Best Treasure Ever

Mega Man and Protoman

Round One: 5-seeds vs. 4-seeds

The readers have spoken: Tanooki Suits for all!

By Drew Toal • September 14, 2012

As the tournament rages on, three things are becoming crystal clear. The first is that we don’t have to listen to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman ruin it with putrid commentary. The second is that it’s uncovering elemental philosophical truths: Guns versus guitars. Mega Man versus Metroid. Killing animals versus animals killing. But the best part of this whole swag throwdown is that our freakishly erudite Gameological commenters picked the No. 4 seeds, and these get thrown into the mix today. Ask and ye shall receive (in this specific scenario—though most others, too)!

Animal Division: Death Horse vs. Tanooki Suit
Death Horse, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Tanooki Suit, Super Mario Bros. 3

One could argue that the greatest treasure John Marston finds in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is his trusty torch, which he uses to immolate hundreds (if not thousands) of former friends and family members. But even the mighty flame pales in comparison to the Four Horses Of The Apocalypse, magical steeds that never tire. Death, the greatest of these, makes zombie heads explode under its hooves.

Our No. 4 seed is the second contender from Super Mario Bros. 3, which not only brought Mario out of the realm of slot-machine turnip dreams and back into the land of awesome, but also allowed him to fly! Getting the flight-inducing Super Leaf was an extremely exciting development, and, if that wasn’t enough, the rarer Tanooki Suit made Mario more raccoon than man, twisted and evil (PETA, at least, thought so). Commenter Captain Internet sums it up nicely: “A human wears a raccoon, we vote for it; a raccoon wears a human, and we destroy it.” In addition to flight, the wily plumber could now also turn himself into an unremarkable statue that the koopa troopas would simply saunter past and leave unmolested. Tanooki Mario is savagely, adorably offensive, but the Randolph Scott/Bruce Campbell fan in me will always choose the skull-exploding old paint.

[poll id=”15″]
Weapon Division: Clear Instruments vs. BFG 9000
Clear Instruments, Rock Band
BFG 9000, Doom

When is a weapon a treasure? When it atomizes demonspawn from Hell itself on the surface of Mars? Or when your guitar (or “axe”) transcends physical reality through your otherworldly, face-melting riffs? These are big questions, ones we hope to resolve here. Successfully completing the eight-song Hall Of Fame concert in Rock Band awards you and your bandmates with “clear” instruments. You’ve finally reached Bill and Ted nirvana, and world peace through glorious air solos is not far behind.

Doom’s BFG 9000 brings harmony through different means: atomizing your enemies in a flash of emerald green holocaust. It’s the kind of thing Chuck De Nomolos would vote for—or commenter Mr. Glitch: “It may burn 40 cells per shot, but that high-pitched windup that culminates in a giant green orb of electric death is enough to give the most fearsome denizens of Hell reason to pause.”

[poll id=”16″]
Throwback Division: Protoman’s Shield vs. Screw Attack
Protoman's Shield, Mega Man 7
Screw Attack, Metroid

This matchup is less about the treasure than about adherents to each game, and I suspect it’s going to be a close one. As a neglected younger brother and Wood Man apologist, my vote is locked up, but here is the tale of the tape, in case there are any undecideds out there:

Anyone with an cool, slavishly idolized older sibling knows that their attention, no matter how trifling, is something to be treasured. In Mega Man 7, Protoman shows up throughout the game to test Mega’s robot-fighting chops. Find and defeat him on all three levels, and your cool older bro will nonchalantly toss you his shield. No big deal. He has a newer, better shield anyway.

Samus Aran’s power suit “screw attack” is undoubtedly her most famous technique, instantly turning the Metroid hero into a spinning dervish of space destruction in nearly every iteration. It’s utterly devastating, and almost certainly the reason Samus could never hang onto a boyfriend. Maybe she should ring up Mattman Begins, who is clearly not intimidated by strong women and wrote, “Watching those bats disintegrate as they tried to attack from the ceiling was sheer power.”

[poll id=”17″]
Wild Card Division: Negative Of Rebecca Chambers vs. Golden Pantaloons
Negative Of Rebecca Chambers, Resident Evil 2
Golden Pantaloons, Baldur's Gate

If “wild card” is a euphemism for “creepy,” the No. 5 seed treasure from Resident Evil II has to be a favorite. It’s a photo negative found in evil super-genius and consummate indoor kid Albert Wesker’s desk. Once developed, it reveals an even younger version of plucky STARS agent Rebecca Chambers in a youth basketball uniform. Quick, someone call the police.

