A brief history of missile rides


Year: 2007

The insane, over-the-top, borderline racist shoot ‘em-up Chili Con Carnage has what is easily the funniest missile-riding scene ever put into a game, which in our book also makes it the best. It starts off strong, as gun-crazy hero Ram hops onto a stray rocket after battling an attack chopper, and zooms off in search of the villain Elvez Gonzalez.

Above: Our favorite screenshot of 2007 

We next see Ram (presumably) several hours later, after the cold, stark realities of riding missiles with limitless fuel reserves have set in. Miles out to sea, Ram is wet, freezing and hounded by a bunch of dolphins who are just way too happy about this whole stupid situation.

Ram’s dignity is at an all-time low, and it only gets worse when he runs afoul of a flock of low-flying seagulls.

Luckily, Ram’s suffering isn’t totally in vain, as his Uncle Marco swoops in via helicopter and informs him that the missile is headed straight for Elvez’s distant retreat.

Needless to say, fireworks ensue soon after. You can see the whole silly spectacle for yourself in the following video.


Year: 2007

If you take away anything from this article, it should be that when it comes to missile rides, nobody brings it like Contra. In its latest outing, the series returned to territory that had previously been explored only briefly by Sonic Adventure 2: that of missile-riding a ginormous rocket, instead of just a surfboard-sized one.

Above: DAMN, SON 

Contra 4’s missile is nothing less than a full-sized, futuristic ICBM, and before you can ride on it, you’ll need to fight your way up the support scaffolding that surrounds it.

Then, once you’re on board, you’ll need to contend with the attentions of this giant weirdo:

It’s not until you near the top of the missile that things start to get really crazy, though, as you’re forced to dodge and shoot incoming rockets while leaping from handhold to handold, all as the missile curves and arcs along its flight path.

Above: Precarious! 

Before long, the missile nears its intended target and goes vertical, forcing you up toward its base, where you’ll get to balance on its engines while avoiding jets of fire.

Then the whole mess slams into a building…

After which you’re left standing on the street, unharmed.

Above: YAY 


Year: 2008

Based not so much on the Disney movie as it is on the TV show within the movie, Bolt flirts with the idea of a super-powered puppy surfing on man-sized rockets, but instead opts to have its star drag them around with his teeth.

Despite the teasing, Bolt eventually does ride a missile. And when he does, it turns out to be of the huge, Contra 4/Sonic Adventure 2 flavor.

In order to save his friend Penny, who’s been trapped inside the rocket, Bolt has to dismantle it in flight, piece by piece. This begins with a couple of electrical panels on the side of the missile.

It then continues with the removal of the missile’s warhead, which flies off to detonate harmlessly in some nearby city or village…

… and culminates with Bolt eye-lasering his way into the compartment where Penny’s being held captive.

The remaining chunk of missile crashes to Earth somewhere in a snowy mountain range, but Penny and Bolt appear to be fine.

Above: Or at least they will be, until they have to decide which one will eat the other while they wait for rescue


Year: 2008

Taking its cues from Neo Contra, the Xbox Live Indie Game Weapon of Choice deployed its heroes in a unique, somewhat more candy-colored manner.

Above: Whatever you say, Wilford Brimley, sir! 

Candy-colored or not, it’s hard to argue with the results:

Above: Lock and load, rock and roll, etc., etc. 


Year: 2009

Say what you will about Ninja Blade, but it never shies away from trying to give gamers who love awesome, absurdly over-the-top action sequences exactly what they want. A prime example is its missile-surfing scene, which builds on what Devil May Cry 3 started by making it longer and interactive, and setting it amid a backdrop of Tokyo skyscrapers instead of some dank cave.

The sequence begins just after the game’s ninja hero, Ken, fights an attack chopper that seems to have been possessed by a bunch of giant snails.

Above: Looking at this thing, it’s hard to believe awesomeness is only moments away 

While he tries to wrestle it into submission, Ken grabs hold of the wrong end of a missile, which the possessed chopper immediately launches.

What follows is one of the game’s better quicktime events, as Ken struggles to gain control of the rocket…

… rides it up the side of a building…

… twists it back around…

… puts it on a collision course with the snail-infested helicopter that fired it…

… and finishes it off in true ninja style. Or possibly in the exact opposite of true ninja style.

Whatever, it’s awesome. It’s also a suitably well-executed example with which to end this history. Of course, still images can’t do justice to its majesty, so we recommend you check out the following video footage:




Jet engines from space


Helicopter blades



Aug 19, 2009

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  • coolip - November 18, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    Wow, I'm actually surprised to see that Just Cause 2's missile riding wasn't included. But anyways, Invader Zim FTW!
  • Conman93 - November 2, 2009 5:58 p.m.

    EPIC ARTICLE!! I knew jak 3 would be here. That part is hilarious
  • oryandymackie - August 26, 2009 4:39 p.m.

    Those Devil May Cry and MGS cutscenes were stupid beyond belief. So what, Dante flies a missile around a small room which creates a suspiciously short lasting explosion which does no structural damage at all? P.S is Ninja Blade worth buying, or is it just QTE's?
  • Felixthecat - August 24, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    How could you include Bolt? Including that is like advertising, advertising a movie game is immoral and movie games breed. Buying a movie game just makes developers make more, do we really want to live in a worldlike that?
  • jeffrey3133 - August 23, 2009 12:23 a.m.

    this is a stupid artical
  • BeastlyB - August 21, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    When I saw gir it made me smile insanely,great article.
  • GamerTagsSuck - August 21, 2009 11:31 a.m.

    HOLY CRAP ITS GIR! That just made my day.
  • musashi1596 - August 21, 2009 10:53 a.m.

    Are we forgetting the missile riding mini game from Metal Slug X? Shame on you.
  • ZeroLegends - August 21, 2009 3:37 a.m.

    Ok running out of ideas much GR? Still good article. @adadadwhatever I wosh i could strap you to a missile and send you into space,without a helmet,twards the sun. ReCAPTCHA: over The...Rainbow!
  • smallberry - August 20, 2009 11:45 p.m.

    Yay for the Strangelove reference!
  • realybored666 - August 20, 2009 7:55 p.m.

    invader zim FTW!!!
  • LionheartAce - August 20, 2009 3:40 p.m.

  • noobeater - August 20, 2009 11:35 a.m.

    wow i vaguely remember mischief makers thx GR iv had my daily does of nostalgia. man all those creatures with wierd faces was......well wierd
  • Jordo141 - August 20, 2009 8:44 a.m.

    What the hell? NO METAL SLUG???!!?
  • tylerj800 - August 20, 2009 5:07 a.m.

    You guys missed the most important one, WOW. The missile flying mount from the card game i think. That is easily the best missile ride due to the amount of freedom and badassery.
  • aion7 - August 20, 2009 4:45 a.m.

    Badass article or badassest article? I think it's the large amounts of Contra that truly turn this article up to eleven.
  • MechGyver - August 20, 2009 3:47 a.m.

    For a moment i thought this article was about our male fallic friend...
  • TheWebSwinger - August 20, 2009 3:33 a.m.

    A verrry phallic article, GDar.
  • revrock - August 20, 2009 3:18 a.m.

    YES! Captain Marvel FTW!!!!!
  • TheElusiveMongoose - August 20, 2009 3:01 a.m.

    Another awesome article Mikel, and Doctor Strangelove is one of the best movies ever. (Am I really te first one to get that referance?)

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