Is This Gaming’s Greatest Toilet? The Toilet Publishers Don’t Want You To See

I’m really getting the hang of these headlines, I think. In my review of Albino Lullaby this week, I included a throwaway line that I then didn’t justify in pictorial form. I wrote that it features, “the best toilet in gaming history.” You can’t just say a thing like that and expect not to be required to prove it. I think the image above has already done that, but there are more, just in case – click on them to appreciate them fully.

The lack of an image was due to a peculiar glitch with Unreal Engine 4 and FRAPS, the screenshot and video capturer of my career-long choice. In fact, the conflict between the two sent everything so barmy that I lost the ability to Alt-Tab, as well as filling my /pics file with a huge number of screenshots of Tweetdeck. Games journalism.

But I do not shirk from responsibility, no sir/madam. I restarted Albino Lullaby, and rushed through the first couple of sections to return to what I think you already now agree is GAMING’S GREATEST TOILET, to capture it in screenshotted glory.

It’s not without stiff competition. All my gaming life I’ve been fascinated by the dedication and care that goes into reproducing the little boys and girls’ room in videographic entertainment. In film, television, pop-up books and literature characters almost never seem to need to wee or poo, and bathrooms rarely make an appearance unless absolutely plot critical. (It leads to the deeply peculiar phenomenon that should a character ever actually go for a wee, it means you know an important plot point is about to occur – not something I can say is always reflected in my daily experience.) But in games, they’re everywhere! And almost always just as extraneous detail, rather than vital to the core story. Sure, there’s definitely going to be a box of shotgun shells behind one of the cubical doors, but the ubiquity of water closets shows gaming to be the most honest and realistic of mediums.

I’m not the only one drawn to our porcelain friends. Long have I planned to create a gallery of the ultimate toilets in games, but long have I been a lazy and easily distracted thing, and so never have. Fortunately others are more diligent than I – so very many, in fact. For instance, here PC Gamer’s editor, Samuel Roberts, explains why he loves the toilets in Dishonored. Games Radar once felt the need to collate the weirdest things they’d found in gaming loos. Kotaku’s Luke Plunger Plunkett wrote A Visual History Of Video Game Toilets. IGN’s Justin Davis wrote an essay on why gaming toilets are disgusting. Maxim once picked the best 12 toilets in games, but the idiots deleted it. Oh, and me too! I genuinely interviewed Charles Cecil and Al Lowe to talk about toilets in games.

But I think it’s going to be a long time before anyone can claim to have a toilet to match Albino’s. Just look at them.

It’s important to note that later in the game, that central wonder starts to spin around. Yes.

40 Comments

  1. phlebas says:

    Fantastically, Taboola provides a link headed “Witnessing the Beginning of a Movement”.

  2. christmas duck says:

    So Albino Lullaby has the best toilet and Gone Home has the best kitchen, any other rooms in John Walker’s video game house?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I like the living room + kitchenette of Jensen in Deus Ex. Though he probably never asked for it.

    • phuzz says:

      Franklin’s (fancy) house in GTA V is quite nice, although I’m not sure if it’s the sort of place I’d like to live. I’d rather have a nice garden rather than a pool.

    • thelastpointer says:

      Load British’s room.

  3. cyphercolt says:

    Looks inspired by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, with the sinks around the central pillar.

  4. Muzman says:

    Holy crap!

  5. Awesomeclaw says:

    This is truly the greatest example of New Games Journaloosm.

  6. Fersken says:

    On what criteria do you judge a toilet great? I’ve not played Albino Lullaby, so maybe someone can explain why the cleaning staff refuses to clean the porcelain? Unless the answer is a spoiler I would expect RPS to explain this in an article devoted to a specific toilet. I need answers!

    And I would prefer some privacy, and toilet paper. Actually, toilet paper and privacy are probably two of the most important criteria to determine a great toilet.

