Here at Kotaku, we have strong opinions about video games. Currently, Arms‘ DNA-themed fighter threatens to tear this snack website apart.
Helix is Arms‘ gooey fighter whose signature “Blorb” arms squirt blinding goo on opponents’ faces. Depending on who you ask, Helix is either a lovable snot ball with a ton of competitive potential, or a despicable green lump that disgraces the world he was born into. Kotaku‘s Eric Van Allen and Cecilia D’Anastasio hold these respective views, and each want to persuade readers that their take on Helix is the right one.
Is Helix an adorable blob with a heart of gold and pure intentions, or a hideous monster with some questionably nasty undertones?
Helix emerges from his tube, driven by two emotions: Rampant curiosity and an insatiable penchant for punching.
Helix is a good gooey boy, a champion of the game, naive and innocent, and deserves both our love and protection.
No one in Arms moves like Helix does. Other competitors dash left and right, punch and box. Some build robot suits or are resurrected zombies or some ancient deity (if mummies exist, are there Arms hieroglyphics?), all opting to fight in this mutant boxing league. Helix didn’t ask for this — he was born into it.
Raised in a test tube by scientists that rank between Doc Brown and Rick of Rick and Morty on the mad-doctor scale, Helix was bred to do one thing: Be the best damn Stretch Armstrong in the league. His entire form and function is to do what humans can’t in this universe’s sport, and apparently, the league commissioners are totally cool with this. Helix doesn’t duck under your punches; he collapses into a puddle of goo beneath them. He expands upwards and weeble-wobbles left and right to dodge arms, never falling down. He can fling himself around the arena better than anyone else, and is frighteningly unpredictable. I’m not even sure what Helix is composed of, but I’m pretty sure none of it is a naturally-occurring element.
I’m not certain Helix has basic emotions, either. I mean, his face is in a constant, frozen state of either shock or joy. Canonically, he has a crush on Twintelle, but what love means to this bit of Flubber is anyone’s guess. Frankly, his lack of human expression makes him a theoretically better sportsman. Helix doesn’t understand pain, empathy or mercy. He only knows the way of the fist. At some level, Helix probably just wants to entertain everybody, while not understanding the brutal bloodsport he participates in. He just wants to be a good blorb and do his job well. Unfortunately, that job is to barbarically beat lesser specimens to a pulp with his gooey appendages.
The many faces of a stone-cold killer with a heart (?) of gold.
Let’s talk about the Blorb, the bouncing omen of the apocalypse that is Helix’s signature weapon. It’s a heavy arm, so it stuffs most punches. It bounces, meaning if you’re a wall or floor-banging idiot like me, you might still land a hit. A bouncegrab is one of the most satisfying moves to land in this game, arcing it over a punch that would have countered any other fighter and slamming them into the springboard. Throughout it all, Helix has the same expression on his face, still making the same noises that attempt to form some coherent form of communication amid the violent cadence of combat.
Helix is a good, stretchy, innovative fighter in a sea of Rocky wannabes and Naruto cosplayers. He only wants to make everyone happy, and will do so by relentlessly beating foes into submission with sticky, gooey orbs of destruction. The prosecution (AKA Cecilia) will try to convince you that Helix is bad, a crime, but the only crime is to deny him the happiness brought by competing in the stretchy-arm arenas and hoisting that trophy high over his… head?
Look at him shimmy
Arms‘ Helix must die. Wipe his horrible, putrid face from the Arms roster. He must be disposed of in a nuclear waste bin and, after being transported to a remote landfill, lit on fire to rot and steam away. Helix is disgusting and ought not to exist. I hate him. Please understand.
When Helix enters a battle, he undulates his chest like he’s about to throw down a well-rehearsed Cha Cha Slide routine in a primary school dance circle. He extends and contracts like a glob of snot in an invisible tissue. His hair is worms. And when he fights, he makes those noises. The sounds Helix emits range from honking a clown’s nose to aroused chittersquacks and euphoric clucks. He screams like a howler monkey getting eaten by Flubber. When he wins, he blows a raspberry — without moving his mouth. Who is Helix’s voice actor? Why would you sign up for this?
I want you to imagine Arms‘ Helix asking you to your high school formal. Imagine that. Just picture how he’d squirm up to you, a little sensually, and how his shiny, pink lips would look mouthing the words. Picture how his eyes would stare, unblinking. Imagine Helix screeching out the words, “Will you go to formal with me?” and melting into a puddle. Did you get the icky crawls up your back?
A fact: Helix was designed specifically to be gross. On Arms‘ site, Nintendo offers a graph detailing Helix’s “Gross Factor”, which helpfully extends beyond the webpage:
Also according to Nintendo, Helix’s only hobby is watching things. He watches the Arms Grand Prix. In his test tube, he watched Twintelle’s movies (and developed a crush on her). He forever has a display screen strapped to his head. Is he watching other Arms Grand Prix battles while he fights in one? Old Twintelle movies? Why is his mouth open while he’s watching them (and why does he have teeth!)? What is so surprising? He never blinks. Maybe he’s afraid to. Those are not his real eyes.
And can we talk about how his stage, “DNA Lab”, is lined with the test tubes full of his clones — and how when a fighter is thrown in into them, his brothers’ and sisters’ lifeless corpses spill out onto the floor in a puddle of green goop? What the hell, Helix? What is wrong with you? Why would you choose to conduct a battle here, where you are putting your embryonic jelly siblings at risk of getting mopped up by a DNA Lab janitor?
Eric rightfully points out that Helix’s Blorb arms are fun to use. They are. But getting blinded by them is by far the least fun aspect of Arms‘ combat system. You can’t see. It isn’t a fair fight when one person can’t see. That must be a rule somewhere. Also, the blorbs retain the same mass of goop even after some is smeared on an opponent’s face. Is it a virus? A venereal disease? How does it reproduce itself like that?
My conclusion is it was a crime against humanity to design Helix. He is creepy. His lips are covered in spit. His mouth sounds should be illegal. He is watching something all the time. Maybe it is you. Maybe it is all of us.