Tag Archives: Jack

Grinding Down’s Top 10 Pumpkins in Gaming

I tried to get this post done long before Halloween hit, but life got in the way, and I got distracted and well, here we are now, a week into November. Thank goodness that November is also a month where pumpkins are totally topical and appropriate, so my post about 10 cool-as-heck pumpkins in videogames remains relevant. Whew. Also, it’s finally beginning to feel like fall here in New Jersey, though I’m sure, like a leaf detaching from a high-up branch and heading gently and quietly to the earth below, its journey will be short and quickly forgotten.

Also, here’s the pumpkins Melanie and I carved a few days before Halloween that almost instantly went moldy due to the high temps here in the Garden State:

I’ll let you figure out which one I did.

And now, some other cool-as-heck pumpkins!

10. King’s Quest

There’s a dark cave full of hungry wolves blocking your progress at one point in that new take on King’s Quest, and to get through it, you need a very strong and bright light to keep the beasts at bay. Eventually, you discovered you can purchase a magical blue ball of fire from the eccentric Hubblepots in town, but need some kind of vessel to hold it. A giant pumpkin from the local garden will do just fine, and it’s both silly and awesome to watch Graham hoist the heavy thing over his head and march through the illuminated cave with newfound confidence.

9. Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is a world without holidays, despite the Christmas surprise, where radiation and destruction are the focus. Still, time exists, and time passes, and you are from a long-lost era where holidays were a big deal, something people centered around and made special. Remember, the bombs dropped around Halloween. The plastic pumpkin is a reminder of a simpler time, of dressing up not to better protect yourself against raiders and swipes from a legendary Deathclaw, but to go door to door and collect candy. There’s not many of them out in the wild, but seeing one still gives me pause. Also, it can be broken down into individual components for use in crafting, so it is not just a piece of cosmetic dressing.

8. Clayfighter

I did not play a ton of ClayFighter in its heyday, being more of a Street Fighter II dabbler and a Mortal Kombat on-looker, but see here, Ickybod Clay is a punderful name for a ghost with a jack-o-lantern head. You just can’t beat that. Also, he can teleport and throw balls of ghost goo at his opponent, which irrefutably makes this is one excellent use of a pumpkin.

7. the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

For some reason, I’ve not come across many pumpkins in my playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so I use them fairly infrequently in my cooking sessions. But when I do, the results are always supreme. Here’s a tip: combining them with some type of meat will get you a meat-stuffed pumpkin that can restore a ton of hearts.

6. Final Fantasy VII

Okay, this might be a stretch, because I can’t seem to find any official ruling on whether the hilariously named enemy Dorky Face from Final Fantasy VII is a pumpkin-headed shuttlecock, but it sure does look like a pumpkin-headed shuttlecock to me, and so it is making the list. You fight a bunch of them in the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim, and their main attack is called “Funny Breath,” which causes confusion. Huh. I wonder if they’ll show up again in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is obviously never going to come out.

5. Costume Quest 2

It should come as no surprise that pumpkins are prominent in both Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2, games highly passionate about pumpkin time. I decided to go with the latter title, if only because it is somewhat fresher in my mind because of what I did with it during last year’s Extra Life event. Also, all the Achievement artwork is carved pumpkins.

4. Minecraft

There’s something about a square pumpkin that honestly cracks me up. Thanks, Minecraft. Keep on being square.

3. Borderlands 2

Look, I’ll just come out and admit it, but the only DLC I played for Borderlands 2 was the first one called Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. I had a good time with it and have continued to dabble in the game, but never got any more additional content. Which is a shame, because it sounds like Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep is a lot of fun, and the smaller add-on called T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest is ultra-fitting for this post. Zombie T.K. Baha, last seen in a piece of DLC for the original Borderlands which I also did not play, sends players off to fight Jaques O’Lantern, a giant pumpkin boss who gives out new character customizations as rewards for being beaten. Sounds cool to me; however, Borderlands 3/Borderworlds needs a gun that endlessly fires giant, flaming pumpkins. Please make this dream a reality.

