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Showing posts with label unlikely heroes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unlikely heroes. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2015

Top 10 Unlikely Allies and Heroes in Video Games and shows

In many video games, you control a protagonist bent on foiling the schemes of one of the many different video game villians in the industry.  Of course, one can't always save the world alone.  In this post.  Of course,some allies come from unexpected places.  In this game, I will talk about some of them.

1. Yoshi from Super Mario Bros

Yoshi was first debuted in Super Mario World (Super Nintendo era Mario Bros) and is a dinosaur that is pretty much capable of swallowing just about anything in his path, even enemies.  Of course, he becomes a useful ally of Mario and Luigi in their neverending quest to defeat Bower and rescue Princess Peach (who often finds herself kidnapped by Bowser).  Yoshi's appetite can definitely be a blessing or a curse for the plumbers as he could easily view them as food and *accidently* swallow them if they do not keep him well fed.  Of course, is very useful to have as he can easily defeat enemies, fly, eat and shoot fireballs, eat pirana plants and has even been a very good babysitter for Baby Mario in Yoshi's Island (Super Mario World 2).  As you can see in the video above, Yoshi can be a nuisannce sometimes.    

2. Alucard from Castlevania Symphony of the Night

Did you know that Alucard's name spelled backwards spells "Dracula"?  In the Castlevania series Alucard has proven to be a powerful ally of the Belmonts (and similar protagonists) in their quest to stop the latest schemes of Dracula and his goulish army.  Of course, Alucard is a vampire, son of Count Dracula and was supposed to be evil like his father is in the series.  Unfortunately, Alucard has often alligned himselves with the humans and helped foil Dracula's plans on more than one occasion.  Perhaps the most notable role for Alucard was in Castlevania Symphony of the Night, where he becomes the primary protagonist in the game after Richter Belmont gets kidnapped by the evil priest, Shaft and is given his own castle (brainwashed by Shaft and Dracula).  Death (Dracula's closest associate) even tries to dissuade and even stop Alucard from his quest, but gets defeated in the end too.  Hey, if it weren't for Alucard's intervention, Symphony of the Night could have ended alot differently, with Dracula taking over the world and using Richter as his puppet.  This is not the only  time Alucard has a role in a game.  He was also an ally of Trevor in Castlevania 3 as well as a support character in Aria on Sorrow and Dawn on Sorrow (disguising himeslf as Arikado) when Dracula's spirit tries to possess Soma.  In Dawn of Sorrow, in Julius mode, Alucard becomes a playable character in the quest to stop Soma after becoming "Dracula" (Julius mode follows an alternate storyline that assumes Soma turns into dracula based on the second bad ending of the game and Alucard is one of the 3 playable characters in that mode).  He is also a playable character in Harmony of Despair (Xbox 360) as well aimed at defeating his father once again.  Can't you imagine having to fight against your own father?  Even Luke Skywalker from the original star wars trillogy was faced with the same dilema after learning the truth about Darth Vader (him being Anakin Skywalker after turning to the dark side in Episode 3)  and Darth Vader was definitely a monster in the Star Wars universe considering his track record (i.e., betraying and killing former Jedi allies including Obi Wan Kenobi, destroying Alderaan with the Death Star, killing Biggs, using Lando Calrissian to betray Han and Leia on Bespin, etc).  Alucard's quest begs the question: is it ever okay to go against your father?  If so, when?

