“For great justice”

November 20, 2006

I was reading a paper by Eddo Stern entitled “A Touch of Medieval: Narrative, Magic and Computer Technology in Massively Multiplayer Computer Role-Playing Games” (available here). And I came across this very interesting remark:

NPCs always stick out as peculiar technological anomalies focusing attention more on their technical shortcomings than on their “character”. NPCs often find themselves a ripe topic for ridicule and mockery.

I couldn’t agree more. But there is a note, which reads:

Consider the “All your base are belong to us” web phenomena, which stemmed from the mockery of a grammatically challenged NPC as much as from an Anglocentric juvenile reverie

What does he mean? We love Cats*! He’s the coolest, meanest bad-ass villain in the history of videogames! “Why”, you still have the courage to ask?

First off he’s got that cyborg look. You know girls just love that. They do, honest! Also, one of the crew members distinctively calls him a “main screen turn on”. Not just a turn-on. Or a small screen turn-on. It’s a main screen one. Well, then again that crew member probably spent too much time in space.

And he’s known. Well I know it’s easy to be known when you share a name with a famous musical. But the way the ship’s captain addresses him reflects the notoriety that Cats boosts. “It’s you” he says, as he thinks “Oh gods its Cats, THE Cats! I was hoping he’d send one of his sickest minions, like Britney Spears or Colin Farrell, but he came himself. We’re never leaving this spaceship alive now!”

Finally, the evil Cats has that uncanny ability to speak cri(p)tical sentences, like any philosophically profound villain should have (at least by Japanese standards). When a bad guy says something like “all your base are belong to us” you know he means business. But the real power relies in the double-baffling effect: at first you’re baffled in figuring out the true meaning of such a poetic discourse (and it might be the last poetic thing you hear) and then you’re baffled in dealing with the truth of it’s meaning, because it’s generally no good for you. Mind you also that, in the meantime, a lot of time is left for someone to stick a screwdriver in your eye. Or run away with your girl.

Cats in all his splendour

So as you may understand it’s impossible not to love this guy. And some people make fun of his way of speaking? What about Yoda, then?

Oh, I missed a very important remark! The horror that transpires out of a crew member’s words “someone set up us the bomb”. What kind of evil, horrific, depraved and sickly creature would have the power to set a bomb up you without you noticing it?

* If you’re not acquainted with the “All your base” craze, then maybe Wikipedia can help


3 Responses to ““For great justice””

  1. Valadas said

    I haven’t read the article yet, but I must say this in reference to the title…

    “For great justice”…


  2. Valadas said

    Finished reading it.
    I just knew it!!! I did… Really!! 😀

    And once more with a billion violin orchestra behind me playing some over the top Wagner style villain bashing tune…
    “You have no chance to survive… Make your time…”

  3. I knew you’d like it! Although it came in rather late :\

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