Creating any sort of video game is an astonishingly time-consuming endeavor. Creating a superhero video game with countless numbers of superheroes involved in the game is a whole other type of endeavor. This is especially true in a world where fighting games have led to characters being matched against each other in countless different variations, with audiences wanting to see unique dialogue for each interaction. It is almost maddening to consider the amount of work put into these projects on just the unique dialogue alone!
With that in mind, it is only natural when the game developers behind these games try to sneak in little bits into the games to amuse themselves. Not just Easter Eggs (although they certainly happen, as well), but just minor little aspects of the game, like a piece of innuendo here, a double entendre there, it all adds up to a lot of “inappropriate moments” in superhero video games. Here, we spotlight 15 examples of these “inappropriate moments.”
15. BATMAN’S NUTCRACKER SUITE
Naturally, video games contain repetitive movements that are built into the game. Video games have evolved over the years, so there is more variety to the movements than there were in the early days of Super Mario Bros. However, there are still certain movements that are just going to repeat themselves. For instance, however a player throws a punch will remain consistent.
That led to some funny gameplay in Batman: Arkham Asylum. For example, when Batman fights goons, he uses the same punch attack on them whether the bad guys are standing or laying on their back. So a punch that would look one way if the bad guy was standing up looks like Batman is punching the guy in the groin if the bad guy is laying down. Hilarious. They repeated this in future games, so it was no longer a “glitch.”
14. DOUBLE THE PLEASURE
An interesting difference between Injustice: Gods Among Us and its sequel, Injustice 2, was that in the battle matches, you could choose to have superheroes fight against, well, themselves. Sure enough, even when pitted against each other, the banter remained on point. For instance, in the introduction of the clash between Black Canary and Black Canary, they say the following to each other:
Black Canary 1: Ollie couldn’t handle two of us.
BC 2: He’d like to think he could.
BC 1: All men do.
Having their introduction be about a theoretical threesome between alternate reality versions of Black Canary and Green Arrow is certainly a risque way to start a fighting match. Amusingly enough, in DC’s old continuity, Green Arrow’s relationship with Black Canary was even more twisted than that, as he slept with the daughter of the original Black Canary while her body was controlled by the mind of her mother.
13. PHONE A FRIEND
While Ryan Reynolds’ voice will now forever be associated with Deadpool in the minds of most viewers, for years it was another voice that people thought of when they thought “Deadpool.” That actor is Nolan North, who voiced Deadpool in a variety of games, including most of Deadpool’s most popular video games appearances.
When the Deadpool video game officially begins, you can actually call North! When leaving Deadpool’s apartment at the start of the game, you can stop and make a phone call. The call sees Deadpool asking North to do his voice for the game. At the same time, North has some new ideas about the direction of the game. He thinks that Deadpool should be more about guys than girls. Deadpool is offended and tells him off. It’s an odd little Easter Egg.
12. RUBBING IT IN
Acclaim Entertainment put a whole lot of its eggs into the basket of Turok, Dinosaur Hunter, the crown jewel of its then-recent purchase of Valiant Comics (we’re counting Turok as a superhero for the purposes of this list). The video game company had a terrible year in 1996 and they needed Turok to be a big hit in 1997. The game was designed for the Nintendo 64. It was a riff on the also then-recent innovation of first person shooter games like Doom and Quake. It was a big leap forward, graphics-wise.
The game came with a number of cheat codes, one of which put the game into “Quack Mode.” This mode degraded the pixelation of the game. The concept was to show how bad they thought their competitors’ games looked. It is a pretty bold move to have “smack talking” be a cheat code.
Generally speaking, when it came to the introductory lines spoken by heroes before battles in Injustice 2, things followed a similar pattern. Every hero, male or female, generally just made a tough sounding threat to their opponent. However, certain heroes also tended to get more personalization than others. One of the heroes who saw a lot of personalized dialogue was Starfire.
Her dialogue was often intentionally sexy. This was highlighted by her interactions with her former Titans teammate, Cyborg. She sexily says to him, “Titans together?” When he tells her, “Careful you don’t strain yourself” she doubles down on the innuendo by responding, “I observe proper stretching techniques.” Of all the possible match-ups, you wouldn’t think that Cyborg/Starfire would be the most scandalous one.
10. NO ONE LIKED THE BALLOON KID, BUT THIS IS TOO FAR.
One of the most acclaimed superhero video games of all-time is Spider-Man 2. It’s been well over a decade since the game was released and still no one has surpassed the depiction of web swinging in that game. One of the cool features in the game is that it has “mini-games” mixed in as Spider-Man swings through New York City. You can solve little “crimes” if you choose.
Likely the most infamous one of these crimes is a little girl losing her balloon. Spider-Man then has to try to snare the balloon from the sky and return it to the crying child. The sound of the kid crying can be quite annoying. The makers of Ultimate Spider-Man certainly had that in mind when they have a little kid with a balloon reminiscent of the kid from Spider-Man 2… only Venom then literally eats the little kid!
9. LENDING A HELPING HAND
The world of the screen grab is a tricky one. We recently spotlighted a bunch of hilarious screen grabs from children’s cartoon series. The main question when it comes to screen grabs is whether something was innocent and just looks bad when it is frozen or was it always intended to look bad and was only evident when you freeze the shot.
That is the question you have to ask about this popular screen grab from Injustice 2, where Batman and Harley Quinn enlist Black Canary and Green Arrow for help. Black Canary puts her arm around Harley Quinn as they walk together. However, when you freeze the scene as Canary goes to put her arm around Harley, it sure looks like it is intended to look like she is grabbing Harley’s butt. Accidental? Purposeful? We can’t say for sure either way.
