12 Great Video Games With Ridiculous Premises
Video gamers have consistently demanded one thing from their hobby: entertainment. Beyond that, we don't much care what inane task we're asked to complete. Give us a crystal banana, call it a power-up, and we'll gladly leap over a robot octopus to grab it, even if it means risking a slice of our life pie.
In many cases, it' plausible to assume the designers threw darts at a board covered in nouns and verbs, smoked crack until they forgot what nouns and verbs they picked, then made Warioware. Here are 12 more insane video game premises that prove you don't have to be Tolstoy, or even coherent, to design a hit game.
Super Mario Bros.
The Premise: An Italian plumber travels through a brightly-colored fantasy world collecting coins and mushrooms. He crushes turtles and goombas (essentially brown, waddling monstrosities) to death in order to rescue a princess from being raped by a dinosaur who pilots an airship.
What Made It Ridiculous: It was enough that mushrooms made you big and flowers made you shoot fireballs from your hands. By the time they added in a raccoon suit, a mechanical boot, and a dinosaur mount, it was pretty much anything goes. At that point, a mug power-up that gives you a rake that turns you invisible would have fit in fairly easily.
Why We Didn't Care: We were too busy cursing at the screen each time we found out the Princess was in a different goddamned castle.
The Premise: You are a robot built from the ground up for combat by the world' greatest living mind, and yet you are four feet tall and incapable of ducking or using any weapons other than a tiny, slow-moving pellet of energy. You have been tasked with killing other robots, whose powers have themes like "leaves" and "garbage."
What Made It Ridiculous: The fact that blasting an evil robot into oblivion somehow immediately granted you their powers. If that were really the case, I would have killed Tom Cruise long ago.
Why We Didn't Care: He had a robot dog, which is basically the secret dream of every 10-year-old boy in the world.
Sonic the Hedgehog
The Premise: A super-fast anthropomorphized blue hedgehog wearing only sneakers and gloves races through levels collecting rings and breaking open robots to free the cuddly animals trapped inside by an evil, obese doctor.
What Made It Ridiculous: The ever-expanding cast of supporting characters, which included a two-tailed fox, a girl hedgehog who was, as in nature, bright pink, a fantasy creature known as an echidna, and we're pretty sure at one point a snowboarding spider.
Why We Didn't Care: The only thing cooler than blasting through a level without ever slowing down is stopping to jump into a giant slot machine again and again and again until your level time runs out.
The Premise: An Italian garbage man must jump over barrels, climb ladders and girders, and collect hats, parasols, and purses in order to keep a princess from being raped by a giant monkey named Donkey.
What Made It Ridiculous: Where does he keep getting all these barrels? Huh?! Is there like a barrel factory up there or something? Because he sure as hell seems to have a lot of these fucking barrels!
Why We Didn't Care: We got to wield a hammer against a large, hairy authority figure, which helped us work through a few issues we had concerning our "new Dad."
The Premise: As a lover of rock and roll, you get together with your friends to listen to cover versions of great songs and wail away on a Preskool-caliber fake guitar, complete with five brightly colored buttons and flame decals (like on a real guitar).
What Made It Ridiculous: I don't care how good you are at Guitar Hero, you CAN'T PLAY GUITAR. And for that matter, we have to wonder how the hell a band that performs only covers and routinely hits about 80 to 90 percent of the notes in a song gets a glowing review for their five-song set at the Rat Cellar.
Why We Didn't Care: Because we'd already been doing the same thing in our rooms for years, only without fake plastic guitars, computerized judges, or any songs other than Fleetwood Mac' "As Long as You Follow." Also, we'd never had the ability to videotape ourselves getting a perfect score on "Bark at the Moon," upload it to YouTube, and get a million comments admiring us for wasting such a tragically large portion of our short lives.
The Premise: That same plumber from before wants to party with you, and this time the dinosaur and gorilla, rather than eating you and raping the Princess, have agreed to follow the arbitrary rules of a board game in order to determine a victor. The gorilla even put on a tie! It' just like Monopoly, except with more manic mashing of the A button.
What Made It Ridiculous: The realization that you and your friends are readily willing to beat one another mercilessly with N64 controllers based on the outcome of a game where you use a jackhammer to etch Mario' face in cement.
Why We Didn't Care: There' little more satisfying than taking three hours to prove to people you now likely hate that you have what it takes to complete a series of disconnected, mundane tasks and collect more arbitrary tokens of success than they did.
