Video games are brilliant inventions, when you stop to think about it. They let us create virtual worlds with their own rules, where we can run around with impunity and do miraculous, impossible things. Or really sadistic and cruel things. Here are eight allegedly adorable games that would reduce Kratos to tears.
By Dan Seitz
8. The LEGO Games Exist Solely for Nerd Revenge
It never fails with a beloved film franchise: there's a character, sometimes an entire race, that everyone hates. The first thing most Star Wars fans did after booting up Star Wars: Battlefront was figure out which missions let you shoot Gungans and Ewoks, and promptly went to town.
The designers of the LEGO games, such as LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones, and most likely LEGO THX-1138 and LEGO Howard the Duck, understand this better than most. Which is why you can find and destroy, say, Jar-Jar Binks, shattering him into his constituent tiny pieces, as many times as you want.
7. Link Gets Cheered On for Animal Cruelty in Link's Awakening
It's been a long-standing joke in the Zelda games that you can't kill the chickens, no matter how much you slash them. Keep it up long enough, and they'll kill you. Which if you've ever been around chickens is actually a fairly accurate depiction of them.
Except in Link's Awakening, a game we mentioned previously as having an acid-trip of a dungeon, Link finally gets some revenge for all the times those chickens have killed him, either with "magic powder" or by lighting them on fire. Yes, not only can Link slow-roast those damn chickens, he can even get the girl in the story to cheer him on while he's doing it.
6. Oddworld Lets You Have Fun With Mudokons
Source: Oddworld Inhabitants
Every '80s kid has, at least for ten minutes, played Lemmings. But they're no fun to kill, because they're mindless. But a bunch of enslaved, displaced creatures who slap themselves to death every time something goes wrong? Now we're talking!
The Oddworld games have you rescuing the Mudokons, a race of doormats who apparently can be made to do pretty much anything you want and that you have to save. Also, when they do something wrong, they start slapping themselves in the face until they die.
Needless to say, it's pretty easy to get them to do something wrong, whether it's walk into an electric gate, squished by a falling weight, or just lining up a bunch of them and provoking them into hitting each other.
Oh, did we mention that there are blind Mudokons, who will go in whatever direction you tell them to and just keep walking no matter what? Either the designers were gentle, naive souls, or they're all serial killers.
5. Rayman Just Kicks the Crap Out of Whatever's In His Way
Source: Ubisoft Montpellier
Most games, to discourage players from, say, kicking the ever-loving crap out of everything indiscriminately, punish you for beating on the innocent.
Not Rayman. Because a character who is basically hands and feet without limbs just isn't nightmarish enough by the standards of the French, anything that's in the games, you can beat on. What's most terrifying are the rats, actually.
Not because rats are inherently disgusting little disease vectors, but because in the Rayman universe they are, apparently, inherently disgusting little disease vectors that are really, really into S&M. They actually say things like "Don't hold back" and "ooh harder!"
Did you know that it's impossible to actually scrub your brain? Or precisely erase information from it? No matter how much cheap booze you drink?
4. Mario Wipes Out an Endangered Species
In the Paper Mario universe, there's a creature called the Whacka. He's this adorable, blue, seal-like looking creature, who has this incredibly useful item called the Whacka's Bump. Considering that this is a list largely about cruelty, and that it looks like a seal (okay, it comes out of the ground so we guess it's a mole, but look at him, he looks like a seal), you get one guess how you get the Whacka's Bump.
Yes, proving that there is absolutely no taste over at Nintendo, you can beat up a seal by bonking it on the head repeatedly with a hammer. Even better, if you whack it on the head and then talk to it, it gets steadily more confused. There's a rumor in the original Japanese that it pleads for its life and cries, baffled as to the horrible cruelty visited upon it.
Oh, and you can kill it if you whack it enough times. And it was the last one. You know how bad this is? The game asks you how you can sleep at night.
3. Trauma Center Lets You Be a Terrible Doctor
The Trauma Center games are pretty straightforward and exactly what they sound like. You use the DS stylus or the Nintendo Wii to perform surgery. You know, removing appendixes, reattaching the limbs of the guy who killed the last Whacka, things like that. And, being a sim game, it's dedicated to a certain degree of realism.
Like, say, requiring you to activate the anesthetic. And letting you operate if you don't turn it on anyway. Oh, by the way, the patient screams.
2. Okami Combines the Two Worst Things Ever To Be Mixed
We'll get the standard spiel out of the way: Okami is the best game you probably never played, so go buy it. Because it is. It's a game that encourages love, understanding, and peace.
It's also a game where you can light kittens on fire.
Don't get us wrong, we love kittens. And we love fire. But we love kittens and fire for entirely different reasons, kittens because they're warm, fuzzy and cute, and fire because it's the most entertain-...er, effective way to kill, er, grill things. These are not things that mix! They're like oil and water, Nintendo and Sega in the '80s, and online gaming and civility! What is wrong with you, Capcom? What is wrong with you?
Now, on the other hand, tackling people and biting the crap out of them? That's hilarious!
1. Katamari Damacy's Prince is a Serial Killer
Who's the guy with the highest body count in video games? Master Chief? Marcus Fenix? Whoever that weird guy was in Manhunt? How about a green runt with a Pringles can for a head?
Seriously, the Prince in the Katamari games makes even the darkest, bleakest anti-hero in the grittiest M-rated game you've ever heard of look like a piker when it comes to mass murder. He glues people into balls and then buries them alive. He sucks up small children, then grown adults, then eventually entire sky-scrapers and countries full of screaming, terrified people and then launches them into space, where those who haven't been crushed to death asphyxiate horribly and end up being used as fuel for a fusion reactor to create a new star. All of this just to please his dad. Oh, and to top it all off, he literally destroys the world.
And Japan thinks this is cute. Why did we let these people start up their military again?