5 Video Game Movie Adaptations (That Missed The Point)


When you turn a movie into a video game, obviously some liberties must be taken. After all, without giant spiders, lava pools, goons with guns, evil robots, and spike-filled pits, 12 Angry Men: The Game would just be you talking to 11 white dudes until they agree with you. But it's one thing to add video game elements to your movie -- it's quite another, as we've pointed out before, to stray so far from the film that you miss its reason for existing entirely. We're talking botch-jobs like ...

Star Trek: Conquest Has Starfleet Nuking Whole Planets

4J Studios

Star Trek's phasers feature a "kill" option, but the crew of the starship Enterprise strives to never use it. Supposedly, the Federation is all about exploration, diplomacy, and peaceful co-existence with whomever they come across. It's right there in the mission statement: "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." Nowhere does it say "kill 'em all and let Space Jesus sort 'em out."

CBS Television Distribution

"Our morals are too high and our budget is too low for that kind of nonsense!"

How the Game Misses the Point

This is the intro to Star Trek: Conquest:

All major races are at war. Diplomacy is dead, age-old alliances forgotten, and galactic borders ignored as each race battles for supremacy. Powerful fleets prowl the galaxy, establishing outposts, vanquishing indigenous and enemy fleets alike, in the pursuit of the ultimate prize: the capture of all homeworlds and galactic domination.

Fuck negotiation. Eat shit, exploration. Choke on a dick, peace.

4J Studios

This makes J.J. Abrams look like Gene Roddenberry Jr.

Conquest envisions a universe in which it's every race for themselves, and, instead of working overtime to reintroduce peace, Captain Picard falls right in line and tries to take over all the worlds too. The Galactic Federation, a utopian union of races and planets working together to form a more perfect universe, now embraces war machines, which they fuel by strip-mining resources from planets they conquer and enslave.

Leading your fearless, battle-thirsty savages is the cry, " This is for Earth!" because Earth is suddenly the only member of the Federation that matters. They might as well play "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the victory music.

4J Studios

Planet Earth, fuck yeah!

Remember the Genesis Device? It's Star Trek's version of a WMD: considered a failed experiment because, though it will introduce life to a barren world, it will also kill anything on an inhabited one and replace it with its very own "life matrix." Yet Conquest not only embraces the Genesis Device as a first-strike weapon against non-Earthlings, it throws near-unlimited Devices your way, allowing you to rain genocide on every planet you come across. This not only negates the morals of the show but also the whole "strategy" element of this strategy game.

4J Studios

In an Easter egg, you weep, for there are no worlds left to conquer.


Goonies II Includes Mermaids and Dragons for Some Reason (and Makes Mikey Beat Up Old People)


The Goonies is fairly well grounded in reality: there is no pirate ghost or haunted treasure, nobody comes back from the dead, and the disfigured monster is actually just somebody's neglected, handicapped son. The children fight their attackers non-violently -- aside from one brutal crotch-biting scene, they mostly just run away and hide. Because it violates the suspension of disbelief a bit to have Chunk spin-kicking Mama Fratelli into a lava pit.

Warner Bros.

It also violates the conservation of angular momentum.

How the Game Misses the Point

The Goonies II video game (this is all new territory; there wasn't a film sequel that this game is based on) is clearly written by someone who did not think the Goonies were good enough. The evil Fratelli gang -- fresh out of their apparently two-week prison sentence for robbery, kidnapping, torture, and attempted murder -- exact revenge on head Goonie Mikey by kidnapping every single one of his friends, along with Annie. Who's Annie, you ask? There's no Annie in the film, right? Right. Because Annie is a mermaid. They've kidnapped a goddamn mermaid.


Did we mention that the game was made in Japan?

Remember, The Goonies is reality-based and, despite what the blowhards at Animal Planet would have you believe, mermaids aren't real. Neither are dragons, golems, and ghosts, but the Fratellis apparently control all of those things anyway. They also recruit an Eskimo gang to throw axes at Mikey, because some poor developer got confused and thought Eskimos were mythical creatures.


"In Oregon, we kind of are."

But don't cry for Mikey, because he's suddenly developed a fucking mean streak. Gone are the film's non-lethal methods of bringing down the baddies, and in their place are bombs, Molotov cocktails, and an irrational hatred of the elderly.


"Goonies never say die ... but you will."

Apparently, the events of the first movie just broke poor Mikey, and now he's created a delusional fantasy world to justify his hyper-violent geriatric Eskimo murder-spree.

The Game Adaptation of First Blood Has Rambo Murdering Dozens of Cops


When you think Rambo, you probably envision a mindless killing machine, clad head-to-toe in bullets and raining death on anything that moves. But those are the sequels. The original film, First Blood, is a psychological action-drama about a disturbed Vietnam vet suffering from massive PTSD. Rambo kills exactly one person, by accident, and feels terrible about it. Throughout the ensuing manhunt, he repeatedly goes out of his way to avoid killing the police and National Guardsmen who want to bring him in. Rambo eventually surrenders, hoping that custody will get him the mental help he so desperately needs.

