So imagine this…
You’re sitting at home one day when suddenly your computer/console gets hit wicked hard by some sort of super virus; right in the middle of your favorite game too! Oh sure, you could factory reset the computer or try to send your console back in, but who has time for that nonsense! No, you want to tackle this virus head on. But despite your best efforts you have no idea how to fight it! Luckily though, you just saw Wreck-it Ralph the other night and you know that there is more than one way to deal with digital non-sense like that. So, you grab your friends computers/consoles, plug them all into the same surge protector as your virus infested machine and then plop your favorite characters video games into their respective devices and leave the room; confident that your “A-Team” will handle the situation in no time…
Hey everyone! As you’ve probably guessed by now I saw Wreck-it Ralph the other day. What can I say? It was a great movie. Great characters, touching moments, and enough humor of all kinds to keep everyone laughing. Were this a movie review, I’d probably give it 4.5 or 5 stars. But this isn’t a movie review, indeed, this is something entirely different.
You see, the premise behind Wreck-it Ralph is pretty similar to the one behind Toy Story. Our toys (in this case video games) are just as alive and “real” as we are. Sure they live in an arcade cabinet and we get to control them with joysticks and buttons, but at the end of the day they have lives just like us. They exist in a world all their own and can even communicate and visit each other through the magic of the surge connectors that physically connect their games together via electrical current.
And that got me thinking, what if some of my favorite video game character got together and hung out? Better yet… what if I had to draft some together to save the day? Who would I pick? Why would I pick them? Those are the questions that led me to what I like to call, “My Wreck-it Ralph A-Team”. Here are the rules for those of you who want to join in on this mental exercise…
- All of the characters must be capable of being physically present via their medium. In Wreck-it Ralph all the characters exist in their own Arcade Cabinets. Since most of us don’t really use Arcade Cabinets anymore, the “video game” worlds these characters come from still need to be physically present to mesh with the movies logic. In other words, only characters that are stored on a console, disk or other such local medium are allowed. Sorry MMORPG players, but your characters are stored on a server somewhere and probably aren’t allowed to just go wandering off onto the internet whenever they want. Likewise games like League of Legends and Diablo 3, which require you to access and play off of other servers, are likewise not allowed. If the character can’t be accessed without you being present to log into the game, then they can’t be part of your A-Team.
- You have to actually own all of the games you pull these characters from. Yes, technically you could just go out and rent the game in question. But I’m going to be working under the assumption that characters in a rented game aren’t really going to care what is going on with some random guys computer/console. Where as the characters in your games, the ones who have struggled and fought with you as you devoted hours upon hours of time to their games, would actually in invested enough in you to help you out in your time of need. Now of course, things get a little bit more convoluted when you start to consider games you’ve bought off Steam and have just re-installed recently, or perhaps games that you’ve misplaced but you definitely own… For the sake of this mental exercise though, all that matters is that you own the game. The details aren’t that important.
- All of the characters must be from games on devises that can hook up to a surge protector. This is due to the fact that the only established way we know that characters can move around from device to device is via a surge protector. Who knows? Maybe Cat5 and WiFi just isn’t a viable form of transportation for video game characters; akin to driving a car across the Atlantic Ocean or what have you. Now granted, this isn’t really a big deal. As PSPs, DSs and other portable gaming devises these days all come with a power charger that easily meets this requirement. But for those of you hoping to grab some obscure character from an old, battery-powered handled; sorry, you’re out of luck.
Keep in mind! Characters retain all of their own innate abilities and any potential items, abilities or spells that they could acquire throughout their game. But anything that must be nabbed from their game world, like ammo or power ups, does not carry over. For example: Sonic could run really fast and jump around like he always does, but he could not be invincible or have unlimited fire shields as those are power-ups he finds within his own game world. Likewise, unless the game he is visiting also has gold rings he has no way to collect any more than what he has. Sure he can take a hit and just re-grab some of the ones that he dropped. But if he ever runs out and is hit again, it’s game over. Permanently. Remember, if you die when you’ve left your game you don’t respawn.
With those rules in mind, the question of who you draft into your A-Team can get pretty tough. I mean, do you go by pure combat prowess or by how adaptable the character is? If the character has “Bad @ss” coded into their DNA, then they’d pretty much be a BA no matter where they went. But if they relied on a lot of guns or ammo to get things done, then they may not be able to play to their strengths. Do you go with smarts or skill? Do you favor characters with maneuverability and stealth or brute strength? Maybe both? I can’t answer those question for you, but I can tell you who I’d pick. Here they are, my Wreck-it Ralph A-Team:
Hailing from Conker Live & Reloaded (a remake of Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64), this character is perfect for leading my team in much the same way that Hannibal lead the A-Team. He’s smart, quick-witted and can handle any situation you throw at him. I mean, the guy is pretty much thrown into every single possible situation throughout the course of his game and comes out on top. Giant mountain of Poo? Conquered it. Pre-historic jungle filled with Lava surfing and dinosaur arenas? No problem. Randomly turned into a bat by your Dracula-look-a-like ancestor after fighting through a mansion full of zombies? Walk in the park? Matrix themed slow-motion wire-fu gun fight? Fighting an Alien on a space ship in a mech suit? Gritty and bloody Saving Private Ryan-like invasion of a beach and storming of a military stronghold? Check, check and double-check.
Conker has seen it all and done it all. That’s probably why he hits the bottle so much. Luckily for him though, getting drunk isn’t the end of the world, as he is surprisingly combat worthy when wasted out of his mind. And of course, I’d be negligent if I didn’t mention the fact that he is not only openly aware of the 4th wall, but is quite skilled at breaking it. I mean, this is the guy who, upon discovering that the game locked up during the final boss fight, simply had a programmer come in and change everything how he saw fit. Conker isn’t just aware that he’s in a video game, he uses it to his advantage. It’s in his coding. And that’s exactly why he’s be perfect for leading my A-Team into the thick of battle. I mean sure he isn’t really known for being a team player and has a hard time focusing when surrounded by large breasted woman, but that’ll just add some excitement to their quest.
