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Mario & Peach

Thank you Mario! But our princess is codependent!: 15 dysfunctional relationships in games

You think your love life is messed up?

By Anthony John Agnello, Kate Cox, Emily Gordon, Joe Keiser, Samantha Nelson, Derrick Sanskrit, Ryan Smith, John Teti, Drew Toal, Adam Volk, and Dan Whitehead • February 14, 2013

1. Mario and Peach, Super Mario series (1985-2012) et al.

Maybe you’re single and seething at today’s ubiquitous celebrations of affection and couplehood. Or maybe you feel inadequate because your relationship can’t measure up to the saccharine vision of love pushed by the florist-chocolatier cabal every February. But it could be worse: You could have a video game relationship. Broken relationships are the norm in the game world, even for Mario and Princess Peach, who constitute the video game equivalent of Jack and Jackie Kennedy’s stately Camelot romance. Much like the Kennedy marriage, Mario and Peach’s impossibly happy media image conceals deep-seated issues. Given that Mario’s whole raison d’etre is to rescue Peach, he only comes alive when she’s placed in mortal peril. Their relationship essentially depends on Peach experiencing one scarring trauma after another. Just look at Mario in the opening scene of New Super Mario Bros. U. He’s conducting rote small talk as he sleepwalks his way through yet another goddamn tea party. This is his death. It’s only when Bowser assaults the castle with explosives that Mario truly becomes Mario—his “beloved” Peach is in trouble, let’s a-go! Then again, who knows? Maybe Peach gets off on it, too, and the whole “Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!” business is just one long bout of foreplay.

2. The Sandersons, Chibi-Robo! (2006)

Mr. Sanderson lost his job, and now spends his days watching cartoons and playing with his toys, never bothering to search for work. Mrs. Sanderson tries to be supportive, but her husband doesn’t make it easy. He ignores his unruly dog, fails to notice that his daughter only communicates via frog noises, and worst of all, he spends the last of his money on a four-inch-tall cleaning robot without ever consulting with the missus. Most husbands are used to sleeping on the couch every now and then, but this is the straw that breaks Mrs. Sanderson’s back, as she locks herself in the bedroom and contemplates the possibility of divorce. An overgrown manchild and a wife at her wit’s end make for some serious drama, but they also make for a realistic representations of a modern family under strain.

3. Larry and the deadly hooker, Leisure Suit Larry (1987)

Before The 40-Year-Old Virgin there was the somewhat less wholesome Larry Laffer and his quest for love. If the player chooses, Larry can first seek companionship in the arms of a prostitute. Unlike cartoonist Chester Brown, whose graphic novel Paying For It chronicles his mostly satisfying experiences as a john, Larry’s censored rendezvous in the loft space/crack den next to Lefty’s Bar leaves something to be desired: “Although successful, you feel less than satisfied. Technically speaking, you’re no longer a virgin, but for some reason, the thrill just wasn’t there. You vow to continue your quest until you please your heart, not just your other organs.” That quest proves short-lived, though, if the player neglects to use protection. If that’s the case, Larry soon learns that the hooker gave him a little more than he bargained for, and he drops dead on the sidewalk from an incredibly fast-acting STD. This public service announcement was brought to you by Al Lowe.

4. Juliet and Nick, Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)

Teenage romances often devolve into a cocktail of raging hormones and bad breakups. The zombie-filled slash-’em-up Lollipop Chainsaw, however, takes doomed high school romances to a whole new level of dysfunction—and disembodiment. Juliet, the game’s chainsaw-wielding cheerleader heroine, just happens to have magically reanimated the severed head of her boyfriend Nick. Living life as a grotesque accessory on Juliet’s belt is bad enough, but to make matters worse, Juliet also uses Nick’s head to perform a variety of special attacks. She might, for instance, attach his cranium to a decapitated zombie body and force him to clear a path through the hordes of undead. It’s further proof that love hurts.

