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The Top 7... Climbers that make me wish I wasn't a horse

5. The Prince, as seen in Prince of Persia


Sometimes, being small and weak has its advantages. Despite his stringy forearms and fragile frame, the Prince from the Prince of Persia series never ceases to amaze me. It also didn't hurt that the first Prince of Persia, released for the Apple II in 1989, featured some of the most fluid animations ever seen in a videogame. You really got a sense for how hard it must have been for the Prince to pull himself up from ledges with his incredibly weak forearms.

It was also the first game that I can remember, which successfully incorporated a real sense of the physicality of climbing into what was essentially a platformer. Gone were the unrealistically high jumps and long leaps seen in other platformers that came before it. Like most humans, the Prince couldn't hold a match to a horse when it came to running or leaping. His tiny hops realistically represented the limits of a human's un-muscular build. But that only made his relentless ability to conquer ledges that much more impressive.


Above: Unfortunately, like so many male protagonists in gaming, the Prince's only motivation for action has to do with a helpless human woman in distress 


 

4. Desmond Miles, as seen in Assassin's Creed I and II


Unlike the Prince, Altair and Ezio show few signs of weakness when scaling structures in Assassin's Creed I and II. Maybe that's because they're being piloted by Desmond Miles, the direct ancestor of these ancient assassins. While under the control of Desmond, Altair and Ezio climb with an unprecedented level of confidence. Always surefooted, every move is made with purpose as they reach for that next foothold or pull themselves up onto a rooftop.

Both Altair and Ezio also seem to be experienced riders, which does not harm my high level of appreciation for these dangerous non-horses. But it's the way Altair and Ezio always press forward without hesitation that makes me admire these two fine specimens of the human species so greatly.


Above: My hooves control Desmond Miles, who in turn, controls both Altair and Ezio as they bravely climb to heights equestrians have only dreamed of 


3. Alex Mercer, as seen in Prototype


When I want a good laugh, I like to watch the Olympics. Marathons are my favorite. Watching the world's fastest humans struggle to cover a mere 26 miles is better than the best stand up comedy your species has to offer. But I never laughed at Alex Mercer, the amnesiac shape shifter in Prototype. Not once.

The awe inspiring Mercer doesn't climb buildings with his arms. He scales them with his powerful hind legs, which propel him with a frightening force. Every movement he makes is filled with rage as he relentlessly leaps from building to building while slashing anyone dumb enough to get in his way to pieces.

The nightmares have stopped since I finally finished Prototype. But from time to time, I still have terrible visions of a future where mankind has grown a pair, a pair of evolved hind legs that actually have some kick to them. In my dream, I see men in tracksuits running circles around me as I gasp for breath, unable to move. Meanwhile, an army of human babies with sock puppets wall-run up the skyscrapers surrounding me. As their chubby calves flex and pulsate, I see a young foal in the distance charging towards me. I realize that the young steed is running from Alex Mercer. The vicious shape shifter is shrouded in darkness and is quickly gaining on the foal, who is now galloping in slow motion. I know something terrible is about to happen, but I am powerless to stop it. But again, I digress.

 

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60 comments

  • AA95mp - July 29, 2010 1:02 p.m.

    B Buttercup is climbing the mountain, why is he climbing the mountain?
  • camelfro - July 29, 2010 11:38 a.m.

    buttercup is....amazing!
  • LizarDAZZLE - July 28, 2010 2:43 a.m.

    I just bought Pokemon Platinum, caught a Ponyta, and named it BButtercup (a space wouln't have fit. THen it would have been B Buttercu). Do I win?
  • DrOfInsanity666 - July 28, 2010 12:36 a.m.

    Okay that was a little weird, but it was still a good article though.
  • GamesRadarJuniorWildlifeEditor - July 27, 2010 8:51 p.m.

    B Buttercuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuppppp!!!
  • Ravenbom - July 27, 2010 7:55 p.m.

    Like He-man and Prince Adam, or Superman and Clark Kent, B Buttercup and Tyler Nagata are never in the same room together... ...hmm... I wonder... Could Tyler be He-man?
  • shnazzyone - July 27, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    Obviously somebodies getting their top 7 ideas by shroomin'.
  • Howetzer - July 27, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    Seriously you went ahead and gave the nod to Prototype over InFamous? Youve got to be kidding...this was an article about CLIMBING things yes? Have you played InFamous? From the review flashbacks I'm having Im going to go ahead and say you didn't play either of those games, or you mixed them up in your mind or something. Also lets talk about the Shadow of the collosus thing, I know we're on hallowed Okami type sacred ground here with this game, but damn guys climbing the titans on GoW3 was WAAAAAY better, not to mentioned all the times he's climbed himself out of a little place called HELL! Jeeeze Buttercup, you seriously dropped the ball on this one. BUt I gotta give ya Rampage, I loved the hell outta that game!
  • crumbdunky - July 27, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    Including the godawful Hulk UD remake that was Protoype(where you really jump up the buildings more than climb anyway() rather than inFAMOUS which had, wire fences aside, the BEST climbing mechanics(and no Sly!?)ever done is a poor oversight imho. I truly cannot think of a good reason for Cole not to be on your equine wish list glue botherer-horse am FAIL AT LISTZ!
  • BornToLose3 - July 27, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    lol loved it, great article buttercup. Definately agree with number 1.
  • Ganonpork - July 27, 2010 12:17 p.m.

    O.O i gotta say this horse shit is weirding me out, like alot.
  • Wolverine08 - July 27, 2010 10 a.m.

    NO COLE OFF inFAMOUS!!!
  • philipshaw - July 27, 2010 9:50 a.m.

    Great Top 7, I love how buttercup says "I digress" so much. Wander had to be no1
  • ReadToLights - July 27, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    Horse made book lamp lol
  • BlackElement17 - July 27, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    I would have suggest Sly Cooper.
  • jmcgrotty - July 27, 2010 7:57 a.m.

    Thank God that Mirrors Edge wasn't mentioned. I was cringing from the start, waiting for that to show you. You did good, Buttercup. Go eat a carrot.
  • PipGirl - July 27, 2010 7:47 a.m.

    Well done Buttercup. You've done a great article. I loved the Desmond, Drake, but no Lara. Daaaaaaaaaw Buttercup, c'mon!!
  • AuthorityFigure - July 27, 2010 7:26 a.m.

    I was gonna' suggest Ice Climbers then I remembered that the game sux.
  • lovinmyps3 - July 27, 2010 6:13 a.m.

    I thought for sure Nate would be #1, but I forgot about Wanderer.
  • elpurplemonkey - July 27, 2010 5:36 a.m.

    God I love B Buttercup's articles.

Showing 1-20 of 60 comments

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