“I didn’t ask for this.” “The cake is a lie.” “But then I took an arrow to the knee.” These phrases are just a few of a slew of gaming related inside jokes, which have grown today to become known as memes. This year in video games brought about more controversy in mainstream media than anything, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a bunch of hilarious instances within the scene that made their mark.
Let’s take trip down memory lane and revisit the good ol’ video game memes of 2014.
The Cryptarch and the Purple Engram.
Destiny was the most anticipated release of the year, the most pre-ordered title in GameStop history, and the first stab any developer had taken at making a persistent online shooter that plays like an MMO, specifically for video game consoles. To release the perfect ecosystem that the entire playerbase would’ve been 100% in tune with would have been a lofty accomplishment, but no one expected a misstep of this proportion. It didn’t take long after the game had launched to see that there was a huge flaw in the game’s handling of legendary engrams, which often resulted in players receiving everything but a legendary item.
Many players took to social media, enraged by the deception of the Cryptarch and his legendary engrams (also called purple engrams). The decryption shenanigans became so ridiculous that both the Cryptarch and the Legendary Engram got their very own parody accounts on Twitter. The game has since been patched, limiting the amount of legendary engrams dropped and also making every legendary engram decrypt into a legendary item.
All hail Lord Helix.
TwitchPlaysPokemon was one of those surprising events that many still struggle to understand the significance of. So yeah, thousands of people did band together to control a Pokemon game by typing commands inside of a Twitch TV chatroom– but what on God’s green earth is fun about that? Did I say God? Excuse me, that was totally blasphemous for me to say.
One of the main reasons TwitchPlaysPokemon became the interesting crowd-controlled event that it did was because of the outlandish side story Twitch users created as they struggled through the game for 16 straight days. More notably: the “Church of Helix” religion. Omastar quickly became a religious figure within the confines of the TwitchPlaysPokemon chatroom, named for the Helix Fossil players discovered on Mt. Moon. It eventually became an Omanyte, and to this day, players still call on him as a religious deity of sorts. His influence during the original TwitchPlaysPokemon run will never be forgotten as long as the Twitch channel exists. All hail Lord Helix!
“That wizard came from the moon.”
Not to be overshadowed by the shenanigans of the Cryptarch and Purple Engrams, the OG Destiny meme has also made its way onto this year’s list. When the Destiny First Look Alpha launched during E3, many folks took notice of the sub-par VO job from esteemed Game of Thrones frontman Peter Dinklage. There was a specific line in general that pretty much summed up the atrocious voice acting in one sentence. Let’s see if you remember it:
This line could have very well been delivered this way intentionally– he was, after all, playing an emotionless robot, and there’s a high chance the vocal effects were not applied to Dinklage’s line deliveries before putting them into the Destiny First Look Alpha. “That wizard came from the moon” became so popular that Bungie even had shirts featuring the famed quote produced, donating all the proceeds to charity, and further capitalizing on the attention Destiny was getting from a simple voiceover flub. The game unfortunately would go on to release with a story as subpar and lifeless as the voice acting job featured in the Alpha build, but at least they cut this line out of the final version of the game altogether.
The many glitches of Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
It’s been a pretty tough year in the press for the fine folks at Ubisoft. I can’t say that they didn’t bring it on themselves, either. From the shortcomings of their highly anticipated game Watch Dogs, to the blatant underdevelopment that eventually led to the cancellation of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity season pass, we’d like to believe that the company would do things differently if they could.
But if there was one thing from batch of the game company’s misfortunes that we can look back on and make light of, it’s definitely the plethora of funny glitches from Assassin’s Creed: Unity. These became so consistent and so outrageous that they eventually became memes all together, completely symbolic of what it is to be a rushed video game released under the most anti-consumer conditions possible. While I’m sure the company will do their best to right the ship over the course of 2015 (hell, they’ve already started with how well done Far Cry 4 was), this will always be a funny moment to look back on, especially since it’s at the expense of what appears to be shady game publishing tactics.
The Loot Cave
Yes, Destiny has made the list not one, not two, but three times thanks to the dark hole we’ve all come to know as the Loot Cave. The means for many players’ most valuable drops, the Loot Cave would respawn low level hive enemies consistently if you stood a certain distance from it. This allowed players to pick off baddies, who’d then drop engrams of all different tiers.
The struggle to rank up was so tedious, and Destiny‘s story so nonexistent, that players had absolutely no issue shooting into a dark cave for hours on end. This seemed to be the way many players dealt with the Cryptarch’s deception we mentioned earlier. Like the other issues that became popular in Destiny, the original Loot Cave has since been patched, though players have still managed to find other, more complicated areas to exploit in the same fashion.
The Luigi Death Stare.
We all knew it would come to this. If there were an award for the most sensational meme of the year, it would hands down have to go to the the Luigi Death Stare from Mario Kart 8. This meme went viral quicker than any other gaming tidbit like it, eventually making it’s way onto local news stations across the world. Red shells really hit the fan when someone eventually dubbed the song “Riding Dirty” over Luigi thrashing opponents on the MK8 race track, maliciously staring them down like the dogshit he believed them to be.
There was something of a story to be told about that menacing stare of the long time Mario sidekick. Many believed that this was Luigi’s silent revolt against living in the shadow of his brother Mario for such a long time. Others believed that Luigi’s piercing glare was Nintendo’s way of commemorating that unforgettably awful year on the Market, which also just so happened to be the “Year of Luigi.” The company saw some of its dog days during this time period, so what better way to make fun of the situation than to have the disdain show on Luigi’s face in-game?
Those are just some of our favorite gaming memes of the year. Is there anything you believe should’ve made the list? Let us know in the comments below.