“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.
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 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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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™!
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!
Two enter, one leaves. Choose your weapon wisely, train hard, and it might just be you. The arena-fighter has been a staple of the video game genre since the days of the arcade, pitching casts of characters that have grown and become increasingly elaborate and detailed as the technology and demand have risen.
As more and more fighting games are released, and other challengers step onto the field of battle – Marvel and DC, Capcom, Nintendo – there’s a lot of very memorable, and incredibly powerful combatants who deserve their own hall of fame. For now they’ll have to make do with our Top 10 Fighting Game Characters. (more…)
Mooo-ve over goats, it’s time to pay our respects to the bovine beasties of the world with our next list. Trot on over to your seats ladies and gentlemen, as it’s Saturday and that can only mean it’s time for another strange collection to graze through. Selected by you, we’ll prove we’ve got no beef with this weeks choice. We’re not playing around when it comes to milking these puns today, it’s time for our Top 10 Cows!
10. The Tauren – Warcraft
“Moo, are you happy now?”
Ah yes, the Tauren of Warcraft are an incredibly nomadic people. These huge humanoids resemble cows and bulls, akin to that of a Minotaur. The difference with these folk are their shamanistic and druidic ways, as opposed to a typical Minotaur view of solitude and isolation, making the Tauren a lot more of a herd mentality that we’re used to from cows in general. The Tauren are a noble people, who sided with the Orcs and their Horde.
One interesting point about the Tauren is their strange relationship to the Night Elves. On the one hand, war separates the two, yet they’re both keen on the protection of the Earth. If only these two races kept to themselves; perhaps fel energies wouldn’t be so present there on Azeroth. Coming in only at number 10, the Tauren are one of the more neglected, but certainly lovable aspects of Warcraft.
9. The Brazen Bull
Torture is a terribly creative affair, it’s incredible the ways we find to bring each other pain. The bronze bull or Sicilian bull was devised a means of executing prisoners by imprisoning them in a metal sculpture that is slowly heated until the victim is cooked to death, oh but that’s not the creepiest part. Smoke was allowed to curl out of the beast’s nostrils, and a series of pipes and tubes made the horrified screams emerge as the enraged howling of the bull.
If you want to see exactly how horrific that can be, watch Immortals by Tarsem Singh, it’s a rather superb take on a classic Greek tale, but it’s also rather gruesome. Magic: the Gathering also brought out a Brazen Bull card entitled Deserter’s Quarters. And as if Amnesia wasn’t creepy enough, there’s even a haunted Bull in the torture chambers that still screams when a fire is lit beneath it.
8. Cow – Cow and Chicken
The cartoon series that featured the grotesque and childish mishaps and happenings of the brother sister team, hard-done-by 11 year old Chicken and his overly emotional 7 year old sister Cow. While Chicken largely tries to ignore or berate his sister he cannot escape the fact that he is literally overshadowed by the big, fat and ugly cow he is charged with protecting.
Cow is massive, loving, easily brought to fits of hysteria or bouts of tears, either accompanied by an emotional moo. Considering their neglectful and unhinged parents it’s little wonder that the unlikely siblings have issues of their own, although it probably doesn’t help that they share a creator with Ren and Stimpy.
7. #241 Miltank – Pokemon
When Miltank was released upon the Pokemon franchise, at first I thought it was going to be a bit of a joke Pokemon, not really understanding the meta-game importance it would achieve. Even to this day, a well trained Miltank can seriously soften a blow for a team that needs the time to set up. This beefy, tanky cow is able to withstand some really devastating attacks from many different types.
Miltank isn’t anything special really; but the fact it was such a sturdy tank for so long and can still soak up the damage is testament to how well this bovine Pokemon has fit in with the franchise. Whether it’s surviving by the skin of its teeth and drinking… Er… It’s own milk to recover health, or if it’s the surprisingly useful move set that jumps out at you, don’t worry: Miltank will never be forgotten as one of the greatest assets from Generation 2.