5. Jason Brody and Citra, Far Cry 3 (2012)
Far Cry 3

Let’s put aside the questionable colonial overtones of Far Cry 3, in which pampered college broseph Jason Brody drives a tough island priestess wild with animalistic desire by being totally awesome at killing dudes with a bow and arrow. Regardless of how your path through the game played out, there’s no escaping the fact that Brody is a repressed ball of pampered rage, seduced by the idea of becoming a legendary mystical warrior, and Citra is portrayed as a scheming native temptress who just wants to drain his top-quality white-boy sperm to create an island superhero all of her own. This is bound to end in tears.

6. Roxas and Xion, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (2009)

There have been times in the long history of Kingdom Hearts where the series has transcended its delirious premise—Mickey Mouse teaming up with anime-esque characters to hit things with giant keys—and delivered stories of childhood romance with real resonance and emotion. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is not one of those times. Instead it chronicles the burgeoning romance between Roxas and Xion. Roxas is the “Nobody” of series main character Sora, which means—and this is an oversimplification—he’s Sora’s body and soul, with the heart removed. As his relationship with Xion blossoms, it’s revealed that Xion is actually a clone of Roxas, made out of Sora’s memories. Look, nothing about this can make rational sense, but what this comes down to is Sora’s body is getting hot and heavy with Sora’s mind. And, you know, we’ve all been there. But it’s just not a good long-term plan for happiness.

7. Elika and Prince, Prince of Persia (2008)

[Note: This entry discusses the ending of Prince Of Persia.] For most of Prince Of Persia, Elika and Prince seem to have a good thing going. He helps her stop the god of darkness from gaining power through improbable feats of acrobatics, and she keeps him from falling to his death. Sure, Elika’s dad really doesn’t like her new guy, but that’s true in so many relationships. Where things get unhealthy is when Elika reveals that she needs to die in order to put the dark god back in his prison and save the world from destruction. This should be a beautiful, tragic love story but instead Prince resurrects Elika against her will, undoing all the work their relationship is based on and dooming the world in the process. Being devoted to your special someone is usually a good thing, but sometimes you just need to let go.

8. Caim and Furiae, Drakengard (2004)

Drakengard may have the outward appearance of a sword-fighting, dragon-riding good time, but that belies the game’s true nature. It’s really an encyclopedia of the grotesque, featuring psychopathic mass murder, explicit baby eating, implicit pedophilia, and more—do you need more? Here, then: The emotional core of the game is the love triangle between the main character, Caim; his sister, Furiae; and his childhood friend Inuart. The sister and the friend are engaged, but Inuart has naked jealousy for Caim’s bond with his sister. And Caim’s dragon pal repeatedly goads Caim with talk of his sister’s purity and womanhood. The whole thing crescendos with Furiae committing suicide. The English translation does its level best to paper over the incest, but it’s plain as day in the Japanese original, and either way, Caim and Furiae really need to meet new people—people they’re not related to, and who they aren’t stabbing repeatedly to death.

9. Trip and Monkey, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010)
Enslaved

For most of Enslaved, you interact with only two human characters: Tripitaka, a clever young woman who uses her technical skills to manipulate the world around her, and Monkey, a hulking brute whose preferred approach to a problem is brute strength. Their lives are literally bound together: Monkey is Trip’s slave, and the band he wears ties his life to hers. If she dies, he dies. She can and does control him, manipulating the band to thwart any notions of escape that Trip might have. Over the course of their journey, the slave and master develop feelings for one another, a relationship that comes to the fore when they encounter Pigsy, a raunchy man who lusts after Trip. With Pigsy on the scene, Monkey takes on a dual role: He’s Trip’s father-figure protector and also Pigsy’s rival for her romantic attention. So, to recap, Trip falls in love with her slave, who has threatened to kill her with his bare hands, and compels him to protect her virtue from the leches of the world. It’s more creepy than romantic.

