Fake Game Friday(ish): The Goon

This one panel tells you everything you need to know about The Goon.

Pay no attention to your clock. It is currently Friday.Congrats to the winner of last week’s Fake Game Friday contest, Lark Ohiya. All of the other entries we got were very good, and will more than likely become FGF articles at some point in the future.For this week, though, we turn to one of the single coolest comic book characters ever created: The Goon.He’s a bucktoothed, zombie-hating tough guy who speaks with his fists and inhabits one of the most hilariously awesome comic books in recent memory. Suffice it to say, he’d do great in a video game.StoryTo quote the summary on the back of a typical Goon trade paperback:The Zombie Priest rolled into town, with sorrow and misery on his mind. He never bargained that this hapless, hopeless burg would be home to a man mean enough to handle the likes of him, so ever since he got here, he’s been holed up on Lonely Street, building up his undead army, hiding out from THE GOON!The Goon is basically a hideous, semi-intelligent brute in a semi-constant struggle with the Zombie Priest and his forces who are attempting to take over his town. If you’re familiar with Sin City, he’s like a funnier, slightly friendlier version of Marv.

"So your mom left you. I would too with that mug! You want a sob story? My pappy was a Mississippi snake handler tha tkilled my mammy with a rattler! He would take me nightly to dance about on her grave! And fi I cried, he'd beat me with a broken beer bottle duct taped to the end of a pipe wrench! ...What?"

Issues of The Goon can tackle a lot of genres at once, but at its basest form, the comics are a mixture of action and dark/slapstick humor. Imagine Hellboy crossed with The Three Stooges. Crossed with Dawn of the Dead. For instance, one of the characters’ (the Goon’s sidekick, Franky, pictured above) regular catchphrases is “KNIFE TO THE EYE”, accompanied by, unsurprisingly, someone getting stabbed in the eye. If you don’t find that funny, The Goon probably isn’t for you, and you and I probably would not get along in real life.GameplayThe Goon is violent, but never brutal. A lot of The Goon’s exploits involve hand to hand combat with monsters of varying size and intelligence, but with the exception of a few particular beasts, The Goon never really kills anyone permanently. As a result, the game could probably get away with a “T” rating, for cartoon violence and adult humor.The game would play like a cel-shaded GTA. The entire unnamed town would be rendered in full detail, from The Goon’s pad to the bars he frequents, to Lonely Street itself. While Lonely Street is the only area openly filled with zombies, the rest of the town isn’t exactly the safest: werewolves, vampires, giant fish beasts, and about any other supernatural creature you could imagine roam more or less freely through the rest of the city. The Goon goes on missions to knock out the Zombie Priest’s resources, eventually weakening the priest to the point where The Goon can attack the Priest’s fortress head-on. Since the fortress exists at the very beginning of the game, it is hypothetically possible for the player to kill the Zombie Priest immediately after starting a new game. However, given the sheer size and strength of the Priest’s army, this would be a near-impossible task. Almost all players will have to engage in many, many, many missions to limit the Priest’s sphere of influence and cut him off from his resources.

unproportionate arms ftw. inproportionate?

In this respect, as a GTA clone, The Goon would be more similar to Scarface than Saints’ Row. Instead of forcing the player to engage in a bunch of arbitrary missions designed to sort-of-kind-of drive a story forward, the player engages in missions that directly impact an overall goal that the player is trying to accomplish. In Scarface, it was purchasing drug fronts in an effort to get more cash and rebuild an empire: in The Goon, it’s clearing areas of the city of zombie infestation and reducing the Zombie Priest’s power. This mission structure allows the player to meet dozens upon dozens of different characters from the Goon universe, who all have problems relating to the zombies. Considering how damn fun a lot of these characters are (effeminate vampires, crooked G-men, smelly drunks, and an inverse-zombie: a living person who must feast on the flesh of the dead to survive), players will have a lot of fun simply meeting the new characters and hearing what they have to say (the dialogue, of course, will be written by Goon creator Eric Powell).The gameplay itself will be heavily focused on hand to hand combat. The system will be simple but relatively deep, similar to The Warriors. Anyone will be able to pick up and play The Goon, but mastering the fighting system and understanding its ins and outs will take several hours. Overall, the game, like the comic, is meant solely as entertainment: if the player is wrestling with the controls or the camera or the missions, then they aren’t having fun. And if they aren’t having fun, then the game isn’t being true to the source material.That’s all I got right now. In conclusion: get your hands on some Goon comics.

Anthony Burch