Belcha: A Tribute

I got to thinking the other day. No, I mean I got to really thinking. The kind of thinking that involves a good long sit and your hand to your chin, with your head cocked up to the ceiling. You know what I discovered in my hours of thought process? Most people will just never reach greatness. Seriously. People die everyday, and nobody notices. The world is set on fire by only a certain few. For every Albert Einstein, there are 500 Gummy McHillbillies living in the Ozarks. For every Martin Luther King Junior, there are 1,000 hopeless alkies sitting barechested at a college football game in chilly Autumn weather. Would the world be any different if these people were never born? It's hard to say, but the only difference would probably be that somebody else would be born in their place. Depressing? You bet it is, but it's the cold hard truth.

There's even varying degrees of not giving a damn about somebody. For example, somebody might have moderate success as an actor, but they'll never reach icon status such as a Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise. You may think, "Hell, I'd still rather be Dave Coulier than a guy who lives his life as a hobo and freezes to death in a fetal position!" You may be right, but how do you think Dave Coulier feels about the whole thing? I mean, Dave Coulier is below Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell on the food chain at the moment. That's not just sad, that's suicidal sad. So while being Dave Coulier may seem tempting to average folk, it could very well suck for Mr. Belding. In the larger scheme of things, that probably means being anything less than Mr. Belding means eternal nothingness (as Mr. Belding was mentioned in the New Testament as the eternal standard...somewhere in the King James Version, I believe).

We can pretty much apply the Mr. Belding Scale of Non-Animosity to anything. Soft drinks (with Cheerwine and Dr. Wells ranking low), television shows (Boston Commons? Hearts Afire? I don't think so), and even videogame characters. In fact, videogame characters work perfectly with the Mr. Belding Scale of Non-Animosity. Mario, Link, Sonic, and Mega Man are all prime examples of topping the Scale. They star in their own popular games, and will forever be known as industry icons. However, some characters will just never make it big, and they know it. Unlike the Conkers and Banjos of the world, they won't ever have any hope of building up to starring role status. Even their chances of being a sidekick are non-existent. The Donkey Kong Universe is chock full of these characters.

Working for a Donkey Kong Universe site, I have to deal with these characters nearly everyday. For a few hours each day, these characters become my life (whether I like it or not). After my Mr. Belding epiphany, I began to think about all of these characters that were either created by Rare Ltd. or one of the companies that make the cameo games that would never get their just due. I realize that it would be impossible to give each and every character their own game (who would want to buy an adventure starring Harry from Mario Golf, after all). Still, I felt like it was my duty to do something about this. What, you may ask? Well, if haven't figured it out by reading the title of this Feature yet, I pity you.

Belcha is most certainly a character that will never obtain any degree of videogame character succuss. He was in Donkey Kong Country 3 as the first boss in the game, but he hasn't done anything else. Rare will probably only use him again whenever they remake DKC3 for a portable game system or what have you. Seriously, how can you get far when your name is Belcha? How can you get far if you're a giant barrel, for cripes sake? Not only that, but Belcha is a villain. One of the unspoken laws of videogame character roles is that the only villains that are used frequently are the big bosses (Ganon, Bowser, and K. Rool). Some of their boss henchmen will appear in two or three games, but eventually they'll be forgotten (see: Koopa Kids). So while there are countless characters I could have payed tribute to in my sad attempt to make up for their meaningless character careers, I decided to tackle Belcha. He's not only one of the DKU's lost causes, he's quite frankly an embarrassment. I felt sorry for him the most (and in a way, I felt sorry for whoever at Rare designed him), so I decided to devote an entire Feature to him. Although when you read this you should think Belcha, you should also think of all the other DKU characters that will never have a successful career in the videogame industry. This Feature is not only for Belcha, it's for all of them.

What can we say about Belcha? He's obviously a giant living barrel that works for the Kremling Army. Belcha was the guardian of Lake Orangatanga, and he belched out Knik Knaks that you had to toss back in his mouth. His belches were force him backwards, until he trapped himself in a small pit. Then you'd get a Bonus Coin, and forget all about Belcha. You bastards! Luckily, Rare did throw in one more Belcha reference before you'd beat DKC3 and toss it beside your other games. Belcha's name came up whenever you got the Gyrocopter from Funky, and flew above a secret cave with a Banana Bird frozen inside that was dubbed "Belcha's Burrow." Sadly, Belcha references were no more.

It's not to say that Rare did anything wrong with forgetting abou Belcha. Honestly, what could you have done with his character? I've already listed the reasons why he'll never make it much further then where he's already gotten. Yet, we here at the Vine respect the guy, as we respect all the characters (that is, as we respect all the characters if they were actually physical specimens and not pixels or polygons that we can move, interact with, look at, or do damage to). So with that, here's a fruity poem devoted to the master of curved wood.

Entering our souls with compassion.
Lubrication not needed.
Chirping? I don't think so.
Head same as body.
And steel rimmed, too!

Belcha is pretty limited in what you can about him. In any event, I hope you've learned an important lesson by reading this. You're probably not even as famous as Belcha is, so don't take for granted the little people who don't rank well compared to Mr. Belding. The world is mostly made up of this, so don't scoff. Instead, love. Love Belcha. Love yourself. Love Cheerwine.

The next time you eat broccoli, think of Belcha. Why broccoli? We have to associate Belcha with something to make you remember him. Seriously, if you think of Belcha everytime you eat a honkin' piece of green spongy vegetable, then perhaps Belcha's existence won't quite be as miserable (ala Dave Coulier).

We pretty much have Dave Coulier pegged to kill himself, don't we?

A SirSlush2 Duction