3. Protoman from Mega Man 7-10

Protoman has  been a close ally of Mega Man starting with Mega Man 7.  He is even a playable character in Mega Man 10 (helping Mega Man in his quest to defeat Dr Wily and foil the Robofluenza outbreak).  Of course, Protoman was not always an ally.  In Mega Man 3, for example, he was one of the boss characters you had to fight (aka "Break Man") and proved to be a hinderance for Mega Man.  Apparently earlier versions of Protoman had him being more antihero and alligned with Dr Wily.  Protoman's loyalty to Dr Wily seemed to have fractured in the events of Mega Man 4 (after Mega Man defeats Dr Cossack, who was an unwitting puppet of Dr Wily after his daughter was kidnapped by Wily) and more so after being framed by Wily in Mega Man 5. Even after joining Mega Man's cause, he does seem to have an antihero personality, as was the case in Mega Man 7 when challenging Mega Man to a duel (Protoman is an optional boss in that game) possibly out of jealousy/  Hey, envy can do that sometimes, causing people to become jealous of one and another and somtimes corrupt otherwise good people and we do see that happening time and time again in various video game storylines (for example, in Castlevania Circle of the Moon, Hugh becomes envious of protaginist Nathan Graves and unwittingly becomes a pawn of Dracula and even becomes one of several boss encounter Nathan faces during the course of the game).  Protoman is also a playable character in Mega Man Power Battles 1 and 2, once again helping Mega Man stop Dr Wily once again.

4. Zero from the Mega Man X series
In the opening sequence of Mega Man X4 Zero has a vivid dream about Dr Wily (who orders Zero to destroy Mega Man X)
 In Mega Man X5, you can see X and Zero duking it out in a boss style fight:

Have you ever watche the old Disney Movie, "The Fox and the Hound"?  I used to watch the movie when I was a kid.  Anyways, the movie is about a tamed red fox named Todd who friends a hound dog named, Copper.  Initially they had a close knit relationship.  However, Copper's owner is a poacher that likes to hunt red foxes and has another dog that hates Todd and both want to drive a wedge through Todd and Copper's friendship.  Of course, if you have seen the movie, eventually the poacher succeeds in causing Todd and Copper to turn against each other, though eventually they become friends once again at the end of the movie.  Anyways, if any video game friendship or alliance were to closely resemble that of that of "The Fox and the Hound", it would probably be Mega Man X and Zero.  From the beginning of the series, Zero has been a close ally and mentor of X.  In Mega Man X1, Zero even saves X when he was about to be destroyed by Sigma's henchman Vile both in the prologue sequence of the game, and later in the first level of Wily's fortress and even helped X to get stronger in the process.  From time and time again Zero proves to be a powerful ally of X too.  In X3, he helps X defeat Dr Doppler and Sigma.  In X4, Zero and X work together to stop Repliforce (on seperate storylines).  In X5, he works with X to stop the Eurasia Colony from crashing to the earth. This list can go on, but what X probably does not know is that Zero was actually created by Dr Wily (presumably before he died sometime between the events of Mega Man 10 and X1, though the gap between the 2 series has yet to be bridged and might never be bridged anytime soon) and was supposed to be an enemy of X (much like Bass was in the original series, though more powerful than Bass).  Wily even tries to goad Zero to kill X in his dreams (much like what happens at the beginning of Mega Man X4).  Sigma tries to turn Zero against X too on at least 2 occassions (first in Mega Man X2 and later Mega Man X5).  Interestingly, at the end of Mega Man X3, in the ending credit sequence, the game hinted that X will have to destroy Zero someday, and vice versa in Mega Man X4).   In Mega Man X5, the Dr Wily subplot seems to reach a climax as Sigma tries to turn Zero into a Maverick by causing a virus infected space colony to crash to  the earth (which can happen should the colony crash to Earth or if both the Shuttle and Laser missions fail with X facing off with a more powerful version of Zero in the 3rd Sigma stage).  Mega Man X5 even makes some obvious references to Dr Wily (such as when Sigma faces off against X as the final boss of the game, talking about someone other than him hating Mega Man, obviously referrencing Wily).

