Throughout history, the harrowing tale of saving a young woman from danger has been repeatedly told in paintings, books, film, and folklore. I think we can all agree that the premise is fundamentally sound; there's a fair maiden that needs rescuing, and her captors must be stabbed, shot, beaten, and/or electrocuted to secure her freedom. Doing so usually resulted in the hero becoming the object of the maiden's affections which lead to a romantic kiss, an elaborate wedding, and the highly coveted "happily ever after" ending which usually included a blue sky and something heart-shaped.

The damsel in distress theme has also been used in the video game industry, and it was particularly prevalent during the earlier generations. As gamers, we've saved many a prominent lass from the clutches of evil. For instance, Ashley Graham in 'Resident Evil 4' inadvertently gave us glances of her underwear while we escaped from a religious cult infected with internal parasites. 'Link to the Past' turned out to be a damsel bonanza as saving Zelda could only be done by rescuing six of her magical maiden friends first. Arthur's quest to save Guinevere from Lucifer in 'Ghosts 'n Ghosts' required him to complete the game twice before he could witness Guinevere's soul return to her lifeless corpse. And finally, Jessica Haggar's abduction in 'Final Fight' resulted in three guys knocking an elderly man in a wheelchair from the window of a 50-story skyscraper.

Marian from 'Double Dragon' is another damsel with timeless appeal, but not every hapless woman can be carried to fame over the shoulder of a thug who just punched her in the gut. Unfortunately, many ladies in peril have been completely forgotten by the gamers who came to their aid so long ago. In this list I'm going to briefly examine ten overlooked damsels of the past, the dire predicaments they were in, and any significant benefits that may have come from being their knight in shining armor. So, let's get on with The Top 10 Distressed Damsels That You Probably Forgot You Rescued.

First up, we have Taito's 'Sonic Blast Man'. Released in 1991, the machine featured boxing gloves and a punching pad that registered the strength of a player's punches. The titular hero could face up to five different emergency situations where he could resolve the threat with three punches. Anime fans will immediately note that's two more punches than the almighty Saitama needs, but it's still pretty impressive. Anyway, the higher the punch strength of the player, the better the chance of saving the day. Unfortunately, Taito got decked with a $50,000 fine since many people playing 'Sonic Blast Man' were hitting the pad so hard that they suffered injuries in the process. Now that I'm older, I have no problem admitting to you that I was one of the people who thought saving a baby carriage from a speeding 18-wheeler on a video game was worth the real damage to the ligaments in my hand.

The Damsel - A young, nameless blonde in a bright red dress.

The Distress - She's been accosted in a dark alley at night by a mohawked thug who snatches her purse and grabs her by the hair.

As Sonic Blast Man, players had to put this ruffian in his place with three punches. Seeing as how this scenario is the easiest of the five emergencies, there was no trouble in reducing this guy to a toothless, stagnant mound of uncomfortable inflammation and profound regret. With the situation now resolved, the young woman joyously gives Sonic Blast Man a big hug and a kiss on the cheek, which would've been a great time to let her know the dangers of being in bad neighborhoods at night while wearing a dress that's bound to get the attention of undesirable people with too much time on their hands.

This explosive entry brings us to Sega's 'Dynamite Cop!'. The over-the-top 3D beat 'em up was actually part of a trilogy that should've been easy to coordinate in the U.S. and Japan. But at a time when Sega's marketing decisions appeared to be made by a Capuchin monkey throwing darts at a spinning board, it was decided to tie the 'Die Hard' movie franchise into the American release of the first game, giving us 'Die Hard: Arcade' while Japan got 'Dynamite Cop!'. When 'Dynamite Cop! 2' was released in Japan, the movie tie-in wasn't pursued here in America, netting us 'Dynamite Cop!'. In the end, both countries got the same game but the Americans were still chronologically behind. Despite all this, 'Dynamite Cop!' was hugely fun in its silliness. I mean, what other game classifies anti-ship missiles as melee weapons?

The Damsel - Caroline Powell is the president's daughter and she's on aboard a very luxurious cruise liner along with two thousand other people who aren't nearly as important.

