Hello everybody and welcome back to another Countdown Post of mine, continuing with the Weapons on a Stick theme. Now, shall we say that if we switch the blade on that stick into a GIANT mass of weight… What do we get? Hammers, that’s what.
In the beginning, hammers were invented to construct structures. Mostly by pounding nails to woods or nails or anything. At times, people also use it to construct weapons, that’s what blacksmiths do. It just happens that the bigger the hammer becomes, the more destructive it becomes, sometimes even becoming a reverse of its original purpose, a bludgeon weapon to either demolish structures, or just bash someone’s skull, either breaking them, or knocking them away for a very long distance. It’s also a popular weapon for clerics who abhor steel sharp weapons… and it’s also a popular weapon for anime girls who tends to get annoyed with their male friends.
But we’re not gonna talk about anime.
The hammers tend to be a powerful weapon, slow at swing, but packs a massive weight in each blows. And so, within this list, 10 Experts of Hammers in video game history shall be listed and we will see who stands in the top to put the mightiest hammer down there is. As usual, the two main rules apply: Only one character per franchise, and only from the games I played. And only from things originating from video games. I swear to God, if anime-origin characters can be put in this list, I would’ve happily put in the GaoGaiGar in, due to the massive Goldion Hammer or Goldion Crusher, and it was showcased in Super Robot Wars! But alas, rules are rules.
So let’s not wait any longer. It’s hammer ti– Wait, no, I don’t say that. I’ll reveal why later. Onward to the countdown then!
… Huh. This list actually starts with a very unorthodox character to begin with. This hammer isn’t exactly used as a weapon by this character, actually. But if you watch the Green Scorpion’s own Hammer Wielders video, he actually makes a point about hammers belonging to protectors of a structure and representing judgment. And there’s this person who represent that in… the Ace Attorney series.
… Yes, I can hear you saying “Are you kidding me? Weapons used in Ace Attorney? You’re gonna pick a murderer here?”
… Well actually no, I’m picking The Judge. You know, that guy who hands down Guilty or Not Guilty verdicts.
Now please hear me out, I’m not going to make The Judge sound like a complete badass who hands down everybody’s asses with his hammer. No, actually, he’s not quite close to it. The Judge is the man who is held at the highest position in the court. He oversees every trials, and decides how the trial will proceed. Of course, the man himself can be just as wacky as the rest of the cast does, and even gets along with the shenanigans happening in the game.
From being intimidated by Manfred von Karma, or getting whipped by his daughter, or just making up silly comments all around… The Judge is an all around lovable old guy.
And in games like Ace Attorney, the Courtroom is… pretty much an equivalent to a battlefield. It can get really really chaotic with a lot of people mumbling on the transpiring events brought about by any prosecutor or defense attorneys. And that’s when the Judge puts his hammer down.
“Order in the court!” He says. And the crowd shuts the hell up instantly.
What does this mean? Well that means, the Judge maintains the constructed order within the courtroom. And his hammer… or gavel, in this case, helps to protect it. Sure, he can just yell that phrase, but with the hammer, extra effect is added and he usually manages to get order protected. Yes, as much as he often gets carried away with the shenanigans of the cast, the Judge is still dedicated to overall justice, and really does not like it when evil gets away. And unless bad ends are in effect, or the player goes game over, the Judge will give out the proper outcome from the order: Innocents go free, the guilty… not so much.
Oh, but surely you’re not convinced after all these? Well, let’s just take this… Phoenix Wright appears in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and one of his supers apparently summons a huge version of the Judge. His yell is even more booming. “ORDER IN THE COURT!!” And with the drop of the gavel, now on the form of a really huge hammer, “OBJECTION OVERRULED!!” and everyone gets knocked away. It may be just based on the nightmares Phoenix had in the game, but the effect is the same… the battlefield is similar to the court, and it gets chaotic at times. This Judge doesn’t care if you’re some sort of celebrated superhero, megalomaniacal mad scientist, best mayor on earth, galactic conqueror, a God or some sort of Eldritch Abomination… what’s that, you’re making a ruckus in the battlefield?
And with the drop of that hammer, they have to obey. No exceptions. Even if just temporarily.
Yep, the Judge is not exactly the biggest badass there is, but his hammer/gavel has kept order in the court a lot of times even when normal judges would just call it quits in the face of the shenanigans presented in Ace Attorney series, and even that gets used in the battle between two worlds. Yep, that gives him privilege to be the #10 and probably most unorthodox Hammer Experts in video games.
