This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Hey there guys and gals and welcome to yet another review… Hey wait second (*reads through the article a second time*). This isn’t a review. It seems that I have written a Top 10 list. I guess this must have something to do with Bitmob’s call for Top 10 lists. Well then let’s see what we have here shall we?
Bitmob writer Andrew Hiscock has issued a challenge to all members of the Bitmob community to come up with creative Top 10 lists, with the 10 best to be featured in a Top 10 of his own. To him I say: Sir I accept your challenge!
Video games are filled to the brim with henchmen and ally characters who seem to serve no other purpose than to be sacrificial lambs for the big boss or to give their lives for a more noble purpose. I’m here today to give these expenables their due.
This is a Top 10 that I would to call: A Salute to Cannon Fodder.
10- Poison/Roxxy: Final Fight
Out of all the easily dispensable thugs in Metro City, I must say that I find Poison/Roxy (they’re just a palette swap for one another. That make’s them the same character in my book) to be the most interesting. I’m not just talking about the whole issue regarding her…his…um…. Ah screw it! There’s chance that Poison could in fact be a post-op transsexual because Capcom USA was scared that if Poison were a female character there would be complaints and feminist activists would sue the company. No joke. So, rather than say the character was a woman (like the creator originally intended), they claimed that he/she was a transvestite.
Anyway, that is not the only reason (while it does make him/her memorable) why Poison is placed on the list. Poison is also a self thought martial arts master, who uses some impressive acrobatic moves to fend off enemies and I really like the facts that the character is named after famous 80’s hair metal band Poison and the more dated aspects of the his/her design are pretty hilarious. That and I couldn’t remember the name of the dumbass who lights himself on fire.
9- The Headbangers: Brutal Legend
Who says every example of Cannon Fodder in gaming had to be an enemy character? What can I say about these lovable lunk-heads? They love babes, beer and metal. Oh and their thicker than normal skulls (thanks to years of slave labor) can be used to deliver massive head-butts to aid Eddie Riggs in his quest to rid the world of Bladehenge of the demon lord Doviculus and his dark army.
Sadly, even with all of their brute strength, they can be killed on the battlefield pretty easily due to their sheer stupidity, so make sure to summon as many of them as you can.
8- Pikmin: Pikimin series & Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Hey, look another example of non-enemy characters. After crash landing on a very colorful, yet very dangerous planet, Captain Olimar must find all of the pieces of his ship before his life support systems fail him. During his search, he discovers plant like creatures known as Pikmin who for some reason obey his every command. Olimar being the selfish jerk that he is decides to take full advantage of this and forces the Pikmin to do all of the work for him as he gives orders from the sidelines. This results in the Pikmin ranking slightly higher on the endangered species list, as they are eaten by monsters and killed by various obstacles.
As if the indignities suffered by these poor little creatures wasn’t bad enough, Olimar can’t even get his lazy ass to lift a muscle during his fights in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Oh no. The Pikmin have to fight his battles for him.
If I were a Pikmin, I would be all like, “F this I say!” and leave that bastard to rot and or get his goofy ass kicked.
7- Those flasher looking guys: NARC
As you might remember from my NARC review, drugs are bad and if you do them you are bad. Mkay. That and if you deal drugs, your life will be of no consequence to law enforcement, who have complete free reign in terms of deciding whether to bring your ass downtown or to blow it (along with several other worthwhile appendages) off with a rocket launcher. This point couldn’t have been made more clear with officer Max Force’s run through of the first level, where he must bring these rather sketchy looking guys in trench-coats to justice. One bullet at a time. And boy is it easy. Sure they will shoot at you and can even drain your life bar if there are enough of them on screen but for the most part, you’ll either kill them with a single shot or they will surrender with the slightest footstep in there direction, thus allowing you to make the arrest.
But in all honesty, who isn’t going to waste at least a few rockets on these guys? I mean it’s not like anyone will notice flaming body parts falling from the sky or anything.