The Distress - The ship has been taken over by terrorists under the command of Wolf Hongo; the hulking, age-defying antagonist from the previous game. Also from the previous game, he has again decided on kidnapping the daughter of another president, letting us know just how many pages are in his international terrorism playbook.

Sushi platters, potted plants, microphone stands, laser guns, and deck chairs are just a few of the items in 'Dynamite Cop!' that you can use against enemies as you work your way through the ship towards the final showdown with Hongo to free Caroline. A handful of quick-time events must be successfully executed between stages or you run the risk of not only taking damage, but suffering total humiliation as your cinematic jump kick is dodged by an enemy who gets to witness the painful meeting of your lower lumbar and the hard floor. Hongo will shamelessly spam his arm cannon when you fight him, but defeating him will save a thankful Caroline. However, in two-player mode, she will pit the players against each other to see who is the strongest (see pic). And just like that, the comradery you've built up with another player throughout the entire game is erased as you both beat each other senseless for the sole amusement of a well-connected teenager.

Departing from the skating events and contests in 'Skate or Die' is its sequel from EA, 'Skate or Die 2: The Search for Double Trouble'. It introduced a story with new characters, and game mechanics. Right off the bat, the nameless main character (portrayed by you) dooms all skateboarders in the fictional town of Elwood by accidentally running over Fifi, the poodle belonging to the mayor's wife. What follows is the predictable ban of all skateboarding in Elwood and the destruction of the local skatepark. In response, you and your friends hatch a plan to earn money for a building permit and construct Double Trouble; the ultimate halfpipe designed by senior boarding legend and skate shop owner, Rodney, a man so content in life that he accepts French fries and music CDs as a form of currency.

The Damsel - Your in-game girlfriend, CJ, is an avid skater herself and comes up with the idea of everyone getting a job and pooling their earnings to pay for the permit. She bears a striking resemblance to a certain red-headed Disney princess, but since she never breaks out into song with a pod of dolphins, I think we can nix the possibility of this being a very awkward crossover.

The Distress - After enough money is made, CJ heads to city hall and receives the building permit only to be chased and kidnapped by the game's head-shaven antagonist, Icepick, and his gang. Not only is CJ held against her will at the gang's hideout, but the permit has been taken too.

To save your girlfriend and any hopes of constructing Double Trouble, you have to navigate a perplex, color-coded factory that has more rooms and floors than an Ikea superstore. Enemies are plentiful but after regaining the permit, pummeling Icepick with paintballs, and then rescuing CJ, you finally wrap up the story. The finished product, Double Trouble, is a huge halfpipe with a spine ramp in the center. Personally, I never finished the story mode because the factory maze drove me insane. On the game's title screen, simply selecting the "Ramp" option will give you immediate access to Double Trouble without driving you to scream numerous expletives at palette-swapped warehouse interiors.

Ramping Up the Relationship - CJ introduces us to the first major perk on this list that comes from rescuing a damsel in distress. If you actually finished the story mode in 'Skate or Die 2', instead of glossing over your inadequacies like I did, you got to skate on Double Trouble after the end credits. Unlike the halfpipe in 'Skate or Die', Double Trouble is a full two screens in length, and additional tricks have been added. Performing these nifty moves racked up lots of points, but if CJ appears from the window of her nearby house to cheer you on, the point totals are doubled. Entertaining CJ with fancy maneuvers boosts your score but should you take a nasty spill, she'll go back inside her house; hopefully to call the EMTs so they can fish you from the hole your unscheduled nosedive made in the plywood.

Nintendo's SNES arrived in America to great anticipation in 1991, and among the launch titles was their flight sim, 'Pilotwings'. The game took advantage of the system's Mode 7 graphics chip, letting us fly planes, hang glide, and skydive in what me and millions of other kids presumed to be actual three-dimensional environments. I didn't learn till much later in life that it was all just a sleight of hand trick done by two-dimensional scaling effects, but seeing as how I enjoyed 'Pilotwings' so much, I was happy to extend to it my most sincere retroactive forgiveness.