This countdown sucks, how can you even pick someone who’s not a fighting man in–
Hey, it’s always good to venture on other venues. Now, in the whole MOBA crowd, the big 4 names right now are either League of Legends, Dota 2, Smite and Heroes of the Storm. However, one of the first clones of the very first Defense of the Ancients All Stars, aside of League of Legends, include this one game called Heroes of Newerth, by S2 Games.
I know this game has its charms, but I don’t think it is quite my tastes. Namely it kind of tried too hard to copy the old Defense of the Ancients down to the tee, including Heroes that are meant to be complete copycats of some Dota heroes that I just find them kind of uninspiring. I mean, it’s a good thing that they eventually deviated from the old game by introducing new heroes, and to be fair, back in those days, the graphical upgrade worked in their favor, but the storytelling and characterization philosophies kind of not really clicking with me, it was taken from the same universe with the game Savage: Battle of Newerth, including some heroes there, but this game will not really let you know the best characteristics and personalities of the characters from there, it’s purely gameplay and some of the new characters there can come off really ‘generic’ or ‘replaceable’, like you just trained one of these guys from barracks.
But I digress. Look, if you like this game even with its dwindling popularity, I don’t mind that at all, it’s cool, and I really really want S2 to step up their game and make me like this game as well, it can go ahead and reclaim its place as one of the best MOBA’s of the age. Besides, even if the philosophy as stated above… I do find one guy that puts the emphasis of what it means to be a Hammer Expert. Enter… Hammerstorm.
Well, since S2 Games didn’t go much about the lore about some of its characters, I can go in a little quicker on this. Hammerstorm is a famed warrior serving the Legion side, and has known battle since the his boyhood, while nobody knew his real name, his epithet Hammerstorm really shows his expertise at dropping the hammer to anyone in his path. And that’s… about it. Damn it, this is why I’m getting a little iffy with this whole ‘Gameplay only, story doesn’t even matter!’ mentality that this game’s community like to adhere in worship state. (I’ll… talk about it later)
So, by the gameplay factor then? All right. Regardless of his minimum story, Hammerstorm really means business when he’s into his hammer swings. Gameplay-factor, this is a side-effect of him being more of a port of my favorite Dota 2 hero of all time (if you’re watching my video), Sven the Rogue Knight. Except instead of a giant sword, Hammerstorm obviously uses a hammer. And for the most part… it works. The hammer is a massive weapon capable of dealing a huge deal of wreckage, and it translated well enough. Instead of the gauntlet rocket punch Storm Hammer, Hammerstorm has Hammer Toss, which is simply throwing his hammer to stun an area. Well, no magic required. Most of his arsenals are simply other means of enhancing his hammer, be it a cleave attack or an allied buff, or a massive attack boost, but here’s one thing Hammerstorm has over Sven. If he uses his attack boost Ultimate, the Brute Strength, everytime you hit, the screen shakes a bit, just to put an emphasis that he hit his enemies so hard that the whole screen feels it.
Also it’s worth saying that, once again taking cue from Green Scorpion’s opening quotes about hammers, well another type of character that wields the hammers tends to be rebels trying to bring change in order. One of the quotes Hammerstorm can say when being ordered to attack happens to be “Liberty in every blow”… Wow, actually I’m impressed how much with such minimum characterization we can still get a good essence of hammer experts. So, Hammerstorm isn’t just your typical battle warrior (even if the lore tends to mismatch), he seems to value freedom and liberty in that chaotic world, and his hammer swings are meant to push on freedom for his faction, the Legion, by shattering the Hellbourne’s foundation that restricts and terrorizes the lot of them.
Well played, S2, well played. (Then again, probably just my personal interpretation.)
I still think the characterizations in the game needs a little fixing to make them more unique. Still, for someone who has minimum characterization or personality, and his gameplay was meant to copy an old Dota hero, Hammerstorm can show the great qualities that experts of hammers represent, and so, he attains his place as the #9 Video Game Hammer Experts.
Come on and step up your game, S2. I’m waiting.
Sometimes… when all you have is a hammer… well you’ll have to make due with just that one. Most classic RPG’s have this issue, but not that I’m complaining. Final Fantasy IV, as much as a great game it is, the combat is pretty simplistic for its time. Most of the things you can do is to ‘beat the crap out of your enemies with just that weapon you have’.
… Well, in the case of Cid Pollendina, your resident airship engineer, well when all he has is just his hammer, the only way is just to bash everyone in the face with it.
