Hello, and welcome to our new series which picks out interesting things that we’d love someone to make a game about.
This isn’t a chance for us to pretend we’re game designers, more an opportunity to celebrate the range of subjects games can tackle and the sorts of things that seem filled with glorious gamey promise.
Since this is Sega Week, we’re doing things just a little differently on this one occasion.
I often wonder what games would be like if you could play through their campaigns as one of the bosses rather than the hero. Bosses have a lot of the fun, don’t they? Over-powered attacks, nice bit of spectacle, a decent line in gimmickry. And really, when it comes to bosses, there’s only one game that counts for me – and of that game’s bosses, there’s one that stands above all the others. Gunstar Heroes. Seven Force.
Someone did make a game about Seven Force, of course. In Gunstar Heroes, The boss is right there at the end of the mine level. But in a game stuffed with delights, Seven Force seems far too delightful to be left with a guest-star role. Seven Force isn’t the best-named boss – that is clearly Pinky Roader – but look at all those tricks!
Seven Force has seven forms. You have to take down each one. There’s wonderful articulation on display across every one of those quick-changes: Seven Force is a crab! An eagle! A sort of urchin/starfish/kitchen utensil thing! Seven Force is clearly made of metal, but it all ripples and shivers in a strangely organic manner. At times, you can see hints of Sega’s future: the running man form in Gunstar Heroes is every bit as breathtaking as the running man boss in Rez. At other times, it’s just the sheer audacity that is overpowering. Bosses had long had different waves, but Seven Force just…well it takes things in a very Sega-ish direction.
What would a game about Seven Force play like? I have no idea, but I started thinking of this boss a few days back when I was replaying FAR: Lone Sails, one of the most poignant and intriguing games of the last few years. FAR is nothing like Gunstar Heroes. It’s melancholic and stately in its pace, it’s largely non-violent and its colour scheme is extremely restrained.
But there’s something about the way you move around, a tiny person inside a huge, rattling, almost living machine, which suggests a ghost of Seven Force to me. Maybe the Seven Force game wouldn’t be about controlling Seven Force as they tear across a landscape, but controlling the person who is controlling Seven Force? Treasure, it’s over to you.