Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Top Ten Favorite Video Game Characters

Hey y'all.  I'm gearing up for another top ten top ten list, and that means going over another set of Youtube videos.  This one is actually going to be harder than all my previous ones, as I have to count the votes of over 100 videos.  That's right, I'm going to do a top ten top ten on favorite video game characters.  Now, annoying video game characters are easier to guess, as some are just so annoying they bother just about everyone.  However, everyone has different definitions of what they consider best.  There's best in personality, in storyline, in gameplay, and even in looks.  So I have no clue who will come out on top in my informal survey.  It may turn out to be a matter of game popularity.

However, top ten top tens take a lot of work, so you won't be seeing it for a bit.  In the meantime, here is my  personal top ten list!  Notedly, my favorites will not count as votes in my top ten top ten blog.  That just wouldn't be fair.  That, and I'm not a hardcore gamer.  I think I'd need to play more to have a really balanced list.  For now, here we go!

10. Knuckles from the Sonic Series

I've never actually played a Sonic game, other than a few moments of puttering around with a sample game at my work.  However, I have seen all of Clementj642's Let's Plays, and well, I like Knuckles.  He's a brave guy that has an eternal duty to guard a large, powerful gem from anyone who would want to take advantage of it.  I like that.  He never has a bad attitude about it, and he has a really cute animation in Sonic 3 and Knuckles when he laughs.  I just get such a kick out of all the times Knuckles fights Sonic.  My favorite Knuckles moment is when Knuckles pushes a button, causing a bridge to collapse, while Sonic and Tails fall down a cliff.  I don't hate Sonic or anything, but that's just such a silly, comic setpiece.  I need to do a live-action bit on Youtube or something of it.

9. Mengsk from Starcraft

That's right, I like a villain.  I don't like him for gameplay, because he's an NPC, nor do I like him in plot.  He's a jerk.  Then why does he make this list?  Because he's fun as crap to write, that's why!  I write fanfiction, and Mengsk, prior to Starcraft II, was a great villain.  He fooled everyone into trusting him, and its his fault that Kerrigan became a Zerg.  That's not great human potential, but it's great writing potential!  My complaint about him though is that Blizzard made him really lame in SCII, claiming that "his story is already told".  For crying out loud, Blizzard, Kerrigan spared his life just so that he could see her take over the universe.  Quite clearly his storyline hasn't petered out, if only because of Kerrigan's continued existence.  Sheesh. 

8. Fox McCloud from Star Fox

I really love all the Star Fox team.  They make me smile.  I love sentimental Peppy, smart-alec Falco, herp-derp Slippy, and expecially Fox.  Note, however, that I'm referring to Fox's portrayal from Star Fox SNES and Star Fox 64.  I don't consider the later games canon.  But what I like about Fox is his ability to concentrate.  Unlike the others, he's always on task.  He's not endlessly recalling the past, or goofing around, or saying that he's the greatest.  Fox knows what his job is and gets it done. 

I think this is the main reason why he's the leader of this team.  Falco might back-talk him, but because Fox is only minimally emotional and never argues with Falco, the bird feels safe enough to be himself and not try to disrupt the team.  I imagine that Fox is someone who doesn't really know what to do with himself when he's not fighting Andross.  He's the guy at the bar that sits by himself and watches everybody else.  Or the guy who spends a lot of time reading and keeping up with the news so that he's always aware of potential jobs.  He's a cheery guy and accepting of all the different personalities under him.  I can respect that.

7. Dixie Kong from DKC2

It just occured to me that Dixie is one of very few female game characters that I actually like.  Weird.  In any case, she's a callback to my "boys have cooties" days, when I would play Donkey Kong Country 2 and try to beat all the levels with her instead of Diddy.  On a gameplay level, I liked her floating ability, and I liked that she wore pink.  I just generally like everything about her, especially since she was easy to control.  It was really annoying when they didn't include her in Donkey Kong 64.  Of course, that was kind of a lame game, so maybe that was for the best.

6. Those flower guys from Yoshi's Island

These aren't really important characters, but I just love these little guys.  They're technically baddies, but how bad can a little guy dressed as a flower be?  They skip around and sing little tunes, and some of them blow bubbles.  So cute!  If only they hadn't been cursed by Bowser's evil wizard dude to get in Yoshi's way.  I like to think that these are just regular inhabitants of Yoshi's Island, and normally they're nice and cute.  And throw parties.  Yay!

