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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How To Cope Playing Games With Awful Playable Characters

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm an expert and I have tips to share. This is apparently an intervention.

Today, Kingdom Hearts III was released worldwide. I don't really have anything to say about it beyond my comment here, where I still think the game is vapourware and not really releasing.

Almost no one on KoopaTV's staff cares about Kingdom Hearts III or the series in general except Wendy (and what's the likelihood she'll ever publish content here about Kingdom Hearts?), so I'm just going to segue into fulfilling one of the requests we've received that alludes to Sora, the protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series (most of it anyway):
I desperately need an intervention article for dealing with characters you hate in media you love. You seem to be able to play games that have the plumber all the time. I need to deal with the fear of giant door opener wielder getting in my Smash Bros.” 

I'm an expert in playing games that feature characters I absolutely despise, ranging from every single Mario game to the fact that Super Smash Bros. now features bad characters like PAC-MAN and Chrom. Here are some ways you can handle games with awful protagonists.

If a game has multiple selectable characters, the solution is simple: never pick the character you dislike. You might have to see them on a menu or a selection screen (in the case of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I can't even find the characters I like on that monster of a character selection screen, let alone hate), but at least you're not wearing their clothes or thinking their thoughts. For example, I minimised using Koops as my partner in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, reserving him only for Koopa-necessary puzzles and then swapping him out.

Same with Mario himself in Super Paper Mario. Do I have to go into 3D perspective? Switch to the red plumber, do whatever is necessary, and then switch back to playing as Lord Bowser for the majority of standard play. In Fire Emblem Awakening, I avoided using Chrom for the whole game. It worked out pretty well. I didn't use his awful offspring, either.

It's a form of min-maxing. Minimise the screen time of who sucks, and maximise the screen time of who doesn't. 

What about games that only have one playable character and a lack of partners to fall back on, such as Paper Mario: Color Splash? In that case, you can do what I did, as outlined in my review of my Color Splash fortress, Fort Cobalt: have a lot of fun getting that character killed and explore the game's cruelty potential towards the character you dislike.

I documented my whole playthrough of Paper Mario: Color Splash on Miiverse, now lost to the ages. I distinctly remember that I went out of my way to die as often as possible to every Koopaling fight. This was fun. Here's a surviving moment:

Paper Mario Color Splash Sunset Express Larry Koopa instant death
This is the one time that trains did anything good for anybody: Larry Koopa rides the Sunset Express to kill Mario!

For another example, this is the first thing I did when I played Super Mario Odyssey:

Speaking of cruelty, it turns out that fighting against Chrom is really, really fun in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Especially with his voice-acting. He tries to act all tough, “OUT OF MY WAY!” “I'LL END YOU!” “NOW I'M MAD!” And then you can easily knock him off the stage and then he's all, “Sorry!” What a total loser. Killing Chrom is very cathartic. He's such a joke that he's one of the only characters to get a nerf in version 2.0.0!

PAC-MAN, however, is a total pain in the shell to fight against. Still, not many people play as PAC-MAN since he's unpopular and unliked. I actually block people online if they do, unless they're terrible and then it's catharsis again. Then I don't have to deal with PAC-MAN players, and by extension, PAC-MAN! That's one way you can avoid the presence of losers.

In other character-related news, Piranha Plant has now released on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I have already congratulated the plant, so they don't fall under the realm of being awful or hated. 

Piranha Plant victory screen bites Mario Super Smash Bros. Ultimate win
In fact, I think Piranha Plant is going to fall under the realm of adored.

Looks like Piranha Plant is avenging Petey Piranha after all

If you read this article and got the impression that Ludwig really hates Mario, then you don't know the half of it. There's an entire category of articles on this site, the Enlightenment Movement, that's just about that. Ludwig hopes this helps the requester out a bit. If you need some help about a topic, you're free to do as the requester did, and go to KoopaTV's dedicated Requests page and comment what you want a KoopaTV article about!


  1. Sora is way more popular than Pac-Man so I would be seeing him all the time if he was playable as well as having to deal with his Victory Animation and theme if he is extremely difficult to fight against.I think y block list will be filled to capacity in one day if I blocked every Sora user.

    1. You're going to see a lot more Piranha Plant now per capita than you will a month from now.

      You could try refraining from online play with random players for a bit after Sora is released—assuming he's going to be in the game. His hype will die down.

      You could train specifically on his match-up so you won't see his victory animations!


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