8. RESOLVING A CLIFFHANGER
Telltale Games is a unique video game company in that its games come out in episodic format. In addition, the narrative-focused approach allows decisions made early in the game to resonate throughout the rest of the game. It is basically like “Choose Your Own Adventure” in that your choices will dictate what direction the plot of the game takes you in.
In the Guardians of the Galaxy series, the first episode ended with Star-Lord killed. He is then shockingly resurrected via a cosmic artifact. A surprised Star-Lord exclaims, “Holy shi…” and then the episode ends. Well, when the second episode begins, it opens with Star-Lord saying, “it” (before his friends freak out and question whether he has really been brought back to life). So yes, they cleverly managed to curse without actually cursing.
7. TALK ABOUT A CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Superman: Shadow of Apokolips was a video game based on the Superman Animated Series. Almost all of the voice actors from that series reprised their roles for the video game, including Tim Daly as Superman and Dana Delaney as Lois Lane. The game was a fun, all ages title, but it had one particularly disturbing Easter Egg.
There’s a point in the game where Superman flies over a bunch of evergreen trees. While doing so, you can hear a cat meowing, presumably for help. The closer you come to the tree, the louder the cat is. Superman saving cats from trees is a bit of a cliche. However, here you cannot save the cat. You can’t even see the cat. What you can do is use your heat vision on the cat and it will howl in pain. Like we said, this was one disturbing Easter Egg.
6. DID THAT BECOME HIS CATCH PHRASE AND WE JUST MISSED IT?
As noted before, in Injustice: Gods Among Us and its sequel, Injustice 2, the characters have specific phrase that they use when they encounter their opponents. The game is very good at coming up with unique lines for each encounter. For instance, the sort of banter that Green Arrow would have with Green Lantern is a lot different than his banter with, say, Doomsday.
However, occasionally the game comes up with some “stock” phrases for certain characters and oddly enough, Green Arrow’s stock phrase is something that he asked both Hawkgirl and Deathstroke during their battles, which is, “How ’bout an arrow up your ass?” It is not exactly a catchy line, so it is a shame that it became almost his catch phrase for the game.
5. A JOYOUS CELEBRATION
Nowadays, numerous popular YouTube channels are filled with players commenting on video games. It is a major part of gaming culture today. It was less common a decade ago when gamer Michael “IFC Yipes” Mendoza was recorded talking trash at a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 tournament. Mendoza’s colorful commentary soon became more famous than the games he was commenting on and Marvel vs. Capcom embraced his celebrity within the community.
One of his catch phrases was, “I just beat Mag-f**king-Neto.” In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Deadpool (voiced by Nolan North) repeated the phrase anytime he defeats Magneto (only he says freaking). They even had an alternate color design for Magneto to have him wearing black and blue, the color of Mendoza’s outfit when he made his famous commentary (blue shirt and black pants).
4. TMI, FLASH. TMI.
As noted earlier, the introductions before battles in Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 tried to be specific to the relationships between the two characters who were fighting. This, of course, was easier when there was a prior established relationship between the two characters. It’s bit hard to create banter for Starfire to get personal with, say, Jay Garrick, for instance.
When it came to his Rogues, though, the Flash was oddly obsessed with pants. In his battle with Gorilla Grodd, he taunted Grodd by noting that at least he wore pants! He had an odder exchange with Captain Cold.
Captain Cold: Good thing you’re wearing longjohns.
The Flash: I’m totally commando under here!
Captain Cold: …ugh, TMI!
3. WOW, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF WARCRAFT?
The video game that tied in with X-Men Origins: Wolverine had some particularly interesting Easter Eggs. One of the more notable ones was having Wolverine encounter the mysterious hatch from the then-popular TV series, Lost. A crazier Easter Egg involved a then-recent merger between Vivendi Games and Activision (the company that produced X-Men Origins: Wolverine the game).
Vivendi Games owned Blizzard Entertainment, which produced the World of Warcraft game. In the Easter Egg in the game, Wolverine encounters the Frostmourne sword from World of Warcraft 3 hidden in a cave. Along with the sword is a skeleton. The skeleton appears to be that of Arthas, one of the main antagonists from World of Warcraft. It is not definitely Arthas, but either way, it was an odd way to signify the merger of the two companies.
2. WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS MORE OF IS SPANISH JUGGLING PUNS
Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 became worldwide sensations, and the game was translated into numerous other languages. As you might expect, this was sometimes a problem when you’re working with dialogue-heavy situations like the introductions to the battles.
The Joker, for instance, relied heavily on puns in his intro dialogue before battles. Puns have a hard time translating from one language to another. This was the case in the matchup between Green Arrow and the Joker in Injustice 2, with the result being a dirtier pun than the English version. In the English version, Green Arrow makes a joke about juggling and says that you always go for the “juggler” (a play on the word jugular). In the Spanish version, he says to “always aim for the balls.”
1. THE MOST FAMOUS PUNCHLINE AROUND
There is a famous joke that involves someone telling a friend about an incident involving a mutual friend that was hit by a car in the butt. The fruend corrects their word usage and tells them “rectum” instead of butt and the other person replies, “Wrecked ’em? Darn near killed ’em!” This is a rare case where the punchline to the joke is more famous than the joke itself. It is often used in pop culture without the setup.
That was how it was used in the Deadpool video game, where Deadpool repeats the punchline after being electrocuted. No one laughs at his joke. However, when a goon shows up and then repeats the joke and everyone laughs, Deadpool becomes irate and murders the goon in front of everyone. Some people just do not like to share the spotlight.
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