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Bad luck is a hard thing to live down sometimes, and the video-game world's no exception. Whether you having a bit 'o bad luck yourself today, this is no less the 13th episode of my 31/31, and I'm nervous. After all, superstition dictates that 13 is not the best number to have with any occasion. Is this an omen? A warning? Or just the opening to another luck gimmicky blog theme? You decide in my latest list of the top 13 instances of bad luck to grace our favorite video-game characters.
Mario Minis: Walking Under a Ladder
If walking under a ladder were a crime, then Mario would be an accomplice to it 67,849 times over after the number of times his minis have done so in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. Thankfully the Mushroom Kingdom court system [or lack thereof] is hardly that complex beyond a frowning Toadsworth, so it looks like Mario's minis are just gonna have to suffer the horrible fate of such bad luck. From early Christian times, a propped up ladder against a wall and floor was seen to make a triangle representing the Holy Trinity. Passing through one was seen to violate the sanctity of that Trinity and it's this unfortunate act that Mario's sent these poor helpless minis to do too many times in his pointless grudge match against a wily Ape. Worse, Peach, Toad, and even Donkey Kong have since added their minis to the bonanza. Is there already enough bad luck to go around for too many minis?
Nariko: Bad Luck to Demonic Warlords
Old European folklore has it that seeing a red-headed woman in the morning will bring you bad luck all day long. If you're a demonic warlord, then seeing Heavenly Sword's Nariko will most certainly bring you bad luck for quite longer. As fiery and passionate as red-heads are mythologically believed to be, Nariko's fighting spirit is only unlucky to any fool king that'd blink at her twice. No King Bohan or Raven Lord was going to survive her brutal-ass moves and some dude wasn't going to be showing her up for the privilege either. Further, it was New Zealand's Maoris that believed red hair to be a sign of the blood of the gods and a one-way ticket to heaven. That trait may in no small way reflect the game's title or its epic ending for Nariko's hack-and-slash destiny of saving humanity from armies and Gollum-voiced kings. Maybe it's in those ways that our world can actually feel lucky for having her around.
Batman: Black Cat Crossing His Path
Batman suffered long and hard through far too much bad-luck in video-games prior to Rocksteady's Arkham series and, on the surface, it'd look like he's had nothing but astounding success. Both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City hit many critics' top ten lists of their respective years and are regarded as some of the best superhero games, if not licensed games, of all time. Then why is it that Batman's video-game life hasn't been about sipping champaign and photo ops? Instead it's been about watching him get locked up in the loony bin with the Joker's pick of psychos, bizarre/random boss encounters, getting the cape fabric beat out of him, and losing the one yin to his awesome bat-yang. One could say that dressing as a bat and staying up too late look'in for trouble in an under-wear decorated muscle-suit is just asking for bad luck. . . ooooorrr we could just blame it on Catwoman. After all, black cats were the supposed animal forms of the ancient witches of Europe, and it's easy to say that Catwoman has never crossed the Dark Knight's path without some bad luck. Whether it's getting Batman to save her from a botched heist or leaving him to die, she's one sly troublemaker. On the other hand, she DID save 'ole Bats in the canon ending, so I suppose she's not all bad. Just remember to untangle that whip from his forearm.
Max Payne: Broken Mirrors
Max Payne and bad luck go together like a shot of whisky and a complementary cigar, so it's no wonder why Max is as worse for wear as he can be in any department possible. A dead family, sleepless nights, a body-filled past, and enough painkillers to make Rush Limbaugh blush have all but flushed Max's chances at a repairable life. Nevertheless, his life hasn't been one about giving up. It's been about kicking the crap out of any of the punks who get in his or justice's way. Throughout his career, his worse enemy might not be Brazilian drug kingpins or Brooklyn mobsters. On the contrary, Max Payne's highest body count is inarguably the ridiculous amount of mirrors he's murdered across the world. It was according to the Greeks, Chinese, Indian, and Romans alike that a broken mirror would cost you 7 yrs. bad luck for damaging your reflection's soul. With the amount of glass penthouses and bathroom mirror's Max has shot up whether in cover or just to see his game's pretty dust effects, he's liable to have roughly 651 yrs. of bad luck ahead of him. Guess life's just gonna have to punish him with more triple A Rockstar blockbusters for here on out.
Princess Peach: Opening Umbrellas Indoors
Many would bash Peach for her, well, "tendencies" to get kidnapped every other second, but you'll have to admit that the gal's worth giving some slack too. After all, no one can afford the personal security force necessary to keep a castle in perpetual lockdown against Koopa invaders. Further, there's no point in such militaristic attitudes inflaming Koopa/Mushroom Kingdom diplomatic relations. Yet Princess Peach does indeed get kidnapped all too often for a very tired mustachioed boyfriend's tastes. Maybe it's a romanticized fate or kidnappee genes, but there's no denying that she doesn't help her case thanks to a certain umbrella, namely one she keeps opening indoors. It's a popular urban myth that opening an umbrella indoors is nothing but bad luck, in part because it would supposedly offend the sun gods for symbolically wasting an umbrella's use for protection. That kind of bad mojo's the last thing our fair princess needs when life's been so hard on her. And don't tell me that the picture above isn't her umbrella. It's above her and its indoors in a Super Smash Bros. stage. Please don't make this list harder on me than it already is. ;)
Luigi: Mansion with Burning Blue Candles
Those who have played or even recall the premise of Luigi's tragic bout in haunted real-estate know that Luigi's Mansion was everything short of lucky. What some people may not know is how easily it could've been avoided has our green-clad lad been more aware of the folklore behind his abode's dire warnings. Its a long-held belief in classic European tales that the burning hue of blue flames indicated that certain death awaited the house they were near. What's that you say? Blue flames are in the picture above of Luigi's Mansion? Well, ya could've told Luigi that before he emotionally scarred himself for life instead of sharing in Mario's beach vacation in Isle Delphino. Let's put aside the fact that Luigi should've contacted his local Toad law firm upon hearing about winning a house in a contest he didn't enter. Forget the fact that you don't send your uncertified older brother in to "check it out" for you. The minute you see a creepy Victorian era house with nothing but dead trees, squeaky gate hinges, and grave stones in the FREAKING FRONT YARD, you run brother!It might not have made for a better game, but poor Luigi might've enjoyed it better baking lasagna and waiting for another Mario Party invite at home in his loafers.
Up next: The Bad luck news of Animal Crossing, Solid Snake, Samus, and More!