10. Guybrush and Elaine, The Curse Of Monkey Island (1997)

Wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood falls for Governor Elaine Marley early in his first adventure, The Secret Of Monkey Island. Yet by their third outing, The Curse Of Monkey Island, his bumbling has done her far more harm than good. Guybrush proposes to her with a cursed diamond ring that turns her into a statue. The curse is bad enough, but he commits the cardinal sin of relationships and tries to lie to her about it. Now, sure, a healthy romance can probably survive some accidental petrification—but even a mighty pirate needs to be honest with his partner.

11. Ethan Mars and Madison Paige, Heavy Rain (2010)

The entire relationship between desperate father Ethan and supposed journalist Madison is based on sexual availability during a time of pronounced mental and physical trauma. With Ethan’s son abducted by the mysterious Origami Killer, Madison assigns herself to the case—and to Ethan, becoming his personal nursemaid as he crawls through glass and chops off bits of himself to satisfy the whims of a madman. Neither Ethan nor Madison needs to survive the whole game, and the player doesn’t have to encourage their relationship. But when scenes are played “right,” the result is a supremely awkward hotel-room-floor boning and a subsequent romance rooted in the rock-solid foundation of mutual PTSD.

12. Garcia “Fucking” Hotspur and Paula, Shadows Of The Damned (2011)

In Shadows Of The Damned, Garcia Hotspur, a Mexican demon hunter, follows a demon into hell to rescue his girlfriend Paula. The thing is, their relationship never seems like it’s “follow someone into hell” worthy. They meet when Garcia finds Paula in a dumpster. He brings her home to live with him, where she is completely mute for weeks, until the phone rings and she speaks for the first time to beg Garcia not to answer the call. Later, she attacks him with a knife for no reason. Luckily, she’s hot and wears only a corset for the majority of their time together. Apparently that’s all you need for an epic romance to flourish. Garcia and Paula are the couple you see at parties that spend half the time screaming at each other through a bathroom door and the other half making out in the corner.

13. Vincent and Catherine/Katherine, Catherine (2011)

[Note: This entry discusses the ending of Catherine.] In some ways, the bizarre love triangle between commitment-phobic bachelor Vincent, his girlfriend Katherine, and a sexy interloper named Catherine feels like an offbeat take on the classic Judd Apatow archetype: a man-boy who must decide between sober maturity and frat-house slackitude. But the stakes are raised to a new level in the erotic horror/thriller/rom-com/puzzle game Catherine when Vincent finally discovers that the blonde vixen he’s been seeing on the side is, in fact, a mythical succubus—the ultimate evil in Manic Pixie Dream Girls. There are several different endings to the game, but none of them seem all that desirable for poor Katherine, except for the one where she just breaks up with the noncommittal douche once and for all.

14. Ryu Hayabusa and Irene Law, Ninja Gaiden (1989) et al.
Ninja Gaiden

Keanu Reeves is full of wisdom in the movie Speed. “I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work,” he says to Sandra Bullock after they ride an exploding subway car through Hollywood. And indeed, it doesn’t work out. Ryu Hayabusa, ninja scion of a demon fighting legacy, and his gal pal, CIA agent Irene Law, should have taken Bullock’s world-weary insight to heart. Their entire relationship is based on intense experiences. Irene shoots Ryu with a tranquilizer gun the first time they ever meet—this might be a “cute meet,” but it’s no way to build trust. Over the course of Ninja Gaiden through Ninja Gaiden 3 on the NES, Irene convinces Ryu to do the following: parachute into the Amazon jungle to kill an ancient demon, fight his father to the death, and rescue her from a guy who calls himself the Emperor Of Chaos. Ryu, rather than save Irene from a whole lot of heartbreak, continues living the ninja life. He could save them so much trouble by just talking it out with his demonic enemies! And look at them now, reduced to bit roles in Dead Or Alive, shadows of their former selves.

15. Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, Uncharted series (2007-2011)

It’s hard to blame journalist Elena Fisher when she falls for Nathan Drake—the adventurer with rugged good looks and an ear for sarcastic quips—while she films his search for buried treasure. But look, girl, it’s time for some real talk. Maybe this relationship with Nate isn’t the best idea after all. His propensity for putting you in danger over and over, not to mention the fact that he guns down hundreds of people over some dusty old artifact, really puts the second part of the “rogue with a heart of gold” equation into question. Remember dealing with Nathan’s sexy double-crossing ex-girlfriend? Or that time pirates chased you and shot at you? Or hell, the time a grenade blew up and nearly killed you? Elena, you need to dump that bum and find a nice, normal guy.

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  • rvb1023

    Peach/Mario could also read as Peach/Bowser. In all honesty the Mario/Peach/Bowser triangle is one of the funniest parts of the series and I absolutely love it.

    And Garcia Hotspur kicks ass. I have nothing else to add to that.

    • http://thechatcast.com/ Malice Pure

      I believe you mean Garcia “Fucking” Hotspur

      • rvb1023

         Forgive me, I will be sure to not dishonor his good name.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      Man, I hope Mario, Peach and Bowser are having an inclusive poly relationship.
         I know Bowser is a megalomaniacal Dragon Turtle, but I’d still feel bad if he discovered he was a non-consensual third in Mario’s cuckolding fetish.
         
         ”It’s a-no good la mia Pesca!  It’s as limp as a spaghetti noodle.  How-a about you go outside and make-a yourself look vulnerable for Mario?” 

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/gorfious,4040/ Gorfious

        In regards to Nintendo characters and cuckolding, I was almost sure Zelda was going to end up with Groose in Skyward Sword.  The beginning of the game felt like the classic setup for an NTR comic.

      • Pandas_please

        This is going to make my next play through of Super Mario World take on a decidedly different feel.

      • PaganPoet

        I’m a little more intrigued by the fact that Mario is calling Peach his fish. That’s some straight-up Paris is Burning lingo right there. Is Peach packing a little something extra under her petticoats?

    • Mike Mariano

      I liked that in Super Mario Sunshine, Peach actually entertains the possibility that she might be Bowser Jr’s mother.  Why would that be possible, Princess…?

  • valondar

     Just as Mario was copied for virtually everything else, it feels like he launched a whole generation of dysfunctional platforming relationships which are less about commitment and more about saving them from the Boss character du jour.

    One I remember offhand is Earthworm Jim, who could never be bothered to even remember the Princess’s name (or something like that). And even Gex the Gecko wound up with a human (live action) girlfriend, for reasons I don’t even know about.

  • Kilzor

    Also, Elena, Nathan has single-handedly killed hundreds if not thousands of people in his mad quest for various pieces of gold.  Homicidal mania, while shiny at first, does not sustain a serious loving relationship.

  • Kilzor

    I always put the gold standard here as Naked Snake and Eva.  Those crazy kids, with their doublecrossing and conflicting East/West ideologies.  Sometimes you have to let a wild motorcycle chase through a rouge Soviet missile base be just that and walk away before it’s too late.

    • onantiad

       I think everyone knows the great romance of MGS was Ocelot and Snake.

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

        Were going to get in to some weird slashfic territory soon

  • PaganPoet

    I’m going to be completely predictable and include the Persona 3 relationships here:

    Yukari: I think…I think I love you…

    “You spent a special night together with Yukari”

    *goes out with Mitsuru the very next day*

    At least Persona 4 gives you the option of getting intimate with your female social links or not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Kovalsky/1504237433 Peter Kovalsky

      By far the best romance path in P3 was Elizabeth. Especially if you play it imported/undubbed, because the Japanese voice acting is phenomenal (though the English dubs for Elizabeth are also appropriately weird, and she’s not tasked with horribly mispronouncing the other characters’ names).

  • PaganPoet

    You know, for as much acclaim as Catherine gets for being a mature look at adult games, and as much as I enjoyed puzzle gameplay of it…it annoyed the shit of me. Why are the two love interest choices two misogynistic caricatures of real people? So you can choose between the sensible but nagging ball and chain or the dangerous purring mattress kitten? And what about if the people playing this game aren’t romatically/sexually into women at all? Don’t we deserve to have our opinions taken into account as well?