Millennium Films

"The hospital has everything you need. Therapy. Meds. But first ... blood."
*roll credits*

How the Game Misses the Point

Rambo: The Video Game lets you play through the first three Rambo films. While we totally expect the adaptations of the second and third films to feature crotch-impalements and headsplosions, even the First Blood section abandons Rambo's tortured psyche and turns him into a crazed, remorseless cop-killer.

x1.00 500 2.45 7852 eanousx

"I'mma take everything. Control. Revenge. But first ... blood."
*roll credits*

Rambo spends the entire time mowing down law enforcement indiscriminately. In the film, all these cops and Guardsmen are on the scene only because the evil sheriff reported a madman on the loose. Here, the madman proves him right, pointless slaughter after pointless slaughter. There is a deterrent to killing innocents in the game: your high score dips a tiny bit each time you do. Even Grand Theft Auto values the lives of law enforcement more than that.


You earn 150 points for taking the cop down, and a 5-point penalty for killing him. Truly a dilemma.

Then there's Colonel Trautman, Rambo's former commanding officer, who in the film serves as the voice of reason that calms Rambo down, convincing him to spare the evil sheriff's life and turn himself in. Trautman assumes a new role in the game: he tasks you with " Trautman Challenges," which reward your murders with powerful new weapons.

Millennium Films

"John, it's time to turn yourself in ... to a werewolf! Here's the Full Moon power-up. Eat the police."

5 Video Game Movie Adaptations (That Missed The Point)


Darkman: Master of Disguise Is Utterly Incapable of Disguise

Ocean Software

In the movie Darkman, a bunch of gangsters trap a scientist in a laboratory and blow it up. Burnt beyond recognition, science guy gets revenge by becoming a superhero vigilante who stealthily takes pictures of his enemies and uses them to craft synthetic, photo-realistic masks of their faces. These masks are so accurate that they can fool people who have known each other for years. He uses the disguises to infiltrate the criminal underground and wreak havoc.

Universal Pictures

And to infiltrate the opera and tickle the ivories.

Darkman is the anti-superhero, fighting crime with brutal subterfuge rather than running up and punching it in the mouth until it agrees to stop criming.

How the Game Misses the Point

Video game Darkman begins each stage by slipping on his costume, heading out to find the gangster in charge, and then immediately getting attacked by every single enemy that sees him. Literally no one is fooled, even for a second, by his elaborate disguises.

Ocean Software

Maybe he should have kept the blue cloak and blended in as a ninja.

In the film, his masks work for only 100 minutes, after which they melt away and leave behind nothing but half a Liam Neeson. It's easy to turn that into a game -- get a disguise and have it last for a limited amount of time, after which everybody shoots at you. That approach may not be entirely faithful to the film, but it's better than the actual game, which portrays Darkman as a kung-fu idiot who's extremely bad at cosplay.

On the Game Boy, Batman Has a Gun and Kills Everybody

Ocean Software

Batman is a lot of things -- ingenious, dark, brooding, gay -- but he's not a murderer. That's central to the modern Batman character: Bruce Wayne has spent decades fighting crime without intentionally taking a life. And he especially hates guns, because a criminal used one to murder his family. That's the whole reason he became Batman in the first place.


If Joe Chill used a boomerang, the Bat arsenal would be very different.

How the Game Misses the Point

In 1989's Game Boy adaptation of Tim Burton's Batman, Batman not only has a handgun but he uses it to shoot everybody he sees.

Ocean Software

Especially those turning and fleeing. They're extra dangerous.

You can upgrade your weapon at various points, from a handgun to a wavegun to a shotgun and, finally, to a fucking death ray. Your weapon of choice hardly matters, though, since a bullet to the head is a bullet to the head. About the only person your guns don't kill is Jack, the gangster who falls into a vat of acid and emerges as the Joker.

About that: in the film, Batman does all he can to save Jack from an acid bath, only letting go because he physically cannot hold on any longer. Game Boy Batman says nuts to that and just shoots Jack until he falls in and clowns up.

Ocean Software

"Criminals are a shootable and melty lot."

The body count increases further when Batman takes to the skies to gun down hundreds of helicopters and fighter jets. Remember: there's no setup that explains these are robots or whatever, nor is there a "bail-out" animation when you shoot a plane down.

Ocean Software

"Oh, the Batmanity!"

Due to the crude graphics and monochrome display, it is entirely possible that we just put in the wrong cartridge and have been playing a really accurate Punisher game this whole time.

Gavin thinks The Big Bang Theory is a stronger argument for a godless universe than the Big Bang theory. He has a Twitter: @gavinjamieson.

For more adaptations that were off base, check out 6 Movie Remakes that Missed the Point and 5 Video Game Adaptations That Missed the Point of the Movie.

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