After two weeks of heated competition, it comes down to this. The Wabbajack from Skyrim against the surprisingly resilient Luck Bobblehead from Fallout 3. We now present a special Best Treasure Ever debate. Steve Heisler will argue in favor of the Wabbajack, while John Teti rallies Team Bobblehead. But this vote is in your hands, readers. Who will prevail? Votes close at midnight Eastern
tonight Saturday night (for the weekend stragglers); the winner will be feted on Monday.
Steve Heisler, Team Wabbajack: The Wabbajack’s trail to the finals is a true Cinderella story. It entered as the No. 8 seed, facing off against one of the rarest and most valuable treasures in the entire Final Fantasy universe. Most saw it as a joke—a stick with the power to do…what exactly?—but it wouldn’t be counted out. Couldn’t be counted out. And now not only is it one of the last two treasures remaining, but it defeated the Tanooki Suit, an early favorite, by a four-to-one margin.
Plus, if this weren’t enough of a Cinderella story already, we could simply point the Wabbajack at a pumpkin and hope it turns into the Cinderella. Take that, Disney!
A vote for the Wabbajack is a vote for the American dream: No matter what life throws at you, turn it into some piece of junk you can sell at Coney Island.
John Teti, Team Luck Bobblehead: This is like that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Commander Riker had to argue in a judicial hearing that Data wasn’t a person, not because he believed it but because he was obligated to do so for the adversarial justice system to function. But I will do my duty and make my case for the Luck Bobblehead.
We all know that the Wabbajack possesses a splendid wackiness. It is all weapons at once, and also none of them. But my fellow Gameologists, this is the Best TREASURE Ever bracket. And I submit to you that the Bobblehead exemplifies the qualities of great treasure more convincingly than anything else on our bracket, except maybe for the Space Hamster, which you readers in your infinite wisdom eliminated in the second round, for pete’s sake, not that I am bitter.
What does one do with a “treasure”? Does one brandish it about town, turning innocent passersby into chickens and sweet rolls? Wave it through the air like a madman? My stars, no. A treasure is something so precious that it enlivens and enriches the world simply by being. You display a treasure, and by virtue of your owning it, it passes some desirable quality on to you—social status, wealth, security, you name it.
When you acquire the Luck Bobblehead in Fallout 3, there’s nothing more to do. Once you have it, your Luck stat goes up—thereby improving all of your abilities in the game—and you can show it off on a smart little display case. This is how a proper treasure serves its master.
The Wabbajack doesn’t do jack unless you take it out and—ugh—use it. How pedestrian. So sure, let Steve Heisler weave his Cinderella narrative and appeal to your jingoistic side. He relies on rhetorical smoke and mirrors because he knows that the Wabbajack is deficient in the one quality that Gameological needs right now: treasure-ness. If the word “treasure” means anything to you, you must vote Bobblehead.
Steve Heisler: My fellow Gameologicalans: In his haste to debunk my story (compelling as it may be) of the Wabbajack’s meteoric, unassuming rise to stardom, John Teti has neglected the forest for the trees. Sure, perhaps in his bobbleheaded reality does the Luck Bobblehead exemplify what it means to be a real piece of “treasure,” but he’s forgotten something so rudimentary, it pains me even to bring it up.
The Wabbajack is simply more fun than the Bobblehead! Fun! F-U-N! Rich, invigorating, mind-blowing, button-mashing FUN.
Let’s review what the Luck Bobblehead does. It boosts an arbitrary number on a grid of fictional powers. It gathers digital dust in a home you share with a helper robot and, if you’re lucky, a pooch appropriately named Dogmeat, given how simplistic he is.
The Wabbajack is fun incarnate. Wave it over your square of a boss, and he’ll don sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt like in a terrible 1980s beer commercial. Or he’ll become a fax machine for an equally dated reference. Or your long lost daughter. What fun!
Unpredictability, irreverence, laughter—these are the qualities of fun, and the qualities the Wabbajack has embodied time and time again. And long after the Luck Bobblehead has been destroyed in yet another atomic attack, the Wabbajack will stand strong (probably in a parallel dimension like the Shivering Isles), ready to make us smile again. The world needs clowns, John Teti. And lucky for you, it has the Wabbajack.
John Teti: My fellow Gameologicianists, Steve Heisler makes my case for me. Fun is transitory. That’s one of the great things about it. It’s a bit of momentary bliss, impossible to replicate. But you can’t enshrine fun. And what we are doing here is enshrining the Best Treasure Ever.
Look, I go around the site, and I talk to a lot of people who like the Wabbajack. They voted for the Wabbajack in the past, and they want to see the Wabbajack succeed. And the Wabbajack is a good treasure. But Gameological readers should not have to be stuck playing these childhood games, staring up at fading Wabbajack posters and wondering when they can move on from freezing people in spikes of ice and get on with their life.
Wabbajack supporters, it’s okay for you to vote Bobblehead. It really is. Because what you face on this final ballot, dear readers, is a choice. A choice between the knee-jerk transformational zaps of the Wabbajack on one side and the proven stimulative effects of the Luck Bobblehead of the other. The Luck Bobblehead is the sound choice for the future. Its effects are permanent; they stick with you through the fun times AND the sad times. Because the Bobblehead wants to make life better for all residents of the post-nuclear Wasteland, even the pathetic irradiated zombies who consider themselves victims.
So vote for the Luck Bobblehead. In your heart, you know he’s right.[poll id=”33″]