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5 Cool Motorcycle Riders in Video Games

May 24, 2011

While researching motorcycles in video games, I thought I might as well make a list here from games I have played. I’m not really a fan of driving/racing games and prefer RPG/adventure so I’m sure I missed out on a lot. Be sure to check out the links for videos of the motorcycles in action.

Cloud Strife

  • Game: Final Fantasy VII
  • Occupation: Mercenary and ex-member of SOLDIER (a select, genetically augmented military unit operating under the defacto world government and mega-corporation Shinra Electric Power Company)
It takes extreme skill to ride a bike on a highway while wielding a big-ass sword. Cloud first obtains the cool-looking silver and black Hardy-Daytona bike in the motorcycle minigame in FFVII which is crucial in the escape of Midgar. After stealing the Shinra motorcycle, Cloud has to navigate the highway full of motorcycle guards and highway patrol.

The object of the game is to destroy opposing guards by slashing them left or right, ramming them into guard rails or letting them crash into fallen comrades. You do this while avoiding collissions between enemies and your party (Aeris, Tifa and Barret who are on board a stolen truck) who you also have to protect because if they get hit, they lose some HP.  This brings back good memories.

In the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the motorcycle is called The Fenrir and is an upgraded version of the bike in the game. The Fenrir is a four-wheeled (two paired up in front and the same in the rear) motorized vehicle with maneuvering capabilities and a combination of polished black metal over brushed gold mechanics.

Hwoarang

  • Game: Tekken 3 (debut)
  • Occupation: Taekwondo student
Hwoarang was my favorite character to use in Tekken 3 (for PS1) and the arcade game because of his long kicks, combo movies, and cool get-up. The South Korean Taekwondo expert in the fighting series used to gamble in street fighting before he entered the third tournament to get revenge on Ogre for killing his master, Baek Doo San.
The bike doesn’t really factor in the game and is just seen in Hwoarang’s cutscenes. In the ending of the story mode in Tekken 5, Hwoarang is seen speeding along the freeway on his motorcycle until Devil Jin appears and uses his telekineses to blow up the bike. Hwoarang is thrown from the explosion and rolls along the pavement. Watch the ending here.

Lara Croft

  • Game: Tomb Raider
  • Occupation: Archaeologist-adventurer who ventures into tombs and ruins

I haven’t played any of the Tomb Raider games since the original for PS1 (which had pretty graphic death scenes of Lara falling on spikes, being mauled by tigers and getting run over by huge Indy-style cannon balls), but I know that Lara Croft is one of the few female riders in video games.

In the  game  Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara gets to ride both a Ducati Monster and a Ducati 999. The game features riding scenes in which Lara relies on the bikes performance to get her out of tricky situations. Aside from the air-cooled, two-valved Monster S2R, she gets to ride the Ducati 999, said to be the most powerful and advanced twin-cylinder engine motorcycle. Lara gets to ride through various terrain and speed up on huge ramps to jump gaps on the bike (while shooting guns at the same time)  in the game.

In the  Tomb Raider movie, Lara also rides a heavily modified Yamaha TRX850. Here’s a cool trailer of Lara showing off her motorcycle skills in the game Tomb Raider: Underworld.

Cybil Bennett

  • Game: Silent Hill
  • Occupation: Police officer from nearby town of Brahms who comes to Silent Hill for an investigation

In the creepy opening sequence of the PS1 game Silent Hill, Harry sees police officer Cybil Bennett aboard her police motorcycle while he is driving with his daughter Cheryl. Shortly before crashing his jeep, Harry spots the bike again lying abandoned by the roadside.

The motorcycle doesn’t really play a significant role in the game and Cybil is not even a playable character in the first game (though she is in Silent Hill: Play Novel – an adaptation for Game Boy Advance). In the game, the “motorcycle key” is an item needed in a sidequest to determine if you get a good ending. It unlocks the gas tank of a motorcycle in Norman’s Motel, revealing a hidden vial of red liquid which dispels demonic forces.

I think it would have been cool if you could ride the motorcycle around town instead of having to walk back and forth (not to mention through different dimensions) to get clues, but I guess the light and noise would just attract all the monsters. You might not even hear the warning static on the radio with a motorcycle engine running. (Since you can get a gas tank in the 2nd playthrough for the chainsaw, technically you should be able to drive the motorcycle right?) In the extremely weird movie version, Cybil also appears as a biker cop. Watch the opening sequence of Silent Hill game here.

Snow Villiers

  • Game: Final Fantasy XIII
  • Occupation: Leader and founder of NORA (No Obligation, Rules, or Authority), a group that originally fought off wild animals and eventually became a group of rebels fighting against the Sanctum

OK, while the animation when Shiva sisters Stiria (the dark-skinned elder sister) and Nix (the younger white-skinned sister ) combine to form a motorcycle is more than a little suggestive, you’ve got to admire the ice flaring cycle.

In normal mode, Snow’s Eidolon (summon), the Shiva sisters focus on healing and ice elemental damage, but in Gestalt mode they transform into the slightly disturbing motorcycle which Snow gets on and “rides.” Snow isn’t one of my favorite characters (I prefer using Lightning and Fang), but once in a while, I use Snow just to see the Eidolons in action.

Snow can deliver some pretty cool moves on the bike, like wheelie (charge forward for non-elemental damage), spinfreeze (ice damage to surrounding targets), icicle drift (slide into target), ice ramp (jump off conjured ramp to deal damage) and Shiva’s special killer movie Diamond Dust (repeatedly deal ice damage to targets). Watch Shiva in Gestalt mode here.

BONUS: For those born in the 80s, here’s another game that brings back good memories.🙂

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