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The evolution of Santa Claus


Finally, a familiar Santa in a familiar game. Compared to the previous iterations of Santa (Santerations?), though, this is downright original. Sure, he’s got the white beard, but he’s hiding the red suit behind a blue sack and aviator cap.

Why, if you didn’t know he was Santa, and you didn’t try and sneak up on him to steal a few extra presents, you might actually be surprised when he whipped open his cape and blasted off on his awesome jetpack that he just happened to have.

As an aside, Santa Funk makes ToeJam & Earl an oddity (which is saying a lot for a game about bizarre aliens exploring a series of flat, randomly generated landscapes floating in space), because the game isn’t Christmas-themed, but features Santa as a key plot point. It seems the fat man dumped a ton of presents across the game world before you showed up, and now they’re scattered everywhere for you to collect and open. Sometimes they’re useful and sometimes they’ll slowly kill you, and you won’t know which until you open them. Santa Funk’s a bastard that way.



When you first encounter Secret of Mana’s version of Santa, you probably won’t recognize him at all, because he looks like this:

No red coat, no silly pom hat, and his beard is blue. Also, he’s making a pretty good effort to kill you. Strip away the layers of monster, however (preferably with a sword), and you’ll find that this is as conventional a St. Nick as could be designed:

Still, this is probably the most effort that’s ever been put into one of Santa’s videogame backstories. Once he’s re-Santa’d, he explains that he tried to harness the incredible power of an artifact called the Mana Seed to grow a giant Christmas tree. A. Giant. Christmas. Tree. That’s so stupid, it has to be a cover story for deliberately mutating into a giant blue child-eating monster out of spite.



Tugged along through the background of Christmas NiGHTs by three bulbous-faced reindeer, this Santa is a pleasant, plot-free throwback to the simpler Santas of the Commodore 64 days, and he doesn’t even have to flit around collecting presents.

Still, he’s less of a defined character than the last two Santas, which sort of makes him a sad evolutionary dead end, doomed to carve out an existence in a harsh world he was never made for. Or something. Whatever. He’s boring and we hate him.

34 comments

  • CaptainSalmon - December 25, 2010 9:43 a.m.

    Some of these look ho-ho-horrible. Thank you, I'm here all night.
  • ventanger - December 25, 2010 5:51 a.m.

    Oh crap I'm replying to year old posts. I'll be in a corner with my dunce cap on if you need me.
  • evilmonkeyturds - December 25, 2010 5:17 a.m.

    @jimsondanet, I read the giant block of text XP
  • ventanger - December 24, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    Ohhh snap uneccessarily veering off topic hold on tight whoooaaAAAAaaaa. Yes, CO2 is released from burning fossil fuels... so? Is the majority of CO2 created by humans? No. Will the increase in CO2 lead to global catastrophe? No. Will government-imposed strangling the means of production in order to reduce CO2 emissions based on this outright lie hinder advancement and by definition be REGRESSIVE, not progressive? DING DING DING! Yes. Read "The Skeptical Environmentalist" by Bjorn Lomborg, the perfect cure for any deeply disturbed zeolite of the global warming religion. Merry Christmas!
  • tareq - December 24, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    Heh Nostalgia Trip
  • FanofSaiyan - December 26, 2009 10:01 p.m.

    As if Santa doesn't do enough for us, we want him to save the world! Give the guy a break. I loved the KH2 Santa, one of my favorite levels in the game. :)
  • Eo1spy - December 28, 2008 1:48 p.m.

    @ DeadGirls Please provide irrefutable proof that global warming is real, that average global temperatures have increased only since the Industrial Revolution and never when humans weren't releasing CO2. How come there were ice ages? The Earth cooled. How did these ice ages stop? The Earth warmed. How is now any different? P.S Sorry to be off-topic.
  • MP5-PRO333 - December 27, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    where is pain santa
  • DeadGirls - December 26, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    Nice article. I almost forgot about Toe Jam & Earl. It was one of the 1st "co-op" games that was really fun. @derringer83: Yeah, I was kinda expecting the drunk Santa from Blood Money also. @nadrewod99: Everyting MikelReparaz said + Global warming is not a myth or 'religion', its actually pretty simple. 1. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the warmer the atmosphere gets. This fact can be tested in any lab. 2. Fossil fuels such as coal and oil are full of carbon -- carbon that was completely removed from the carbon cycle until we pumped or dug it out of the ground. 3. The burning of fossil fuels releases oxidized carbon into the atmosphere. This is carbon dioxide. CO2.
  • Dinkymod - December 26, 2008 3:18 a.m.

    Should have added this in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swCWiULbGPY
  • derringer83 - December 26, 2008 1:35 a.m.

    Man I was pumped about this article. And it was pretty good, won't lie... but what about the drunk Santa from Hitman: Blood Money? That guy was awesome.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - December 25, 2008 7:37 a.m.

    @Montag & Mola13: Yes, yes, you're both right. Fixed and fixed. @nadrewod999: Games about Santa suck. It's no use trying to free-associate your way to a good Santa game, because there's no such thing as a good Santa game and there NEVER WILL BE. If they were any good in the first place, they wouldn't NEED to be about Santa.
  • oreomonkey - December 25, 2008 7:36 a.m.

    Funny how they chose all the gross killing savage disgusting violent Santas as the best and nice, cool, clean Santas as the worst, wow...
  • Ban - December 25, 2008 6:28 a.m.

    Now I need a PSP to play Infected
  • jimsondanet - December 25, 2008 2:20 a.m.

    no not at all like paople double posting comments, more like double tapping ctrl-v whilst copy pasting from word. and thank you for that massive block of text i will be genuinly surprised if someone actually read the entire thing
  • nadrewod999 - December 25, 2008 2:01 a.m.

    to Mola123: Yes, they double-pasted the paragraph just like some people double-post their comments to everyone: I totally agree with everything, although I think that the only good game Santa is... not here yet, but all they need to do is give a game featuring Santa (not as the main character or the main person in the game you deal with) better graphics than Fallout 3 and give us the ability to do whatever we want to him (example: instead of cutting the blue Santa in SoM down to size, either leave him alone or take control of him to use as your pet to help with the later bosses would be possible choices in a good Santa game), although I HATE side-scrollers that are movie-spinoffs and I HATE most Santa games anyway since the only people who really believe in Santa are most often too young to play any good games because their parents only give them educational games. Even so, I would really like a game featuring Santa if it showed how global warming was affecting him (and possibly have the game end by showing it was all fake) since global warming, while it might be a threat, shouldn't be taken so literally, especially when the preacher of the "Global Warming" religion doesn't even think about going anywhere by a very envirmentally-friendly way because he only goes places in his own private jet, plus I personally know a teacher at my neighborhood school who almost got fired when he, after teaching the REQUIRED course about global warming and Al Gore's movie, tried to teach the opposing side as well, so that he wouldn't be like most news stations (if you don't think "Global Warming" is a religion, compare the case of this teacher to the famous "monkey" trial back in around the mid-1920s).
  • georgeguy - December 24, 2008 10:22 p.m.

    nice artical GR happy holidays
  • Mola123 - December 24, 2008 10:09 p.m.

    um...is it just me or in the second santa claus example does it have the same paragaph twice?
  • SamaSume - December 24, 2008 9:52 p.m.

    my how santa's grown
  • evildevil2 - December 24, 2008 9:37 p.m.

    what about the lego santa costume from lego star wars 2?

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