Top 5 Video-Game Characters Inspired by Slash
Photo by Marco Torres
When I was a kid just discovering Guns N' Roses, I always pretended to be Slash while reenacting the music videos I saw on MTV. Maybe a part of me could sense that one day Axl would swell with both girth and wackaloonitude, or maybe I just admired the pimp daddy top hat and undeniable skill. Regardless, Slash was, is, and probably always will be the man.
As I grew up, though, I started to see the name Slash a lot in my video games. That's not so surprising, of course. It's a cool name, perfect for any random blade-based character, and lots of time that's all it is. Then again, sometimes it's because there are a lot of G N'R fans out there making video games, and they share my affinity for the guitarist.
Capcom's Final Fight is still the template for the perfect sidescrolling beat-'em-up. It's also famous for having one of the first openly transsexual characters in video-game history. Capcom USA balked at having the male protagonists beating up the female character of Poison, to which series creator Yakira Asuda replied that all was cool, the character was actually a transvestite. (Apparently beating them up is perfectly fine.) The official American stance is that Poison is a post-op transsexual. Also, about that name...
Many of the Final Fight characters are named after bands and musicians, including Slash. A large, imposing man with curly hair and dark skin, he's a subordinate of the international terrorist Rolento. He's he only character in the game who can block attacks, and his strikes do almost as much damages as the bosses.
Sega's attempt to cash in on the fighting-game series was Eternal Champions, and it wasn't really all that bad. The premise was that the souls of great warriors from across time had been snared in order to participate in a tournament that would allow the victor to change their fate and avoid their death. Think of it like Time Killers, but less ridiculous.
One of the characters available was a caveman named Slash, and while other chacracters were masters of various martial arts like Savate or Hapkido, Slash's discipline was simply listed as Pain.
It's purely fan conjecture that Slash was named for the guitarist, but, the curly hair, wide nose, and deep-set eyes do bear a pretty sharp resemblance. There's also the matter of Slash using a club rather than the bladed weapon you'd expect with the name.
In Mega Man X5, the entire enemy roster is named after the members of Guns n' Roses, and all with animal themes. Frankly, it's both the highest and lowest level of punnery ever accomplished, with Squid Adler and Duff McWhalen being particularly clever/nauseating.
Slash's namesake is Grizzly Slash, a robot bear which I think we can all agree is pretty badass. He is a robotic weapons dealer, and ironically something a pacifist. Both the rebel robotic forces and the regular army that hunts them are too violent for his tastes, but when the Maverick Virus that turns robots rogue begins to infect him, X and Zero must battle him in order to gain a special item.
In Chrono Trigger a trio of magical henchmen named after famous musicians serves the dark wizard Magus. Appropriately, it's the mystic swordsman Slash that bears Saul Hudson's nickname, and his physical attack power is a formidable obstacle. He is accompanied by Ozzie, a master of traps, and Flea, a powerful magician.
Originally, their names were puns on condiments because, well, Japan. Slash was soy sauce, Ozzie was vinegar and Flea was mayonnaise. (Pity the famous bassist.) Badass sorcerer that Flea is, the character is a transvestite whom you can steal a bra from and can turn males characters against the party with a magical flirt. Again, Japan.
Slash's ex-wife Renee Hudson has also made a small mark in the world of video games. Her naked back actually serves as the character-selection screen of Tattoo Assassins, famous for its numerous and often ridiculous fatalities.