Stepping away from the lecherous megalomaniacs for a moment, it has been revealed recently how much both John and I value unlockable gangster outfits. And what’s more gangster than Golden Pantaloons? These flashy threads turn up at the beginning of Baldur’s Gate, the Bioware game based on those fantasy books featuring dark elves with consonant-heavy names. The Golden Pantaloons have no immediate use beyond looking exceptionally fly, but are later employed alongside the silver and bronze variants in Baldur’s Gate II, as Lasagna42 explains: “I can’t think of any other fantasy-world RPG where fancy pantwear had to be carried across two sequels in order to make the uber-mega magic pants in the third.” It’s sheer pantaloonacy, and I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of this Cinderella story.

[poll id=”18″]

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445 Responses to “Round One: 5-seeds vs. 4-seeds”

  1. NFET says:

    Choosing between Screw Attack and Protoman’s Shield was like Sophie’s Choice for me. I chose Screw Attack just because the shield is actually kinda useless, but still, tough.

    • Girard says:

       I can see how it would be close for most people. But the little boy inside me who drew up and mailed in full design documents for new MegaMan games to Capcom throughout elementary school, and poured countless hours into a very silly, and very 90s MegaMan homepage throughout high school, made sure that this was pretty much “no contest” for me. It also made sure my heart was crushed when I saw that Screw Attack was handily winning.


      • caspiancomic says:

         Oh shit, is that your real high school Mega Man site!? That’s amazing! I really wish my eighth grade Sonic and Digimon sites were still active so I could show solidarity by exposing them to the world too.

        • Girard says:

          Yes, it is. That website is one of the many things I did in high school in lieu of, you know, kissing girls or going to parties.

          I’ll have you know that, in the late 90s, Engine of Destruction: MegaMan was one of the top MegaMan sites on Yahoo search back when that was a thing that mattered.

          We distinguished ourselves from the rest of the pack with stupid sophomoric humor, original artwork colored with a pirated copy of Photoshop (acquired ON PHYSICAL CD from a college-aged friend in pre-broadband days), and garish unstoppable MIDI music on every page (including some we sequenced ourselves, like the song on the MegaMan Legends page).

          Apparently, it’s still listed in Yahoo’s vestigial, pre-Google web index. Which is kind of funny.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        That’s beautiful.  UHF reference? Check.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference? Check.  Animated gif’s? Check.  And finally, Caricature of self hewing that thin line of irreverent and bad-ass. 
           You have made the platonic ideal of the 90’s High-schooler webpage.  It is so pure in it’s essence, you could baptize children with it.  

        • Girard says:

           We were so proud of that animated gif of MegaMan shooting on the main page. Making it required buying an arcane, parallel-port video capture device off of eBay, recording the intro to MegaMan X4 onto VHS so we could pause it at appropriate stills, then capturing those stills and assembling them into a gif using some crappy freeware gif program.

          Kids today, with your free and easy access to digital video, and relative platform-permeability of media! Why, back in my day…

      • obiwanchernobi says:

        If it wasn’t in Megaman Legends, then I can’t be bothered. Sorry, Protoman, I am the America to your Khmer Rouge massacre. Your pain is great, but I’m too busy trying to find Roll’s panties in the ship.

    • Mega Man 7 and the Metroid series both passed me by in youth (There were so many great games for SNES, and I had so little money.) so I have no nostalgic connection with either.

      But, man, the first time you get that screw attack you feel so godly.

    • George_Liquor says:

       The Megaman games are another huge gap in my gaming experience, as I’ve only ever played Megaman 1 and whichever Megaman was released for Game Boy. Therefore I felt compelled to vote for the Screw Attack, as I am literally brought to tears when confronted by the unknown.

      • Girard says:

        You need to FIX THIS OMISSION, PRONTO.

        There are a zillion games, though, so as not to be daunted, here is a quick primer of which ones are must-plays to get an idea of what they’re about, and which will fill the inexcusable gaps in your gaming experience:
        MegaMan 2 and 3 (NES) – Arguably the best ones, certainly the most widely-known touchstones among gamers.
        MegaMan X (SNES) – Also arguably the best in the series. Certainly one of the best platformers on the SNES, it expands on the MegaMan formula without going into the complicated excesses of some of the later ‘X’ games.
        MegaMan X4 (PSX) – The best 2-D MegaMan from the PSX-era. It introduces the sword-wielding Zero as a playable character, which changes up the gameplay in interesting ways, and paves the way for the gameplay of the inessential but awesome MegaMan Zero games on GBA/DS.
        MegaMan Legends (PSX) – Awesome 3D adventure game, with only a nominal connection to the other MegaMan games. I would argue that it’s a better 3-D Zelda game than Zelda 64.

        Incidentally, there were 5 MegaMan games for Game Boy. Most just included bad guys gleaned from two NES MegaMan games, but MegaMan V for (Super) Game Boy was special, in that it had all-new robot masters and levels, and rather than “[Adjective] Man,” each master was based on a planet in the solar system. It was awesome.

