Even if a videogame features extreme fantasy elements that have no connection to reality, usually these elements at the very least fit into the context of the game’s story. Take a game like Final Fantasy, for instance. On several different occasions your party will fight a cactus that shoots needles at you while standing in a very distinct pose. While this is strange, it weirdly fits into the established surroundings and doesn’t feel all that odd.
Sometimes, though, a videogame throws something so random at the player that it is fascinating to think how the idea popped into one of the designer’s heads to begin with. Most of the times these random occurrences don’t have anything to do with anything and truly leave you scratching your head and wondering what you just witnessed.
A perfect example of this occurs in Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64. By the title of this post you can already tell that this moment is going to be different than most things found in the average videogame -- it includes the word “poo,” for crying out loud. But in the world of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, this is only one random thing in a series of ridiculously random things.
And that’s what makes the game so awesome.
Hit the jump to relive one of the strangest, funniest, filthiest, most random videogame moments of all time.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day has an interesting history attached to it. Starting as a very traditional 3D platformer in the vein of Banjo-Kazooie, it wasn’t until late in the game’s development when Rare decided to turn the initially cute title into one of the craziest, dirtiest, and flat-out funniest videogames ever produced. To this day I am still shocked that it was ever even released on the Nintendo 64.
In Conker’s Bad Fur Day, you play as the titular squirrel Conker as he journeys through an abundance of movie parodies and hilariously filthy set pieces in order to get home to his girlfriend Berri.
You know the game is going to be screwed up when it opens with Conker stumbling out of a bar drunk off his tail, struggling to even stand up. After throwing up all over the street (and, yes, this is all shown on-screen), the troubled squirrel wanders away from the bar and into an odd part of town.
As he travels down a dirt path, Conker runs into a large sign pointing in two very distinct directions: “Nice” and “Nasty.” Since he can barely see straight due to all the alcohol, Conker randomly wanders down the wrong path. See, kids? Drinking is bad!
At this point the actual game begins, with players given full control over Conker. Right away one of the most important gameplay features is introduced: context-sensitive zones. In these areas -- indicated by a giant “B” on the ground -- Conker can perform special moves that relate to the environment he is currently in (this comes into play later).
After learning his moves and sobering up a bit, Conker starts his hilariously epic journey through many different stages full of memorable characters and truly shocking situations.
In addition to saving Berri, Conker must also confront many different enemies sent to attack him from the evil Panther King. You see, the Panther King wants to use Conker’s perfectly shaped body to replace the broken leg on his favorite table. Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but the story point strangely fits right into the wacky world created by the game.
In the first section of the surprisingly massive adventure, Conker journeys around a semi-generic platforming hub world connected to a wide variety of different levels. One of these levels is a giant mountain made entirely of ... poo.
Yes, that’s right: poo.
After scaling the grotesque mountain (with gas mask equipped, naturally), Conker makes his way into a high cave. It is here inside this cave when this week’s Memory Card moment occurs: The Great Mighty Poo.
When Conker enters the cave he emerges in the massive interior of the disgusting, brown mountain. Inside, pieces of corn (ew!) are scurrying around, trying their best to stay away from the squirrel intruder. Once Conker captures the last corn and throws it into a huge pit of feces in the center of the room (god, this sequence is just as gross as it is amazing), a cutscene begins.
From the pit, the corn slowly rises out of the filth. As it gets higher, Conker realizes that the corn is being held by something enormous. The poo begins to gather and slowly Conker notices a pair of eyes followed by a set of yellow teeth. Higher and higher the mound rises until it forms into a giant monster: the Great Mighty Poo.
The Great Mighty Poo is the guardian of poo mountain and the boss of the level.
While all if this is gross and shocking on its own, what follows is truly classic. And, seriously, when I say “classic” I really mean it. The boss battle with the Great Mighty Poo may be the most surreal moment I have ever experienced playing a videogame.
And here’s why:
As the fight begins, the Great Might Poo begins to sing an original opera song that continues until the end of the battle. All of this is sung in full-voice (with subtitles) and is one of the most jaw-droppingly crass songs ever written.
The best way to understand the sheer craziness of this sequence is to just transcribe the aria’s lyrics:
After each “verse” of the song, Conker is given a chance to do battle. By standing on the previously mentioned context-sensitive zones, the squirrel can launch rolls of toilet paper in the boss’s mouth while he is singing random notes in preparation for the next part of the song.
Eventually, the Great Mighty Poo’s voice cracks a nearby window and Conker is given access to a huge chain. Upon pulling the chain (all the while avoiding the boss’s poo projectiles), the Great Mighty Poo is flushed down a hole in a terrific and inspired homage to The Wizard of Oz.
And, really, there is nothing more to add. Conker fights a giant opera-singing mound of poo, flushes him away, and moves on to the rest of the game.
You can watch the entire epic boss fight right here (and you really owe it to yourself to watch this -- just reading about it does not do the scene justice):
I don’t know if the Great Mighty Poo boss battle in Conker’s Bad Fur Day inspired much of anything, but the scene is still to this day so shocking that it will never be easily forgotten.
And it really almost speaks for itself: I don’t have much to add.
Most importantly -- and this goes without saying -- it is unbelievable Rare and Nintendo released a profanity-filled game like this on the Nintendo 64. Yeah, I know that Rare and Nintendo had an exclusive deal, but, at the time, the PlayStation (arguably the more “adult” of the two systems) was going very strong. A release on Sony’s console would have just made a lot more sense.
But not that I am complaining. I loved my Nintendo 64 and, even looking past the staggering amount of bad language, violence, and sex, Conker’s Bad Fur Day is actually a really great platformer.
Even more mind boggling: When this game was remade for the more powerful original Xbox years later (as Conker: Live & Reloaded), the Great Mighty Poo sequence was heavily censored. Sure, the toilet humor was obviously intact, but all the bad language -- such as “shit” and “twat” -- was completely bleeped. Given the fact that most people would consider the Xbox much more ”hardcore” than the Nintendo 64, this decision is perplexing, to say the least.
Because of this, the original Nintendo 64 version will always be the best.
I still will never forget the first time I heard the opera song. It is one of the rare times I have actually called random friends who care nothing for videogames and asked them to come over to witness the sequence for themselves.
And I will never forget their faces. To say they were shocked and surprised by what they were seeing and hearing is a complete understatement. It was so awesome.
I can’t decide which I dislike more: toilet humor or typing the word “poo” over and over again on a Web site I love and respect. With that being said, though, I still adore the Great Mighty Poo boss fight in Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Even taking away the initial shock value that obviously forms a lot of the nostalgia, the confrontation is bizarre, super funny, and -- gasp! -- pretty well-designed. The way everything is woven together -- from the gameplay breaks in the song to the shattering glass -- is pretty brilliant.
And, oh yeah, it’s a giant mound of poo singing opera. It doesn’t get any more amazing than that. Best boss fight ever!
The Memory Card Save Files
.01 - .20 (Season 1)
What's Up? Our panel at PAX Prime 2014, Far Cry 4, Destiny Beta, Vietnam & a ferret
8:00 PM on 07.25.2014