All posts by Kat

Musings from an Evening of Apocalypse

[Ed. note: Kat sent me this on the evening of December 21, 2012, when the moon was newly risen. References to time (“December 21,” “a few days ago”) have been left as she wrote them on that date.]

The Moon

As far as Majora’s Mask goes, it’s a rather odd bird in the Zelda series. It doesn’t take place in Hyrule, the characters are all alternative-reality versions of others the player has already established relationships with, and the overwhelming tone of the game is dark, anxious, one of impending, inevitable doom.

Dawn of the First DayThe apocalyptic tone of the game emerged again recently, in the form of viral internet mashups relating to the idea of a Mayan apocalypse on December 21. You’ve probably seen the images, beginning a few days ago, of the grim warning from the game “Dawn of the First Day: 72 hours remain.” As these images spread in the apocalyptic pop culture frenzy of the past few days, I enjoyed seeing them, but noticed a pattern. Continue reading Musings from an Evening of Apocalypse

Mother Remake? Mamma Mia.

Mother

Mother remake/re-release? Mamma mia.

Yesterday Earthbound Central broke news that a Mother series remake may be in the works, via the series’ writer and designer’s twitter feed:

“Since it’s now okay to blurt this out, here goes: the “MOTHER republication” thing I mentioned briefly before is making progress.”

“It’s not “(MOTHER) 4″, though! This has to do with making “MOTHER” playable. I can’t give out any details just yet, but I do at least need to say that it isn’t 4.”

[Translations]

The Mother series comprises Mother, a 1989 NES release, Mother 2 (known in the United States as Earthbound), and Mother 3, released on the Game Boy Advance. The vague tweets have excited loyal fans of the series, who have long been waiting for official translated and localized releases of the first and third chapters, although fan translation patches already exist for ROMs.

Mother 3

Re-releasing the series as a remake or in their original form to a wider audience would be a great way for Nintendo to profit from the enthusiasm that exists for Mother as a cult, ahem, “SMAAASH” hit, and we have to think that Nintendo would love to capitalize on the “Buzz Buzz” generated by Itoi’s announcement.

Even so, concrete details have not yet emerged, and amongst the speculation is talk that if the series is remade or re-released, it would be in Japan only. We’ll let you know as more details become available.

War Against Giygas!

dys4ia

dys4ia

Dys4ia is a flash game with a very unique concept—it basically simulates hormone replacement therapy and the experience of beginning transition by putting the player in the shoes of the creator as she recounts her own transition experience. She makes it clear that her experience is not representative of all transgender individuals, but it nevertheless provides the player a perspective and narrative that is underrepresented in most media. It’s personal, touching, and through the medium of gaming, it allows people to step into a journey of self-actualization that many are privileged to not have to deal with.

I definitely recommend it.

Gaming with Granny

Now available en español: La Abuela Jugona

Mario Tennis

I’ve mentioned before that I was quite poor growing up, which made it difficult to get into gaming in the same way the more financially privileged of my contemporaries could. Fortunately, for me, my grandmother was willing to (and thoroughly enjoyed) spoiling me by subsidizing my habit with her income.

I spent my earliest years living with my parents in her house, and while it wasn’t the best environment for a kid (she was a hoarder, and her house was beyond cluttered), I was fairly happy. I can never remember a time when there wasn’t some sort of gaming console around me. I had an old Atari 2600, and spent countless hours playing Burger Time. I got an NES for one of my birthdays, and my grandmother would buy me games to play on it from time to time at local stores and at the flea market.

I moved away from her for several years, my parents divorced, and I came back just in time for the Pokémon craze to sweep America. My parents never could have supported the drive for excessive consumption that Pokémon instilled in me (and every other child in 1998), but my grandmother decided to pay for my ticket into that world—the world of Stuff I Have and Can Show Off that defined so much of my youth. She bought me Pokémon cards, manga, video games, and paid for the gas to drive to and fro as we went on near-weekly spending sprees. Continue reading Gaming with Granny

Electric Tail of RaiRai

Raichu, by Katharine Hache

Confession: I was a huge Pokémaniac.

Okay, I suppose that’s not a huge confession. After all, I was a nerdy kid in the late 90s. I still love Pokémon, but full-on rabid Pokémania was a communicable disease back then, much to the chagrin of any parent’s pocketbook. I used to spend recess trading cards with my friends or battling on my Game Boy. I watched the anime religiously. I read Toshihiro Ono’s (somewhat creepy) manga. I drew my own manga, with myself as the main character, natch.

All of these things were necessary, mind you.

They were necessary because I was going to become the world’s greatest Pokémon trainer or die trying. I was a real Ashley Ketchum, so to speak. Continue reading Electric Tail of RaiRai

Ghirahim and Gender Variance

Demon Lord Ghirahim, by Katharine Hache

I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible (even though Skyward Sword has been out for quite some time now) since I know a lot of people haven’t finished it, including Jennifer, who totally should, but I digress. [Ed.: I know, I know! You guys have really been lighting a fire under my ass lately.]

Anyway, when the first bits of concept artwork for Zelda: Skyward Sword went public, I really, really liked the character I would later know as Ghirahim, pictured here:

Ghirahim

I was totally fascinated with him ever since I saw his character design unveiled. He had a different look and a beautiful, unashamed androgyny. I wondered what role he would play in Link’s latest journey. Would he be a guide? Would he be somehow connected to Link Would he have a deep, fascinating story?

Unfortunately, as we discovered, his role was all too predictable—the creepy, gender-variant villain. Continue reading Ghirahim and Gender Variance

You are an honest person. I like you. I will loan you my Zelda games.

This one goes out to you, Andy. I’m sad to say that time has stolen your last name from my memory, but a name is just a title, after all, and I haven’t forgot what you represent.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

We met at school when I was 8 and my family moved to Pennsylvania. I was shy and didn’t have any friends. I had moved a lot in my short life, and in addition to being rootless and frequently losing what few connections I had, I was socially awkward as all hell. I was teased and bullied often for being, well, everything that one could possibly be teased and bullied for.

I don’t remember why we started talking to each other. I just remember that suddenly you appeared and treated me like I was a normal kid, not instantly deserving of ridicule. I think we started talking about the movie Gremlins, which I was way into at the time, because my stepdad picked up a VHS copy from some bargain bin one day and my dirt poor family didn’t have cable. Continue reading You are an honest person. I like you. I will loan you my Zelda games.

Chrono Trigger: The Perfect Autumn Game

So, the days are shorter and your seasonal affective disorder has returned, you just got over your Halloween candy hangover, you’re preparing for a turkey binge with relatives you can’t stand, and the radio stations have already started playing terrible Christmas music.

Ah, Fall.

It’s not all bad though. For one thing, that whole terrible election thing is over with. Fall is also a beautiful time of year. You’ve got the beautiful colors on the trees, the melancholy mood, the warm beverages, and the cozy, layered clothing.

Along with those lovely things, I have another, more personal mental trigger for Autumny thoughts—and that trigger is, well, Chrono Trigger.

Scenic Outlook at Zenan Bridge, Kat Hache Continue reading Chrono Trigger: The Perfect Autumn Game