Is there an old favorite character of yours who starred in a game you loved, but who never appeared in a sequel? Or is there a hero from a video game series that you really liked that just seemed to run out of steam and hasn't been seen for years?
That's the topic of this week's question as we ask you which old game character you'd like to see rebooted for modern-day systems.
While you consider your answer, here are the obsolete characters that the USgamer team would love to see make a triumphant return.
I'm hestitant to say this because I feel like her story has already sort of been told, but I really miss Lenneth Valkyrie from Valkyrie Profile. Back in the day she was my absolute favorite character, and it makes me sad to see her left by the wayside, even if Square Enix continues to be perfectly happy to sell statues of her.
Lenneth is cool for a number of reasons. She begins the story as not much more than a machine — a tool of Odin's used to get things set for Ragnarok. We assume that she has some kind of past, as we saw a young girl who faintly resembled Lenneth dying in a field of flowers, but that girl is nothing like Lenneth. It isn't until later that Lenneth's past is truly revealed, and that's only if you take the time to hit the necessary triggers.
Aside from being partial to the image of the female knight — Brienne of Tarth is one of my favorite characters in Game of Throne — I like Lenneth's uncompromising personality. Yeah, it's ultimately true love or whatever that releases the lock on her personality, but it's in the surface of remaking the universe, so I can sort of forgive it. If anything, she becomes more powerful once she finally uncovers her true identity.
Lenneth would later appear in Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria and Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, but in a supporting role. I actually wouldn't mind a story set in the world after Ragnorak, with starring Lenneth as the Mother of Creation. Failing that, Lenneth was apparently called upon by Odin many times over the centuries, so a prequel steeped heavily in Norse mythology could be fun as well.
Ultimately, I'm perfectly aware that any new Valkyrie Profile will probably leave me disappointed, and that it's probably best to just enjoy the good memories I already have. I really do miss Lenneth, though, and I'd love have her back in a new game. Maybe someday...
Wario's fallen on tough times, hasn't he? True, games featuring Nintendo's super-sized, greedy anti-hero never had the same level of fame as your Marios and Zeldas, but for an all-too-brief period of time, releases branded with the Wario name excelled at innovation--and quietly, at that. The Wario Land series gradually rewrote the fundamental rules of platformers by making this bizarro Mario an indomitable immortal, and WarioWare showed the world video games could still function as intended when stripped down to their most basic parts and delivered in rapid-fire succession. It's kind of strange to think this legacy stems from a character who made his first appearance as a villain in a Game Boy Game.
Nintendo's SPD branch has since moved from WarioWare to Rhythm Heaven, and while the latter stands as one of their most inventive series, I still miss those years when the name "Wario" signified a bold and irreverent creation instead of a farmed-out afterthought. Game and Wario has some good ideas, but lacks the spark of WarioWare, and can't help feeling like a collection of Wii U GamePad tech demos a la NintendoLand. Wario Land: Shake It! looks amazing and borrows the excellent Wario Land 4's basic design, but completely lacks the off-kilter, "anything goes" attitude of its inspiration. To put it simply, Wario deserves much better.
I'm not sure what's in Wario's future, but, to be honest, Nintendo's recent deal with mobile giant DeNA might be beneficial. If any game would feel right at home on a smartphone, it's WarioWare--especially when you consider the fact that there's already a touch-based version to serve as a prototype. Now, I can't say this will ever happen, but wouldn't Wario feel right at home in a side of our industry known mostly for its unbridled greed and shaky ethics? I rest my case.
I recently wrote about why I'm perfectly happy not to see any more reboots or remakes or perfunctory sequels to old favorites. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that someone threatened me at gunpoint to pick one old game to bring back, one character who had to find new life in the HD era. Most of my favorites from the olden times have already been rebooted, and with wildly erratic results. Capcom tried to reboot Mega Man with Powered Up and Maverick Hunter X for PSP, and they were good, but no one wanted them. Lords of Shadow rebooted Castlevania with increasingly dire results. And I can't even imagine how terrible a Metroid reboot might be.
So perhaps it's better to look beyond my true favorites and go instead with a fondly remembered semi-favorite instead. Something that means less to me personally. Something with less of an overall legacy. Something mostly forgotten. Something like Vic Tokai's Clash at Demonhead for NES, which these days is mainly known for a reference in Scott Pilgrim (a work that itself is largely forgotten at this point).
Clash at Demonhead would lend itself nicely to the current indie scene — it was a sort of proto-Metroidvania game, a bit loose and sloppy, but full of spirit. But most of all, I think its protagonist Billy "Bang" Blitz would be a perfect man for our times. Agent Bang was designed in the spirit of '70s "shounen" anime heroes, with an unruly mop of hair and a cool-looking facial scar. You'd actually be forgiven for thinking Bang was based on a real anime or manga, but that's not the case; Clash at Demonhead was a pastiche of adventure comics, somewhere between an homage and a satire. Like Gurren Lagann, but 20 years earlier.
Agent Bang was a born hero, the sort of man who would willingly give up a well-earned vacation in order to save the world. A man not afraid to shoot his own girlfriend because he was smart enough to realize "she" was actually a trick duplicate. A man who knew the importance of using science correctly.
Yes, in this age of mopey anti-heroes and violent murder-creeps, we need a man who knows what true heroism is. We need Billy "Bang" Blitz.
My defunct video game character hasn't been seen in years - indeed, it's been 23 of them since his last outing in 1992. He's the eponymous hero from the Mercenary series, a very early 3D sci-fi exploration game that was first created by a genius called Paul Woakes on the Commodore 64 back in the mid 80's, that was then followed by two sequels on the Atari ST and Amiga in the early 90's.
It's a 3D exploration/adventure series that tells the tale of the Mercenary, who in the first game crash lands on the planet Targ that's in the midst of a war between two factions, one robotic and the other more human-like. Playing both sides off against one another, the objective is to complete a series of non-linear tasks so that you can earn enough money to buy a new ship and escape from the planet. Much of this requires locating items and deciding on where and to whom to deliver them to - and depending on what you do can result in the game's storyline changing in nature.
An expansion pack, Mercenary: The Second City and two sequels, Damocles and Mercenary III followed, each featuring typically oblique puzzles, missions and exploration - and all featuring a similar political storyline involving different factions and situations where choices have distinctly different outcomes. All games feature limited interaction with the planet's denizens, and most of the dialog comes from the player's companion AI computer, who guides you through the game and gives you clues as to where to go next.
What I particularly like about this series is that they are full 3D games where the emphasis is on exploration, with a world that has many secrets to discover. In some respects, the game reminds me of Shadow of the Colossus in that Targ and its neighboring planets are filled with things that are never fully explained, and it's up to the player to interpret exactly what's going on in this rather minimal, slightly surreal world.
Rebooting the series for today, I'd like to keep the minimal approach of the game, and keep the focus on exploration. The original games did have some flight combat, and that could certainly be modernized and made far more interesting than it was back in the day. But really, to me what made Mercenary and its subsequent games so great was figuring out where to go, and who might offer you the best deal for completing a particular mission. I doubt whether a modern-day Mercenary game would sell, however, as it's probably way too esoteric for most players - but I'd certainly love to play something like it again. There's just nothing really like it out there.