Hey folks. It’s time for another CC top 10 list! With cooking shows all the rage in the modern media in both Australia and the US, I thought, why not make these often droll and over-dramatised shows a bit more interesting? Make some interestingly unique foods! Like the ones in video ga- … wait a minute…
So as you’ve probably guessed, this top 10 list is all about the culinary masterpieces of the gaming world. Now let me specify, unlike many other top 10 foods lists out there, this list is NOT about the top 10 foods to eat while playing video games. We can all agree that pizza, chips and soft drink would win that. Not exactly what you call high class cuisine. No, this list is about the foods that can only really be found in unique incarnations in the universe of various video games. Now, the standard rules of the CC top 10 apply here: I can only include entries from games I’ve played, and I want to restrict it to one per series. Additionally, this is a list about FOOD, not consumables. So things like potions, feathers, flowers and other non-foods are exempt. To start us off, a couple of honourable mentions to:
-Anti-gravity chocolate from Conkers Bad Fur Day, for being an interesting health system that floats in mid air, and provides an explanation of said floating.
-Honeycombs from Banjo Kazooie/Tooie, because it follows the trend of bears eating honey. Right Pooh Bear?
-The Superspicy Curry from Smash Bros Brawl, thanks to its ability to piss off every person that isn’t able to get it for themselves. Especially annoying if grabbed by Metaknight.
Now that those are out of the way, let’s start with our number 10 entry:
10) Rare Candy – Pokemon
While eating candy in excess may not necessarily be good for you, it most certainly will be for you Pokemon! Rare Candies are technically a food by virtue of their title, and therefore a reasonable consideration for the tenth spot on this list. If you’ve never played Pokemon, here’s the rundown. Rare Candies are special items that the player can happen upon once every so often (rarely, as the name implies) and increases the level of the Pokemon that eats it by one. This effect will always occur, regardless of experience points, unless the Pokemon is already maxed out at level 100. Each use also provides a tiny bit of health restoration. This level up ability of this miraculous food has been known to be abused in the earlier games, particularly red and blue version. C’mon, you ALL did the Missingno cheat to get 126 of the damn things at once. Admit it.
9) Bananas – Donkey Kong
Have we ever seen Donkey Kong actually EAT a banana? Not in any instances I can recall, but yet he still hordes the bloody things… If he didn’t want them getting stolen all the time, he should just eat the damn bananas. Just as any platformer series has its collectibles in each level, Donkey Kong’s item of choice just happens to be his favourite food. Collect 100 and obtain an extra life. Pretty standard drill. That is, until they get up and start talking. A banana shaped alien named Xananab was actually featured as a character in Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber. Consider that next time you’re eating a yellow stick of potassium. You might be eating space people!
8) The Chimichanga – Deadpool
Okay, so the game isn’t out yet. But if we know anything about the Merc with the mouth, it’s that Chimichangas will feature extensively. For those that don’t know, a Chimichanga is sort of like your standard Tex Mex burrito, just deep fried and filled with ALL of the good stuff. A meaty, veggie, cheesy filling with a generous helping of chilli, Jalapenos and spices. We can only imagine the effects that these “life-changing” foods will have in the game. From health restoration, to damage increases, to temporary invincibility, to the very real possibility of promoting Deadpool’s flatulence and subsequently weaponizing it. And if it doesn’t… well, it totally should.
KILLER FARTS!! That’s be totally awesome!
Yes inner yellow voice. Yes it would be.
7) Chilli Dogs – Sonic the Hedgehog
While kids who grew up watching cartoons in the 90’s already knew about Sonic the Hedgehog’s affinity for the Chilli Dog, it did not become canon in the games until 2008 when Sonic Unleashed was released. However, his love of these meaty treats has become one of the longest running jokes in both the television series and the ARCHIE comics. Additionally, this food obsession was eventually translated into the games. In Sonic Unleashed, which used a rather convoluted experience point system, Chilli Dogs were valuable rewards that provided huge EXP boosts for the hedge/werehog. In Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic was sucked into the Arthurian Legends with enjoying two Chilli Dogs, which he dashes to save from a significant fall. Still not entirely sure how the writers of the cartoons came up with the idea that a hedgehog would be partial to hot-dogs with a chilli and mince garnish. Then again… he’s able to reach those sorts of speed with fire trails behind him… Perhaps those bean products are more powerful than we give them credit for.
