Friday, August 24, 2012

Some Top Video Game Lasers

   defines a laser as a device that produces a “…coherent beam of light [caused] by exciting atoms to a higher energy level and causing them to radiate their energy in phase”. So basically lasers are just beams of light created by some science-y means. Most of them aren’t weapons or even that harmful so long as kept away from the eyes. That dinky little laser pointer manufactured purely to annoy your pets counts as a laser. And of course they are often fairly small and thin, because a huge, wide laser would probably be ridiculously impractical, not to mention pointless. Lasers aren’t really weapons, there, now that’s out of the way. So that being said…fuck that shit!

Erm, not literally though. That probably wouldn’t end well, even if the laser itself wasn’t harmful.

            Everyone knows that what a laser really is, and that’s a super-powered energy weapon coming in various sizes, shapes, and every color they can mug off of rainbows. Sure, some of them are non-lethal, in some silly stealth games for babies or something. But it’s really not a proper laser unless the thing on the other end of it is dying, knowing with their last breath that at least they passed from this world in the most awesome way possible. Acceptable laser sounds vary depending on the variety of laser. Commonly they are some type of buzz, with the big ones they become ear-shattering roars, and of course there’s always the old standby of “pew pew pew”.

            Oh, and they often explode. This makes perfect sense and isn’t silly at all. After all, lasers are just, like, energy right? So it makes sense that lasers concentrated with like, extra energy would let it all out when they hit a solid object, right? Of course, the fact that lasers are “basically energy” is one of the reasons why they’ve become so popular as a means of bombastic attacks. There’s a lot of wiggling room a writer can have with energy attacks, and very liberally stretching the definition of laser has thus lead to lasers as far as the eye can see in fiction, often of the science variety.

This applies to video games as well, possibly more than anything else due to the proliferation of combat, so I’m going to go through some of the most awesome examples I can think of. Keep in mind that “examples I can think of” does not translate to “every notable example ever” and I’ll just be covering lasers I’ve personally experienced. I don’t play many old arcade games or scrolling shooters so I’m sure I’ve missed plenty. They also have to be fairly noteworthy lest I be here all day relating every laser attack from every game. But you’re free, nay encouraged, to mention some of your favorites in the comments, because a day where I learn about new lasers is always a good day.

19. Pokemon Series – A Multitude

            The Pokemon series has had a wide variety of creatures duking it out across over 15 years and 5 generations of games now. The list of moves has climbed over 500, and with that many they’ve taken liberal advantage of how easy lasers are to cudgel into different forms. So we have Ice Beam, Psybeam, BubbleBeam, Aurora Beam, Signal Beam, Charge Beam, Simple Beam (a Bidoof Laser is about as derp as it sounds), Psywave, Zap Cannon, Shock Wave, Dragon Pulse, Electro Ball, Energy Ball, Aura Sphere, Focus Blast, Mirror Shot, and Flash Cannon all candidates with a vague enough ‘shot of energy’ type description to be argued as possible lasers.

But two in particular are a cut above the rest, SolarBeam and Hyper Beam. SolarBeam is a move where the target stores up sunlight and attacks on the second turn with a beam of light. It deserves special mention because it’s shown as an orbital laser strike originating from the sun, which is just awesome. Hyper Beam is the one attack in the game that is clearly just a giant laser with no type or energy source of origin. In the first game it was one of the strongest attacks there was, so much so that it took a turn to recharge afterwards. Neither of these attacks are super effective fantastic compared to the later lasers on this list. But at the same time, they’re cool looking giant laser attacks, what more do you want from me?

SolarBeam’s on the left, being awesome, and Hyper Beam is on the right, for some reason emanating from either Samurott's belly or his butt. What can I say, it was the only working image I could find.

