Thursday, September 3, 2015

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

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 one of this expanding list will definitely bring some excellence. Click on the game title to see the credits sequence described.

Super Mario 64 (N64)

Not only do you get a magnificent and catchy theme from Koji Kondo to go along with the credits of this first game on this list, but you also get a wonderful overview of each and every course Mario and you jumped, punched, kicked, and in some courses, flew through, with Super Mario 64's astounding staff roll sequence. If you have a second controller plugged in, you can use that controller's analog stick to pivot the camera around during each course overview, giving you a special look at each level of the game.

Mario Kart 64 (N64)

Nintendo definitely liked to show off its jump to 3D with the Nintendo 64's software library. The track overview of Mario Kart 64 is just another way Nintendo did just that. Featuring an incredibly epic theme that remains one of my personal favorite staff roll themes in all of gaming, Mario Kart 64 shows all sixteen new tracks within the game, from the beginning where it shows Luigi Raceway and Moo Moo Farm to the conclusion where Banshee Boardwalk and the stunning Rainbow Road are showed.

Final Fantasy VIII (PS1)

Squaresoft spared no expense with their creativity at the credits of Final Fantasy VIII. Showing Squall's party through the lens of Selphie's camera was an often humorous scene. With shots of Quistis and Irvine, the latter trying to get the former to loosen up to little success, Irvine taking over the camera, pointing it at some girls to flirt with them (to Selphie's disapproval), Zell consuming large quantities of food, choking in the process to everyone's fright, and a final shot of Rinoa raising a finger and smiling at a mysterious someone, these shots to go along with the well known Final Fantasy theme made for a special ending to the game.

Resident Evil 4 (Multi)

With Resident Evil 4, the terror is finally over after Leon and Ashley escape via jetski.... or is it? The credits sequence features haunting music and a showing of art showcasing the villagers' lives before, during, and after the "Las Plagas" parasite infection. At the beginning, the villagers go through their innocent daily lives, then we see villagers getting injected with Las Plagas, turning the quiet village life into total Hell. The accompanying music alters itself when this event occurs, making a peaceful tune change into a highly foreboding piece. The credits sequence nails the tension of Resident Evil 4, and quite possibly makes for a scarier time than the entirety of Resident Evil 5 and 6. ...Possibly.

Star Fox 64 (N64)

Star Fox 64 was marketed, at least in the United States, as a cinematic gaming giant. This was mostly in part due to the significant amount of dialogue and action sequences within the game. All of this gave Star Fox 64 a grand movie-like feel. Nothing would end this game better than a credits sequence deserving of a blockbuster, and this was exactly what Star Fox 64 had. Featuring camera views of Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad flying alongside the Great Fox after a mission well done on Venom, the crew heads back home to Corneria to be greeted by General Pepper and the Cornerian Army. After refusing the general's request to join the Cornerian Army, the four members of team Star Fox rush along the plains with a heavy sunset in the background. The Great Fox rises from the horizon, and the game's credits are complete.

Mega Man X3 (SNES)

In this last example of a fun and memorable staff roll, sometimes the actual staff of the game isn't even mentioned. Instead, they're replaced by the cast of the game. With Mega Man X3, this is exactly what you get. Offering an awesome synth rock theme alongside Mega Man X and Zero running through the streets of a futuristic city metropolis, the cast of the game is given star treatment, showing each Maverick's name, power level, and picture. It is a bit odd to see the staff of the game completely uncredited in this sequence, but it makes for a memorable roll all the same.

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