Interestingly, the Dr Wily subplot seems to disappear after the events of Mega Man X5 and the series has yet to reach a definitive conclusion (apparently, according to the wikipedia article of Mega Man X5, the game was supposed to be the final game of the series, but that was before Mega Man X6-X8 were released (unless if those ones are not canon).  The series seems to be on hiatus mode after the events of X8 and it is not clear if or when (if ever) the series will reach a definitive conclusion, but there could still be an epic duel to the death between X and Zero someday that surpasses that of X5 (maybe Wily will make his first official appearance besides appearing as a shadow in Zero's dreams in the series too when that happens along with the Elf Wars that bridge the gap between X8 and Mega Man Zero 1, but those remain to be seen).  Till then, Zero remains a major ally of X and is a primary protaginist in the series.  He also appears in the Mega Man Zero series (presumably after freezing himself at the end of Mega Man X6) and helps foil the schemes of the evil Dr Weil in that series too.  
5. Knuckles from the Sonic the Hedgehog series

In Sonic's never ending quest to defeat Dr Eggman's (aka Robotnik) latest schemes, he has acquired many allies in his quests, such as Tails, Amy Rose, big the cat, silver the hedgehog, and others.  He often teams up with Tails and Knuckles as well.  Of course, Sonic and Knuckle's friendship was not always there.  In Sonic 3 and Knuckles, he was tricked by Dr Eggman into thinking that Sonic was a villian bent on sending Angel Island into the sea) and becomes a thorn in Sonic's side to stopping Eggman, creating various traps and obstacles in Sonic's path.  Perhaps one of  the more insidious of Knuckles' traps (among many others) was that in the Sandopolis Zone where Sonic is ventures through a massive pyramid and inadvertantly releases ghosts stumbling across a trap presumably by knuckles, making for an extra dangerous adventure for sonic as the ghost quickly become hostile and start attacking sonic (especially when it is dark) with the only way to ward them off is to make sure it never gets real dark (unless if he manages to become super sonic and then the ghosts are no match for him).  Eventually, Knuckles challenges Sonic to a boss fight in the Hidden Fortress Zone and is quickly defeated by sonic before finding out that Eggman was the real villian in the game.  Interestingly, Sonic 3 and Knuckles is not the only time that Knuckles gets brainwashed by Dr Eggman.  He also gets tricked by Dr Eggman in Sonic Adventure 1 and becomes hostile towards Sonic when they first meet in the game not knowing that Dr Eggman is trying to create a powerful monster in his plot to take over Station Square, as well as the Sonic Adventure Series.  There seems to be some rivalry between the two sometimes as well.  

6. Tommy the Green Ranger and later Kat from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Picture of the green ranger (Tommy)

I have to admit that I was a power rangers fan when I was younger (especially back in the 90s).  Who else had a celebrity crush on the pink ranger Kimberly (aka Amy Jo Johnson) by the way?  Anyways, in case if you never seen power rangers, it is an ongoing series about these teenagers who become heroes after being recruited by Zordon (an interdimensional being who becomes the supreme leader of the rangers, at least in the old school version of the series) who team up to battle the latest monsters and cronies created the evil Rita Repulsa (who literally wants to destroy the planet) and later Lord Zedd (along with other villians in the series, such as King Mondo, Master Vile, Divatox, and others).  Anyways, a well known leader / figure of the classic power rangers (besides Jason, the red ranger) was Tommy the green ranger (later known as the White Ranger, Red Ranger, etc).  Tommy was perhaps the most powerful ranger known in the classic series (wouldn't know if that is still the case) and even became an adept leader of the team after Jason stepped down in season 2 and even had a romance going with Kimberly (the pink ranger) before she left the show in season 3 and later broke up with him in Power Rangers Zero (via a "Dear John" letter).  Anyways, Tommy was not always an ally of the rangers.  Initially, he was recruited by Rita Repulsa to help destroy the rangers (see the first season) and nearly succeeds in doing so but was eventually subdued by Jason after a lengthy duel with him and eventually he redeems himself by joining the other rangers.  Interestingly, Rita gets back at Tommy by having his power drained by Golddar and later on lord Zedd manages to sap the rest of his power, but eventually he becomes the more powerful white ranger and becomes a powerful leader of the team (at least through the Power Rangers turbo season becoming a major foil to the plots of the villans).

