Wreck-It Ralph, a new animated comedy from Disney, is all about a disgruntled videogame villain who gets tired of his lot and decides to try and find out what life is like in some other games in the arcade he calls home. Cue adventure, excitement and a lot of cameos from some pretty famous faces.
With that in mind, here are the heroes and bad guys that we’d love to see in the film, even if just for a split second:
Stone Head, Paper Head, Scissors Head (Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Sega Master System, 1986)
One of the highlights of this platforming gem, which came built into every Master System II, was the boss fights against this trio of Janken’s strongest henchmen. Rather than defeating them with violence or jumping, you had to beat them, quite literally, at their own game – Rock, Paper, Scissors. Each of them had a head shaped like their namesake, and once you’d learnt their patterns, beating them was a piece of cake. If ever a trio were ripe for mickey taking, it’s these three, with plenty of scope for repetition gags, and some clever visual comedy.
Zool (Amiga, 1992)
Originally appearing on the Amiga way back in 1992, Zool was the titular star of the Sonic The Hedgehog wannabe platformer, as well as a ninja from the Nth dimension. Tubby, impossibly mobile, and wearing a stylish black suit and goggles combo, Zool was a hero back when heroes didn’t have to have edge, stubble, or nonsensically gravelly voices. By now, he’s probably as cynical as Ralph, having been frozen out of gaming for nigh on two decades.
Arthur (Ghosts’n Goblins, Arcade, 1985)
Consistently on the back foot in what was, and still is, one of the most difficult and fiendishly designed games ever, Arthur was the hapless knight out to take on Satan’s forces and the devil himself. Equipped with throwing weapons and armour (which would splinter off his body, thus leaving him in his underwear), Arthur’s journey wasn’t for the weak of heart. And, having made his way through and defeated Satan, what was his reward? To be whizzed back to the beginning of the game of course, with the difficulty cranked up still further. Surely worthy of a much deserved rest courtesy of Disney’s “imagineers” then.
Rygar (Arcade, 1986)
Technically speaking, Rygar was never supposed to be called Rygar, referred to in the Japanese original only as “The Legendary Warrior”. Still, he had a chain weapon a good two decades before Kratos made it cool, and his could double up as a shield as well. Half-barbarian, half-undead warrior from the future, Rygar is the strong, silent, face smashing type. Perhaps he could teach Ralph how important it is to make sure the things you need the most are attached to your arm by a retractable chain?
Black Turtle (Shinobi, Arcade, 1987)
Not a real turtle, because that wouldn’t make any sense, the Black Turtle is in fact a helicopter, that terrorises brave Joe Mushashi at the end of the second level of the original Shinobi. You have to throw shuriken at its nose in order to kill it (which makes perfect sense of course). It’d certainly be interesting to hear things from the helicopter’s point of view for a change. Imagine a scene where defeated villains share tales of woe around a campfire, with Black Turtle’s own harrowing story punctuated by spinning rotors and gouts of black smoke.
The Centurion (Altered Beast, Sega Mega Drive, 1988)
Brought back from the dead to rescue Zeus’s daughter from the clutches of another evil god, the Centurion is granted the ability to turn into different animals as you work your way through the game. You can be a werewolf, a weredragon, and even a werebear, which was pretty exciting back in the mid-eighties; making him one of the more unlikely icons from gaming’s youth.
Bub and Bob (Bubble Bobble, Arcade, 1986)
Delightfully cute dragons, Bub and Bob were the stars of their own platform games before they became bubble blasting operators in the evergreen Puzzle Bobble series. Like most platforming heroes in the early nineties, Bub and Bob were trying to rescue their girlfriends from the clutches of a variety of evil doers, this time via the medium of bubbles. Because everyone knows that bubbles are incredibly dangerous, especially when fired in your vague direction. Turning Bub and Bob’s off screen persona into anything other than shiny-eyed optimists should surely make for a few laughs.
Geese Howard (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, Neo Geo, 1991)
As fighting game final bosses go, Geese is pretty dastardly. He murdered the father of Terry and Andy Bogard, and as the two brothers try to battle their way to avenge their old man, Geese builds up a criminal empire the likes of which would make Don Corleone blush. He also has bleached blonde hair, and wears some pretty unappealing pyjama combinations. The Fatal Fury games were always more than just a Street Fighter clone, and Geese Howard’s villainy is one of the things that sets them apart.
ToeJam and Earl (Sega Mega Drive, 1991)
There’s something uniquely nineties about this pair of intergalactic misfits. With their oversized baseball caps, Bermuda shorts and attitude that may as well have come straight from a soft drink commercial. If I were making the film, there’d probably be a scene where ToeJam and Earl try to introduce Ralph to whatever illicit substance it is that’s turned them into such “cool dudes”. More “Wrecked Ralph” than Wreck-It Ralph then; apologies for that one…
Wreck-It Ralph opens on 8 February 2013.