Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Top 10 Robots In Videogames

This is the most recent Top 10 list-post I wrote for Forces Of Geek, all about gaming's finest robots and our eventual robo-overlords...

Whether you study robotics or you just like stompy anime-style robots, perhaps you simply enjoy finding new ways to pose unanswerable philosophical questions to Siri, there's no denying we've all been affected by robotics in some way. Gaming is no exception to this and as such I have compiled my list of the top 10 robots in video games.

This list is not definitive and is in no particular order but if you agree, disagree or just feel like saying mean stuff about me in the comments section, then please, go ahead - this is the Internet after all.

1. Mega Man (Mega Man series)

It would be sacrilege to write a list about robotic video game characters and not include Mega Man. This humanoid robot fights to defeat mad, evil scientist Dr. Wily and the Robot Masters he controls. Mega Man fights his fellow robots to save them from their oppressor, he is a hero among robot kind.

Once he defeats each Robot Master he steals their ability and adds it to his arsenal to defeat the others. Pretty messed up given that the Robot Masters are probably friends...still, Mega Man fights to save the world and was sent by Dr. Light - with a name like that, there's no confusing what side you're on, no matter how underhand your methods are.

I was inclined to also add Mega Man's robo-dog, Rush to this list but my next mention fills the canine quota of this list (a quota I didn't even know I had!).

2. D0g (Half-life 2)

Man's best friend is a robot, if you've played Half-Life 2 then I'm sure you'll agree. Alyx's large robotic pet not only provides some light comic relief in an otherwise bleak game but also trains Gordon in the ways of the Gravity Gun and repeatedly saves both Alyx and Gordon's life. The most memorable of which was D0g throwing Alyx and Gordon over a gorge while they were inside a car.

Did I mention he (she?) throws cars and trucks at enemies? No? Well...yeah, there's that. A formidable yet loyal friend to have on your side and a million times more effective than a crowbar.

3. Atlas and P-Body (Portal 2)

I could talk about GlaDOS or Wheatley but the evil robot thing is so overdone in popular culture it's as if we're expecting an uprising (we totally are) and I'd rather talk about these two co-op droids from Portal 2.

They embody all of the positive aspects of robo-kind, they have one function and that is to perform tasks by working together. Sure, they don't communicate as well as GlaDOS or Wheatley but what they lack in verbal ability they make up for in their adorable interactions like high fives, waving at each other and even hugging all of which irritate GlaDOS in a way that always amuses me.

Atlas and P-Body are an inseparable duo and cannot function without the other. These two were toppers on my wedding cake because of the companionship they represent.

4. Cyber Ninjas (Mortal Kombat series)

Image by LordKrogoth on DeviantArt
I couldn't decide which of the Mortal Kombat cyber ninjas to add to this list and I could have easily filled this list entirely with cyber ninjas and called it "The Top Cyber Ninjas Of The Mortal Kombat Series". So, I decided to bulk them together into a kind of cyber-ninja-squadron because Sektor, Cyrax et al are all totally badass. They combine all of the deadly skills of a ninja with the equally deadly skills of robots.

5. Legion (Mass Effect 2)

Okay, let's get one thing straight before Mass Effect purists hate on me...I know that *technically* Legion is part of a shared consciousness housed within a synthetic mobile Geth platform but for the sake of this list, he/they are essentially robots - I mean, come on...they have the voice, the lights and the outer metallic casing and can only comprehend logic and rational, calculated actions.

When Legion is questioned regarding why he used part of Shepard's N7 armour to repair damage to itself, he at first responds that it was simply to fix a hole, when pressed further he becomes evasive and eventually says "No data available"...ROBOT!

Semantics aside, Legion is one of the best team members under Shepard's command in Mass Effect 2 and he has the shared experience of the entire Geth when it comes to fighting. More than just a skilled fighter, if you choose to pursue Legion's side missions, he becomes so much more. He is a complex character, encompassing all of the typical robotic traits and later overcoming them. One of my favourite characters in the Mass Effect universe.

6. Claptrap (Borderlands)

I never played a Borderlands game until very recently, not due to any particular reason other than I always intended to but never got round to it. However, my husband and I are currently working through the games and I have fallen in love with Claptrap.

I can see how some players see him as annoying but I love his dancing and outbursts of "techno" music in the form of his "untz, untz, untz" sounds. I am a keen side mission completer so I have spent a fair amount of time around Claptrap and I find him an amusing and charming little robot.

7. Sergeant RL-3 (Fallout 3)

There are a multitude of robots in the Fallout series, Mister Handy, Sawbones, Yes Man and even automated turret systems but my favourite has to be Sergeant RL-3, a RobCo Industries model based on Mister Gutsy equipped with both flame and plasma weapons systems. Made as a mobile war machine of sorts, Sergeant RL-3 is the ultimate soldier making him a more than helpful companion to have with you while exploring the wastelands.

However, it's not so much his skill-set that makes him a great character but his personality which, although unstable seems to programmed with a multitude of popular culture references from the cult 70s TV show The Incredible Hulk to cartoons like Transformers with lines such as "You're making me angry! You won't like me when I'm angry" and "Roll out", as made famous by Optimus Prime himself.

8. R.O.B (Nintendo Entertainment System)

R.O.B or Robotic Operating Buddy as his acronym represents is exactly that, compatible with the NES, this robot was sold to interact with games, it's a kids dream come true and as every 80s kid will tell you, he did actually work...just..you know...only with..two games.

Even though he was only compatible with Gyromite and Stack-Up, R.O.B gained retro fame and his fans were rewarded when he became a playable character in Super Smash Bros Brawl. This peripheral turned playable character also reminds me of Wall-E, the ultimate adorable robot (I imagine his look was very loosely based on R.O.B!).

9. HK-47 (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)

HK-47 is such a fan favourite in the franchise, he got his own official Star Wars figure but this hunter-killer assassin droid has little regard for human life, referring to all organic lifeforms as "meatbags". He is driven by an inherent, insatiable desire for violence.

He is a Jedi hunter, he can take down Jedis...this alone should convey just how effective HK-47 is an assassin. He can disrupt Jedi connections to the force, eroding their will and he is utilises weapons that are highly effective against lightsaber techniques. Even if I was a Jedi Master, I wouldn't want to come across this droid.

10. Robo (Chrono Trigger)

Original Robo Art by Akira Toriyama
From terrifying assassin droids to heartbreaking, abused Robo in Chrono Trigger. Robo is found by Crono and his friends. He helps them to escape from a futuristic factory only to run into his mechanical brothers who almost damage him beyond repair just for refusing to slaughter humans.

This particular scene in the game is brutal and hits players right in the feels, in an Iron Giant kind of way. This misunderstood robot is curious and observes humanity, deciding to help those who showed him kindness. Awww!

That's my list complete of course there are many notable omissions to mention including the obscure NES game B.O.B featuring the robot B.O.B and not the rapper who is equipped with a hand cannon that would make Barret from Final Fantasy VII envious.

Speaking of Final Fantasy VII, another robot of note that didn't make the list is Cait Sith, the little cat robot that sits atop a giant moogle, absolutely adorable! Other notable mentions include the Titans from Titanfall because they do serious damage when on auto-pilot mode, Metal Sonic, because even small woodland creatures can be mechanised and Fulgore from Killer Instinct who has always reminded me of an evil-er metal Predator, created to kill. I think I'd rather run into Predator than Fulgore.

So when the impending robopocalypse happens, make sure you know your enemy...or friend.

I for one would rather be on the side of our eventual robot overlords.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this list. Very grateful. I work at mobile app testing company where i think it will be definitely useful.

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