The Damsel - Shirley is one of four instructors who oversee your progress as you take courses to join the elite Flight Club in 'Pilotwings'. In addition to her short, fluffy brown hair, Shirley's cute eyes and soft lashes made gamers like me do my best to impress her. If jumping from helicopters two-thirds of a mile up in the sky could bring a smile to Shirley's face, we couldn't descend to the earth's surface fast enough.

The Distress - Despite the colorful visuals, 'Pilotwings' takes a dark, completely unexpected turn. Hang gliding on a beautifully cloudy day to a tranquil tune by renowned video game composer Soyo Oka, is suddenly followed by a crisis in which three of the instructors, including Shirley, have been taken hostage by the ingeniously named 'EVIL Syndicate'. Although the head of this organization is neither seen nor mentioned, I'm assuming his/her title would probably be 'EVIL Boss', or something along those depressingly generic lines.

Curiously, the military can't get involved due to political reasons but the last time I checked, those were exactly the reasons why major wars have been fought. Nonetheless, the rescue mission falls to you operating an attack helicopter you've had zero training in up to this point. In what appears to be an Apache AH-64, you take off from a destroyer and infiltrate the syndicate's airspace. Anti-aircraft nests below will put up a stream of rapid fire, but after silencing them with rockets, you can land safely and begin the evacuation of Shirley, two other instructors, and the covert agent who located them. I'd like to point out real quick that Apache attack helicopters only allow space for a crew of two, and since you have four passengers to evacuate, the seating arrangements for the trip home will need to be very creative.

Continuing on, we come across the Neo Geo fighter, 'World Heroes 2' by the cooperation of Alpha Denshi and SNK. In the original 'World Heroes', a scientist by the name of Dr. Sugar Brown constructed a time machine. Instead of going back a few decades to apply a much needed change to his first name, he uses it for the purpose of bringing together eight prestigious heroes from across the history of the world to fight in a tournament and see who was the strongest among them. But like John Connor's childhood in 'Terminator 2', the tournament is disrupted by a being comprised of a mimetic poly-alloy named Geegus. In 'World Heroes 2', Dr. Brown adds six new heroes to the original eight. Can the good doctor finally conclude his research with this new and expanded tournament, or will Skynet-- err, I mean Geegus once again play the role of spoiler?

The Damsel - Another nameless blonde in a red dress. Together with the 'Sonic Blast Man' damsel, Jessica Haggar, Marian, and a few other distressed ladies, she seems to suggest that wearing red dresses at the time was a poor fashion statement that usually lead to abduction.

The Distress - Barefoot and hanging from a rope tied in a tree, the woman struggles as she tries to free herself. Also hanging around her are six large masks that appear to be part of a ritual performed by a couple of nefarious tribesmen who beat drums while lacking any sense of civilized chivalry.

As one of the most unique bonus stages a fighting game has ever offered, destroying the masks within the time limit is the goal. After crashing the barbaric party and splintering the ceremonial masks in a furious yet justified episode of cultural insensitivity, the rope holding the woman snaps, allowing her to fall to the ground and kiss her liberator as the bonus points are tallied. I'd like to also point out she does this with no regard whatsoever to the gender of the player's selected character. For example, the character Janne is a fearless, French swordswoman whose story revolves around her seeking true love. That said, after having Janne rescue a lovely and grateful woman from a tribal cult in the jungle, I think a lot of us would've been perfectly fine if the swordwoman's quest for love ended right there. A cutscene of the two of them back in the civilized world, drinking tea and sharing muffins on a picnic blanket would've at least softened the financial blow of the console's $600 price tag at the time.

This next entry is kinda' close to me as I remember playing 'Lester the Unlikely' on a display SNES in a Babbage's at the mall in 1994. Lester and I had quite a bit in common; we both enjoyed comic books, suffered from very poor posture, and resided on the outer edge of the high school popularity sphere. Lester's adventure begins with him falling asleep on a crate next to a shipyard loading dock and being hoisted aboard a freighter. His time as a stowaway is cut short by one of those random pirate attacks which sinks the ship, forcing him to swim to a nearby island. After lamenting the soggy loss of his precious comic book, Lester finds himself on a tropical atoll filled with crabs, turtles, tiki statues, and other things that send him running away in the opposite direction while screaming.

