Hey everyone, Mod Knight here with another Top 5! Weapons, where would our heroes be without them? Luke Skywalker with his lightsaber, Harry Potter with his wand, Lara Croft with her guns! Every hero has something that helps them stand against the forces of evil! But some weapons stand a cut above the rest, so lets count down my picks for the top five Ultimate Weapons in video games.
#5- Edea’s Fists (Bravely Default)
While not technically a proper weapon, by sheer numbers the strongest “equipment” You can have in the game is created by using the monk’s “Natural Talent” and “Knuckle Lore” Skills, and with Edea’s naturally high strength, equipping her with the skills and placing her in the pirate class creates a physical attack modifier that goes far beyond any weapon in the game! Honestly, this would be much higher on the list if it weren’t for the fact that when using this combination, you cant benefit from armor at all, meaning that you trade defense for power.
#4- Dawnbreaker (Skyrim)
There’s a lot of weapons in Skyrim which could compete for the title of “Ultimate.” However, my vote falls to the Dawnbreaker, this holy relic of the sun is great against the undead, and there’s NO shortage of the undead in Skyrim. So having the power to create huge, zombie and vampire repelling explosions (plus extra fire damage) makes the Dawnbreaker ideal in most situations!
#3- Ultima Weapon (Kingdom Hearts 2)
There have been several incarnations of the Ultima Weapon throughout the Kindgom Hearts and Final Fantasy series; however, overall, this is my favorite one! Requiring you to gather rare materials across the various worlds in the game, this weapon is definitely worth the effort; it has a huge boost to both your magical and melee power, plus providing an ability that makes your MP regenerate 75% faster!
#2-Master Sword (Breath of the Wild)
Of course, one of the most iconic weapons in gaming would make this list, and the incarnation of it Breath of The Wild is especially great! It serves as an endlessly regenerating weapon in a game where every weapon breaks. Not only that, but it’s power DOUBLES when fighting against bosses and corrupted foes! It’s especially cool considering that it isn’t actually necessary to complete the game.
#1- Master ( Kirby & The Amazing Mirror)
Kirby games are known for their fun, quirky style and neat powers, and none shines quite like the Master power! This weapon is obtained from Meta Knight during the final boss battle, and can be used afterward by going to the main area. This is an especially cool ability because it can be used on any puzzle, breaking through tough blocks, smashing down pins and more, there’s nothing the Master cant do!!
Hi readers! It’s Mod Zan coming at you with a new article for Tropes in Gaming. In today’s article, we’re discussing a classic trope that has been discussed frequently in many feminist circles: the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
The trope is often coined to describe the female leads in romantic comedy movies as well as any movie that has a male and female lead. As a general rule, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a woman who enters the life of the male lead through serendipity, and usually is extremely beautiful and “unique” despite having no substance and no personal goals outside of helping the main character acheive whatever it is that they are out to do throughout the course of their adventure.
This trope is one of the more popular ones that is discussed in feminist discourse, which means that video games are no exception.
To get us started, I think it’s important to recognize a few examples of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in video games. A classic example would be Zelda from most of the Zelda games, particularly because she exists consistently to only improve Link’s life while he roams Hyrule, trying to save her. This overlaps with the Damsel in Distress trope that we discussed in a prior article, and is by no means the most expansive example of the trope.
Another good example of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is in the Shadow of Mordor games, through Lithariel. Tallion’s life implodes when he’s sacrificed and loses his family to the Black Hand, and spends his time roaming through Mordor trying to take revenge on every Uruk that he comes across while getting to know the Elven spirit that now shares his form. Lithariel only shows up to give him a quest in order to increase his power while seeming like a badass, only to slip up and need saving later on and becoming a romantic interest. This fufills many other tropes outside of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, such as the damsel in distress as well as the forced romantic interest as the only other female lead in the game aside from Tallion’s dead wife and her aging mother.
