This week, I was talking to my Eurogamer colleagues about in-game items. Yeah, I know - we're just as boring as you might have imagined.
But we got to thinking about what our favourite items are. Are there any that we would bring with us into the real world?
Maybe it'd be handy to be able to cram your cat into a Poké Ball to take them along when you leave your house. Or - don't Skyrim's sweet rolls look SO GOOD? It'd be cool to try one of those, wouldn't it?
Christian Donlan, Features Editor
K-Bups & Starkos
A certain kind of game really understands that everything is storytelling, and everything is world-building. In Beyond Good & Evil, K-Bups and Starkos may have been handy at restoring health, but what they're really doing, I'd argue, is making the landscape of the game a little richer.
K-Bups and Starkos are consumables that you could actually imagine someone wanting to consume. Starkos look kind of like tortillas or samosas, and I can't help but image they crunch in the mouth, the shell bubbled and brittle and giving way a bit like the outer coating - never ask what it is - of the McDonald's "pie". K-Bups are wonderfully glossy and come in a sort of cross between a box and a sack. They're fruit, right? Or are we looking at the glinting shells of some manner of space candy, the surface shattering as syrupy, chocolatey goodness spills out?
Typing this now, I have only just noticed how they hint - for people of Earth at least - at a world made of different cultures coming together and sharing their foods. The sort of thing the great Jonathan Gold would have celebrated. The fact that I've spent so much time wondering about what K-Bups would taste like, or how Starkos give way as you bite into them, feels like a testament to the life and character and sense of place that energises the wonderful game that contains them.
Johnny Chiodini, Video Team
Halo bubble shield
My in-game item of choice would be the Z-4190 Temporal Protective Enforcer / Stationary Shield or, to give it its proper name, the bubble shield from Halo. In case you need a reminder, the bubble shield is a little free-standing device that projects a transparent dome (complete with natty hexagonal pattern) over a small radius, muffling the clamour of battle as it protects those inside from bullets, lasers, grenades and honest-to-goodness artillery fire.
This might seem like an odd choice given I have far fewer enemies than Master Chief - or at least, none of them have come after me yet - but, to be clear, I am not after this gadget for its defensive capabilities. I want it for the sound dampening. Between my neighbours' enthusiastic shouting at the television, people playing music out loud on the bus and my innate ability to always pick the next table over from a group of absolute nobs in any given pub, I am subjected to a lot of irritating background noise in my day to day life. With the Z-4190, I could just slap down a little gadget and zoop I don't have to put up with the clatter of anyone else's existence any longer. It also looks quite imposing, so I imagine it'd be good for keeping a table reserved when waiting for friends.
The only potential snags are that the bubble shield only lasts for 20 seconds before exploding and (according to a Halo wiki) it weighs 20 kilograms. Still, I figure if I'm willing to, say, reduce its efficacy against artillery shells, maybe I can get myself a more portable version that won't detonate in my face. Get to it please, scientists.
Chris Tapsell, Guides Writer
The Master Ball
My favourite video game item is the Master Ball, because the Master Ball is the best example of in-game item that is actually too useful for you to ever use.
The Master Ball, if you're unfamiliar, is a special Poké Ball that you get towards the end of each main Pokémon RPG. It's special because it's perfect: it cannot fail. All other Poké Balls only have a chance of catching a Pokémon when you throw them - the standard ball is pretty low, then there's a Great Ball or an Ultra Ball, and all kinds of special mitigating-circumstances Balls that are all quite good and all quite fun to think about using efficiently. The Master Ball, however, will catch anything you throw it at, as long as it's a wild Pokémon.
Mighty Zapdos? No problem. Flightful Abra? A waste. Mewtwo? Sure. But where's the challenge if I use it now? And what if there's some emergency, where I run out of the many hundreds of spare Poké Balls in my bag, and also I didn't save the game, and also I have no other chance to catch this Pokémon again? What if!
Its perfection is oppressive; since I first played Pokémon I have not used the one free Master Ball you get each time, even once, because I'm terrified of it.
Paul Watson, Social Media Manager
My favourite in-game items are - and always have been - those which cause the most chaos.
A number of these spring to mind. The entire-building-disappearing Singularity Bombs in Red Faction: Guerilla. Or the completely daft over-the-top crowd-scattering minigun in GTA: Vice City.
None of these, however, produce such a feeling of giddy excitement, such a joyful explosion of synapses in the brain like unboxing the Concrete Donkey in Team 17's many Worms games.
The Concrete Donkey, for those who might not know, is probably one of the most powerful weapons (if you could call it that) in Worms. As the name implies, it's a gigantic stone ass, which can be called at will and airdropped onto a target of your choice.
The donkey bounces relentlessly up and down, tearing the terrain beneath it (and any worms unlucky enough to be in its path) asunder. Loot crates and barrels explode under its huge statuette feet, irreparably changing the map forever.
The thing about the Concrete Donkey is, unlike Chris' Master Ball, it's an item that I find myself unable to hang onto. I MUST use it straight away, even though it's almost always the least opportune moment, and even though I'm likely putting my own worms into it's thundering path.
But that's the price of chaos, I guess.
Emma Kent, Reporter Intern
We're currently living in confusing times - Trump, Brexit, England making it to the World Cup semi finals. Almost nothing's been predictable, so now seems like a good time to celebrate Skyrim's very own instrument of chaos, the Wabbajack.
The staff basically functions as a roulette wheel of spells from the game, and using it causes some seriously weird things to happen - sometimes good, sometimes less so. That guard who was annoying you? He's now a chicken. The giant about to club you? Changed into a pile of cheese. That bandit you wanted to disappear? He's transformed into a dremora and your life is now ten times harder. Oh.
Even before you get your hands on the Wabbajack, the quest for the item is just ridiculous. If I recall correctly, it involves running around inside a dead man's mind trying to convince a daedric prince to finish his tea party and return from holiday. Like Alice in Wonderland, but with more flame atronachs.
It's not the most useful item for battles, but it makes exploring Skyrim particularly amusing, and the lore behind it adds to the world-building of the game. Not to mention it's amazing fun to run around Whiterun zapping everything in sight - which, by the way, causes law and order to break down rather rapidly. Unfortunately, the Wabbajack is unable to change any of Skyrim's annoying children into literally anything less annoying. All items have their limits.
I'm currently looking at the pile of paperwork sat on my desk and wondering what would happen if I used the Wabbajack in real life. I suppose there's a 50-50 chance of it either being changed into a sweet roll, or a gigantic troll. I'd take that chance.
What in-game item would you bring with you into the real world if you could? Let us know in the comments below!
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