    As I said, I enjoyed the puzzle-solving aspect of the game immensely, but I don’t think the game was as “mature” as it presented itself OR as the gaming community received it at all.

    • Pandas_please

       Ugh, don’t even get me started on that game. One word: Erica.

    • duwease

      Here’s the thing about Katherine.  She says that she wants a long term relationship, and if after 5 years Vincent can’t commit to that, it needs to end so that she can achieve this elsewhere.  She suggests that spending 7 nights a week in the same dingy bar getting blackout drunk is not productive for a man in his 30′s.  She suggests that halfassing through work hungover everyday most likely isn’t satisfying or productive.  These are all valid points.

      Even then, she doesn’t force his hand on this matter.. she lets him continue to stall, and black out.  And she brings him cake.

      This is why I think the game did a pretty good job of capturing the mental transition from a single man in his 20′s to a committed man in his 30′s.  A single man in his 20′s would see these comments that his lifestyle might not be the best as a threat to his freedom and write it off as nagging.  A man in his 30′s, ready to commit, is willing to ask… does she maybe have a point?  Am I blinded by the natural tendency to always paint myself as the hero of my own story?  And those are questions with no easy answers.. it’s a tightrope between being selfish and being taken advantage of.

      But what do I know.. I was one of the few people who defended Betty Draper.  Don *did* cheat on her, repeatedly, and everyone knew she was getting played!  In my defense, that was before she went all petulant woman-child caricature.

    • caspiancomic

      If you play Catherine just so, you actually get a really satisfying and earned finale to the story and characters’ arcs. Specifically, if you get the “Freedom: good” ending, the story ends with both Catherine and Katherine dumping Vincent, who takes out a huge loan and makes a bet on a wrestling match, and loses. That sounds to me like the destination these characters were working towards.

  • caspiancomic

    Spoilers ahead:

    See also: James Sunderland and any woman in Silent Hill 2. His previously maybe healthy relationship with his wife ended with him going insane and killing her, possibly not even in that order, and depending on which ending you get he opts to continue the trend by leaving town with her trashier doppelganger Maria, who in addition to being a guilt-induced figment of his imagination, is also dead at least twice over by that point.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      Should anything ever happen to me, of course I want my wife to be happy and move on with her life.  But If she ended up marrying again to my trashy doppelganger, I think I’ll be upset.
         Well.  Trash-ier doppelganger.  Sometimes I suspect I’m already someone’s trashy doppelganger.

    • Penis Van Lesbian

      Well, that can’t be good.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I found the Multitudes of Tunnels level for Train Simulator 2013 to be a pretty reductionist take on relationships.  I was hoping for a bit more depth in the DLC, but neither the Hot Dog FactoryChugging Industrial Pistons nor the Rocket Blast-Off additions expanded on the original in any meaningful way.

  • http://51percentkidding.blogspot.com/ Power_Lloyd

    Ico

  • http://www.norcalblogs.com/buzzblog Ryan Olson

    I would be snarky, but the main vehicle in “Speed” was a bus, not a subway car. Setting “Speed” in a subway car is as ludicrous as putting it on a cruise ship … oh, wait …

  • EmperorNortonI

     I seem to recall his junk exploding.  It seemed pretty lethal to me.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      I suppose the line “life may be possible but it’s no longer worth it” can be taken either way. 

  • DrFlimFlam

    Final Fantasy X spoilers ahead.

    Tidus and Yuna was a real fun mix of tragedy. Tidus spends a large portion of the game completely oblivious to what becomes apparent to most players pretty early on – that a successful summoner is death marching to the end, a quest that is bigger than them and that they are willing to  sacrifice themselves for, though Yuna is heading off to defeat Sin at an especially young age.

    In the end, Yuna doesn’t die, but Tidus was a dream of the past yanked into the present, so he kicks it instead, high-fiving his dad on the way out.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Spira!

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      And the “good” ending of X-2: Yuna gets to spend her life with a fake lover. Hooray!

  • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

    Discounting the Mario series, I’ve only ever played two of the games on this list.