The name Cid is a recurring name within the Final Fantasy, but most of all, it involves being an airship engineer or manager. Cid here is Baron’s chief engineer and responsible of making the Enterprise ship, the game’s aerial transport vehicle. He’s also a father figure or sorts to Cecil, even if he’s not his son, always supporting him many times. While he’s not very good in making first impressions, his heart is always in the right place, continuously working on his airship to further his support to Cecil, and even at times risking his very life to do that. Don’t worry, he’s not dead. He still lives on, even in the After Years.
In battles, befitting his engineer status and constructing airships, Cid’s weapon is that of a hammer. And I’m afraid that’s all he carries. He doesn’t have magic talents like Cecil, Tellah, Rosa, Rydia or the twins, he can’t throw weapons like Edge, he can’t jump high like Kain, he can’t kick everyone at once like Yang, he can’t hide like that spoony bard Edward–Hold up, that’s actually a good thing. He CAN scan his enemies, but that’s got nothing to do with his hammer. But surprisingly, for the time he joins your party, Cid can smack a mean hammer, it actually has good enough attack score to keep up with the normal attacks with the likes of Cecil or Kain, provided that he’s well equipped. The latter games FINALLY gave him other things to do with his hammer like Risk Strike or enchanting his hammer with elements… but I haven’t played the games where he started using that.
But the things about Cid here are really good essences on what’s within a Hammer Expert, it’s made to construct and build, airships in this case, and he can just smack it to the enemy’s heads if necessary, and pretty much those bashes are all he needs when traveling with your party and facing monsters or abominations come what may. In addition of having a jolly personality on his own, Cid pretty much took on the #8 spot of Hammer Experts in Video Game history.
Yes, when all you have is a hammer, the one thing you do is to be able to smack the enemies around that. Cid does that well enough, but he usually just strikes once. But what if you are able to smack them around many times? That’s actually even better!
When the whole rivalry between Koei and Capcom in their Sengoku hack-and-slash game, Capcom struck first with the hammer wielder being this little girl called Itsuki, a fictional character meant to represent the Hokkaido area, and also fulfilling this archetype of ‘It’s an anime girl, hammer is required!’. Unfortunately… well, she didn’t quite hit the right spot even when her hammers grew REALLY huge at times, covered with ice power… I actually got a few more people coming up to fulfill that later and does a better job with better staying power (poor Itsuki got omitted after the 2nd game, death of her original voice actress notwithstanding). Wait for it in this post down the line.
But that same game introduced the daimyo of Kyushu, Shimazu Yoshihiro, as a big muscular old man… but he wields a bigass sword instead. So, when Koei unleashed Samurai Warriors 2, they took in Yoshihiro and gave him their own rendition… and hands him a BIG hammer, in a more realistic manner than Itsuki, and nothing a muscular old guy like him can’t handle.
And guess what, it works wonders. (And yes, the Sengoku Compare between their different renditions will come in later)
As the daimyo of Kyushu, particularly Satsuma, Yoshihiro is much like the rest of the warlords, trying to unite the island under his clan’s banner, which gives him rivalry with other clans like the Tachibana. Despite wielding a big ass hammer like that, Yoshihiro is also quite a planner, constructing various ways to employ his clan’s favorite tactic: Ambushes. Usually this gives him and his clan a good headstart when it comes to battle that they’re usually the one more ready to claim the Western islands of Kyushu for their own. That is, until Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s massive army came invading. However, this just greatly shows another aspect of Yoshihiro’s personality, he likes battles when the odds are against him. While that didn’t stop Hideyoshi to completely conquer Kyushu, Yoshihiro still put up a darn good fight when the odds are against him that it impressed Hideyoshi, so he got brought along to bring down the Hojo clan. And when the Battle of Sekigahara reared its head, Yoshihiro saw the odds being against the Western Army again and looked forward to that one battle. Which, again, was on the losing part, but he made a surprising blitz escape that ensured the clan’s survival and also impressing the Eastern Army.
So with a stature like that and the good size of that hammer, it’s no surprise that every swings of his hammer would really hurt. Yoshihiro, being designated as a normal attack/combo character, can make a long string of hammer swings with his attacks, but when it comes to charge attacks, it’s no slouch either and can match up with other power-based characters. Yoshihiro can pound the ground and create mini earthquakes with his hammer, use it like a pogo jumping stick, with the weight on the bottom and even knock down enemies really far with it. And just to be sure there’s extra force in his hammer swing, he likes to use the archaic battle cry of “CHESTO!!” before or in the middle of battle. Actually a really badass battle cry, but we’ll get to that later.
