The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I'm in love with an inanimate object. I suppose the more I
think about it, the more ridiculous that sounds - inanimate objects in video
games, especially when you consider inanimate objects are those items with no living
parts, so technically video games are inanimate objects, no?
But for the sake of this blog, consider this statement to
mean the inanimate objects found internal to the game, with the assumption the
characters possess living parts even though they're nothing more than 3D models
coded to perform certain functions. Ah, the heck with it. Let me illustrate
what I mean by sharing an example using a well-liked character from each of the
popular gaming platforms.
Gordon Freeman is a scientist, but his crowbar is an
Kratos is the god of war, but his double chained blades are
an inanimate object. I was going to use Sackboy as an example, but couldn't decide
whether he was one or not - does he have living parts?
Marcus Fenix, the hulk of a soldier that he is, is not an
inanimate object, but his bandana sure is.
Mario is a plumber, Yoshi is a dinosaur (or dragon,
depending on what you read), so they're both living things, but stars, flowers
and 1Ups are inanimate objects. It does beg the question, when Mario uses the
Tanooki Suit to turn into a statue, is he then an inanimate object? Gosh, this
is getting harder instead of easier but at least I've clarified what I'm
talking about, I hope.
I feel like I've
talked about this subject before, and given I've been here a few years now and
posted a couple of blogs before, it's quite possible. But if I did, most of
these are new examples, so just consider this a revision. I'm going to start
out with an easy one so you can see where I'm going with this.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD - BEWARE.
Halo: My Partner
- If you've played Halo, you obviously know who Cortana is, and if you haven't,
you probably still know who she is. But if you don't, Cortana is an artificial
intelligence (A.I.) assigned to Spartan 117, also known as the Masterchief.
Artificial intelligence serial number CTN 0452-9, was a "Smart" AI
construct, or "Intelligent Agent". She was one of the most important
figures in the Human-Covenant war, and served as John-117's partner in various
combat missions as well as serving as the A.I. for the United Nations Space
Command Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn and the Orbital
Defense Platform Cairo Station. In addition, she held vital data pertaining to
the Halos, including the Activation Index from Installation 04. -Halo Wikia
Cortana, she is the projected image of an A.I. who takes on
the appearance of a young attractive woman, but technically, that's all she is
- an image. If that is true, then why do I care what happens to her? She has no
living parts; she was created in the image of Dr. Halsey, yet I can't help but
view her as a teammate, and dare I say...friend. Throughout the series, she's
been there and in the latest installment of Halo, the relationship between her
and the Masterchief is tested to the breaking point more than it's ever been in
previous episodes resulting in a turn of events sure to hit you in the chest
like a gravity hammer.
Mass Effect 3: My
Well, if we're talking about affection towards an inanimate
object and computer A.I., no discussion would be complete without mentioning
EDI from Mass Effect 3. She's the provocative and powerful artificial
intelligence that used to assist with running the Normandy, but after events
occur in the game she becomes something far more significant.
The Enhanced Defense
Intelligence or EDI is an AI created by Cerberus and installed aboard the
Normandy SR-2. She is/was represented visually by a holographic blue sphere and
aurally with a feminine voice at various terminals throughout the ship where
she can provide basic information about the Normandy and Cerberus. While
investigating Prothean technology on Mars, Shepard's team recovers a Cerberus
synthetic, an android masquerading as "Dr. Eva Coré". EDI assists in
extracting vital data from the unit, and in the process, she seizes control of
the body. This allows her to serve as a squadmate on missions.-Mass Effect 3 Wikia
If you've played Mass Effect, you know as well as I do some
of your decisions can result in the loss of a character. This has a profound
effect when you review your staff roster before picking teammates to deploy on potentially
dangerous missions. It's a double edged sword, because you want to bring along
the characters you like, but you don't want to lose them. EDI was always a
keeper for me, but I still took her along much of the time. For the first time
in the series, EDI takes a human like shape when she embeds herself in a
recovered Cerberus synthetic defeated by Shepard. Even though she wasn't a love
interest, I still didn't want anything bad to happen to her.
Dead Space: My Girl
This is perhaps the most tragic example of attachment to an
inanimate object, and if you played the game you certainly know why.
Prior to her
attachment to the USG Ishimura, Nicole lived with her boyfriend, Isaac Clarke.
She was uncertain of her future career aboard the Ishimura at first, but
changed her mind when encouraged to take the job by Isaac. -Dead Space Wikia
Isaac Clarke, the character you play in Dead Space, arrives
on the Ishimura to render assistance but one can't help but wonder if he is
really there to locate and rescue his girlfriend Nicole. Along the way, Isaac
finds transmissions hinting of her whereabouts. You get to the point where
you're longing to find the next one of these clues, and eventually you find the
one that explains all of the events as they transpired. It's like people that
archive voicemails from friends or family and revisit them from time to time to
remember them. There is an epic and tragic twist, resulting in that final video
log being a bittersweet inanimate object I hold near and dear to my heart. More
bitter than sweet.
