Tuesday, December 15, 2015

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

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 three of this expanding list continues to bring the excellent staff rolls. Click on the game title to see the credits sequence described, and to click these links to see part one and part two.

Super Mario World (SNES)

This classic credits sequence from Super Mario World kicks things off. It has Mario leading the rescued Princess Toadstool, riding on Yoshi, across a series of backgrounds from the game. Trailing behind them is a series of seven Yoshi eggs that Mario and the gang leads to Yoshi's Island, where they hatch. A "thank you" message appears on the screen, followed by a rousing rendition of the credits theme as the game's cast of enemies and bosses appears in sliding boxes with names identifying them. This all concludes with Mario and Luigi standing tall and proud with Princess Toadstool situated between them. The words "The End" rest over their heads, signaling the end of Super Mario World's sensational conclusion.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

After Ganondorf and his beastly form of Ganon have been vanquished, players are greeted with a heartfelt credits sequence that starts out innocuously enough with panning shots of various Hyrule locales like Death Mountain and Kakariko Village. Following these tranquil scenes is a celebration unlike any other at Lon Lon Ranch with a veritable who's who of Hyrule citizens, from Gorons to Zoras, Malon, Talon and Ingo, and many more. Soon, up in the sky, the six sages soar, then taking a brief moment to reflect at Death Mountain. Back at the Temple of Time, the heroic Link, in his younger form, stands tall with Navi saying its goodbyes to him. Link turns away from the Master Sword, leaving it to rest in its pedestal as triumphant bells rings, congratulating both the player and Link on a job well done.

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

Like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country allows its cast to shine with every enemy, boss, and Kong taking their curtain call, walking, hovering, hopping, marching, or flying across the screen. Of course, you can't expect the credits to go on without a hitch. The Kongs have to get into their usual shenanigans, and with Rare's trademark sense of humor, you can bet some goofiness is thrown in. That's exactly what players get. Donkey Kong and Diddy proceed to pull some practical jokes on one another after the rest of the cast has been reintroduced, with Diddy Kong stepping on Donkey Kong's foot, Donkey Kong pounding Diddy to the floor, and Diddy biting DK's finger, for starters. Following this is some boasting by Cranky Kong, bragging that he beat the game with only one life and in less than an hour. Sure, Cranky. We TOTALLY believe you.

Super Monkey Ball (GCN)

We've seen interactive game credits in past installments of Great Credits Sequences in Gaming. We now look at another one with Super Monkey Ball's credits sequence, keeping true to its arcade roots. For those that are uninitiated, the Super Monkey Ball series has players guiding a monkey in a ball around obstacle laden courses with the objective to reach the goal without falling off. Super Monkey Ball's credits keeps the fun of guiding a monkey in a ball, but this time it's down a ramp full of bananas, as well as names of the development team that has each of its letters falling onto the course. Each letter you hit takes off about ten bananas. The fun is in seeing how many bananas you can acquire before the credits are over. It all sounds easier than it actually is, as those letters are quite the vexation! It ends up being a memorable staff roll due to its enjoyable interactivity.

Rayman Origins (Multi)

Time for some more interactivity! Ubisoft game credits are known for being extremely long affairs, usually crediting everyone from every worldwide Ubisoft studio and even the janitors seemingly. Not to say everyone doesn't deserve credit, but it can be maddening sitting down, waiting for the credits to finish, particularly when you can't skip them. Rayman Origins takes this otherwise mundane experience and throws in the ability to move around as Rayman, bashing and smashing each letter in every word and name of the credits sequence. It's especially entertaining to try to make a game of it, seeing how many Lums, essentially the coins of Rayman Origins, you can collect before the final name is listed. Alongside your name-destroying, you have Christopher Heral's tremendous Rayman Origins score, making this experience far from tedious.

Saints Row IV (Multi)

From interactive credits to just plain off the wall awesomeness, Saints Row IV definitely didn't take itself seriously whatsoever, and it was immensely refreshing. This line of thinking bleeds into its credits sequence, starting off with the Saints (and an unexpected guest) having a dance line to "This is How We Do It". After that is where the actual credits begin to flow, with cartoon-styled art on the right side of the screen showing the Saints in all their insane hijinks through history. The icing on this deliciously delightful cake is the end of the credits, where the entire Saints crew sing along to Biz Markie's "You Got What I Need". The chorus left me in tears when I originally heard it, and it remains just a fantastic ending to the game, even if the actual Saints Row IV left some to be desired. You can bet that the credits certainly didn't!

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