on to them… almost ritualistically.

Rituals

Rituals

If I were to be very honest with you, the reason we picked this for our honourable mentions is because it’s literally called Rituals. We were running out of ideas at first, but when I saw this title, I decided to have a read through and you know what? It sounds pretty interesting. It’s something I’m going to pick up and do a full review on.

Rituals is a game about exploration and the eery connection between civilisation and nature. It looks like it’s quite a short game, but it’s certainly intriguing enough to make me want to get it, play it, record it and share it with you all… But what do you think? Let us know if you’ve played this in the comments below.


Incantations finished, our reagents are expended. That’s it, we’re done, we’ve used up our surplus of supplies and the demand for our next list is just coming through. Sheesh, but we’re spent for this week, so now it’s over to all of you. Help us decide what we do for next weeks’ Top 10 list. You can bet we can conjure up something great from any of the below choices.

Abra kadabra! Hey ho, it looks like we’ve gotten to the end of our ritualistic list of enchanting words and imagery. Nevermind, that’s just the end of the list, but it needn’t be the end of the discussions. How did we do on our list of rituals? Do you think we got the best ones, or did we miss that important ritual in your life? As always, please remember to leave us a message in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Top 10 Balls

You may recall some time back we looked into the Top 10 Boxes. Well today we continue our long-ish tradition of ranking shapes, but today we’ll be cutting a few corners.

Balls! You wanted to know the best of balls, and so we have spent some time looking at and discussing balls. Whether they’re used for sports, storage, puzzle solving or rolling death, so long as they’re spherical, they’re up for consideration, so apologies to fancy soirees and elegant gowns, but those aren’t the balls we’re in this game for.

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Video Game Review: DragonBall Xenoverse

Kamehameha! Every anime and manga’s favourite martial art series which went from simple roots of an exaggerated combat style, with more energy beams than any sci-fi movie in history, to the big screen… Of your computers that is! Timlah has finally gotten his hands on DragonBall Xenoverse and has spent some time getting to know it with his brand new Sayian hero. Will Timlah be able to stop the evil bad guys of the game? Are you reading this in the narrators voice? Find out now in GeekOut’s review!

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Top 10 Characters Who Came Back From The Dead

GeekOut Top 10s

It’s Easter time! Therefore, it’s time to celebrate in the only ways we know how. With a Top 10 that’s very Easter themed – You could have chosen rabbits, or the more literal Easter Eggs, but no, you guys chose for our Top 10 list of Characters Who Came Back From The Dead. In some ways, I guess we should be thanking you for this one, as it’s not only topical, but it made us think.

Some of the characters in the list are incredibly well known, some of the entries may actually shock you. Don’t worry though, we’ve got the defibrillator at the ready to resuscitate any of you who may need bringing back during our list. But don’t worry: When there’s an end, there’s always the chance of rebirth. No Isaac from The Binding of Isaac fame, you’re not on this list.


Top 10

#10 – GLaDOS – Portal

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Aha, so you thought you killed off the AI of the Portal series in the first game, well think again you puny meatbag. GLaDOS makes a very dramatic exit at the end of the first game, where you are destroying the very cores that make her… Well her! GLaDOS is truly the reason the Portal series was able to continue, not Chell.

Coming in at number 10 only, because although it certainly was good to see her return from the “dead”, it was never truly confirmed that you killed her (even though it seemed like you had), plus the moment Portal 2 was announced, we all knew she’d be back. Plus, if nothing else, she gets a nudge onto the list for her beautiful singing voice. Ellen McLain, the voice of GLaDOS, is also a downright lovely individual who we had the pleasure of meeting and listening to at last years Kitacon Invasion.

#9 – Frieza – Dragonball Z

Frieza Final Form

Frieza’s name was known all throughout the galaxy as the most fearsome warrior of all. He was able to level whole planets, barely using any effort at all. This intergalactic terrorist would incite fear upon those who gazed eyes on him, as well as having a rather flamboyant fighting force (Ginyu Force) at his disposal. Frieza seemed like he had it all, until he was cut into a million pieces, had parts of his body disintegrated and then left for dead on planet Namek. Talk about having a rough day.

But then, very shortly after the Frieza/Namek saga was over, we went back to Earth and lo and behold, Frieza returns! This time, he was on Earth! What ever could the world do– Oh, okay, a guy from the future comes along and in one slash with a sword manages to do what took Goku and friends what must have been eight episodes. Still, Frieza wasn’t finished there – Well he was, until very recently. Last year, in the film DragonBall Z: Resurrection ‘F’. This time, he seems to not be a robot, but golden! Now you’ve seen his true final form? Possibly?

#8 – Brian – Family Guy

This one was incredibly shocking and highly controversial. In fact, I’m not going to make and mistakes about it: I somewhat grew tired of Family Guy a while back. There’s only so much that you can take of what is effectively just constant running gags, which grow staler than a loaf of bread that you’ve left for only five minutes on a table in the Sahara Desert. I might be being rather descriptive of how stale some of the jokes can get, but there’s one thing this series did really well. It hit all of us right in the feels.

The very controversial episode of Brian’s death, aptly named Life of Brian, was actually somewhat hard to watch. The video above shows the clip of Brian’s death, so a small warning goes out to you – It’s a little bit brutal. The episode managed to handle the death of a main character really well. It didn’t resort to wacky humour about it, but instead, it felt as if the series was about to lose a sense of what it was – Same as how many of us feel whenever we lose someone or a pet that’s so near and dear to us. This episode stirred so many people, that a change.org petition was started and eventually Brian’s death was ret conned, proving the character was indeed loved and would have been sorely missed.

I wonder how Family Guy would look today if they kept the replacement dog..?

#7 – Jason Voorhees – Friday the Thirteenth

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The films series that just won’t die features one of our all time favourite immortal nemeses, the masked slasher Jason Voorhees. While the film franchise has limped, sagged and very nearly collapsed under the burden of abuse from varying directors there’s an underlying character to the mighty butcher of rampant teens, generally lying under the surface of a lake, but he’s seen as something of a representation of puritanical oppression. Not a lot oppressing him though.

The source of his immortality has never truly been explained, mostly that a series of flukes, assorted magicks (with a “k”) and prolonged periods of time spent in suspended animation have all contributed heavily to his prolonged existence so that he may foreshorten that of others. Trips to Hell and outer-space can’t hold him back, not even failed titles, spinoffs, or lousy versus films can keep him from rebooting.

#6 – Spawn

It was either him or Ghost Rider, it’s always a tough call when you have two incredible characters who have been offered a deal from the devil, and while we can forgive Nicolas Cage for a rather… different interpretation, we still love Spawn just that little bit more.

Maybe it’s the vast array of powers, challenging Malebolgia himself to mortal combat, OH! and Mortal Kombat! Al Simmons is just a more awesome character, a grim silhouette in the stereotypical stormy night that casts every bit as much fear as the flaming skull of vengeance, who also got a legendary cartoon series to boot. But what about his return from death? If you read his entry in the Top 10 Unfortunate Heroes you’ll know it’s not a happy tale, it’s a hellish contract born of a need for revenge, and to save the life of the one he loves, but it slowly becomes a mission, a duty to the forces of light born on the shoulders of a very dark soldier.

#5 – Harry Potter

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In a tale of epic struggle against what is effectively overcoming the unspeakable ultimate evil, Harry Potter makes it onto our list as a surprising entrant. After all, he manages to defeat Voldemort*, doesn’t he? So how can it be that The Boy Who Lived who ended up being The Boy Who Died Then Came Back To Life Again Or Something? Well, it’s all down to the details in this one, but Harry does indeed die.

He is a Horcrux, one that Voldemort himself accidentally created. The irony was that Harry had to kill himself in order to destroy one of the Horcruxes. Hey, everything in this series was entwined in some way, even the Golden Snitch that Harry was given by Dumbledore makes a very important appearance during this part. When Harry dies however, a lot of the story really comes together here. The Horcruxes are falling very quickly at this point and of course, time to go and defeat Voldemort once and for all.

