Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Don't Fear the Video Reaper

First, happy birthday to little_octagon!

Now to make a rather morbid switch from life to death, I'm going to look at the character of Death in the video game world. Death, in the form of the Grim Reaper, is a pretty common sight in such games. In the Castlevania games, he's essentially Dracula's right-hand man. You'd kind of think Death would be rather annoyed at the Count for managing to evade him for so long, but apparently they're close friends. The Reaper can only be harmed by holy items.

In Kid Icarus, the Reaper is a fairly common enemy, who has the power to change the music and send her [1] children after you if she sees you.

In The Sims, Death shows up to claim dying Sims, but if you have another Sim in the vicinity, you can have them plead with the Reaper. This lets you play a game for the dying one's life.

But I think the oddest appearance of our skeletal friend is in Paperboy, which takes place in a world where a kid who delivers newspapers has more enemies than Richard Nixon. As if the mini-tornadoes in the middle of the street weren't bad enough, Death himself shows up to hassle the poor paperboy. Maybe he'd broken the window of the Four Horsemen's clubhouse or something. I believe he can be knocked out with a paper, though, which I'll have to remember when I'm on Death's door. Too bad the print newspaper industry is dying out, because I'm not sure a Kindle would have the same effect.

[1] It's likely that the designers of the game considered the Reaper to be male, as it generally is, but I can't help thinking of it as female since bethje told me she calls the Reaper by the name of her ex-aunt.
Tags: mythology, video games
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