Tim, no reading, there may be spoilers.
As for the rest of you, it’s been ample time for you all to have played, but as Tim recently played Arkham Asylum for the first time ever, it seems a good time to talk about the sequel. Arkham City is fodder for every gaming hall of fame going, a neat blend of sandbox with high quality story, stealth and action, puzzles and combat, and perhaps one of the best representations of Batman ever put to a screen of any size. Arkham City was also going to be the last ever appearance of Mark Hamill as the Joker, promising he’d only return if they ever animated The Killing Joke (they did, he did). (more…)
Oh the weather outside is frightful and the fire is sooo delightful, when there’s simply no place to go… Oh, who put this massive ice wall outside of my house?
Yes, that’s right, we’re looking at the Top 10 Ice Moves & Attacks this week, a very specific kind of attack. The only rules we have for this is that it has to be the actual ability that is ice. It needn’t be aggressive, but the user needs to have been able to manipulate ice to some capacity. Therefore, we won’t be allowing a weapon that’s made of ice, unless it requires them to maintain its iciness.
FREEZE! You need to cool off… Er, no more puns. Let’s get on with this list.
10) Smash (Ice Climbers) – Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Notoriously cute, the Ice Climbers are a duo of eskimos who have teeny tiny little hammers in their hands. Named Popo (in blue) and Nana (in pink), they come from a game released back in the mid 80s simply called Ice Climber. Normally, you’d play as Popo, with Nana being controlled by the CPU – and in Smash Bros, this is no different. You control Popo, with Nana mimicking Popo’s actions.
They make this list, but only just, as their ultimate ability in Smash Bros. is to summon a huge mountain of ice. When their opponents touch it, they can freeze up completely, becoming immobilised and being moved around by physics alone. Their ability however is all they really have going for them as they are by far one of, if not the hardest character to learn in the game. Nevermind little Eskimos, you’re still amongst the cutest characters in game.
Uh, forgive me, Pikachu and Jigglypuff…
9) Wall of Frost – Magic: the Gathering
Pretty much a must have card for any blue or blue mixture deck. If you need to buy yourself some time to drop some cruel trick on your opponent, want to give them pause for thought when deciding whether or not to attack, or want them to be left wide open while you slip past their big guns, there is no reason not to want a wall of frost in between you and them. Crazy low cost, high toughness, and freezes any creature that touches it.
Only one MtG card in the game is more useful and/or iconic, the indestructible (and flying) Fog Bank, but that barely needs a whif of damage before it’s dispersed. The Wall of Ice is not only one hell of a nuisance for your enemies, they’re also tough to shift. So sit back, relax behind your freezing fortress, and counter every attempt to pull it down with all that mana you’ve left untapped.
8) Hyoten Hyakkaso/Frozen Heavens Hundred Flower Funeral – Bleach
As captain of the 10th brigade, Toshiro Hitsugaya is in possession of one of the most devastatingly powerful Zanpakuto in all of Soul Society. In the sword’s final released form – Daiguren Hyorinmaru/Grand Crimson Lotus Ice Ring – the sword forms a kind of armour formed of ice, in the shape of a dragon, sculpted around him. This in itself would be awesome enough, but it’s still technically an item, not a power. Hyoten Hyakkaso is a power only available to Daiguren Hyorinmaru.
A hole opens in the sky, and it begins to snow. Everywhere the flakes touch their sprouts a flower with petals of razor sharp ice crystals. The snowflakes settle on any surface they contact, such as his enemy’s weapon and body, finally encasing them fully in a tomb of ice. This is not his only power to encase his enemy in ice, but it is the most inescapable, insidious, and devastating power he weilds…
7) Ice Block – Warcraft
Probably the most iconic Mage move bar for the mighty powerful Pyroblast, Ice Block is a highly defensive move, allowing the Mage chance to get some much needed survivability. This is a move mostly used in Player vs Player combat in World of Warcraft, Ice Block is best used when you can get some backup from other players on your team, so you can then release yourself back into the middle of a group fight.