    But pretty much every video game romance is dysfunctional when looked at through normal world lenses.

    All the shit in Mass Effect just creeped me out. When given the option, I usually try to steer the fuck away from romance in games. It’s more uncomfortable and forced than the stuff on BSG.

    Oh, and if you think Madison Page and Ethan Mars were bad, well… just check out Indigo Prophecy. I think David Cage’s ultimate goal is to make Awkward Sex Scene: THE GAME.  Press circle and tilt your controller at a 37 degree angel to insert penis

    • Halloween_Jack

      It’s totes worth romancing Thane in ME2 (as FemShep, of course), though, just for the letter that you get after… ah… a certain thing happens in ME3. Also fun: romancing Liara in ME1, a different character in ME2, and then running the DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker just for Liara’s catty comments about your current squeeze.

  • Chris Hansen

    “I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work”
    Man, don’t tell that to that one couple who met in an Iranian prison or something.

  • EmperorNortonI

    No, you don’t understand.  I live in Japan, so I do, at least a little bit more.

    You see, the “neglected housewife” phase is a necessary stage in the evolution of the most terrifying breed of Japanese woman . . . the scary obaachan, or grandma.  They are unstoppable forces of nature, but they don’t come out of nowhere.  When girlish passion and verve is crushed by the soul-deadening life of the housewife, it is transformed, much like a carbon, into a jewel of compressed bad-assery.  Sure, it seems pretty sad and empty during their 20′s and 30′s, but by the time they are reaching 40, they are gradually becoming the dominant pillars of the community, and by the time they are 50, the entire world revolves around their iron will. 

    So, yeah, Sailor Moon’s ideal future seemed kind of sad, but that’s only because we didn’t see her as an old woman, by which time she’d be Dowager Galactic Empress, manipulating her weak and dependent children in intricate moves of true cunning and devious strategy.  She’ll kick ass, don’t worry.

  • Captain Internet

    Imagine a 130 hour JRPG about a woman who takes to structured exercise and CBT* to slowly alleviate her depression and become fit and healthy. Ironically, it would have the exact opposite effect on anyone playing it.

    *be careful when searching for this acronym

  • http://kotaku.com/ Reposted_Kotaku_Comments

    UKStory135 

     I’d rather see them working on bouncing boobies than ruining another series like they did with Metroid.

  • PugsMalone

    Man, what I would give to hear what people at Retro think of Other M.

  • Pandas_please

     Very few games make me mad just mentioning them, Other M does that. They never acknowledge that that sort of relationship is even odd for God’s sake!

  • Citric

    The actual game part of the game is really good. The story… not so much.

  • Fluka

    That is…surprisingly reasonable?

  • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

    Princess Daisy has dated both Mario and Luigi, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t simultaneous.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    COOKIE!  I haven’t seen you here before (or my horrible memory forgot about it), so welcome!

  • Fluka

    No weirder than that NES Dead Ringers platformer.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I don’t know if there’s any creator I’ve been more dissappointed by than TenNapel when I discovered their terrible personal philosophies.
       I love his inking style so much, but not only are his politics wretched, it’s seeped into and made his writing wretched in turn.

  • AmaltheaElanor

    All of this is making me glad I didn’t push past the first couple hours of that game.

    I would be thrilled to see Nintendo return the Metroid franchise to Retro.

  • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

    “Our legacy is secure.”

  • PaganPoet

    You’re right, that was a pretty dumb sentiment to shoehorn in there. I was pretty drunk. 

    On the upside, my team won Pub Trivia last night by a single point! I take credit for it since I was the only person in my team who knew that Raul Julia portrayed M.Bison in the Street Fighter movie. I know that movie is objectively awful, but I automatically have to love it since Kylie Minogue is in the cast. I won a $25 bar tab! More late-night drunken social commentary for you to look forward to, GS!

  • valondar

    First I heard he had any political views. I googled and mostly just found support for McCain/Palin in 2008, or was that it?