18. Sphinx and the Cursed Lasers Mummy

            I have no doubt that you’re all aware of the copious amounts of lasers in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy from my delightfully charming and witty Let’s Play. Though the in game world is clearly heavily magical and/or doesn’t care, it’s occasionally a bit jarring to be exploring some Egyptian ruins with centuries old skeletons and traps and suddenly get zapped by a laser beam. Apart from the multitude of smaller enemies and traps that possess some manner of laser there’s one that’s actually integral to the plot. Castle Uruk, lair of the big bad, has a gigantic laser in the center which can be focused and fired to inflict (often surprisingly ineffectual) pain on interlopers. Though I’m not too far in the game, it seems that powering up the laser to conquer the world is even the main goal of the baddies. Hell, it’s not just on the tile screen; it appears to be in the title itself! It’s essential role and size make up for the fact that the laser itself is kinda’ crap.

This thing hits you and your partner in the opening tutorial area and you’re still both fine.

17. Outland – The One You Fire

            Outland is a 2D platformer released on XBLA a year or so ago that has a fair amount of lasers. The game focuses around a mechanic from bullet hell shooters wherein the screen is often filled with projectiles of two different colors, and you have to switch your color accordingly to absorb the hits. Predictably, a game filled with energy bullets has some lasers here and there. Though there are plenty to choose from I think the one you fire yourself has an appeal for obvious reasons. A fair bit into the game one of the powers your character is able to unlock is to shoot a giant laser (similar to the many fired at you) as long as you still have energy to do so. It’s not an amazing laser or anything, but the ability to destroy baddies with giant laser beams you shoot from your hands doesn’t really need anything more to make it awesome.

For some reason no one on the internet had a picture of you firing a laser, which is weird because if this were my game I’d market the shit out of that. At any rate, here’s a random monster firing one that looks more or less the same instead.

16. Graffiti Kingdom – Customizable Lasers

            I still haven’t talked about this game yet, have I? Graffiti Kingdom was a Playstation 2 game that I mentioned in one of my first reviews for this site and I’ll have to write in more detail of it another day. There are two parts of the game that are relevant to its laser, however. The first is that it was a game unique in that you could draw your own monsters. You’d draw shapes, fill them into 3D and then determine which part they are, like legs or arms. They’d then animate differently depending on which part they were. It was sort of like the Spore Creature Creator before spore, only with more customization that also mattered more. This is because of the second relevant point about the game, which was that the attacks you could use depended on the parts your monster had.

            Once you encountered an enemy with the giant laser attack you could obtain it yourself and slap it onto any monster whatsoever. It wasn’t a half bad laser, but the real advantage of it was that you could have anything you wanted firing it. It literally allowed you to create almost any laser-firing creature or apparatus you could imagine, and that certainly counts for something.

Don’t let the Bubble Bobble character fool you, this could easily be fired from a giant robots butt.

15. Half-Life 2 – Suppression Device/Striders

            Half-Life 2 contains a couple lasers of note, apart from the comparatively lame ones that just trip off mines or come from the scope of guns. One of these is the Suppression Device. When you lead the rebels against the Combine’ s main headquarters in City 17 (not counting the Citadel) you have to keep from being suppressed very terminally by this, a large orbital laser strike. This sounds awesome, and indeed it was a pretty cool if brief sequence back when I played it. However, for some reason no one has an image of it. The Half-Life wiki has several pictures of the device itself, a rather unimpressive thing, but apparently didn’t think it necessary to give one of the giant orbital laser it fires. And so this humble acolyte of Google image search once again must work against the cruel indifference of the internet to documenting cool visual shit.

            Luckily, there’s another source of laser-based fun in Half-Life 2, and it comes from creatures called striders. Striders are tripods of death that near the end of the game mess up your shit both with regular bullets and at several set points giant, scenery destroying laser beams. Sadly I couldn’t find much in the way of pictures for these either, but I did manage to steal away with an image of one just about to fire his death laser, so people don’t think I imagined the whole thing.

The charging causes a distortion effect around the Strider, so its body looks smaller than it really is. But you can see it’s totally charging a laser. Really. I’m not crazy.

