Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Which videogame creatures deserve a second chance?

4:00 PM on 08.16.2014 // RedHeadPeak

Promoted from our Community Blogs!

[Dtoid community blogger RedHeadPeak shares his love for the unloved. Want to see your own work appear on the front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon]

In my never-ending journey to the summit of Backlog Game Mountain, I finally reached The Last of Us. It took a long time to get there, but it was worth it. I'd heard great things, and was expecting to find an amazing game. It really is all sorts of amazing.

What I wasn't expecting, however, was to feel sympathy for the Clickers.

What is intended to be the creepiest creature in The Last of Us ended up earning my pity. They are monsters, sure. But in my mind they are misunderstood monsters. Below, I will explain why I feel this way, and also share my thoughts on some other creatures that I believe deserve a second chance.

The Clickers in The Last of Us are just lonely

Let me be clear: I have no sympathy for the people that were turned into the Infected. They probably weren't very nice anyhow. If there's one thing you learn about people in The Last of Us, it's that they are all bad people. No, my sympathy is certainly for the Clickers. For those who haven't yet played, the Clickers are an advanced form of the regular Infected. Their mushroom-coated brains are now so ravaged that they are completely blind and navigate the world using a serious of verbal clicks. They are thus referred to as Clickers in that very literal way zombies are labelled.

Now, these creatures aren't easy to get along with. If you pass by quietly they shuffle about their limited business without giving a click about you. But make too much noise and they will... overreact to your presence. Whilst the unwanted affections of regular Infected can be fought off with simple button bashing, the Clickers have a nasty habit of killing you instantly the moment they are within grabbing distance, chewing on your neck with gusto.

I realize this summary isn't helping my case.

In truth, I myself didn't realize just how misunderstood these creatures were until the second act of the game. Joel and Ellie meet up with a slightly unhinged character by the name of Bill, who reluctantly helps you on your journey. After gathering supplies from his personal armory, you find yourself at the gates of a high-walled cemetery, wherein there are nearly a dozen Clickers. By this point in the game I was very wary of these opponents and proceeded to sneak Joel silently past these fungal foes.

If you've played the game, or heard people comment on it, you probably know that the NPCs are pretty much invisible to your enemies. You hide, you stealth, you bide your time. Your allies, on the other hand, can be crouching under the feet of an Infected and remain undetected. It's an unfortunate, atmosphere-breaking element of the game, though it's rarely a major issue.

Within the walls of this graveyard, Ellie and Bill decided to really test their luck. As I crawled forward, careful to avoid the Clickers, I looked on with amazement as the duo ran around the graveyard, taunting the Infected. They ran around Clickers; they shoulder-barged into them; at one point Bill appeared to be bullying a Clicker by knocking into it repeatedly, causing it to stumble about pathetically.

While this moment can be chalked up to poor design in an otherwise solid game, it was in this very moment that I began to feel sympathy for the Clickers. While my first impressions of them could be summarised quite succinctly -- ohmygodwhatisthatuglythingarghitischewingmychinoff -- I began to realize that these neck-biting, sonar-using calamities don't really deserve the hate that Joel and Ellie are leveling at them.

For one thing, they aren't even very good at sound detection. So long as you move slowly, Clickers don't have a chance of detecting you. They've also got no chance of detecting anything smaller or stealthier than a person, which means that their blindness prevents them from catching food and fending for themselves. Unless a clumsy person wanders right by them, the Clickers are going to go hungry. This helps to explain why Clickers are so "grabby"; you'd launch yourself at a potential food source if you hadn't eaten in a week, too. Furthermore, the Clickers' reaction to presence can be attested to surprise; you were the one that snuck up on them... no wonder they are annoyed!

So the Clickers are blind, hungry, and easily startled. They are hardly a creature to feel hatred for and surely one that needs a second chance. In my opinion, it would take very little effort from the human survivors to tame these simple beasts instead of murdering them all. They've shown that they can be easily manipulated, using sound to trick them. Their brains are akin to mushroom soup at this point, but they are still able to recognize sounds, and follow the same route round in circles.

Has anyone in this post-apocalyptic world even tried to train the Clicker? All you would need is a decent-sized cage, some animal meat, and one of those dog training clicker things and you could teach these simple beasts some basic commands. They would make excellent watch dogs, listening out for other Infected that are nearby. And if your flashlight ran out of batteries, your faithful Clicker could navigate the way home through difficult terrain.

I see absolutely no reason why taming Clickers could be considered a bad idea. Nope. Not even one reason.

The Riftworm in Gears of War was just clumsy

Before I go on to prove the innocence of the Riftworm, consider that name. Riftworm. Rift-worm. Who in their right mind would ever consider a creature with "worm" in their name to be a threat? Do you think worms are evil creatures? I mean, sure, this one is a little bit bigger than regular Earth worms...

