Author Topic: Top 10 Kangaroos in Games  (Read 1937 times)

Top 10 Kangaroos in Games
« on: 08 Mar 2012, 08:43 »
The Top 10 Kangaroos in Games

Kangaroos: one of nature's most famous animals and yet very little is actually known about them.  The kangaroo is an animal that happens to show up very little in the media of games and yet, when they do, they can be forces to be reckoned with.  Of course, their best known feature: the pouch does tend to stand out in their appearances.  There's also the well known image of the boxing kangaroo (when fighting kangaroos actually do punch).  And let's not forget jumping, which they are believed to do all the time when moving around.  You usually end up with these three things being the dominant images when kangaroos show up in games.  Most of the kangaroos on this list are the well known "Red Kangaroo" which is considered to be the world's largest marsupial and grows to be about the size of an average sized man.   Here is a list of the Top 10 Kangaroos in video games!  WARNING: Spoilers!

10. Ikanger (Teleroboxer)

Okay not really a kangaroo per-se but instead a robot boxer made to look like a kangaroo.  However, this machine looks more like a kangaroo than some of the mentions on this list.  Found only on the ill-fated Virtual Boy system, this character hasn't been seen by most individuals.  Ikanger not only has a head that looks like a kangaroo's and boxes like one, "she" also has a robot joey that she carries around in her metal pouch.  Of course, this does make her seem more cute than cruel but it helps add to the touch. 

With the exception of jumping Ikanger actually fits the kangaroo image very well.  It's even mentioned that her creator is from Australia. 

What helps set Ikanger apart from Vanishing Bungaroo, another robot made to look like a kangaroo is that she fits the image much better, not using some form of shadowing to move around and she uses boxing as her primary form of attack.  Her legs are also designed for jumping more than running around.

9. Variously Named Kangaroos (Animal Crossing)

These animals are amongst the rarest ones you can find in your city.  If you happen to run into one, she's always female and she's always a mother.  However, they don't actually look anything like real kangaroos and they can only be identified as kangaroos by that second head that's sticking out of her belly.  These kangaroos don't actually have a single fixed name which helps to show they are different individuals rather than one being that shows up at random.  In spite of all this, they do make for one of the most exotic residents of Animal City and are the only ones to have two heads instead of one, so get a mention on this list.

The kangaroos you run into in animal crossing are varied in color and body type, which is actually true of real life.  According to the San Diego Zoo, there are close to 70 recorded species of kangaroo.  The kangaroos you find in Animal Crossing even have different personalities.  This being the case, they are fairly realistic in a game that isn't realistic at all. 

Now if only that joey's head's expressions didn't match the mother's head perfectly, they might have made it higher up.

8. Ripper Roo (Crash Bandicoot 2)

Whoever came up with this guy really hated kangaroos.  He looks more like a dog than a kangaroo, he's a masochist, laughs like a gremlin (from the Warner Bros. Movies) and with that straight jacket on him you can’t tell if he has a pouch or not.  Not to mention he's blue.

On the plus side, this is one of the few times a kangaroo shows up in a game with an appropriate setting.  Bandicoots are real animals that are native to Australia so it's only fitting that another Australian animal would show up in the game.

Ripper Roo is a recurring boss character who will bounce around trying to smash Crash in the first game, then in the second he uses a pogo stick trying to smash Crash or activate panels on the floor which will explode.  If you aren't in the blast range, he is.   Ripper Roo then get's his chops burned and laughs it up. 

He is unique in that out of all the kangaroos here he doesn't truly match any of the kangaroo symbols in that not only does he not seem to have a pouch, he doesn't always jump of his power and he doesn't use boxing. 

Hardly a likeable character but seeing that he's the only true villain kangaroo to actually show up in games and he is one of the few recurring characters he deserves a mention here.

7. Thunder (Clayfighter 2)

You can claim that this character is also a villain but she's part of a tournament so her fighting you doesn't automatically make her bad and even "hero" characters are worse than her in their endings (the Blob flattens the entire earth and most of its inhabitants).  Thunder is the "evil counterpart" to Kangoo, another kangaroo character to show up in games. 

She is the first real kangaroo on this list to be a boxer.  Thunder fights in the boxing style and is said to enjoy hurting her opponents.  She does have a joey that rides around in her pouch and he/she will occasionally help his/her mother during the fight.  The joey will peek out her pouch at the start of a match and also gets held up at the end of the match.  The most prominent view of the joey shows up at the end of the game. 