For an old man, Shimazu Yoshihiro stayed as fit and muscular as possible and this enables him to swing a big enough hammer like nobody’s business. And swing it for a long period for ass-kicking, while building and shaping up the future of the Shimazu clan. He’s definitely one of those great experts of hammer fighting, ranking at #7 amongst this list.
No, I’m not spoiling the future Sengoku Compare post with this. Next!
Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat.
Oh no no no, we’re not getting into that too much. Let’s just try to cut the chase and get on with his story. Before he stopped taunting.
Shao Kahn is the ruler of Outworld, appearing as the boss of the first game’s final boss Shang Tsung. He’s… pretty much a very ambitious and brutal conqueror. After Shang Tsung’s failure in the first tournament to win the Mortal Kombat tournament, Shao Kahn took on the tournament itself, imposing to win the tournament for Outworld, according to the rules, winning the tournament means Earth gets conquered by him. That… didn’t work out, so in the next game, rather than doing tournament rules, Shao Kahn flat out invaded Earthrealm with his massive army, doing untold damage to the realm. But still, he’s stopped and his army scattered. He still found enough resources to keep himself alive when Quan Chi and Shang Tsung double-teamed him and attempted to revive Onaga, eventually participating in Armageddon… and… WON. Oh God, bad guy winning. This can’t be good…
Of course, Raiden managed to send a message to the past to try to undo the damage he caused. Shao Kahn was beaten for good, but the cost was… way too big… to even describe… and furthermore… This isn’t the place to talk about it. Maybe later.
So probably, what’s your best memory about Shao Kahn? Being a ridiculously overpowered boss, taunts a lot, shoulder tackles anything he comes across, green energy ball that materializes in any shape… oh and a LITERAL hammer, his signature weapon the Wrath Hammer. Starting from the 3rd game, just to show that he’s at least more serious, he’s more than happy to bash his hammer to his enemies skulls. It’s just one hit, but it’s a FRICKIN’ GUARANTEED STUN. He may just need one swing, but that’s an equivalent of your skull head completely cracking or shattering with a single swing from a muscular super powerful hammer… right in the face. And in any case he gets the privilege to do a Fatality? One single hammer swing and his enemy gets torn into pieces. Especially in the reboot where he’s once again this super cheap boss and will do that over and over to you because you just keep losing against him until his difficulty was lowered enough.
I think I can understand why a lot of people hate him about his cheapness.
But really, as much as that’s how it is, Shao Kahn really shows that the hammer can be such an extremely brutal destroying and wrecking weapon at the hands of people evil enough. It’s just that he showcases it by wrecking human bodies with it in a most gory fashion. Oh sure, he’s constructing something with it… constructing his rule throughout all verses, that is. It makes him a very terrifying being to face, but also seals his place as the #6 Hammer Expert in video game history.
There’s no shortage of hammer smackers when it comes to MOBA genre. League of Legends is no exception. Well, when it comes to hammer and League of Legends, I’m very sure that you might be thinking of… Jayce, yes?
You thought it was Jayce, but it was…!
(Sorry, didn’t have enough editing skill to photoshop Dio in)
Okay, now let’s get some things straight. If this list is made in the past, maybe I would agree that Jayce would be in. But then, finally Riot redesigned Poppy’s old kit and my oh my, now she does things about hammers even better and also comes with a lot of ‘protector’ symbolisms. So remember that one time I said about having a few people who fulfilled the archetype of ‘anime style girl, with hammer’? Well, this is one of them. League has several anime influence enough, Poppy even gets a Magical Girl/Star Guardian skin which boosts up her hammer even more. But enough about that, let’s see how Poppy goes as a hammerer. Now, not before.
So as the new lore goes, Poppy was actually a more different kind of Yordle who’s not as whimsical as the others, preferring order. Fascinated with how humans exhibits order via discipline, she ends up following a certain human named Orlon, who was actually a soldier of Demacia. She actually has enough martial skills to match up with him, and so was taken in as a companion. On Orlon’s deathbed, Poppy was given his hammer, where he said it was meant for a hero that will save Demacia. Poppy has been looking for that hero, protecting that hammer until it goes to the proper hand. Though maybe… maybe she actually didn’t need to look since she could be that hero… but her rather low ego wouldn’t let her admit that.
So as stated, since hammers tend to be given to characters that are by nature to be protectors, I would say that the new Poppy symbolizes this even more than Jayce. Even if Jayce’s title was ‘Defender of the Future’, thus he’s protecting the future, his play style seems to be more geared to offense and eliminating enemies. Poppy now is a more proper tank that can soak up a lot of damage with her passive from Steadfast Presence making her more durable as the game goes on. In addition, that skill will actively block off anyone who dashes to her, furthering her protective ability to both herself and others. Offensively, she can use her Hammer Shock to erupt the ground for initial damage and later again after a second delay. She can also corner enemies using the Heroic Charge, which means more times for a hammer smack, especially if the charge pushes the enemy to a wall, in which they get extra damage and stunned.
What makes her truly shine as a great hammer expert is her new Ultimate, Keeper’s Verdict. After charging and spinning her hammer, Poppy will then smash the ground so hard it creates a shockwave that when it hits an enemy, it creates an image of a hammer smacking the enemies upwards. When not fully charged, it will just normally knock up. But when fully charged… it sends the enemy flying WAAAAY too far to the direction of their fountain. Yep, whenever you pull this off, just imagine that this plays.
So yeah, the new update REALLY did wonders on Poppy, who was not really putting a good use of her hammer. It shows not only how she evolved, but how Riot has evolved in designing their game. Enough that I see it fit to declare her the #5 best Hammer Expert in Video Game history.
Yes, we’re still on topic of this whole ‘Anime-style Girl with big hammer’. You can start guessing this time…
Amy Rose, maybe? Well, she looks anime enough, even for Sonic style. But nope. Not this girl.
And we’re back to the Legend of Dragoon AGAIN. The more I dig and reminiscence about this game, the more I realize that this game has huge potential for countdowns like this. Really really one of the more underrated games out there. Well if the game is this, and the topic is about hammers, well I guess it’s pretty guessable on who takes the spot… This hyperactive dancer girl named Meru.
Well you might say that a girl as petite as her wouldn’t be able to hold her own with her hammer that’s probably way too big for her size, but don’t worry, she pulls that off just fine. Meru pretty much took the stereotype of a ‘hyper anime girl with a hammer’ and then ran– ahem, flew with it. The first time she’s seen, she’s just this hyperactive dancer girl trying to fight off the threat of bandits surrounding Tiberoa, and just tags along with Dart’s company because they’re fending them off in addition of uncovering a secret about Tiberoa’s royal family. She stuck WAY longer than necessary, ending with her inheriting the Blue Sea Dragoon Spirit and THEN getting revealed as one of the Winglies, a magic-attuned race of people with wings. Yep, a girl with platinum hair kinda stands out when everyone else has normal-colored hair.
It gets a bit more complicated than that, while Meru really shows herself to be a very cheerful and active girl that can make a lot of hilarious moments because of her childishness, she’s actually hiding a rather depressing part of running away from home and rejected by her own people and the fear of being rejected by her friends. Especially when the Winglies… well, I digress. We’re here to talk about hammer usage, not a character’s depth. Maybe the time shall come one day. Maybe.
Anyway! For the most part that I have explained, Hammer experts in battle tends to carry a really big hammer, and thus are more on the slow-but-strong spectrum of balance. Meru, on the other hand…? While certainly her hammer has a longer handle and it does carry a lot of weight despite the not-so-large size… She’s actually the group’s speedster. She does sacrifice the blow of her hammer strength for more speed, but when you consider she’s actually a dancer by trade, it kind of make sense that she’d rather not be encumbered. Plus it does good to showcase her personality which can be described as ‘full of energy’, no way she’d be held down by the hammer’s weight! Of course there are times that the weight got better of her, making her fall down because of that, but that has never been a serious problem.
Of course that ‘weight’ problem goes away when she activates her Blue Sea Dragoon Spirit, becoming a Dragoon that has an increased hammer weight size and because of the Dragoon’s wings, she can pretty much take it airborne and strike at will with them.
A hammer speedster is not exactly known, especially if they’re using similar-sized hammers instead of those smaller in size, but somehow Meru made it work, and this is also doing a good job in showcasing not only her dancer profession (Dancing with a hammer. How does that even…) but also her very bright and lovable (if a bit childish) personality. It doesn’t help that while she didn’t start out impressive, she goes better as she levels up, making the force of her hammer something to be reckoned with, in addition of having some extra depths beneath her cheeriness. All of it solidifies that Meru is really the #4 Hammer Experts in Video Games… and one of the more underrated ones.