For those who haven't played Gears of War 2, the Riftworm is both an opponent and the location for an entire level of the game. These gigantic, subterranean worms are also the reason why the Locust (your main opponents) even exist. Long before the first Gears of War these eight-mile-long monsters bored their way through the planet, creating tunnels and caverns, leaving life-giving worm waste in their wake. The Locust perceived the Riftworms as gods (though they are far from intelligent), and when a single Riftworm awakens for the events of Gears of War 2, the Locust leaders are able to lead this monster around like cattle.

Now it must be said that this Riftworm does cause a teensy weensy bit of damage during the game. One or two... entire human cities are reduced to rubble and despair as the Worm is led through the earth beneath them. Okay, so it's actually three cities. The Riftworm sinks three entire cities as if they were nothing. Now that sounds bad sure, but the point is: it's not Riftworm's fault.

As mentioned earlier, this monster did not set out to kill people and destroy homes. His evil, Locust "drivers" steer him towards these locations in order to win the war. Just like the Clickers, the Riftworm navigates using sound. They know not what destruction they cause. Moreover, this ancient creature only wakes from decades of slumber when the humans detonate a giant bomb above its head! By the end of the first game, the war has been raging for fourteen years, and the Riftworm was blissfully unaware. Only when the humans attempt to blow up half the planet does the colossal Worm get involved.

Think about your reaction to being woken up for no good reason. Don't even try to convince me your reaction is anything less than angry, annoyed confusion. Can you really blame the Riftworm for wanting to level a few houses?

Marcus Fenix and his Delta Force minions fail to see the situation from the Riftworm's giant perspective. When they are accidentally swallowed by the Riftworm as they attempt to escape a falling city, they decide that the Riftworm needs to die. Nevermind that this creature is not responsible for his own actions. So the muscled-laden team knuckle-drag their way through the innards of this mighty beast, and once they find each of the three hearts they crush them with bullets. Finally, as this creature spews blood from its half-mile-wide mouth, Delta Force chainsaws its way to freedom. Then they celebrate the demise of a worm.

The city was already destroyed by this point. Killing the Riftworm served no purpose, except to fulfill Delta Team's brutish need for vengeance. My main issue here is that the team never considered the fact that the Worm deserved a chance at a better life free from Locust control. Not once did they consider that removing just one or two of its hearts would slow it down, without resorting to murder. The Riftworm would no longer aid the Locust in their war, and the Riftworm's city-wrecking days would be over.

I don't know how you managed to write this section without using this pic -Andy

On the other hand, if the human forces had tried harder to free the Riftworm from the Locust, they would have a powerful ally. What better way to dispatch your tunnel-dwelling rivals than atop your very own worm-steed that could chomp its way through their defenses like they were made of ice cream? Add to this the understanding that the Riftworm is considered to be a GOD. The Locust would start to rethink their whole military campaign if you attacked them riding their deity.

That big worm did one or two bad things in its time. Sure, I won't deny that. However, I think we can all now realize that this proud creature did not deserve to die. We can all see that... right?

The animals in Far Cry 3 were just trying to help

You can hardly blame the predatory species of the Rook Islands to be... well... more predatory than usual. From the beginning of the game to the inevitable conclusion, the protagonist kills and skins a dozen zoos worth of animals just so he can have more pouches for his guns and grenades. James Brody is the kind of guy who will shoot a goat in the face because he needs a new wallet. I can't blame the tigers, bears and leopards of Far Cry 3 for being overly-aggressive with a guy that appears to be wearing their relatives.

Don't get me wrong; I won't deny that the animals on this island are extremely aggressive. Whilst creatures like the komodo dragon and the crocodile are mean beings in reality, all these virtual critters will chase your across the length of the island just to chew your ankle off. Nevertheless, I can't help feeling that with a little understanding, respect, and training, these animals could become your allies.

The predators on this island show their worth each time you attempt to take over one of the islands outposts.

At the start of the game, your enemy has control over the whole island, which you can alleviate by dispatching the occupants of various bases. The method of turning over these outposts is your choice. By the mid-way point in the game, you are carrying enough weaponry to re-enact the Normandy Landings and you can choose to wash away your bewildered enemies in a hailstorm of bullets. Alternatively, you can save your ammo and stealth-kill your way through the pack.

Whatever your choice, there is one action you will no doubt always start with. You let the animal out the cage. For some under-developed reason the outpost defenders choose to keep a caged animal on site. The creature will be different each time, but one fact remains true: when they are let out of the cage they are going for the throat of anyone nearby. And so, before any attack, you'll let the animal out to have fun. You might team up with them in their murder-spree, or sit back and take bets on how many men will be mauled before the animal is brought down.

You might play through the entire game considering the caged predator a simple tool at your disposal. I no longer think that way, and I remember the encounter that changed my mind. A few hours into the game I came upon an outpost defended by six to eight armed guards. The confined animal of choice was a big black bear. I had already decided that my approach would be stealthy, using the release of the bear as a distraction. A single, silenced rifle shot was enough to break the seal on the animal's prison. The bear gleefully leapt at the guard standing in front of him. At the same time I silently back-stabbed a guard at my end of the camp.

