You know, I can’t quite place my finger on it. I mean, I know what it looks like, but what is it exactly? Well, I mean, it’s like that time when you umm…
No wait, it’s like that thing that uhh…
… Wow, this Top 10 are full of skills that are really quite hard to describe. Today, we’re going to try and describe some skills that, really, do need a bit of explaining. They might not be the most complex of skills, nor necessarily the most powerful, but they are definitely hard to describe.
10) Doctor Strange
Bit of a strange one to start the list, if you saw what I did there?
Doctor Strange is one of those curious cases. He loves science, we know that much – But he is also a practicing magician. There’s nothing inherently abnormal about this so far, especially as Doctor Strange holds the title of Supreme Sorcerer. What does make him a little bit more of a unique case is that technically speaking, he really isn’t a sorcerer or a magician of any real kind. He’s also a bit of a hack of a scientist.
When you read about how he gets his powers, he’s closer to a warlock, but minus the evil intent. He draws upon the powers of powerful mystic entities, meaning that his magical power is not his own. Indeed, both mythical creatures and demons lend him powers, which is probably why he has such a general overview of magic. Nevertheless, I’d not want to challenge this doctor’s license, even if he does have the shakiest hand for a neurosurgeon.
9) Todd Ingram – Vegan Power
So curds and whey are the only things keeping us from some kind of hipsterish apotheosis, and if we give up bacon we can fly and play bass hard enough to throw someone through walls. I don’t know if it’s worth it unless I’m working for some girl’s jilted ex… while I’m dating the ex of the guy that girl is now dating, Todd, did you think this through? I feel like you put the same care and attention into this decision as you did into your veganism.
But here’s the thing, if it’s just the diet that gives you superspeed, super strength, flight, telekinesis, telepathy, energy manipulation and gorgeous hair, why can that power be taken away by an official vegan body? And why do vegans have a police force? Apparently it doesn’t prevent you from buying into the myth that we only use 10% of our brains, but if a few urban myths get you permanent lens flair I’m willing to give it a shot.
8) Scarecrow – Batman Arkham Asylum
Okay, so think of Freddy Krueger. Good job, you now know Scarecrow, except it’s still different. See, Freddy attacks people in their dreams. He feeds off nightmares. Scarecrow however specifically targets fears. If you fear, say, pigeons, then you can bet that Scarecrow will summon a billion pigeons, to try and peck away at you. Yet, there always appears to be a way out of Scarecrow’s fear mongering.
Scarecrow isn’t exactly a normal villain. He has to feature in some way in whatever nightmare-inducing scenario he has concocted. A master chemist gone maverick, Scarecrow will always be part of your fears. Whether he’s enormous and slashing away at you, or normal sized and just looking to finish the job. What makes matters worse is beating him in his world isn’t the end of it – You’ll have to stop him in the real world afterwards. He’s the fear that keeps on scaring. The boogeyman who keeps on… boogey-ing?
7) Trine – Three Heroes
So you’ve got these three heroes, ok? Typical set up, bruiser in the big armour, thief with a bow, and a magick-y type with a beard. And they’re all drawn to this object, super mysterious, called the Trine, and as happenstance would have it the three of them touch it all at the same time and then…
So, they all occupy the same space, but only one of them is outside and in control at a time, including their entire body, skills and equipment and all, meaning that the other two are… well? I mean it makes sense in game terms I suppose, but even when you stretch the limits of magical logic, magic which can of course do everything without need of explanation, but still… where do the other two go? Does the scrawny wizard have the tank of a warrior inside him? Is the tank still dim-witted while the thief is in his head? All three are required for the trials ahead, but you can only use them one at a time.
Good game though.
6) Tubular Bells – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Tubular Bells. What a name for a stand. For the uninitiated, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure features men and women who have the power of “Stands” behind them. A Stand is a type of spiritual protector, of sorts. They can fight for their user, or they can give their user some extra abilities. Well, it’s only right to point out that Tubular Bells is one of these latter ones, giving its owner an ability…
… The ability to turn metal into balloon animals. How does he do that exactly? He blows into metal, turning them into balloons. At this point, he then can twist and morph them to his will. The best part of all this, these balloons then assume some form of sentience, as they become auto-piloted drones. I’m uncertain whether or not they remain as metal, as well as balloon like, but uh, if you know the answer to this, leave a comment for us?
5) Mister World – American Gods
Two of the new gods are easy enough to explain, Media is worshipped by the masses, the face of celebrity and the elevation of individuals over others, and Tech is the relentless advance of progress and interconnectivity. But how do you describe Mister World?
He’s the power behind the power behind the power, he’s “Them”, he’s a force of the changing times that operates over and above the reach of mortal man, he’s new money, but where does his worship come from? Are CEOs and international corporations enough to float a god? And yet he’s more powerful than the others, as though the flow of money itself is lifeblood, and he doesn’t need adoration so long as people believe in the power of currency.
4) Dashing Prince’s powers – Katamari Damacy
The prince of all the cosmos, also known as the dashing prince, has a power to roll everything that he physically can into a ball. It has to start small, but it grows with the more things he adds to it, collecting with it all the things of the cosmos. The ball is known to be highly adhesive, which is bizarre, as how do the things stuck to the ball suddenly become adhesive – and in the case of living organisms, still alive even though they’re covered in adhesive?
