Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Psylocke's Top Five 'What the--?!' Gaming Moments Last week, I celebrated the announcement of downloadable Carnage for "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2" with a retrospective on all his game appearances. Well, you may have heard that Psylocke has been announced as a second downloadable character since then (once again, per audience demand), and I wanted to do the same kind of thing for her. But I won't. She's just been in too many games, and there's not much I can tell you that Wikipedia can't already.

Looking over that list, though, I realized something -- a number of Psylocke's game appearances, not unlike those hilarious videos has been running over the past year or so, just make you go "What the--?!". With that in mind, I present to you...

Psylocke's Top Five "What the--?!" Gaming Moments
(Thanks Psychilde!)

5. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Activision, 2006 -- X360, PS3, PC, Wii, Xbox PS2)

Psylocke's appearance in the first "MUA" was quite different than what you'll see as "MUA2" DLC. As you might recall, you're cruising along toward the end of the game when all of a sudden Doctor Doom uses his newly acquired god-like powers to turn a bunch of defeated heroes into "Dark" versions of themselves to fight your team. With no real build-up to her, Dark Psylocke appears with Dark Cyclops (who had been established in an amazing cutscene), inspiring a bit of a "What the--?!" from the gamer, as you prepare to pound her to a pulp. And if that doesn't do it, her face will. I think Ash said it best in "Army of Darkness": "Honey, you got real ugly."

4. X-Men vs. Street Fighter (Capcom, 1996 -- Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation)

Marvel fans who walk around screaming "shoryuken!" know very well that Psylocke is crazy-lethal in fighting games from Capcom and Activision -- except one. Well after her fighting-game debut in "X-Men: Children of the Atom" (side note: also the first Marvel fighting game ever), she was snubbed from the playable roster of this debut Marvel vs. Capcom showdown.

Psylocke does, however, show up out of nowhere if you beat the game as Cammy (the Capcom cutie who sees even less use in actual pants than Betsy). For no apparent reason, Cammy has lost her memory after the last fight, and the Hand just happens to be hanging around to pick her up (thinking Lady Mandarin II, perhaps?). Cue flash of purple light and "Someone appears out of nowhere!" It's Psylocke. Ninjas beaten. Day saved. Cue the two screens you see above... Somewhat head-scratching cameo complete.

3. Wolverine (LJN, 1991 -- NES)

The first time we ever saw the modern interpretation of Psylocke in a game (and, on a personal note, the first time I ever saw the character, period) was perhaps her most forced appearance into a game. For whatever reason, she's the holder of a device that can summon Havok to heal Wolverine. Why does Psylocke have this? Why is she hanging out in a hidden room amidst teems of evil whatchamacallits? Why can't Havok give the device to Wolverine himself? Why didn't Wolvie just grab it from the mansion so that nothing's trying to kill him? And can't he heal himself already or something? We may never know the answers to these burning questions...

2. X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse (WizardWorks Software, 1998 -- PC; copy of "Quake" required)

If you know anything about "The Ravages of Apocalypse," it's not so much Psylocke's appearance in this FPS "total conversion" of the original 'Quake' that makes you say "What the--?!" so much as the premise of the game itself. As an unnamed cyborg created to serve Magneto (of course!), it's up to you to take on cloned X-Men characters created by Apocalypse. Cyborg Psylocke is among them. And if you've ever wanted to see Betsy bleed, this first-ever M-rated Marvel title will likely be the only chance you'll ever get.

"Ravages" would rank No. 1 on the list if it actually included Ms. Braddock herself. But since it doesn't, that honor goes to...

1. X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants (Paragon Software, 1990 -- PC)

Psylocke's first-ever game appearance wasn't so "What the--?!" in its day -- we weren't so discriminating as gamers in the days of DOS -- but looking at it now, such a reaction is almost inevitable. Without getting into too much detail (check out her bio for that), until about 20 years ago, the character looked incredibly different, to say the least -- just check out that image from the box art. (I also love that the birds-eye shots of her are basically just a blob of purple hair.)

But Psylocke's look in the game isn't all that's kind of peculiar about her gaming debut: "X-Men II" takes Betsy in her early X-days and makes her go one-on-one with...well...let's just say I think this screenshot alone gives "X-Men II" the No. 1 slot here...

So, what do you think of this list? Agree? Disagree? Did I leave off anything you can think of? And while I'm at it, what are your favorite Psylocke gaming appearances? Please...comment away, True Believers! Excelsioryuken!
Chris Baker.


PoP said...

I don't know why but I always wanted to play that Quake X-men game as a kid. I'm glad I didn't lol. I like this article though.

I wish I could see British Psylocke and the whole Australian team in a game someday in HD. They should remake Fall of the Mutants at least :P. Hopefully the next X-men game is ALL X-men and includes Dazzler and Rogue. MUA2 is very fun though. I like it a lot better than the first UA.

FSaker said...

Fall of the Mutants was quite a good game for the time it was released. And sure, Psylocke fighting a dinosaur is weird, but if I'm not mistaken, there were indeed dinosaurs in the Fall of the Mutants comic book saga, so blame Claremont for that.

As for X-Men vs. Street Fighter, the idea was to show characters from both universes interacting with each other, with a twist of humor; plus, Cammy's amnesia is explainable since she's Street Fighter Alpha 3's brainwashed Cammy who worked for M.Bison. The weird part was Cammy actually knowing who Psylocke is.

Adam said...

Good article. It inspired me to round up some videos

Here's a video of Ravages of Apocalypse. Pretty stupid idea for an X-men game.

Here's the Psylocke ending of Children of the Atom.

And her ending in Marvel Super Heroes.

Francis said...

Psylocke and the Dinosaur rule!!!

centurion said...

@FSaker - Hi. I can see why Psylocke would appear in Cammy's ending in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Maybe Psylocke was travelling to see what England is like in the Street Fighter universe, and Betsy encountered Cammy along the way. All of this depends on the assumption, of course, that the Betsy & Cammy scene from XmvsSF was actually in England and not somewhere else. This is as close to New Exiles as we get LOL :)


EmailingThai said...

Capcom version of Psylocke is the best!