Hacked Off: When Video Game Characters Somehow Carry Hundreds of Items

In most games the characters can carry everything but the kitchen sink. No matter what they are wearing, they seem to find a place for it all. Even in God of War where Kratos is practically wearing nothing at all. Where on Earth is he keeping this stuff? Actually, I don’t think I want to know. The same goes for the weapons, they seem to just attach to his back. Is it magic, or does he have some kind of Velcro on his back? Well clearly, whatever it is, Dante from Devil May Cry uses the same thing. At least in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire they make a joke about it, with one girl in a bikini questioning where she’s keeping her balls, Pokéballs, that is.

Final Fantasy XV came out two days ago, and it’s truly breath-taking, but the main characters seem to have the same magic pockets. They’ll be walking along in the middle of nowhere, and all of a sudden they’re pitching tents; no, not like that. I suppose it’s not hard to believe that they keep all of this stuff in their car’s boot, or trunk to Americans, who think I mean their shoes. Though, in the morning, they don’t take it down, they just leave it up. Do they just have 50 sets of tents in their car so they don’t have to worry about taking it all down? Packing up is the worst part of camping, well actually, the whole of camping is the worst part.

Then again, do I want the characters to show everything they’re carrying? They would look disgusting. Characters dangling 70 potions from their belts and holding 20 swords on their backs. One way to avoid this would be to show bags, but then they would have to be massive duffel bags. This would mean each fight would start with you finding a safe place to put your bag down. Maybe having the Mary Poppins type bag is the best way to have it, as I don’t want to see all characters just lugging equipment around.

Besides, they have gotten better, many games now limit the weapons you carry and show all of them on your body. For example, in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain each weapon you have is clearly visible, making it feel more realistic. Though, there is still only so far they can go with it, as I don’t see Snake carrying around the massive metal capture cages or several cardboard boxes. Surely, if you’re trying to be stealthy, you want to have as few items as possible, not just taking claymores as they might come in handy at one point.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has an overencumbered system which gives items weight, and if you max out your capacity, you can only walk, and really slowly at that. This suggests that the items are on you, and the character isn’t just opening up a wormhole and grabbing their stuff. The system was cool but really peeved me off. I’m a collector. I hate that I am, but I have to collect, so this means I like to keep one of everything in games. Yes, that means pointless items like Dwemer cogs, which are used in one side quest and that’s it. This playstyle meant that for most of the game I was on the verge of capacity. I got a house as soon as possible just to put the useless junk somewhere. The most satisfying thing was having cupboards designated for set types of items.

Link in The Legend of Zelda games clearly trained in the use of magic to make gadgets appear from thin air. Maybe he just makes his companions carry them all, about time Navi and Tatl contributed to the effort, though the Spinner in Twilight Princess must be able to be flat packed. Mainly, I feel for female characters in games whose armour is basically their underwear. What on Earth are they doing with it? The classic excuse of just really deep pockets doesn’t really work, as they don’t actually have any.

I suppose it shouldn’t annoy me, but it does, and the alternative is even worse. Magic is something that has to go hand in hand with games, like how characters’ hair styles never lose their shape.

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