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Day 6: Most Annoying Character

The Duck is still working through the 30 day video game posts, slowly, like an unusually fatigued squirrel, with strength left in its fingers only, creeping towards an acorn, thirty acorns.  In winter.  When they move more slowly.  No, it’s reptiles that move more slowly when it’s cold.  Never mind.

            And today’s topic, only topic 6, actually, which makes me further realize how pathetically slow I’ve been, is on the most annoying video game character, a rather difficult one for me.  Some characters are indeed annoying, like Prince Tricky from “Star Fox Adventures”.  But, is he annoying enough?  Or Kiddy Kong from “Donkey Kong Country 3”, who is actually more creepy than annoying.  Or Lanky from “DK64”, who is also creepy, in an annoying way.  There are also bossy characters that tell you what to do, like various sidekicks in “Zelda”, or whenever Professor E. Gadd harasses me in “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”.  Stop calling me, you creepy, old man that looks like a decrepit child!

            Well, many people, I’ve heard, go with Navi, the fairy that helps you in “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”.  Probably because hearing “hey!” and “listen!” every time you target an enemy gets old.  And there are lots of enemies.  But, is she the most annoying character I can think of?  Well, as I often do, because I have no life, apparently, I made a list of annoying characters by console.  And believe it or not, I came up with one few would think of.  (Well, it would be weird if you didn’t believe it.  I never lie to you.)  And so the character that annoys me the most is…

            Mario.  Yes, Mario.  From the “Super Mario Bros.” games.  Why?  Two words.  Slippery shoes.  I hate Mario and his slippery shoes.  Never have I played a game where a character has so little traction on their feet.  You’d think the soles of his shoes are made of butter or wet soap or a slick sheet of ice.  I have so many unhappy memories of playing the old “Mario” games on the Super Nintendo and having teeny, tiny platforms to land on, and I land on them just fine (after dying many times because I kept missing prior to the times I did indeed land on them), and then Mario slides right off.  You know how annoying icy levels in video games are, when your character always slides to and fro, and you have trouble getting them to actually cooperate with you?  Well, in a “Mario” game, it’s like every level is an ice level.  Thanks to Mario.  And his stupid, idiot moron shoes.

            I’m serious.  It bothers me so much.  I seem to have much less trouble in newer “Mario” games, but I still can never get over the amount of pain those old “Mario” games have caused me.  If Mario wore some nice hiking shoes or even ran around barefoot, perhaps, the games would have been a different experience.  But, no, Mario decides that it is a good idea, when embarking on a treacherous journey to save Peach again, to wear shoes that would get you killed walking in your own house, let alone mountains and forests and all manner of other locations that all like to involve bottomless pits and stick-like platforms placed here and there throughout bottomless pits.  Does Mario think he’s funny?  Does my pain amuse him?  Is he that bent on bothering me that he’ll risk dying due to his slick shoes?  It certainly seems that way.  Few games are more frustrating than the old “Mario” games, and it is all thanks to Mario and his sadistic (and masochistic, as his own poor decisions harm him, as well) choice of footwear.

            And yet, Mario is so dang popular, which only makes things worse.  It does!  Really!  There are constantly new “Mario” games.  But, do we see new “Metroid” and “Zelda” and other such delightful things very often?  No, we do not.  Samus and Link have the common decency to wear proper shoes in their adventures, and yet Mario gets the spotlight.  Mario gets all the games.  Mario gets everything.  And this simply isn’t fair.  Not to gamers that are not infatuated with this particular plumber.  Not to gamers that would like to see characters that give a darn about their fans (by wearing shoes with traction!) get more games.  No, this man named Mario has gotten out of control.  Someone ought to rein him in.  He is a fiend.  A fiend, I tell you.  That has the nerve to wear slick shoes, and yet he still stays popular in the gaming world somehow, probably only because he has some unsavory connections, which only funds his ‘shroom addiction.

            Mario, you annoy me.  You really do.  Watching you die a dozen times in “Super Mario World”, due to your bad decisions, not mine, annoys me.  If I die in a game, I want it to be because of my own mistakes, not those of my character.  Perhaps if you wore proper shoes, maybe Peach wouldn’t be kidnapped so often.  You probably run at Bowser whilst he’s in the middle of taking the princess, yet miss and slip right on past, while that dastardly turtle gets away with his crimes once again.  You should be ashamed of yourself, Mario.  You know what, I bet you want Peach kidnapped, so you can have more games.  And more coins, that you spend on your unhealthy addiction to fungi.

