Villains Who Follow a Predictable Pattern
Who Made it Famous: Mega Man, Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, StarFox, Bomberman, The Legend of Zelda, Super Metroid, Castlevania
You're walking down a dark alley when suddenly a masked man jumps out from behind a dumpster, scowling with a knife drawn. He shouts something unnecessarily dramatic, like, "You're dead meat!" He then proceeds to take two steps toward you, swing his knife, take two steps back, charge and repeat this pattern to infinity.
Not that frightening, is it? Especially once you recognize the weak spot flashing in red on his chest. Hit that three times-no more, no less-and he' guaranteed to collapse in a heap before exploding or flash red and white while fading out of existence.
Spinning Blades/Falling Blocks
Who Made it Famous: Super Mario Bros., Duke Nukem, Pitfall!, Gauntlet, Tomb Raider, Mega Man, Double Dragon
Game villains must have no interest in ever leaving their various lairs and/or hideouts, because the sheer number of spinning blades, falling blocks and other torture devices crammed into every conceivable corner renders them all horrible deathtraps. It' a wonder Bowser can find his way past the Whomps and rotary knives to go to the bathroom, let alone oversee his military operations outside the castle (not to mention having to deal with the multitudes of work-related injury claims from his Koopa staff).
Who Made it Famous: Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Asteroids, 1942, Road Rash, Mortal Kombat
Admittedly, the high score had some theoretical relevance when the arcade still ruled supreme. How else could you prove that "POO" was better at Street Fighter than "ASS?" That meaningless string of numbers represented your opportunity to engage in condoned public vulgarity, and for an 11-year-old strung out on PixyStix and Sunkist, there' not much sweeter.
Fast forward to GTA 3, and the number of points you've accumulated by yourself in your living room is a lot less satisfying than keeping track of how many hookers you've paid, had sex with, run over and gotten your money back from.
The Incredible Item Shop Guy
Who Made it Famous: Kid Icarus, Secret of Mana, Lunar, Final Fantasy, Deus Ex, Diablo, The Legend of Zelda
Who's Still Doing it: Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Psychonauts
Screw the guy who blasts through the undead scourge and penetrates the deepest levels of the sewers to save the president' daughter. We want to know about the guy who' so badass he beat us there and set up an item shop and shooting gallery. And hey, if he' so good at getting around, why doesn't he save the president' goddamn daughter, huh? And, couldn't he find an area with a wider customer base?
Remember, video-game merchants, just because you sell medical herbs, guns, ammo, ether, bows and arrows, helms and/or "phoenix down" doesn't mean you can forget the first rule of business: location, location, location. Screw the dungeons, sewers and back alleys; take out a loan and lease a little corner place at your local Westfield. Take some advice, you'll get a lot more foot traffic.