This bear did well. It had clearly spent its time in captivity plotting how it might take revenge. With his first target dead he ran away from a second guard, causing them to follow. The bear then ran full circle around a nearby hut to launch at the pursuer in a way that would make the Jurassic Park Velociraptors proud. As the bear went in for a third kill, I dealt with the remaining guards with a rapid succession of shotgun blasts.

It was my most successful outpost capture up to that point and I owed my success to that glorious animal. Before I could celebrate my success, though, I realized what was going to happen next. As the outpost flag switched colors to denote a take-over, allies of mine would be coming to occupy the camp. Sure enough, I could see their jeep approaching. I found myself facing an awful dilemma. When the men arrived they would see the bear and riddle it with bullets... an ignoble end for a noble creature. In the few seconds I had left I made a judgement call: I drew my pistol hoping to make the bear's death quick and painless.

I might be over-dramatizing this situation, but the next few seconds really did carry a sense of poignancy. As I aimed at the bear, I was unaware of how close to death it was. I fired once and the bear -- who had helped me in such a visually awesome way -- slumped to the ground. In a game where your character does some pretty awful things, this was the one time where I felt like I'd done something truly despicable.

If I could relive that incident, I would not have fired. Instead, I would have held my hands out to the soldiers as they climbed out their jeep. As they leveled their firearms at the snarling beast I would have stood in the firing line with cries of "Don't shoot! He's on our side!" If only I could have saved that bear, I'm sure I could have trained him to fight alongside me. Jason Brody's quest would have been so radical with a grizzly companion mauling alongside him. I'm adamant that even the most aggressive Far Cry 3 creature could show a friendlier side once they are given a second chance.

Apart from the cassowaries. Those guys are JERKS.

There are so many games that point the player towards an unknown creature, declaring, "That thing is evil, kill it with fire!" and we gratefully oblige. Perhaps we should give a second thought to the monsters we are decimating?

What about you? What other "enemies" do you think need a second chance? What other videogame creatures are misunderstood? Do you agree that the Clickers, Riftworm, and Far Cry critters deserve a little more respect? Or do those scary monsters deserve death by bullets?

 Follow Blog + disclosure RedHeadPeak

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Ckarasu avatarCkarasu
So, SMT IV: Final looks like it'll make fans of the older games happy. Especially fans of SMT 2.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Do games go in cycles like style? I mean, I think I can just as well play my 1993 Space Hulk (PC CD) instead of getting the moderately new Space Hulk instead.
Occams avatarOccams
Naruto 4 installs on my PS4 and it updates. Game says it can't run story mode during installation. Nothing's installing though. Restarted PS4. Reinstalled. Nothing. Fucking dumb.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
This plays in my head every time I tell myself to stay determined.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Tonight, I learned what Flanx and MrNovember sound like in discord, listened to the best idea for a movie ever, and learned a little more about the depths of human depravity. A night well spent. Fuck us all.
Ckarasu avatarCkarasu
So, the artist that they used for Street Fighter 5's story mode(the arcade one) is kinda...not good. Go look up Laura's CGs. Colors are pale, and proportions sometimes end up kinda bonkers. Like, "extreme hourglass figure" level of bonkers.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Justin Timberlake blasts Kuma in the ass and dies.
ooktar avatarooktar
I'm loving these fighting game elitists trying to give me shit because I criticized Street Fighters Fight Money business model.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Thanks to Dtoid I now have this gif in my life, and I can't stop laughing. I seriously can't get over it.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Finished SOMA today , was able to do a second run without enemies with the "Wuss" mod, found it actually more frightening has you get more time to think about what is really going instead of doing hide-and-seek with the AI (Alien Isolation I miss you)
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I stayed up late last Saturday writing a Dead Space 4 proposal outline. Solved every plot hole, had plenty of badass moments. This is the state I live in, people.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished my Storge set and 4/5ths of that was on the clock today o_O I also got a dragonlord eyepatch, which is totally practical covering the right eye when Cyndel's hair covers up the left eye.
Lawman avatarLawman
So Zack Furniss told me I should play Dying Light on Hard. Guess who's never listening to Zack Furniss again? :-/
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Deadpool spoilers: He gets cancer.
beargreasey avatarbeargreasey
So Kanye just announced his new game, Only Once. It looks beautiful and personal. It's just a shame that I still have no idea what it is.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I dunno why people are getting so huffy about Windows Store / XbOne Quantum Break crossbuy. It means double the gamerscore for me, and AW and AW:AN are rereleasing on the One so I'll have owned them 3 times over. Great games.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I once considered pitching an idea for a Dtoid Australia podcast, but then I realised it'd probably just be Zyk and I getting drunk on Foster's and complaining about Atlus for half an hour each week while incessantly calling each other cunts.
Parismio avatarParismio
New Splatfest is Pokemon Red vs Pokemon Blue. Im Blue Team bitches!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Been sick but these pills are fixing me right up. [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -