A deep dive into what makes us tick and what we've learned over the last 13 years...

We all know that video game goons have it rough. Can you count how many generic enemies you’ve mown down in your quest to reach the end credits? I would bet no, and if you say yes then you’ve either only played a single game in your life, you’re lying, or you’re really good at record keeping. 

Bill Rizer, a true American hero. Lance Bean would like us to note that he is also a true American hero, and he would've been present here but I wasn't playing in coop.

So here’s the thing. I was playing through Arcade mode of the new Contra: Operation Galuga for the twelfth time the other day and it got me thinking; who are all these people I just pepper with bullets and dash past without a spare thought? It’s called a ‘run ‘n’ gun’ game for a reason after all; because you do a lot of running AND gunning. So on my next playthrough, I decided to slow it all down, take a breath, and ask questions first then shoot later. So accompanied by leading man Bill Rizer, I decided to stop and ask some henchmen: who are you, who were you, and what will you do next?

Professional MtG player and eager cannon fodder Herbert Meatshield.

Meet Herbert Meatshield. He was placed on the very front lines of the battlefield known as ‘Stage 1’. “I’m a terrible shot,” Herbert told us. “They put me up front because if you die to me, it’s an easy and quick way to know that the game isn’t for you.

“What did I do before? I was a professional Magic: The Gathering player, but I lost my edge and fancied a change.”

When we asked what’s next for Herbert Meatshield, he smiled. “I’m sticking around. There’s constant action. It’s not like being one of those guys in Stages 7 or 8 who might spend an entire shift never encountering a player cos they’ve already given up. I’m pretty much constantly engaging in gunfights. So go ahead, stay still and let me cost you a life!”

We deftly avoided his bullets, peppered him with machine gun fire, and moved on. 

Beefjeff Leonard. You have have seen them around.

Next up, we encountered Beefjeff Leonard. Beefjeff Leonard previously found fame playing BB-8 in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, but moved on from the franchise after a labor dispute. 

“I found out that the Porgs were earning more than me,” Leonard told us. “I was supposed to be the cute mascot, but each of those creepy chicken things was getting paid almost double what I was. So after filming on Rise of Skywalker wrapped. I walked. Or, well, rolled. 

“When they asked me to play a flamethrower droid in Contra, I jumped at the chance.” Leonard said. “Well. Sorta launched myself off a ramp at the chance.”

What’s next for Leonard? Well they can’t say too much, but there’s rumors that a certain Beach Volleyball series might be making a return in the near future. 

Bob Zombie. Not to be confused with any other zombies.

Continuing our journey, we met with Robert ‘Bob’ Zombie, an undead minion who explodes into a pile of dangerous green goo when killed.

“First off, I had the name before he did,” Robert Zombie told us. “I’ve heard every Dragula joke imaginable. So don’t even try. And I go by Bob, not Rob, so you can’t mix us up.”

Bob Zombie has a storied and impressive past. Getting his big break in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters, he went on to star in other hit zombie tales like Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, Zombie Flesh Eaters 3, Dawn of the Dead, Dead Island, and the Resident Evil franchise. In fact, eagle-eyed fans might recognize him as Taz, the zombie found eating Kenneth in the first Resi game. 

“I’m not sure what I’ll do after this,” Bob Zombie admits. “I’m not the young, fresh corpse I used to be. Some days I’m convinced my body’s falling apart!”

He has become Death, destroyer of 1UPs.

The penultimate stop on our tour of Contra: Operation Galuga henchmen was Stage 5, the Ice Train. Here we interviewed Kevin Nukechafer. Due to the fact that Kevin suffers from a medical condition which requires him to run forward while carrying a missile at all times, it was a rushed conversation. “Naturally I was the first person they called for ‘man running right carrying a nuke!’” he screamed at us, while running right and carrying a nuke. “I’m the only one qualified! Before this I worked as Cillian Murphy’s stunt double in Oppenheimer! After this, I’m doing some greenscreen work for the Fallout TV show!”

Moments later, Kevin Nukechafter tripped on a pebble, causing the nuke he was carrying to explode. We sped off on our bike to avoid the fallout, but have since been assured by Production that Kevin was just fine, and is currently auditioning for a Serious Sam sequel. 

Squark Glarblestrook, leviathan of the stage and screen.

Our final conversation was with Squark Glarblestrook, a hideous cyst made of extraterrestrial flesh found deep within Stage 7, the Alien Hive. 

“Usually this is not the kind of work I’m drawn to,” Glarblestrook admitted. “As a classically trained actor with a storied history of stage and screen work, I often find myself typecast in certain roles. Romeo, Macbeth, Willy Loman, the typical grandiose leading men. So when I got this job offer, my dear friend Ian - Sir Ian McKellen, of course - told me to go for it. ‘Grab life by the pustules, Squark old bean!’ he told me. So I did. And that’s why I’m here, spitting purple goo at anyone who dares to challenge Kimkoh, the end of level boss!”

With its stint in video games nearing an end, Glarblestrook told us that it intends to return to the stage. “I hear they’re planning a new run of Mean Girls: The Musical,” Glarblestrook mused. “I think I would play an absolutely fabulous Regina George.”

We can only agree.

Gromaides, who appears annoyed about something.

Join us next time as we talk to regular series antagonist Gromaides, as she ruminates on her ill-fated appearance on Undercover Boss. 


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