Assembling the Ultimate Video-Game Band
Being resident Houston Press video-game reviewer is an awesome gig. I mean, getting paid to play video games? What's not to love? But I still think of myself as a music journalist, and today I thought I'd combine the two. What if we could build a supergroup out of some of the best musical characters in game history? Today, let's live that dream.
Pros: The antagonist AI of the Portal series sings two songs over the course of the games, and one of them, "Still Alive," was a fairly moderate hit. She's a consummate performer whose voice has become recognized as one of the greatest in game history.
Blessed with an amazing wit and a penchant for modern indie rock, as well as an imposing form that can dominate a performance as she dangles from the ceiling, she'd make a perfect front person.
Cons: She's murderous, bitchy, sarcastic, and openly insults anyone around her with passive-aggressive menace. Actually, that pretty much describes any lead singer, so really we're just talking a matter of degree here. Just keep her away from anything that can be used as a weapon.
Pros: The Jack Black-voiced roadie turned heavy-metal adventurer Eddie Riggs not only plays well, but his guitar Clementine grants him magical powers while in use. Riggs is widely knows as the one of the best men to have around either on tour or even if you should be thrown into a demonic hell dimension. He's cool under pressure, consummately professional, and did we mention the magical spellcasting guitar?
Cons: Riggs sometimes has difficulty asserting himself, preferring to remain in the background as his roadie training dictates. As arguably the most talented musician in the band, this can result in a lack of initiative when it comes to deciding wise courses of action or songwriting choices. He can also be easily deceived.
Pros: Preferring a more punk-rock approach than his fellow shredders' metal background, the zombie king is an undisputed showman. With his distinctive, undead look and shapeshifiting abilities he puts on a very impressive show.
Before his resurrection, he was a popular and best selling artist in his native Australia. His debut album Oral Dead went platinum before he committed suicide and took over a hundred fans with him.
Cons: Raptor is a fame-hungry monster that is constantly looking to improve his notoriety or barring that rule the world. He also has no regard for the personal safety of anyone around him, and cannot be trusted at all. Though arguably the most successful musician in the bunch, he is not a talented as he appears.
Pros: With a cast that already consists of two psychopaths, the rhythm section needs to be a little lower key. Katy Kat, on loan from Um Jammer Lammy's band Milk Can, brings both a solid grrl rock bass style as well as a sweet helpful nature. Her willingness to pitch in and her irrepressible personality make her a much needed calming influence.
Cons: Katy isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, and she is also quite young. It's hard to tell how being on the road is going to affect the youngest member of the band.
Pros: The Lost Viking Olaf is a solid presence who plays hard, drinks hard, and can always be counted on to stand his ground. Having been from one end of time and space to the other, nothing fazes him. Anyone that can survive Viking parties can be relied upon.
Cons: Olaf has some rather impressive flatulence, and he's not shy about using it at all. Though he's the widely traveled, he's still a berserker at heart and probably shouldn't be let near anything particularly breakable.
Pros: The female warrior icon of the Resident Evil games is, among her other talents, a classically trained pianist. Even when trapped in a mysterious mansion surrounded by zombies and bioweapons she's able to sightread Beethoven perfectly at the drop of a hat. She can also pick locks, which may come in handy. Just saying.
Cons: At one point Jill was infected with a powerful bioweapon virus and used for extensive medical testing. Though no longer in danger of becoming that which she hates the most, it's unknown if she could still spread any of the experimental virus still hosted in her body. If you end up backstage with her, wear some protection to be safe.
Pros: The brave puzzle champion Lolo is an expert packer who will ensure all the equipment makes it on and off stage where it needs to go. Fresh from his adventure in Maniac Mention, Bernard is the ultimate tech, able to fix anything that might go wrong.
Earthworm Jim's superstrength makes him an all-around helper, plus he comes with his own personal rocket transport for beer runs, and handles special effects during performances with his bubble gun. Finally, a use for that stupid thing.
Cons: Lolo isn't the most intimidating of roadies, and should probably not be loading thousands of dollars of equipment on his own if you don't want it stolen by thugs. Bernard's good with tech, but he's got no ear for music himself, so don't expect tuning or any other music-specific skill out of him. Jim's an idiot.
Pros: One of the world's most respected artists and musicians himself, BioShock's Cohen is also keen on taking others under his wing to nurture their careers. Musically a genius and awash with connections, he can guide an act to pretty much any end they choose. Overuse of the drug ADAM has also given him the ability to teleport which comes in handy when he's needed.
Cons: ADAM has also left him deranged and dangerous. He's been known to murder people and turn their bodies into art exhibits. On the other hand, this makes him probably the only person alive frightening enough to keep the likes of GLaDOS and Raptor in line.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.