Okay, so one could argue any affinity for the above examples
of inanimate objects don't count because they are essentially characters, just
not "living" characters. A fair point. But I'm not done yet.
Borderlands 2: My Guns
I only played BL2 a short time but I realized right away,
there are a ton of guns...and if you don't get to the gun crates before your
teammates, you're going to get their leftovers. Players seem pretty attached to
the weapons they find, myself included. I accidentally dropped one of my prized
possessions and picked up some piece of garbage, but I didn't realize it until
much later and I was butt hurt about it for hours after the fact that I lost this
The Uncharted series is my favorite or second favorite video
game series ever, and I was both happy and disappointed when they revealed the
history and fate of the ring you see Nathan Drake wear around his neck. I, and
others I would presume, liken it to the Fedora worn by Indiana Jones, which he
nearly loses in every movie but manages to recover at the last second. If
you've ever watched the Young Indiana Jones series, you know the fascinating
tale how he acquired the hat. As far as Nathan Drake's ring though, the mystery
is explained but the outcome is eventually rendered irrelevant. Pity, I loved
Minecraft: My Stuff
Realistically speaking, there are only a few things that
pose a danger to your possessions and structures in Minecraft. Creepers, others
players and yourself. Just last night I was playing and my carelessness
resulted in a creeper blowing the face off of my newly constructed house. All
the windows were destroyed and there was a crater 3 blocks deep where my foyer
used to be. I can't be mad because it was inattention on my part. I put myself
in a bad position. A few nights ago while digging deep into a mountain under
low level torchlight I accidently dug through the block I was standing on and
plummeted to my death. Everything I was carrying, gone (I managed to get back
to the location but was overcome by skeletons before I could pick my stuff up). I
wasn't too broken hearted over that either. But when I really turn into a cry
baby is when my son trespasses onto my property. I have built up walls, dug
moats, posted signs and punched him in the arm repeatedly to stay off my
property. In my defense, on more than one occasion, he has battled creepers on
my property resulting in heavy damages when things don't go according to plan.
I love my stuff in Minecraft, so stay back. Yes, I know it's just a game and
yes I know a minecart is an inanimate
object...but it's still mine, so leave it the F alone!
Privateer: My Ship
Privateer is an older game from the Wing Commander series. A
fantastic game that lets you build spaceships and take on the life of a space
cowboy who hauls cargo or transports people...OR be a bounty hunter, smuggler or
pirate. You get to customize your ship with weapons, armor, electronics
packages and other pieces and parts. In one particular skirmish with some
unruly pirates my ship was getting battered and I decided to flee so I could
live to fight another day. I was having problems coming up to speed as my
shields flickered and the layers of armor were being peeled away. "Why am I not
moving?" And then I saw it out my cockpit viewport - my afterburner unit was
floating away in hyperspace...and there was nothing I could do about it. Nobody
destroys my ship that I've invested numerous hours and tons of money to
upgrade. I did what any of you would've done if you were in my shoes. No, not
eject and surrender...I reloaded my last saved game file.
Portal: My Toys
Ah Portal...you cruel, cruel game. I know I've talked about
this particular inanimate object in previous blogs, but how Valve got me to
feel sympathy over a cube is unexplainable, unbelievable and downright unfair.
It's...a cube. A block. A means to an end. A way to get from point A to point B.
It provided nothing substantial - not friendship, not love, not shelter, not
food, not a way to escape...nothing. Nothing except for companionship; and since
it was appropriately labeled the companion cube, perhaps that's all I needed it
And there you have it. A handful of games I like and items
from them I value as treasure. There are certainly tons of others - hats from
Team Fortress 2 and Dog from Half Life and my Power Ranger suit from Crysis. I
know I'm not the only one out there who gets attached to inanimate objects, so
how about some of you brave souls share items from your favorite games that you've
gotten attached to.
I have one Orange weapon in Borderlands2, the only one I've gotten so far. It's only level 6 but it has infinite ammo and a good fire rate, so with no reloading the damage per second is a lot better than most early guns. I've been passing it down from one character to the next as I play all the different classes.
My other favorite is my double-enchanted mace in Skyrim (to go with all my double-enchanted armor.) There's something satisfying about the way the game lets you level your skills until you're crafting absolutely legendary armor for yourself, instead of waiting for rare shop items or loot drops.
Xcom: My squad, Fallout: My gear, Far Cry: My knife... the examples are endless...
Nice post man!
