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Article The Dorklyst: The 13 Greatest Snow Levels in Videogame History

December 8, 2010

Winter's here, and that means one thing: snow. Well, snow and Kevin McCallister's annual abandonment by his neglectful, emotionally-abusive parents. Luckily, we all have videogames to entertain us during the horrible weather (fact: 99% of winter deaths occur while not playing videogames). Weirdly though, sometimes the best escape from the frozen tundra of the outside world is the digital frozen tundra of a videogame. Here's our tribute to the 13 greatest snow levels of all-time.


After a few levels of blasting through endless hordes of asteroids, enemy ships, and Slippy's pleas for help, Fortuna was a welcome relief. Finally you could engage in dog fights with some worthy opponents: The lazily-named Star Wolf (since all space teams in this universe are composed of 4 random animals led by some sort of canine). As if Star Wolf relentlessly hunting down your teammates (who all have no idea how to turn around or defend themselves in any way) wasn't enough, there's a bomb that will blow if you don't defeat the enemies in time. Not that it's too big a deal either way, since apparently no one else in the entire universe is at all concerned about that evil monkey head but you.


As anyone who remembers this game will attest, completing this level was a badge of honor. Missile-shooting snowmen? Check. Random holes to fall into? Check. Meteor-tossing rat-dude final boss? So check it isn't even funny. Also not funny – this level wasn't even in the original arcade version: They added it at Nintendo's request, so more kids would break their controllers in frustration and have to buy new ones. If you had any less than two busted controllers and no sudden desire for Pizza Hut, you are clearly some sort of robot.
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Article The Dorklyst: The 9 Most Popular Types of Flash Games

By Kevin Corrigan / June 7, 2011

Flash games exist in a strange world. Anyone can make them. They're not bound by big budgets or proven formulas like their console cousins. Any motivated programmer or 14-year-old kid can make a game and get it featured on Newgrounds if it's good enough. Any time someone has a novel gameplay idea, everyone else wants to put their spin on it. As a result, some weird genres emerged. XBox games come in clear, simple genres like "sports" and "shooters," but flash genres are more along the lines of "games where you fling things with your mouse." These are the most popular game genres you can play in your Web browser.

9. Motorcycle Physics

All motorcycle physics games can be traced back to the old PC game Action Supercross (later Elastomania). It was a motocross game where you drove an elastic motorcycle through twisty levels, collecting apples and trying to reach the goal. Flash developers decided that elastic motorcycles and collecting apples were too much for the fickle Internet audience. They stripped it down to the basics. As a result there are around a thousand games where you reach the goal by pressing back to lean back, forward to lean forward, up to drive, and down to brake. Originality aside, there are a surprising amount of good motorcycle physics games. They're all exactly the same, but if you pretend each new game is a level pack you can play forever. They're not specific to motorcycles, either. Monster trucks, skateboards, bicycles and Mars rovers have all proven that they can lean, accelerate and brake.

Notable examples:TG Motocross 4 Trials Max Dirt Bike

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Article The Dorklyst: 7 Minor Characters Nerds Made Famous

By Staff / April 12, 2011

Writers, directors, and artists all put a lot of work into designing awesome characters that nerds will obsess over. Sometimes this works and you make a cool space wizard like Darth Vader, other times you screw up and make a whiny emo teen like Anakin Skywalker. Fans are fickle like that: sometimes there's no explaining what makes a character worth talking about. For example: here are 7 extremely minor characters that nerds deemed obsession-worthy.

7) Youngster Joey (Pokemon)

Youngster Joey is the first trainer you battle in Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal after your Rival. In case you haven't heard, he's got a Rattata. Did you know that his super cool Rattata is in the top percentage of Rattatas? Yes? Doesn't matter, he'll keep phoning you and feeding you the same line of BS about how special his Rattata is again and again for the rest of the game, no matter how many times you and your team of elemental murder-beasts pound his dumb little rat into pudding.

Listen kid, your Rattata's not special. And since you never bothered to catch another Pokemon to back it up in battle, I'm pretty sure it hates you, too. After countless players were subjected to Youngster Joey's inane, semi-grammatical prattling, "My Rattata is in the top percentage of Rattatas" became a widespread meme online, proving that the internet loves mentally-handicapped pokemon trainers, or that it just hates itself. Maybe both.

6) Joseph Frost (Resident Evil)

Joseph has the dubious honor of being the first person you see die in the original Resident Evil. Your helicopter lands in the forest outside the Spencer Mansion, everyone walks around for a little bit, then Joseph gets eaten by a dog. The guy doesn't even make it through the opening cutscene. In a game full of zombie-fodder teammates, Joseph is arguably the suckiest.