The Damsel - Tikka is one of the inhabitants of the island chain as well as the daughter of the tribal chief, Hector. Understandably, just one look at Lester doesn't fill Tikka with any confidence that he can help her with the dire situation she and her people face. Which leads us to...

The Distress - The same pirates that sank Lester's freighter have set up shop on one of the neighboring islands. To keep Tikka and the tribal warriors at bay, they've kidnapped Hector and taken him aboard their ship, which strangely hasn't been upgraded since the mid 1600's.

Before he can solve the larger issue at hand, Lester must face swarms of bats in underground caves, and a haunted burial ground with fire pits and vengeful spirits. Even the tribal guards are after Lester as they believe him to be part of the pirates' group since his store-brand blue jeans and haircut weren't enough to set him apart. After a hazardous ride on a raft where snakes drop from the jungle canopy and man-eating fish leap from the water, Lester finds Tikka held captive by a giant ape. Using a boomerang, Lester beats the disrespectful primate much to the surprise of Tikka, who now believes her geeky savior has what it takes to be a hero.

Revenge of the Nerd - The kiss Tikka gives our laughable protagonist after her rescue has an amazing effect on him. Lester's goofy looking stance is no more as he perks straight up, now looking somewhat buff and far more confident (see pic). His arm-flailing running style is replaced with a heroic sprint that even allows him to outrun a pursuing jaguar. With this epic transformation and a sword, Lester eventually saves Hector from certain death and reunites him with Tikka, who really ought to be turned on by the string of impaled pirate corpses that Lester left in his wake.

The mountain of accolades that went to Rockstar's western-themed, open world masterpiece, 'Red Dead Redemption', was well deserved, and the recent release of its sequel is giving gamers an even bigger more exhilarating dose of the untamed West. However, at the start of it all was 'Red Dead Revolver' and its composite story of how the main character, Red Harlow, eventually avenged the death of his mother and father. Players would take control of Red as well as other supporting characters who tie in to his storyline. Even with a much smaller and more limited scope than its predecessors, 'Revolver' was a great action game set in a time where even Lady Justice had to take off her blindfold, put down her sword, and get behind a Gatling gun to thin out the occasional herd of lawless varmints.

The Damsel - Katie O'Grady is the daughter of Sheriff O'Grady. They both reside in the town of Widow's Patch, which is probably just big enough to fit snugly in the backyards of you and your next-door neighbors' residential properties.

The Distress - Sheriff O'Grady is a good and decent man but the aging, out of shape lawman can do nothing against the marauders that eventually descend on Widow's Patch. The sinister Professor Perry with his circus of freaks and oddities invade the little town and tie Katie to the base of a water tower.

Players took control of the distinguished, Jack Swift; an English sharpshooter whose skill with twin revolvers is high enough for him to perform impromptu appendectomies. To save Katie, Jack must finish off Professor Perry, but the villain has a magic elixir that not only restores his health, but allows him to teleport around Widow's Patch. There's also a constant stream of hostile, dwarven clowns armed with pistols emerging from the shadows. With that, this marks the first time in gaming history where players were able to litter the desert landscape with brain chunks and skull fragments of short-statured clowns to the comical sound of a slide whistle.

Kiss It and Make It Better - While saving Katie yields very little for Jack Swift, Red's escape from a jail cell in the hills allows him to encounter the sheriff's daughter once again later in the game. Doing double-duty on the distress end, Katie has now been imprisoned in a gold mine next to the fort of Mexican general, Javier Diego. After silently sneaking through caves and embedding throwing knives in the backs of guards' heads, Red finds Katie in a cell. Thankfully, freeing Katie from her predicament allows Red to purchase from her a $1 kiss that restores his health to the maximum as well as extends the health gauge past its current level. That's right; for just the price of a cup of coffee, you'll be fully healed and able to withstand even more shotgun blasts from point-blank range. Pucker up!