However, Ice Block has been in more than just World of Warcraft; it’s been around in Warcraft lore for a very long time. It’s by far the most important survivability move a Mage can have. Still, it was later ‘replaced’ due to talents, but it’s still in game, so don’t worry fans of Vanilla!
6) Mei’s Ice Wall – Overwatch
Let me be honest; I didn’t see this coming myself. However, when we were considering the ice moves and attacks, this was actually a much improved version of Wall of Frost from Magic: the Gathering, simply because it’s portable! It’s a great big wall in the way of the opponent’s, blocking Mei and her teammates from incoming pain. It must be great to hide behind a wall of frost.
Mei dresses in warm clothing, but she’s not an Eskimo. Nope, she’s Chinese in nationality, but it seems she learned how to be cold as ice (HAH) in the process. Her Ice Wall has 5 pillars, each with its own 500 health. To be fair; that’s a lot of health for a basic wall that can be put up anywhere. Lasting for 4.5 seconds, this is a very strategic support ability which can change the pace of a game.
5) Blizzard – Pokemon
Oh we had a lot to choose from here.
Actually it came down to two of the best ice-moves from Gen 1, but while Aurora Beam is beautiful, clever, and has rather nice lingering effects, Blizzard is so much more iconic, and frankly it was the first move to spring to mind when we even considered the list. Incredible power, high accuracy (because you can’t outrun the storm!!!) and a chance to freeze your opponent where they stand, it’s about as icy as you can get.
In Red/Blue versions, blizzard is surprisingly only available to two pokemon, Jynx and Arcticuno. It has only been out-weighed by a couple of ice-moves from Gen 5, and has long been the crown jewel of an ice-type’s moveset, and is a great TM to add to your high-powered team members.
4) Mr. Freeze’s Freeze Gun – Batman
We all probably remember the Arnold Schwarzenegger rendition of Mr. Freeze, as it is highly memorable unto itself, but let’s not take away from the character here. Mr. Freeze is one of Batman’s most famous enemies, as noted by the fact he makes up part of the Rogue’s Gallery. Often depicted as having fallen victim to an industrial accident whilst trying to save his wife’s life, he’s a tragic character who is prone to saying things like “Chilled to perfection.”
One-liners and Arnold’s performance aside, Mr. Freeze has one of the most powerful ice-manipulation weapons I think I’ve just about ever seen. He just misses out on our top 3, to which we have some real crazy abilities, however this gun is elegant in its simplicity. Able to freeze an opponent completely, the ice gun is one weapon you do not want to get on the wrong side of.
Sheesh, talk about giving your enemy the cold shoulder!
3) Heat Death – “Iceman” Bobby Drake
X-Men founding member Bobby Drake’s ability to turn water vapours into solid blocks of ice is fairly well documented, and his distinctive power to change his entire form into ice. By and large he does this by slowing the vibrations of water molecules to reduce them to freezing temperature. It’s a rather useful skill, to be sure, but lesser known fact is that Bobby is reducing the vibration of molecules to a complete stop.
The universe strives to reach equilibrium, ending all energy and motion and reaching a state of absolute zero, a terrible expanse of darkness, nothingness. Now, Iceman’s ability can accelerate the process in its own little way, but at his peak of power he can actually bring about the total heat death of the universe, classifying him as an Omega Level mutant. A mutant capable of bringing about the end.
2) Ice Form – Skyrim
Before I start this one, please do watch the above video. No, no, seriously – I’ll wait right here. You go on now. Okay, has your laugh-tank been depleted? Great, let’s continue.
Ice Form is a rather powerful shout in the smash hit, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You assume the role of the Dragonborn, a powerful entity who is able to speak in the language of dragons. Your role is to go and kill the dragons that have returned, take their souls and use their souls as a fuel to power your Shouts. Of course, there’s a bit more story to it, but that’s the jist of what being Dragonborn is about.
