Happy Halloween 2021!

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Sorry I still haven’t brought back my Halloween Top 5 lists of Wizard Dojo’s earliest years, maybe next year I’ll finally remember to bring those back (especially seeing as my “Top Five Video Game Skeletons” list from a few years back continues to be one of my most popular posts for some inexplicable reason). I was also thinking about writing a review for a certain NES game for the occasion (a game so bad, it’s scary), but I didn’t get around to replaying it in enough time, so it will have to wait for another day. I sadly don’t even have too much of an excuse, given all the movies I watched this month, I probably could have found the time.

But why am I writing apologies for what I could have written? Let’s just enjoy Halloween! Pumpkins and candy and monsters and all that. What a great day!

Whatever you did this Halloween, whether it be Trick or Treating, having a Halloween party, or just sitting in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive, I hope you had a great one!

Why do I keep posting gifs of The Nightmare Before Christmas on a Halloween post when that’s a Christmas movie? Oh, you can argue that all you want, but the story is centered around Christmas, so it’s ultimately a Christmas movie (it’s perfectly acceptable to watch it in honor of Halloween as well, I suppose).

Anyway, here’s a picture of me in my Halloween costume this year.

I am of course Noface from Spirited Away. It’s a costume that I have been wanting to do for a long time, but never got around to it. With this year being Spirited Away’s twentieth anniversary, it seemed like a great time to finally do it. Yeah, I would have preferably made my own costume, but I didn’t decide to get a costume until late this year. So I did what I could in the time given to me. Kind of like what Gandalf said. Maybe next time. And yes, that’s my nerd room. You can see my posters of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Bros. 3, Sonic Mania and my framed poster of DKC: Tropical Freeze (right behind me. You can see Funky Kong in the corner).

Again, apologies for a continued lack of a proper Halloween post. Maybe next time. But I still needed to write something. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays after all, along with Christmas. So it has to be acknowledged here at the Dojo.

Here’s the Ghostbusters theme song.

Happy Halloween!!


Happy Halloween 2018!

Happy Halloween everybody! Hope you all had some good, spooky fun and lots of candy.

Sorry again for the lack of a proper Halloween post – like the top 5s I did of yesteryear – I just didn’t get around to it. Hopefully next year I can do something special for one of my favorite holidays (along with Christmas).

Here’s something classy.

Again, I’m hoping to have more reviews and such done soon. And here’s hoping I can write more for Halloween come next October.

Anyway, Happy Halloween, you lovely people!

Top 5 Video Game Skeletons

After last year’s list of top 5 video game witches, I’ve decided to carry on this tradition of Halloween top 5s. This year I’ve popped out a list of the top 5 video game ghosts, and am now giving it a counterpart list of the top 5 video game skeletons!

Now, lists like this are always difficult. Narrowing almost any category down to five is always a hefty task, and considering that skeletons have been a staple in video games for decades, a category like this will mean there will always be contenders I forgot to mention or will remember after the fact. Oh well, I guess I could always make a revised list later if need be.

Keep in mind that the skeletons I’ve included are all from games and series that I’ve played. So my sincerest apologies to Grim Fandango fans, but if I haven’t played it, I’d feel awkward placing its characters above those I’ve actually had experience with. Simply put, don’t hate me for not listing things on my list. It’s my list. It’s only five. I can’t please everyone.

So without further ado, the top 5 video game skeletons!


5: Dry Bones (Super Mario series)

Dry Bones

Much like Boos (and many other Mario enemies), Dry Bones first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. These undead Koopa Troopas are among Mario’s most persistent foes. Not only have they shown up in numerous games, but they only stay down for so long. While most of Mario’s enemies will be defeated with a jump to the head, Dry Bones will merely crumble for a few seconds, before picking himself back up.

Their placement in the Super Mario series has made them iconic, but their undead persistence is what makes Dry Bones so great.

4: Greg the Grim Reaper (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)

Greg the Grim Reaper

Perhaps the oddest depiction of the Grim Reaper, Greg pulls off one of the best “man behind the curtain” gags in gaming. His introduction at first seems dark and foreboding, before he steps into view to reveal his short stature and squeaky voice. He’s an expert of the nature of game overs, and has a perennial hatred of cats (whose nine lives make his job incredibly difficult).

In case the first chapter of Conker’s Bad Fur Day weren’t surprising enough, Greg the Grim Reaper’s introduction is proof that Conker is a game that just keeps the surprises coming.

3: Scorpion (Mortal Kombat series)


Though Scorpion’s true face is usually hidden underneath a facade of a human face, which in turn is hidden underneath a ninja mask, Scorpion is actually an undead warrior, complete with skull face. So he totally counts.

Scorpion’s undead self make him a particularly powerful Mortal Kombat warrior, with otherworldly abilities that make him an exceptionally deadly opponent.

A badass ninja on the outside, a horrifying undead warrior on the inside, it isn’t too hard to see why Scorpion remains one of the most popular Mortal Kombat characters.

2: Skull Man (Mega Man 4)

Skull Man

Skull Man is technically not a skeleton, he’s a robot. That’s the only thing preventing him from topping this list. He still makes it this high up despite his robot-ness, however, because he’s Skull Man.

Seriously, look how badass he is! He has the coolest character design out of any Robot Master in the Mega Man series (which is saying something), has an awesome stage with cool music, and his arena is made entirely out of skulls. What heinous acts did Skull Man have to do to make that place?

Even as an 8-bit sprite, Skull Man looked like an imposing figure. Let’s forget the fact that his mimicry of Mega Man’s moves make him one of the easiest bosses in the game, and that the power Mega Man earns from defeating him is just another Leaf Shield duplicate, everything else about Skull Man is awesome.