Of course everybody knows who Thor is… Wait, no, not the Marvel interpretation, but it does have a big publication to make the name and the Norse Mythology become more known. Thor is the son of Odin and well known for his hammer Mjolnir, in addition of his might and cunning. Ever loyal to his father and protecting mankind from danger, Thor has been known to fight off Frost Giants on daily basis with his mighty Mjolnir, a hammer that can be thrown and return back to his hand, and also call forth the power of lightning. Well, those facts would be enough to make him one of the mightiest Gods amongst the Norse Aesir, and made him one of the premiere Gods amongst the mythology, not just on Marvel. Because really, he’s actually one of the nicer ones and doesn’t harm humans, he protects them too.
And so here’s Thor, Hi-Rez edition. That beard? Check. Mjolnir at hand? Check. How mighty? Well, he’s designated as an Assassin, so he does specialize in killing others quickly with his Mjolnir, and these fit his brave and bold personality. Nope, no hiding or tricks (that’s for Loki), it’s just him and you and his hammer. Well SPEAKING OF THAT… Yeah, Thor’s title is the God of Thunder, but really? Most of his kit seems to revolve more about how much he can bash Mjolnir to something. If it wasn’t for his old title, he might as well be called ‘God of Hammers’! Still, it’s not completely false though, considering everytime Thor activated his Mjolnir, sparks of lightning and thunder fly around it, so the more he swings that hammer, he’s also calling in thunder to attack with him. In a way, Mjolnir becomes something of a conduit of thunder that he swings on a daily basis.
Yeah, like I said, Thor LIKES swinging his hammer. Like the legend says, Mjolnir can return to his hand when thrown with Mjolnir’s Attunement, damaging enemies on the way out and back. Oh and it doesn’t mean it’s the hammer that always returns, sometimes Thor is just so attuned to his hammer that he can teleport right into Mjolnir’s location to grab it. A smack of Mjolnir on the ground can also generate a Tectonic Rift in front of Thor, making rocks come out and block any attempts of passing and stunning anyone caught in it. It’s quite essential for Thor to not just stun enemies with it, but with proper positioning, he can pretty much make them cornered for his allies to catch up and kill.
Or he can just get there himself and start to spin to win with his Mjolnir. I mean, using the Berserker Barrage, but the spirit’s the same, it’s the token ‘spinning attack’ every MOBAs have. But since Thor is an Assassin… well, those spins have a higher chance to actually KILL his target, and even moreso if there are more enemies around him, since this will activate his Warrior Madness passive, that increases his strength the more enemies are around him. Just hope they don’t gather to exactly stunlock or kill him.
In addition of this, what makes his hammer a really excellent crushing tool is his ultimate Anvil of the Dawn. Basically taking to the high sky while spinning his hammer, until eventually choosing a spot in a very wide range where he’ll drop the hammer down in a might that in his own words, “To shatter mountains.”, and stunning surrounding enemies in his landing place and setting them up to be smacked away with any of his hammer skills. Usually that Berserker Barrage. This gives Thor a really good tool to chase up enemies that are isolated, then proceed with the smacking.
With Mjolnir at hand, as mighty as a mountain-shattering force and as fast as lightning, Thor might not be the sturdiest God around, but the blows of his hammer can prove to be deadly, quick enough to kill anyone caught in its way. Even if his title is not the God of Hammers, because his skills isn’t about calling thunder anywhere else but smacking with his hammer (granted, like I explained above, it’s probably thunder taking form of a hammer), Thor lives up with his Frost Giant (and other Gods)-slaying expertise with his hammer, thus his interpretation in Smite (not Marvel vs Capcom) gets him the place as the #3 Top Hammer Experts in Video Games.
OK, now let’s get back to the old symbolism of hammers. In particular, the one about constructing something. Okay, that might be stretching it, but it’s something.
In Warcraft, the Orcish Horde was once led by the leader of the Blackhand clan, Rend Blackhand, before being taken by Orgrim Doomhammer who wields the mighty hammer known as the name of his family, in fact his family name is named after this hammer. Doomhammer would become a prominent leader figure of the Orcs, until he perished untimely and handed it down to the young Orc Thrall, who would re-discover the shamanistic origins of the Orcs, instead of the demon-possessed bloodthirsty orcs of that day. Thrall would reunite the Orc clans and leading them to found the modern Horde, one that is based on honor, shamanism and bonds. Not only he was the Warchief of the Horde, and the best known at that, he’s also currently a World Shaman, ready to defend the catastrophe that endangers Azeroth with his Doomhammer at hand to channel the spirits and elements.
