How To Become A Real-Life Video Game Hero

by Mike Mahardy on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Everyone has their idols. While some people foolishly admire athletes and physicists, the rest of us appreciate more down-to-earth individuals like Master Chief or Commander Shepard. As with any idol, sometimes we wish we could be more like them someday. Here’s a guide to being more like your favorite video game heroes.

Disclaimer: Don’t actually do any of these things. Many of them are dangerous and/or impossible.

Develop Your Climbing and Jumping Skills:

Mario wasn’t a great jumper from birth. He practiced. A lot. The looming threat of temporary death and a hatred for Goombas aren’t exactly things we can relate to though, so we’re resigned to more practical workouts. Try box jumps and squat thrusts to increase your jumping strength. Walking around all day with ankle weights on also pays off in the long run. Additionally, try emitting yelps every time you jump. Something like, “Yup! Wup! Wahoo!” You’ll definitely get a few looks around the office, but when a co-worker gets eaten by a Piranha Plant because he wasn’t sprinting before he jumped, you’ll have the last laugh.

There are gyms and facilities where you can go to hone your climbing skills, but Ezio and Nathan Drake didn’t waste their time with safety harnesses and locker rooms. Instead, they tested their abilities in the real world. So, to be as good as they are, follow suit. Almost any surface has the potential to be climbed: trees, semi-trucks, your brother’s Dodge Neon, just to name a few. Start low and work your way up, as it would be downright dangerous to tackle the side of Taco Bell right away.

Have An Arsenal Of One-Liners:

As difficult as this is to believe, most video game characters don’t just come up with witty lines on the spot; they rehearse. Personally, I say, “It’s time to split!” 75 times in the mirror every morning. With a few tweaks here and there, you’ll be sounding like Sergeant Cortez in no time. 

A little comic relief can do wonders to lighten the mood. When times get tough, Leon Kennedy always knows what to say. If you ever find yourself in a position to wow people with your amazing intellect and cunning wordplay, try out, “Where’s everyone going? Bingo?” when you’re the last one to leave a room. Not only will it get sympathetic laughs, but you’ll feel good about yourself, too.  

Don’t Shop At Mainstream Clothing Stores:

If you’re wondering why you can’t find Sora’s ridiculously huge clown shoes anywhere, it’s because you’re looking in all of the wrong places. You won’t find gaming’s hottest fashions at The Gap or Banana Republic (unless you’re aiming for a Nathan Drake or Ethan Mars look). There are usually good prices on green tunics at Beedle’s Air Shop, while any dumpster has the potential to contain a free Ryu outfit.

If you want to fully look the part, make sure to complement your heroic fashion with the best accessories. Deku shields are only 40 rupees in Kokiri forest and you can usually find a few first-aid sprays lying around if you look hard enough. If you don’t feel like splurging on potions or weapons, people seem to drop a crazy amount of both. By taking advantage of their stupidity, you’ll be able to find your way around any apparel-related predicament.

Develop Your Critical Thinking:

While on the topic of problem-solving, it may be worth noting that you’ll be doing your fair share of this throughout your life. In fact, if your enemies are anywhere near being the jerk that Ganon is, you’ll have to wade through a multitude of complex dungeons before the wimps finally fights you. To prepare for these inevitable obstacles, try playing solitaire at work when you should actually be earning money. The multitasking and resourcefulness will pay off in the long run. Pushing ices blocks around and hitting walls with your sword, oddly enough, usually seem to pay off too.

Above all else, make sure you’re observant. Spotting a hidden treasure chest or constantly jumping to find invisible blocks pay enormous dividends when you’re stuck in a tight spot. Again, you may look stupid doing these things in public, but being a hero has never been easy.

Be Resourceful:

Learning how to outfit an armored truck for defense in a zombie apocalypse isn’t something they teach you in high school. Much like plasma weapon repairs and sword fabrication, you’ll have to teach yourself. That is, unless you have a spare 5000 gold lying around. Then you could just use that for training from a professional blacksmith.

In most cases, however, you’ll need to use everything in your environment to your advantage. Donkey Kong bought his Coconut Rifle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hollow out that log and outfit it with firing mechanisms to get the same result. Do you need a weapon to use against a hungry horde of zombies? Follow in Zeke and Julie’s footsteps. They figured out how to use explosive Popsicles and water guns to save their unfortunate neighbors. A fine example of food being mightier than the sword.

So there you have it. Everything you need to know to become a real-life video game hero. If these methods don't work, you're either doing them wrong, or it's horrible advice in the first place. In either case, stick to what the rest of us do and just play video games.