Kaboom! Rumble, tremor, yes, it’s true that a good explosion is probably one of the most fun sounds out there – but have you ever stopped to think about the aftermath of said explosions? The lives potentially lost by the blast radius; the millions of pounds of damage caused by one of the most destructive forces out there? Well, it’s true, explosions are damn cool, yet they can be damn dangerous.
In this weeks’ Top 10, we’re going to look through our favourite explosions in media – If it takes place in an anime, a book, a video game, a TV series: basically anywhere geeky. We’re keen to nuke our way through this volatile list and set the foundations shaking. We’re bringing you our Top 10 Explosions!
10) Andy D. Kaboom – Red Vs Blue
Caboose’s second best friend, after Church of course, was a bomb. Andy was constructed from pieces of an old protocol robot with only one mission, explode, preferably when in close proximity to the Omega AI, also known as O’Malley. It’s something of a fixation of his, almost as if his entire life revolved around that one singular moment, and yet he has so many other uses. He’s a multi-lingual translator, a broad bank of knowledge, and a highly sophisticated AI, who can also be handy in a negotiation situation as both a diplomat and an ultimatum.
Downside, Andy has an attitude problem, and it’s a big one. Aside from the need to constantly distract him from the concept of exploding, exploding, countdowns, or loud beeping noises, he’s also intentionally provocative and insulting to everyone he meets. It’s almost like he’s looking for a reason to go off. And yet he and Caboose seem to get on great, and no one mourns more keenly at Andy’s passing… or rather that time when Sarge swaps Andy for a skull and hopes no one will notice.
9) Stickybomb – Team Fortress 2: Demoman
Team Fortress 2 is a well renowned arena-styled game, where you and a team of bizarre brothers-in-arms go against an enemy team of brothers-in-arms. The team are rather diverse, from the slick and quick Scout, to the sneaky and stealthy Spy. But amongst all team games, there has to be that one person who picks the most destructive of them all.
Whilst Tavish Finnegan DeGroot might not be such an imposing name, the name Demoman strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who might be attacking. From his famed stickybombs to his rather powerful Grenade Launcher, you can bet your butt that the attacking team will be sent flying off through his explosions. None are more feared than the dreaded stickybombs, which are capable of destroying just about anyone who steps too close to one. Better keep your eyes peeled for this drunkard Scotsman.
8) Holy Hand Grenade – Worms
The Holy Hand Grenade is a reference to Monty Python, for anyone who isn’t aware. But in Worms, the Holy Hand Grenade is truly one of the most powerful explosives in the game. Put your Dynamite away, hold back your Super Sheep and by god, why on Earth would you throw the crazy Banana Bomb? No, it’s all about blast radius and strength of the explosion, so if you need power to destroy whole chunks of land, the Holy Hand Grenade is the weapon of choice for you!
Okay, so perhaps it’s a bit risky. If you lob it incorrectly, it might bounce back into an area of you and your team’s worms and then who knows what’ll happen to them? I’ll tell you one thing, having one of these landing at your worm’s body is not going to be a pleasant way to end proceedings. You might as well have skipped rope instead.
7) The Bomb – Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
I don’t think I’ve played a game that builds so much tension with so little action. A one player sits in a room with a suitcase bomb while others sit outside and try and talk you through deactivating the bomb one module at a time, and it’s that composition that makes this game great. Simon Says, complex wire sequences, symbol matching, the wickedly composed word codes and the demanding “needy modules” that require your frequent attention.
For the player in the room, it’s heart-stopping, as you watch the timer tick down, and every misstep brings you closer to the sudden darkness. The player outside is left helpless and yet burdened with responsibility, holding your life in their hands. Communication brings frustration, music, timer, and the sudden blare of the alarm clock (why the hell is that even in there?) shred the nerves like a cheesegrater… of emotions. And at the end of it all the quiet relief of success and a job well done, or blackness.