(video or pic will be added a later date)

Interestingly, in season 3, Kat (aka Catherine Sutherland) does the same thing, starting off as an ally of Rita and Zedd and even develops shape shifting powers to spy on the rangers as an ordinary kitty cat (she even becomes one of Rita and Zedd's monsters too in one of the episodes before gettign defeated by the rangers).  She even manages to wreak havok against the rangers and help zap Kimberly's powers.  Like Tommy, eventually learns the errors of her ways and redeems herself by taking Kimberly's place after she steps down as the new pink ranger. Interestingly, allies in the series can start of as enemies as we have seen on more than one occassion.

7. The Borg (Star Trek Voyager series

 I used to watch Star Trek Voyager when it was on back in the 90's (the official sequel series to Next Generation besides deep space 9) and did you know that the Borg temporarily become allies of Star Trek crew?  At one point in the series, the crew went up against a hostile alien race known as species 8472 and proved to be defenselsess against them.  Eventually they were forced to turn to the Borg for help, and while they did help neutralize the Species 8472 threat, their help did come at a price as they tried to assimilate the Voyager crew afterwards.  On the positive note, eventually the Voyager crew was able to redeem at least one person that was turned into a borg: Seven of Nine (who became a permanent member of the star trek crew for the remainder of the series).   

8. Shadow and Silver in the 3D era Sonic the Hedgehog games
(video or pic will be added a later date)
Ah, Shadow and Silver the hedgehog.  Prior to Sonic Adventure 2, one used to think that Sonic was the only hedgehog in Sonic's world, however that soon changes from Sonic Adventure 2 onwards.  Shadow is first introduced as one of the primary antagonists in Sonic Adventure 2 and works with Dr Eggman in his scheme to take over the world and even manages to frame Sonic in the early part of Sonic Adventure 2 for his crimes.  Eventually, Shadow and Eggman get defeated and Shadow's alliance with Eggman seems to get fractured after the events of Sonic Adventure 2 and he becomes more of an antihero.  Depsite being rivals with Sonic on more than one occassion, he has known to align with him sometimes, as was the case in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 when he helps Sonic in his quest to defeat Dr Eggman, Mephiles (basically an evil twin of Shadow) and later teams up with Sonic and Silver to  take down the monster Solaris at the end of the game.  He has also helped Sonic in Sonic Generations going against the Time Eater machine that Dr Eggman creates too.  Still, he can be a wild card and sometimes he can ally of sonic or an enemy too.  Silver the Hedgehog is another hedgehog that was introduced in Sonic 2006, and like Knuckles before him, he was tricked (by the evil Mephiles) into believing that Sonic was evil and tries to defeat sonic.  However, he later becomes an ally of Sonic after Shadow reveals that Silver was being brainwashed by Mephiles and he eventually helps Sonic and Shadow take down Solaris in the final boss of the game.  He has made a few other appearences in the series, such as Sonic Generations.  Interestingly, Amy seems to have feelings for Silver in addition to Sonic, there could be a love triangle between the 2 in future sequels.

9 . General Morden and his army - Metal Slugs X, 2, 3, and 6
In the Metal Slug series, the games are loosely similar to contra, where you control one of several commandos in a shoot em up arcade style game going up against the villianous General Morden (basically a Saddam Hussein look alike in my opinion) as well his army of thugs.  Usually Marco and his allies are fighting against Morden's army, but when things don't go as planned for Morden and his army, sometimes they are forced to form an uneasy alliance.  This happens the first time in Metal Slug 2/X (pretty much the same game) at the final boss when the aliens turn on Morden and his men and launch an Independence Day style invasion and a co-op final boss fight takes place where Maro, Tarma, and their allies team up with Morden's army to destroy the alien craft (btw, much like Independence Day, a fighter pilot sacrifices himself by flying into the ufo's main core and taking out the ship with him).  And this is not the only time that Morden and his army form an uneasy alliance with the herose.  The same thing happens again during the last mission of Metal Slug 3 where "Morden" turns out to be an alien disguised as him and the real Morden gets abducted by the aliens once again and the heros are forced to team up with Morden's army once again to defeat the hostile alien forces in a more epic final showdown than that in Metal Slug 2.  Interestingly, even Allen (usually hostile towards the players) makes and appearence fighting along the heroes (doesn't happen every time though) as they up against the aliens during the final level.  They also team up once again in Metal Slug 6 when mutant insects launch an invasion against the human race as well.  Of course, the alliance usually falls apart in the aftermath of the games ad the two sides are usually fighting each other once again in the sequels (with the exception being Metal Slug 5 since the heroes are up against a new foe in that game with Morden and his men mostly absent from that game).  Metal Slug 7/XX marks the first time since Metal Slug 1 when Morden is the sole antagonist and final boss character at the end of the game, recruiting soldiers from the distant future in his plot to take over the world and challenges Marco and his allies to an epic multi-tier show down at the end.

