This would be an old backlog entry but unfortunately my computer is down. Therefore you folks get a nice fresh entry. Enjoy!
There’s a trailer that came out a little while ago that’s gotten me thinking. It’s actually a trailer for Ninja Gaiden 3. I know. A Ninja Gaiden trailer got me thinking about something. Bare with it. I think this one has potential.
The trailer is called the Consequence Trailer and you can see it here if you so choose. But in it, Ryu is shown holding his arm as energy, the color of blood flows and twists into it. As the trailer reaches it’s climax several characters are shown speaking in flashback and finally one stares directly at the screen yelling “Think! THINK! How many lives has that hand taken? Hundreds? Thousands?”
At the time I joked that since it was Ryu Hyabusa, the original NES ninja himself, then that’s a really valid question since the guy’s been killing wave after wave of enemies since the 80s. Heck there are rooms in the modern Ninja Gaiden games you can just stand in and murder enemies wholesale. Then I thought about it a bit. The number of lives Ryu’s taken, it would be almost astronomical to count. While I know the mechanic behind the story element won’t be debilitating to the player in a severe way (the game wouldn’t sell if that was the case) the sheer idea of a gaming character like Ryu finally dealing with the number of lives he’s (and you’ve) taken. The last time I saw such a mechanic used was in Metal Gear Solid 3 and it was one of the great bone-chilling moments of the game. Traveling up a fogged over river as the bodies of all the bosses, soldiers and animals killed in the game drifted by, some screaming at you.
Even still, I couldn’t shake the trailer from my mind and I wasn’t sure why until today in fact. I stretched my imagination a bit, just a bit, and said to myself, “What if I was being asked that question?”
Now this is not, I REPEAT, not a rant or even a discussion on how gaming can encourage violent tendencies. But, when I think about, how many lives have my hands taken?
Heck, I’d be lucky if it was in the thousands.
In my time as a gamer I’ve immolated my enemies, shot them, eaten them, stolen their powers after they’ve blown up, impaled them on spikes, ripped their souls from their bodies, thrown them to massive grinders, drowned them in floods, scorched them in atomic fire, beaten them, broken every bone in their body, frozen them solid, launched them off buildings… I can’t even remember all the ways I’ve burned, sliced, crushed, dropped, impaled, trapped, and exploded them.
I’ve done it for honor, glory, peace, to save the world, to save a kingdom, to save innocent lives, revenge, power, freedom, destiny, orders, all of it.
I can easily imagine myself atop a mountain of bodies seated at the peak on a throne of my own weapons, ready for my use as I stare out at a battlefield that crosses countless worlds. I am and I’ve always been the shadow behind my character, pushing him forward to kill for me.
So think, how many lives have your hands taken?
And so too does this work exist.