14. Sonic Generations – Laser Robots Shooting Lasers

            I played Sonic Generations just a bit before starting this blog up, so I never got around to mentioning how bloody awesome I thought it was. It wasn’t perfect, sure, but I thought it beat out a significant amount of other Sonic games and, apart from that occasional frustration that comes with being a perfectionist in a Sonic game, was a joy to play. One of my favorite levels from this game was Rooftop Run. In said level, there were two brief sequences in which robots shoot large (and near the end larger) lasers at you. For some reason no one wanted to capture images of this either, so a video will have to suffice.

The first short segment is at about 1:30, the second at about 2:45.

            So yeah, those were pretty cool lasers. On a mostly unrelated note, this stage has fantastic music. The music of the Sonic games has always been pretty high par, even in some of the more lackluster games, and this is no exception. I could accept people not liking Sonic Generations even though I quite liked it, but I’m going to raise my eyebrows about those who dislike the music. Because I’m not going to let you finish this entry without linking it, here’s Rooftop Run’s music:

This is the Modern remix of the song, and is quite awesome. If you dislike this, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

This is the Classic remix of the song, and one of the happiest tunes on earth as far as I’m concerned. If you dislike this, I don’t think we can be friends anymore, and I might murder you a little.

13. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance – Totema Attacks

            Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, like many games in the Final Fantasy series, has several big bombastic summon attacks to serve as finishing moves, here called Totema. I can’t be bothered to go through every Final Fantasy game and showcase Uncle Bahamut and Friends’ new selection of lasers. However, FFTA has not one but three of its five summons (more than half) firing giant lasers, so I felt the need to include them. It’s the first three too, so I can’t help but feel they were either desperately trying to keep my attention or were a bit short on ideas. However, they filled the void of ideas with lasers so they win out in my book regardless.

The first Totema, Famfrit, firing out of a cannon a giant laser that spreads into smaller lasers, all of which make a good laser-esque sound and explode. Nice.

Totema number two is Ultima, which is admittedly less impressive with its single laser and proceeding lasersplosion. It’s shot from an orbital laser cannon, however, and the world can never have enough orbital laser cannons.

Behind Totema door number 3 is Adrammelech, whose unpronounceable name is redeemed by the fact that he’s a dragon who lets loose a giant laser spread across the battlefield.

12. Sonic Colors – LASER!

            Sonic Colors was generally regarded as a game that, though flawed, was a step back in the right direction for the series. Given that the reviews were mixed and previous recent games had been spotty I didn’t buy it at the time of its release, which may be why Generations pleasantly surprised me so much. I only just purchased it a week ago and started playing it a day ago and thus don’t have too much experience with it, but I’ve already seen plenty of its trademark laser.

Sonic zipping around in laser form is just as fast as it appears. Provided you aim properly it’s great fun for the two seconds that whizz past.

            You see in addition to your regular abilities Sonic can access new ones from aliens called wisps. The first one you earn in the game is the laser ability, which lets you zoom by at high speed, being invulnerable, bouncing off walls, and passing through electrical circuits for a few seconds. It looks and sounds fairly good and the enthusiastic announcer shouts LASER as soon as you activate it. It’s also one of the only lasers I can think of that you can play as, even if only for a short time, so that earns it some credit.

11. Kirby Super Star Ultra – Marx Soul

            Kirby Super Star was a 1996 Super Nintendo game that was comprised of several smaller Kirby games rolled into one package. A few years ago a remake of the game with added content, Kirby Super Star Ultra, was released for the Nintendo DS. A few weeks ago I purchased and played through this game myself, and a noted that it had some lasers. At first I thought the Main Cannon No. 2 boss from Meta Knight’s ship would win out by virtue of being a laser cannon, but its laser is actually not that large, there are of course no images, and the videos of it are mostly mediocre. However, there’s another boss who fires a giant laser at you, and that’s the final boss of the game longest mode, Marx.

In Kirby Super Star Ultra, however, there’s an even harder version of Marx called Marx Soul. This secret boss can only be unlocked by beating every mode, one of which is every boss in the game on a limited health budget, and one of which requires beating 13 of the game’s bosses...with 20 different characters. So if you manage all of that, then you unlock a final arena mode ending with Marx Soul, who’s a tad underwhelming given the amount of effort required to fight him. He is a tad upgraded and bit cooler than plain Marx, though, so I’ll show you him firing a giant laser rather than the original boss.