        • George_Liquor says:

          Thanks for the info. Serendipitously, I found  a copy of Megaman X at a used game store last week, and I’ve been meaning to play it. I’ll bump it up the ol’ list. The ol’, ever-growing game list, which will probably outlive me.

        • Girard says:

           @George_Liquor:disqus : MegaMan X is probably the best place to start – it’s more compatible with modern sensibilities than the more “retro” NES ones, while still having a lot of the charm and tight design of those early games. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

          And on the plus side, re: your interminable game list: Megaman games are pretty quick to play through. Much in the same way I re-read the slight but great Slaughterhouse Five at least once a year when I have an open afternoon, I’ll typically play through MMX whenever I have a spot of free time and the mood hits me.

  2. Hah, the pants dance!  The suit jukes!  They’re so merry (probably because they know they have a strong advantage in this round, being nominated by the 99% and all).  Good job again, Mr. Hofmeier.

    And, yes, Ms. Aran, give me a call sometime.  I assure you that I’m quite grounded, and, unlike Kraid, have no need to…overcompensate.

  3. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    What picture do you think Protoman has taped to the inside of his shield to remind him what he’s fighting for? My guess is a photo of Kate Pierson of the B-52’s.

    • Captain Internet says:

      I’m thinking a JPEG printout of the massive truck that Marty gets from his parents at the end of Back to the Future

      Never played the game, but it’s a reasonable guess.

    • Girard says:

       Probably the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, who denied him admittance to their club, despite the fact that he had made his own suit and everything! Each day he sees that photo and thinks to himself, “I’ll show them! I’ll show them I’m good enough to pilot the Megazord’s head or arm or left nut or whatever!”

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        Did you know the Power Rangers require a MA in comparative religion to pilot the Megazord’s left nut? It’s the only extremity that requires a degree and it’s a humanity. Make of that what you will.

    • Proto Man is only cool if you don’t stop to think about him too much. Is he more or less powerful than Mega Man? Why is he such a dick?

    • obiwanchernobi says:

      More like Poison Ivy from the Cramps, if we’re doing the whole rockabilly thing now. Protoman likes to be dominated, not just yelled at.

      Though maybe Kate Pierson would knock on his “tin roof”, if yaknowwhadda mean…cause he’s a robot?

  4. PaganPoet says:

    I’m angry at today’s round because my pick (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’s Crissaegrim) was not picked as the Reader’s Choice weapon. I’LL STILL VOTE, but I’m also going to find a really really cute puppy and kick it. THAT PUPPY’S YELP SHALL HAUNT YOU TO YOUR DEATHBEDS, GS!

    • Girard says:

       Let it be known: If folks don’t start voting for the Protoman shield, tomorrow will be another sad day for cute puppies. On a totally unrelated note: I own a pair of steel-toed boots.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      You know what the best thing about Crissaegrim is?  The name.  While most games to this day give their ultimate weapons some overreaching Wagnerian name like Omega Dawn or 
      Necron’s Symphony
      Crissaegrim has a cool, vaguely historically grounded Norman-Prussian style name that also sounds fast and sharp.
         SotN remains one of gaming’s best accomplishments for a ton of reasons, but the historically alluded names of many of the items remains one of my favorites.

  5. PaganPoet says:

    Doesn’t anyone else hold more love for the Kuribo/Goomba’s Shoe than the Tanooki Suit? It’s the only power-up in SMB3 that’s available in only ONE level, and none of the Mushroom Houses.

    Besides, how cool is it REALLY to turn into a statue? What enemy is giving you THAT much trouble that you need to wait for it to just pass you by?

    • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow says:

      I liked to get hit by a Goomba just so I’d be tiny, and then get Kuribo’s Shoe. Then I’d be a tiny Mario in a giant ridiculous wind-up green shoe.

      • Mr. Glitch says:

        You know, I would’ve gone with Kuribo’s shoe too, but I can’t get past imagining how much it must stink being inside a man-sized shoe formerly occupied by a fungus.

        • The_Misanthrope says:

           Soooo, are you positing that the Goombas are just bigger, sentient versions of the athlete’s foot fungus, @Mr Glitch?

    • TomElman says:

      It’s not just that you can turn into a statue, it’s what it represents. that statue is called a jizo, and in japanese buddhism is the guardian of dead children. so obviously while you are out there stomping on all those goombas and koopa troopas in your big green boot, who are all somebody’s children,  pacifist statue mario is there benedicting your sins and leading those wayward souls into the afterlife. sinner.

      • Girard says:

        I don’t know. Kappa are accustomed to kidnapping and eating human children (the only food they like more is cucumbers), so maybe the jizo statue is honoring/protecting the dead children each koopa/kappa has devoured, rather than the koopa itself.

