Retro Power: Issue 7
Congratulations to Kefka for being our #1 villain of the month! It wasn’t really a contest, but we’re declaring him and the people who submitted him as an answer to be our winners. Your prizes will be our undying respect and admiration. At least for the people who answered. Kefka himself seems like a terrible person, being a villain and all. We sincerely hope you enjoy all of the content as much as we enjoyed reading and writing it!
-Alex and Valerie
Instead of monologue-ing & revealing all of our secrets & giving you time to create an escape plan, let’s get right to our answers to last issue’s reader discussion question!
Who is your favorite gaming villain? Why?
Kefka, iconic music, iconic laugh, successfully killed so many people, and changed the game midway through. And even though he died at the end, he still succeeded in his goals of destroying and ruling the world.
Terror Mask – Splatterhouse series.
The spirit within the Terror Mask is rude and violent, often reveling in the carnage Rick causes and insulting him when Rick fails at something. It serves as a source of information for Rick, giving commentary about creatures and locations it knows about and motivates him through insults. It tells Rick that for an eternity, it was a slave of The Corrupted, but it’s unknown as to the extent of its servitude. It’s responsible for the extinction of past civilizations, such as the Mayans or Aztecs, without even knowing which ones it wiped out.. Borrowed the information (http://splatterhouse.wikia.com/wiki/Terror_Mask) but that pretty much sums it up. Oh and he is voiced by Winnie The Pooh.
-Fredrik The Hunter
Kefka. Absolutely has to be Kefka from Final Fantasy VI (SNES). That crazy lunatic had no love for anyone but himself and wasn’t afraid to end the lives of anyone, anywhere, at any given time. He’s just one mean, sadistic son of a…
Well, you get the idea.
But that’s not entirely what makes me love him so much. The fact that he’s a ruthless villain with a humorous side. Yes, sadistic humour, but his character is great for a laugh or two, despite his desire to kill off the world and take over as ruler.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I’d have to say my favorite villain is the Ocarina of Time incarnation of Ganondorf. I think what best differentiates him from both his other incarnations and other Zelda villains is that he doesn’t quite have the upper hand when the game begins. Instead, he allows Link and Zelda to frantically race ahead and then uses their success as a springboard for his own plan. Not only that, but Hyrule must wait seven whole years before Link is capable enough to repair the damage.
By this point, Ganondorf is virtually omnipresent, which forces Zelda undercover and hinders her from aiding Link. He’s laid waste to Hyrule Castle and the surrounding area, captured the Gorons, frozen the Zora, rendered the Kokiri defenseless, and reawakened several powerful monsters to do his bidding. When Link finally confronts and defeats him, he’s willing to destroy his own castle to ensure that the heroes of Courage and Wisdom don’t survive. His transformation into Ganon and the subsequent final battle make up one of the most incredible moments in all of gaming.
At the risk of giving the cliche answer, my favorite gaming villain would ae to be Gannon. Even though he is the bad guy, I have as much of a nostalgia connection with him as with any video game character from my youth. Each game, he has awesome design and the battles with him are always epic and fun so he would be my favorite hands down.
Glados from Portal. Because she is a sadistic and sarcastic robot with murderous tendencies.
Dr. Robotnik. He is over-the-top and awesome. Plus the boss and final boss music from Sonics 1, 2, and 3&K are top notch.
My fav is WARIO! He’s an awesome anti hero, treasure hunter, and overall greedy guy! He has so much personality (at least compared to Mario’s “Wahoo” and “It’s a Me”), and is pretty funny in some of his appearances. When you’re playing a Wario Land game, you feel like the bad guy! He also can’t die (in Wario Land 3) and has many earth shattering moves! He has a freakin awesome bike, and can also attack with an explosive fart. How is that not awesome (and slightly gross). He also owns a video game company, and can eat garlic to transform into WARIO MAN (what.)!!! Wario is truly the greatest Mario character, and a villain you don’t wanna mess with. IM’A WARIO! IM’A GONNA WIN!
