The Terminator

In what may have been a feat of 9D chess, Alanis Morissette’s hit song “Ironic” became supremely ironic by famously failing to describe ironic situations in its lyrics. But I would give the coveted red ribbon to Governor Arnold “The Governator” Schwarzenegger for the case of The State of California versus the Entertainment Merchants Association, which singles out “really violent videogames” (over, say, really violent action films) as having a particularly bad influence on youths under the age of eighteen. This has given rise to some truly outstanding headlines like “2010: Judgement Day”, “Fighting the Terminator on Videogames”, along with my personal favourite:

(Not an actual headline.)

Well, in The Terminator for the SNES, you get to fight the Terminator in videogames. Unfortunately, the gameplay is nowhere near as delicious as the irony. In fact, it is quite bitter. But enough about that – I’ve always found that the longer you talk about what’s ironic and what’s not, the greater your chances of stuffing it up and looking like a complete moron. Oh, okay, just one more from Wikipedia:

The studio had suggested O. J. Simpson for the role of the Terminator, but [James] Cameron did not feel that Simpson would be believable as a killer.


The player assumes the role of Kyle Reese, a Human Resistance fighter sent back in time by John Connor to protect his mother Sarah Connor from a cyborg assassin known as the Terminator, thus ensuring his (and humanity’s) survival. There’s something very oedipal about the way it all pans out, though, and it’ll do your head in if you let it. See, Kyle guards Sarah’s body a little *too* well – like, with his penis – and impregnates her, thus ensuring John Connor’s conception. How does one send one’s own father back in time to impregnate one’s mother and conceive one’s self? How can a sperm and the genetic by-product of said sperm exist within the same timeline without creating a time paradox?

People forget that about sperm. Some people ask their mothers why they didn’t marry a king or a billionaire or an actor so that they could be a prince or rich or famous (as if they consciously spurned these hypothetical advances), but no – any other sperm on any other day means that you wouldn’t be you at all. And if you’re not you, you don’t exist. We’re blowing some serious minds here.

What’s mind-blowing is how bad this game actually is. A Terminator game should be pretty hard to stuff up, and yet here we are, entering 2011 without a single good Terminator game. If you think that’s slack, chew on this for a moment: we’re only 18 years away from the apocalyptic events of Terminator, and we don’t even have flying cars yet.

We’re running way behind schedule!!

If the entire game was like those sections in Metroid Fusion where Samus had to run and hide from her doppelganger, that would be marvellous. But we can’t all dwell on ‘what might have beens’ now, can we?

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