6 Moments in Video Game Adaptations That Improved the Movie

#3. The Godfather -- Sonny's Assassins Get Whacked

In the Movie ...

Sonny Corleone, heir to the Corleone family empire, blazes out of hiding to avenge the black eye his sister was dealt by her husband, Carlo. Unfortunately, this domestic violence episode was merely bait meant to lure Sonny out into the open, and he gets boxed in at a toll booth and shot with every bullet that had ever been manufactured up to that point in American history.


Who was aiming at the clock?

When Michael Corleone takes over at the end of the film, he has everyone responsible for ordering Sonny's murder carried into the next world on a carriage made of shotgun blasts and garroting wire. However, the actual assassins who pulled the trigger (a lot) on Sonny are never dealt their share of the retribution.

But in the Game ...

When EA Games made The Godfather: The Game in 2006, they wanted to ensure that they captured the essence of the classic film. So, they retooled Sonny's death scene to add a backup driver who witnesses the assassination and chases the gunmen down to an abandoned warehouse, where he stomps them out of existence with a righteous mix of gunfire and Molotov cocktails. Because that's the essence of what happened.


Although as Sonny's bodyguard, he's probably still going to get a stern performance review.

Rather than having the hit men simply disappear after clipping Sonny (the movie never even clearly shows their faces), the game sends you barreling through the city after them like The French Connection until you ultimately storm their secret hideout and kill every last one of them in the face with hate bullets.


Press "X" to fist-bump Don Vito.

#2. Pinocchio -- The Child-Enslaving Coachman Gets Tossed Off a Cliff

In the Movie ...

For those of you who have never seen it (or, more likely, forcibly removed the memory from your brain to prevent yourself from growing into an adult with an irrational fear of leaving your house), Disney's Pinocchio has some of the most terrifying, child-predacious villains in the history of cinema. Possibly the worst of them is the Coachman, a burly human walrus in a Rosie O'Donnell coat who uses alcohol to lure young boys to a place called Pleasure Island, because nobody in the Disney boardroom saw a problem with that sentence.


Just ... just wow.

Employing some magic that is never explained, he turns all of the children into donkeys, packs them in cages, and sells them into a lifetime of slavery.


He has a very specific set of customers.

Pinocchio manages to escape only half-donkey, but he has to abandon all the others in the clutches of the Coachman. And he never comes back for them. The Coachman, a grotesquely evil human trafficker specializing in little boys, doesn't get any form of comeuppance whatsoever. Instead, he gets to ride off into the sunset with boxes full of slave children like he just won a raffle at Gary Glitter's house.

But in the Game ...

When Sega Genesis released its adaptation 56 years later (to satisfy a demand that cannot possibly have existed), they decided to include a sequence wherein Pinocchio scales the craggy peaks of Pleasure Island, forces the Coachman into an ultimate showdown, and beats his ass right off a goddamn mountain.


Via devastating shin-fu.

The Coachman barely even puts up a fight, seemingly knowing that he deserves what's coming. He just stands there looking fat and evil, taking incredibly slow, telegraphed swings with his riding crop until Pinocchio finally delivers a whirling Patrick Swayze Roadhouse kick and sends the bastard flying off the cliff into oblivion.


"Revenge is a dish best served by soulless puppets."

Pinocchio stands there motionless with a creepily earnest smile on his face, listening to the Coachman's rapidly receding death howl as it fades into the churning ocean below. Then the Blue Fairy appears to give him his next mission.


"Pinocchio, you have remained truthful and unselfish, and ... um, did you just murder somebody?"

#1. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King -- Frodo and Sam Beat the Piss Out of Gollum

In the Movie ...

When Frodo and Sam finally reach Mount Doom, Frodo gets completely taken over by the One Ring and refuses to destroy it, slipping it on to turn invisible and leaving Sam sweating chubbily in the dust. However, before Frodo can run off into the wastes and live out the rest of his days in gibbering lunacy, Gollum leaps onto his back and bites his freaking finger off, reclaiming the Ring with murderous glee. As Gollum hops around doing an "I just ate a man's finger" end zone dance (as one does), he loses his balance and falls into the boiling heart of the volcano, taking the Ring (and 12 hours of our lives) with him.


Peter Jackson preferred to avoid CGI wherever possible, so Weta just shaved a drifter and dropped him into a real volcano.

But in the Game ...

In the 2003 game, the scene plays out pretty much the same up until the finger biting, but rather than have Gollum mirth-twirl his way into his own destruction, Frodo comes back to his senses and teams up with Sam for a cataclysmic final battle.

Gollum doesn't go gently, either. He races around the edges of the cliff like the Amazing Spider-Man, leaping out to deliver emaciated missile dropkicks that send the two hobbits reeling on the precipice of scalding liquid ultra-death. Meanwhile, fireballs of lava explode all around them, heightening the already desperate situation to an absurd intensity.


"... uh, this is getting pretty serious, maybe we should go get Gandalf."

They finally manage to beat Gollum enough that he loses his balance and topples over, barely catching the rocky platform. Frodo stabs the absolute dicks out of him one last time, sending Gollum and the Ring sailing off into fiery nonexistence.


Ironically, this is also how we wish The Good Son ended.



Drake Marsh's spell check now proudly recognizes the words "light saber," "Corleone," and "Gollum." Catch some of his terrible old parody news headlines (and post some of your own) at The Leaky Wiki.



For more on why video games will always kick ass, check out 6 Moments That Make Video Games Worth It and The 5 Ballsiest Easter Eggs Hidden in Video Games.

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