*Or y’know, Neville Longbottom, the series whipping boy, is the one who ends up beheading the snake in a rather amazing scene in the films, but whatever!

#4 – Solomon Grundy – Batman

Solomon Grundy
Born on a Monday

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Lives for a week, a tale of tragedy that takes us a total of seven days and – in the case of Cyrus Gold – ultimately ends in reincarnation. You see, the immortal Grundy from the DC universe is an ancient and wealthy banker from days of yore whose carriage sinks into a peat-bog that supposedly contained one of DC’s infamous retcon devices, a Lazarus pit. The rejuvenating properties infuse Grundy, leaving him incapable of permanent death, or even coherent thought.

The pits are known to damage the mind and soul of those they help, whilst making the body incredibly powerful. To someone with the self-discipline or narrative importance of Ra’s Al Ghul the effects can be mitigated with rigorous self control and suitable sacrifice. For Solomon Grundy, it leaves a mindless giant capable of crushing a man with a shrug. Batman actually enjoys Grundy for the chance to cut-loose and get to some real damage dealing, despite the fact that the giant is reborn far larger and stronger than before.

He does rather lack some of the guile of Batman’s better villains, being incapable of articulating much more than the one rhyme that was skipping through his head as he suffocated to death in the mystic swamps.

#3 – Barbossa – Pirates of the Caribbean

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Although some credit must go to Captain Jack Sparrow for being dragged back from the locker against his somewhat shattered will, someone had to step up who knew how to get to the other side. And as it happens Jack recently killed someone who’s as good as he is at not staying dead for long.

It took a large crew and a whole lot of persuading to get Sparrow back from death, Barbossa made one sweet deal and came striding back to enjoy some juicy apples and revenge… juicy, juicy revenge. During his captaincy of the Black Pearl he got dangerously close to death before Sparrow and Turner finished the job, but as it turns out Tia Dalma/Calypso has a soft spot for the old sea dog.

More and more we’re seeing film series leave us with cliffhangers to drag us back to the cinema, but in this incredibly short scene there was more excitement drummed up for the third instalment of the trilogy than in any other series – at least that I’ve ever seen. Who knew a pair of boots would be such a welcome sight?

#2 – Gandalf – Lord of the Rings

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

Well, I guess Gandalf the Grey was right – The Balrog certainly didn’t get to pass Gandalf and his temper tantrum of turmoil. It ends up that Gandalf shouting those immortal words would also be Gandalf the Grey’s last. The whip reaches up, lashes around the leg of Gandalf and pulls him down… Well okay, it wasn’t his last, as he manages to call everyone fools because they aren’t flying. I mean for crying out loud, Hobbitses can’t even fly, Gandalf, you senile old guy.

Ahem, I digress. Later in the film, Gandalf makes a very lovely re-appearance, as Gandalf the White. Apparently, when this wizard dies, he manages to fall into a vat of Vanish Stain Removal. Enough joking though, Gandalf’s death was not in vain – He comes back way better than ever before and it’s one of the franchise’s most iconic moments.

#1 – Kenny – South Park

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Are you really surprised? Seriously?

Kenny infamously dies once an episode in early seasons of the world’s most even-handedly offensive cartoon series, it became the most widely known running gag in a series for a decade, and had a generation learning how to swear loudly in the face of death. They attempted to kill Kenny off permanently in an attempt to kill a joke they’d grown sick of, before demurely bringing him back in the same off-hand fashion they’d been doing for years.

As time progresses we learn that in fact Kenny’s parents conducted some strange ritual with elder beings to cause him to be reincarnated constantly, a superpower he uses to become the cloaked immortal hero Mysterion. In fact one of the most harrowing episodes of South Park was the episode in which we learn of how alarmingly aware of his immortality Kenny is, holding a gun to his head and screaming “Remember this time! You have to remember!”, but no one ever does, no one can mourn a child who never dies.