Thunder is a good character to use if you prefer close up hand to hand fighting rather than using projectiles.  She also manages to jump a pretty good high and long distance but unfortunately not much father and higher than other fighters in the game. 

What brings Thunder here over Kangoo is her ending: it's stated that if you are caught breaking her laws you must "spend three months in her pouch with a stale shellfish."  Now how she would be able to fit someone in there much less the myriad of people who would probably be caught breaking rules I don't know.

6. Roo (Streets of Rage 3)

Yes, yes, you fight this guy too.  Roo shows up along with his trainer in level 2 of Streets of Rage 3.  As many people have discovered, however, if you beat the trainer and not Roo he becomes a playable character.  Here you see, Roo was NOT evil he was just following the orders of his trainer. 

Roo is unique in this list as he wears clothing that wasn't designed for a kangaroo.  His tail clearly tore out of those shorts he wears which does lead to the question about how he got them on in the first place.

Roo is the first character here who actually kicks like a kangaroo.  If you manage to grab hold of an opponent Roo will jump up on his tail and kick using both legs.  While this is slightly inaccurate as a kangaroo can balance on its tail rather than having to hold onto an opponent, this is one of the kangaroo's strongest attacks.  He even kicks using both legs instead of one.  Kangaroos cannot operate one leg independent of the other so that's why they kick with both legs and typically hop around.

In the ways of fighting, he's number one out of those mentioned here but he only shows up in one game and other than being an animal he doesn't really stand out from the other fighters in his game.  There's also the matter of not being able to tell if he does or doesn't have a pouch so he's not higher on the list.

5. Ricky (Legend of Zelda Oracle Series)

I don't care HOW you feel about it now.  What kid who knows about kangaroos HASN'T fantasized about riding in a kangaroo's pouch?  Strangely, Ricky is the only kangaroo character in any game that actually allows your character to do this. 

Link finds Ricky in need of his boxing gloves and as reward for returning them, Ricky let's you ride in his pouch.  He actually has all three defining kangaroo features: a pouch, boxing, and jumping.  In fact, Ricky jumps much farther than Link can and that's his primary use in the game.

Why isn't he higher on the list?  There are two reasons.  The first: the fact that the games' intros show that this Link is the same one as in Ocarina of Time and therefore large enough to ride a horse begs the question just how big is Ricky to be able to carry him in his pouch?  According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest kangaroo only stood just over seven feet.  In order to carry a full-sized human in space meant only for its young, a kangaroo would have to stand around twenty-five to thirty feet tall! 

The second reason he's not higher on the list?  MALE kangaroos don't have pouches!  Jacks don't take care of joeys so they don't need pouches so therefore they don't have them.  Did someone mention "Birdo?"

4. Roger (Tekken 2)

The first jack on this list that distinctively doesn't have a pouch.  Roger is also a boxing kangaroo who is so good he's able to hold up his own in the "King of Iron Fists" tournament but, unlike most of the other kangaroos here he has a back-story. 

Roger was the result of a genetic experiment designed to create a living weapon.  This weapon project granted him human-like intelligence and supposedly increased his strength as well.  Roger really stands apart from the other animal fighters in most games as he's actually given an explanation for why he goes so far as to wear boxing gloves and fights at a professional level.  He also shows up in later games though only at the ending. 

He does seem to be quite amoral as he doesn't much care about his wife and son and is proved to be a playboy.  The question there becomes: how inkangaroo is he?  Male kangaroos don't stick around and take care of their children and they don't mate for life so any ordinary kangaroo wouldn't have the slightest problem with his practices.

Although not currently realistic, he's closer to reality than any other kangaroo character afore mentioned and who knows?  With more research… someday… maybe…

3. KAO (KAO the Kangaroo)

There was no way around this.  KAO (pronounced "Cow" in his games with speech packs) is the only one of these characters with his own series.  He was once a happy kangaroo living with his troop until one day a hunter shows up and captures him.  He dons a pair of boxing gloves and makes his way back to save his troop.  From then on, he decides to adopt a more human manner and starts wearing clothes along with throwing boomerangs.

