Thursday 16 July 2009


It's a "Mandragoran", based on the Mandragora or Mandrake root. I photographed it off my TV.

Recently I rekindled my affection for my trusty Dreamcast video game system. In an almost random selection, I booted up a game I haven't played for about 4 years - 'Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage'. Yes, this game is as incredible as the title suggests, albeit a little flawed.

Based on a manga and anime, the game's protagonist, Gattsu or "Guts" travels around hacking abstract plant/human/hybridised zombies to pieces with an enormous 6-foot sword. It's a lot of fun. Anyway, it had been YEARS since I last played this game after setting controller down in frustration at not being able to pass a certain level and then inadvertently continued living my life. On picking it up again I ended up passing the area where I was stuck in two goes. TWO. GOES. I then proceeded to finish the entire game in the remainder of the sitting.

The pictured Mandragoran is one of the last bosses in the game, so I hope I haven't spoiled it for anybody planning on playing this. The Mandragoran could well be one of my top favourite bosses in a video game. The mechanic to beating it was pretty straight-forward, but the boss-design was phenomenal. The creature is a giant white daikon-esque root, but with a baby-face and big spikes clubs for arms. It will regularly scream and invert the screen, causing you damage. After a while it spits spheres of matter at you. Here's the cutscene preceding the battle:

Two. Goes.