Bastards.


Honourable Mentions

Everything comes to an end, but not the characters in our Top 10 list! Well some of them kind of do, but they don’t all simply end there. But the below extra characters are also known for their ability to just come back from the dead. At least they’ve got a chance to redeem themselves in our Honourable Mentions list!

Dracula

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Depending on the version of Dracula that you look into, this vampire seems to just never stop dying and coming back to life. Interestingly, the state of how vampires sleep in the story of Dracula is known as “Death-Sleep”, as the vampires appear to be dead with their eyes wide open during their slumber, so if we take that into account as well, then hey, Dracula dies every damn night. But that’s not exactly true now is it?

I mean if we look at the Castlevania series, the amount of times Dracula has legitimately been killed is quite staggering – Yet he always manages to come back for some rather unspecific reason. “Oh we resurrected him”, “oh we’ve got to kill him again.” Who knows why he thinks it’s a good idea to keep fighting the Belmonts, but hey, Dracula has to have something to do in his unlife, right? I guess having a hobby is good enough in his world.

Player Character – Video Games

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I had the most terrible dream, I was plummeting to my death, nothing but darkness and my own echoing screams, and then suddenly I was assaulted by descending numbers. I don’t think they reached zero because I woke up somewhere near where it all took place. I’m almost reluctant to try and make the leap again… but the world will not save itself, and I don’t see anyone else around here who isn’t trying to kill me.

From the Hyperion New-U stations in Borderlands to the wave of bloody carnage that ends every successful run in Super Meat Boy, we’ve grown all too accustomed to the ability to just get up and try again. Perhaps the return of the roguelike owes itself to our newfound nonchalance in the face of death, because it can be hard to make death something to be feared, while at the same time allowing the player to get straight back into the fray without the tedium of starting from scratch.

From an allotted maximum number of lives, to money and experience penalties, defeat is not without its sting, but that doesn’t make it any less funny when your character dies and walks it off.


Oh we slayed this list! But lo and behold, when one goes down, it simply comes back within a week’s time much like Solomon Grundy. But now it’s time for you to decide what our list will be returning as next week. It’s time for you to help us pick next week’s iteration of our Top 10 list.

As always, thanks for reading our list. We love writing these and as they are still thoroughly well received, we’ll keep doing these until you guys say “stop with the Top 10 lists!” Let us know what you thought – Are these characters deserving of this list? Do you think we’ve missed any characters that deserve a special mention? Would you have reordered this list in any way? Please leave your comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for always being excellent!


Top 10 Anime’s Most Over Powered

Super Sayians aren’t the only anime characters who can do some devastating things to whole planets. From the mere thought of seeing ladies undergarments to firing out small chips of bone that can kill a man, there are characters out there that are just so powerful, we don’t even know where to begin to explain how to comprehend them. But not all is bad, as today we’re going to look at the Top 10 Anime’s Most Over Powered. By this, we mean specific characters who are just insanely overpowered in terms of their universes and perhaps even other anime universes too.

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Top 10

10) Bertolt Hoover – Attack on Titan

Bertolt is relatively stale when he’s not displaying his actual power. He’s a graduate of the 104th Trainees Squad and he ranked 3rd. So you know, he’s got something going for him, but he’s not particularly special in this regard. Good, but just good.

Oh did we mention that he can turn into a Titan who dwarves other Titans!? Supposedly a 60 foot monstrosity who can take out other Titans easily enough. It begs the question: where’s the fun when you can be a more powerful version of the enemy you’re aiming to beat? Still, we love the fact this quiet, shy man can turn into such a massive Titan who is able to control his body and not hurt his allies in the process. Good job, Bertolt!

9) Guts – Berserk

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Guts is a normal enough guy. No special powers except well honed strength and combat reflexes faster than even his own brain can keep up with, he can swing a sword the weight of a tree with instinctual speed and well trained grace and precision. Does that make him OP?

