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Gaming Moments You Can't Get Through Without Laughing

At their best, video games can be art on par with great cinema and fine music. Other times, they're hilariously cringey blocks of cheese, with ideas, dialogue, and vocal performances pulled straight from the script's first draft. Here are some of the goofier gaming moments that didn't engross gamers so much as make them chuckle with pity. And, of course, spoilers ahead.

Symphony of the Night: Miserable pile of secrets

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the greatest games ever, and almost certainly the best Metroid-style platformer not called Metroid. But the American version suffers from a lethal one-two punch of bad translations, and amateur voice actors delivering melodramatic, second-grade dialogue.

When Richter Belmont encounters Dracula early in the game, he confronts him with "Die, monster! You don't belong in this world!" That doesn't sound so bad on paper, but Richter sounds like he's straight out of the worst possible B-movie. More middling dialogue with atrocious acting follows, until Drac delivers the immortal line that not even Morgan Freeman could believably deliver: "What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!" 

What does that even mean? Why do our secrets make us miserable? Does an immortal, evil vampire have no secrets? That line reeks of ninth-grade poetry.

Compare it to the Japanese version, where not only does the voice acting sound better and more intense, but the words actually sound like things people would say. Instead of corny dialogue about monsters and secrets, Richter and Dracula debate whether greed or love drive humanity, and instead of gibberish about piles of secrets, Dracula ends the discussion with "Foolish drivel. I will prove to you which of us is right. With death!" It's not Shakespeare, but it's still way better than what we got in the States.

Heavy Rain: Jason dies

It's hard to make a child's death funny, but Heavy Rain found a way. Hopefully by accident.

In this early scene, Ethan and his family are in the mall when his wife asks him to watch their son, Jason, while she goes shopping. He can't even handle that responsibility for ten seconds before Jason goes wandering off. This triggers a ridiculous quick-time event where every time you see "Jason" on the screen, you press X and Ethan calls out, "Jason!" with all the urgency of a hide-and-seek game. He later finds Jason, who wants a balloon from a clown. Ethan buys it, and Jason goes wandering off again, despite clearly being old enough to know better. Jason, by the way, is terrible.

Anyway, this sends Ethan running through the entire mall, playing the same QTE and yelling "Jason!" over and over again. No other words, no asking security for help. Just "Jason!" repeatedly, even though it's not working at all. Finally, he sees Jason outside, across the street for no reason at all. He hollers "JASON!" again, and Jason responds by running across the busy street. Ethan runs over and jumps between Jason and a moving car, and this somehow kills Jason. The lesson here, as usual: never, ever buy a balloon.

Resident Evil: Jill Sandwich

The original Resident Evil is infamous for voice acting that sounds like the developers banged out unrehearsed, one-take readings before their coffee breaks. But one scene in particular might be the worst of all, because the stupidest acting ever teams up with the stupidest dialogue ever to win the world tag team championships of cringe.

In this scene, Jill Valentine enters a room that turns out to be booby-trapped. Namely, the ceiling is closing in on her. Thankfully, her S.T.A.R.S teammate, Barry, saves her just in time. Jill's response is to yell, "Oh, Barry!" like a wife reminding her husband to pick up toothpaste on the way home. A weird second of silence follows before Barry, ever the comedian, quips, "that was too close. You were almost a Jill Sandwich!" He even laughs halfway through "Jill," which breaks Comedy Rule #1: don't laugh at your own jokes. He also breaks Comedy Rule #2: tell good jokes.

Jill seems to like it though, laughing and saying, "you're right," which will only encourage him further. Between this and calling Jill "the master of unlocking" because she owns a lock-pick, whoever wrote Barry's dialogue needs to be barred from making words forever.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Snake and Otacon high-five

Metal Gear Solid 2 is a bizarre game, but for the most part, its silliness and jokes are intentional, and well-delivered. Then, there's this high-five scene between Snake and Otacon.

Snake sends in Otacon, who's still grieving over his sister's death, to rescue hostages. Once Otacon agrees, the two part ways with a bit of unexpected male bonding. In a scene that had to leave gamers everywhere staring at their screens wondering what they just saw, the gruff super-soldier and awkward scientist high-five. But not just any high-five — they do a weird, elaborate high-five they had to have practiced many times before: alternating back-hand slaps, fists interlocking in an arm-wrestling pose, and finally a big bro hug that, for lack of a better term, lingers. Imagine watching 24 and Jack Bauer chest-bumps President Palmer in the middle of a mission — it's basically that.

In the background, you can see Raiden staring at them, like he too is wondering what in the world is happening. When the Poochie of MSG2 thinks something is ridiculous, it probably is.

Mega Man 8: Mega Man and Dr. Light's voices

Mega Man's been around for a long time, and for much of that time gamers wondered what the little blue bot would sound like. The Captain N cartoon made him sound like he had smoker's lung, and Mega's own cartoon gave him a "generically cool '90s dude" voice. But his voice in his own video games still hadn't been established. Mega Man 8 changed that, giving Mega Man an in-game voice for the first time. It was enough to make you wish Dr. Light never bothered to build a vocal chip.

In the scene above, Mega Man and Dr. Light examine a jar of evil energy, not like it matters. All anyone watching it could focus on is Mega Man's voice, which sounds less like Mega Man and more like Mega Second-Grader. Everyone's favorite super fighting robot, the Blue Bomber who mercilessly massacres anyone named Something Man in his path, suddenly sounds like a rejected My Little Pony character. It's all but impossible to take the game's iconic hero seriously after he squeals his dialogue. It sounds less like he wants to track Wily down and stop his evil plans, and more that he wants to put on a tea party with him.