KAO goes on his adventures usually to stop his arch nemesis the Hunter from making life miserable for other animals.  He deals with a wide range of enemies and seems to be an altogether nice guy.

There are problems I have with him though.  I think his name should be pronounced, "Kay Oh" as it makes the boxing thing sound more linked, it sounds more male, and "Cow" doesn't refer to the kangaroo thing at all (females are called "flyers").  In the first game he's shown to have a pouch (is it really that unknown?) but his voice and how he's referred to in future games prove he's male.  Finally, there is no explanation for his "transformation" between the first and second games.  In the first game he wears no more clothing than an ordinary kangaroo taught to wear boxing gloves, he doesn't speak to anyone, and he fights like an ordinary kangaroo would.

How and why he suddenly decides to start wearing clothes, speak human languages, and learning to use human weapons is beyond me. 

2. Roger Jr. and Mama (Tekken 5 and 6)

Although Roger did show up in this list already he's not his wife and son.  The character may be called "Roger Jr." but it's his mother (referred to only as "Mama") that does all the actual fighting.

What makes them come here over even KAO?  Not only do they have all three "symbols" of kangaroos they are the most accurate, noble characters in the list!  Mama does have a pouch and carries a joey around in it, but she's female and Roger Jr. is her son so there's nothing wrong with that image.  Mama will jump when fighting but she is also capable of walking around.  Contrary to popular belief, kangaroos actually do walk around when traveling over short distances (although they use their front paws as well unlike the way Mama walks).  Mama does have dialogue in Tekken 5, but she doesn't speak in any human language.  Unlike other animal characters like Kuma she isn't understood by the human characters and only Mokujin, another character who can't speak in human languages, talks to her.

In fact, the only thing about these characters that set them apart is their slightly more human behaviors in being able to operate both legs independent of each other and being angry with Roger for his behavior and being able to figure out that the tournament is a ways to meet their ends but that's explained through genetic engineering. 

So what makes them so noble?  Roger Jr. and his mother originally enter into the King of Iron Fists Tournament to save Roger.  Money, titles, and glory mean nothing.  They go through a ton of trouble all for love.  Need more be said?

1. Unnamed Mother Kangaroo (Kangaroo)

She has no name, she has no fancy sprite, and she doesn't even have fame.  However, this unnamed mother kangaroo starred in the very first game to feature a kangaroo.  The game aptly named "Kangaroo," has a kangaroo that hops around a screen filled with a number of platforms in order to reach her lost joey who's being threatened by an army of monkeys.  She also has a mission to pick up various kinds of fruit that floats around the platforms.

Some people view this game as an Atari version of "Donkey Kong" since you have the platform thing and in the harder levels the monkeys do drop things on you.  However, the game stands out in that you never climb ropes, you don't have things like the springs bouncing around and the monkeys will throw things across the screen at you.

Like most game kangaroos she's a boxer and punches out her enemies.  Not much is known about this kangaroo but she's the absolute first one, and therefore gets the number one spot on this list.  The way must be paved somehow and she did just that.  She even goes on her quest for love of her child.  How many characters in the old games did that?

Well that's the Top 10 Kangaroos Found in Video Games.  Some people have said that I should include Kagaskhan in the mix.  This is a list of the Top 10 Kangaroos in Video Games, not the Top 10 Marsupials (animals that give birth to undeveloped young that incubate and develop within the mother's pouch).  Kagaskhan while bearing pouches aren't established to be marsupials and more importantly, they're not kangaroos, they're kangaskhan.  That's also why wallabies aren't in it.  In fact, if it was marsupials: bandicoots, koalas and possums would be in there too.  Remember that these are just my opinion and not facts set in stone.  Yes, there were a few facts in there but learning isn't a bad thing.

Re: Top 10 Kangaroos in Games
« Reply #1 on: 08 Mar 2012, 10:15 »
What's about the Kangaroo figurine in Aussie's "Nick it & Run"?

Re: Top 10 Kangaroos in Games
« Reply #2 on: 09 Mar 2012, 07:10 »
Nice list. There does seem to be a dearth of marsupials in general and kangaroos in particular in games.

I actually played an AGS game with a kangaroo protagonist (Carla) years ago called Zooreal. A marsupial really is a great choice for an adventure game with an animal protagonist -- when her body sports a "pocket" of its own, there's no reason to question where she keeps her inventory.