An Elegy for Helicopter Mike

Sat, 07/04/2009 — Rev. Ragu

Helicopter Mike is dead.

He isn't coming back.

No desperate wails, no tearful pleas, no petition, scheme, or deed will bring him back. Helicopter Mike died, and we knew the world was less beautiful without him.

Certainly, they can say that he narrowly escaped the helicopter before it crashed to the ground, or that he was a t-virus enhanced mutant impervious to fire and shock, but that would only cheapen the poignancy of his death.

"I got something to say
I killed your baby today
And it doesn't matter much to me
As long as it's dead" ~G. Anzalone

Mike is dead. To deny his death is like denying Sailor Venus, because she arrived too late in the original series run and offered no unique personality to the already balanced Sailor Senshi. No, Sailor Venus happened. If we deny Sailor Venus, we would have to deny not only the Outer Senshi, but also the Sailor Stars, and moreover, she was the original Sailor Soldier in the Sailor V comic. And like Sailor Venus, we cannot deny Mike's death, nor can we deny his beautiful blonde hair that is never seen on screen or his darling red ribbon and his talking cat companion. These are all aspects of Mike that are, and will be, and we mustn't forget.

There are rumors that maybe Mike wasn't meant to die, that he was to follow you in a helicopter to the final encounter with Sadler, and riddle him with high velocity ammunition, then pick Leon and Ashley up and they'd all go to a good bar and get wasted and then Ada would come by and Ashley would start trying to make out with her because she's at that age and she wants attention and Chris would get kind of gropey and Mike would get surly and quiet because no one is paying attention to him and it would all end in an awkward and unsatisfying sexual encounter that would put an unspoken wedge between everyone and would never be talked about due to emotional cowardice on the part of all members. But why? Without Mike's noble sacrifice, would Resident Evil 4 have felt complete? The heavy cloud of Mike's death hanging over every action, and providing a bitter counterpoint to Leon and Ashley's daring jetski escape, this is what was meant for the game. People die. Mike knew that. Even as he announced his knowledge of a good bar, he knew that he was not leaving that island. Do not presume to know more than he.

"I know I'm born to lose
And gambling's for fools
But that's the way I like it baby
I don't wanna live forever
...And don't forget the Joker" ~I. Kilmister

Mike's death is a tragedy, this I believe. Like Robert T.S., or Galuf, or Zero (at least three times), or anyone else who has died in the service of their beliefs. This is not senseless death, but rather, a sacrifice to make the entire world a better place. Like Jesus.

What if Lyle bid farewell and then didn't turn into a dragon and die, or if the guy who gave you the bazooka in Bionic Commando to blow up Hitler's head was found alive and well and living in Palm Springs, or even if Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie hadn't been killed and then never mentioned again? Would any of those stories have the same endurance, the same emotional connection with everyone who experienced them? It was a the innate brilliance of each game's groundbreaking writing that we found ourselves caring so much about these fictional characters. Now we must move on with our lives. Helicopter Mike died so that Leon would live. So that we all would live. That whosoever shall believeth in a Helicopter Mike shall be delivered from rabid spaniards by high caliber chaingun rounds. That was his promise to Leon, and his promise to us.

"Raining blood
From a lacerated sky
Bleeding its horror
Creating my structure
Now I shall reign in blood" ~K. King

Let us not forget what he did.

May he rest in peace.


"...He smiled, in the end." ~Cloud Strife

Comments

Sun, 07/05/2009 — Onomarchus

Come on, don't you remember that Mike shows up in the ending to will the planet to exterminate every human on the face of the earth?

Sun, 07/05/2009 — Ragu

That just led to the creation of Advent Michael and completely ruining the awkward yet intriguing ambiguity of the original ending, so I refuse to acknowledge that it was truly Mike's resurrection.

Sun, 07/05/2009 — Bred

"Hey, I know a good bar." should be the new "GOODBYE TO MY ONLINE FRIENDS FOREVER!"

Tue, 07/14/2009 — Bred N. Butter

The Misfits, Motorhead, and Slayer.

What better music to honor death by zombie-launched rocket?

Wed, 07/15/2009 — Ragu

I'll be so stoked if someone gets the reference, oh ho ho...

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