That's to say nothing of Dr. Light's voice, which–let's be real–sounds exactly like Elmer Fudd. "When we find that meteor, we'll find Doctor Wahwee," he says, though someone should probably let him know it's Wabbit Season, not Wahwee Season.

Bad Dudes: Let's get a burger

There are many ways to react to having your life saved: ecstatic gratitude, tears of joy, the establishment of a life debt. Suggesting you and your savior go get some fast food is normally not one of the ways. Unless you're the President, and you've been kidnapped by ninjas.

In Bad Dudes, President Definitely-Not-Bush has, in fact, been kidnapped by ninjas, a common workplace hazard when you're the leader of the free world. Once you, a bad dude, and your partner, an equally bad dude, save him, he reacts with, "Hey dudes, thanks for rescuing me. Let's go for a burger...ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" It's not clear what's more embarrassingly funny: "hey thanks, burger time?" or the "Ha! Ha! Ha!", a laugh that seems to suggest the President was actually killed by ninjas, and this is his robot double.

Even goofier is how, during the two-minute-long end credits, the President poses outside with a Bad Dude, and he just stands there holding a burger. Does he not actually want to eat it? Is he teasing the Dude with it because the Dude ate his too quickly? Not one part of this ending makes sense, unlike the Japanese version. In that one, "President Ronnie" (who was definitely not Reagan) thanks you, wishes you well in the future, and then erects a statue in your honor. No goofy burger jokes or awkward standing around–just a couple Bad Dudes enshrined in immortality. That beats a McDonald's run any day.

Super Mario 3: Peach's terrible joke

Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser so often that getting rescued is no longer a big deal. That's probably why Mario always looks so happy — he knows the ending already. But judging by how she reacts to her rescue in Super Mario Bros. 3, at this point only the second time she's been kidnapped, Peach has been treating her dilemmas like mild inconveniences almost from the start.

After Mario sends Bowser plummeting through the floor, he enters the door to Peach's cell. She sees Mario, walks to him, and says, "Thank you. But our princess is another castle...just kidding! Ha ha ha!" Despite it technically being a callback to what you kept running into in the first Super Mario Bros., it's still an awful joke. But then she wraps up her "speech" with "Bye bye," which is...weird. Who's she saying bye to? Mario? He just got here, and he just rescued you. Spend some time with him. Kiss his nose. Bake him a cake. Write him a check for 10 million coins. Don't just send him on his way like he helped you cross the street.

Even if you factor in the Miyamoto-endorsed theory that Super Mario Bros. 3 was a play, it's totally bizarre — and a really bad ending for any production.

A Link to the Past: Attack of the chickens

The Legend of Zelda is chock full of silly moments, and some of the silliest involve chickens (or cuccos, as they're known in Hyrule). The first time you got your Legendary Hero's ass kicked by an army of poultry (informally called Cucco's Revenge Squad) is likely one of the most memorable moments of your gaming life.

A Link to the Past is the first game to introduce these angry chickens, and the way to summon them is less-than-intuitive: you need to swing your sword, hit a chicken accidentally, and then be disturbed enough to think, "hey, what if I try to kill this innocent thing, even though I'm the good guy?" So you hack and slash, over and over again, despite this chicken never dying. But despite it having more hit points than a dozen Ganons, you keep slashing...until an army of angry chickens fly over to attack you. Endless chickens, coming from every direction, attack you as you helplessly flail and panic. You can't kill them, and they don't stop once they feel you've "gotten the point" — you either run away completely, or they peck you until you die. Either way, you'll probably laugh at how you, the Hero of Time, just got owned by a bunch of chickens.

The Revenge Squad returned in subsequent Zelda games, because they know better than to leave Link alone with a Cucco for even a second. And while some jokes get old after the first few times, losing your hearts to rampaging poultry will never not be funny.

Elder Scrolls Online: A guy named Bumnog

The Elder Scrolls series always has little jokes thrown hither and thither, whether it be guards taunting you about someone stealing your sweet roll or the ubiquitous "arrow to the knee." But Elder Scrolls Online may have the most immature, yet funniest joke of all, and they likely told it completely unintentionally.

Like in any Elder Scrolls game, there are tons of extra characters, and Elder Scrolls Online has one named, of all possible things, Bumnog. Try to say it without chuckling — it's not possible. The character himself is pretty cool, actually — he's an Orsimer, and a member of a dangerous group of mercenaries called the Daggers. Yet his name is Bumnog, like the developers asked an eight-year-old kid to name him. Just don't remind Bumnog of his name while snickering — he's technically a good guy, and he even joins you as a Follower in the quest "The Dagger's Edge," but he doesn't appear to have much of a sense of humor. You, however, who giggles uncontrollably every time his name pops up, most certainly do.

Fight Club: Fred Durst is a playable character

Fight Club is a movie about how pathetic both toxic masculinity and the very idea of a "fight club" actually is. The video game, on the other hand, embraced the idea wholeheartedly. Not only that, it decided that one of their secret, unlockable, playable characters should be the undisputed epitome of masculinity and toughness...Fred Durst.

Yes, in Fight Club: The Game, you have the option of playing as the Limp Bizkit guy. All the movie's actual characters are there — Tyler, Jack, Bob — and then they randomly threw in the Chocolate Starfish himself. Because nothing personifies a dark satire about male anger than the guy famous for shouting "give me somethin' to break!"

This game came out in 2004, right around the time people stopped caring about Durst and Limp Bizkit. So perhaps Fred and the developers thought making him look badass in a weird video game tie-in would reverse his musical fortunes? If so, it didn't work, and not just because the game wound up being pretty terrible. It's more that Fred Durst in a Fight Club demeans everything about Fight Club, and the only way to salvage it is picking Durst and allowing yourself to get beaten half to death. Never has losing been more satisfying.