What the Crap? Bogus Beards

When will technology catch up with the modern-day beard?

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Here at BeardCola GameCola, we strive to get you the latest information and opinions on beards from around the video game world. I’m not sure what it is about the allure of beards, but they always seem to stick out to me in a game. Any game with bearded characters has to be good time, right? Well, hold on to your stubbled chin, readers. We’re about to take a hard look at what the crap some games are doing that just aren’t up to my level of snuff when it comes to beardedness.

Skyrim

Skyrim was one of the most anticipated games of 2011. An immense, open world with beautiful lands, massive fetch quests, and fresh cabbages available in every ancient catacomb, the level of detail was just…inspiring. The first taste of this was in the opening sequences where, after looking around your paddywagon, you were instructed to use the character creator and choose your race, sex, and facial features. Thankfully, there were options to choose beards—but, as with most games where hair is configurable, it was all short hair. I’m guessing this is due to the physics involved in long, flowing hair. It would have to blow in the breeze—dangle majestically. Every individual hair would have to go through an advanced beard algorithm developed by NASA. I think the technology just isn’t there, so we are forced to live our lives with short, two-dimensional beards. Maybe someday, my dream of long, flowing beards will be realized.

Thankfully, I am not the first to realize this limitation. Some courageous modders have created the Skyrim modification simply titled Beards which adds some more illustrious options. Still, they exist within the confines of the game engine, so they are not the free flowing, majestic beards I seek.

skyrim beard mod smallSkyrim Beard Mod v2.0. Impressive, but why the crap does this require third party mods?

And, why can’t we enchant beards? Are beards not customizable gear like boots or a helmet? Surely they should boost my Charisma stat.

Chrono Cross

Chrono Cross is the sequel to my favorite game ever, Chrono Trigger. While Chrono Trigger was such an amazing title, it lacked one critical component to make it absolutely perfect. Beards. Thankfully, Chrono Cross came out on the PlayStation where it was chock full of content on this new-fangled compact disc technology. Chrono Cross featured 45 playable characters! Frankly, there were too many small-time characters with no interesting story.

With so many characters, surely many of them would have beards, given the epic story that had to be lived up to. In the end, it would seem that a mere 4 of the 45 characters had beards. Viper, Zappa, Radius, and Orcha. That’s less than 10%! Simply unacceptable.chrono cross beards 2

There is one character, ZOAH, who I am assuming is non-bearded. However, he wears a full metal helmet all the time, so we can’t confirm. But, if he did have a beard, wouldn’t he want to show it off?

chorno cross beard chart

 

Obi Wan Kenobi

The great Jedi Master donned a beard ever since he became a Jedi Knight. The Clone Wars show gave us a lot more insight it on Obi Wan between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. For whatever reason, the art style of that show depicted Obi Wan with this strange beard that I’m not sure how to describe other than it being a sectional or compartmentalized beard. Just look at this thing!

star_wars_the_clone_wars_adventure_640_mmorpg

Well, this translated to the related Clone Wars video games—and I’ll never look at Obi Wan Kenobi the same.

star_wars_the_clone_wars_adventure_obi_wan_beard_zoomWhy have you forsaken me, oh great Jedi?

Here’s a high-resolution shot of Kenobi from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars (left) versus his appearance in Star Wars Rebels on the right. Thankfully, the Disney art studio has gone the route of a more realistic beard.

star wars kenobi clone wars rebellion

While there’s certainly much to be said about the aforementioned games’ lack of beard quality, at least they have beards as an option. Frankly, there just aren’t enough decent titles out there that feature great beards. Is it the lack of interest, foolish/lazy game designers, or just the overall effect of our fast-paced society? Voice your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the Contributor


Since 2006

Mark Freedman is a hard hitting reporter on just what the crap is going on in the world of video games.He also writes reviews and manages the staff Q&A column. Occasionally, he has been known to take a shower. zzzz

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