5. Andross from Star Fox

What's this?  Another villain?  Well, if you've seen my "Top Ten Top Ten Scariest Video Game Things" blog, then you know I love this guy.  As a game baddie, he's super fun to fight.  If I suddenly got sucked into the Star Fox world and I had to fight him, I would be really cheerful about it and tell Andross that he was super cool as I shot him in his metal robot face.  This guy is just so unexpected.  His first appearance was a metal face, and his second was a giant brain.  If the Star Fox series was alive and well, I'd be looking forward to a new appearance by him.  As it is, I just hope they retcon everything beyond Star Fox 64 out of Star Fox canon.  Oh Andross, will you be my valentine?

4. Crystal Man from Mega Man 5

Another throwback to the good old days.  I'll admit, at first most of my love for this guy came from his music rather than his personality.  Still, the more I learn about him, the more I like him.  He's super serious, his level is shiny in pink and blue (my favorite colors), and he has a famed crystal death puzzle which amuses me.  I know people don't like Mega Man 5, but Crystal Man will always symbolize the good old Mega Man days before the X Series came along and made everything depressing.  They can't take away my memories!

3. Jim Raynor from Starcraft

Raynor is the one character that actually improved in the transition from Brood War to Starcraft II (other than when Blizzard made those stupid as crap Starcraft novels canon).  Sure, he was plenty cool before, but well, his new official art is great.  I just love his grizzly style.  Moreover, he's a nice guy too, and grizzly and nice is a great combination.  The depressing, drunken downturn his story took makes a lot of sense, and really brings an emotional depth to the first installment of Starcraft II. 

As a writer, I just love writing scenes with Raynor and Mengsk, because of how much they hate each other.  Throw Kerrigan in, and it's a trifecta of personal conflict fun party times.  For the writer, anyway.  If Raynor was real and found out what I wrote about him and Kerri and Mengsk, he'd probably never speak to me.  "So you're saying you don't want to be Kerrigan's Zerg companion?  Then don't worry, I'll just have Mengsk shoot you first!"  Sometimes I'm a meanie, but half the fun of writing is torturing your characters.  :)

2. Bass from Mega Man

Quite frankly, I'm not even really sure why I like this guy so much.  I never played any of the games he was in as a kid, or even now, though I have seen let's plays.  He's not particularly powerful, and he's not in a lot of games.  But you know what?  He's cool!  I saw some clips of him in the Japanese Mega Man NT anime, and he was so dramatic that I started to like the guy.  Personally, I like him more in the original Mega Man universe rather than Network Transmission, because I sympathize with his struggle to be accepted and admired.  He's a dark, brooding character, and his headfins are super cool.  I mean heck, I wrote a five-story story series based on this guy.  Obviously I think he's cool.

1. Judicator Aldaris from Starcraft

This is probably even worse than liking Andross, in a sense.  Some bad guys you just love to hate, but most people just hate Aldaris.  He's technically a good guy, but constantly antagonizes Tassadar and other characters because Tass isn't following Protoss tradition, Zeratul's an outcast, and Raynor is that weird human guy that keeps hanging out with them.  Eventually Aldaris comes around, even figuring out what Kerrigan is up to.  However, his antagonistical past insures that nobody trusts him.  And then he dies.

That's the kind of tragedy that really gets to me.  I guess I like dark characters, and Aldaris certainly qualifies for this.  Aldaris has a really great story arc, comparable with the fates of the UED officers in drama.  He's a dude that should not have been underestimated, and now everyone in the K Sector paid the price.  Plus I love the irony of liking a character who hates humans.   Aldaris is written and acted out with a lot of depth, and has a great story arc.  He's a heck of a lot of fun to write about.  I put him on Earth, and instant comedy!

I really like Aldaris, and sympathize with his inability to communicate with others.  As a nerd, I know what that's like.  I wish he hadn't died so quickly.  So Blizz...any chance of a retcon...?  Oh well.  Looks like I'll just have to keep writing my story.  I once wrote a story of Aldaris meeting the Zerg/Protoss hybrids before he knew who they were, but I'm not ready to talk about what happened to that story.  Let's just say I'm nerdier than thou, and leave it at that.

So that's my list!  I'll be working on my top ten top ten for the best or favorite characters, and that will be up eventually.  I've got spring break coming up, and if I'm not too busy with my schoolwork and other personal projects, I should get a lot of work done on it.

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