Anyway, this is a ridiculous power, all to allow the Dashing Prince to achieve his goal. To rebuild the planets and stars! I mean, what else would the Prince of all the Cosmos do? At least the prince is an active, caring type of individual who just wants to see that the universe is restored to order. Even if it does mean he has to take your pets… Your fences… That street lamp outside of your house… You… Your house… Your neighbourhood…
… Everything. Just everything. The prince has to take everything.
3) Powers of “The One” – The Matrix
Being super-aware of the fact that the world is made of code means you get to rewrite it on the fly. That’s some incredibly complex layers of world detail, it’s impressive really, and you’re able to weave into that code flight, and jumping into people and making them explode, which somehow frees them from their own programming and then they can reform and start copy-pasting themselves around the world… actually what is going on here?
Neo’s abilities are seemingly limitless, able to restart a stopped heart by touching it, able to fight at super speed and bend spoons, it’s when he drags his powers out into the real world things get real. He can halt the sentinels, navigate eyeless through the world by seeing the trickling lines of code, and identify Smith in mortal flesh by sight. he also gets the stones to talk to the AI central thoughtbubble face to face and make a deal. See through the illusion sheeple, it gives you super powers.
2) Orks – Belief
Surprisingly, orks – the Warhammer equivalent of regular fantasy orcs – are in possession of a miracle of engineering, a psychic power that could lead them to absolute dominance of the entire galaxy and far beyond, if only they had the wit and guile to harness it in full. Paradoxically, if they were smart enough to understand their power it would simply cease to function. If enough orks truly believe that a piece of technology works, it looks like it should work, it makes the right noises and looks like the thing they want to work… then it simply works.
Stick enough explosives in a tube, put a pointy end on one side and a cone on the other, and you have a rokkit. Put fins on the rokkit and it’ll land where you want it to. Paint it red and it goes faster – it really goes faster. If a grot is sitting on the rokkit and is holding a steering wheel, that’s a guided rokkit. If they doubt it for a moment it all goes wrong, so you can’t be smart enough to raise questions around ork-tek.
In this fashion, orks created the galaxy’s only functioning point-to-point teleporter, which they use to teleport grots and stuff into people, rather than for any clever tactical deployments that would make them unstoppable in combat.
1)Hajike/Wiggin’ Out – Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo
Ever wanted to defeat someone by doing a Marilyn Monroe pose as a tall, muscular afro sporting man? You can do so with Hajike. Ever wanted to defeat someone by educating them? You can do so with Hajike. Ever wanted to tell a dramatic story, using Rakugo, a single-person storytelling method? You can do so with Hajike. If Superman was bad, Hajike is worse.
Hajike is literally “to go crazy”, or to “Wig out” as they call it in the English adaptation. The whole show is about how strange they can get through a “battle”, which really makes you question what a battle truly is. Indeed, Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo was designed to be a show that was a little hard to “get”, unless you can truly appreciate Japanese humour – and the English translation was pretty amusing too.
It may not be the most well known, but trust me when I tell you, it’s by far the strangest anime you’ll ever see. Excuse me, I need to use my Super Fist of the Nose Hair to get out of here!
Ah but sometimes life isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. It just so happens that the powers-that-be are able to make things harder than they need to be. Or easier. It depends on your view of the world, really. Anyway, here are two more examples of powers that are actually somewhat tricky to describe.
Superman has so many powers, but the strangest power he has is the power to have any power. Quite literally, he was written to be the ultimate hero, so that means he has to have the ultimate barrage of powers and abilities. Be it super strength, flight, super ventriloquism (which is still a dumb power). All in all, it doesn’t matter what the situation, Superman’s powers aren’t those. It’s the power to have any power.
This makes him quite ridiculous when you pair him against other heroes. Who is stronger between Superman and Batman, kids used to ask. Now-a-days, the savvy amongst us would point out that it kind of doesn’t matter what Batman would hypothetically do to defeat Superman, if the writers wanted to, they could just simply say that Superman gained the power of defeating Batman with the blink of an eye.
… And who are we to disagree?
Do we know why Gordon Freeman is a hero? Anyone?
So far as we can tell he got exposed to some science, made it out of science alive after beating up some soldiers, had a scary run in with elder-evil, and… then he reappears in one of those better quality dystopias that was all the rage in the mid-2000s, hailed as a hero of the people, the hope of the resistance, and goatee of the century. Aliens hail him as some kind of messianic figure, people are pinning their hopes on him, and… I mean sure he does some heroic things, but…
I mean, why? He was just an engineer, right? Does he have some incredible psychoactive effect that makes people think he meant to do it all, and somehow allows him to make it through life without saying anything? Wait, is Gordon Freeman a psychic overlord? Is he the villain?
Pen and paper down, I think we’ve done it. I think I can justifiably say that you now know what these characters do. Great work everyone, I’m glad we’ve got the capacity of a genius among us. Now, before we think any deeper about some of these entries, I’d like to turn your attention to the vote below. We helped you with a better understanding, so help us by choosing next week’s list, so we can help you with another list.
Thanks for joining us once again folk, it’s been great to write a list where we can just… Enjoy writing the absurdities of geek culture. However, perhaps you don’t agree with our order? What about the choices we made? Did we forget the most complicated skill, which really needed a lot more explaining? As ever, share all of your thoughts with us in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.