The Premise: You are an unaccompanied minor sent into a world of naturally occurring beasts of every imaginable shape and size that want nothing more than to pick the flesh off your bones. By keeping your pets in tiny, suffocating ball enclosures, you hope to make them mean enough to kill the monsters you will inevitably run into, thereby earning you Boy Scout-style merit badges.
What Made It Ridiculous: When we realized that every PokÃ©mon battle was essentially a Tijuana-style cockfight. This world literally revolves around making animals who have no beef with each other fight over and over again to boost our egos.
Why We Didn't Care: Our theory is that "Gotta catch 'em all!" was shouted at us enough to take root in our collective unconscious. Plus, kids will do anything for badges. Just ask Michael Jackson.
Kirby's Dream Land
The Premise: A cognizant pink balloon floats through Dream Land on the planet Pop Star, inhaling everything in sight like a stoner going through withdrawal. This is in hopes of"Â¦well, nothing in particular actually. He just kind of pisses off trees or steals the treasures of an evil penguin king (we assume it's evil, anyway).
What Made It Ridiculous: Absolutely everything. Inhaling a living creature allows you to gain their power, and then spit out stars. The world is apparently made of pink marshmallows. Enemies include disembodied, hovering rabbit and pig heads. It was essentially an acid trip for 10-year-olds.
Why We Didn't Care: You could beat every level by inhaling air and flying over everything, so it was a game that transitioned well into our teen years, when playing high as fuck rendered most games far too difficult.
The Premise: Remember that Italian plumber/garbage man whose primary experience is in the field of Gorilla Rape Victim Rescuer? Well, he somehow earned a medical degree (it's best not to ask where), and he wants to treat your diseases by throwing every conceivable kind of medication at them until they explode.
What Made It Ridiculous: Blue pills kill blue diseases. Red pills kill red diseases. Yellow pills kill yellow diseases. It' all so simple! Why don't those asshole doctors just use a microscope and find out what color AIDS is? Cured. You can send me a check.
Why We Didn't Care: When else do you get the chance to forcibly clog so many pills into your friend' body that they overdose and die? Other than that time Bobby Wilshire forgot to invite me to his sleepover party, never, that' when.
The Premise: Quick! Bricks are falling! Make them interconnect so they'll disappear! Don't question it; it' all for the good of Mother Russia!
What Made It Ridiculous: Let' face it: most any game made before 1993 was ridiculous. Try and synopsize the gameplay of the most famous games of all time, and you end up sounding like a muttering homeless guy at a train station.
- A yellow circle devours pills and fruit in order to kill ghosts.
- A mad bomber deposits his deadly payload near combustible bricks, hoping to uncover roller skates, hands, boots, and flames.
- Two dinosaurs blow bubbles around cave monsters.
- A lone earth ship must stop a fleet of alien invaders using only horizontal movement, a single pellet gun, and the ability to hide behind disintegrating pyramids. Luckily, the aliens are retarded and descend towards Earth a single step at a time.
- A sentient marble tries to navigate a treacherous course.
- A jouster mounted on a flying ostrich competes with a rival above a lava-filled pit for golden eggs.
- A family travels to Oregon.
Okay, so some of them made sense, but you get the idea.
Why We Didn't Care: Two words: High Score. Most games have abandoned the idea, but there was a time when the meaningless encouragement of a string of numbers was enough to keep kids lined up around the block, hoping against hope that they would be the lucky one to input the word "ASS" as their initials.
The Premise: The creatures of the animal kingdom, having risen up and slaughtered their human masters, now pilot starships in a galactic war of conquest against the malevolent space-apes who still cling to the memory of Old Earth.
What Made It Ridiculous: An utter disregard for the laws of the natural kingdom. After all, what self-respecting fox wouldn't have eaten that bluejay prick Falco after the first sign of sassback? And what kind of bird devotes his life to becoming a jet pilot?
Why We Didn't Care: It was one of the first games where you got to kill your teammates. They even put in Slippy Toad, a character designed explicitly for you to shoot out of the sky as he croaked innocently for your assistance.
Super Smash Brothers
The Premise: Take everyone on this list, get them blind drunk, then insinuate that each said something about the other' mother. Throw in some hammers and fans and watch the shit go crazy.
What Made It Ridiculous: Samus and Kirby cannot coexist. It' a law of physics. A gritty intergalactic woman warrior cannot occupy the same reality as a waddling cream puff. If you're going to just throw shit together, you might as well add Rob Schneider and a can of baked beans as playable characters. (Actually, that might be kind of cool.)
Why We Didn't Care: If reality' going to break down anyway, you might as well humiliate your buddies by schooling them with Jigglypuff.