6. The Secret Cow Level – Diablo 2
If you’ve never heard of the Secret Cow level, then you’ve either never played Diablo 2 or you’ve never used Google before. The Secret Cow level is an Easter Egg of mythical proportions, a secret passed down from player to player and even from Diablo to Diablo (only it sometimes changes forms to other things, such as rainbow unicorns and ponies in the process).
The Secret Cow Level requires you to get the Horadric Cube and to place inside of it Wirt’s Leg, a seemingly useless item from Tristram and with it, put a Tome of Town Portal in there with it. Transmute the items together and a red gate will appear, as if conjured up by hell itself. This only happens when you’ve beaten Diablo and are taken back to the Rogue Encampment for the first time. Do not select a higher level of difficulty, for you’ll have to beat that ones Diablo. Be prepared, as these cows are tough, wielding halberds and polearms of all sorts… But the treasures beyond the portal are immeasurable.
5. Ballistic Cow/Fetchez la Vache – Monty Python and the Holy Grail
We have a Holy Grail, it’s very nice, but you cannot come in to see it. Now go away or we shall taunt you a second time! Or hurl livestock at you via trebuchet, or possibly mangonel.
In the same way that this flung cattle is the opening salvo in a barrage of assorted debris, clutter and livestock, this is one of the many, many, many many, manymany MANY jokes from Holy Grail that would seemingly live forever in the form of a wide variety of weaponised cows, many of whom appear on this list! It may not be the most famous part of the scene, but it’s perhaps the most parodied.
And this one is for your mother.
4. Cow Launched – Earthworm Jim
Considered one of the weirdest plot devices in all of video game history, Earthworm Jim is about an earthworm, named Jim, who becomes super powerful whenever he puts on his intergalactic suit. With the universe in danger from Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, Jim sets out to go and save Princess Whats-Her-Name and to hopefully steal a smooch from her. Little did he know, his dreams of smooching the damsel would be completely smooshed.
In a weird twist, the princess is flattened by a cow that falls from outer space. Jim, beside himself, leaves the scene… Only to return to steal her crown after the land has cracked away at the cow and the princess. But why would a cow fall from space like that? Back in the first level, a trap is set up to force you to progress the game. The trap forces you to launch the same cow into orbit, where you see the cow travelling by at insane speeds throughout the game. Crazy, silly ending, for a crazy, silly game.
3. Cows & Cows & Cows and Moo – Cyriak
Cows & Cows & Cows is a video featuring a large bunch of cows in a field, perhaps even a whole herd of cows. They start to moo in a rather catchy rhythm, mooing cheerily, but somewhat eerily too. They then start to bounce around in silly manners – Oh the joy in those moos. But then, suddenly, the joyful bouncing turns into weird shapes, such as spider cows… And even puddle cows. Very odd. Moo is just as odd, featuring aliens and cows fighting it out for… Something.
It’s really hard to explain what makes these videos (and thus Cyriak) such a highly talented piece of animation. But hey, Cyriak’s YouTube ventures, including both Cows & Cows & Cows and Moo saw his animation expertise be snapped up by both the BBC AND Adult Swim. Who would have ever thought that making some cow-monstrosities would create such an impressive career?
2. Angel/Demon Cow – Black and White
Black & White was a highly anticipated game by Lionhead Studios, who recently shut down for good. It’s a shame, as Lionhead produced some amazing games, such as Black & White and of course, the legendary Fable series. WIth this said, the cow in Black & White was hilarious in many respects. This was a cow that could be bigger than a mountain; or “only” as tall as a building. This was a cow that could be good and heal the sick, or be rotten by healing the sick… then eating them. It could inflict pain like no other, or it could help those who truly were in need. This cow was not only a godsend: It was a literal avatar of a god put on Earth.
