February 24, 2006

The War Against Cliché

by peterb

It started with one bitter observation, but ballooned, as it always does, into an entire night full of complaining and snarkiness. 50 items about the most common videogame clichés, attached below for your amusement. Some are funny, some are painful, and some are stupid, but each one is marked with its author, so you'll know who to blame.

Feel free to add on to the list in the comments.

51. Don't forget The grand list of RPG clichés.

50. Your space marine can carry 800 pounds of guns, but is unable to step over a small bump in the floor. [peterb]

49. Your night elf warrior can carry arbitrary amounts of treasure, but all other inventory must fit in a small box [psu]

48. Your uber-warrior cannot aim and walk at the same time. [psu]

47. Half-naked women on the package have nothing to do with the game [tomault]

46. Crates. Oh, God, the Crates [scottd]

45. Lava level [psu]

44. Ice level [tomault]

43. First person shooter platforming in a parallel alien dimension [psu]

42. Stupid boss battles [tomault]

41. Game controls map 86 different commands to every key in the keyboard, including function keys, and come with a confusing cardboard keymap. But in actuality, the only buttons you need to win the game are the arrow keys and the space bar. [peterb]

40. X-X-X-X-X-circle-X-X-X-X-X-X-triangle [psu]

39. "Press A to start" when the controller has a GODDAMNED "START" BUTTON. [peterb]

38. Boss impossible to beat unless you have the secret weapon hidden four levels back [tomault]

37. Your best friend and companion turns to the dark side. This means he gets cooler clothes. [peterb]

36. AI "companion" unable to path-find its way across an empty plain [jch]

35. Boobies [psu]

34. crashes with your video card driver version. [eli]

33. Hit the boss 5 times to make the actual Boss pop out of the anus of the outer boss. [psu]

32. Final Zelda Fantasy XIX: Super Sonic Mario Blaster edition [tomault]

31. "..." [psu]

30. "Mature" label means your avatar rapes and kills prostitutes. [peterb]

29. white, cyan, magenta, black. [eli]

28. Hero's village: destroyed [scottd]

27. Amnesia. [scottd]

26. You start on a trivial mission and end saving the world from Certain Doom [tomault]

25. Long destroyed evil returns from the grave [tomault]

24. Fly, run, jump, grappling hook jump, run, fly, jump, collect a key [psu]

23. The game's opening cutscene shows the protagonist watching a game's opening cutscene. [peterb]

22. The Mighty McGuffin of Foobar [scottd]

21. "Help! Leon! Help!" [psu]

20. Evil master villian you killed last game returns in this one as henchman of even more evil master villian [tomault]

19. Fight, fight, fight, parry, parry, parry. [peterb]

18. Fight, fight, fight, parry, parry, parry, ..., POWER MOVE [psu]

17. Magic pup-tents that heal your entire party [rlink@DEMENTIA.ORG]

16. Save die swear load die swear load die swear load YES!!! save [scottd]

15. have to enter an alebraic formula to make your function hit all of the enemy. [eli]

14. In video games, priests actually are useful, and don't molest your children. [peterb]

13. Squad AI can break the door down, throw the flash grenade and then blow themselves to bits with friendly fire and the real grenade. [psu]

12. The first enemies you encounter are always rats. You'll see. [peterb]

11. Fire, Earth, Water, and Air [scottd]

10. Blind, Mute, Sleep, Confuse, and Poison [rlink]

9. Meteo [rlinkG]

8. A scruffy character of dubious origin sets out on an epic journey through the empire where the choices you make will turn her towards either the way of good or the way of evil as he discovers his true destiny in the history of the world [psu]

7. A stick costs 5 gold pieces [rlink]

6. A defeated rat will drop 2 gold pieces. [peterb]

5. hit, hit, hit, hit, kill, corpose turns into money [psu]

4. Even though you may have achieved god-like powers, there are still plenty of stores that cater to your utterly superhuman needs [scottd]

3. Villagers completely oblivious to your rooting through their drawers full of underwear in search of magical potions while they stand three feet away [scottd]

2. Even the poorest shopkeeper in the smallest hamlet has the 1,000,000 gp on hand to buy that enchanted sword you found in the dungeon [tomault]

1. Successfully carrying item X from person Y to person Z will occasionally give you a sudden epiphany that instantly causes your biceps to swell by 14%. [scottd]

Posted by peterb at February 24, 2006 10:00 AM | Bookmark This

* The world is about to end. You are everyone's only hope. But the operator of the local store won't cut you a deal on weapons or health packs.

* Blocking makes you INVINCIBLE, no matter the attack.

* You can snipe a soldier with a 50-caliber weapon and his buddy five feet away won't react to suddenly being covered in red mist.

* Stepping into a minor shadow renders you completely invisible; the pursuants right on your heels will become baffled, mumble that it must have been the wind, and return to their posts.

* Corpses on the ground disappear. Corpses under the ground return to life and hunger for your brains.