So yes, if you didn’t get the note yet, this spot belongs to Thrall. As stated, with his hammer at hand being the Warchief of the Horde, you may say that he IS actually constructing the foundation of the new Horde, which actually turned out spectacular and paved way to the popular portrayals that Orcs can be more than a race of simple-minded brutes. Also having his youth spent in gladiator combats, it gives him a great deal of physical strength and experience to back up his leadership qualities. That’s not to say he’s perfect, he also made mistakes, big ones at that. But that seems to make him more relatable, nobody’s perfect after all, even when he’s derided as this ‘Green Jesus’. Ooh no no, Thrall’s not even close. But I digress.
So as the one who wields the mighty Doomhammer, Thrall has seen combat a lot. In his game debut in Warcraft 3, he’s designated as a Far Seer, so he’s mostly using his Doomhammer to channel down lightning or various shaman spells. He could have used his gladiator skills, but in the theme of the Orcs getting their redemption and trying to stay in touch with shamanism, I think it is imperative that Thrall sets a good example for all those Orcs that are more into physical force.
He also had a stint in the old Dota, of the class Disruptor… But by the time he appeared there, I was rarely in touch with Dota, and when Dota 2 comes, he’s replaced by Disruptor the Stormcaller. Same guy gameplay-wise, but focusing on pure lightning power instead of additionally bashing them in the face… Well, Thrall wasn’t doing the bashing before, but we’ll get to that later.
As the time goes on, Thrall also starts sparingly using his Doomhammer to smack people in the body in addition of using it to channel shaman spells. For instance, in Hearthstone, the Doomhammer appears as an Epic weapon card that can attack twice a turn, it’s also an exclusive weapon for Shaman Classes, mainly represented by… Thrall. But if I have to say, the time where Thrall uses his hammer best and at full force is his appearance in Heroes of the Storm.
Because in this game, Thrall doesn’t just use the Doomhammer to channel magic, but it’s actually his main form of combat to smack it to other heroes’ bodies. Yes, he can still use his hammer to channel a Chain Lightning, or it’s indirectly used to summon the Feral Spirit to root any caught enemy in place, but he can also enhances it with the Windfury, allowing him to channel the wind’s swiftness to himself and move quicker (apparently walking while spinning his hammer on one hand will do that to him), and for the next three strikes, he strikes faster. This is usually how Thrall majorly deal damage, root the enemy with the Feral Spirit, then come up close to smack them with a Windfury-enhanced Doomhammer. And with some proper talent like Tempest Fury, the last one will strike three times in one swing. How does a hammer do that? It’s the elements, I don’t even need to explain thing.
Oh and there are other ways for Thrall to bring his hammer down, usually at the expense of the Earth itself. Thrall can smack his hammer to the ground for a Sundering, and the ground erupts greatly it creates earth spikes that not only stuns any enemies caught in, it also temporarily blocks the path. Yeah, kind of like Thor’s Tectonic Rift when it’s made into an ultimate skill, and if it’s talented, Thrall can make the eruption go waaaay to the end of the map. In one single drop. Alternatively, he can put his hammer down lightly, and still deliver a massive periodic Earthquake to an area around him, slowing down enemies and causing periodic damages, overall just disrupting their teamfight capabilities. When the game is heavy on team fighting, this can prove deadly.
Through good and bad times, Thrall has always been to me the true owner of the Doomhammer and he’s one of the best to use it. Sure, there are some… technical difficulty in the Legion expansion, but still, the image of Thrall with the Doomhammer has been entrenched in my mind and he can utilize it in many ways with or without the help of the elements and he has done it to liberate and pave the way for the future of the Orcs ever since he became the Warchief of the Horde. And with that also came the mighty power that comes with hammers that can rival even Gods alike, making him my #2 Hammer Expert in video game history.
Finally I get to talk about something I’ve been meaning to talk about in awhile.
Man, Blizzard hits the jackpot once again with this game. This is a Team Fortress 2-inspired game, but while the gameplay are somewhat similar, in my opinion, everything else is improved that I wouldn’t mind paying the price (not to mention, it’s more ping-friendly here in SE Asia). But most importantly, the characters too. I mean I understand that Team Fortress 2 also have a very colorful cast, but it’s the same and also more in Overwatch, lots of lovable characters with varying personalities and varying gameplay too! But I digress.
