A perhaps little-known fact about the Sidequest crew is that we’re fucking obsessed with frogs. Or maybe not frogs, per se, but responding “frog” (not “frogs,” not “a frog,” just “frog”) every time I ask a question. This can be traced back to our very important and hard-hitting list of best gaming frogs (which Chrono Trigger‘s Frog won in our Patreon poll), but “frog” has remained a favorite response for literally any question I’ve asked in the last two years.

So, in the hopes that I can maybe, just maybe, get another response from our contributors (perhaps “dog” or “giraffe” or, hell, “ludonarrative dissonance” [good luck —Nola]), I am indulging us in a bit of frogcourse this November. Let us celebrate frogs by discussing them (but not too loudly—they’re hibernating) in all their gaming glory.

Frog advocate Zainabb Hull deserves accolades for coming up with a series of froggy questions to make this roundtable work.

But first, before we get into Zainabb’s questions: explain yourselves and your obsession with frogs, please. This is a gaming site.

Zainabb Hull: Frog.

Cress: They’re moisturized, thriving, and in their element. What’s not to love? I personally have three frogs at home, and my frog army only grows stronger by the day.

Kamie Wootan: As you observe a frog, you can’t help but notice their unique characteristics. Their large, bulging eyes are positioned at the top of their head, allowing them to see in almost every direction. Their skin is smooth and moist to the touch, and the way their throat expands to create sound. The ribbits themselves seem to resonate within your body, creating a sense of calm and tranquility. As you listen, it’s almost as if you’re hearing the sounds of a distant monastery, with bells and singing bowls ringing out in harmony. A perfect choice for a wise old man brimming with knowledge.

What’s your favourite frog game?

Melissa Brinks: I’m only saying this for nostalgia reasons—in all likelihood, Frogger 3D was not a good game. But it was one of the earliest 3D games I played (in demo form, on my uncle’s computer), and I was convinced it was fully open world and there was a boundless space for me to explore. There wasn’t. But that didn’t stop me from trying! I played that demo over and over, specifically the parts where you hopped through a marshy area rather than dodging traffic. I would hate this game now but I can’t hate this soundtrack.

Nola Pfau: Games with frogs, or games about frogs?

Zainabb: I’m a big fan of the Frog Detective series, where you not only play as a frog but as a frog who solves mysteries! These games are cute with a silly sense of humour, and puzzles that are complex enough to make me feel like I’m using my brain but straightforward so that I don’t get frustrated. Also you get to use a magnifying glass like a real froggy detective.

Cress: Going out on a limb and plugging Mother 3’s little frogs that save your game. No matter the terrain, no matter the time, there’s a little frog ready to hear your journey and keep it safe in its little hoppy heart.

There’s also a little indie game called A Frog’s Tale that’s in development. It looks really cute, we definitely need more froggy games!

Melissa: I love that nobody answered Nola and the mystery remains through the rest of this roundtable.

Who’s your favourite frog in gaming?

A gif of Frog Detective, a bipedal frog in a brown sweater, holding a magnifying glass, dancing on a beach.

Look at him go.

Joan Zahra Dark: As much as I am biased towards FGOTY (frog game of the year) Frogsong, I do have a particular soft spot for Frog Detective from Grace Buxner’s series of Frog Detective indie gems. The style of deadpan comedy the Frog Detective (also known as The Detective) delivers with such a perfect face and demeanor is hard not to love. And he can’t wear hats because of his weird head shape.

Zainabb: I also love Frog Detective! I’m fond of Teacup from Teacup as well; her chill attitude and desire to help her community on her quest to brew the perfect cup of tea really won me over. But my favourite frog isn’t technically a frog at all—King Trode from Dragon Quest VIII is actually a human who gets turned into a toad-like monster, which is close enough for me. Dragon Quest VIII remains a nostalgic fave in my memory, and Trode is there with slapstick comedy and sage wisdom as you journey to save the world from a creeping evil.

Cress: Gotta go with Glenn/Frog from Chrono Trigger. He was a human transformed into his amphibious form by Magus during the Fiend War. Throughout the game he’s an absolute bro, and has great tech combos with Chrono doing X-strikes. He will even accept Magus into the party later, should the player allow it. This decision also pays off for Glenn, transforming him back in the end credits. Though this could be considered a downgrade to some (to me).

Kamie: I’m playing through Super Mario RPG remaster for the Switch and am loving the nostalgia, and of course the frogs. I love my not-so-froggy boi Mallow, his musical tadpole brethren, and his Grandpa the Frog Sage. He was called Frogfucious in the original, which I’d have to say has a nicer ring to it.