Ice Form is one of these shouts. You shout at your enemy until their frozen, however this is where the move stops being a cool move. It crystalises into something that breaks the game in the funniest of ways. Well, breaks enemies and yourself in the weirdest way anyway. If Ice Form is shouted on you or an opponent, the body hits the ground in a bizarre way… And the game can’t physics any more.
It forgets how gravity works and it thinks that you’re going to go on a jet-speed flying trip around the universe. Because, y’know, Bethesda Quality? (We do love you, Bethesda. No harm meant~) Oh and if you want one more video, check out the above.
1) Sub Zero’s Ice Clone – Mortal Kombat
Whether Sub Zero is the more popular MK character than Scorpion, that’s another article in itself. However, let us discuss one of his more potent and versatile moves, a statue of himself made of solid ice. If your opponent so much as touches the clone they become flash-frozen, leaving them wide open for a follow up attack, but so what? They can just move around it, right? Well Sub Zero can actually throw the frosty figuring straight at his enemies, making it far harder to simply side-step without getting frozen. If Sub Zero has a clone out and suffers a deadly injury? No worries, you were beating up the clone this whole time and I was over here staying really still.
While some may feel the ice puddle is more memorable, or the tombstone teleport looked cooler, I say that leaving a perfect copy of your body that’s cold enough to freeze a human being fully on mere contact is too cool to pass up and you can just throw it at them. It’s a power shared by both incarnations, Bi-Han (now Noob Saibot) and Kuai Liang, and is way more awesome than making the ground a bit slippy, and for that matter, any other ice-powers you care to mention.
Have you had the time to cool off, or are you feeling a little cold from all of these puns? Well, Icy that you need to have some time out, so here’s some honourable mentions for this list. These are our picks for honourable; not getting to the main list due to their lack of oomph.
Ice Crown – Adventure Time
More of an object than a move or power, but if we’re discussing icy powers then it’s absolutely worth a nod. At the cost of your memories and sanity, the bearer of the crown of ice created by the first of the Ice Elementals – Urgence Evergreen – gains immortality, and complete access Evergreen’s magical powers. Bolts of ice are the most basic skill, but the icecrown’s powers seem quite limitless, including freezing the entire world for 400 years without the need for a living bearer.
Shaping and creating ice into whatever shape is useful to the host is a given, shields and weapons with which the host actually possesses greater ability than with normal weapons, a skill called “Fridjitzu”, weather shaping (although only one type of weather), facial hair based flight, and dominion over the ice-based life that seems to occupy the snowier regions of Ooo. All in all there’s no one power the crown possesses that’s of particular remark, but it is remarkable in itself in how it parasitically dominates its wearer.
Ice Man’s Ice Slasher- Megaman
One of the original Robot Masters, Ice Man is one of those bosses that you can’t help but remember from the original Megaman title. However, he wasn’t a final boss or anything; he was just one of the Robot Masters. He was pretty good too – Design wise and ability wise as well. Designed by Dr. Light, he was created for good, until Dr. Wily got ahold of him and the other Robot Masters and reprogrammed him with the intent to take over the world, Pinky.
However, Ice Man’s main ability is Ice Slasher, which when used by Iceman takes the form of a large sword made of ice, which is spat from the mouth. On touch, this can freeze anyone. When you defeat him, you acquire this ability, but for Megaman it turns into an arrow head for… reasons? Perhaps more bafflingly is the fact that Ice Man’s Ice Slasher is the most effective move against Fire Man. No, that’s not just some physically fit guy in flame retardant clothing, stop it.
Ah, we’re finally sat by the fire now, able to heat back up after this rather frosty reception you’ve given us. I mean, just because we’ve been making ice puns throughout the whole of this list doesn’t mean you should be so cold! Nevertheless, we’re here to do a damn good job of these Top 10’s and so we hope you’ll now pick our next Top 10 which will be ready next Saturday. You might notice a theme with the lists this month!