6) Mushrooms – Super Mario
Ah the iconic mushroom. Promoting the muscle growth in plumbers and extending their life expectancy by an entire 100% Mario’s most famous power-up has certainly evolved in some interesting ways these last few decades. What started out as a simple palette of a red growth mushroom and a green 1-up mushroom has grown to include the poison mushroom, mega mushroom, golden mushroom, striped mushroom, flight mushroom and a bunch of new ones whose effects most of us can only guess at anymore. Not only to these mushrooms provide an excellent food source for our plumber brothers, they also make pretty good fuel for go-karts, giving them a nitrous like boost when consumed by the engine. I still find it a little disturbing that the staple food of the Mushroom Kingdom just happens to be the exact same thing that the locals are made of. Hmmm… Seems that sentient foods are something of a recurring theme in gaming…
5) The Pork chop – Minecraft
In this game, players can subsist off nothing but BACON. Okay, technically it’s a pork chop, but it still comes from the same animal. Until players are skilled enough (and have a thoroughly creeper-proof base) to learn how to cultivate wheat and tend to animals, the humble pork chop is still probably the simplest, easiest and most effective food within the world of Minecraft. Eating a raw piece of pig will grant a small health boost, until you figure out that you can cook the bloody thing for a dose of massive health restoration. Pigs are plentiful in the land and provide some of the best low effort baconish sustenance to be found. Most people in the real world can’t live off bacon alone, but balls to that, this is MINECRAFT. Reality went out the window the moment we started punching trees.
4) Lon Lon Milk – Zelda Ocarina of Time
This is a list of FOOD, not POTIONS. Therefore, the blue, red and green potions from Ocarina of Time are exempt from this list of gaming cuisine. Lon Lon ranch is usually the first place that Link is able to pick up a bottle to hold things in for his journey around Hyrule. However, the bottle doesn’t start empty. The first bottle of the game is filled with a generous helping of Lon Lon Ranch’s signature Milk product. Enough for 2 serves of 5 hearts each! That’s 10 whole hearts! Sure the product itself might be rendered inferior once you catch a few life restoring fairies, but still, it’s an iconic food brand in gaming. It’s good enough for the Hyrule Royal Family. It’s good enough for the hero of time. And you don’t see Young Link drinking a fairy in his Smash Bros Melee taunt, do you?
3) Cake – Portal
It’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie it’s a lie…
THERE. Now that we’ve got that out of our systems… The enticingly delicious and moist cake. For anyone that has ever played and finished Portal 1, the legend of the cake needs no explanation. For the uninitiated, wondering what the hell this meme was even about: here’s the rundown. Portal players control Chell, a test subject for the rather mysterious Aperture Science Enrichment Centre. Upon completion of the “legitimate” test chambers of the centre, the controlling AI GLaDoS fails in her attempt to kill you for science. Feigning sincerity, she promises you a party and cake if you were to submit to her will and not attempt to escape the freakish test chambers. Naturally, the players have none of it, because it’s obviously a lie. Right? … …right? Well as it turns out, there really was a room with party decorations and cake that gets shown to the player upon completion of the game. It looked like chocolate. Your own fault players. Maybe next time someone throws a party for you, you won’t be so rude as to not attend.
2) The Sandvich – Team Fortress 2
The Heavy’s food of choice, and popular enough within the TF2 community that it received its own “Meet the” video alongside the rest of the Team Fortress 2 cast. A unique unlockable item for the Heavy class, the choice to take a Sandvich into the field comes at the cost of foregoing one’s shotgun. (Which, to the Heavy is no big loss.) The Sandvich grants the Heavy the ability to self heal themselves back to 100% health, though it takes a few seconds to eat, and shouldn’t be attempted under pressure. And since the Heavy tends to be the character class that dominates the most attention on the TF2 battlefield, the ability to self heal an entire 300 hit points comes in handy. Sandvichs can also be dropped for allies to also self-heal, but only to a limited effect. Heavies are the only class able to draw out the full potential of the bread, diary, veggies and new meats for its full nutritional effect.
1) The Mysterious Wall Chicken – Castlevania
The exact nature of this enigmatic food is still a mystery to many gamers to date, hence the name ‘Mysterious Wall Chicken.” Throughout the insanely difficult Castlevania 1 on the NES, health items were at a premium, and any bit of health restoration that players could find would be an absolute godsend. The most significant health item within the game was the roast chicken, which could be discovered by breaking walls and other areas of the game environment. What’s partially mysterious about the chicken is why it is there at all in Dracula’s castle (since I’m pretty sure Dracula doesn’t eat chicken), but another mystery that arises is how the heck this food is remotely edible after being stored in a brick wall. Seriously it should have rotted without proper refrigeration. And we know bad chicken to be poisonous! The fact that these pieces of poultry were hidden within solid stone still bodes the question of what the developers at Konami thinking when they decided that the most appropriate place to hide a roast chicken was in the wall. This trend has been taken as something of a running joke over the last two decades by gamers, and has been referenced heavily in fan work, and other games since. (For example, Dust: An Elysian Tale references this by providing the exact same food under the exact same name which can only be obtained by breaking down walls.) To the game designers’ credit, the selection of the locales of the wall chicken was pretty clever; often putting them at points where the developers assumed the player would need them most. Most players of the game now have a pretty good idea of where to find the wall chicken now after multiple play throughs, but it still doesn’t detract from the initial question that rattled around in all our heads: “What the heck is chicken doing in the wall?”