Friday, April 26, 2013

Top 5 Wimpiest NES Heroes: #2: The Spelunker

Okay, so we could have used this sprite,

but you'll be much more familiar with that first one if ever make the terrible life decision of playing Spelunker. Or, more likely, if you're kidnapped by mind terrorists and forced to play Spelunker in a horrific experiment.

Cave exploration was a terrible choice of career for this guy. And not just because he's easily killed by bats, falling sand and stalactites and cave ghosts. Any one of those subterranean dangers could fell an average man. Well, except for the bats. And the sand. And ghosts usually don't have corporeal form, so they're mostly harmless. But let's be charitable and imagine that these so-called dangers are indeed a threat to the typical cave explorer's existence.

That doesn't explain how or why the spelunker dies any time he comes into contact with steam. I guess it must be hot, but come on, why aren't you wearing protective gear?

An extremely charitable rendering.
Most appalling, however, is the spelunker's complete and baffling inability to survive a drop of more than six inches. Not six inches on the television screen, mind you––six relative inches in the actual world of Spelunker.

And we're not talking falls on the head or back, either. These are planned leaps, feet first.

You can see why he chose the wrong career. Cave exploration is all about delving ever deeper into the earth, and this is a man who would die trying to take the stairs.

It should tell you something that Spelunker's spiritual successor Spelunky, which was released within the past couple of years and is infamous for its balls-to-the-wall, old school difficulty, is way more forgiving than the original. You can fall at least 15 feet before you die!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S1E11: Capitol Offense

When a United States senator from Maine dies of heart failure, the state's only recourse is to get famous author Jessica Fletcher ("your ethics are unquestionable!" they tell her) to serve the rest of his term. Once she's in DC, it’s politics as usual: she neglects most of her senatorial duties to solve a murder, and only shows up at Congress to give a speech, for which she gets a bipartisan standing ovation.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Super Heroes Attacking Polar Bears #3: Green Lantern

Our recent post featuring the Punisher socking a polar bear in the jaw got us thinking: How many more super heroes have run afoul of the world's biggest species of bear, and what could possibly inspire them to attack an animal that's been listed as a vulnerable species––likely to become endangered––by the International Union for Conservation of Nature?

As you'll see, some don't understand the dire situation that polar bears face, some want to test their mettle against the largest land carnivore in the world, and some just want to get their hands on a warm pelt.

Today's entry: Green Lantern

Rather than punch the bear in the face like Wildcat or use his power ring to create a giant fist to punch the bear in the face––thank god polar bears aren't yellow!––Green Lantern has chosen the classic flying shoulder tackle maneuver as his means of assault. It's an appropriately bold maneuver for the one DC super hero that's supposedly fearless. Of course, in this case, fear could be a useful feeling, since it would inspire the Lantern to attack the polar bear from afar instead of getting within range of its deadly claws.

Interestingly, this polar bear seems to have a name: Bruno. It's unknown whether he was some sort of hyper-intelligent super bear in the vein of a Gorilla Grodd or Monsieur Mallah or Ultra-Humanite (note to self: this blog needs a ongoing feature about talking gorillas), or if Green Lantern simply prefers to humanize everything he destroys by naming it first.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Real Advice From Mr. T #7

"If anybody tries to call you square, just look 'em in the eye and tell 'em you don't care!"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top 5 Wimpiest NES Heroes: #4: Thief

Make no mistake, Final Fantasy is hard game. Saving is heavily restricted, enemies are extremely powerful, every location is a deathmaze, and, if their intended target dies, your party members aren't even smart enough to attack another monster. They lose their turn in a daze of confusion, because honestly, how could they have expected not to just lie down and die horrifically as soon as the battle started?

That said, if you really want to, you can make the game much harder for yourself. How? By making your entire party consist of the most useless RPG character of all time: the thief.

Every other character has at least one redeeming value. The fighter has a high attack power. Black, red and white mages can use spells. Black belts know karate. And the thief? No spells. Crappy weapons and armor. Low HP. Certainly no karate.

The only thing they're good at is running away like chickens. Which seems useful, since you run into a pack of imps every five steps in the world of Final Fantasy, and the battles can get extremely tiresome. But all the running in the world isn't going to help you when you encounter Chaos.

Expect to see your thief "Zzzz"ing quite a bit.
If, somehow, you're able to make it to the endgame with a thief in your party, he'll get promoted to being a ninja, and actually become useful and powerful. Even ignoring that confusing career trajectory, it's like the ultimate slap in the face. You could have been chopping up monsters with katanas this entire time, thief, and you just didn't feel like it, or what? 

No wonder Garland wanted to knock him down.

Thief probably even failed at touching the princess.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Top 5 Wimpiest NES Heroes: #5: Silver Surfer

When alien astronomer Norrin Radd sacrificed his freedom to the world-eating Galactus in exchange for the permanent removal of his home planet of Zenn-La from the menu, he was imbued with the Power Cosmic and became the Silver Surfer.

Riding his telepathically controlled surfboard throughout the universe, the Surfer has no need to breathe, sleep or eat. He can go faster than the speed of light, blow up spaceships, and travel through time. He can even create black holes whenever he feels like it.

The point is this: The Silver Surfer is one of the top five most powerful beings in the galaxy. Yet as soon as he steps into an NES adventure, he can be defeated by a single touch from fish and ducks.

The duck cleverly lies in wait behind the swamp tree, hidden from the Surfer's cosmic sight.
Now we'll grant you that the fish are pretty large and, judging from their facial expressions, have ill intentions, but that duck. That is just an ordinary Earth duck with no special powers or abilities. And it made the Surfer cry.