Funny thing, the bomb doesn’t really explode as such, not in the big fiery way we’re all familiar with. There’s a boom, and everything goes black. It’s all rather elegantly final and makes for a great game.
6) Gambit’s Cards – Marvel
The card-slinging Cajun is one of the most famous X-Men of all time, making it frankly disgusting that he only ever appeared briefly in one X-Men film and it was a lousy spin-off. But that’s a rant for another day. Remmy LeBeau actually has the power to infuse any object with powerful kinetic charges causing them to explode violently with a concussive force rather than a ball of fire, and can channel that power down his staff to create collisions that can shatter bones and walls alike, but that’s not what everyone knows him for.
A thief raised in New Orleans, he turned the parlour trick into a weapon when his mutant powers manifested, making the common playing card into an icon, small enough for him to charge quickly and easy for him to throw accurately. He has a variety of other powers, many linked to his kinetic control, that make for one of the most charismatic and darkly suave characters in the entire Marvel Universe, and he is perhaps better remembered for his moral ambiguity and accent, but the guy can turn poker into russian roulette with a thought.
Where’s his movie Fox?
5) Turnabout Countdown – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
Bringing about the dark age of the law is quite the accomplishment, but in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, that’s kind of exactly what happened. For those who are uninitiated in the crazy world of Phoenix Wright, you play as a defense lawyer who always believes in his clients. In this particular title, you play as the famed lawyer himself, Phoenix Wright.
This case was called Turnabout Countdown, because it was all about the counting down of a time bomb. Injuring dozens of people and blowing up an iconic courtroom for the games legal system, this was a very impactful scene. One of the main protagonists, Apollo Justice, even took the brunt of the explosion. After he recovered, he needed a break from his law office, the Wright Anything Agency. During his time away, he gained wrong information which turns him on one of his friends.
Oh and the guy who placed the bomb was called Ted Tonate. He’s pictured above.
4) Spirit Bomb – DragonBall Z
Kamehameha! Okay, so the Kamehameha wave is one of the most devastating attacks in all of DragonBall and that’s A-Okay! I mean it’s a signature move which causes some serious damage, exploding land all around… But what about the single handed most dangerous move in Goku’s arsenal? The Spirit Bomb is the name of Goku’s arguably most deadly attack and damn, does it cause a serious amount of damage?
The Spirit Bomb is the collection of energies from the spirits of the world. Effectively, he draws upon the power of all of the people, all of the creatures and all of the wildlife. Any energy that can be spared, which is then turned into one massive ball of raw energy. When it’s finally ready, Goku throws this at his opponent which sorta crushes them – before the explosion happens. This strange ability doesn’t always explode… But when it does, things are going to disappear rather quickly.
3) The Atom Bomb – Fallout 3
The number 3 slot is occupied by the only explosive ever to spawn a religion and a political party. It’s also amongst the best known decisions to make in a game, the ultimate Big Red Button: Would you kill a city full of survivors, lose the trust of the people, and cut off your supply of sidequests for a stack of caps, an achievement, and the most luxurious apartment in existence… and a bigass explosion?
The bomb at the centre of Megaton is pivotal in Fallout 3, a huge plot point and a question I am always asked despite never getting far enough in the game to answer “Did you blow up Megaton?” A religious order believes truly that the war of 2077 was a time of rebirth, bringing all people together in “The Glow” of Atom, and that the unexploded bomb is a holy symbol. And on voting day 2015 in Shrewsbury, my pencil hovered curiously over The Children of the Atom on the ballot paper. Whoever you are, I didn’t vote for you, but I love you.
We have a tie for #1! Choose your winner!
Oh this is a difficult one. Let’s start with the older entry, the Pokemon the really encapsulates the term “Self Destruct”.
