Good evening, faithful readers! We are moments away from the midnight hour that rings in our favorite month of the year. Over the last several autumns, Laura and I have filled the scary season of October with piles of posts on horror games and their ilk. This year, we’ve got a grab bag full of tricks and treats for your reading pleasure!
Each week in October, a wide variety of spooky posts will shamble forth from GIMMGP Headquarters to your computers and mobile devices. Mondays will highlight new grisly game music articles, continuing the fiendish experiment from last year. Wednesdays will feature articles from the past; resurrected from the grave and updated for a proper haunting. And on the menu for Saturdays: fresh pairings of ghoulish games and batty brews, cross-posted from my new blog, Digital Draughts!
As we prepare for the sixth spooky season here at GIMMGP, I am reminded of a tradition from my childhood. Around this time of year, my family would watch a recorded copy of Disney’s DTV Monster Hits. This little special combined haunting hit tracks with spooky vintage Disney animation. Outside of the vignettes of Mickey Mouse hunting ghosts and various evil queens plotting destruction, I have vivid memories of skeletons dancing in the moonlight to rock music.
Despite their creepy cavorting, I found these bony brutes absolutely delightful. In celebration of these musical monsters, I’ve crafted a list of my favorite video game skeletons for your enjoyment!
Yorick – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
I can’t help but smirk at this poor soul’s predicament. After fighting all sorts of threatening monsters on my way to vanquish Dracula, it caught me off guard to find a skeleton kicking his own skull along the ground. Honestly, I wish I could help Yorick reattach his head, but any attempt I made resulted in the immediate destruction of his fragile skull. Alas.
Papyrus – Undertale
As my favorite game of 2015, Undertale featured a wealth of lovable characters. However, there was a certain skeleton that stood bony head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. Papyrus is such a lovable goof. Despite his attempts to be a ruthless member of the Royal Guard, Papyrus simply cannot bring himself to subdue and capture the main character. His dopey enthusiasm is infectious throughout Undertale, and his battle theme is super catchy to boot. Also, Papyrus is the first skeleton to ever take me out on a date, which makes him an extra special boy.
The Sanbone Trio – Gitaroo Man
Speaking of catchy music, the somewhat obscure rhythm game Gitaroo Man features a fantastic group of skeletons known as the Sanbone Trio. Armed with devilish maracas made from their own bones, this group of intergalactic warriors challenges the player to a Latin-flavored music battle (appropriately titled, Born to be Bone). In spite of the challenge presented by these skeletal brothers, I managed to find my rhythm and take them down with relative ease (but not on Master Play, that’s just absurd).
Skeleton Biker – Castlevania 64
Let’s be frank at the commencement: I did not enjoy Castlevania 64. It paled in comparison to the two-dimensional versions of the beloved series; featuring poor camera work, frustrating platforming, and half-finished ideas. However, this bemoaned sequel did feature skeletons riding motorcycles. So I guess it did contribute a small piece of awesome to the Castlevania series as a whole.
Manuel Calavera – Grim Fandango
I have written plenty in the past about my love for Grim Fandango and its protagonist, Manny Calavera. This down-on-his-luck grim reaper sits not only at the top of my favorite video game skeletons list, but also in my favorite game characters of all time. His bone-dry wit, clever quips, and earnest demeanor make him such an engaging character. If you haven’t enjoyed Grim Fandango Remastered yet, please take the time to do so.
Dry Bowser – New Super Mario Bros.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include one of Laura’s preferred skeletal characters on this list. As Dry Bowser is truly Laura’s favorite video game skeleton, I will let her words speak for this adorable monster:
I inadvertently picked Dry Bowser the first time we played the DLC for Mario Kart 8. What started out as an accident turned out to be a beautiful moment of serendipity. Do you know the feeling of finding a character in a game that truly understands you? Sure, he isn’t particularly fast, but this goes deeper than that. We are soul mates. The way he bullies the other players on the track. The way he breathes fire when excited or angry. How ridiculous he looks riding tiny motorcycles. Truly, we were made for each other.
With October imminent, I ask you faithful readers: who are your favorite video game skeletons? Let us know in the comments!