The laser appears around 2:00 and 3:25, and gets props for taking up to 50 percent of the screen and looking decent.

10. Final Fantasy 7 – Diamond Weapon and Sister Ray

            Some minor spoilers for near the end of FF7 follow. So near the end of the game the evil Shinra Corporation wants to get at main villain Sephiroth and stop the giant monster Diamond Weapon from wrecking their shit at the same time. They’ve been building a frankly enormous laser cannon called the Sister Ray for the first task and it manages to accomplish the second simultaneously. Before they do though, Diamond Weapon manages to fire off a volley of his own smaller but nonetheless potent lasers (or energy blasts, whatever, close enough). Not much else to say other than they’re pretty nice lasers. The Sister Ray is like half the length of the city and even with all 8 reactors causes a massive blackout just so it can fire, and when it does it shatters glass and breaks support structures (which sounds perfectly safe, by the way). Sure bombs would probably be more efficient but the giant laser cannon doesn’t need logic, damnit.

Here it is, in all its ridiculously oversized glory. The laser scene starts at about 0:55, though it’s about a minute before it actually fires

9. Final Fantasy X – Energy Ray and Mega Flare

Another Final Fantasy game, because what can I say, they’re fond of cool attacks that sometimes involve lasers.  The summons in Final Fantasy X were unlike previous games in the series in that you actually fought with the summoned creature instead of your party until it died or was dismissed.  This was a cool feature and fortunately the big explosive attack moves weren’t lost either because each summon had an overdrive (special attack only usable when a meter is full) in addition to regular attacks. The first summon you earn in the game, Valefor, has an overdrive called Energy Ray which was, you guessed it, a laser.

Shown here, Energy Ray is modest compared to some of the later overdrives but still gets the essentials, which are lasers and explosions. It also has a lovely sound, with the “bzzt” and momentary silence preceding the explosion.

            That was a fairly cool laser, but the one that gets FFX a higher spot is the overdrive of the last (non-secret) summon in the game, Bahamut. Bahamut is the king of the dragons and a recurring character and summon in the Final Fantasy series. His trademark more is Mega Flare, which inflicts massive damage almost always through some laser-based means. In this one a giant laser engulfs your enemies and the screen before ending in a huge explosion.

I’m running out of synonyms for “isn’t this lasersposion great?” so just watch the video while I think up some more.

8. Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Samus and Lucario

            Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the most recent entry in the popular mash-up fighting series, added a new edition to the gameplay called Final Smashes. Should a player obtain a Smash Ball they could use their ultimate Final Smash attack, which were all (mostly) big bombastic moves that devastated the competition. It should be no surprise that some of these attacks involve lasers, and I thought I’d just highlight the two best of the bunch. The first and possibly most obvious is Samus’ Final Smash, the Zero Laser. Masahiro Sakurai, the man behind the Kirby and Smash Bros series, as well as something further down the list, understands the importance of lasers and the need to have one as a final attack. Given that Samus uses an arm cannon that shoots lasers, well…

This happened

            So laser firing character gets giant screen filling laser attack. All well and awesome. With Lucario’s Final Smash however, he didn’t even have an excuse. Aura Storm is a giant laser an invulnerable Lucario sweeps back and forth from the top of the screen. What it’s not is a real move that the Pokemon Lucario learns, or even that existed prior to this game. So they literally just went “screw it, give him a giant laser”. And thus the world was made a better place.

Lucario, shown above making the world a better place with impunity

7. Castlevania: Aria/Dawn of Sorrow – Soul Lasers

            Since Symphony of the Night shook up the series, most Castlevania games have been action RPGs where you explore Dracula’s Castle fighting monsters, leveling up and getting better equipment. The GBA game Aria of Sorrow added a new protagonist, Soma Cruz, who had the ability to obtain the souls of monsters. This meant that in addition to finding items about the castle every enemy had a chance of granting you their soul upon death, which would give you a new ability. Some of these souls were certainly laser-esque, but the one’s with the highest laserosity in Aria would have to be Beam Skeleton and Legion. Beam Skeleton is a regular and self-explanatory enemy. Legion is a boss comprised of a bunch of corpses, and when you hack away the outer shell it reveals a mass of tentacles underneath which all shoot lasers in whichever direction they’re wiggling. The souls of both these enemies granted you the ability to fire lasers.

