THE FUNSTOCK ADVENT CALENDAR – DECEMBER 3RD – TRIPLE TEAMS

On the 3rd day of Christmas, retro gaming gave to me… heroic triples! We always remember the solo heroes, and sometimes duos who’ve stood the test of time, but it’s rare we remember the trios out there who fought evil and took us for an epic ride!

The one that always stands out for me is from Secret of Mana. Randy, Primm, and the adorable sprite Popoi have become a truly iconic threesome. In their battle to save the land of mana from the evil Thanatos, our heroes endure a gruelling journey which takes them through cities of gold, a village on the back of a giant turtle, and even to a meeting with Santa Claus himself! It’s one of my all-time favourite RPGs and as well as it seeing a new breath of life on the SNES Mini Classic, it’s also due to be re-released in a remade HD form in February. A classic.

Secret of Mana for the Super Nintendo

A lesser known RPG but held in just as high a regard by myself as Secret of Mana is, is Wild Arms, for the Playstation 1. Playing the turn-based style of RPGs rather than Mana’s action-based gameplay, Wild Arms is an epic RPG which never got the acclaim it deserved. Being released just a month before a certain Final Fantasy VII certainly didn’t help matters. Regardless, the triumvirate of Rudy, Jack and Cecilia are an adorable bunch who quickly endear themselves to the player.

Sadly under-appreciated, Wild Arms for the PS1

RPGs aren’t the only games getting in on the triple act. Remember Lost Vikings? Erik, Baleog, and Olaf, the Vikings who have been kidnapped by aliens hoping to display them in their local zoo. A crazy premise, but one which features in a mind-bending puzzle game which doesn’t hold back on the difficulty. You can even stumble across the vikings in World of Warcraft if you look hard enough.

Platforming, action, and puzzling, in the Lost Vikings

There’s Rampage, the city destruction game featuring lizards, wolves, and gorillas soon to be released as a major Hollywood movie. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker features, oddly enough, 3 identical Michael’s with just differing coloured suits to differentiate them. Streets of Rage and Golden Axe has 2 sets of legendary figures bolstering its ranks.

Nothing like munching on a helpless victim in Rampage

And finally, to top this off in the most perfect of fashions, Maniac Mansion II: Day of the Tentacle utilises the idea of 3 characters better than most video games out there. Placing the 3 protagonists in your control across 3 different periods of time, all affecting each others era with the actions they carry out in their own time-space, it’s a crazy boggling click ‘n’ point game which is as near perfect as the genre ever saw.

That poor hamster is about to go time-travelling in Day of the Tentacle

Triple teams in video games are usually a delight and it was hard for me to think of any really bad games which featured this mechanic. The ones I’ve named are classics, and I’m sure there’s many more out there that you remember fondly from yesteryear!

Catch me playing at threesomes @auto2112