Over time Guts has earned respect enough from the God of the Battlefield – Nosferatu Zodd – that he casually threw him a spare sword before a major fight. The introduction to the Anime shows a future long after the series ends and the Manga picks up, showing the Black Swordsman he would eventually become, with a canon replacing his arm, and he later gains the Berserker armour that unlocks the full potential of the wearer’s muscles, at the risk of destroying themselves in the process. Seeing Guts in that armour is enough to make Zodd show fear.

Guts is horrendously mortal, but amongst mundane, normal, workaday human beings he is the most legendary, and goes on to fight untold monsters, name forgotten, only the death he brings.

8) Alucard – Hellsing

Alucard has a bit of a Mary-Sue issue because he can basically do everything. He’s a true immortal, able to regrow his entire body from the smallest fragment; can dual wield pistols with the force of anti-tank weapons; can turn into an amorphous demon-hound that simply devours everything in its’ path; and also contains within his own body an army of every soul he has devoured. Bearing in mind that he is Vlad the Impaler, that covers soldiers from many centuries, and monster-hunting villains that he has swallowed whole in the past.

What brings Alucard down is that he’s generally bored by the squabbling of all the little creatures squirming beneath him and only wants a good fight and to protect his master and train up his new little monster Seras Victoria. But damn if he doesn’t look cool while he’s utterly ignoring everything that’s going on around him.

7) Haruhi Suzumiya

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Though far from normal, Haruhi Suzumiya gives a great impression of being an overly eccentric, demanding and enthusiastic high-school student who commits to the weirdest projects to help everyone stave off boredom, to shake up the status quo as it were. She’s a happy go lucky soul with a band of rather begrudging friends trailing along behind her.

And if she ever gets too bored she might realize that she’s a god-like being that will immediately become aware of its’ immense power, lose control over it and unravel time and space itself, thus ending causality. All in all, a pretty embarrassing rock-band incident seems like suitable payoff. Haruhi gets a spot on the list for requiring aliens, time travellers and espers to keep an eye on her lest she bring about the end of everything, and for starting a religion.

6) Aang – Avatar

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So Aang is a pretty cool kid, that’s a fact. Not only is he the last airbender, but even when all of the air-nomad temples were full he was one of the best. He spent a century frozen in ice and came out swinging, and he’s a master of all four of the classic elements. How does a twelve year old pull that kind of trick? He’s the host to countless others before him who could do the same, each pouring their power into his, combined with (as we discover later in the Legend of Korra) the soul of all life and peace in the living world, Raava!

Aang is awesome, it’s as simple as that. He was also one of the only Avatars to learn the unified final bending form, the power to bend another human’s soul, and with it the power to remove any bending ability they might possess. In the Avatar state he can condense stone to be tough as metal, fly at supersonic speeds, generate lightning, and bend anything within a half mile with pinpoint precision and immense power. More to the point, he can quell the urge to do so thanks to his own impenetrable sense of justice and mercy. Good job kid, Fire Lord Ozai deserved a damn-sight worse than what you gave him! That’s real power right there.

5) Anyone – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

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Now JoJo fans may disagree with me on this one and that’s completely understandable. I’ve not fully gotten my head around all of the incredibly powerful JoJo’s characters out there, but the reason this is the mid-way choice of characters is that the whole of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure seems to revolve around the insanely powerful and incredible Stands.

I originally wanted the Gold Experience Requiem Stand to be the flagchoice, but we’ve specifically said anime and to my knowledge, Giorno has not been in the anime as of yet. However let’s not get too worked up about all this – Joseph, pictured above, is pretty powerful in his own right and heck, he’s the main protagonist of Part II, is important in Part III and is even a character in Part IV. He’s a super recurring character and in terms of the anime, so let us know in the comments below who your pick for the most overpowered JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime character is. We just can’t decide.

4) Eliza Faust – Shaman King

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Right, so let me tell you a quick thing about Oversouls in Shaman King.