Hopping into the top three entries, 'Frogger' showed gamers in 1981 exactly where the rubber met the road. Konami's game demanded players to guide a frog across five lanes of traffic to a river bank where they would then have to ride logs and turtles across the river to reach five coves of water on the opposite river bank. These coves served as destinations that the frogs must reach in order to make it home safely. Arcade-goers spent many quarters trying to navigate their frogs to safety but sadly, large numbers of frogs met their end as snacks in the jaws of an alligator, or they were turned into amphibian street tortillas by the treads of bulldozers. Referenced in numerous movies, shows, and music, 'Frogger' remains as a cultural icon after nearly forty years, and I got to play it recently at a retro arcade in my town. All I needed to complete my trip down memory lane was some RC Cola in a flimsy, wax-paper cup that would warp and crumple from its own condensation.

The Damsel - Much to your frog fella's delight, a lady frog would frequently be seen floating by her lonesome on a log carried by the river current. Unlike your yellow and green male frog, the lady frog is colored purple and light blue (see left-center of pic), making it easy to distinguish her from everything else in the water that doesn't give a damn about killing the both of you.

The Distress - On both sides of the river there are hungry, ecological threats like snakes, otters, and the aforementioned alligators. All of them have developed a taste for frog legs as they ominously lurk in the water leading back to your frogs' homes.

Just crossing the busy highway is only half the battle since the river proves to be the final challenge. The lady frog can be seen scampering frantically on her drifting log until she comes in contact with the player's male frog. Hopping on his back, she entrusts him to get them safely across the river into one of the frog coves. Along with the logs in the river, there are also turtles whose shelled backs can be used as jumping points. But some of them dive underwater periodically, and can take the life of your frogs with them. Always placed directly in front of the coves was the intimidating alligator, but its head was the only dangerous spot of its body and players mockingly hopped on its back, forcing the reptile into the unwilling role of a riparian school bus driver.

Bachelor Pad - Escorting a lady frog to a safe cove awards players 200 points, one of the two highest individual point tallies in the game. Right up there with it is eating a fly that randomly spawns in each of the unoccupied coves. Only a male frog of resolute dexterity can achieve the elusive 400 point bonus where he must carry a female companion on his back as he leaps from logs to turtle shells, escape from slithering serpents, ride on an alligator's back, and then safely arrive at his place where he shares an insect with her. For that, I give a lot of respect to the male frog because I have no intention of physically carrying my girlfriend any distance, let alone across a rushing river with the risk of getting snakebites.

In 1987, Sid Meier and his team produced 'Sid Meier's Pirates!' for home computers like the Commodore 64 and even had an entry on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Gamers enjoyed living the simulated pirate life so much that six years later a remake titled, 'Pirates! Gold' was eventually released for PCs once more, as well as a venture onto the Sega Genesis. In 2004, the series received one of the best, most complete upgrades offered at the time. In addition to rightfully putting Meier's name back in the title, this new version featured an introductory cutscene of a young boy having a meal with family members. Without warning, the Spanish renegade, Marquis Montalban, bursts into the residence and proceeds to abduct the family with his men. The boy escapes Montalban's raid and a over decade later, the young man leads a mutiny on a ship headed to the New World, becoming the leader of his own crew. It's here the young man becomes the protagonist for players as he tracks down Montalban for his missing family members with the option of ruthlessly pillaging ships and towns along the way. Y'know, just for fun.

The Damsel - There are twelve possible damsels in 'Pirates!' as the four nations of England, Spain, France, and the Netherlands all have governors who've fathered a daughter. The daughters are aesthetically categorized as "Rather Plain", "Attractive", and "Beautiful". As expected, the beautiful daughters are the most maintenance intensive as they require players to attain higher ranks before extending an invitation to a dance where you must impress her on the ballroom floor. Seeing as how the beautiful daughters also have bigger, curvier busts and wear more revealing clothing than other daughters, I'd say getting rapid promotions and putting on those dancing shoes is quite worth it.

The Distress - Marquis Montalban strikes again... kinda'. Working with Montalban are Colonel Mendoza and Baron Raymondo. After a few successful dances and interactions with a governor's daughter, which include ousting a jealous suitor, Mendoza will kidnap her, take her aboard his fast Spanish galleon, then hightail it somewhere into the 1.06 million square miles of the Caribbean Sea.

