If you read my previous article of why there will probably never be a good video game movie than this article won’t surprise you as I list the movies that should most definitely NOT be made into movies but undoubtedly will. I believe that there are just some games that shouldn’t be touched no matter how well they will do in the theaters; either because there’s no need for the movie at all or because there are just some games that are too sacred to be touched. So here are the games that should just be left alone.
If you saw my list of the top games that need a sequel, it’s no surprise that I am a fan of this franchise. That being said, I never want to see this game turned into a movie. First off, the game consists of a main character fighting a war and it is his duty to collect the 108 Stars of Destiny to fulfill his role of leader and hero. Let me say that again: There are 108 characters not beginning to count villains, supporting cast, and other characters that aren’t necessarily stars. You can argue that you don’t have to show them all but as the games became more involved and elaborate, the multiple stars became much more integral to the plot. Though the first Suikoden can be seen as a stand-alone game the sequels have shown that the world is large and everything is connected and by ignoring that fact you end up losing the depth of this large world. But there is no possible way to convey this in a time restraint of, at most, two hours.
The biggest reason, at least for me, is the fact that the hero of the game has always been a silent protagonist. Everything he has “said” is chosen by the player and it’s these choices that can heavily affect the outcome of events, even so far as changing the ending. Suikoden III did away with that by giving you three main characters that were all different and actually spoke but for me it lost its appeal slightly because of how I liked the silent hero thing. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy Suikoden III but find the others (not including 4) better. Overall, there is no way to cram all the mythology and characters into a single movie without destroying everything the game had built.
For anyone that has played the Metal Gear Solid series knows that some of those in-game cut scenes are long to the point that it sometimes last up to twenty minutes (if not more). Hideo Kojima, creator and head-writer for the series is looked upon as a revolutionary because of how he handles this game, not just as a video game, but a full-length movie that goes far beyond the two-hour mark given to full releases. That in and of itself is the biggest reason why this would be a horrible movie to make. How can you take a franchise that has built its legacy on making a game a movie and turn it into an actual movie?
More than that those is the actual plot of the game itself and the characters within it. Though the game has the plot of a mobile weapon capable of launching nuclear missiles being taken over by a terrorist group there’s more to it that meets the eye. Though some of the characters are very obviously human (Sniper Wolf; Revolver Ocelot), some of the characters are more extreme ranging from psychokinetic and psychic powers (Psycho Mantis) and a shaman with spiritual powers in the form of the very large Vulcan Raven. Add on the plot of the main protagonist (Solid Snake) and the main protagonist (Liquid Snake) are brothers from a genetic experiment meant to create the ultimate soldier from the genes of a dead ultimate soldier (Big Boss) it takes a traditional terrorist storyline and adds some very unnatural twists. While this is definitely not a bad thing from a video game prospective, movies are a somewhat trickier thing. Even in comic book movies, the studios are sometimes hesitant to add more of the supernatural/sci-fi elements in the fear of turning off certain audiences or making it seem to “fantastical” (which is ironic considering the source material is from a comic book). Mores so, the sequels add on even more supernatural elements with the ideas of genes taking over other people’s bodies and an apparently vampire villain named Vamp (not the most original name).
Despite the strangeness of the plot, the problem also comes down to the what actors could actually play these characters. For video games, the only thing you really need is an actor who does great things with the words given to him to say for the character. For movies you have to find actors who not only look the part but can invoke the same kind of performance the original voice actors did; a feat not easily done as shown by other movies. Even if Hideo comes on board with the film, can he achieve the same greatness of his games or will he bogged down by the inevitable interference from a Hollywood Executive that thinks they know more about this than the creator? Time will tell.
Time travel is a tricky thing to pull off in telling any story. Even when done almost perfectly you can still look over the film and inevitably find problems that conflict with the story and opening yourself up to plot holes. One show that did a particularly good job at the idea of time travel was Lost. Though the story itself was slightly confusing, the premise set up that everything that happened, happened held true to the end and never changed the overall story of the show. Other times, adding the element of time travel completely screws with the story and leaves you wondering how in the world certain things that have happened could have happened if they went back and stopped the initial event. The biggest example I can think of recently is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword where at the end of the game you kind of just have to throw up your arms and say forget it and except it for what it is (though that is definitely only one of the problems with that game).
All of these factors added together would making this game into a movie even harder. The game itself is about a group of heroes from different time periods trying to stop an evil alien from awakening and destroying the entire world. The game does a great job of truly tying together the idea that the present (and future) are shaped entirely by what you do in the past. Whether it be planting trees in the past to create a lush forest in the present, or setting a stone in a cave back in the dinosaur era to come back thousands of years later to pick it up again after it being charged every action is taken into consideration. Even the endings change depending on what you had done and even what time period of point of the game you decide to take on the evil alien Lavos. There is a no way, or at least no easy way, to take something like that and cram it into an hour and a half and not have giant plot holes.