10. Trevor Phillips Grand Theft Auto 5

If you haven't played through Grand Theft Auto 5, you have definitely missed out on perhaps one of the best Grand Theft Auto games yet and the first game in the series that I am aware of where you can control up to 3 characters throughout the game (plus the online mode character).  Initially you control Franklin (at least after the prologue), but as the game progresses, you can also play as Michael (a former gangster who becomes a family man living in Rockford hills) and later Trevor Philips, who is basically the red neck type in the game.  Trevor is definitely the most scandalous and antihero character you will meet in the game.  Initially, he is living out in a trailer in the desert near Sandy Shores (GTA's version of real life Desert Shores in California) and literally soon goes to war with a biker gang after an incident where he pretty much steals Johnny's boyfriend (a biker gang member) and later kills Johnny) and develops other enemies as well (such as the Aztecas, a chinese gang known as the Yakuzas and many others).  Trevor is very short tempered and is known to kill sometimes (as is the case when he is first introduced after the Jewelry Store heist mission as well as an incident while stying at Wade's cousin's house) when angered to a point.  After learning that Michael is still alive after the events of the game's prologue (which inevitably happened when the FIB agents learned about Michael's Jewelry store heist mission) he soon seeks out Michael and later meets up with Franklin as well.  Initially he is friends with Michael, but he grows hostile over time (especially while exiled from Los Santos after double crossing a mexican kingpin called, Madrizo) and Michael and Amanda soon seperate after Trevor resurfaces.  Trevor also inevitably meets Franklin too.
Throughout the game, Trevor is definitely a loose cannon.  At one time he can be a powerful ally, but when his temper gets the best of him, he can become a fierce enemy (as players see time and time again) and his storyline is arguably the darkest of the 3 (moreso then Michael and Franlin in myopinion) and will likely be offensive to some players.  He is definitely the type you probably woudn't want to have as a room mate in a dorm or apartment type setting (like Floyd finds out around the midpoint of the game) and is great at making enemies too.  Throughout the course of the game, he makes enemies with biker gangs (such as the Lost and Damned from GTA 4), the Merryweather security firm (especially after his infamous Merryweather heist mission), Chinese gangs, the Aztecas (rival weapon smugglers), and many others.  Despite his scandalous and borderline antagonist nature, he does have some redeeming sides to him making him an unlikely ally.  For example, in a mission where he is forced to help interrogate a mexican immigrant the FIB agents want Trevor to kill him, but Trevor cuts the guy loose and helps him to escape back to his own country.  In a drug deal gone wrong mission (Hood Safari) that Franklin does, Trevor comes to the rescue and help Franklin and Lamar escape an otherwise dire situation (especially with Ballas and later cops constantly gunning for them).  He even helps rescue Michael and Dave Norton towards the end of the game when Steve Haines tries to betray Michael and Dave by having them arrested with Merry Weather, FIB agents and AIA agents joining in on the fray despite officially being enemies by that point in the game. He also proves valuable on some of the later heist missions of the game as well (especially the Paleto Bay score and later the Big Score mission).  By the way, Trevor, like Michael can be killed of permanently by Franklin at the end of the game if the player chooses (can be useful for players who hated Trevor during the course of the game), though that action is permanent so you might want to save before the final mission and be sure to complete all of Trevor's missions and side missions before killing him off if you are going for 100% completion. Trevor is definite quite a character in GTA 5 and is definitely the classic redneck type.