    • Bad Horse says:

      I would have done Hammer Suit myself, except that wouldn’t fit in the animal division. Tanooki suits are a dime a dozen in world 5.

      • obiwanchernobi says:

        All the other suits are more useful, but the Tanooki is more iconic. And what are we as gamers if not icon whores?

    • PugsMalone says:

      I already argued for the Hammer suit being superior in the nomination thread, but I find the Tanooki suit disappointing because it doesn’t give you a giant testicle attack.

      Also, while Kuribo’s shoe is awesome, you can’t take it out of level 5-3.

  6. Captain Internet says:

    “Golden Pantaloons” now mostly invokes thoughts of American Apparel and their creepy photography. If we’re voting properly, does that trump in-game game creepy photography?

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        OH MAN…I love love LOVE The Onion, especially now.  I won’t link to it for fear of offending someone here, but their article about religious obscenity that doesn’t incite violence is great!

        • Girard says:

          I just looked that up, and…wow. What an image.

        • The_Misanthrope says:

           I was tantalizingly close to posting that article (the religiously-themed one, that is) to my Facebook wall, but then I remembered that I would be playing games (our semi-regular games night!) at one of my more religious friend’s house and that she might not view that article in quite the same spirit as a pagan like me does.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          @The_Misanthrope:disqus  – Yeah, same here.  I referred to it on Facebook, but didn’t link to it, and just as I said here, warned people what it was.

          Sorry, shouldn’t get into political stuff totally unrelated to games here anyway.

        • Girard says:

           @The_Misanthrope:disqus : Which is ironic, since the actual message of that piece kind of fits with the self-congratulatory “WE don’t bomb people over cartoons like them A-rabs” stance that Christians interested in interdenominational pissing contests sometimes take.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      You Europeans and your preversions.
      As Americans we like our dirty gaming smut in nicely packaged double entendres and silly puns, so I don’t know what that American Apparel is you speak of. It doesn’t even have a gun-holster.

  7. Girard says:

    Is Tanooki Mario adorably offensive, or offensively adorable?

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      Minus the signature swollen testicles, I can’t think of a lot to get too worked up about.
         Other than extrapolating the idea out of the game world of a chubby, hirsute Italian plumber with a Japanese-flavored furries fetish.
         In that case, just drop the adorable part altogether.

  8. Girard says:

    I just realized what these adorable little animated gifs remind me of: Their low-poly, low-color depth style, and simple, repeating characteristic animations are a lot like the cute little animated objects you free in Picross 3D for the DS.

  9. dmikester says:

    Three out of the four were no-brainers for me (go #4 seeds!).  But the wild card was tough.  The Golden Pantaloons are kind of an incredible thing in terms of them carrying over through three games, and I do love Baldur’s Gate, but the negative of Rebecca Chambers holds a very special place in my heart.  

    I was obsessed with Resident Evil 2 when I was a teenager, and it may have been the first game I tried to get every single item or I guess “file” in.  I went through all the scenarios, found what I understandably assumed was everything, and put it down satisfied.  Then, a couple of months later, I discovered GameFAQs and looked at the guides for Resident Evil 2 more to relive the experience than anything, only to notice a mention of the Rebecca Chambers photo.  Not believing what I was seeing, I fired up the game again, got to Wesker’s desk, and lo and behold, got among the most pointless items I’ve ever seen in a game.  

    That item introduced me to the concept of easter eggs and really, really hidden secrets in games.  I’ve never played an adventure or open world game since without obsessively looking for every secret just in case there’s, oh I don’t know, a negative of Rebecca Chambers hidden in the next Assassin’s Creed game.

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       Those are the easter eggs I always enjoyed, the ones that aren’t spoiled right away by GameFAQs or an overeager game publicist, that remain hidden for years and decades after the game’s release:  the Chris Houlihan room in A Link to the Past, the secret level in Toejam & Earl, etc.  It is the sort of stuff that leads to rumors and myths, stories passed about the schoolyard.

      • dmikester says:

        Absolutely!  The most recent one that comes to mind was the hidden room in Arkham Asylum that had the blueprints for Arkham City in it.  I think that took about a year before the developers decided to reveal it, which in this day and age is pretty unbelievable.

  10. Bowen Kerins says:

    Any day I can read the word “pantaloons” is a good day.

  11. Mr. Glitch says:

    “It’s the Ron Swanson of weapons.”

    @andrewtoal:disqus You, my friend, are a national treasure.

  12. obiwanchernobi says:

    I mean, I like the four horses of the apocalypse, but its the Tanooki Suit. What are we even talking about here?

  13. Wes Nelson says:

    I love the Screw Attack! One, because it’s so colorful and different, two, because it makes you invincible, and three because the powerup is so flashy!