This was a close call, having almost made this our number one pick… However, it just loses out because this simply isn’t as well known as our number one choice. That was the only determining factor between the avatar of a god and our next choice…
1. Minotaur – Mythology
Asterion, the bull of Minos, was the misbegotten child of Pasiphae and the Cretan Bull, sent as a curse upon King Minos for failing to sacrifice the bull. In his dispair Minos commanded Asterion imprisoned in a labyrinth, to be slain years later by Theseus, a son of Poseidon. The minotaur is also one of the first things most people think of when they hear the words Greek Myth.
Minotaurs have entered gaming circles as an entire species of evil carnivores bent on destruction. It may be a misappropriation of the source material but it’s one that’s spread throughout the fantasy genre and has built something of a mythology around themselves. A playable race in D&D, a pivotal race in Magic’s plane Theros, and in the mythology based RPG Titan Quest you can fight your way through a horde of the beasts to kill the original beneath the palace of Knossos.
Was there really another choice for geekiest cow? Well yes, it got pretty close with the Avatar in Black and White. In the end it was the far reach and cultural impact of the bullheaded maneater that won out the number one slot.
That wasn’t so bad now, was it? Now that these Moo-vers and shakers have been shuffled along, it’s time for two more to be mentioned. There’s always a couple of layabouts in a large herd. So whether it’s all about being punny, or it’s all about hoofing over another ‘potential’ for our list, here are two more that just deserved to be mentioned.
Bison – Street Fighter
BECAUSE HE’S A BISON?
I am so sorry. Bad pun it may be, but it is nerdy, and it’s kind of an interesting piece of trivia. The powerful crime lord in the red military garb is actually named Vega in the original Japanese, the masked fighter with the claws is named Balrog, making the original M. Bison the pugilist we know better as Balrog. The name swap was brought about by the unapologetic similarity to Mike Tyson.
But no matter which Bison you know, both are almost comically exaggerated combatants, and regular antagonists of the series. The boxer is a dirty fighter, and cheats to land bigger paychecks, but the head of the operation has a real god complex that has driven him to pursuing the dark Psycho Power beyond his physical limits.
Not exactly cows, but we couldn’t resist.
Mad Cow – Worms
Amongst the wide variety of brilliantly ridiculous weaponry at the disposal of the heavily armed invertebrates are a collection of barnyard animals, including the sheep, super sheep, concrete donkey, and of course the Mad Cow.
Not the most devastating, not the easiest to control, but a rather interesting balance of the two. Point and shoot to unleash a stampede of wildly trampling cows that detonate on impact, y’know, like cows do. The problem is what they might make contact with, one badly angled launch can be result in a devastating backlash or a heartbreaking waste, but I have seen some rather effective uses by dropping cows from a grappling hook.
I’ve gone mad from all of this cow-talk. So give yourselves a pat, you’ve seriously made us need to farm through the banks of our memories for this one. But don’t think you’ve defeated us, because once again we rose to the occasion and we’ve come up with a list that is definitively GeekOut and is as barn-y as we are. Oh, I really should stop with milking these puns. Take a moment to help us pick our next Top 10:
Don’t have a cow man, that’s the end of our list for this week. Whether or not you had fun trotting through this list, or if you now have some personal beef with us for forgetting your favourite cow, let us know in the comments below. Do you agree with our ordering of these shapely creatures, or do you think we’ve forgotten one all together? Alternatively, share your bovine frustrations with us over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
Recently I was introduced to Man Crates, a website that sells crates that were made to be tough to open. The company sells awesome gifts for men which you open with a crowbar, but only once you get past a lot of wrapping. Even their website has to give advice on how to open their tough to open crates: Try harder.
One of their latest campaigns is a Retro Gamer Crate, the chance to have a blast from the past and play video games from the past and it got me thinking: What was my game of yesteryear that really got me going as a gamer?
As part of a series of articles, I thought I’d share my story; the story that really defined me as a gamer.