            And so, my readers, do you not see what a most bothersome, most obnoxious, most annoying person our Mario is?  And it all stems from his slick shoes.  That he bought.  With the coins he didn’t spend on ‘shrooms.  Hours of my life have been wasted trying to get him to navigate precarious platforms, only to fail because of these shoes.  But, I can’t blame the shoes.  I blame the man wearing them.  I blame you for my problems, Mario.  I blame you.

The Duck That Wears Better Shoes Than Mario and Would Make For a Better Platformer Character, in a Game Called “Super Duck…um…Ducks”

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Luigi Does Some Housecleaning

I recently played “Luigi’s Mansion” again.  It’s one of the first three games I wanted for the GameCube, along with “Super Smash Bros. Melee” and “Pikmin”.  It’s a silly game, but it’s fun.  This game stars Luigi of the “Super Mario” series, of course, who usually gets overshadowed by his stumpy older brother.  Which may be the way Luigi likes it, considering poor Luigi is not the bravest goose in the gaggle (wait, what?).

            In this game, Luigi somehow ended up winning a mansion in a contest he never entered, which sounds great, but there’s a problem.  This mansion happens to be infested with ghosts (it would make a nice episode on the “Infested” TV show; forget rats or spiders, this place is crawling with specters).  Worse yet, Luigi’s bro, Mario, went into the mansion and never returned.  (And worst of all, the taxes!  Oh, the taxes!)  So it’s up to Luigi to explore the mansion, fight the ghosts, and find where his ‘stached bro is stashed.

            Fortunately, there happens to be an old man living nearby called Professor E. Gadd, who has just the thing to get rid of those pesky apparitions.  The Poltergust 3000, a special vacuum capable of sucking up the ghouls.  He tells you that you must startle a ghost with your flashlight, then, suck it up in the vacuum.  So that’s what I did.  I very much enjoy the concept of sucking the ghosts up in a vacuum.  It makes the game very different.  It’s a lot more interesting than whacking or jumping on enemies like you do in many other games.

            So anyway, the game is spent exploring different rooms in the mansion and fighting all sorts of ghosts in dark rooms.  There are different kinds.  Regular ghosts that may attempt to punch or grab you.  Boos, the round little white ghosts from other games in the series, that can travel between rooms and all have funny little names (Little Boo Peep or Boo La La, for example).  And portrait ghosts.  Whenever you finish off all the ghosts in a room, the lights come on, and sometimes you get a key to another room.

            Portrait ghosts are special ghosts.  There’s a bunch of them, and they’re the more interesting ghosts because they’re actually people (well, one’s a dog, and I don’t even know what Jarvis is, or Bogmire, but you get the point).  There’s the fortune-teller who actually helps you in the game.  The butler that has a crush on the lovely piano player.  Also a little girl that sleeps in an upside down room.  They make the game a bit more interesting.  Anyway, these portrait ghosts are harder to catch because they are good at hiding their weak spot, their heart.  You need to figure out how to get them to show their heart so you can capture them.  And then, for whatever reason, they get turned into portraits by the creepy, little Professor.  The portraits you get are nicer or not so nice depending on how well you did at capturing the ghost.  I did pretty cruddy this time through.  In the past, I’ve been able to get gold for everyone but stupid Sir Weston, but now I did just awful.  I’m ashamed.

            You also can find money all over the mansion.  In furniture, lights, from special ghosts, watering plants, etc.  There are also two secret rooms.  It makes the game more fun because you have a reason to check out all the furniture in every room to see what you can find.  And at the end of the game, Luigi has a new mansion built, and its appearance is based on the amount of money you got, ranging from a little shack to a huge mansion with a large L on it (for Luigi, I assume, and not loser).  I got the A rank with 107,730,000.  At least I was competent at something in this game.  Hey, Luigi, you planning on sharing any of that money with me?  Considering I took possession of your body and was the reason for your success.  …  Hello?  …

            So in a crab shell (how’s the saying go?), this is a fun, different game.  I enjoyed exploring four stories of dark rooms with ghosts popping up.  It’s fun and a little spooky, but not scary.  I enjoyed sucking up ghosts into a vacuum.  Who wouldn’t?  This game is short, but I enjoyed every bit of it.  I must add, though, that Luigi is braver than me.  He’s supposed to be a wimp, but I couldn’t have gone into a dark mansion and faced ghosts, special vacuum or not.  I would have trouble going into a dark mansion that didn’t have any ghosts.  I have a new respect for you, Luigi.  Now how about handing over some of that money?

Luigi Never Captured One Portrait Ghost, Though, the Wily Duck