That’s it for this week, hopefully you’re going to stick around through this festive season and let us know what you thought about the above Top 10 list. Do you agree with Sub Zero being our number one choice on this list? For the record, between Joel and Timlah, the choice of Sub Zero was 100% undenied. We could not justify anything else that made our list getting the number one slot, but the Ice Form shout getting number two only made it there through game-breaking comedy. Was that the right move? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
It’s not entirely fair to judge someone based on their actions. You don’t know what paths have brought them to act the way they do now, what hardships they have suffered to feel the need to enact hardship on others. Some people we label as “villains” are actually just normal, everyday people like you or me, that are just going through a hard time right now.
Then begin the murders.
Hell with it, bad-guys are bad-guys. Batman’s parents are dead, he got up off his bat-keister and started fighting for the little guy. Just because you lost someone, or maybe you’re under pressure to get money doesn’t give you an excuse to go around killing folk! Just be a millionaire genius ninja and do something positive with your life.
Here’s some bad-guys who got a raw deal in life.
10) Endermen – Minecraft
Hoo, these guys are misunderstood no matter how you look at it, but unlike all of the other guys on our list, these spectacularly lanky gits are actually just trying to do the exact same thing as you.
Think about it: One day you’re building a nice, large castle made out of stone, when suddenly one of the blocks of stone has disappeared behind your back. You’re a bit concerned needless to say, as you’re on a single player game rather than a multiplayer. There’s no way a Creeper exploded just one specific block: no. The Enderman is trying to build his very own castle, but the poor guy gets lost along the way.
Then you’re rude enough to stare into his eyes? What’s wrong with you?! The Enderman just wanted to build his very own castle like you. Honestly, how mean can you get? Steve of Minecraft, you’re the real villain here!
9) Darth Vader – Star Wars
Join the Dark Side, they said. Well this one sparks many a debate amongst the Star Wars fandom and actually, I myself struggled somewhat with understanding where the Vadermeister really stood. Is he evil? In a sense he is, yes… But he’s evil insofar as that he wants to do something good. In other words, he has a reason for the evils he commits, that actually makes them somewhat understandable.
SPOILER ALERT: So basically, he’s doing what he’s doing as he believes he’s doing right by the empire and his wife. Before he became Darth Vader, Anakin was filled with passion and raw emotion. This emotion was palpable to Palpatine (get it?) and he would manipulate this to make Anakin, or indeed Darth, to follow his orders almost blindly. Perhaps Vader isn’t as truly evil as we all think.
8) Mr. Jones
Sinister artist and sculptor of twisted scarecrows crafted of bone, wood and leather, Mr. Jones has never actually been seen exactly, but his work gets attention. Sent out to seemingly random members of the public and suddenly erupting in art galleries, when a couple stumble across his workshop in the scrublands of middle-america unsettling truths begin to emerge. He is masked in what appears to be human skin, seems possessed of some supernatural power that cannot quite be placed, and far beneath his shack there is an altar ringed in yet more of his dark effigies.
However, it seems that the hunched and silent figure is working towards something far grander in his hidden temple far underground. As it transpires [SPOILERS] Mr. Jones is actually protecting us all from a nightmarish entity that nature itself fears, and the protagonist naturally stumbles around like a moron and releases it [SPOILERS OVER] but basically if you’ve read and enjoyed H. P. Lovecraft’s The Music of Erich Zann watch Mr. Jones for a modern retelling.
7) Sarkhan Vol – Magic: the Gathering
Recently Vol has been on a bit of redemption kick, getting back to his roots kind of thing. I’ll explain:
Sarkhan Vol is a Planeswalker from a world of dragons called Tarkir. He’s got dragons in his blood in a very real sense, that of one Nicol Bolas, a particularly ancient evil mastermind (and dragon) who has used Vol to further his own interests across a vast number of universes, including igniting a war on Alara. He went mad shortly after witnessing his master’s destruction, and was then corrupted by the necromancer and demoniac Liliana Vess.