6- The enemy fleet: Space Invaders
Now here’s a blast from the past. Who hasn’t lost themselves in a game of Space Invaders? Shooting down enemy ships, as bullets rained down from the heavens. It was the ultimate test of reflexes and impeccable timing that pitted your solitary ship against an entire fleet. Good times. Good times.
However, the mother ship decides to toy with you by ordering the ships to slowly creep their way down the screen, rather than just say blazing their way down and killing you instantly. No no no. The alien general is just a tad too demented for that. You see, he is using his lesser skilled pilots as sacrificial lambs to lure you into a false sense of security. Once you’ve mowed down some of the lower ranked grunts, that’s when the bullets really start to fly. I hope you didn’t let your guard down!
This Top 10 is dedicated to the memory of the Mars front-line infantry. Lest we forget.
5- Met AKA Hard Hat: Mega Man series
Probably the most adorable grunt on the list, Met is nothing more than a hard hat with eyes and feet. Yes he is. Yes he is. Whose a hat with eyes and feet?
*Ahem* Sorry about that.
Now where was I? Oh yeah, Met is probably the most well known solider in Dr. Wily’s army, appearing in every Mega Man game. With the ability to fire multiple shots in one go and use his own body as a protective shield, I can see why Wily continues to put him on the front-lines. The mad doctor has even had some fun with Met’s design over the years, giving him such abilities as flight and the abilities to throw pick axes and fire sludge shots that can slow Mega Man down just to name a few. He was even given a little space helmet at one point so he could breathe in outer space levels like Star Man’s stage in Mega Man 5. Not that he needed it breathe mind you being a robot and all but it just looked so darn cute. However, he leaves himself vulnerable every time he attacks, thus making him an easy target, that can be taken out in a couple of shots.
4- Ocktoroks- The Legend of Zelda series
The Ocktorok is a beautiful and majestic beast that wanders the land of Hyrule. Of course by beautiful and majestic I mean creepy ass land squids that live to serve the evil Ganondorf. I don’t care if you are a breed of fish that went through millions of years of evolution to sustain a life for yourself above sea level. If you stand in my way of gaining the Triforce of Power, I will personally drive your ass back into the ocean! If you don’t like that, I can always lower a few of your numbers down with a few sword swings.
3- Lemmings: Lemmings
All these poor little creatures want to do is find a new home but sadly some Lemmings will have to sacrifice themselves so the rest will live, as they discover the various death traps that await them on their journey.
Sure some do overs and memorization will help keep the Lemming population fairly high but considering the fact that death tends to stalk the little buggers at every corner, it is only serving to delay inevitable. That’s Darwinism for you.
2- The Scientists: Splosion Man
What can I say about these poor bastards? After a failed attempt at playing God, the scientists over at Big Science have a raving, flaming (not that there’s anything wrong with that) lunatic by the name of Splosion Man (whom the player controls) to deal with. Splosion Man’s M.O. is basically to gleefully explode and destroy everything in his path. Including his creators as they flee in terror.
Why do I rank these guys so highly on the list? Because most of them are too afraid (and understandably so) to fight back and end up just running around in circles just waiting to be exploded into meat products. And to be honest, it’s incredibly fun to watch the steak and ribs fly.
1- Goombas: Super Mario series
How could Bowser’s loyal foot soldiers possibly not make this list? These walking mushrooms have literally no thoughts on their minds, other than to serve their lord and master, the King of Koopas. What they lack in intelligence, they make up for in bravery. They charge at their foes, regardless of whether or not they have chance (which is never). Their charge is actually more of a slow crawl, which gives their enemies ample time to get the jump on them. Hell, even if they don’t meet their end by somebody’s shoe, they’ll likely just walk off a cliff or something anyway because they will continue to march in a straight path until their King tells them to stop. They take their marching orders that seriously and that takes true dedication, which is why the Goombas take the number one spot on the countdown.
I hope you enjoyed reading this little list and please tell me what you thought in the comments section.