The game doesn’t have such a time limit so it could take into account of the possibilities and truly explain how one thing affects the other. But there’s also the cast of characters that need to be dealt with. You have Crono, the silent, spiky, red-haired silent protagonist; the runaway princess Marle who is the key to the story mostly; Lucca the ditzy but intelligent inventor; Robo, an emotion feeling robot from a desolate future; Frog, a young apprentice knight cursed by the sorcerer Magnus to live out his life as a literal frog; a tail having cavewoman from the distant past Ayla; and the previously mentioned sorcerer Magnus who has more to his story than “evil sorcerer”. To try and depict these characters in a true, physical form would be near impossible and would probably look completely ridiculous. Add on the fact that there are seven different time periods presented in it that adds entirely to the overall story, they would have to edit and cut it down tremendously (as I’ve already stated). Though you could argue that they could do a CGI or animated movie, you might as well just play the game; I suggest you play the game regardless though.
Yes, I know. This movie has apparently been green lit by studios and I think it’s a horrible idea. Once again this game is a large movie with a character you can control. More than that, the story is more complicated than a person reliving his ancestors memories vie a machine that uses his genetic DNA to access the memory. It’s a story involving Templars, Assassins, Gods of Old, and items that defy the laws of nature. Though these things could easily be replicated, the environment in which they are told would be extremely hard. Assassin’s Creed I and Assassin’s Creed III could be remade with little problem, the Renaissance Italy shown to us in Assassin’s Creed II, and Brotherhood might prove to be more difficult. The details put into the cities were astounding and was basically another character in the game much like the ship Serenity was an extra character in Firefly.
There’s also the problem of the all of the main Assassin characters (Altair, Ezio, and Connor) are in the form of their descendant Desmond which means that the actor they cast as Desmond would also play the Assassin they have chosen to present. Though they wouldn’t necessarily have to do that, it was interesting to see in-game. Speaking of characters, there’s also the slight problem that Ezio (the main character for Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations) has become the most popular character in the franchise and would be near impossible to replicate his charm, strength, and wisdom that the voice actor had given the character.
This also isn’t taking into account the actual gameplay that makes the game so enjoyable. The fun of performing these assassinations yourself; of running along the rooftops of Italy; performing parkour in a way that could definitely not be done in reality are some of the main reasons these games are so fun. So how long would the novelty of a man running along rooftops and jumping off of towers last when you repeatedly see it on film by a stunt double? Not long, probably.
And on a final note, considering how the story of the games took a nosedive with each installment after Brotherhood what hope does Hollywood have in making it any better if you take their track record in consideration?
This has to be my number one choice on this list. Period. This game is considered one of the greatest franchises of gaming history beside such classics as Super Mario Brothers and Final Fantasy and considering how bad those two movies did when trying to be converted into a film it would be sacrilegious to put Zelda through the same horror. The stories of the Zelda franchise is simple enough really. The evil Ganondorf (or Ganon) is searching for the mystical power of gods known as Triforce that will grant him one wish that is ultimately to control the entire world. The titular character Princess Zelda (not the true protagonist) is usually kidnapped at some point by Ganon and the young boy/man Link is chosen to be the one to defeat Ganon and save Zelda. Though how this story has been told has changed dramatically since the first installment the elements have all stayed the same. So watching this play out would be kind of sad; the only plus side being able to see this world spread out on the big screen in a way Nintendo has yet to do with the game.
What makes this game so popular is how the game actually plays. Zelda itself if a dungeon crawler at heart and before lately has spent most of its playtime having us go through various dungeons, solving puzzles, and fighting strange bosses. Though the story is interesting it’s the parts in between the cut scenes that make up the bulk of the game. It’s solving these puzzles, playing through this areas, fighting these bosses that make this franchise so enjoyable and why it has been has lasted 25 years.
Now there’s also the problem with Link. Link has never uttered a single spoken words beside the occasional gasp, grunt, and scream as he falls from a great height. So by giving him a voice would take away how someone imagines Link in their own mind; an argument presented by the creators when asked about the lack of voice acting. There’s also the problem that Link varies in age with each game ranging from a small child (as seen in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask) to older teenaged boys (Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword). Where does the problem come in? Well, the fact that this character is a skilled sword fighter and acrobat; as demonstrated by his backflips, dives, flips, whatever. Can anyone really imagine seeing a young boy doing all this believably? It’s like that season of Power Rangers when that one young boy became the Blue Ranger; besides child actors being annoying on a basic level it just becomes absurd when they do things like taking on grown men with years more experience.
But all of this ties into one central theme: as great as it would be to see these worlds presented in true CGI (or 3D) on a large screen the simple fact that Hollywood as yet to make a truly great video game movie would just make seeing these beloved games turned to crap all the more upsetting. For me, I’d much rather pick up a controller, turn the console on, and enjoy it the way it was supposed to be.