But that doesn't stop people from inexplicably falling in love with him. While not as famous as the others on our list, Joseph is notable for just how far his fans had to reach to come up with any info about the guy. A quick YouTube search for "Joseph Frost" shows about a page of tributes featuring terrible pop songs over poorly drawn caricatures. Since we learn literally nothing about him in the 5 seconds he's alive during Resident Evil, we can assume that people think he's cool because he wears a bandana. To be fair, it is a sweet bandana.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Lamest Mascots in Videogame History

By Staff / June 21, 2011

The 1990's were known for plenty of things. The fall of the Soviet Union. The dot-com bubble. Yikes! pencils. But it was also the golden decade for Mario and Sonic, the two most successful mascots in the history of videogames. And just like real royalty, there was no shortage of inbred wannabes squabbling for their throne. Here are the lamest videogame mascots in history.

10. Crash Bandicoot (1996-present)

OK, calm down. I'm not saying Crash Bandicoot is a bad game. Let's just set that issue aside for a minute and examine Mr. Bandicoot as a character. Crash didn't come around until '96, years after the attitude-plus-species naming convention went out of style. Even still, Crash was an exercise in pandering. Sony wanted their own flagship character to compete with Mario, but didn't have a mascot. So they bought a field guide of Tasmanian mammals and thumbed through it, briefly toying with "Willie the Wombat," before settling on a "bandicoot." Now that's an animal that sounds like it can skateboard!

Honestly, they could have picked anything because Crash is based on design constraints, not anything that exists in real life. He's orange because that color shows up well on TVs. He doesn't have a neck because the Playstation couldn't handle necks. What we ended up with is a character that looks how Bobcat Goldthwait sounds. Luckily, Crash barely talks. That, along with good gameplay and fun levels, saved Crash from competing with Bubsy 3D for most annoying platformer of 1996.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest Secret Levels in Videogame History

March 3, 2011

Secret levels used to be something extremely special. Before the Internet, you had to either find them on your own or hear about them from the weird kid at school who spent recess picking his nose and staring at the sun. And once you did find out about them, all you wanted to do was brag about your new found knowledge. Let's salute the greatest secret levels in videogame history.


It's hard to bring out something weird and unexpected in a WWII game where Hitler's dead and you're fighting with lightning-zappers, invincibility devices, and time-travel — but then again, giant ants? Disbelief only suspends so far! It ends up feeling like Red Alert with Zerg, except with a lot more people saying "At once!" and "Affirmative!" over and over. The ants add a huge new challenge to the gameplay, where you have to radically change your strategy just to survive. Even then, it's hard as hell. So if you ever travel back in time and kill Hitler, remember to bring a giant can of Raid, okay?


George Lucas had to know that the Dark Side of the Force was the cooler one. I mean, would you rather be a badass asthmatic burn victim in black armor who hangs out with a grandpa who shoots lightning, or a wimpy blonde kid whose mentor thinks being a powerless ghost is "more powerful than you could ever imagine"? Clearly the Dark Side is the way to go — something Rogue Squadron figured it out in their bonus level, "Triumph of Empire." It's a familiar moment, the battle above the Death Star (classic version, not that half-built piece of crap that Lando blew up with his midget friend) — except you're in Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, wasting rebels left and right. And when it comes down to that pivotal trench run — well, let's just say that Luke won't be bullseyein' womp rats again anytime soon.

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Article 15 More Things You'll Never Hear Gamers Say

By Andrew Bridgman / May 10, 2013

Filed Under   zelda   gamers   xbox   pokemon

Article The 8 Types of Grand Theft Auto Players

By Andrew Bridgman / September 13, 2013

Grand Theft Auto games aren't immensely challenging - the game is designed to basically serve up an entire city as your own personal playground, so long as you don't mind stealing cars all the time and murdering every person in sight. But some people like to add a little challenge spice to the GTA stew by doing the impossible - actually following the law. No stealing cars, no murdering civilians, and - hell - even obey the traffic lights. It ain't always easy, but you'll appreciate what you got a whole lot more when you aren't punching a guy out of his own car to get it.

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Article I Wish They Had Save Points in Real Life

June 24, 2010

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Disturbing Moments in Pokemon History

By Steven Romano / February 2, 2012
The Dorklyst The 7 Most Disturbing Moments in Pokemon - Image 8

Some people have the absurd notion that Pokemon is nothing more than a series about obnoxiously cute and cuddly critters beating each other to the point of exhaustion — all in the name of friendship and perseverance. Okay, they may be kind of right in that regard, but what these naysayers don't know is that beneath Pokemon's misleading exterior there is a seedy underbelly. Here's our tribute to the most disturbing moments in Pokemon.

