IGCritic now presents 6 Fantastic Fantasy Video Game Horses! With the ever growing popularity of open world games, it’s necessary to acquire a steed to convey you to your destination, wether it be to save a princess, slay a beast, or just as a pack mule because you didn’t invest in stamina points. So in homage to those that carry us across our favourite virtual landscapes, let’s begin with:

Despair – Darksiders II

First up, Despair, the fiery mount of death from Darksiders II. One of 4 horses of the Apocalypse. Bread by a being only known as the Horse Master, Despair used to be a nice dusty brown, but after being tamed by Death he converted to his appearance of rotten flesh and course veins, more befitting for a harbinger of the apocalypse. Death and Despair go hand in hand, and this horse is ever at the ready to respond to his masters call. While astride, Death can reap his vengeance from the corrupted peons littering the land with a few hefty swings of his scythe, or he can just shoot them. Despair can rush forth in flaming wrath to trample any unfortunates in his path. He can damage foes with the explosive wave of fire created with his summoning as he erupts from the ground. Death can leap from the back of Despair, leaving him to charge full pelt, trampling enemies before vanishing into the safety of the void. Despair also provides one of most daunting character introductions in gaming. The image of  Death galloping through a frozen wasteland on a fiery charger, you can’t get more dark fantasy than that.

Pegasus Horse – God of War 2

Every flap of its wingspan propels it aloft in a wave of heat and fire as it rides through the sky on a torrent of flaming glory. The Pegasus was sent to Kratos by the Titan Gaia with the responsibility of ferrying the Ghost of Sparta from the decimated city of Rhodes to the Island of Creation where the sisters of fate reside. He served well, if only temporarily. The pegasus looks like hot stuff but it’s smart enough not to burn it’s rider, because, you know, magic. Or maybe Kratos is just too badass to be burned. Well, If he can survive the fire of Hades. Anyway. The Pegasus is adept at aerial combat which is instrumental in repelling attacks from the Dark Rider, his Griffin and some flay happy harpies. Sturdier than he looks, this flying filly is even able to survive the crushing pressure from the weight of a Titans hand and travel through the Grecian skies at high velocity speeds. Not many mythical horses can make such a boast.

Ponyta – Pokemon

We have to admit it, fiery horses always look wicked, even in a child friendly game like Pokemon. There is  Rapidash, who looks fierce and has better stats, but Ponyta is just too cute to be ignored. The flames are more subtle in Ponyta’s design, giving it a more authentic appearence while standing on the field of battle. It has a special hidden ability called “Flame Body” which has a 30% chance to cause burns on any opponents that make physical contact. Considering these things inhabit lush green areas, it’s a surprise that there isn’t a constant danger of forest fires. With this it mind, it makes sense to kit your Ponyta out with some physical moves, moves that fit it’s horsieness such as bounce, leaping into the air to trounce your opponent. Or flare blitz, pelting towards your target while shrouded in a cloak of intense flame. However it’s the shiny you really want. If there’s anything cooler than fire, it’s blue fire. Burn baby, burn.

Shadowmere – Skyrim

Horses in Skyrim are hardy stock. They have to be to survive the harsh environments of this winter tundra. Among other things, they are surprisingly good at handling mountain terrain. So good that the laws of physics don’t even apply. The only problem is their mortality rate. In tough fights, your steed will meet an untimely end. All except Shadowmere, the token ride of the Dark Brotherhood. It is an emissary of the void, a gift from Sithis ?herself? and being so, This horse can’t die. Ok, it can but it shrugs it off kicking the bucket like it’s a bad cold. With a higher defence and health regeneration than its brethren, Shadowmere will also resurrect ten in-game days after it falls in battle. Either at the location of demise or rising from the dark pool near the sanctuary from whence it first spawns. Shadowmere. Black as night, eyes burning with the fires of oblivion. Certainly a black beauty. A menacing murderous Black Beauty.

Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare

Zombies have risen to tear the living apart. It’s the end of the world, so it’s only fitting that the four horses of the apocalypse can be encountered and tamed. They are all tough and fast and each have their own special attributes. War, will set the undead on fire. Death will make their heads explode and…

No! No more dead horses on fire. There has to be something less macabre and gritty in this game… Ooh, ooh! I got one.

A mythical Unicorn also makes an appearance to bring a little joy in these days of sorrow. Surrounded by a constant cloud of butterflies, it gallops with a radical rainbow trailing behind it. With unlimited stamina, you’ll be riding the rainbow through every desert in the game. According to red dead wiki she’s the fastest horse in the game. The mythical Unicorn has a higher endurance to gunfire so it is less likely to perish, but it will die if shot in the head. How lucky do you think unicorn horseshoes are? Thinking about it, If the unicorn dies, maybe not that lucky.

Pan – Castlevania

Gabriel Belmont has a monumental task, with a monumental distance to travel. Luckily Pan is one of Gabriel’s allies. Guardian of the Lake of Oblivion, devout servant of God, and a handy shapeshifter. Though he can rarely directly intervene with wordly events, his transformation skills certainly come in handy when a quick escape is needed. As fun as being a werewolf would be, I think Gabriel prefers his flesh attached to his bones. In order to assist his fleeing, Pan adorns a white coat embellished with lines of blue power, taking on a form so divine, this horse even comes with its own church choir theme. He rides hard, each gallop creating a trail of flaming purity. An ancient being, even as an equine he is very calm under pressure, completely unfazed being chased by wargs or having a holy chain whipping dangerously around his head. He takes it all in his stride. Faithful to the last.

Those were six fantastic fantasy video game horses. I promise you, when I first wrote this the fact that most of them are dead or on fire is completely accidental. Which one do you find is the speediest spectacular steed? You can comment, like and subscribe on YouTube. Let us know your opinion on the most magical mount. As the saying goes, everyone’s a critic.

Written by Richie Crossman