* No chest, safe, drawer, or walk-in vault can contain more than one type of item. Besides, it's much more efficient to keep your possessions in flower pots scattered throughout the property.

* The least-efficient path from point A to point B contains the treasure. Always head in the direction away from where you need to go.

Posted by Adam Rixey at February 24, 2006 08:03 PM

+ Jump! Jump! Jump! No one can harm you when you jump, jump around!

+ Any player character can outleap the greatest athletes of all time (see above).

+ A skinny midget with a couple of kitchen knives wearing bondage attire can wreak as much havoc as a giant in inch thick plate armor swinging a gigantic axe around like it was a toothpick.

+ Ammo weighs nothing. Ever.

+ Killing things and looting their corpses is considered a heroic occupation and you will win much acclaim thereby.

+ Nothing ever changes. Despite laying one brutal defeat after another on the bad guys, the area you're trying to save never actually improves.

+ Price Control Cartel - Prices for the same good are the same everywhere. Fish costs the same by the sea as in the desert and metal is no cheaper where it's mined.

+ You're always stunned, poisoned or otherwise discommoded for EXACTLY the same length of time, every time.

+ Characters who are, by definition, devoted to doing good deeds rarely do any without expecting a sizable reward.

+ Characters who are, by definition, dedicated to evil, greed, chaos and destruction will rescue pathetic villagers, run pointless errands or kill bad guys at exactly the same rate as those purportedly devoted to good.

+ The character types described above often make common cause, with little to no rancor, and realize an admirably fair distribution of the gains from killing creatures and taking their stuff.

+ A sack of feathers and a pile of ore consume exactly the same amount of space and weight.

+ The more pointless errands you perform, the better you are at killing rats.

+ Species devoted to and respectful of all things natural seem to appreciate the natural world most when it is riddled with arrows, slashed to ribbons or burnt to a crisp.

+ Even inside a main battle tank, no one is safe from the sniper.

+ You can destroy a tank if you shoot it enough times with a pistol.

+ Bad guys with guns would really rather bust out their kung fu and risk defeat than use their overwhelming firepower.

+ People routinely discard a lower caliber weapon once they find a higher caliber one.

+ A high ranking officer is always better at close combat than his soldiers.

+ Special forces aren't that special.

+ Despite a surfeit of ninja enemies, you never suddenly find yourself dead, wondering what the hell just happened.

+ Birds of A Feather - Complete badasses always live in the same vicinity as other complete badasses. Wimpy monsters always live near other wimps. No badass will ever live amongst wimps, and no wimp with badasses. This goes for middle of the road enemies as well.

+ You always infallibly know whose ass you CAN kick, whose you MIGHT kick, and whose you absolutely CAN'T kick at any given time.

+ Successful real armies typically prefer to give their soldiers the best training, equipment and leaders they can reasonably provide. Video game armies take the more Darwinian approach of sending troops into harms way with little to no training, equipment, leadership or even clothing.

Posted by Will C at February 25, 2006 06:52 AM

Wait there's more!

+ Kings/Presidents/Powerful Secret Organizations routinely entrust the most vital missions and delicate secrets to: illiterate brawny farmboys, shifty theives, feckless mercenaries, religious fanatics or mystical weirdos they have known for under an hour.

+ Most video game employers allow you to keep any money, weapons, and advanced/arcane technology that isn't specifically mission related you happen upon while working for them, no questions asked.

+ You might call fire from the sky, move undetected at will and slay the deadliest monsters with your pinky, but try as you might you'll never manage to so much as scuff a lowly hovel's twig walls.

+ Looting is a non-taxable activity.

+ The more headbanger looking the weapon is, the better it is. (Thus an IROC with Black Sabbath playing on the stereo is capable of destroying the universe. )

+ The skimpier the (female) armor, the better the protection.

+ Evildoers are morally opposed to: compound-wide alarm systems, checking in on a patrol every now and again, adequate task lighting, centralizing weapon and munition storage, and doors that only lock from the inside (apparently EVERYONE leaves the base over the weekend, thus necessitating doors that can be unlocked from the outside come Monday morning).

+ People are often kidnapped with no political, monetary or ideological motive involved.

Posted by Will C at February 25, 2006 07:44 AM

"Fight, fight, fight, parry, parry, parry?"
Peterb, you always end up showing your age.

Posted by Herr Krufers at February 26, 2006 09:02 AM

Yes, but I must point out that you, probably in a small minority of my readers, knew exactly what I meant.

Posted by peterb at February 26, 2006 09:58 AM

Of course pererb the other way to write that is

,,,,, with the optional depending on which of several entirely different games you are playing.

I kind of miss the days when I could read a couple of pages of a book while the fight loaded.


Posted by Doug at March 1, 2006 09:34 PM

Well what I meant to say before the kind HTML tag filter got ahold of it was:

[enter],[enter],[enter],[enter],[enter],[enter] with the optional [enter] depending on which of several entirely different games you are playing.


Posted by Doug at March 1, 2006 09:36 PM

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