Hailing from Mass Effect 2, Kasumi is one of those roguish characters that every group needs. She’s funny, charming, and the best thief the galaxy has seen. Oh sure, there are all kinds of great characters to choose from in Mass Effect 2. I mean, the whole point of the game is to draft the perfect team for a suicide mission that no one else is skilled enough to do. But from the moment I met Ms. Goto on the Citadel she wooed me with her skill and smarm. And I mean, come on! How can you beat her Shadow Strike attack? She disappears, teleports behind an enemy, punches him in the back with her omni-tool, then teleports back to safety somewhere else. An ability like that isn’t just good, it’s damn near broken! Regardless though, Kasumi’s real strength on the team is her particular knack for being able to break into or sneak past anything she wants to.
Need a gold key or green keycard to get through a door? No problem, Kasumi will whip up a forgery and have the group moving on to the next floor in no time. Likewise, her ability to cloak for as long as she wants is invaluable for scouting ahead and gathering information in what might otherwise be dangerous territory. She might be a thief, but she fills the role of providing tactical support perfectly. With her skill set, my team could get into and out of anyplace they needed too with minimal combat risk. Of course, a few items might go mysteriously missing after Kasumi had made her way through a level. But such is the risk one has to take when employing the galaxies best thief. It’s not like she wants to steal, she’s just coded that way.
Of course, no matter how sneak or experienced you are at something, there are going to be times that this A-Team run into a fight. After all, these are video games we’re talking about, and conflict is kinda a core mechanic in most of them. Which is why, despite the sometimes fragile condition of her mental state, Alice Liddell from Alice: Madness Returns is the perfect addition to my team of characters. Is she a little crazy? Sure, but that’s why we love her. And her craziness never detracts from intelligence or her ability to stand up for herself when she needs to. Alice isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and is always willing to fight those who get in the way of what she wants. Likewise, that craziness can be a strength sometimes. After all, it takes a great deal to frighten or scare someone who’s too crazy to back down. Alice has already traveled through the twisted and nightmarish Wonderland that lies within her own mind, so I find it hard to believer that there is much out there that would scare her anymore. Of course, even if there was something, she’d probably just kill it. Speaking of which…
Killing is one of those things that Alice does well. Really well. So well, in fact, that you’d be hard pressed to find something that was a legitimate challenge for her. She’s quick, agile, and can even turn into a cloud of butterflies to avoid incoming attacks. Failing that, her trusty parasol can either deflect or send back pretty much all ranged attacks. And that’s assuming she doesn’t just whip out her giant pepper grinder and pepper you to death at range from the first place. And melee attacks? Don’t be crazy. Getting close to Alice is just asking for the sweet, sweet release of death. Whether it’s the armor crushing power of her handy Hobby Horse or the ever-sharp edge of her infamous Vorpal Blade, most enemies would probably be surprised with just how much death one young woman can dish out. Heck even if you did manage to wear her down and almost kill her, she’d just enter Hysteria mode and cut you to pieces with her now harder hitting weapons and invincibility. When people talk about an unstoppable force, I’m pretty sure they are talking about little Ms. Liddell…
Hailing from WarCraft 3: The Frozen Throne, Sylvanas is one of those tragic characters that eventually becomes a fan favorite. The formerly elven ranger turned banshee eventually fight her way into becoming one of the more powerful players on the face of Azeroth, making her an easy pick for my A-Team. Sure she may have a tragic back-story, but that doesn’t stop her from carving her own path to victory in a world filled with fools and idiots who try to stop her. She might look like your typical sexy “evil” elf with a bow, but behind those glowing eyes of hers is a fierce tactical mind and an iron will. Does she hate her existence and wish she could just slide into the gentle embrace of death? Sure. But she also hates anyone or anything that would come between her and her goals, whatever those are at the time.
With a lethally accurate bow in her hand and a (seemingly) unlimited supply of arrows, Sylvanas can easily support Alice and the other members of the team as they wade into combat. Surrounded by too many enemies? No problem, as her Black Arrow ability summons skeletal minions to fight for her side whenever she slays an enemy. Enemy spell castors making your life difficult? Then she can cast Silence on them to shut them up for a little bit. Run across an enemy a little too tough to fight? Don’t worry about it, as her Charm ability lets her overwhelm the minds of lesser beings and turn them over to her side. And, should things really get bad, she can always use her trusty Life Drain ability to damage the enemy and heal herself. Sylvanas is one of those characters that can really turn the tide both on and off the battle field.
All in all, I’m pretty sure my team would be next to unstoppable. Indeed, about the only way I see it going wrong is if their personalities or personal goals get the better of them and they lead themselves to their own downfall. However I remain confident that they’d be able to work past such issues and get the job done at the end of the day. They are, after all, strong and self-reliant characters on their own. So as long as they can figure out how to work together as a team, I’m pretty sure nothing would be able to stop them. Well, except a good pub. That’d probably give Conker and Kasumi enough pause that they’d probably get side-tracked for a bit… but oh well!
I’m interested to see who any of you would draft for your own personal Wreck-it Ralph A-Teams, and why you’d pick them. So if you get a chance to mull it over, be sure to swing by and comment if you get the chance. Who knows? Maybe in the future games will be so complex that we will be able to draft teams like this and tackle all kinds of challenges. Who knows?
For now though, I’m happy just contemplate this silly question all on my own. As is was quite the interesting thought exercise.