Now, if you remember what I said in the beginning… I know the most popular phrase when it comes to hammer stuffs is “Hammer time!”… but I don’t say that. Why is that? Because when it comes to hammers, it’s not “Hammer time!” to me… It’s…
Yes, I guess it’s obvious now on who’s in. Reinhardt Wilhelm hands down is one of the finest hammer men in video games I’ve come across. In a shooter game where mostly everyone has guns or ranged attack, he’s like “Screw that, Imma smacking hammers from close range!”. He’s the guy who brings a hammer in a gunfight, and still comes off as a dangerous foe that no mere shot can stop him. A swing of his hammer is a strike to be feared, and with his stature, and combined with THAT kind of armor he’s wearing, each strikes of his hammer is really going to hurt.
Reinhardt is a German knight in shiny metal armor who is pretty much the oldest cast of Overwatch, and have been serving the Overwatch group since day one, armed with his rocket-powered and aptly named ‘Rocket Hammer’. He’s a man who thinks like a chivalrous medieval knight, and always keeping the moral fiber of his team, in addition of protecting the innocents when he can, all he does is only for the pursuit of righteousness and justice. Unfortunately due to age factor and certain incidents, he was told to retire against his will. With Reinhardt’s departure, Overwatch slowly started to fall apart with in-fighting and corruption, but for Reinhardt, that’s hardly the time to just retire. He picked up his armor set again and ventures throughout Europe and maybe the world too, fighting any sorts of evil that he came across.
One of the things I like about Reinhardt is that he’s a man of morals and his words, he’s genuine in his altruism and actively trying to fight off corruption when he can, and he doesn’t discriminate. It’s one of those things where thinking old fashioned and justice works very well, and in a way, he’s trying to protect the moral fiber of… anything he comes across, and in a good way as well instead of forcing it to everyone’s throats. It doesn’t help that his performance as an overenthusiastic knight grandpa is also enjoyable. But I digress. That’ll be for another time.
With stature and armor that massive and the size of his hammer, Reinhardt is pretty much one of the slowest characters in the game. And again, in a shooter game, Reinhardt’s preference on a massive hammer is usually a hindrance, but in his case? Not so much. While as a tank, he’s most commonly used as a shielder, providing shield for his team, he can pretty much swing his hammer on the sky and creating a shockwave that goes through everything, even other shields, just as a testament of how mighty he swings his hammer. While not exactly the most mobile hero, he can actually speed things up by using Charge, where he dashes in a semi-straight line and anyone caught in the center will be pushed with him and crashing to a wall means instant death. Mostly. But that’s also often used as a way to close the gap, and when that time comes, it’s time for him to start swinging his hammer, either to just eliminate targets or causing ruckus so his friends can capitalize. Because really, not only Reinhardt himself is beefy and tough even without shields, those hammer strikes HURT as hell, and being put on a 1st person view, this means you get to see firsthand how much he swings and smacks away the enemies with his hammer. That is the feeling of how a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut just got into your team, if he wasn’t unflinchingly walking towards you. And even sweeter if an allied Ana just administered a Nano-Boost on Reinhardt, he’s not just a hammer-swinging juggernaut, he’s pretty much a hammer-swinging killing machine.
And of course, there’s also his ultimate Earthshatter, where he smacks his hammer to the ground so hard, the earth shatters and everyone in front of him falls down to the ground, unable to get up. And that means even more time for Reinhardt to have the fullest time to start whacking everyone like a nail, because when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
He’s not exactly the most variative guy to use his hammer, but everything about Reinhardt oozes about hammer swings and how it even brings fear to a cast that’s mostly using ranged weapons. Sorry, no Indiana Jones shooting will stop him. And I also love it that his hammer and appearance puts a great blend on the medieval theme he’s following and the modern technology. With just hammer in hand, he can make a difference about victory and defeat, hammering down injustice where he comes to dispense the knightly code of valor he lived by. Because sometimes, having more doesn’t mean everything, but what he has so far truly lived up the philosophy of the hammer, the one to protect others, to either construct (good moral fiber) or shatter (evil). It is without a doubt to me that Reinhardt, the mighty knight with big hammer, is the ultimate #1 Hammer Expert in Video Games.
I am ChrisX and… *sigh* fine. ‘Hammer time’ is over. Time to put the hammer down (Ha!).