If the Mega Man series ever sees a resurgence, and old school Robot Masters are brought back for whatever reason, Skull Man is a must to make a return to the series. So cool.

1: Sans and Papyrus (Undertale)

Sans and Papyrus

Sans and Papyrus are skeleton brothers in the monster world. Sans is the shorter, fatter (big boned?) one with a penchant for bad jokes, and Papyrus is the tall, dimwitted one with a love of spaghetti. Like many of the characters in Undertale, their character development depends on the choices the player makes. Should you go the pacifist route and spare every creature you encounter, they’ll become best buds with the player. But if you go the way of a madman and kill every monster in battle, Papyrus will do his best to put an end to your tyranny, while Sans will serve as your final judge, jury and (potential) executioner as the final boss.

Both Sans and Papyrus are bursting with personality and charm, and perhaps better than any other character, represent what Undertale is all about. For a couple of skeletons, they certainly are fleshed out.

Ouch! That was worthy of Sans…

Top 5 Video Game Ghosts

Happy Halloween everybody! Last year on Halloween, I made a list of the top 5 video game witches. So I figured it made sense to follow it up this year with another such list, this time with ghosts!

Now, I know I’m going to be leaving out a ton of ghosts. There have been so many of them in video games it’s not even funny. Ghosts have given us perennial enemies and allies in the world of gaming, and narrowing it down to just five is never going to be easy.

Perhaps I’m a bit of a softy, or it’s my love of classic video games, but this list isn’t really comprised of genuinely terrifying specters. Perhaps some time I’ll get around to making a list of the scariest ghosts in video games, to better represent the horror genres of gaming. But this particular list is mostly comprised of ghosts who stand out to me, so they’re going to be more iconic than scary.

If you have a problem with that, deal with it and move on with your life.

Anyway, let’s get on with this Halloween celebration by shedding some light on my top 5 video game ghosts!

*Honorable mention goes to LeChuck from the Monkey Island series. But because he’s sometimes a demon and sometimes a zombie, I can’t in good conscience just list him as a ghost. sorry.*

5: Wrinkly Kong (Donkey Kong series)

Wrinkly Kong

The interesting thing about Wrinkly Kong’s status as a ghost is that she wasn’t always a ghost. But she’s been one ever since DK64, so she’s consistently been depicted as an apparition since then. After running a school in DKC2 and housing Banana Birds in DKC3 (both times serving as a save point), she passed away at some point, and has been DK and company’s friendly guide from beyond the grave ever since.

4: Poes (The Legend of Zelda series)


Poes are something of an easter egg hunt in the form of an army of ghosts. Whether it’s in Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, whatever, Link is always going to have to track down Poes, defeat them, and capture their souls in bottles for one reason or another (aren’t they already ghosts? How are their souls separate entities?). One thing is for sure, the constant side quests provided by Poes have made them an invaluable element in the Zelda series.

3: Ghastly, Haunter and Gengar (Pokemon series)


There have been plenty of ghost-type Pokemon added to the series since its inception, but the spot on this list has to go to the originals. In Pokemon Red and Blue, there were only three ghost Pokemon, all part of the same evolutionary chain. Ghastly, Haunter and Gengar were all among the coolest Pokemon from the original titles, and added a mischievous charm to the otherwise cute and cuddly Pokemon of the day. They paved the way for all ghost Pokemon to follow.


2: Boo (Super Mario series)


Cutest. Ghosts. Ever.

Boos first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3, and have become one of the most iconic and beloved Nintendo baddies ever since. But what really gets Boos such a high spot on this list is just how cute they are! I’m not just talking about their simplistic character designs, but the concept behind them as well. They’re ghosts who are shy! They’ll only try to spook their unsuspecting victims when their backs are turned. Should Mario (or anyone else) be looking at them dead on, they’ll stop in their tracks and blush. How adorable!

1: Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde (Pac-Man)

Inky Blinky Pinky Clyde

The original gaming ghosts. Not only do Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde date back to the golden age of arcades, but they also set the stage for the many “cute ghosts” who were found in gaming during the 80s and 90s. Without this quartet of ghosts, perhaps Boos wouldn’t be as cute as they are (I shudder to think)!

Really, when you think of video game ghosts, who else would come to mind first? The Pac-Man ghosts may not be terrifying like the ghouls found in modern video games, nor are they even as cute as some of the specters they inspired. But the fact remains that they are the video game ghosts. Their simplistic “bed sheet” character designs, distinguished solely by their differing colors, made them instantly recognizable. They’ve been the eternal thorn in Pac-Man’s side, and paved the way for countless other ghosts to be eternal thorns in the sides of other video game heroes.

Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde are the video game ghosts.

Top 5 Video Game Witches

Happy Halloween everybody! I’ve been quietly celebrating this awesome holiday through my recent string of Castlevania reviews, but I also thought I’d whip up something a little more unique on the day of Halloween itself. So here it is, a list of the top five witches in video games!

I don’t want to hear anyone say I forgot some character or failed to mention so and so. This list is narrowed down to five, after all, and it’s just based on my opinion. This is a pretty different list than usual anyway. I could always make revised editions, if that suits your fancy.

Also keep in mind that these characters have to be primarily identified as witches. No mages, sages, wizards and shamans allowed.

So without further ado, grab a witch’s brew, or I’ll get you my pretties, and your little dogs too! Or, you know, here are the top five video game witches.

*Minor spoilers follow!* Continue reading “Top 5 Video Game Witches”