  • Jackbert322

    @google-ad11b5fc6e812fcfddafc59b953591fe:disqus : When you google “doug tennapel”, the first suggested result is “doug tennapel bigot”. Start from there.

  • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

    I enjoyed Earthworm Jim stuff back when I was a middle-schooler in the 90s (though even then the cartoon was an also-ran to Freakazoid, and the game was more ‘interesting’ than actually fun).

    I had the misfortune to interact with him on an artist/illustrator forum back in the 00s. Moreso than personal politics, his actual personal conduct was just awful. Basically, he was a self-important, thin-skinned, grade-A asshole who started name-calling the moment anyone critiqued his work (on an art critique board). While there were some younger student-types there like myself at the time, most of the artists there were serious professional folks, yet that didn’t stop him from “pulling rank” and asserting what a famous, big-deal artist he was who didn’t need to listen to a bunch of amateurs’ feedback (never mind that EWJ2, the last time anyone had cared about anything he’d done, was almost a decade old at that point). One of the “rank amateurs” he derided and dismissed was Adi Granov, the guy who would be responsible for Iron Man’s design in those totally obscure, not-at-all-professional movies (at the time he was “just” a heavy-hitter at Marvel).
    I guess he had just posted his images assuming everyone would line up to fellate him and go “OMG, EWJ!”? And when that wasn’t the case, he started freaking out.

    Anyway, sometime either before or after that I read the abysmal “Creature Tech” and learned just how idiotic he could be when trying to deal with any idea more substantial than “cartoon worm finds robot suit.” It was so embarrassingly bad, and kind of cemented him in my mind as a bad artist as well as a crummy human being.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    @paraclete_pizza:disqus   That’s really fascinating.
       And, goodness, Creature Tech was the worst.
       I was so impressed with his artwork, but the story and writing were just abysmal.  And not because I disagree with his philosophies, but because it was the most remedial, Middle School exploration of faith I’ve ever read.
       Alien Jesus?  His cross necklace being a square because it had four arms?  I was in utter disbelief when I read that.
       What is the nature of faith and grace in an unending cosmos?  What can it mean to have the love of a deity that lives outside of all conceivable consciousness?  Can it mean the religion we use to articulate our umbilicus to the divine must, by necessity, be only a small and warped fragment of the infinite whole?
       Nope!  It means on every planet some funny-looking fucker is getting nailed to a variation on the crucifix!
       And bugs go to bug heaven, lest there be any unsavory intermingling.

  • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

    It works for me. From birth, Yuna has been expecting to die at age 20. Now she suddenly has another 50+ years to kill. That would change my outlook on life.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    I guess when your profession has a zero percent survival rate, there’s not much in the way of retirement plans.

  • PaganPoet

    I actually prefer X-2 to X. There’s never a way a FF game can go wrong at least as far as gameplay goes when it incorporates the job system.

  • http://acksed.myopenid.com/ Colin

    I can connect that to similar matriarchies in the character of the Belfast housewives, who are the economic and social centres of their family because they have to be.

  • The_Juggernaut_Bitch

     The thing about FC3 (I’m about 3/4 of the way through it, got distracted by Borderlands 2 and Dragonborn…) is that, at some point, you start wondering if *everyone* on the island isn’t involved in some elaborate prank to punk you.  While you are banging tribe-chick, you are also battling some gigantic, fire-spitting Jungle Demon made of darkness and evil or something.  This made me wonder if this was another colonial analogy, a comment on racial inequality, or illustrating that sex with this chick was life-threateningly dangerous.

  • George_Liquor

    There’s an epilogue DLC available for POP2008 that I guess was written to set up a sequel. It’s much darker in tone than the full game as Elika & the Prince are now forced to deal with the consequences of the Prince’s actions together. Elika genuinely resents the Prince for releasing Ahriman, and she never really softens towards him again. I think it’s too bad this story arc was relegated to a short epilogue, as it manages to flesh the characters of Prince & Elika out better than the main quest ever did.

  • Jackbert322

    …or the developers though banging tribe chicks and battling jungle demons would be totes brofist…