Oh but wait! Bolas wasn’t dead, and then ordered Vol to the realm of Zendikar where he unwittingly triggered the return of the Eldrazi! Massive apocalypse monsters!
It’s not his fault, he’s just a soldier with a particular fixation on dragons. He returned the spirit dragon Ugin to power recently, overthrowing Nicol Bolas in the process, and good job too. Ugin is now working on a coalition to put the Eldrazi back in their place, and Sarkhan Vol is back home on Tarkir enjoying the company of dragons with a sense of morality.
6) Majin Buu – DBZ
Everyone remembers the pink blob walking around and terrorising the world, whom later went on to become a much more ripped “super” version before finally regressing (and more dangerously) into a “kid” version of himself. The whole of the anime world understands that Majin Buu, whilst was a threat, was pretty easily mistaken as an enemy. He was quite docile, in fact relatively friendly. He liked to eat human candy but that was because they would go for him first. He seemingly enjoyed eating.
That was Majin Buus only really bad act, being a glutton. Okay, he later became the aforementioned Kid Buu, after being absorbed by Evil Buu to become Super Buu, Kid Buu being one of the most evil characters in the whole of the DragonBall franchise (sorry Frieza), but that too was only because of angry and frustration. Really, Majin Buu just wants to eat and have a good time. He also likes to play exploding video games. Don’t we all?
5) Hannibal Lecter
Now the term “misunderstood” may have to broaden a little here. Doctor Lecter is so far beyond understanding that he is in fact beyond psychological profiling. The legendary cannibal is a cold blooded murderer and devourer of human flesh, but he is not without refinement. Not to be taken for a simple ravaging ghoul, Lecter takes his meals with care and consideration, the proper accompaniment of vegetables, side-dishes and wines, along with creative forms of preparation.
Hannibal is also a lover and amateur practitioner of the arts, a scholar of many sciences including (ironically) psychology, he is a polyglot, and profoundly charismatic. You’d barely know he was a man eating sadist if one were to casually engage him in conversation from the other side of his plate-glass cage.
4) Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph – The Simpsons
Though all three have done time in prison, bullied, harassed, shop-lifted and abused a variety of drugs, all three are valuable members of society in their own way:
- Kearney Zzyzwicz is a loving father of two, who’s eldest was raised well enough that he’s now smarter than his dad. He comes from a broken home, a clinically depressed mother and violent father, but he’s never hit his own kids, just other people’s.
- Jimbo Jones is a morally grounded devout christian. He has strong views on the treatment of women and gender equality. There are questions surrounding his parentage, and coming from a well-off family, the suspicions may well be feuling his aggressive and rebellious behaviour.
- Dolph Starbeam was raised by hippies; he is highly intelligent, literate and multilingual, as well as being surprisingly nerdy in his own interests. It is implied that his bullying may be as a result of “abuse”.
These three teens have been held back due to lack of academic progress, and have lashed out against others as a means of expressing themselves. But what if they were shown how to paint, write, or sing?
3) N – Pokémon
Being raised with Pokemon is pretty abnormal, even in the world of Pokemon; But did you know the Sinnoh regions gang leader, N, has one of the nicest missions in the world? Sort of.
N, also known as Natural Harmonia Gropius, is actually not the real leader of Team Plasma, but he’s led to believe he is. Basically, throughout the course of the game, you’ll encounter N alongside some of Team Plasma and as per usual you’ll fight your new found rival. He’s pretty tough as far as rivals go and he seems to talk about redeeming Pokemon, saving them from humans. This is obviously a reference to the fact he was raised with Pokemon.
