Throw a stone in your favourite game store and it’s almost guaranteed to land
somewhere that’ll get you arrested on a title starring a Real Hero – the sort of person who’s spent their live with the full weight of an ancient destiny on their shoulders, fate compelling them to venture out on some sort of thingy-saving quest for the benefit of people who never seem too keen on trying to help themselves out of whatever mess they’re in.
But at least these brave souls have something to look forward to after a long and arduous journey that probably involved squaring up to evil corporations/gods/the very fabric of creation in the form of their deceased mother – no doubt there’ll be a dramatic sunrise set to a medley of the adventure’s better tunes, someone pretty to kiss, and only a very slight chance of their nemesis rising again (assuming the developer didn’t fold a few weeks after the game released, that is).
But what about videogame heroes who aren’t born under a prophetic star or don’t have the blood of a long-gone legendary warrior flowing through their veins? What about those poor souls just trying to earn a living in videogame land?
So now you know how this blog post came into being – I thought it’d be fun to spend a little bit of time looking at some of the strange jobs asked of game characters – the sort of people who go off and do extraordinary things but still have bills to pay and a boss to keep happy; a bit like Spider-Man without the endless clones or terrible movies.
Monster Hunter: A life of luxury awaits! Do you want to be revered by the village elders, wear fancy helmets, own a sword 10ft long and have access to your own personal fishing pier? All of this is possible in the world of Monster Hunting… so long as you don’t mind braving freezing cold, searing heat, rooting through piles of wyvern droppings and being burnt, bitten, farted on or spat at by some of the most vicious animals ever encountered.
Job prospects: Hard workers can afford to hire a team of live-in chefs. Unfortunately those live-in chefs are all cats.
Pokémon Snap: Young but dedicated Pokémon photographers required by Professor Oak to capture exciting images of all the creatures living on, under, and over Pokémon Island; a monumental task that will require pelting Pikachu with apples, knocking Charmeleons into molten lava (purely for scientific research purposes of course), and general disturbing of the local wildlife FOR SCIENCE. There will be no cake at the end of this study – delicious and moist or otherwise - or any pay, or a written agreement on photograph copyright ownership, or a reference.
Job prospects: Freelancer Simulator 1999
Bonanza Bros: Steal things in a semi-official manner for a Police Chief who will deny all knowledge of his involvement and have you locked up if you fail! As you are, of course, only ‘testing’ the security systems of Badville any captured trinkets liberated in the line of not-duty must be returned immediately after dodging security systems and escaping via a blimp on the roof, making the reward for this job ‘Not spending the rest of your life in jail’. Hmm.
Job prospects: No pension plan. No legs either.
Resident Evil: Raccoon City’s S.T.A.R.S. team are currently looking for a young
test subject rookie for general VIP protection and anti-terrorist work. The right candidate for this role with be able to hold more than six items at once and look good in a basketball uniform (please supply a photo with your CV). Survival instincts in a bio-hazardous environment a plus but not required. Will also consider young women with no combat experience if they can mix chemicals and work easily with any strange heroic men they encounter.
Doom 3: Welcome to Mars! The Red Planet has plenty of opportunities if you’re the sort of UAC worker who can keep their mouth shut and go wherever your company-issued PDA tells you to – and there might even be a few extra credits on the table for those willing to volunteer for some more… experimental… overtime (details supplied on the day). Successful applicants must be able to wield a gun and a flashlight, but are not required to do both at the same time.
Job prospects: ‘The UAC appreciates your health and safety concerns and will respond to your email as soon as the remains of the HR department can be extracted from the bowels of Hell.’
Vagrant Story: Congratulations! We already hired you for the job, unfortunately an unspecified previous traumatic event has sealed away your memories so you don’t remember the recruitment process. Your next mission requires you to infiltrate an abandoned magical city filled with evil spirits while looking for a man with no limbs and performing some light warehouse-style box management as necessary. Full uniform will be provided and will be very tight.
Job prospects: Successful employees will earn a sweet tattoo and the ability to disguise themselves as a lady.
Dynamite Deka: Two candidates in fragile clothing required to rescue president’s daughter from a complete lunatic and a varied assortment of wacky underlings. Firearms provided as standard, although the right person will also be able to handle grandfather clocks, brooms, and highly complicated grappling manoeuvres in a work environment. Promotion is available for the sort of person willing to punch their friend in the face just because a little girl asked them to. Immediate start.
Job prospects: Short term contract but bloodthirsty applicants who can turn on their colleagues in an instant can progress into full-time employment.