An Over Soul is the most powerful control over Furyoku, known to us English speakers as Mana. Basically, you take your Spirit companion, let’s say Yoh’s Spirit: Amidamaru. You then allow him to possess a physical weapon, so let’s say Yoh’s Harusame (sword). The result is an Over Soul. These cannot be damaged by anything physical, but only other Over Souls can damage these. Hopefully this has made sense!

Now, let’s take Eliza Faust into the equation. She is not an object (how dare you imply such things), but instead she’s a skeleton… And she’s Faust VIII’s spirit. She’s a skeleton. Yes, his spirit is actually a skeleton and let me tell you – She’s close enough to being invincible thanks to the power of necromancy. In fact, from remembering the series, Faust was the only opponent Yoh had that I felt could have legitimately done away with Yoh, except for Hao. If only love weren’t so blind.

3) Zaraki Kenpachi – Bleach

In Bleach, Shingami (the soul reapers) wield swords that are part of their souls. They can unlock a true form – Shikai, which reflects their personality and power; and a full form – Bankai, available only to the most incredibly powerful and ancient Shinigami, the commanders of the 13 squads of soul society, and intensely, apocalyptically powerful. Shinigami can also utilize the power of their soul – Reiatsu, to create spell like effects that can blast, bind or deceive opponents.

Zaraki Kenpachi has never unlocked Shikai, can’t control his reiatsu even a little bit, and is the commander of the 11th squad, the hardest, strongest, most fanatically combatant of all the Shinigami. He wears an eyepatch that not only impedes his vision, but devours vast amounts of his spiritual power, and wears bells in his hair so that he can’t sneak up on anyone.

Because it’s the only way fighting world-ending monsters can be fun for him. The protagonist, Ichigo, split a mountain with a flicker of his arm when he was at the height of his power, and didn’t make the list.

2) Adam Blade – Needless

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The most unnecessary anime ever made has a vast army of characters who are preposterously powerful. Fireballs the size of mountains? Sure. The power to increase and decrease the effect of gravity on something? Hey, knock yourself out. I want my character to make rain with the power of lasers! Ahh go on then you little scamp!

So the most powerful ability of all? How about the power to copy them all! To memorize absolutely every single power and use them whenever, doesn’t even matter. Adam Blade has a clone who can use the same power, “Zero” to even greater effect, “Positive Feedback Zero!” Doesn’t matter, that guy’s falling apart at the seams, and Adam is a mental case who can destroy whatever he pleases.

In fact Adam’s greatest power is that the story is always on his side, Needless is not an anime for those in need of deep cerebral involvement. His greatest weakness is cute girls, so his immense power is easily diffused… but he’ll fight so much harder to protect an adorable face!

1) Whis – Dragon Ball

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I hate to use such a vague character as the most overpowered, but even the creator of the series has confirmed the amount of power this guy has. Let’s just say this: the most powerful foe that Goku has faced to date is arguably Beerus. On the power scales of a scale of 1 to 10, Akira Toriyama assigned the powers as Whis not just breaking the scale, but being 1.5 times more powerful than the most powerful entity in the universe (Beerus).

The most positive message to take out of all of this: If Goku in a Super Saiyan God form cannot defeat Beerus, then that gives Goku something to work towards in the future. Eventually, maybe he’ll get to fight Whis when we’re not playing Dragon Ball Xenoverse? Heck, even in that, Whis doesn’t really lose. He just gets bored of you.


Honourable Mentions

Hercule/Mr Satan – DragonBall Z

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Specifically from the Z saga, would you believe that Mr Satan was the strongest human ever? Did you know he beat Cell?!

Well actually, this blubbering buffoon didn’t do anything like that. In fact, he was rather lame. But it doesn’t change that in the books, he’s defeated some of the most powerful foes. Humans world wide are aware that Hercule defeated the incredibly powerful Cell. Not only that, he managed to take on the newcomer Android 18 to win a tournament. With his Super Megaton Punch with a Delayed Reaction, which he had been perfecting for 10 years.