If you’re a veteran of the series you’ll have fond memories of burning through Repels to keep the incessant zubats at bay, the fingers crossed behind the Gameboy trying to capture an abra before it teleports, and the suicidal efforts of wading through the powerplant amidst these volatile little balls of electrical energy. They appear to have either gathered to feed, or they’re born there. They’re rumoured to have spawned in a bizarre energy surge in a pokeball factory, which would explain the uncanny resemblance. Or they originate in Indonesia. Or Greenland. Or Poland.
The Route 10 Power Plant is the only place one could find the legendary bird and posterboy for team Instinct, Zapdos, but the unwary are best advised to stock up on potions and be wary of items. That’s not an icon my friend, that’s a bomb with a smile on it’s face. If you’re lucky they won’t self-detonate immediately, opting instead to zap, shock and roll out some pain, giving you chance to catch one for yourself.
Yes, the Creeper is making it into this vote at an explosive joint number one, but there’s some very clear reasons why. Whilst Voltorb is more nostalgic, the Creeper became an internet phenom. From the early days of Minecraft, where people would turn around and see a Creeper and literally scream, to the current days where Creepers are still an annoyingly terrifying prospect to encounter, these creatures know how to make quite the impact.
Whether it’s because they’re bright green and look absolutely devoid of life, or if it’s just because you know they’re going to damage your beautiful house and garden, these creatures will come towards the player and explode. It’s enough to make you shiver, thinking about all of the work you’re going to have to redo. It’s probably why they made bricks in the game, so you could literally damage control these explosions. But do NOT let them get hit by lightning, whatever you do. You do not want to meet a supercharged Creeper.
Some explosions are memorable, but others not so much. But these would-be forgotten explosions do need to at least be mentioned, as they left a crater in our minds and hearts… Because no matter what you say, explosions are still damn cool!
WARNING: Explicit content
When he’s not too busy blowing up the box office, Michael Bay is busy blowing everything else up. Okay, he’s not an explosion in and of himself, but basically everything he produces is a massive explosion and we’re not upset about that. Even in the above Epic Rap Battles of History song, Michael Bay is blowing minds (and ratings) out of the water.
Whilst there’s no single explosion we can point at, I’m sure if you watch any Michael Bay film, you will feel that sense of “I’m waiting for the explosions now…” He’s a great director, who could be even better if he’d reign it in a little bit. But ultimately, I’m happy to wager that you’re content with watching some pretty explosions happening on screen!
Nathan Explosion – Metalocalypse
Sadly disqualified for not actually exploding, Nathan Explosion is the frontman and lead singer for the globally worshipped death-metal band Dethklok. Explosion lends his rumbling growls to the band’s thunderous instrumentals, and has incredible stage presence despite only ever standing still, shoulders hunched and staring angrily into the middle distance. Despite not actually being a bomb or anything like it, Dethklok is notoriously followed by massive destruction in which fans are accidentally killed in their hundreds, and the (literally) die-hard audience returns more maimed and disfigured every gig.
Nathan’s metal-growls are pretty much just his voice, as he talks in the exact same rumbling monotone except with less rhythm or volume. He and fellow band members, Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar, taller than a tree), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitar, not a bumblebee), William Murderface (bassist, Murderface) and Pickles the Drummer (drummer, doodily doo ding dong doodily doodily doo) live lives of excess thanks to the incredible riches that death-metal have afforded them, and pursue the most metal lifestyle they can possibly muster in a way that certainly doesn’t parody anything.
We’re out of natural disasters and there’s no more dynamite. This article has gone up in a puff of smoke, so don’t let us cloud your judgement any more, as we’re now passing on to you, the GeekOut South-West audience. Let us know what you think next week’s Top 10 should be, amongst these three dynamic choices.
Just like the best of explosions, these articles have to come to an end at some point – and you’ve been patiently waiting for the smoke to clear and the rubble to settle. But don’t be alarmed, we’ll be back next week with another Top 10 – But in the meantime, let us know what you thought of this weeks list. Did the right explosion make it to number 1? Do you think we forgot any in particular? Did we order the rest of our list well? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.