Upon finding and engaging Mendoza's galleon, he will fly let a full broadside of cannon fire. Whether you're trading shots or closing in to ramming distance, too many hits on the masts and sails will slow your ship to the point where Mendoza can turn it into a nice collection of driftwood. Once aboard the galleon, a chaotic scene plays out where fires burn and buccaneers clash. With either a cutlass, rapier, or a long sword, our hero duels Mendoza on the deck where even mop buckets can become weapons. Once Mendoza is defeated, he will surrender and state that the governor's daughter is within the ship's forecastle (or fo'c'sle for the nautically inclined). After heroically kicking the door in, the distraught damsel will be delighted at your arrival and run into your arms because you're just so dreamy like that.

Lost & Found - After rescuing the governor's daughter, she will give you a piece of a map that leads to a lost city. Any information that leads to one of these remote treasures is highly valuable since finding a lost city amounts to a huge 50,000 gold coin windfall. Attentively crafty players can usually locate the city just with one or two map pieces alone. Oh, and plundering Mendoza's galleon nets another 2,000 gold coins plus nearly sixty tons of food that can be eaten by you and your crew, or sold in ports for a nice chunk of change. At the end of it all, whether you've rescued a dark-haired, caramel-skinned Spanish goddess, or an older, plain-looking Dutch lass who is incredibly sincere, you should be up to your pelvis in booty by late evening.

--- Honorable Mentions ---
Before we get to the final entry, let's meet a few more forgotten damsels that'll most likely slip your mind and once again fade into obscurity within the next ten minutes.

Princess Za - Bonk's Adventure (TurboGrafx 16)
The dastardly King Drool has conjured up mind-controlling eggshells and placed them on the heads of the inhabitants of Moonland, including its plesiosaur ruler, Princess Za. Enter Bonk; the primitive little cave dweller with a cranium hard enough to rival industrial drill-bit tips. Bashing any and all enemies to oblivion with his head, Bonk frees Princess Za and is rewarded with a kiss from the pink, little dinosaur. Even for me, a human/reptile relationship is a bit of an odd pairing, but who am I to question the romantic preferences of a dude who climbs vertical cliffs with his teeth?

Cyndi - River City Ransom (NES)
The main reason you probably forgot about Cyndi is because immediately upon rescuing her, she forgot about you. After brawling through vacant lots while getting hit in the face with brass knuckles, metal pipes, and indiscriminate stones of granite, the heroic duo of Alex and Ryan (Cyndi's boyfriend) make their way to the top floor of River City High and free Cyndi from a locked classroom. Rather than show any gratitude, Cyndi expresses her frustration at the limited amount of time she has to go shopping and just leaves. Nice girlfriend ya' got there, Ryan. She's definitely worth the temporary loss of vision you suffered when that bicycle chain perfectly conformed to the bridge of your nose upon impact.

Female POWs - Gunforce II (Arcade)
In 1994, two years before 'Metal Slug', Irem gave us its spiritual predecessor, 'Gunforce II'. Developed by the same team that would form the Nazca Corporation, 'Gunforce II' implemented all the signature aspects that the 'Metal Slug' series would be known for like highly detailed visuals, plenty of gunfire, and the anguished screams of enemies you used your flamethrower on. But unique to 'Gunforce II' are the female POWs. These ladies in red two-pieces and white socks don't award the player any items like their iconic, shaggy-bearded male counterparts do in the 'Slug' franchise, but rather let out an adorable shout of joy when rescued. I honestly would've preferred a crate full of incendiary explosives, but saving a dozen scantily clad women from the boxcars of a runaway freight train speeding through a forest fire does provides its own sense of personal fulfillment.

Our top entry stems from the vaunted and well known universe of 'EverQuest'. On March 16th of 1999, Sony Online Entertainment released 'EverQuest' with the lukewarm expectation that in two years time there'd be at least 75,000 subscribers enjoying the MMORPG on its servers. Much to their surprise, it only took six months before 150,000 subscribers signed on to reduce Norrath's troublesome orc population. Five years and six expansions later, SOE published 'Champions of Norrath' for the PS2 from Snowblind Studios, and almost a year to the day later, 'Return to Arms' was released for the system as well. The two titles weren't MMO, but a multitap or a network adapter could allow up to four players to go on cooperative quests. I honestly prefer to play alone because using an enchanted sledgehammer to reduce undead skeletons to dust clouds of calcium phosphate is just something I happen to enjoy on a discretionary level.

