Thursday, October 29, 2015

Let the Good Names Roll: Great Credits Sequences in Gaming - Part Two

The staff roll, otherwise known as the credits of video games. This is where not only do we see all the names of the folks who worked on the game you just beat, but perhaps something special to go along with it, whether it's an overview of your adventure, the cast of enemies in the game, or something else. This article delves into some of the very best and most memorable staff rolls/credits sequences in video game history. From old school classics to modern marvels, part two of this expanding list continues to bring the excellent staff rolls. Click on the game title to see the credits sequence described, and for the first part of this series of articles, click here.

Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)


We kick things off with a game I talked about in SuperPhillip Central's top ten list of the best platformers on the Wii U from yesterday. Super Mario 3D World delights as Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad make their way back to the Mushroom Kingdom through the very same clear pipe that transported them to the Sprixie Kingdom in the first place. Along the way home, they see various characters from throughout their adventure, such as various rescued Sprixies, the helpful water creature Plessie, cute rabbits, and even disappointed, defeated Boom Boom, Pom Pom, and a bottled-up Bowser. All this occurs while a sensational big band theme plays makes this one terrific staff roll sequence.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)


After reliving the same three-day cycle over and over again, though not as many times as Bill Murray had to relive Groundhog Day at least, Link finally defeats Majora's Mask and saves the land of Termina. After some exposition to tidy up loose ends, the credits of the game start running. We see a peaceful Termina, comfortable in the present and hopeful for the future, with multiple scenes showing the denizens enjoying their newly saved lives. We see the organ grinder playing to a full house in the Milk Bar, we see the father and daughter outside of the Music Box House celebrating their lives together, and we see the wedding of Kafei and Anju at the very end. It's a wonderful recap of the lives of the people you, as Link, helped save.

Final Fantasy IX (PS1)


Speaking of recaps, here's a literal one with the credits sequence of Final Fantasy IX. It hits some emotional highs, showcasing CG moments from Zidane and the player's adventure throughout the game. It certainly helps that the two themes that coincide with these moments are absolutely sensational. The first is Melodies of Life, a beautiful ballad that uses the melody of the world map theme. The second is simply Final Fantasy, the main theme of the franchise that plays in most of the mainline games up to this point. The ending, where Zidane and Dagger's two different worlds combine into one, is a powerful one, as is the glowing, rotating crystal that forms the Final Fantasy IX logo adds up to a worthwhile end to the game.

Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)


We move from two credits sequences that are emotionally empowered to a credits sequence that is its own game. Most of the Super Smash Bros. games feature interactive staff rolls where you can mess about with the names of crew members displayed on the screen. What many consider the most memorable of these credits sequences is the one from Super Smash Bros. Melee. It features a first-person view of the player flying through a sector space with flying names coming from all directions. It's possible, as this video shows, to hit all of the names. Since players see this sequence after every Classic mode run, it can either be zoomed through by holding a button, or one can try to hit as many names as possible.

Banjo-Kazooie (N64, XBLA)


There are actually two ending sequences for Banjo-Kazooie, one focusing on the enemies of the game, after completion of Grunty's Furnace Fun game show, and this second one that is played after defeating Gruntilda. This latter one is the one we'll focus on, as it not only shows a parade of supporting characters and bosses, but it also displays the names of the development and production team behind the game. The names are read in the voices of the characters currently shown on screen, each given nicknames such as Eveline "Twinkles" Fischer and Chris "Chomper" Peil, for instance. I love it when games show off their cast, and Banjo-Kazooie's setup is perfect in this regard.

God Hand (PS2)


Now from a comical game to an even more comical credits sequence. You can tell that Clover Studio (rest in peace) had a lot of fun working on God Hand. This is especially apparent in the incredibly goofy and unapologetic in its cheesiness ending credits, helped immensely by the '80s-esque vocal theme played during it. I mean what else can you say about a song that with lyrics that go, "dragon kick your ass into the Milky Way. (Milky Way!)" The credits feature clips from the game's cutscenes, but it also shows the cast shaking their groove thangs like crazy. It's just a balls to the wall ridiculous staff roll, and I, as well as many others, can't help but love it.

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What credits sequences from games would you like to see in future installments of Let the Good Names Roll? Hit me up with some suggestions in the comments below!

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