If rap has taught us anything it’s that people love beef (unless they’re hindus or something), especially when it’s between two or more publicly recognized entities. So how about a list of some outstanding or notable cases of trash talk in video games? Here we go:
#7. Valve is a SiN
We mentioned SiN when we were calling game characters bitches. It’s actually a rather decent first person shooter, which came out in 1998, about a month before Valve’s Half-Life. That last part was not a coincidence. The story is that Ritual Entertainment rushed their game’s development to beat Valve to the punch. SiN was reportedly billed as the “Half-Life killer” and dropped prematurely, with enough bugs to rival the Starship Troopers. I don’t think that Ritual was too thrilled about that fact because…
Since that’s almost like writing “do not press this button” right next to a button, most gamers went ahead and messed with the valve, causing it to explode, painfully. Clever! Unfortunately (or not), it looks like Valve had the last laugh, as Ritual Entertainment ended up selling their games on Steam and even working on some titles for Valve (Counter Strike). Don’t you hurry to assume that all of this means the two have since become BFF’s. A user at the Ritual forums, named bebeDesigner, has found an interesting line of code in Counter Strike: Condition Zero (which Ritual worked on):
#6. Dead Assassin of Kings
This one is a bit more innocent but I like it because it’s actually funny, as it makes fun of one of the more ridiculous elements of a game – Assassin’s Creed’s ‘leap of faith’. We are led to believe that being a badass assassin means that you can learn to climb a skyscraper and go ass-first into a foot tall pile of hay, aaand walk away in one living and breathing piece. The makers of Witcher 2, CD Projekt RED, beg to disagree. According to them, what would really happen looks like this:
It’s one of the better known ‘easter eggs’ in Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and it’s often described as an instance where Altair misses a hay stack. While such a fatal blunder would be embarrassing too, as you can see, that is not actually what happens. His feet are clearly on target; this little reference is more of a note that attempting one of those leaps would be an incredibly stupid thing to do. Since you can read, you don’t need to be reminded of this but it’s still good to see how the whole Assassin’s Creed saga should have realistically ended.
#5. Battle of Spies
This one is in the same vein but does not seem to be as well known or remembered. The last act of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, titled Kokubo Sosho (which means “delicious sushi” (just a guess)), has Sam Fisher crawling around some… wait for it… dark interiors. After passing a whole bunch of darkness and escalators, he comes upon a group of guards, carrying some Sticky Shockers (no time to explain, just go with it). If Sam decides to interrogate one of them, he gets to learn a thing about the way the weapon works via a series of smartass remarks:
Sam notes that the dude is “awfully flippant for someone who has a knife to his throat,” and we all note that we might have a potential Coke-vs-Pepsi style battle on our hands. Bring it on, I say.
#4. 2 VS 2
Do you hate Call of Duty? Of course you do, even if you play that shit 24/7. After all, it’s one of the most successful video game franchises in existence; hating it is pretty much a requirement, if you want to stand out in an Internet crowd (maybe not anymore). Anyway, chances are that you will find the following video very gratifying to watch:
There is probably a handful of human beings who would not get the references. If you are one of them, he is talking about the Modern Warfare games. Get it?
#3. Nintendo Trashes Sonic
Before Sega turned the Mega Drive into a damn ‘lego’ with all those massive add-ons, things looked promising. They sold somewhere between 29 and 39 million units (just keep reading, it’s not my fault the reports vary so much), which got dangerously close to SNES numbers, they had great exclusives, a badass name and a cool mascot… for the time. Clearly, there were reasons for Nintendo to worry and despite Sega.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (wait a minute, that’s another pun!) ranks participants for Cranky’s contest and it always shows that junk next to the trash can. If you look close enough, you will recognize Sonic’s red shoes, and for some reason, Earthworm Jim’s gun. I don’t mind the shoes so much but Jim? I do not approve.
#2. Duke Nukem in Blood
For whatever reason, the whole in-game trash talk crossover thing was very popular in the early 90’s first person shooters. Lara Croft had raided her last tomb in Shadow Warrior, the Doom guy got… doomed in Duke Nukem 3D, and Duke himself appeared in a game called Blood. That last one has always been my favorite:
What makes this one special is not that you find another character killed or captured by an in-game foe; it’s that you get to contribute without breaking character. I cannot think of anyone else who could pull off “Shake it, baby!” while stabbing someone with a hay fork, quite like Caleb. He is the most likable evil son of a bitch ever conceived, and that voice is pure torture, in a good way, if you’re into that kind of thing.
#1. Grand Theft Auto
Given that this is one of the most popular games in existence, every easter egg and reference within is probably considered old and known by all, so let’s do a few to maximize our chances of not wasting your time entirely.
In Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar introduced a minor character, named Tanner. Tanner is an undercover cop, who sports a female pedestrian’s running animation and drives a gray Gran-Torino-looking obscure automobile. This previous sentence describes the protagonist of the Driver series. Reflections Interactive agreed and retaliated with this:
Timmy Vermicelli is a hidden character (or rather characterS) in Driv3r, clad in Hawaiian shirts and waterwings, because the game he is a reference to features the type of video game water that kills you on contact. But none of this matters because Driv3r sucked ass. The fun part is that Rockstar responded with another diss in GTA: San Andreas:
The above happens at Madd Dogg’s mansion. As you can see, a guy plays a particularly shitty video game and rips on “Refractions”, which is a clear reference to Reflections Ineractive. It becomes even more clear after the next line: “Tanner, you suck ass!”
While they were at it, they responded to another competitor, True Crime. After Luxoflux inserted a bunch of billboards into Streets of LA, implying that Rockstar were in the business of manufacturing jockstraps, San Andreas displayed the following billboards:
I don’t even like GTA that much but ain’t nobody got shit on Rockstar when it comes to open world urban sandbox, as they let everyone know via a tomb stone that exists in San Andreas:
PS: Duke Nukem Forever
Everyone knows that Duke Nukem Forever has a whole bunch of references to other games. Some of them are actually funny but I just couldn’t bring myself to include any. While the game was not the worst, it making fun of those other games was a bit like Fall Out Boy dissing Led Zeppelin. It just has a bad taste to it. Plus, Duke Nukem Forever never happened.