            The game had a direct sequel for the DS by the name of Dawn of Sorrow, and it too shared the soul mechanic. This time Legion was replaced as a laser-granting soul by a new boss named Gergoth. However, more impressive than any of the lasers you could fire yourself were the versions the bosses fired. Dawn of Sorrow’s Gergoth swept a giant laser beam across the room which could only be avoided if you were floating in the top corner of the room or crouching right in front of him. Even more impressive was an earlier boss named Balore, whose soul was sadly unrelated to lasers but whose laser eye attack was so ridiculously oversized that the only part of the screen where you wouldn’t be hit is if you were crouching below it. It takes up a larger percentage of the screen than almost any laser I’ve seen and thus deserves a spot on this list.

Gergoth is on the left and Balore on the right. Them’s some damn big lasers.

6. Shadow the Hedgehog – Satellite Laser

            As some of you may remember from my Shadow the Hedgehog review, the game contains a weapon called the Satellite Laser, obtainable after seeing one of the games endings. This weapon allowed you to call down orbital laser strikes on your enemies at will. So an orbital laser strike gun.

            An orbital…


            …STRIKE GUN.

            I think that I’ve said all I need to about this entry.

5. Sonic Adventure 2 – Eclipse Cannon

            Sonic Adventure 2 has some notable lasers, the biggest of which is the Eclipse Cannon. Attached to the space station ARK, this massive laser is used as a demonstration of villain Dr. Eggman’s (or Robotnik’s if you must be that guy) power when he uses it to blow away half the freakin’ moon. Re-watching the cutscene now reminds me of why I prefer how the newer Sonic games take themselves a bit less seriously. I mean we’ve got a mad scientist in a ridiculous outfit using a space station shaped vaguely like his face to carve away half of the moon, and the same time they use real people and the president and refuse to acknowledge how silly this is.

Also Eggman looks kind of horribly misshapen next to regular human beings.

            But despite being a bit silly it’s still kind of awesome. It’s an absolutely enormous laser that tears a hole in the moon, and that’s hard to beat. But despite that I’d also like to bring up the final boss of the game as an honorable mention. The final boss shoots lasers at you occasionally, but they aren’t particularly impressive, and I’m really just looking to rant about the boss itself.

I’m aware that the only suitable image I could find is a blurry piece of crap, but bear with me a second.

           You could be forgiven for not being able to decipher what’s happening in that image, so let me explain. Here we have a giant bio-engineered dinosaur monster perched atop the giant laser which previously shattered half the moon. You are flying around in space, dodging his giant laser attacks and trying to destroy him before he crashes the space station into Earth, killing at least millions of people, all while wailing guitars play in the background. Even if you don’t think this is cool, you have to at least admit that they damn well tried.

            Anyway, on a side note I don’t think that moon thing was ever resolved. Man, can you imagine how silly it is that they would blow up the damn moon and then just drop the subject without mentioning it again? I mean what kind of story does that? It’d have to be…uh…hm. What tastes like foreshadowing?

4. Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi

            If you read my mini-review of the game not far back, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this game gets a spot on the list. I mean come on, the show that it’s based on, Dragonball Z, was probably at least partially responsible for an increase in the amount of lasers we see today. Dragonball Z was filled with super-powered fighters using all manner of energy attacks to show how much stronger they were than regular mortals, and that meant lots and lots of lasers. Given that the game is fairly faithful to the fights in the show, it features lots and lots of lasers.

Shown above: Lasers

            In addition to the regular energy blasts, almost every one of the almost 60 characters has a laser beam as at least one of their special moves. The game even has a specific dueling lasers mechanic for when laser beams of near equal strength collide. The two smash together and whoever rotates the control sticks faster has their laser beam overcome the other. More often than not you can’t go a few seconds in one of the games fights without a laser. Fights mostly revolve around getting your opponents off balance so that, when they’re weak or distracted, you can hit them with another laser. There are lots of lasers, is what I’m saying, and they’re all big and colorful and destructive, to the point where it’d be a crime not to have it on this list.