The harm in the Manic Pixie Dream Girl can be broken down in multiple layers. The first is in the insistence that the male protagonist’s life will never change without the help of an adorable, quirky girl to lead him into the metaphorical light from his world of grey. This places the responsibility for the male on the female lead and insists that she have no other purpose except to help him. This perpetuates the idea that women exist solely as an aid for men and don’t have their own desires and ambitions.
Another layer of it is the forced romanticism of a woman with a man regardless of their proximity to one another and how incompatible they are. This insinuates that regardless of compatibility, women and men are unable to be anything other than friends. This toxicity bleeds into the lives of real people as they interact with one another and reinforces the harmful treatment of women in our society even on a small scale. Therefore, the deconstruction of tropes is essential to both feminist discourse and societal progress.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!
The damsel in distress…where to even begin? This is a trope as old as…well, dirt, honestly. From ancient myths, to fairy tales, to the early days of gaming; we’ve seen this old story played over time and time again. A fair maiden, captured and taken prisoner, a brave (almost always male) hero rushing in to save the day, generally to be rewarded with the girl’s affections…I’m sure you just imagined at least 10 different stories that you know without even having to think about it.
But for how old, and dated (and honestly, just…boring) this storyline is, it still continues to flourish; especially in the game industry! When movies and books are learning to veer away from it, games only ever want to detour and continually find their way back into the mire of this archaic trope.
So, I guess the best question is…why? Why do we keep seeing this cycle of women being reduced to nothing more than an objective to be rescued? Why do we keep seeing girls who are useless aside from being someone for the hero to save? Let’s be honest with ourselves: this kind of thing almost always goes back to being a male ego booster. After all, if the guy is the one saving the girl, then guys can feel great about themselves when they play it! Right? Right? Well, yes.
After all, in our society, we use media for socialization, and the way we see others presented. And how we see those like us presented in media has a profound impact on how we look at ourselves and how we see others! So, when young girls see how those like them are so often treated like they’re useless, helpless, and only able to wait to be helped by a man, it weakens their confidence in themselves. And tells them that this is how they should be. And when boys see it, they take the assumption that all girls are that way and should behave as such. Ultimately, if you can’t already tell, the problem with this trope is representation! Something I plan on talking a lot more about in the future! But for now, this all ties into this trope.
Now, lets see if we can list some examples…now, I’m sure you’ve all be waiting for me to bring up Princess Peach; it’s kind of inevitable with this topic! After all, she’s been kidnapped more times than we can count…But, thankfully in more recent years, the princess has undergone some growth! Yes, she still gets kidnapped from time to time; however, she’s steadily become a strong, independent female character…at least in certain games…
Another example comes in the form of Princess Zelda, whom we’ve talked about repeatedly; somehow, no matter how competent, powerful, or skilled she is, she somehow almost always ends up in this role! No matter how out of character it ends up being for her.
At the end of the day, this trope is just plain and simple outdated. I always enjoy seeing it subverted, or used in ways that are clever however! After all, putting a character into a bad situation is a great way to show off their true strength! Hopefully, that’s the direction people will go when they decide to use this trope in the future! So, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
Hey Nasties! Mod Syrup is back with another Top 5! Normally, we do Top 5 Best and Worst of a topic, but unfortunately, out of the games I’ve played, there isn’t a lot of Heroines to choose from. So I’ll just be bringing you my Top 5 Best!
Now it took me a bit before I decided what I wanted my list to be. But I think I have it figured out (for now).
Number 5: Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)
Now, I feel a lot of hate has been oriented around this character. And I definitely understand it, (as I wrote in an article here); but I do identify her as one of my favorite heroines (out of the slim pickings I had). Now why do I? Well, first, I’m judging her purely after the first game since that’s all I’ve seen her in personally. To me, she’s a super badass and isn’t sexualized, which is nice. She also copes with depression of losing her sister and goes from a cold-hearted loner to one who wishes to aid her companions. This is amazing growth for me. Then, like mentioned before, I enjoy the fact that she’s able to hold her own. She’s a skilled soldier who also learns to summon an Eidolon, Odin, and use it in combat. Her design is beautiful, and I was super bummed when I found out she’s almost a carbon copy of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. I felt we deserved better from Square Enix.