Never change, Mr Satan.

Principal – Nichijou

Hits the German Suplex on a deer. He is in a losing battle against one ferocious competitor, the deer, who he needs to remove from campus. We can’t be having a stinkin’ deer on school grounds now can we!? He gets smacked around, is even dangerously close to death himself. From losing all that blood, to doing moonsaults and the old offer a deer biscuit trip, the Principal seems like he’s going to fall to his competition. Then, from outta nowhere, he hits his German Suplex which was so perfect, so pristine, that his hair seemingly cannot cope with the amount of awesome it’s been put through.

My work here is done.


That’s all we’ve got time for in this weeks Top 10. Did you find the characters to be pretty damn overpowered? What do you all think about the strange inclusion of characters such as Eliza, who isn’t overpowered in terms of how long she’s able to be maintained for, but in terms of a character we felt she actually was. So then, let us know in the comments what you thought about our choice of overpowered characters. Did we miss any? We know we did.

Don’t forget to vote for next weeks’ Top 10, where we’ve got some crazy choices for you this week! Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter what you liked or disliked about this weeks article.


Top 10 Geeky Soundtracks

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We love a good bit of geek culture, so one of the options in last weeks’ Top 10 was for Geeky Soundtracks… But that’s a little bit of an ambiguous term, so let’s quickly encapsulate that for you:

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DragonBall Z – The most influential anime?

This is the theme tune that defined a generation of kids.

At least, that’s how important this series seemed, especially when I was a youngen, finally watching anime. I thought this would be an important anime to review, so I wanted to give this one extra time and pay attention to some of the finer details of this series. Welcome, to my take on the over-the-top “Kung-fu”, “Hyper realistic” series that is… DragonBall Z.

Is this a “Hater” review?

No it is not! How dare you insinuate such things, my dear readers!

Oh Shenron, I remember you well.

Alas, there are a lot of things “wrong” with this anime. I want to point out, what is wrong with this anime is exactly what is “right” about this anime, too. This is going to be a rocky, bumpy ride, so please hang tight.

If I hated this series, I’d have never said the theme tune defined a generation of kids. When I was growing up as a young geek, I used to rush home from school, or to my friends house and we’d throw ourselves in front of the tele-box in hopes to see some more dynamic, over the top violence. Oh my!

As you can see, this series induces a stunning performance by George Takei. Oh, my!

But I just digressed from the subject at hand, slightly.

Is this a good anime?

Now, “good” is a subjective word. Good is a very subjective word, which is entirely dependent on your tastes and possibly your peers. Your peers do oddly affect how you view something, so this is why I will conclude this review on this popular anime series from two points of view: The little boy growing up and the grown up man.

Onwards we go to the review!

Story

We’re not going to go into the story of DragonBall, the series before DragonBall Z, but to put all of this into a very condensed form for you:

DragonBall Z originates from DragonBall, which featured heavy Kung-Fu action. Using the power of Ki (The same Ki that people use in martial arts and Tai Chi) in forms of either Ki attacks or energy waves, the heroes and villains of DragonBall Z fight in hopes to resolve their differences.

The powerful Kamehameha wave is a signature move of the main protagonist, Son Goku. Goku has been saving the world for many years and is happily married to Chi-Chi. Together, they have a son, Son Gohan, who has a tail? Don’t let him stare at the moon though, or else bad things happen!

This is clearly the best course of action.

So when the world is in trouble, it is up to Goku and his friends, the Z warriors, to band together and save the world before anything bad can happen.

In the first “Saga” in DragonBall Z, Goku faces off against a strange man with a tail (What is with these tails!?) called Raditz. Raditz refers to himself as a Saiyan and this, my friends, is all I’ll say about the story.

If I were to go into too much more detail, I’d be describing what’s happening throughout. See, the stories themselves aren’t hard to get into. They’re quite easy stories, in fact when you break each part down. But due to how each “Saga” is sort of a separate story, it’s hard to tell you much about any one saga.

