Hello and welcome to GYGO! I’m Joesph, your local gaming dilettante, and I’ve tried to play four separate JRPGs this week. It started with Ni No Kuni, which is absolutely beautiful but has a seemingly never-ending tutorial. Then it was back to Chrono Trigger, a slight dip into Dark Cloud 2, before I finally settled into Nier Automata. Now the fun thing about Nier is that my current PC has a mid-range graphics card from 2014, and can only reasonably run it on 480p. Personally, I think more games should consider worse graphics as an aesthetic because the PlayStation-2-style visuals really work with Nier.
Anyway, when I wasn’t making a vibe out of old hardware I was collecting this weeks gaming news. Enjoy! (more…)
A genderless eldritch beast bound to mortal flesh. Interests include games, gardening, magical realism, and the complete restructuring of America’s political and economic systems. Frequently orders too much food at restaurants. Tweets @unnnez.
I’ve been uncomfortably conscious of my body since a pretty young age. When it came to food, I was a fussy child, which resulted in me being overweight. In turn, adults would feel like they were entitled to comment on my body. I have a specific memory of eating a Yorkie (a plain chocolate bar, for non-UK readers) and a stranger harassing me on the street about it. My school’s principals once contacted some form of authority, I can’t remember which, about my fussy eating, which in hindsight broke some serious boundaries. The doctors weren’t even concerned, as other than being overweight I had no serious health issues. But everyone else always had problems with my body. (more…)
Oisin is a non-binary writer based in the UK. They try very hard to think about games other than Kingdom Hearts, but more often than not that’s what they come back to. You can find them @BoyWithWindmill.
We’re now into our second year of a global pandemic and our brains are fried. We’re not up for the serious stuff. So let’s talk about the gaming mysteries that haunt us as we try to sleep.
Is Toad wearing a hat or is that his head?
Melissa Brinks: That’s his head!!! As a Mushroom Person, the spotted part is his… uh, I’ve just learned that that part of a mushroom is called a cap. So both, I guess.
Nola Pfau: That’s definitely his head.
Elvie Mae Parian: Are the Toads simply not elevated, evolved sentient forms of regular mushrooms? He was definitely born with that.
If Drow, Tieflings, and Half-Orcs bad, then why hot? Hmm??
Melissa: I could write a real answer to this question, but instead I’m going to say that it’s because Wizards of the Coast is weak and cowardly and will not survive the winter frosts.
Elvie: As with everything, sin is sexy.
Sara Davis: It’s the commitment to the bit. It doesn’t take half the courage of your convictions to be lawful good.
What has Waluigi done to deserve his unjust exclusion from most Mario games?
Melissa: I could write a real answer to this question, but instead I’m going to say that it’s because Wizards of the Coast Nintendo is weak and cowardly and will not survive the winter frosts.
Elvie: He is a character that has developed far too much power and developed self-awareness. Learning so much dirt on Nintendo through all the years of this conscious state has resulted in the the need for his overlords to keep him at bay.
We miss you, king
Is Mario a human man?
Melissa: There is absolutely nothing about Mario that suggests he is a human man. Name one time Mario has done anything remotely human.
Maddi: Mario is human-shaped, but I think that’s where the similarities end. When you go to New Donk City in Super Mario Odyssey, you see humans, and then you see Mario, and they are not the same. They are not the same!!!
Elvie: So the concept of eating mushrooms seems loosely based around… evolution. I can imagine that if Mario ever ate the right mushrooms or plant he would eventually become a “complete” human. I think he is a preliminary stage of our human species: the missing link.
Twitter users want to know:
Melissa: Yes. As Mario’s otherworld counterpart, Wario is a human. According to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario is Italian, so we can conclude Wario likely is too. And with some 69% of Italians (in Italy) identifying as Catholic, I think the odds are pretty good that Wario is in fact Roman Catholic. Unfortunately I am unable to accept comments or questions about my logic in answering this question.
Doesn’t running around people’s homes, smashing jars, and stealing their stuff make YOU the villain?
Melissa: I get upset when I’m mean to somebody in Love Island: The Game. I can’t stand this attack on my livelihood and I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear it.
Nola: This is literally a point that gets made in a couple of games! I think there’s a character in Zelda that yells at you for smashing their stuff.