Well, that wraps up my top 10 list.  I hope you liked it.  If you have more to add to the list, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Honorable mentions:

1. Klingons in Star Trek Next Generation - although the Klingons were common enemies for the Federation when Captain Kirk was captain, by the time Captain Picard came to the scene, the hostilities between the klingons and the Federation seems to have largely come to an end by then.  The USS enterprise even recruits a Klingon to help run ship (aka Lt Warf).
2. Cerberus and the Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 - When the evil alien race known as the Collectors start abducting humans and processing them for the reapers (the primary antagonists of the series) from various colonies across the galaxy, Cerberus forms an uneasy alliance with the alliance (particularly with Commander Shepard and his crew) much to the the distrust of the council on the Citadel as well as Shepard's closest ally and potiential love interest, Ashley (male captains) or Kaiden (female captains),  temporarily straining Shepard's relationship with them.  To cerberus' credit, they did help save the human race from certain extinction at the hands of the Collectors (considering that they were killing off their prisoners at their base near the center of the galaxy) and literally raised Commander Shepard from the dead after his apparent death after being ambushed by a reaper ship during the game's prologue (Shepard would have been dead as a door nail if it wasn't for cerberus resurrecting him). They even helped him reunite with some of his former crewmembers (such as Garrus, Lliara, Tali and Mordin) and even provided him a potiential love interest too that rivals Ashley (Miranda).  Still, Cerberus was not entirely insane as they almost got Shepard kidnapped by jailers on the Purgatory jail ship that Jack was on (she seems to have been driven insane by Cerberus), sent them on a suicide mission to take out the Collector base (the Illusive man probably didn't care if Shepard came back alive or not) which could prove tragic for the crew depending on the choices the players make throughout the game and especially on the final mission, and even creating some mistrust for Shepard (they were probably one of the reasons what Shepard was detained at the beginning of ME3 besides the incident involving the Batarian race and their system's relay).  Of course, after the events of Mass Effect 2, the alliance with Cerberus comes to an end and the Illusive man and his cronies become hostile towards Shepard and the alliance by the time Mass Effect 3 comes around (though some cerberus agents like Miranda and Jacob side with Shepard in ME3).  They even take over the Omega space station too.

3. Magneto in Xmen Clone wars - in Sega Genesis' X-Men Clone wars, Magneto (usually an antagonist in the series) becomes an ally of the X-men when they face a threat from a hostile alien race that has the ability to clone the mutants and wreak havok across the galaxy.

4. Clone Troopers, Anakin Skywalker, and Palpatine - Star Wars Prequel trillogy as well as Clone Wars - long before the events of Episode 4-7, the peace of the galaxy was threatened by the Trade Federation, Commerce Guild, Corporate Alliances and other hostile alien races, with Count Dooku leading the charge between Episodes 2-3.  Of course, what the Jedi and republic heroes don't know was that Palpatine was really Darth Sidious and was pulling the strings on both sides of the conflict and in episode 3 Palpatine's alliance with the Jedi came to an end after Anakin turned to the dark side, the infamous order 66 was given, and the clones soon turn on the jedi permanently.

5. Malificent and Pete in Kingdom Hearts 2 (World that Never Was world) - although Malificent and Pete are considered antagonists in Kingdom Hearts 2, often clashing with Sora, Donald and Goofy throughout the course of their quests in the game, the real villians pulling the strings was Organization 13, lead by Xemnas.  In the final world of the game when Sora, Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Rikku (initially disguised as Xehonort), King Mickey, Ansem the Wise, and Kairi officially go to war with the entire Organization 13 (with boss fights against the remaining Organization 13 members they have not defeated), Malificent and Pete join in the fray against organization 13.  Of course, Malificent has ulterior motives for the alliance as she wants to take over Castle Oblivion (which she presumably does in the aftermath).  What she does with the castle and remaining heartless remains to be seen in the sequels (Dream Drop distance and later KH 3).