There’s nothing more depressing than using bud and video games to escape your problems, only to realize that you’ve unlocked a new set of weed-related issues in the digital universe you veered into. It’s an increasing problem in the gaming industry -- marijuana has always been cool, and your favorite videogames want to hop on the ganja bandwagon. However when the virtual marijuana you inhale causes more stress in both the video game realm and your world, it’s just downright depressing.
Behold, our definitive list of The Top 10 Most Depressing Weed Moments in Video Game History:
10. Farcry 3 -- Burning down the evil and corrupt weed farm
Hey, we all know the worst weed is the weed grown by murderous pirates on a remote island that have kidnapped all of your friends and killed your brother. In Farcry 3 you play as Jason Brody, a guy assigned an impossible task when you’re forced to become a warrior with mystical tattoos in order to save your friends from being sold as slaves. To disrupt the operation of the island of pirates, you locate their vast outdoor weed farms and decide to ignite their cannabis crops in a fiery ball of awesome. Throughout the blaze, the game throws on Damian “Jr Gong” Marley’s ‘Make it bun dem’ featuring none other than the almighty Skrillex dropping the beats. If you’re going to roast a marijuana field, it better be to some dubstep.
9. The Walking Dead: 400 Days -- Dude, where is the weed?!
In the zombie apocalypse fresh weed will be the most highly-sought after item on the planet -- right next to cans of Spam, machetes, sniper rifle ammo and irradiated apples. Now just imagine going to your stash only to realize that your precious bud is missing.
It happens in TellTale Games’ follow-up DLC to their original award-winning ‘The Walking Dead: Season One.’ In The Walking Dead: 400 Days, you get the opportunity (inconvenience) to play the role of Wyatt, a guy that’s just 41 days into the worst zombie film he’s ever seen and is on the run with his friend Eddie driving some beat-up Oldsmobile-like car. Just think mid-'90s soccer mom. As you’re both on the road, Eddie asks you to reach into the glove box to find his bag of sticky. The only problem is that there’s no weed, and judging by Nate’s reaction, it’s a pretty big problem.
(4:20 mark, seriously!)
8. Saint’s Row 2 -- Smoking weed is bad for your vision, in more ways than one
Many of you know Saint’s Row from being the blatant knockoff of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto franchise -- a sandbox game that allows you to do a plethora of illegal activities with a light glaze of ridiculousness thrown on top. Aside from being able to buy whatever street drug you could think of over the counter, your character can also purchase and ingest weed. However when you do smoke your newly-acquired green, the entire screen turns into a strange wavy effect -- like you’re a gold fish inside of a bowl looking out on the world you will never be able to experience. If that wasn’t depressing enough, if police catch you blazing up they’ll pepper spray you on sight -- which only makes your sight even that more impaired. Life just isn’t fair on Saint’s Row, at least not for the digital stoner.
7. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas -- Burning your hippie friend’s crops of green
Here we are, yet another incredibly depressing scenario in which you have to scorch valuable buds, but this time in Grand Theft Auto III: San Andreas, we’re doing it to protect our buddy (known as The Truth) from the government after we hear federal helicopters approach his marijuana farm. The Truth tosses you a fully-fueled flame thrower and asks for your help in destroying the plants before the Narcs arrive. Yeah it’s a pretty convoluted plot, but the game assumes that everyone playing is a fourth grader with a short attention span when instructions come up that read ‘to burn a wield field, cover it in flames.’
If you’re handy enough with your incendiary device, you’ll have enough time to run back to your friend’s multi-colored RV but unfortunately there’s a fed chopper hovering above. The Truth may be a peace-loving hippie, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t own an RPG with ten rockets nearby. After he passes you the RPG, you need to blast the helicopter, along with the pilot who probably will never say goodbye to his wife and kids -- all because you’re an asshole with a rocket launder. Shame on you.
6. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon -- Winners don’t do drugs
The original Far Cry 3 game made it on the number ten spot of our list of ‘The Top Ten Most Depressing Weed Moments in Videogame History,’ and now the '80s science-fiction-inspired DLC has yet another overly depressing moment that centers around cannabis. In reality it could be any drug since we don’t know what type of altered substance has been concocted in the distant future.
The game pokes fun at the cyberpunk future depicted in all of those mid-'80s sci-fi flicks that flooded VHS stores across the US. Your character is actually a cybernetically-enhanced bad ass that chooses to give the enemy a metallic middle finger when you’re low on ammo. The throwbacks to that era in film making are innumerable, and when your character is forced to take a drug that will grant him the same powers as his arch enemy, we’re presented with a classic ‘winners don’t do drugs’ message with a waving American Flag and the Statue of Liberty in the background. What a jingoistic bummer.