However, it turns out that N is being fed lies by his adoptive father, Ghetsis. I’d rather not spoil this too much, but go ahead and play Black & White as well as Black 2 & White 2. It’s riveting story telling by The Pokemon Company.
2) Victor Fries – Batman
Fries is a personal favourite. Despite the bad pun of his name, the Arnold Schwarzenegger chrome-plated ice-dispenser in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin does not accurately represent the suffering of the german cryogenicist. Having frozen his beloved wife Nora in order to keep her alive while he found a cure for her heart condition, an accident caused Victor to become Mr. Freeze. His research having been forcibly ended, Freeze steals vast sums of money and expensive scientific equipment in order to further his research alone.
He must live forever in an exo-suit that keeps his temperature below zero, which he also uses to power a vast array of cold and ice based weapons. This uniqueness is not only a terrifying threat to standard law-enforcement and even the military, but it’s also testament to the extremes his research has taken him to. His every defeat leaves Nora Fries vulnerable to thawing, and subsequent demise, an outcome that would almost certainly drive him to murderous rage, and an icy apocalypse.
1) Severus Snape – Harry Potter
“One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
Severus Snape. If you’ve not read the books by now, seen the films or heard the spoilers then you’re kind of doing yourself a grave misjustice. This is the story of Severus Snape: Potions Master, Dumbledor Murderer, but all around anti-hero. Depending on the book you read, Snape goes from nuisance, to full blown villain, to misunderstood anti-hero of the books. Severus Snape, as quoted by Harry Potty was probably the bravest man of the Wizarding world.
Yes, Snape does indeed kill Dumbledore but that was actually a plan by Dumbledore all along. Snape is a death eater, Snape is all of the bad of the world in one quick go. But the whole time, he proves to be loyal to Dumbledore, even when he murders the headmaster. It’s crazy to think about Snapes past, but I implore you to read through all the books if you haven’t. Snape kills Dumbledore, but he also steals our hearts for being an amazingly misunderstood villain and hero.
These poor folk deserve some credit, and not just these motley few. Perhaps pity is the only appropriate response to these forsaken souls, and in that regard we show our pity to those villains who couldn’t even make it into the list proper.
The Puppet – FNAF
I’ll be honest, I never liked that puppet thing… It was always… thinking, and it can go anywhere. – Phone Guy, FNAF2.
Guess what? This puppet that appeared in FNAF2 was actually one of the weirdest of the animatronics. He’s completely different to the rest of them, demanding some form of respect. Whilst he still goes out of his way to kill the guard in FNAF2, he’s not like them.
Of course, The Puppet can’t really get into this list because all of the games truly are open to interpretation. Which is what makes the actual story so compelling. Especially since the current theory is that the latest game is following the The Puppet… But enough thinking about that.
He just wants to make his films better, is that so wrong? Make them prettier, make the worlds richer, fill them with people, make the character’s better and more moral. Is it so wrong to inject a little politics into a universe that is clearly already vibrant and alive?
Every artist of any medium or calibre knows that nothing they ever do will ever be finished. It’s really difficult to put something down even when you’ve thought to yourself five times over the last year that it’s finished. It’ll never be perfect, it’ll never be done, something’s always a little bit wrong, something can always be done subtly different, subtly better. The problem comes when that artist has already made something held by millions to be perfect, and you still can’t put it down.
Mr. Lucas, you can stop now. Sometimes the best thing an artist can do for their work is to let it go and let someone else play with it. You may hate it, but that’s the real burden we all must bear at some time.
And with that our list is done, and with it we may well have found a new appreciation for villainous types and all that they must suffer in order to become what they ultimately are.
Have we missed anyone? Is your favourite missing? Will our blunders ultimately drive you to acts of criminal destruction and violence? Let us know in the comments down below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to vote until someone hears your cries for help, for our next Top 10.
As an aside, this might have been the hardest list we’ve done to date. We were up for a long time working on just getting the list made for this one… And we still loved making this, so thanks for getting involved folks!