The Saiyans were a race of aggressive warriors from Planet Vegeta. The Saiyans were wiped out long before the events of DragonBall (Let alone DragonBall Z) however the revelation of Raditz is what spirals the whole of this series: Who are the Saiyans and what are their potential?

Artwork

Whilst I do enjoy the artwork of DragonBall Z, I do also look at it and sometimes shake my head.

You see, when a child as young as 7 is able to walk around and have such a perfectly defined muscular frame, you begin to look at yourself. You see your love handles. You see your flab and your flesh and you think “… I am not worthy enough to watch this.”

Son Gohan – He’s pretty young for someone with such good arms!

Character designs aside, there were some great scenes. Here, have a look at Namek, one of the earlier sagas in DragonBall Z.

That’s right: Space is involved a lot!

Music

In the series itself, the music is pretty lackluster, however, as I linked at the very beginning of this article, the theme tune was phenomenal. It may seem very cheesy and yes, it is. But picture this: You and your friend rushes home from school to jump in front of the tele-box as it’s time for DragonBall Z.

You both have your drinks, you’re ready and then you hear that riff start, with Shenron, the dragon, starting the show. As a young boy, it was a very exhilarating experience. It felt like we had to see each and every episode, at least for the music at the beginning of every episode.

The outcome of two halves

Young me: This is probably the best series ever and cannot get any better. If I didn’t know any better, I want to train to be a Z warrior, myself!

I will come home every day, usually with a friend and we would listen to that hyped music, then listen to the narrator tell me what happened previously. Then at the end of every episode, the narrator will build us up for the next episode. Each and every time, it made you want to come back for more.

Me and my friend would “re-enact” what we had seen, which is fine as neither of us knew how to use Ki to make an energy wave. The punches never looked like they landed, so we would never actually hit one another. We’d just shout words like “KAMEHAMEHA!” or “DESTRUCTO-DISC!” You name it, so long as it was a move in the series, we both knew it.

And we loved the fact that we both knew it. It was simplicity, it was intensity and most importantly – It was a great way to bond with your friends when you didn’t have any video games to play together.

Young me gives this anime a 5/5

Grown up man: Zee? In England, we normally pronounce this Zed. Alas, the story is very farfetched as we’re used to in anime. The theme music was very direct and certainly got your adrenaline going. Graphically, this isn’t the best anime ever, however it serves the purpose. I do wonder why even children as young as 7 are able to have abs better than most professional athletes, but this is besides the point.

If the inner goofball in me didn’t keep telling me differently, I’d rate this very lowly. I mean let’s be honest here; DragonBall Z is exactly what we adults shouldn’t watch! The violence is far too over the top, with a fight lasting several episodes: Think about it like this… Every episode is around 20 minutes, if one fight lasted 5 episodes, that’s a good 100 minutes, or 1 hour 40 minutes. That’s a long time to be in one fight!

However, let’s now step back and look at it for what it is. This, to me, is the gateway for a young boy to get into anime. Why am I singling out young males? Simple: That’s the only view I’ve personally had of it.

Current day me gives this anime a 4.5/5

It just misses out on top marks because of how, at times, it is beyond over the top. It also drags some things ridiculously long. If I remember correctly, it did take Goku about 3 episodes to do one attack once, which then proceeded to miss.

Of course, lots happened whilst he bided his time, but the point is that it spanned several episodes for one attack. That is insane dedication, sometimes a bit too much.

So I’ve now given you a young boys and his grown up counterparts views of DragonBall Z.

Ladies and their inner young girls, have you had much experience with DragonBall Z? Can you share your experience as a young girl or even as a lady watching this? Hey, other inner young boys, actual young boys and grown up men… What were your experiences with the ultimate “slug-fest series” that is DragonBall Z?

And remember:

DRAGON, DRAGON BALL, DRAGON, DRAGON BALL ZEE! YAAAH!

Excuse me; I need to go make some wishes to Shenron. Off to gather the DragonBalls!