Number 4: Lyn (Fire Emblem)
So I just recently finished Lyn’s saga on Fire Emblem and I’m super hyped when I saw it’s possible for her to return in Eliwood’s story. When I first met Lyn, she seemed badass. I found out she was a princess, and I was super worried she’d fall into the trope that all princesses are damsels in distress. I was quite glad to find out she still held her own and LED the group all the way to Caelin. She easily took a place in my heart as one of my favorite heroines but came lower on the list because she felt a little flat to me. Lyn seemed to have a fire in her soul from her tribe and showed that even more so when she met Sain. Sain tried to hit on her with things he seemed to use on many girls, she quickly shot him down. As the journey went on, she let almost anyone who wanted to join her group join. She seemed to have no real anger in herself, even when she fought her grand-uncle. But, I did love her enough to think she deserved a longer story and it’s unfortunate that her whole story was the tutorial mode for this game.
Number 3: Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
Honestly, you guys should have expected this incarnation of Zelda to be on my list. Now, why is this Zelda on it and not Sheik since Sheik beat her on my Top 5 Zeldas? (You can read that here). Well, even though we mainly see Zelda in flashbacks, knowing the fact that Zelda has been holding Ganon off for 100 years blows me out of the water. She’s the first Zelda to explicitly show that she wanted to be the one to save Hyrule. She wanted to be the one to pull the Master Sword. She led the champions of each of the races. She was the tech-wiz on the Sheikah Slate. Zelda was more active up front than Sheik was. Not to mention, the original Sheik felt she had to hide the fact she was a female whereas this Zelda was proud to be the Princess of Hyrule and to fight against Ganon. (Not that I don’t love Zelda in drag as I showed in my recent article). So even though I prefer the bruttness of Sheik personality wise; heroine wise, I prefer Zelda from Breath of the Wild.
Number 2: Yuna (Final Fantasy X/Final Fantasy X-2)
There are not enough words in the English language that can accurately express my love for this game, but I’ll do my best to express how much I love Yuna. Yuna is one of the characters that shows the most growth in these two games (especially if you get the Sad or Perfect Ending in FFX-2). When you meet Yuna, she’s a shy summoner that never spoke her mind. She always did what she wanted for the people of Spira and did not even show how scared she was of dying to defeat Sin. Through her journey and aid of her friends, particularly Rikku and Tidus, she comes to realize her life is a lot more important. With help of her friends, she defeats Sin so he does not ever come to hurt Spira again.
In Final Fantasy X-2, you still have that sweet girl you originally had; but she’s not shy. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, even if she does it in a sweet way. Yuna holds onto her new found strength she had from her previous journey and is proud to be who she is.
Did I mention that even after she was no longer a summoner, she learned how to use guns? Yeah. She’s a gunner in X-2. Then, with the use of dresspheres, she also has skills of a swordsman, a thief, a mage, and more. Yuna is a poster child of being cute, acting sweet, and kicking ass! I love her so much.
Number 1: Alice (Alice Madness Returns)
Oh god. This game. It’s frustrating because I’m trying to do every mini-game thing, but god is it amazing. This girl has so many psychological issues and going with her on her journey to fight her demons is AMAZING. She solves problems, throws shade, and kicks ass.
I love how this is a heroine that’s not all smiles. She feels happiness, shows anger, shows depression. She’s not a cookie cutter which is very refreshing.
And above all, through ALL of her outfits in the game, none of them are sexualized. And that alone makes me extremely happy. All of these characters up to Alice have been sexualized by the developers to some extent. But Alice, Alice made it through.
This has been Mod Syrup and I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 Favorite Heroines! I’ll see you in my next article and enjoy the rest of the content from NWG this week!