Elvie: Oh totally! Of the many times I’ve been scolded by NPCs though, I am not sure why anyone ever goes further beyond that and kicks me out of their homes and sends out a warrant.
Sara: Stealing and fencing household goods is the bread and butter of my RPG play, so I was pretty miffed in the Fable series that so much as paging a tattoo design out of a villager’s bookcase will earn you evil points, and evil points make you grow horns and attract flies.
Alenka Figa: Haha Nola and Sara, I’m happy to hear that, because I love to rib my partner about how the characters she’s playing are actually evil for breaking into people’s houses and taking their stuff!
…If Mario isn’t human, what is he?
Nola: What do you mean, what is he? He’s a plumber. Duh.
Elvie: He’s Italian!
Melissa: A criminal.
Why is Mario hailed as a hero in the Mushroom Kingdom given his serial consumption of mushrooms to increase his own power?
Nola: He is a vengeful god, and the Mushroom People are right to fear and worship him.
Elvie: As I have previously established, the Toad population is, in fact, one and the same with the “lesser” mushrooms of this world. Perhaps Nola is right in that Mario is, indeed, a vengeful, angry god that demands favors through regular sacrifices from his cult, such as future progeny.
Melissa: If Mushroom People are similar to the mushrooms of our world, Mario only consumes their fruiting bodies and not the entirety of the fungus structure. If the Mushroom people so chose, they could defeat Mario with the eldritch power granted to all creatures of the Fungi kingdom, whether in Mario’s world or our own.
[Editor’s note: I am… upset.]
Why are so many of these questions about Mario? Wrong answers only.
Alenka: We live in an uncanny valley world where all questions eventually become about Mario. All questions lead to Mario.
Melissa: Mario is like cordyceps. Wait, hear me out. Where are you going? Don’t you want to hear my theory about how Mario is exactly like a parasitic fungus? (Please note that the cordyceps link contains a fucked-up picture of an ant infected with cordyceps and also some really creepy details about what cordyceps does to a host’s body, so don’t click through unless you, like me, really fucking hate ants and also love reading about all of nature’s bizarro creatures.)
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.
Howdy and welcome to Get Your Game On! I’m Maddi, and I’m very temporally confused because it’s the end April and for the second year in a row I am playing Nier: Replicant, except this year I’m playing the updated release that just came out. While the original Nier was one of my favorite gaming experiences ever, the new version is incredibly gorgeous so far, and I’m enjoying the updated visuals and soundtrack. (And if you subscribe to Sidequest’s Patreon at the Nintendo Entertainment System tier, you can check out my liveblog along with other fun content in Sidequest’s Discord server!) Speaking of new old games, here’s this week’s news. (more…)
Madison Butler writes about advertising by day and about video games the rest of the time. She can usually be found crying about Final Fantasy and Nier: Automata on Twitter @madisonrbutler.
Rune Factory is probably the best farming sim you’ve never heard of… mostly because it’s been assumed dead for the almost eight years, since its original developer Neverland filed for bankruptcy. Rune Factory is a fantasy-themed spinoff of Story of Seasons (formerly known in the States as Harvest Moon, which is now a different franchise) that combines farming with dungeon crawling: you split your time between tending your crops, befriending local townsfolk, and then inviting said townsfolk to come kill monsters with you (or taming the monsters so they can tend your crops and you can get back to killing their brethren). The franchise was only recently revived by Marvelous subsidiary Hakama, inc. with the arrival of the remaster Rune Factory 4 Special and the announcement of Rune Factory 5, expected in Japan in May 2021 and sometime in later 2021 for the rest of us.
Details are coming out slowly—a trailer has been released and the love interests announced—but there is one thing I hope to see in the new RF that’s been missing from the last couple of generations: love rivals. Common to older SoS/HM games was a mechanic where each love interest available to the player also had an NPC vying for their virtual affections, known in fandom spaces as “love rivals.” So, in honor of Rune Factory 5’s upcoming release, here’s 5 reasons why love rivals should be a thing again.
December Cuccaro (she/her) is an MFA candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno. When not rambling about video games, she writes about sapphic werewolves and sad necromancers searching for friendship.
Content notes: This piece discusses parental physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. There are also major spoilers for Hades. (more…)