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Article The Dorklyst: The 6 Greatest Plot Devices in Videogame History

By Casey Johnston / June 9, 2011

A MacGuffin was originally a film concept, defined as "an element that drives the plot of a work of fiction." Basically, they are cheap ploys that make a hero want to do something, and they've never enjoyed more prevalence than in the video game industry. Why do you want that princess, star, or weapon you can't even use? Because you do, you benighted controller monkey! Here's our tribute to the MacGuffins that deserve recognition for being awesome, terrible, ironic, or just confusing.

6. Triforce (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

The Triforce was left behind by three goddesses (supposedly) and has the power to grant wishes, but only to a person with equal measures of courage, power, and wisdom. This seems to be one of those built-in after school special messages, as someone who already has all three qualities wouldn't have any trouble getting anything they wanted. Or even if you just had power, that's probably enough to put you on the road to success sans a set of wish-granting golden triangles. Of course, if you have no wisdom, power, or courage, presumably that's still equal measures, so we can only guess that Link is forever on a quest to prevent stupid, cowardly, unimportant people from touching the Triforce.

What would have happened without it: Ganon would have been forced to ruin lives by some other, less elegant method, like forming a standing army of desert people who are not so afraid of Master Swords, pretty ponies, and wind instruments. This situation would be moderately less difficult to navigate than the Water Temple.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article 6 Terrifying Baddies You Underestimated

By Brandon Hoang / March 13, 2012
Most Terrifying Baddies You Underestimated - Image 8

Any programmer worth his salt wants to create a villain that strikes terror in the heart of his players. Throwing creepy looking monsters at us, followed by ghoulish foes, one after the other, is their attempt to stop Player One from reaching the end. If they succeed, we quake in our gamer boots at the sight of a real spooky baddie.

But sometimes, a weird phenomenon takes place. Programmers pull an ol' switcheroo and a tiny minion ends up being a major pain in the ass. Here is our tribute to the little guys that left us with twitchy eyeballs and a warm, piping slice of humble pie.

6. The Hammer Bros (Super Mario Bros.)

Most Terrifying Baddies You Underestimated - Image 1

Beating your first koopa troopa is easier than flicking a paper football. So when you finally meet up with the Hammer Brothers, it seems like it should be a cake walk. After all, you're programmed to believe that once you smash a turtle, another turtle should be just as easy. That's science.

Wrong. The Hammer Brothers are real jerks. They don't move in a predictable pattern like most baddies. They hop around like Dance Dance Revolution pros, showering a barrage of evil, evil hammers at your plumber's crack. Once I waited fourteen full minutes for a gap before I got the nerve to race under them. But just when I thought I was home free, I got hit with the HANDLE of a rogue hammer. It wasn't even the hammery part!

5. Heaven Smile (Killer 7)

Most Terrifying Baddies You Underestimated - Image 1

Try saying "Heaven Smile" without grinning. Go ahead. I'll wait. You can't. It's impossible. The words "heaven" and "smile" bring about visions of giant bouncy castles filled with cheap beer and meatlover's pizzas.

But there's nothing heavenly or smiley about these guys. First off, they are completely invisible. Your only hint that you could run smack dab into one is a maniacal giggle that would make Stephen King's Pennywise whimper. But once you switch over to first-person mode to reveal the Heaven Smiles in all their gradient glory, it may be too late: they are already running after you. And they can only be killed by aiming at certain pressure points.

And if you unload and manage to miss completely? They latch onto your trembling ass and explode on contact.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Stereotypical Native American Characters in Fighting Game History

By Jeff Rubin and Owen Parsons / May 12, 2011

It takes a lot to make a good fighting game. You need a balanced roster, engaging graphics, and a style that is both fun to pick up and play, yet rewards dedication and practice. But, most importantly, you need one Native American stereotype. No more, no less. Here's our tribute to the characters that filled that mandatory diversity spot on their respective rosters.

7. Julia / Michelle Chang, Tekken

Reason for entering tournament: Everyone wants their tribe's magic amulet.Special Moves: Twin Arrow, Snake Step

Michelle discovered Julia as a baby, though if you were just judging on strategy guides you'd swear they were related by blood. They have the same fighting style, combos, and special moves. Michelle starred in the first two Tekken games, but was replaced by her daughter because Tekken actually has a timeline that moves forward and it would be completely unrealistic if an older woman was competing in the Tekken tournament. How would she ever stand a chance against the android Jack or the boxing kangaroo Roger?

