Everyone’s bought or come into possession of something that doesn’t quite live up to their expectations. Whether it’s the Powerglove you got back in the late ’80s or the beat-up car currently sitting in your drive way, they both illicit the same disappointing feeling.
The same can be said for some of the ‘power-ups’ and ‘upgrades’ we get in our videogames. We come into it expecting some badass weapon or flashy doomsday spell, only to find that they sometimes do nothing more than take up space in our inventories.
In this week’s Pixelitis Picks, we delve into the less than stellar ‘things’ in games. With lackluster spells and underachieving pocket monsters, it’s all downhill from here.
The Medeo spell in Final Fantasy IX is utterly useless!
Very few things can top the embarrassment that I experienced during some of the first hours of playing Final Fantasy IX back when I was a pre-teen. My inexperience shone as bright as a newborn star as I tried to figure out the role-playing mechanics of the game. All I really knew was that flashy spells meant more damage.
So, under the impression of this seemingly simple premise, I set out to explore what was then the latest in Final Fantasy. After some plot developments and humorous cut scenes, I got to where Zidane and company battle it out on the Prima Vista for all to see. I looked at the menu, which gave me the choice of SFX. I didn’t actually know what it stood for at the time, but when I saw a spell called “Medeo” (I had played Final Fantasy IV, so I was excited to see something familiar), I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
However, the mass destruction I wanted never came. I cast the spell, which resulted in zero damage. I thought I had missed, so I cast it again. Still nothing. I did this with each character repeatedly, trying to figure out why they didn’t work. Then I realized that they were special effect spells designed for the “theater” troupe.
That was when I realized I spent a good ten minutes using a spell that was designed to be completely useless. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed. Years later I was able to appreciate the humor, but right then at eleven years old, I was fairly upset that something so completely useless was an option in battle.
The Klobb in Goldeneye 007 (N64) is utterly useless!
You had to have seen this one coming. Since the game graced our Nintendo 64s in ’97, Goldeneye 007 let players wreak all kinds of havoc with James Bond’s abundant arsenal. And while most of those weapons were powerful and fun to use, there was one exception.
Enter the Klobb.
To call the Klobb “weak” in its power is an understatement. It always felt like you had to unload an entire clip into an enemy guard to actually kill him. Even its sound effect emitted this jarring mechanical din that sounded more like a jammed piston than an actual firearm.
Although the gun’s real-life counterpart is the Skorpion VZ/61, which you’ll find in tons of games including the more recent Far Cry 3, it was renamed the “Klobb” in Goldeneye in honor of game designer Ken Lobb for his work on the game.
It would’ve been pretty cool to have a gun in one of the most popular first-person shooters of all time named after you…if the damn thing didn’t suck so badly that memes of it still exist to this day.
At the very least, it’s okay when you dual-wield it, but you can bet that whenever I pick up a Klobb, I’ll be switching to another weapon immediately. Or if there’s nothing else available, I’m going “Slappers Only.”
- Patrick Kulikowski
Cigarettes in every Metal Gear Solid are utterly useless!
When it comes to some of the coolest characters in videogames, both Solid Snake and Big Boss from the Metal Gear Solid are right up at the top of the list.
I mean, come on. Snake’s a super slick soldier, capable of infiltrating everything from a secret weapons development facility on a remote Alaskan island to a stolen Arsenal Gear teaming with high-tech super soldiers and bipedal mechs that moo and poop. He can pretty much use every weapon of war known to man, but he can still take anyone down with his bare hands.
But Snake is human, after all, so he does have at least one vice: smoking. Both cigarettes and cigars are permanent fixtures in the series’ inventory and they do virtually nothing for both Snakes.
If anything, they hurt him. They slowly eat away at his health while equipped and apart from rarely revealing laser traps, they serve no purpose other than to make him “look cooler.”
When you’re already a gun-toting, Octocamo-wearing, CQB-using super spy/soldier that can pretty much take on the world, do you really need a smoking habit to cement your grittiness? Just put the pack down already, Snake.
- Andrew Martins
Magikarp in Pokémon Red is utterly useless!
Magikarp. When I first encountered the floppy fish in my first run through Pokémon Red, astonishment flitted across my eleven-year-old face. How could such a fearsome and downright tough-as-nails creature like a Gyarados come from this open-mouth gaping, dare I say it, stupid, fish?
I remember this moment really well. My brother and I both got Pokémon and Game Boy Colors, his being the solid purple and mine being the cooler see-through purple. And parents being parents, they wanted to differentiate and gave my brother Pokémon Blue, and me, well, Red. All gender stereotyping aside, my brother’s goal was to get a Gyarados to fight other trainers–and eventually, beat me. But I attempted to thwart his victories over me. As the elder sibling, I’ve always had a crazy competitive streak. So I caught Magikarp first, determined to have him evolve into a blood thirsty blue sea dragon.
Segue to a few days later. My poor Charmander was constantly being switched in and out because Magikarp could do nothing else except “Splash.” It was useless. I lost more than a few battles, sighed exasperatedly and just put Magikarp away in the Computer. It wasn’t worth the hassle. Especially when I was figuring out how to wake up a damn Snorlax in my path.
I kept looking in my Pokedex to get more information, but staring into Magikarp’s glassy stare felt more like staring into an abyss. I got nothing out of it.
Also, at the tender age of eleven, I realized that patience is a virtue. That I do not have.
I used a bunch of Rare Candies on Magikarp once I figured out the cheat. And then Level 20 happened.