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Not so lucky in love? Dreading Valentine’s Day because it’s yet another reminder of what some vindictive ex did to you, or how everything was once going so well and now all your dating options are miserable? Do you feel like breaking a heart this time around? If so, may we suggest these killer organs who are already seeking to break you.
The first major organ we had to fell with automatic weapons, the final boss in Contra is perhaps the most famous of all killer hearts. Look at it, just sitting there pushing blood through its spritey arteries while totally not facehugger rip-offs scurry across the ground.
Several bullets (and lives) later, the heart of alien invader Red Falcon asplodes and you’re a goddamn hero. Oh wait…
…looks like the same boss, revamped for 16-bit machinations, appears near the end of Contra III: The Alien Wars. As we’ve said before, Contra III pulls out all the stops from beginning to end, delivering one of the most intense SNES experiences of all time. This heart, which was once intimidating enough to be a final boss, is now just one of many “final, we promise” bosses waiting to crush humanity beneath its tree-trunk aorta.
Strange that, in a game where pancakes are deadly weapons and even the enemies are adorable, you have to destroy a giant worm by climbing inside and splattering its spiky heart. Once it’s chum, you’re free to exit and continue on skipping hand in hand down cotton candy roads.
Gears 2, in what we consider to be a striking homage to Rhapsody, also plunges you into a giant worm that must have its heart ground into bloody mulch. Marcus and the crew find the above one first, assuming it’s the only thing that’ll bring the worm down. Then they realize this is the small heart, and the real one is the size of a friggin’ house.
Above: Cue Cole Train expletive
So, a few chainsawed arteries later, the whole room/heart chamber starts filling with blood (so much you can drown, in fact). Cut to Marcus slicing his way out with the never-needs-a-new-belt Lancer, covered in worm gore that just happens to be free of unknown germs or toxins.
While you technically don’t combat this chained heart found beating inside Liberty City’s Statue of Happiness, firing a rocket in its general vicinity bags you one of the many pigeons littered about the map. Plus it’s just really creepy, always emitting a barely audible hum, as if channeling some kind of unearthly energy. We kinda broke this story last year, so longtime readers may still have this one fresh in their minds. If not, the full experience:
Granted, it doesn’t look like a heart, but what do you know about alien snake biology? The booklet to this NES gem claims we’re fighting a planet-snacking snake named Zelos, and the last stage is filled with red blood cells other bodily junk, so in our minds that makes the final boss a genuine alien heart. It’s red, has veins and there’s a slithery boss floating around it, just like in real life.
Next page – a collection of gaming hearts that are forcibly taken and broken, like that bitch who walked out on you that one time, god we hate her so much
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