Shown above: More lasers. (Technically this is from DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, but do any of us really care?)

3. Star Fox 64 – So Very Much

            We’re in the midst of the Laser Championship Heavyweight Division now. Star Fox 64 was previously mentioned in my top explosions article as a game which got a very nice cathartic feel out of blasting the crap out of tons of people with lasers. Both the player and just about every enemy in the game shoot some type of laser.  There are times where you’re caught in a literal cloud of lasers peppering the entire screen. The game can afford to do this because it takes a fair amount of hits to die and because you can always just do a barrel roll to reflect some of them (and yes, we all know that makes no sense, shut up). The point is that this game is filled to the brim with lasers.

This is a thing that happens. Many times.

            But despite the game’s freakish abundance of cool sounding lasers whizzing throughout the battlefield, it’s actually not filled with big, impressive lasers. I mean sure, there are plenty of small ones and a ton of things that aren’t really lasers so much as ‘nondescript energy attacks’, but there’s only one instance of a classic giant laser attack I can think of in the game. That comes from the boss of one the game’s hardest stages, Area 6. The laser is big enough to take up almost the entire screen if you’re near the center. Its sound effects for both charging and firing are particularly memorable, just like all the sounds in this game. Overall it’s a very good laser, but one great laser and an army of smaller ones aren’t quite enough to secure the top of this list.

A picture of the laser in question, which is much larger if you’re not hugging the side of the screen like this guy. It’s also normally rainbow colored when in motion, rather than this solid pink you see in a still screen.

2. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – So Very, Very Much

            Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is not a game I own. It is, however, a game I’ve played and seen played. And anyone who’s played the game for more than half a second could tell you that it is really, really damn fond of lasers. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 wanted to take its relationship with lasers to the next level, and succeeded spectacularly. Whereas other games worry with silly things like whether everything ever involved with the game should be lasers, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had no such qualms. Where other games were content with being friend-zoned by lasers, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was having none of that and insisted on making sweet, sweet (metaphorical) love to said lasers.

Again, taking that statement literally won’t end well for anyone involved.

            I can see how such a situation came about. The Marvel vs. Capcom series is, as its name suggests, a series of fighting games wherein characters from the Marvel comic universe and various Capcom video games all band together to beat the crap out of each other in teams of 3. You pick your team and can switch between them at any time, as well as calling out team members for quick assist attacks to augment your own. Given that you have 3 different characters and health bars damage is doled out fairly quickly, and the combat is fast paced as hell. More importantly, the games have an atmosphere of high-energy, needlessly bombastic craziness that makes it perfect for a laser bonanza. The developers were clearly in agreement with such a sentiment, because I swear more than half the characters have (usually multiple) laser based attacks.

If there’s screen left to spare after a special move, you’re doing it wrong

            Possibly the best thing about this is that it isn’t at all exclusive to match-ending special moves. Lower level special moves are common and you’ll often see several in a single match. But even discounting all special moves plenty of the characters just plain regular attacks are lasers. No combinations or even multiple button presses are often required to unleash a storm of laser-based death upon nearby opponents. After all, every fighting game has big special moves after a lot of punching, right? So if we make the special moves even bigger, it’s only logical to replace the punching in between with lasers.

This thing going on above is a regular screen from the game. Those twin lasers and projectile attack from two characters converging in a mass of particle effects is a common occurrence that requires no preamble or preparation whatsoever.

            In fact, looking at some of these images I’m feeling vaguely hesitant about not giving it the number one spot. The fact that I haven’t played much of this game is perhaps an unfair point against it. But despite the fact that this game goes absolutely crazy with lasers, I think there might be one game that beats it, and I’ve had more experience with that game. At the very least they’re in the same league. Make no mistake though; this game is among the absolute kings of lasers.