If you were a frog which game would you like to live in and why?

Zainabb: I would either like to live out Teacup‘s peaceful pastoral fantasy, concocting tea and baked goods for the whole community, or I’d need to go full frog with it (most days are full frog days for me, honestly). I think the marshland of the Korcari Wilds in Dragon Age: Origins would make me perfectly happy, especially with the world full of magic.

However, while the Korcari Wilds would help me be my best witchy frog self, I’m also nervous about the possibility of getting squished by roving darkspawn or aggy Grey Wardens. I think, ultimately, I might prefer a more peaceful life as a tree frog in Eruyt Village in Final Fantasy XII, surrounded by lush greenery, treetop buildings, and bunny girls.

Cress: I would want to be one of those little save frogs in Mother 3. One, I’d be able to talk, and two, I’m able to help the heroes. There’s so many of those little frogs so I’d have other little froggy friends to chat with. Considering all the areas you find them in, it feels like I’d be able to travel the world with my little rucksack.

What game features the best froggy mechanics? What makes it so good?

Melissa: Weird answer here, but when I think of frog mechanics, two things are essential to me: mobility through jumping, and some sort of sticky attack. So, despite frogs being nowhere in this game, I nominate Spider-Man (the first one, as I haven’t played the others). No other game has had me as joyfully jumping around and attacking with something sticky as Spider-Man does. Also, both spiders and frogs eat flies, so.

Cress: Link in Breath of the Wild does a lot of climbing and hopping. With enough patience and stamina, you can scale whole mountains. Even if he’s getting tired you can just let him hang there, never having the stamina lower. He’s like those tree frogs with little suction cups for hands.

Zainabb: I got stuck and never finished it but my memories of Guacamelee! feel pretty damn froggy. Similar to Spider-Man and Link, you play a character (in this case, a luchador) who does a lot of leaping around as you navigate tricky platforms and dodge enemy attacks. Fights involve a lot of agility but also the kind of satisfying thwacks that I imagine feel similar to whipping out a sticky tongue to eat bugs.

Why do you think the frog continues to be an icon within gaming/what is it about frogs in gaming that appeals so much?

Zainabb: Frogs are just weird lil sticky guys! What doesn’t appeal, honestly?

Cress: They have such defiant little stances and faces, I can’t get enough of them. Maybe it’s their big ol’ eyes or their round little bodies. They’re so ubiquitous it’s nearly impossible to find someone without an opinion on them. May these critters be with us forever.

Melissa: Frogs are cute and just a little freaky, which I think describes most of the Sidequest crew.

The froggy chair from Animal Crossing on a plaid background. The chair itself is green, with a back that looks like a frog smiling vacantly.

An icon.

Where would you place froggy chair in your home?

Melissa: I have a nice little loft area (I think it’s technically called a “bonus room” but… what kind of bonus?) that I think would be perfectly suited to the froggy chair, especially because there is currently very little in that room.

Zainabb: I would set up froggy chair near my cat’s heated pad since it’s the perfect size for her. I can sit on froggy chair to hang out with my cat when she’s trying to stay warm, and it’ll also become kitty froggy chair, I expect, which is even better than froggy chair.

Cress: There’s an area near the window by some plants that’d be cute. I’d probably put our sad little orange tree on it.

Generate a frog here (with a friend or adapt to solo play) and share your drawing and/or poem. Please feel free to share yours in the comments!

Zainabb: There once was a small lonely frog
Who wished to kiss another frog
So up from the mud
They summoned a bud
But upon planting a kiss
The dead struck out a fist
And little froggy died right on the spot

Cress: Round and plump
Covered in bumps
Scattered on the floor
Trilling voice
Forever moist
Oh how I do adore

Bonus question from Joan Zahra Dark: What’s your favorite frog game of the year and why is it Frogsong?

Melissa: I have played only two new games this year—Mask of the Rose and Baldur’s Gate 3. I am giving this prestigious award to Baldur’s Gate because (spoilers for Act I) I thought it was quite funny when the Addled Frog blew my team up and also Lae’zel is queen frog girl.

Zainabb: Thank you Melissa for reminding me about Addled Frog! One of my character’s cantrips is Speak With Animals, which I keep on permanently because it’s honestly a dream getting to have actual conversations with every single animal I encounter. After meeting Addled Frog for the first time and getting thoroughly merked, I reloaded just so I would be able to keep it alive by coming back later. Addled Frog is easily frog of the year for me, too.

Zora Gilbert: I’m glad we all got to experience Addled Frog together.