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article Dr. Mario Isn't a Real Doctor

December 13, 2010
  1. Dr. Mario

    I'm sorry, but your wife has a virus. Well three viruses actually.

  2. Mr. Holdings

    Three viruses?! How is that even possible? What are they?

  3. Dr. Mario

    After much research though it seems she has a red, blue, and yellow virus.

  4. Mr. Holdings

    I'm sorry, what?

  5. Dr. Mario

    We've decided to name the blue virus 'Chill', the red virus 'Fever', and the yellow virus 'Weird'.

  6. Mr. Holdings

    So she has a fever and a chill?

  7. Dr. Mario

    No, no. Those are the names I've given the viruses. The names really have nothing to do with the symptoms that they are causing.

  8. Mr. Holdings

    …Is there another doctor here I can speak to?

Filed Under   conversations   dr. mario

Article The Videogame Food Pyramid

November 15, 2010
Filed Under   food   mario

Article Pwn Up: The Namek Saga

By Kevin Corrigan / August 19, 2011

Ever had a moment so nerdy that you needed to tell the Internet about it? Send your submissions to dorklypwnup at gmail.

We begin this issue with a special message to commenter Joe Banana: You've won the "Pwn Up Commenter Lifetime Achievement Award," for commenting "lol. nerds." on every issue of Pwn Up from 64 to 87, except issue 67 for some reason. To put that into perspective, Joe Banana made sure to be at his computer to comment nearly every Friday from Feb 18 to Aug 5. That's 23 straight weeks. He's spent almost half a year on this project. Joe Banana's unceasing dedication to the meaningless, repetitive task of trolling an Internet message board has solidified his nerd status. Joe Banana, this week you may "lol. nerds." at yourself. Congratulations.

I worked at an elementary summer-school program in July. One day, we were going over the planets during a science lesson. The kids had to fill in the missing planets and their characteristics. One kid drew Namek and a bunch of Namekians instead of Neptune. I thought it was so funny that I left it that way.-Paul

Every time I read an Pwn Up post about someone's girlfriend, I die a little inside. Only the nerdiest guys get featured here, and even they have/had girlfriends. I have not. Ever.-K9 (ed. note: If it makes you feel better, K9, this is a common submission)

When I was about 16, I was dating this guy who let me borrow Star Ocean 2. I loved that game. I played it all the time. After a month of dating, I heard from a mutual friend that he was upset because I was spending so little time with him. He was planning on breaking up with me because I played too much Star Ocean 2. I got pissed. I wasn't about to change my ways. Instead, I got my best friend to make a move on him. When I caught them I flew into a "surprised" rage, kicked him out of my house, told him I never wanted to see him again and kept his game. I'm 24 now and I still have it. I know, I'm conniving. I did feel bad, but then again he was willing to cheat on me with my best friend, so he's kind of a dick anyway, right? Right!-Kate

Filed Under   pwn my life

Article The Weekly IRL: A Tribute to the Galaxy's Greatest Bounty Hunter (7 Pictures)

By Staff / June 2, 2011

Filed Under   the weekly irl   star wars   boba fett

Article The Weekly IRL: Weighted Companion Cube

August 5, 2010

Have a submission for next week's issue? Send pictures to weeklyirl at gmail. Next Issue: Stormtroopers Having Fun.

Filed Under   portal   the weekly irl

Article 6 Posts on Videogame Craigslist

September 14, 2010

Filed Under   craigslist

Article More Minerals

December 15, 2010
  1. Commander

    Okay guys. The Zerg rush is coming faster than we thought. I'm going to need four guys-quick!

  2. Pause.

  3. Commander

    Hello? Guys in the barracks?

  4. Marine

    I won't shoot anyone until I get some minerals.

  5. Commander


  6. Marauder

    Me too! And I want gas.

  7. Commander

    Why do you want-

  8. Marauder

    I require more vespene gas.

  9. Commander

    That makes no sense. And how do you want me to deliver you gas? And why?

Filed Under   starcraft   conversations