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Thoughts On Samus ("Metroid" Franchise) as a Silent Protagonist or Flexible Slate: How developed is she as a hero?
What initially puts her at a disadvantage in this discussion is the fact that she doesn't really get much of a chance to interact with anybody—not even the people she works with. Contrast this with Link from the Zelda franchise, who is pretty much required to speak with someone at any given time.
That being said, when we take into consideration what she willingly puts herself through in spite of her emotional baggage—being separated from her parents at a young age and having no one there to see her through the critical stages of her life—there's many valuable traits that we can discern from her character.
Imagine being in her situation, where she's operating practically on her own accord with minimal guidance and nobody physically present to help her out in this creepy, isolated, and foreign environment. She only has herself to rely on when literally mapping out her strategy, solving puzzles, and deciding on her next course of action when she loses her abilities, among other things.
This is different from Link's scenario to a degree because while he does often find himself facing similar obstacles, he usually has a companion to aid him, whether by providing hints or a means of transportation. Although Samus may be missing the "teamwork" keyword in her résumé, she's nonetheless resourceful and self-organizing. At the end of the day, would she really be able to trust others with her work?
On top of that, Samus carries the responsibility of protecting the lives of anyone who may be in trouble should the Metroids and Space Pirates wreck havoc beyond these spaces.
While Samus is technically a mercenary, the idea of her being a bounty hunter is nevertheless a neat one. It adds another potential layer to her character and opens the door to more stories in which we might learn why she's doing all this and how she feels about it.
Much like the members of the Star Fox team, should we consider her a hero in the traditional sense, or are the colours more nuanced? Maybe Link and Samus would have different ideas as to what heroism is.
Video Game Characters That Instantly Make Me Feel Hungry
Snacking isn't the activity I perform only when movie buffing. Oh no, I snack while gaming as well. In fact, this whole topic inspires me to write a feature on the top foods I recommend eating while playing video games—and how to make them—in the future.
Oops, sorry, looks like I'm already distracted by this barely-even-started conversation about food. And it doesn't really help that there are characters in video games who share my enthusiasm.
So, back on track we get. There's a lot of gourmets we seem to encounter in video games, yeah? Let's talk about them before I start googling delicious treats to drool over them.
1. Kirby ("Kirby" Franchise)
Okay, so real talk. I don't cook nearly as much you might think, and that's only one thing this adorable pink puff ball and I have in common. We just want to attack our food!
Though in Kirby's case, I mean that quite literally. His most well-known power is mimicking his enemies' abilities by sucking them up and snatching away their outfits somehow in the process. Hey, if I could use his skill to mimic something cool like a cheetah or a bucket, I'd be set.
2. Yoshi ("Mario" Franchise)
Yoshi and I both adore cookies and fruits, but the thing that sets us apart is, once again, his ability to gobble up enemies. Unlike Kirby's reason for doing so, however, Yoshi lays his foes as eggs and then uses them as projectiles.
If I could pull this off and combat those bully wasps that never seem to leave me alone whenever I step out of the house, that would be fantastic.
Honourable mentions: Mario, for his obsession with Italian specialities; Wario, for his burger cravings; cake savants Gourmet Guy and Princess Peach; banana slamin' Donkey Kong; and Tayce T. for being a kickass cook in Paper Mario. Man, this franchise has a lot of foodies!
3. Snorlax ("Pokémon" Franchise)
I sincerely believe that Snorlax is my spirit animal. It just eats and sleeps all day. But its strength, when called for, takes no prisoners.
Whenever I'm playing Smash Bros. and pokéballs are involved, I always hope I activate one with with Snorlax inside to send my opponents flying.
4. Pac-Man ("Pac-Man" Franchise)
Attacking by appetite in games started as early as the 70s... but Snake is not quite as sophisticated as this landmark from 1980. Pac-Man's a staple, so it's only necessary I included him on this list. And yes, Mrs. Pac-Man counts too.
5. Quina ("Final Fantasy IX")
Aside from their awesome theme music, Quina has a special place in my heart for their awe-inspiring dream of travelling the world and learning all about every culture's diverse dishes.
I also think it's pretty amazing that they could cast all types of blue magic depending on the baddies they consume. Magic + food = doubled score as far as I'm concerned!
Which characters trigger your need to grab a bite? Let's obsess over food together in the comments!
Thoughts on Knuckles (Sonic Franchise) as a Character We Can Take Seriously Again
The problem all started with Sonic Adventure 2, where we realized the Knuckles' Master Emerald searching subplot doesn't really amount to anything in the game.
Having a darker and more complex story in what's supposed to be a lighthearted franchise only collapses in on itself, because the creators somehow believe that confusing developments and plot holes equate to mature storytelling.
If you want to tell a more sophisticated story, well, go ahead and tell it. But make it coherent, for one, and have it match the tone of the franchise. Subtlety goes a long way as well.
With that in mind, Knuckles has the potential to be a lot more three-dimensional than what Sega is allowing. He doesn't have any living family that we know of. He's someone who doesn't get to see his friends every day. He thinks he has to prove himself as some kind of macho man to not look weak, all while believing that he only has one reason for existing.
Thus, he feels as though he has to talk down to people (and, sigh, rough 'em up), not necessarily because he thinks he's better than anyone, or really even to ruin anyone's lives, but as a means of survival in an environment he worries is trying to kill him and storm Angel Island all because of a few bad apples.
This is all heavy subject matter in and of itself, and would be interesting to see incorporated into a future installment. I also really like the idea of further exploring the rivalry between Sonic and Knuckles, whereby they try to learn more about each other, learn to be patient enough to see eye-to-eye, and give us insight into how they actually feel about each other and why.
There is so much potential for intra-personal and interpersonal relationships in this franchise, considering how many characters are available, and yet one of our most famous heroes in gaming is now dismissed as nothing more than the dummy with dumbbells for hands.