The Inaugural All-Time Video Game Character Draft

Today is the NFL Draft. Yep, right, I don't care either, and I am a sports fan. Instead, we're going to hold the inaugural Kotaku Video Game Draft. Because if you're going to spend three hours indoors today looking at a screen and pondering a trivial event for a shoulder-shrugging, what-did-that-prove result, you might as well do it up right.

So the NFL has 32 teams, and we have 32 pickers. Twenty-four are commenters (this is what that announcement earlier in the week was all about). Eight others, myself included, are random people I selected (OK — my friends) to spread out the variety of picks. Drafters could select any character from any game, any platform, any era, all time.

The only limitation was that you could not draft a character created by a player in an MMO. I made an exemption for Leeroy Jenkins but no one took him. The characters did not have to be human or even organic. NPCs were also permissible.

We randomized the draft order and ran our picks in the middle of the week. The draft follows in three groupings, Picks 1 to 10, 11 to 20, and 21 to 32.

First up, picks 1 to 10. Drafters are commenters unless otherwise noted. I let the #1 pick have more space to write seeing as how this is the declared best video game character, at least according to the draft.

megaman.jpg1. PQ Crash selects MEGA MAN
"Mega Man is worthy of the number one pick because of two words: unlimited upside. With enough time, opponents and experience, Mega Man's acquired powers and abilities would overshadow every other video game character.

"Dr. Light's Variable Weapons System gives Mega Man his greatest skill: the ability to copy the powers of his defeated enemies. Yes, Mega Man needs to destroy his opponent first in order to gain a new skill, but his laser rocket arm — known as the "Buster Cannon" — serves him well as his default (and initial) weapon.

"Mega Man is also highly coachable — namely because he's a robot. His synthetic structure also negates any possibilities of "character issues." Granted, Mega Man might revel in the fact that he uses Dr. Wiley's own weapon designs against him, but who wouldn't love to use irony as an offensive tool?"

2. Cruithne selects ZOMBIE from Resident Evil and others
"Appearing in countless video games, this guy just never quits. His slow head turn appearance in the first Resident Evil is one of the greatest moments in video game history. There's few action adventure games this guy can't find some excuse to be in, whether it's turning up unexpectedly in Uncharted, or bringing along a few hundred thousand of his mates in Dead Rising, Zombie is the broken backbone of games as we've come to love them."

3. Lon Lopez, selects MIKE TYSON from Mike Tyson's Punch Out!
"One of the baddest bosses in Video Game History, Mike Tyson could devastate any opponent with just one of his Super Uppercuts, putting any foe permanently down for the count."
[Note: Check the link for a hilarious way to take pictures of friends while making it look like a giant arse is squatting on their head. — Owen ]

4. Gundam-RX-78-2 selects ELHAYM VAN HOUTEN from Xenogears "She was the first real Human Character that I was introduced to in a game, Human in the sense that, even though just being a sprite, there was emotion. This was surreal to me as I played the game. Elly (to me) seemed to have to go through the most dramatic emotions, such as struggling whether or not to fight Fei who she has grown feelings for or listen to her orders as a soldier."

5. Shindokie: Read My Messages selects OTACON from Metal Gear "At the beginning of the serious he wets his pants. He then is able to turn invisible with the item he invented. Having him being the genius that he is, he helps Solid Snake throughout all his battle with items. Otacon's intelligence is his power and that alone can be very powerful. With the right tools he can disappear and kill (even if he probably won't kill and leave the job to Snake)"

C64_Hardball.png6. Chris Ballard, sports writer, selects TOMMY EULER, pitcher from Hardball! (Apple ] [) "Chosen for purely selfish reasons (and a close call over the backboard-shattering Celtic from 'Larry Bird vs. Dr.J'). Over hours upon days upon an adolescence of playing this game, often compiling entire 162-game seasons (complete, I'm embarassed to say, with pencil-etched stats), I made sure the All-Stars (my team) faced off against Tommy Euler as often as possible. Say 92% of the time. The reason? That big, fat, slow, wheelhouse-inhabiting curveball he tossed up there. It looked like your kid brother's weakass wiffle hook, like Barry Zito's junk this season, like sunshine-and-lollipops wrapped up into an interminably slow, eminently-timeable gopher ball. So I'll go with my boy Euler. Not because he's a badass but for the exact opposite reason. He was the Stuart Smalley of sports video games. He made you feel good abot yourself. "

7. ShaggE selects CALEB from the Blood series "He's an undead gunslinger that quotes Raimi movies and showtunes. He is the very definition of `original character design,' and one of the few protagonists in gaming who is just as evil as his foes."

8: Hawaiian Actor selects ABE from Oddworld "Abe has many qualities that led me to pick him, from his overbearing sense of morality, to his sheer dumb luck. He's got his fellow Mudokons there to help him out, and from time to time, can even turn invisible for a while. But most important is his power of possession. Not only can he possess his own natural gasses to attack and spy on his enemies, but he can possess his enemies themselves and use them to his own will, essentially giving him the same powers that anyone else has. Once he is done controlling them, he can either leave them to use at another time, or cause them to be torn limb from limb killing them, effectively making him a prime (although clumsy) choice. for the best video game character."

Afro-Thunder.jpg9. Scazza selects AFRO THUNDER from Ready 2 Rumble (Dreamcast) "Easily one of the most charismatic characters to ever grace the squared circle. From his agile movements to his witty verbal jabs, he could give you a whooping before he even throws a single punch. His trademark afro and smiley-faced boxing gloves really show just how much a manly-man he is. Just remember, if he hits you, 'Somebody better call the doctorrr!'"

10. Michael Fahey, selects THE FUCKING BIRDS FROM NINJA GAIDEN (NES) "Every time you want to jump, there they are. Jump. *BIRD* *die*"

Next: Picks 11 to 20.


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