7) Celadon City Pervert Alert (Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow Version)

The Dorklyst The 7 Most Disturbing Moments in Pokemon - Image 1

This elderly individual decided to take full advantage of the Celadon City Police Department's preoccupation with the influx of Team Rocket grunts to indulge in his voyeuristic pastime: peering through the windows of the Celadon City Gym uninterrupted.

The sleazy geriatric — in the process of pumping his "Diglett" — unabashedly declares "Heheh! This gym is great! It's full of women!" "Women?" More like a gym full of teen girls trying to hone their trainer skills in peace; preferably without Peeping Toms fogging up the windows. Fortunately for the old coot, your character wasn't a police officer, because if he were, the old perv's wrinkly ass would've been hauled off to the nearest prison, where he would likely have a firsthand experience with a Horn Drill attack in the communal shower. It's a one-hit KO!

6) The Final Battle with Wally (Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald Version)

The Dorklyst The 7 Most Disturbing Moments in Pokemon - Image 1

Up until Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, your rivals in the game were by and large intolerable asshats that made it a point to go out of their way to either bombard you with putdowns or spring up out of nowhere for a battle you didn't expectt. Wally, on the other hand, was the complete opposite: meek, kind and — get ready for this one, folks — sickly. What he suffers from isn't elaborated upon, but it's enough to cause his family to have a deep concern for his health. And his greatest wish is to be a Pokemon trainer just like you…which causes a moral dilemma here.

Despite his weak condition, and protests from his family, Wally manages to make it to Victory Road for one final challenge against your — at this point — crazy strong character, who he's been idolizing since the outset. Basically, your battle against Wally is a small child making a wish to the Make A Wish Foundation to play a one-on-one basketball game with his favorite star player. But imagine that this player doesn't hold back. Instead, he totally brings his A-game, including smack talk, underhanded maneuvers and post-game showboating. That's your final battle with Wally…and it leaves you feeling like the worst trainer in the history of the game series. So, how does victory taste?

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Article The Nine Greatest Nerd Fears Today

By Andrew Bridgman / December 6, 2011

9. George R.R. Martin Dying Before Completing the Song of Ice and Fire Series

If I had to describe George RR Martin, I would say something like "HIV-Positive Santa Claus" or "Gandalf After Getting Kicked Off 'The Biggest Loser' For Trying To Eat His Own Beard." Neither of those things are sterling pictures of good health exactly, but they do more or less accurately describe the overweight, rapidly-aging fantasy author who still has two books left to complete his epic A Song of Ice and Fire saga. Not that he's going to die tomorrow or anything, but time is not on George's side here – and that's the one thing he really needs. Maybe if he didn't take 5 years apiece to write the previous two books in the series, we could be a little more optimistic. But since the series has expanded from a trilogy to a heptalogy (seven book series), who knows how much more George could stretch it out? He even recently announced he's not going to even START writing the sixth entry – The Winds of Winter – until January 2012. George RR Martin is 63 years old – if he takes 5 years per book, that would put him at 73 by the end of the series. I don't want to bring up statistics about the median lifespan of males, but…let's just say Winter is coming, George. The way things are looking, he may only have time to write "And then everyone died." for the last book. Hopefully from at least 6 perspectives.

8. Our Kids Seeing the Prequel Star Wars Before the Original Trilogy

Parents, generally, want the best for their children. They want them to have all of the best experiences possible while minimizing the amount of negative ones. Unfortunately, George Lucas has created a tough world for any prospective nerd parent. On the one hand, he's given us some of the greatest films of all time – films that captured the imagination of nearly every child who saw them. Who wouldn't want their kids to have that same experience?

Well, there was another group of films George Lucas made – these were wholly lacking in imagination, any sense of adventure, and – instead of being set off by a ruthless empire trying to quash a fledgling rebellion of scrappy fighters – was set off by a tariff dispute. This is not the thing that will inspire the hearts and minds of children everywhere. This is the kind of empty spectacle that will bore the sh*t out of a kid and make him or her never want to see another Star Wars again. You can't control every aspect of your kid's life – they could see the prequel trilogy first. Maybe a friend (with cruel, ungodly parents) have the movies sitting out. Maybe it's on TV one day and you're not around to slap the remote out of your child's hands. And then it'll be too late – Star Wars will never be that amazing, perfect trilogy. It'll be a mediocre sci-fi franchise.

If the first Star Wars film you saw was The Phantom Menace, you probably wouldn't be quite so psyched for 5 more installments, right? Plus, the prequel trilogy completely ruins one of the greatest reveals in cinematic history: that Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader! Also, he built C-3PO. Can't spoil that for the kiddies.

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