I'm in love with many Inanimate stuff in videogames. And I did not see any Blue Shells from Mario Kart in here. Although... I hate them when I don't have them
I completely agree with what you said about Cortana. She has always been the driving force behind the more human elements of the Halo series, despite not actually being "human" at all. I'm really happy with the direction 343 went with Halo 4, and I can't wait to see where they go next.
Hmmm I'd say the one "inanimate" object I truly came to love in video games were my created maps in Timesplitters 2. At first the complexity of these maps was rather abysmal. A few corridors, maybe a large open room, and then another corridor. Then my friend Randy and I began building back and forth and magic started happening.
We were building maps and testing them out for each other. We designed this one map that was a capture the flag map. Rather than simply mirror the map on each side we decided to have multiple paths that were completely different and could also intertwine. It became a complex piece of work, and at the end it soon became the only map we ever played capture the flag on.
Other inanimate objects I fell in love with were my cars in one of the Need for Speed games on the PS2. I built a car that was designed after Two-Face (the Batman villain obviously) where one side was slick and this metallic green color, nice and clean. The other half this purple color with tears along the sides and hood of the car. It was I think the Impreza but I can't remember. I also built an Iron Man car and a Ice Man car. In fact in that game every car was Super Hero themed. Not necessarily with representations of the characters on each car, but colors and such. Any time I've been successful with building in a game I usually end up falling in love with it.
For whatever reason I could never fully wrap my head around Little Big Planet and it's level editor, thus I always had problems with playing that game. I kind of wish the Timesplitters series would make a return, because I'd love to dig into that editor again, it is in my opinion, the best level editor in any game to date, and the possibility of having more room to really build some truly unique levels is really kind of making me sad and wanting to build something in a game right now...Man I wish Notch hadn't given the exclusivity for Minecraft on consoles to Microsoft, I would pay 30 dollars to play that game on my PS3...heck if I could get my computer to run properly I'd play it on that but I'm not that lucky...
I was just smelting some weapons in TF2, and I was having a hard time finding weapons that I could part with, keep in mind half my stuff I have never used and probably never will use. Same goes for Skyrim, Borderlands, Minecraft, and pretty much any game that has you collect your own stuff.
Definitely the Companion Cube.
My friend cries about Cortana all the time. Okay, I'll admit that I do too. But...but...she's been with us for 10 years! When I rescued her in Halo 3, I couldn't help but get a very warm feeling all over me.
Ha, very good indeed.
Awesome blog! As for the items from video games I've gotten attached to:
CoD: Black Ops 2: My Machete/Knife
Halo 4: Cortana
Mass Effect 3: Omni-blade
XCOM: Enemy Unknown: My squad
Once again, awesome post, Saint!
I died at the Mincraft bit the most Saint-Sensi! I fully understand your need to have things that are yours. If I had to pick one inanimate object that I'm truely attached to it would be my Umbreon. I started playing Pokémon when Gold version came out and I when I discovered Umbreon by happy accident I fell in love. Umbreon is a wall and a protector just like me. Umbreon carries itself with an air of swagger and mystery, bu ultimately it cares for it's friends!
My other choice would be Zevran from Dragon Age. I ironically hated him as a teammate, but in terms of character and story I became very attached. (I accidentally romanced him my first play through if that means anything.) he led an unprivileged life style and he earned what he had. But seeing the would be assassian become a hero in his own right made me truely love this elf.
I also forgot Gunblade because its awesome!
I'm definately protective of my possesions in Minecraft. Anytime I leave a world that others are still playing on, I hide a chestful of my most precious belongings and make a note of its exact coordinates.
I'll agree with you regarding Borderlands and its guns. I'd have to say that my love, however, is more for the loot chest itself. It's the holiest of holies, bearing untold potential—for me, the greatest feeling is simply the anticipation about what might be inside...
I'm very attached to Deathtrap in Borderlands 2, the Mechromancer being my favorite playable character, Deathtrap has saved my life more times than I care to count. My buddy (who plays Axton) has a similar attachment to his turret (although not nearly as much as Axton...I hope).
I would also give the example of my pokemon party. As often as you switch them out or get new ones, if you find a team that works, it is easy to root for them in battle. Other examples for me include my playbook in Madden, my turret in Borderlands 2, and my cities in Sim City 4.
I'm the same way with Borderlands 2. I actually found an orange weapon halfway through the game. After leveling further, it became less and less useful, yet I just couldn't make myself get rid of it. Even when I needed the inventory space lol.
Thanks for the shout out, Saint.
I'll say that it was on purpose no matter what anyone else says.
You don't need living parts to be an animate thing. Inanimate is defined as "not endowed with life or spirit" or "lacking consciousness or power of motion". Sackboy seems to have plenty of spirit, and he certainly seems conscious and has the power of motion.