Oh man, so many to choose from…
I’d have to go with GLaDOS from the Portal games. Creepy and omnipresent, but witty and likeable as well.
King Dedede is my favorite for being one of the most lovable jerks in games. He’s not really that evil and at times is even misunderstood, yet he still goes about the world with the sense that he’s overwhelmingly awesome. Sakurai performs his voice in Smash Bros. and I feel he relates to Dedede in a way: being a mischievous troll who in the end actually means well.
The End from Metal Gear Solid 3. I like him purely for that particular fight as there really isn’t anything that went in depth about his origin other than he was the pioneer of sniping.
My favourite villain is from Planescape Torment, and the villain is the hero himself (technically the personification of his missing mortality).
I have a weak spot for henchmen and of all the great ones, I always come back to the Axem Rangers from Mario RPG. They’re everything villain henchmen should be. They’re competent, as they do manage to steal the star, but their main goal is to be entertaining. From the bickering inside the team to the excellent Power Rangers satire, not only are they fulfilling their purpose, but they really capture the mood Mario RPG is going for.
Reader gaming haul pickups:
Joshua Dieckmann (@MetalFRO) found quite the haul recently at some yard sales and thrift shops. Great hunting skills!
Val Plays Earthbound, Part 1
So yeah, I’m actually playing through Earthbound for my first time ever. I know, I know, I’m way behind in my gamer cred. I’ve started it twice before, but was unable to complete it either time.
This time ‘round, I’ve currently gotten as far as… well, I haven’t advanced the plot beyond the point where it first allows you to actually battle & obtain xp. That may not sound like I’ve been playing it long at all, but what if I told you I’m at level 8? Okay, still not super far along, but I am enjoying my time. I am savoring this game & grinding to my heart’s content. I LOVE GRINDING. I figure the primary aspect of any rpg is its battle system, so to my way of thinking, if you don’t like grinding then you don’t like battling so maybe you’re playing the wrong genre of video game… but I know not all gamers think that way. It’s also true that some games require way too much grinding, & use it as a prop to lengthen the player’s experience with the game, & I’ll readily admit that is super lame. But turn-based random-encounter battles are very likely to keep me entertained, even if it’s just my own brain making its own fun by being analytical of any facet it can find. I enter a gaming zen mode, calculating how many more battles it might take me to reach my next level up. I’ll time how many battles I can win in one hour. I’ll set myself rules about item useage, team members, stat building… maybe you’re writing me off as The World’s Most Boring Gamer, but that’s okay. We can enjoy different things, & even enjoy different things about the same thing! That’s pretty cool.
Earthbound doesn’t even have that much depth to its battling, certainly not this early on. But what it does have is an auto-kill system, where enemies who are much weaker than the player team don’t even go into a fight sequence when encountered, but simply disappear leaving nothing but a dab of xp behind. I think that’s a good design choice for this game. I’m not moving the plot forward until I find out how high my level has to be to auto-kill 100% of the enemies encountered in this area! Only 401 xp to level 9…
An Ode to the Games I Cannot Play, by Alex Weiss
Oh how long for the day to play the games I cannot.
I want to play the games for which I pay.
Perusing through the thrift shop aisles for a hidden gem,
I find myself buying games on a whim.
I don’t even own all of the systems for games I have perched on my shelf,
“But one day I will” I repeat to myself.
For reasons even I do not know,
I have purchased two games for the 3DO.
While on the subject I must confess,
Though I own games for both I have neither Genesis nor NES.
The biggest offender is what at first seems the least likely contender.
Not Pac-Man, Joust, or even Defender.
Try as I might, Halo for Mac will not run on my Apple workstation.
Not through Rosetta, patching or virtualization.
So it will sit along with the other titles I cannot run
Until I buy the right equipment to enjoy some video game fun.
Thanks for tuning in again, children! We are hoping to have something a little different for you next month. In the mean time why not answer our question of the month?
“Do you enjoy modern indie games? If so what are some of your favorites?”
You may answer the question here. Please have your submissions in by July 3rd.