2. Stardew Valley

Ugh, I really do need to pick Stardew Valley up again and at least see it through to when grandpa is supposed to visit or whatever. Yet, after completing the community center, I feel like I’ve done the thing. The big thing. Anyways, that’s a topic for another post. Pumpkins are big in the game, especially during the fall season. They grow 13 days after being planted and are one of three crops that might produce a giant crop version, along with cauliflower and melon (see above). After Starfruit, it has the second-highest per unit base price of all the normal crops, which makes it important if you are looking to be rolling in a coin bank. Oh, and you can also make a jack-o-lantern by combining a pumpkin and a torch to keep things spooky year-round.

1. Animal Crossing

Jack, the self-proclaimed Czar of Halloween, is a character from the Animal Crossing series–except for Wild World–who loves candy, naturally. Especially lollipops. He appears once a year for Halloween, from 6:00 PM until 1:00 AM the following day. Jack distributes spooky furniture to the player, which can only be obtained through him, and it is all very orange and pumpkin-themed, and I believe I got every piece for my copy of New Leaf, but it’s been many years now since I played, so I can’t confirm this. I’m also scared to look for fear of getting sucked back in. Either way, he’s a real cool gourd-wearing dude.

I’m sure there are lots of other cool-as-heck pumpkins out there in videogame-land. How about you tell me of the ones you love or think rock. Please do so in the comments, and I’ll try to respond before any of them get moldy and start caving in on themselves.

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Gathering allies and gaining loyalties in Mass Effect 2

So, with all this talk as of late about Mass Effect 3 and its on-disc DLC data drama, many “bad ending(s)”, and uninspired multiplayer, I myself have been inspired to give Mass Effect 2 much more time and affection, and it’s been kind enough to love me back with a jolly old time. Currently, my Commander Shepard is working hard to build a team unlike any other in hopes of getting through the Omega 4 Relay–and making it out alive. Which, starting around the nine hour mark, felt a little fast, but I guess there’s still plenty more to do before we all take the final plunge. Anyways, here’s who I’ve picked up recently:


The Convict (10G): Successfully recruit the biotic Convict


The Assassin (10G): Successfully recruit the Assassin

For getting Jack the biotic on my team, I replayed the level from the demo, so it was all quite familiar and lacked a certain punch, but still, at least this time I completed the mission without dying. Go me. Getting the assassin to join up on The Normandy was a brand new experience, with a nice twist at the end. He kind of reminds me of an evil Nightcrawler from X2: X-Men United, the way he kills and respects religion all at once. Looking forward to learning more about him for sure.

Oh, and I also got Miranda really on my side, doing her loyalty mission right away and successful at that. See here:


The Prodigal (10G): Gain the loyalty of the Cerberus Officer

Yeah, I’m totally getting sucked back into the lore and world-building of Mass Effect. To me, it’s so much more interesting than the combat, which isn’t bad, but involves maybe a little too much hiding behind boxes, but the stuff that really excites me is learning more about the mono-gendered asari and how they live for thousands of years. Or the deep connection between a drell and a hanar. Or the regenerative abilities of vorcha. Or space racism. Or just how vast the Terminus Systems are. I don’t know. This stuff is so big and expansive, and I eat up every dialogue option I can to learn more, more, and more.

Also, I like the planet scanning. There, I said. Finding a planet, reading about its atmosphere and attributes, and scanning it for resources feels…right. I’ve read some hatred on this aspect of Mass Effect 2, but if there’s something to hate with passion, it should be the choppiness of some dialogue sequences, not searching the galaxy for vital substances. Also, I wish that, like in Dragon Age: Origins, party members commented more on what was happening around them. I switched out my characters often enough, but nobody got personally involved in anything that was happening except for Miranda when I promised Jack she could have full access to Cerberus’s databases–and even then, it was just a remark of distrust and nothing more.

I had to stop playing last night in order to get some decent hours of sleep, but I just found an anomaly on an undiscovered planet and am looking forward to seeing what becomes of this mission. The Normandy‘s AI mentioned something about upgrades to those that use biotic powers. Fine by me. I have not yet really settled on a team I’m comfortable with, though Miranda is always at my side for her Warp and Overload skills. I’ve got a ton of missions in my quest log, including more dossiers for recruiting and loyalty missions for those already on board. I’ll report back soon on how all of this goes. Shepard, out!