Latest news
100 games, 100 haiku: Part One
by Greg Mengel

Everybody loves haiku. It's sleek. It's simple. It can tie the fleeting metaphorical nature of the seasons to the word 'Pineapplesaurus'. It's a sexy, brief, yet profound and often humourous form of poetry for our callous, businesslike world-on-the-go that thirsts for meaning in between daily stock portfolio check-ups and $3,000 hot stone massage sessions with overweight Japanese investors.

People have explored video game haiku before. People have explored haiku about everything. We here at Gamer's Guide to even dipped our toe in that serene Japanese plum garden pond back in days of yore. This time, we've donned our Super Mario floaters and undersized Marvel Superhero swim trunks and cannon-balled in, vaulting koi and lily pads with a collosal splash, out through calligraphy screens onto peaceful rock gardens and Shinto shrines with a whopping one hundred finely crafted video game haiku, presented in four parts, for your reading pleasure.

1: Portal 2

physicists' co-op
Einstein, Hawking, Sagan, Nye
dad, are you in space?

Yes son. Now we can be a family again. Anyone who has completed the game will enjoy this.

2: Star Fox 64

"Do a barrel roll!"
"Do you say anything els—"
"Do a barrel roll!"

Great advice, Peppy, but I asked why I wasn't satisfying Krystal emotionally. I don't think barrel rolls will help.

3: Eternal Darkness

infuse history
with hard psychotropic drugs
never trust a liche

I don't mean to sound racist, but if a liche walks into my restaurant? He orders his food from the kitchen and picks it up at the back door. Undead don't sit at my tables.

4: Metal Gear Solid 2

hey, is that a box?
what's a box doing out here?
cool, that box has legs!

When the world is mine, my minions will all have advanced degrees.

5: Metal Gear Solid 3

never has a man
made more orgasmic noises
while eating dead crab

If anyone finds a game that trumps this, let me know.

6: Super Castlevania IV

labyrinthine halls
villains, monsters all live here
like an evil frat

Apparently there's no other evil castle in the world for them to crash at.

7: Chex Quest

chex squadron elite
cereal kicks so much ass
racist breakfast foods

Seriously, the chex people hate interstellar space blobs, and I'm not sure why...

8: Street Fighter II

fleet fingers
can they pull it off?

You can see I went for the ole 3-5-3 haiku instead of a 5-7-5 here. Just spicing things up a little.

9: Luigi's Mansion

poltergeist's field day
built on toad cemetary
Ghostbusters - don't sue

Please. After the GameCube sales... we're broke.

10: Starcraft

Alabama pride
Vietnam, but bugs, in space
yes, executor?

Many thanks, Pinkasaurus. Your work does the world a service.

11: Starcraft: Broodwar

secret ninja Sith
zerg hunting, your favourite sport
en taro, adun!

Remember when you first controlled one of these invisible Jedi? Or the first time Zeratul killed an Ultralisk in two hits? I've never felt so powerful.

12: Half-Life

non gamer friends ask
"Why you smirk at crowbars so?"
if you only knew

When the headcrab apocalypse goes down, style points go to the alien parasite hunter sporting dual crowbars and a pink Hello Kitty bike helmet.

13: Brutal Legend

sing the tale of rock
Heavy Metal's ancient time
best game of '09

That assertion may be due to the fact that I never played Uncharted 2, but this game was damned terrific, despite its misguided shunning by Tycho and Gabe. I will fight for its honour 'til the end of days.

14: God of War

manly man muscles
flex off versus Mars and Zeus
chest bumps will be had

I bet Kratos roars every time he makes a sandwich. Pull the bread down from above the fridge? Roar. Spread mayonnaise fiercely, by way of unwashed battle-worn cutlass, over grainy plains? Roooooar. Tear into fleshy layers of lettuce, tomato, and turkey unmercifully, gnashing triumphantly with a testosterone force equal to that of a Pac-Man god wielding the power of a thousand tiger and Great White Shark teeth? Raaaaaaaaaaaaaawr.

15: Wii Sports

"No Grandma, I don't
want to bowl one more damned time."
stupid, stupid Wii

Few games have transitioned so quickly from cool to lame as Wii Sports.

16: Civilization II

best Civ of all time
"Greg, it's time to go to bed."
"Please, Dad, one more turn?" was never just one more turn.

17: Civilization II: Fantastic Worlds

build a space marine
then a squad of pirate elves
from mind of Jules Verne

Back in the age when scenarios were king, this expansion contained the kings of all scenarios.

18: Super Mario Bros. 2

Birdo... what are you?
sexless dino O-face ...thing
God's little mistake

Seriously, you disprove intelligent design.

19: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

dark world just got real
Midna, wolf should be in Smash
skinny sumo Link

I know, there are already a lot of Zelda characters in Smash, but Midna/Wolf Link has the unique move list and the popularity to be a great fit. Zant wouldn't be a bad assist trophy, either. This will always give me goosebumps.

20: Kid Chameleon

total nineties funk
backwards hat and tattered jeans
SEGA's golden age

If you remember playing this, you're legally old enough smoke, drink, buy pornography, and purchase a rental car in the United States.

21: Super Bomberman

tiny fuzzball hats
that familiar sulphur smell
first to timebomb wins

One of the first SNES games to implement four controllers, that people might actually still want to play.

22: Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

before senseless blood
enemies just exploded
easier to clean

The janitors in those evil lairs... no super-powered Billy Mays cleaner will get the blood from the newer Gaiden games out. Also, shameless site promotion.

23: Super Metroid

sweet pet Metroid, nooooooooo!!
taste the rainbow, Mother Brain
then Samus, half-dressed

Those who haven't played the end of Super Metroid will almost certainly be confused now. Good. That gives you a reason to find and play Super Metroid.

24: Mega Man 2

robot made of wood
Yggrasil armour, plate leaves
now he needs a heart

Yeah, a Wizard of Oz reference. Didn't see that coming, did you? Except that it's too ironic for a mechanical lumberjack to be made of wood. Or self-loathing. Freud would have things to say. He may not sport a cardio-vascular system, but Woodman's got personality to spare.

25:Super Paper Mario Wii

mega star power
straight from a goomba's bad dream
bow before your god

No goomba signed up for this. Tell their families they were stomped bravely.

There we go: twenty-five down, seventy-five to go. My writer's cramp is going to feel like an old Vietnam war wound by the time we're done haiku-ing. To get a reminder when the next part of this haiku-thon comes out, follow our Twitter, @ggtl, and gain +1 rep. Til next time.

Labels: , , , , , ,

- Greg Mengel

Discuss this article in our friendly forums

Sign up to our community today and discuss our articles, debate over upcoming games and organise matches and playsessions with like-minded people just like you.

Liked this? Spread the word - share with your friends!

Done? You might also enjoy these!

All comments are subject to our commenting policy

GGTL Classics
Some of the very best articles dug out from deep in the GGTL archives, written by some of our past and present wordsmiths alike.
Your continued use of this website and/or any others owned by Gamer's Guide to represents your acceptance and indicates your full understanding of all of our legal policies and terms. Our legal policies and terms are legally binding. If you in any way disagree with or refuse to be bound by any part of said legal policies and terms, you are advised to leave this website immediately.