The Damsel - Sylea first makes an appearance in 'Champions of Norrath' inside a giant, gothic castle. As the image shows, the alluring vampiress leaves little to our imagination with regard to her lack of clothing as she discusses with us in a seductive, breathy voice the topic of uncontrollable urges just ten feet away from a colorful pile of floor cushions. Sylea is trying to rid herself of the urge to feed upon human blood, and a thorny plant called the Bloodvine is her preferred vegetarian alternative. Her master and fellow vampire, Lord Vanarhost, is one of the game's major antagonists and eventually a battle with him occurs. Defeated but not dead, Vanarhost launches into a monologue typically reserved for villains who like to hear themselves talk. Thankfully, a calculating Sylea stabs Vanarhost in the back with a dagger which pierces his heart, renders him comatose, and spares us his elongated resume of regional blood tasting.

The Distress - Skipping ahead to 'Return to Arms', we eventually learn that upon Lord Vanarhost's awakening, he banishes Sylea to the Plane of Torment. Floating in a blood-red ethereal mist is the foreboding Citadel of Pain that holds Hell's Cells. In this enormous penitentiary made of stone, even the souls of the previously alive are held in cells guarded by ogres and the undead. Sylea seems to be a highly valued prisoner as her cell can only be unlocked by a special, twisted key that isn't anywhere on the desperately bleak premises.

Freeing Sylea requires a trip to Torment's Furnace in the Plane of Fire where the key is surrounded by a ring of white-hot fire. Removing the ring can be done by defeating the Fiery Protectors; a pair of horned demons who each stand at about nine feet tall and probably weigh just north of a quarter-ton. Even with all that bulk, the demons possess a surprisingly fast sprint that allows them to knock even the toughest adventurers to the ground right before administering a crushing backhand that would put dents in tank armor. Once the Protectors are beaten, the key is yours to take to the Plane of Torment and free Sylea. Back in Hell's Cells you have the option of freeing other inmates, but upon their release they will attack you. Using your swords and/or arrows, lighten the workload for the remaining employees of Hell's Cells by doing away with these ungrateful prisoners because you've already subjected the Plane of Torment to an acute shortage of guards anyway.

Bite Me... Please? - Now, you and Sylea are even, but the sultry vampiress has a favor to ask of you. Still fighting the urge to suck humans dry like pouches of Capri Sun, she asks you to bring her a Bloodvine from her former residence. Going back to the castle will require a fight against giant crustaceans on the beach to save a settlement of gnomes, and a showdown against Smush, a huge ogre who carries a mallet that not only is enchanted with a stun chance, but has a wooden head the size of a mini fridge. Returning the plant to Sylea greatly pleases the vampiress and in return for preventing her from relapsing, she leans in and bites the players' ear, allowing them to wear a second set of earrings. An additional set of enchanted or augmented earrings lets players raise their character's stats with extra stamina boosts, quicker health regeneration, higher mana usage, and other neat enhancements that we can sink our teeth into without rupturing somebody's capillaries.


I'd like to take a moment and give a quick nod to fellow list writer, WhitePointer, for helping me streamline the title of this list. The assistance was very much well-received.

Well, I think that about wraps it up for--

"Uh, Mr. Fetishes? You left (insert damsel here) off of your list."

Ah, yes. For those of you who suddenly remembered other perfectly good, long-forgotten damsels you rescued in the past and are wondering why they didn't make it on the list, I can honestly and respectfully tell you that... I simply couldn't remember them. However, I'm seriously interested in hearing about any obscure ladies in distress that might've slipped my mind, so stop by the Top 10 Lists board and lemme know who I missed out on.

In closing, thanks for taking the time to pop in and read this list, I really do appreciate it.

List by Weird_Fetishes (11/08/2018)

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