It’s 2020, and the apocalypse is in front of us. Famine. Disease. War. There’s an old saying: “You reap what you sow.” And if you’ve lived in America, you’re aware the political infrastructure has been sowing these seeds since the last harvest in the 1960’s.
The phrase “Attack and Dethrone God” is trending on a lot of social media right now, largely because of a piece on Fox News that mentioned the Weather Underground Organization. When stating what the goals of this group were, an infograph was shown on the air that listed this militant group’s goals, as taken from the Prairie Fire manifesto. Listed among these? “Attack and Dethrone God.”
This article isn’t about social reform, or whether or not it’s acceptable to threaten The Divine Creator. That’s between you and your Game Master. Instead, I’d like to talk about different ways in which different franchises have addressed an Omnipotent God that, for reasons, needed to be defeated by a party of characters. Because if you’re going to beat God, you gotta know what elements he’s weak against and what secret techniques to bring.
Shin Megami Tensei – Yahweh
Probably the closest representation of God as many know Him. In the series that popularized Humanities evergrowing technological advances opening up a direct link with demons and angels, YHVH is the Lawful leader of all the universe, and a leader who really doesn’t care for humanity as a whole yet still expects it to bow to the cosmic order. As such, it only makes sense that he gets his ass handed to him several times. Yes, we know God has an ass; please read Exodus 33:22-23.
God may promise you, our chosen hero, and any followers that come along with you that if you choose to side with him, an age of peace and tranquility will prosper and you might even become a divine being. This is always at the cost of the people, so don’t do it. Instead, realize that God’s weakpoint isn’t in any special attributes or abilities (besides maybe a Godslaying Sword if you have one), but rather in denying His divinity outright. Turns out that the Surpreme Being that demands “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” has something of a frail ego as he is attached to our world, and the quickest way to bring him down to size is to just… deny him. Oh, and survive his attacks, that’s super important.
Bayonetta – Jubileus
So most of us aren’t sexy witches with hair that is actually a demon. Then again, for someone who claims to be a witch, the titular Bayonetta sure spends less time casting circles and more time shooting people. This works in our favor, because most of us could probably fire a gun or two. Just… not guns attached to our high heels.
The trick to fighting this deity, when boiled down to its most minimum? Dodge everything he throws at you until there’s an opening, then punch him like he’s a Nazi. Punch Him straight into the sun.
Breath of Fire II – Church of St. Eva
What is a God without a Church? In the world surrounding Breath of Fire 2, the main character Ryu finds most of his life is a lie created by the evil demon Barubary and his master, Deathevn. Why create a lie for over a decade? Because the main character foils it before it can last for centuries, let alone Millennium.
There’s some standard themes at present here, like the importance of surrounding one’s self with people from all walks of life, bringing important perspective and also covering each other’s weaknesses to be better and more powerful as a whole. This is coupled with the desire to continually be searching for the truth and coming to terms with it. There’s also a lot of discussion about sacrifice, and ensuring that such isn’t done wrecklessly.
In the end, one doesn’t have to be a member of a secret clan of Dragons in order to beat God. They just need to be persistent, and not fall for the attempts of His followers to erase history. Also, while a good offense can be the best defense, don’t forget to take care of your health or you might drop in one blow.
Also, fun fact: The Church of St. Eva’s lore was heavily inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “The Autumn of the Patriarch.” It’s the story of a Dictator admired by his people, slowly going insane from the very world of isolation he’s created in his own mind right up before Death takes him. Consider purchasing the English translation here, to help the website out:
Silent Hill 3 – God?
In the hellish world of the Silent Hill franchise, God is born from Hatred and illusions of Paradise. It’s a little more metaphysical than that, but in the way the subject is presented the details are more nightmarish than academic. The main character essentially throws up God, and then the main antagonist devours and eats it, and then it’s up to the main character to stop it with gunfire?
Silent Hill 3 is a rather surprising coming-of-age story with a focus on trauma, not a power fantasy where the ultimate goal is to defeat God himself. And yet, there He is in the end. Why? The antagonist, Claudia Wolf, found comfort in her faith, even as that very faith destroyed the lives of many.
It’s easy to pity her, and there’s some lessons to learn as to ensure we don’t become just as misguided in our quest for deicide, but we have to ensure the cycle stops with us.
Xenogears – Deus
God (“Deus”) is a man-made device turned to destroy the planet and everything on it in a ploy to end the pain and suffering that comes with human existence. It turns out that defeating Deus is not enough; the main character has to come to terms with the pain and hardship has has and will face, true, but he also remembers the things that are important to him, like his fellow comrades. Also, Love. Love can destroy anything, including Gods. What’s interesting about this final series of events it that the one using Deus, despite clearly being a horrific monster of an individual, comes to this place from seemingly understandable ideals and traumas. In the end, the destruction of the human race is averted with the understanding that such “evil” clearly has roots that should be addressed.
Also, of course, Deus is destroyed by huge mechas known as “Xenogears” that can do martial arts and stuff. So maybe we should get our hands on those? At the end of the day, Fei asks the important and most relevant question: “To attack Deus directly… or, to take out its supports first… I wonder which is best?”
Can you think of any other examples or pieces of advice? Feel free to post them in the comments below.