These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things – Episode 7

Once again, there are some spoilers here. And yes, the pics have videos embedded, so if you spot something you’d rather not, don’t click! Today I’m mostly going to write about death, destruction, and the apocalypse. However, not all is doom and gloom. This will be one that I’m certain you’ll watch again and again. Have fun!

Dead Rising 2 – Father of the Year

Let’s start first with a zombie apocalypse! I still plan to do a S-AVGN highlighting some of this, but here goes. Frank West wasn’t a bad character…and yet, he totally was. He wasn’t in that what was going on around him was clearly more interesting than him. This is usually the case with a zombie game. It’s not about psychological or emotional dilemmas within the survivors or heroes; it’s about killing the fuck out of zombies.

I mean, when you think of the Resident Evil games, even when they try to have emotional moments, they almost always fall flat. So I was especially surprised when Capcom of all companies came up with Chuck Greene. Ever since I played Case Zero, I knew I was going to like this guy. Not only do you have the same time complications as the original Dead Rising, you also have a daughter who has been infected with the virus.

But not to worry! There is a cure…sort of. Every 24 hours, she will need Zombrex, a highly sought after miracle cure, in order to stay among the living. There are a few reasons I love this. Firstly, it immediately creates an emotional bond. Chuck has more to live for than just himself and a handful of strangers he just happened to drag to a safehouse; he’s also a father with a daughter that has a terrible disease…and all of this surrounds around the virus, creating a more compelling story, character design, and atmosphere.

I mean, sure, the story and atmosphere was going to be better given the setting anyway, but this just full tilted it in his favor. Don’t get me wrong, Frank West is pretty cool just in general, but Chuck Greene has to be a father, savior, zombie smasher, AND MacGuyver all at once. He is easily one of my favorite characters of any game in the last 5 years.

Fallout 3 – Leaving The Vault

When I originally played Fallout 3, I wasn’t sure what to think up to this point. See, I remember playing Fallout 1 and 2 and having a lot of fun with them. So naturally I was skeptical that it would live up to those. Further, this was Bethesda, which up to this point was mostly known for medieval stuffs, what with the Elder Scrolls series. I mean, I expected it to at least be decent, but I had serious doubts about truly capturing the wastelands, vault life, and so on.

Then it happened. THIS happened. You leave the vault for the first time, basically blinded by the sunlight since this is the first time you’ve ever seen it. Once your eyes adjust, holy shit…the wasteland is brought to life. It’s a truly amazing sight, especially as you go out to live in it. The little flying robot thingy (can’t remember what it’s called, sorry) flying by, seeing the devastation for the first time, walking over sand and rocks and bits of road all rucked up all over the place…it’s a truly amazing experience.

And really, it never truly goes away. I’ve still never gotten over how well it was constructed and again, by a studio that never really did a whole lot as far as futuristic stuff. Well, okay, they did do a few Terminator games in the past, but that wasn’t really their thing. Fallout 3, in my opinion, is better from an atmospheric and story angle than New Vegas for this reason alone.

Final Fantasy 6 – The Clown Gets What He Wants

Well, my first question would have to be why would you ever let the psychopathic clown be in your army? I mean, I could understand if he was a court jester or something and went around doing stupid shit, but no! Kefka is a goddamn general or some shit. I mean, I know the empire or whatever malicious force in these titles are supposed to be horribly fucked up, but this is just too much.

In any case, Kefka’s true colors are revealed, he betrays the emperor, attains supreme power, becomes a demonic god, and proceeds to rape the world…yes, all in this one scene. Kefka is the epitome of evil. He’s still not my favorite FF villain, but that’s irrelevant. It’s not that often you get to see the world destroyed in an FF title, especially a classic one.

Square pulled out all the stops here. Even Chrono Trigger’s destruction of the planet doesn’t compare to this. Now sure, it’s not quite as good as FFX, but let’s be honest…with FFX, you only really see this happening to Zanarkand and there’s a good chance it was only Zanarkand on that day. Still pretty fucking awesome, but yeah, not as much of an impact for me. But speaking of the end of the world…

Shin Megami Tensei – Nocturne – Beginning Of The End

This is one of the more interesting interpretations of an apocalypse. Before this scene, you come across an abandoned hospital, get separated from your friends, get hounded by demons, then finally run into your teacher…only to learn that she is some kind of special person that is welcoming the impending apocalypse of Tokyo. Sorry that I don’t have more details there…these games have a knack for the weird and not really releasing much info until you’ve finally beaten the game, which I still haven’t.

Basically what happens is the city inverts itself to where it’s almost like a giant cave with a demon star in the middle for a sun. You know that one scene from Inception? Yeah, kinda like that. Almost. So all this crazy shit happens, demons come to Tokyo…and shortly after this scene you have a goddamn’d demon bug thrown in your face that forces it’s way into your body so you can stay alive…by becoming a demon in probably the most violent and forceful way possible.

The Shin Megami Tensei series has always been known for being fucking dark, having a lot of occult stuff, and in general tying into all kinds of demonic lore, but this easily takes the cake. Sure, you get to fucking cannibalize people in one, walk into TVs to save people from death in another, fight the forces of evil in your school in yet another, and use rumors to create a new reality in one other, but this one slaps you in the face with so much symbolism and imagery right off the bat that it’s fucking crazy.

Mother 3 – The Boatride

And now for something a little more lighthearted. You know when you’re playing a game and it makes references to its earlier spiritual prequels? Well, with Mother 3, this happens somewhat often as it has a lot of the same characters such as Mr. Saturns, various running gags, and so on. However, one thing I certainly did not expect is one of the best. Toward the end of chapter 8 (the final chapter), you have a long hallway, then a short boatride.

Sounds fairly unimportant…unless you’ve played both Mother 1 and 2 (Earthbound). If you watched the video and still didn’t get it, here’s why it’s so awesome. The hallway is the old NES title screen theme for Mother 1. The boatride theme is a revamped version of the field theme for Mother 1. Furthermore, along the ride you get to see various things from Mother 2 that were significant.

In fact, even after that you get a pencil eraser and use it to erase a pencil! Well, if you want. It has no relevance on the plot at hand, nor is it absolutely necessary…and yet, it doesn’t matter. It was an immediate nostalgia trip for me. I could watch this scene over and over again. Absolutely brilliant.

Conclusion

So there was a lot of dark, near depressing stuff this time around, but a little light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you enjoyed this one and to be honest, I’d love to get more of these out in rapid succession, but it takes a while for me to remember the scenes I absolutely adore. Well, see you next time!

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Filed under Gameboy Advance, Nintendo, PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, Retro, SNES, Sony, These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things, Videogames, X Box 360

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