    If I could choose any for my self, I would probably choose something outside gaming. I can’t remember seeing a toilet in Star Trek TNG (you did see bathrooms though). This is because toilet is not a physical object or place in TNG. It is a job description, one held by Miles O’Brien for most of TNG.

    So I would choose that type of toilet I think. I have now set a personal record for writing ‘toilet’ in a comment that I suspect I will not beat in the future.

    • Stropp says:

      They never showed the toilets in Star Trek because any time you went into one, there was the captains log…

    • Mr Coot says:

      Do agree. These are disturbing toilets. No loo paper. No privacy. And splatter marks both inside *and* outside the bowl. Down with this sort of thing.

    • thelastpointer says:

      I just realized that not once have I witnessed toilet paper in games :O
      Also, you can’t have privacy when some jerk with a rocket launcher always comes in to loot the toilet.

      • apa says:

        In Leisure Suit Larry 1 you get a scrap of it stuck to your shoe.

  7. Not_Id says:

    Any idea if shit and piss gets thrown into the air when the ‘central wonder’ spins?
    If not, could you kindly message the devs requesting that feature please. I wouldn’t even mind if they released it as dlc. :)

  8. KDR_11k says:

    Don’t forget the list by the 8 bit pwny club:

  9. Geebs says:

    Shhhh, John, you’re giving the game away! Men’s toilets in the real world are of course never like this architectural marvel. They’re a single grubby bowl in a closet with a 10-minute long queue, just like the Ladies’.

    Ahem. Just to make it clear, girls, it’s absolutely, definitely not the case that every single male public convenience is as splendid as this. He’s just pulling your leg.

  10. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Janitors HATE this one weird trick for keeping beautiful gaming toilets clean

  11. Kitsunin says:

    In England, “Toilet” is used instead of the American “Bathroom”, I’m guessing?

    Interesting, there’s an almost identical difference with Mandarin, Chinese say “Toilet” (the word which technically means poop-seat) when referring to the room, Taiwanese say “Wash hands room”.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      And toilet in turn comes from the French “dressing room”.

      • mpk says:

        And now I finally understand why it’s called “Eau de toilette”

  12. Cederic says:

    That’s an extraordinarily unbritish toilet.

    As a man you either stand facing other people using the facilities or join the ladies and sit with your back to arbitrary members of the public who may or may not be sat with their back to you, stood facing you and/or missing the bowl entirely and accidentally weeing on you.

    Maybe not accidentally.

    Sorry but this is not a great toilet. This is a horrific nightmare, a guaranteed source of performance anxiety, the cause of sleepless nights, an advertisement for Abena Abri-Form.

  13. Darth Gangrel says:

    Oh yes, more of this please! RPS is the place that really discusses the fundamental things about games, especially the things you never thought you wanted to know about. After reading about the marvellous ceilings in Deus Ex: HR, I’m delighted to see this article describing a toilet in a game.

    If I may say so, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines had wonderful toilets as well and in Deus Ex 1 you could even flush the toilets.

  14. racccoon says:

    I think he fart gun works well when approaching these toilets.

  15. Mr Coot says:

    WoW occasionally gets.. bogged down in the scatological. There is an outhouse in your garrison – ‘Why does this outhouse make the cursor a gear wheel when I mouse over it?’ you may think on first finding it. No s(p)oilers.. /beliefbeggared

    • jrodman says:

      Don’t forget the questline to free a gnome locked in an outhouse in the Searing Gorge. I think in the game’s story he’d been there for at least weeks.

  16. bobbobob says:

    Working link for the maxim thing – EVEN MORE TOILET!!!
    link to maxim.com

  17. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Reminds me a bit of the Victorian toilets on the Rothesay pier they renovated and reopened when I was much younger. 20p entry fee was unheard of at the time, but marble insanity abounded and it was totes worth it.

  18. haiku error shades says:

    Very willing to blame the whole outhouse oeuvre on Sam Peckinpah.

  19. median says:

    No toilet can be the greatest unless it can also be used as an escape to (or entrance from) the sewers below.