5. Police Quest 2
Chances are you’ve never played Police Quest 2, but if you’re a big enough geek then you’ve probably heard about its over-the-top plotline being mocked somewhere on the interwebs. The game takes place in 1988 in the heart of some fictional town in California called Lytton. The entire game is split up between SWAT and terrorists campaigns -- just a really elaborate form of good guys vs. bad guys. It goes without saying (or perhaps it doesn’t since I’m saying it now), but the ‘weed’ portion of the game happens only when you play as a terrorist.
In Police Quest 2 you play as a terrorist named Basho, the leader of a really cheesy terrorist group known as "Five Eyes." In one particular mission you’re alerted that some of your terrorist goons are growing and distributing marijuana and that the SWAT team is in transit to kill you because despite the numerous amount of police officers you’ve slain and structural chaos you’ve caused in California, growing weed is just taking it to an unparalleled level of wrong.
Your character has the daunting task of destroying the marijuana fields but when you nearly kill a little girl in the process, the next mission depends solely on getting the kid to the hospital in time in order to get treated. Police Quest 2 wants the world to believe that if you grow weed, there’s a chance you will kill an innocent girl in the process. That’s deep.
We don’t have a video of the actual mission, but we do have this clip of a British guy mumbling about Police Quest 2, if you’re into that sort of thing.
4. American Laser Games’ Space Pirates
So how many of you remember those laser disc video games that came out in the early '90s which armed little kids across America with laser guns that somehow by the magic of television could tell if you accurately hit a target? To this day I still can’t quite grasp the technology used in those things -- I mean how does it know if you’ve hit anything when everything is pre-recorded?
Nevertheless through some digital pagan ritual that I’m not sophisticated enough to understand, games like Space Pirates existed, and its flamboyantly stupid nature was only punctuated by its strong anti-drug message.
We’re not going to give your brain a tumor from explaining the sci-fi based story to you, but just know that if you screw up, this Space Pirate will remind you that whatever post-apocalyptic scenario you’re in, if you’re winning then you simply won’t do drugs.
That’s right; his message was so intense that it needed a friggin’ exploding skull to really drive it home. Of course the most depressing thing about it is that skull can never be turned into a bong.
3. Battlefield Bad Company 2 -- The story of a grandmother and her bong
First off it’s important to note that in the universe of first-person military shooters, the Call of Duty franchise will always be checkers to Battlefield’s chess. Remember that the next time your friend goes on about how fun Call of Duty is -- the game isn’t real. Jean Baudarillard would say Call of Duty exists to make you believe the rest of the world is real, that’s how existentially fake it is.
Sure Call of Duty may have weed-inspired character titles, but it pales in comparison to the moment in Battlefield Bad Company 2 when in the highly-underrated Vietnam DLC pack your character listens to a conversation about how your friend’s grandmother nearly burned down her trailer after she took a bong rip while watching the Super Bowl. If being behind enemy lines wasn’t depressing enough, now you have to hear about an elderly woman nearly burning herself alive after hitting some Acapulco Gold.
2. Grand Theft Auto V -- Toking with Franklin
Everyone has those friends that you never want to be stoned around. You know the type, finishes a bowl and then talks about how much of an ass they were to their ex-girlfriend or how they’ve failed their parents. Those same people are likely to reassure their own self-worth by proclaiming blatantly profound statements after their rampant self-defacing, statements like ‘Wait, I’m still awesome’ and ‘I’m the shit.’
You would need a medical degree to truly get down to the root of their mental problems, and fortunately Grand Theft Auto V comes with its very own psychiatrist that one of your three playable characters can see for a hefty fee. However when you play as Franklin in GTA V and decide to smoke a bomber, things quickly turn down a spiral of depression and the absurd -- and somehow always ends up with you thinking about your ex-girlfriend.
1. NARC -- Weed is the problem with everything in the world
In 1988 the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed in America and a year after, FBI director William S. Sessions made a deal with Robert Fay of the American Amusement Machine Association to encourage the video game industry to support his newly-signed act by slapping labels on games as well as integrating anti-drug messages within gameplay. This mentality infamously led to the game NARC being created and pushed into every arcade across the country.
NARC threw players in a futuristic world in which Washington DC has authorized "Max Force" and "Hit Man" to use lethal force on all drug traffickers and users. The game offered players the ability to ‘detain’ enemies or one could chose the easier and more entertaining method and liquefy enemies into a pool of blood and organs. The game was ultra-violent, and the most disturbing part is that the same violence was solely directed towards drug users, even stoners.
In one part of the game, you infiltrate a seemingly peaceful weed operation with guns a blazing as the workers also exchange bullets with you in one of the most over-the-top and depressing weed moments in video game history.
After you’ve eviscerated the entire facility with machine guns and rocket launchers, players are scored on how many plants they kept as evidence, which appear to be over-sized bonsai trees housed in dog bowls.