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The Top 7... Top 7s

6. The Top 7… Historical figures defamed by games

Our Top 7s aren’t just silly or videogame-centric – every once in a while, they can be semi-educational, too. And while writing The Top 7… Historical figures defamed by games might have been treading just a little on Cracked’s more edifying turf, it’s easily one of the most informative, exhaustively researched list articles we’ve ever done.

Credit for this one, in a way, belongs to EA’s Dante’s Inferno, which played so fast and loose with the identity of 13th-century poet Dante Alighieri that – thanks to an overactive sense of outrage and a passing knowledge of medieval European history – I couldn’t help but get upset about. Making Dante a Crusader was one thing, but the game also pinned blame for one of the Third Crusade’s worst atrocities on Dante. And no matter how fictitious it might have been, there’s no way that shit could stand unchallenged.


Above: What? No. Don’t be absurd 

That could have been an article unto itself (which probably would have been whiny and instantly forgotten), but thinking about it made me realize something. There were all kinds of instances where games had refused to let the truth get in the way of a good story, even if it meant tarnishing the name of a real (but dead) person in the minds of gamers.

Some just stretched reality – Oda Nobunaga may not have been evil incarnate, for example, but he was pretty dickish even by feudal-Japanese-warlord standards. Others were more baffling, like Samurai Shodown’s decision to make Christian revolutionary Shiro Amakusa into an effeminate, diabolical sorcerer.


Above: This man led a failed rebellion against an oppressive dictatorship. Let’s make him our bad guy! We’ll base the hero on that one guy who killed people for sport 

In researching the whys behind a lot of these questionable depictions, I learned a lot – like that there was another, less significant Brutus present at Julius Caesar’s assassination, and that the above depiction of Amakusa actually comes from the amazingly silly 1981 Japanese movie Makai Tensho. Hopefully, those who read it learned something as well. Learning all around!


5. The Top 7… Bad guys you didn’t want to kill

Ah, game bad guys you didn't want to kill. This feels like it's going way back, but amazingly it's only been two and a half years. 2008 was a good year for Radar, wasn't it? We've chosen this one largely because it lit up on our hits counter, resonated with an unusually wide audience and did exceptionally well on aggregator sites. And crocodile sites too (fnar fnar).

It was an idea that even non-gamers could “get,” and that's what eventually made it one of the the Top 7 Top 7s. It's universal. Not that everyone liked it, mind. "Terrible article just terrible" said one comment. That was the whole comment, too. Makes all the hours spent writing these things worthwhile, doesn't it?

Still, despite such sentiments, I was actually pleased with it, and still am. In fact, I only just learned that it was turned into a full-page magazine advert for the site in the US – makes me wonder what else of mine has done the rounds in a distant land without me knowing.

Above: Looks like someone ignored the concept of a “countdown” 

Oddly, it still gets thousands of clicks per month even now, despite its age and the fact it looks nothing like a modern Radar article. It doesn't even have the orange sub-headings in it! 

However, it's also rather painful to look back at because of the old Photoshop work here. Those goombas above have clear white outlines from using the “magic wand” selector tool. Ugh. Justin from three years ago, I slap your wrist for using such ham-fisted methods! But then I'll shake your hand – this one did all right.

126 comments

  • Fiirestorm21 - March 19, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    That last one was good for a chuckle. And a bit of a mind screw.
  • zigs - March 19, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    Phenomenal. Loved reading this, laughed a lot at the end.
  • Mateus7 - March 19, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    Great article, didn't see the Top 1 coming :P you guys are so clever!
  • rxb - March 18, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    Agree with all the other comments..... The link back to the start was the perfect finishing touch. Happy 5th Birthday
  • super0sonic - March 17, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Oh wow i was not expecting 1) and then i ended up in a feed back loop. Reading it over and over forever.
  • ashleymenvielle - March 17, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Happy 5th Birthday GamesRadar!! I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Top 7s, so this list made me squee like a little school girl when I saw it listed. It was actually one of Charlie Barrett's top 7s that got me into the site, the top 7 lazy character cliches to be exact. I enjoyed that article so much I had to read more and more top 7s and started reading the news articles after that, eventually stumbling onto the gem that is the weekly podcast, TalkRadar, as well. Now I check the site nearly everyday and listen to every TDar:). You all are amazing, keep doing what you're doing and you'll always have a faithful listener in this fan. Congrats!
  • FantasticMrStarFox - March 17, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    I was looking through old PTOM magazines earlier this year and I saw your ad for top 7 bad guys you didnt want to kill.
  • WickedSid - March 16, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    Girl on Girl Kisses and Cheat Planet... Ads which blew and continue to blow my mind... Amazing editors... Etc... Ass kissing... etc... Greatness hath been thrust upon thou soul!
  • Soxboii - March 16, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    I came to this site back when it was only CheatPlanet all those years ago. I saw it transform into GamesRadar with its shitty layout. I watched it mature into the GamesRadar we see here today. I've been here since the start and I can't thank you guys enough for what you do.
  • Jimmyjammy - March 16, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    @Druupwnz I remember cheat planet, used to go down to the library to read it at about age 10. Ha memories :). S'how I found this site.
  • Japanaman - March 16, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    That "Play It Loud" commercial was totally radical, dude!
  • Jimmyjammy - March 16, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    I'm sorry but putting the whole list as number 1 is pretty lame.
  • camelfro - March 16, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    number juan made me laugh a lot taking the pictures just used hahaha great article guys!
  • Spybreak8 - March 16, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    Yeah those GamesRadar ads in OXM got me into this site and later into TalkRadarrrrrrrrrr! Funny I have no magazine subscriptions now (had like around 3 before).
  • Syncmaster - March 16, 2011 1:33 a.m.

    great job guys! I just love your top 7s and lists because they are pretty much unusual stuff. that makes you stand apart from most sites out there, keep on rocking
  • Limbo - March 16, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    Loving how you put pictures of the article IN the article. Cuz that was so necessary right? (;
  • mijetman - March 15, 2011 11:51 p.m.

    Help! I'm stuck in a top 7 loop and I can get out. I'm scared, cold and lonely :'-(
  • Yeager1122 - March 15, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    I love top seven's evrytime i see a new one i get excited to read it.
  • D0CCON - March 15, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    I love how there's a link to bring you back to the page you just read. Love it! PS: Will we be getting a Homefront review soon?
  • OneEyedGoon - March 15, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    You guys are all so amazing. The #1 entry is amazing. Congrats on five years. I've loved every one of 'em.

Showing 1-20 of 126 comments

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