This is a real thing. Gigantic lasers being fired from both eyes and all four fingers on both hands. There’s maybe 10% of the screen not covered in lasers. You can’t even see the player characters health bars.

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising – So Very Fucking Much

            Kid Icarus was a 1986 platformer for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Apart from I believe one obscure spin-off game the series, though generally well-liked, remained dormant for many years. Not too long ago, Mashiro Sakurai of Smash Bros. fame was a fan of the original and headed up a project to create a new Kid Icarus game for the Nintendo 3DS. The result was Kid Icarus: Uprising, a light-hearted laserpocalypse in the best way possible.

            Now it’s true that my opinion is not universal. Not everyone liked the games light-hearted and self-referential atmosphere and witty banter, or the admittedly imperfect control scheme. However, the mood of the game was basically to, in any way possible, facilitate the coolest imaginable outcome. Being a magical rail shooter with these goals in mind, lasers are absolutely, positively everywhere. Apart from every few seconds trading volleys of lasers or similar projectiles between you and your foes, there are a fair amount of cooler set-piece laser appearances. Can you tell that there’s a montage coming? As it turns out, there’s a montage coming. Among the Memorable Laser Moments in the game there is…

…the end of Chapter 4, Reaper’s Line of Sight, which has this delightful welcoming party prepared for you.

Oddly enough, the Reaper’s on the ground stage just use their lasers to detect intruders. However, these are dodged and have sounds that suggest they’re more the death laser variety. Perhaps they just break them out for special occasions. At any rate, there’s also…

…Chapter 8, The Space Pirate Ship, in which the ship in question sails among the stars in constant laser-fueled war with those trying to steal its treasure.

Some might say that a Space Pirate Ship covered in lasers sailing in a sea of constellations is a bit silly, but…no, wait, I tell a lie, no one would ever say that. They’d be too busy immediately throwing their wallets in the direction of whoever mentioned such a thing. Of course there’s also…

…The totally-not-at-all-ominous Lunar Sanctum in Chapter 13. That’s right; they basically made a golden Death Star with the Eye of Sauron in the center. In case you are particularly slow on the uptake, this is not a friendly space station.

As seen here when during one of the multiple occasions it’s trying to get its disintegration on. Sorry for the low quality of the image, I don’t know why people are so opposed to posting pictures of awesome lasers on the internet. Although I guess trying to take a screen-cap of a handheld game in the middle of being shot at by a giant laser might pose some problems…

In addition to the various laser based weapons you can find, one of the most basic special powers (usable separate from your weapon) is the far-reaching Mega Laser. Expect to see a lot of these if you’re playing multiplayer.

            I’m leaving a ton out as well. Apart from the multitude of regular attacks I know several bosses have anywhere from one to like a half dozen laser or laser-based attacks. But if I had to pick the very best example in the game, there’s no contest to which one I’d choose. However, before I mention the best laser in the game I’m going to have to issue a SPOILER WARNING for those who haven’t played the game. I’ll start the spoilers next paragraph and end them when I say so in caps.

            Those who have played the game won’t be surprised with my verdict of the best laser in the entire game, which is the one that ends it. I’m of course talking about the laser fired from the Great Sacred Treasure, which completely engulfs the final boss Hades. After dodging many other attacks including multiple lasers, and attacking Hades through multiple stages with lasers, Pit finally finishes Hades in a glorious, brilliant, deafening and enormous laser that keeps firing for literally about 20 whole seconds before completely disintegrating Hades. It is awesome; full stop.

The laser I’m talking about starts at about 9:10. However, if you know you’re never going to play the game the whole end fight is pretty damn awesome. (A bit disappointing gameplay wise at the end, but otherwise awesome).

            So that’s that; SPOILER WARNING OVER. This concludes my long-ass list of my favorite lasers in all of video games. Of course, people realize lasers are awesome, so there are probably plenty of examples out there I missed. There are even some I had to eliminate for not being good enough for this list. Again, I encourage readers to mention their own favorites in the comments, or just comment on the list above. I hope you’ve enjoyed this examination of incredibly deadly colored lights.

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