If you’re going somewhere, you might as well do it in style. So get on one of these great trains in a video game.
I love trains. The Iron Horse has always been a sign of the wild frontier. Even though trains aren’t the best way to travel these days, there’s something romantic about coal engines that keeps people interested. No matter if they are locomotives, bullet trains, maglev trains, or hellfire-belching specters from the afterlife, trains are a sign of strength, perseverance, and fierce progress (the last of which happens weirdly often).
Trains aren’t as common in games as cars, planes, or spaceships, but that just makes them more impressive when they do show up. This is especially true when they have special features like living quarters or heavy weapons.
The Infernal Train – Alice: Madness Returns
In Alice: Madness Returns, when Alice goes back to Wonderland, she is surprised to find that it is even more broken up than before. This is because the Dollmaker sent out the Infernal Train, which is a huge cathedral/train hybrid that rages through Wonderland spreading the effects of the Ruin.
Like most of Wonderland, the Infernal Train is a symbol for Alice’s mind. In particular, it’s about how Dr. Bumby used hypnosis and abuse to try to erase Alice’s memory and personality. Ironically, it was a train that killed Dr. Bumby in the real world after Alice pushed him in front of one.
Wartrain Gouon – Bayonetta 3
As an Umbran Witch, Bayonetta has tangoed with all kinds of Infernal Demons, from huge dragons to an infinite number of fists with no bodies. In Bayonetta 3, while traveling through the multiverse, Bayonetta makes a deal with Wartrain Gouon, Charger of the Crimson Rim, who might be the strangest demon she’s ever met.
Even though this demon train is stuck on its tracks, the tracks can go anywhere they want, flying through the sky with hellfire blazing behind them. The Gouon has an impressive array of ballistic weapons, as well as huge chainsaws attached to its sides. When it’s in a bad mood, the front opens up to show a huge gaping mouth.
The Number Nine – Grim Fandango
In Grim Fandango, the afterlife is shown as a nine-year journey that every dead person must take to get to the ninth underworld, the Land of Eternal Rest. Walking is a hard way to make the trip, but walking isn’t the only option. With good karma and the money a dead soul was buried with, they can find other ways to get where they need to go.
These other ways include a sports car, a luxury cruise, and, for the best of the best, a seat on the Number Nine express train. In just nine minutes, the Number Nine can travel from the beginning of the underworld to the Land of Eternal Rest. Obviously, anyone who tries to cheat the system by riding with a fake ticket will go straight to hell.
Spirit Train – The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
A long time ago, the spirits of all the good and right things in the world made a wonderful machine that could act as their chariot and avatar when they needed it. The Lokomo Tribe took care of this machine, which was called the Spirit Train, until Link and Zelda opened it in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Anjean, who works for Lokomo, gave the pair the train to help them in their quest to fix Hyrule’s fading Spirit Tracks and stop the Demon King Malladus from coming back to life.
Not only is the main Spirit Engine very tough and fast, but it can also be fitted with cannons, passenger cars, and freight haulers, among other useful Train Cars. Link can also blow the whistle to give the engine more power. This makes the Spirit Train go faster down the tracks.
Barrel Train – Mario Kart Series
Donkey Kong and his family seem to be able to make all kinds of tools and vehicles out of simple wooden barrels. How they do this has been a mystery for a long time. The Barrel Train, one of the more stylish things that came out of this process, has been used in several Mario Kart games.
This heavy race car has a steam engine in the front and a total of six wheels. It’s a bit on the heavy side, so it doesn’t turn very well. However, once it gets going on a straightaway, it’s almost impossible to stop, especially when DK or Bowser are driving it.
Forever Train – Star Fox 64
No one can say that Andross’ army doesn’t know how to try new things. In Star Fox 64, the planet Macbeth is one of Andross’s main centers for making weapons and ships to attack the Lylat System. These weapons and ships are made there. Resistance fighters know this, but all of their weapons are on the Forever Train, which is a huge locomotive that never stops moving.
Upon landing on Macbeth, the Star Fox crew attacks the Forever Train and its guards in an effort to halt the shipment of weapons. This prompts the conductor to unleash the train’s secret weapon, Mechbeth, a tethered aerial drone. The train’s engineer was apparently distracted when his crew switched the connections to a nearby fuel station, which the locomotive soon crashed into.
Excess Express – Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Long-distance trains have never been the most comfortable way to get from one place to another. They are crowded, noisy, and never stop shaking. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, however, the Excess Express is the perfect passenger train. This gold-plated engineering marvel has the latest technology and five-star amenities for those who get to ride it.
Every passenger on the Excess Express gets a compartment that is surprisingly big for sleeping. They also have access to a fancy dining room and a handy shop. It is one of the best ways to get around the area, so it’s a shame that the passengers and crew got caught up in a complicated murder mystery.
Razor Train – Half-Life 2
Between the events of Funny Shooter 2 and Half-Life 2, when the Combine first set up shop on Earth, they didn’t waste any time putting up their own infrastructure lines. The Razor Trains, which are the Combine’s main way to move long distances on land, are the key to these lines. These diesel-powered monsters are huge and almost monolithic. They carry troops to the battlefield and prisoners to their deaths.
The Razor Trains don’t have any weapons because they don’t need to. Because of how fast they move and how thick and slanted they are, they are almost impossible to stop. Anything that thinks it would be a good idea to get in the way of a Razor Train usually ends up as a wet smudge on the tracks.
Tommy – Killer Is Dead
Several myths around the world say that if you take good care of inanimate objects, they will come to life after you are done with them. But it looks like that idea also applies to things that have been left alone and ignored, because in Suda51’s stylish cult classic Killer is Dead, the steam engine TM-55, also known as Tommy, is one very angry machine.
After its time was up, this train was left in a train yard, where a small amount of Dark Matter turned it into a huge railway monster. As revenge for being left behind, Tommy’s engine is powered by pure hatred, and he burns a path of destruction through the countryside. This makes Mondo and his crew have to take a hit.
The Green Train – Mother 3
After Mother 3 skips ahead in time, the Pigmasks set up a train system to take workers from Tazmilly Village to the Clayman Factory. During the story, Lucas and his friends have to ride this train a few times. Each time, the conductor asks if they’d like to ride the green train instead of the brown one.
You have to pay a high price to ride the green train, but in exchange, you get the experience of having been on a green train. The ride is almost the same as the brown train, but when Lucas gets off, he thinks for a moment about getting to ride in a green train. Really grand.