The Sun makes it possible for life here on Earth, but it does have a dark side. Some video games have seen the advantage of making a large burning ball of gas a threat to the player. Whether It's how the night-day cycle screws up the game world or the heat being able to kill the player off, there is really no joking around when it comes to the Sun.
Perhaps the unique thing about the Sun being a force in the game is that it's a mechanic you can rarely ignore or defeat with a weapon. It's a force of nature, and while it gives us plenty of warmth, it can ruin our day in a big way as well.
8/8 Super Mario Bros. 3
Yes, Super Mario Bros. specifically has a sun that chases you. Nothing quite beats the terrifying experience of chugging along, jumping on Goombas, then the sun starts to shake. It begins diving from the sky, trying to kill Mario.
Now, the sun specifically hurtling towards an Earth-like planet, especially going after one person, would probably result in that planet’s destruction. Luckily, we’re dealing with video game logic here, and it's perfectly possible to happen in an eight-bit world. We have to wonder though, why does the sun have such a vendetta against Mario? According to The Adventures of Super Mario 3 cartoon, the sun is offended because Mario said it was in his eyes. That's a vendetta we would like to avoid in real life.
Rimworld lets players create their own space colony, but throws plenty of real-world issues at them because space is not a nice place. This is one big issue that affects games of Rimworld, and will affect any astronauts looking to colonize the solar system.
In Rimworld, solar flares shut down electrical devices, which can affect crops, power systems, freezers, and temperature control in colonies. This can be a bad time for its inhabitants, and a further reminder that stars are the kings of the universe.
6/8 Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Behold, one of the most difficult mechanics in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We can all sympathize with those playing for the first time and thought it was cool that this masterpiece had some desert sections. This adds an excellent environment mechanic that forces the player to adjust their strategy in extreme heat or cold locations.
If it gets too hot in Hyrule, Link basically cooks to death. For a wonderful fantasy adventure, this is horrifying. While there are workarounds that make Link heat-resistant, the hero of Hyrule should just stay out of direct sunlight.
5/8 Castlevania 2
Okay so the sun isn’t the enemy in this game, but its movement around the world makes things much tougher for Simon Belmont. As kids growing up, we were told there was nothing lurking in the dark to worry about. Castlevania 2 proved that this was a lie.
In one of the earliest examples of a day/night cycle, when nighttime hit in Castlevania 2 the enemies get tougher and villages turn into nightmares. Anyone left hanging outside morphed into ghouls, and there's no hotel where you can hang out and let things blow over. They cease to become a safe haven, and Simon has to fight his way out of this night mechanic.
4/8 Starcraft 2
In Starcraft 2's Supernova level, our hero Raynor finds himself on a planet to pick up a Xel’Naga relic. The problem, however, is that the sun next to the planet is going supernova. An unstoppable wall of flames begins to slowly creep across the map, slowly cooking anything that doesn’t stay ahead of it. The Terran player is forced to not only fight the sun as an indirect timer but also battle the Protoss as well.
Luckily, Terrans like buildings that can move like a U-Haul, and the Protoss in this mission aren’t too hard to take down. This level echoes the planet Crematoria in the Riddick universe, where the surface of the planet isn’t habitable and anyone who steps into the sunlight is incinerated. If you're not paying attention, it can creep up on your buildings and units in a hurry.
3/8 V Rising
V Rising is a survival game where the player is a newly created vampire. One of the biggest dangers to vampires is the sun, and in this game, sunlight determines where players can go and the difficulty of combat. The game has a day/night cycle and when you step out into the sun as a vampire, you’ll start to burn. Fail to get back into the shade and you will die.
As a nice effect, the player feels powerful at night, but weak and vulnerable during the day. This can get annoying really quickly, but eventually, players figure out how to create fog and roofs to block out the sun.
2/8 Star Trek Generations
In the Microprose FPS Star Trek Generations, players go through a variety of levels that follow the 1994 film of the same name. As in the movie, the Enterprise-D responds to a distress call from the Amargosa Observatory. There, Dr. Tolian Soran wants to get back into the dimension known as the Nexus, attempting to cause a star to go supernova to adjust the Nexus' course.
While in the movie the crew is unable to prevent Soran from destroying the Amargosa star, it’s not the same in the game. The player works through the observatory and can divert the weapon to prevent the star from going supernova. Don't fret if you don't succeed — those who do stop the explosion miss out on one of the coolest-looking scenes in Next Generation history.
1/8 Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulator in which everything is your enemy. Physics is your enemy. Orbital mechanics are your enemy. Faulty rockets are your enemy. The sun is your enemy.
Since players hate Kerbals, they’ve tried landing on this star. It usually ends poorly, since the game’s sun causes spacecraft to blow up from the heat before you even get there. It's extremely tough to get Kerbals to their star, since the orbital physics are a bit wonky. If you're a fan of mayhem though, don't get too sad — it's a bad time for them once they get there.
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