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Tag Archives: mario

Oh, those NPCs.  Always saying the weirdest things.  In this case, our superfluous usage of quotation marks comes from one of the toads in one of the Mario RPGs.  I don’t remember which one.  But at least you know it occurred in the first half of the game because of my unusually severe final boss syndrome symptoms when playing Mario themed RPGs.

But anyway, have you ever considered what it takes to be an NPC?  It’s probably hard work coming up with non sequiturs (especially the kind that actually propels the story forward) when asked about how to get to the next castle, or whether or not the blacksmith’s spunky daughter was kidnapped by monsters that dwell in a nearby cave, or whether the potions are on sale today, or what happened to the burned out fountain in the middle of the town square, etc.  I mean, would you know to answer that the goats have been unusually restive at night, or pies are your favorite dessert, or the well at the edge of town used to have magical properties but is now dry?  You probably wouldn’t.

Coming up with just one non sequiturs that somehow unfolds the storyline is hard enough.  How about when you have to come up with a LIST of possible answers to a question a playable character asks?  And what if it’s a list that the playable character then has to choose from?  And then you, the NPC, has to be able to deliver a dissertation on that particular subject?  Even if it isn’t relevant to the storyline or gameplay?  It’s tough work, says I.

So what do you do if your fondest desire is to become an NPC?  Surely they should have some kind of trade school where you can learn these skills.  Well…huzzah!  They do!  Just inside Commerce, CA, there is an NPC College!  I know, because I often pass by the building of said college when I’m commuting to Clib.  I haven’t looked into their program or anything, since I already have a career that I am satisfied with, but I would assume they have professors or something lecturing on the theories of proper NPCing.  They probably have labs and stuff where they can do field work and get some hands-on experience.  I wonder if they have internships.  I bet they have to play this simulation game to help them learn how to interact with the really difficult playable characters.

Um…ok, so this NPC college isn’t really an NPC college.  It’s really NPCollege and I just read it wrong the first time I drove by and saw the sign.  But all that stuff above?  It’s approximately what went through my mind when I saw “NPC college.”  I kind of which there was such a thing as an NPC college.  But as it turns out, this NPC college, which is really NPCollege, is another one of those technical schools.  It looks like they specialize in…well, what you see a lot of the technical college specialize in on those TV ads of yore, with the listing of all possible programs they offer.  Sugh.

And also, I was going to draw something for this post…but I just lack the motivation to do any such thing.  So, you go doodleless.  Doo-da, doo-da…

The other day, I got to thinking…how prevalent is the thought that one’s life is like a video game? You know, how in everyday life you unlock achievements or complete missions when you finish mundane tasks (which actually does happen to me because THEM offers a wellness program that gives me achievements and prizes in relation to things I do to take care of my health). Maybe you also imagine yourself to have a life bar or maybe you take damage in points. Perhaps your whole character has these predefined stats that were rolled out by your parents (or something) before your birth and you’re stuck with things like Social Awkwardness: +10.

And then this got me to thinking about what genre of video game my life would be. Um…it would be the weirdest mashup game ever, I think. It would be a platformer/RPG/simulation/FPS/fighting/action/adventure/survival horror game? I think?

Platformer: I’m thinking of the Mario series mostly. I don’t get cool things like Tanooki suits, but I often imagine I have a timer counting down and I have to get the castle (figurative) in time all the while avoiding obstacles like Goombas (figurative) and bottomless pits (literal) otherwise I’ll die and then the Mario death song will played shortly after my demise. Also, I have to defeat bosses at various milestones to advance in the game. Boss battles also have their own background music. And seriously, Bowser is teh awexome. And I may just have auditory hallucinations.

RPG: I tend to think about character stats and damage in points (but also in terms of life bars). I tend to assign other people points according to how I observe them function in their normal, daily lives.

Simulation: I’m talking mostly about the Sims franchise. I definitely have needs bars. Sometimes when I talk, my speech inadvertently sounds like Simlish. I may just have a speech impediment.  Also, I happen to own a USB flash drive in the shape of a plumb bob.  It normally hangs above my head when I’m working with LeeEv at home.  Because you see…I’m the active character.

FPS: Um…camera angle. Obviously. Sometimes I like to imagine the change equipment sound effect when I grab something. And also unlocking achievements and missions completed. Aside: I prefer to play third person camera angles in actual games. It gives me a point of reference. I’m talking to you Portal-and-your-stupid-falling-levels-through-portals-and-then-having-no-idea-which-way-is-up-so-then-you-have-to-whip-the-mouse-and-thus-camera-around-and-get-totally-dizzy-after-the-fifth-time-you-hurl-yourself-from-the-third-story-through-the-portal-in-the-floor-and-out-the-portal-on-the-sixth-story-wall-and-land-in-a-place-you-don’t-want-to-be. Oh, and in relation to Portal: cake. Also, Portal really is a good game and you should play it.

Fighting: Life bars. And if I could just be cheap and ring out my opponent instead of slogging it through to the bitter end…

Action / Adventure: “Hey, nice hat!” “I predict raining frogs.” “Hera ate all the cows!” Maybe the best action/adventure game ever. EVAR.

Survival horror:  That’s right.  Survival horror.  Like ZOMBIES.  Possibly zombees.  How you ask?  Well, because of this and also this.  Ok…well…kind of.  I’ve actually only played most of the first mission from the first link because I only downloaded the trial version of the app.  I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to blow 8$ on an app.  I’m actually still not sure.  I’m also dumb because I missed the sale when it was only 2-3$.  And as for the second one…I haven’t actually participated in one of these.  The plan was to do so, but I was working 80 hour weeks at Company for months on end and…that’s not conducive to going out for runs or training for other kinds of zombie survival tactics.

So anyway, while I might make preparations for a zombie apocalypse, I do realize that one hasn’t actually happened…and I don’t really go around my daily life carrying a shotgun (super important for zombie survival, you guys) or looking for antidotes or planting interesting plants around my house and atop my roof (ok, ok, this last one was a tower defense game and not survival horror).

Btw, also important for zombie survival are German shepherd dogs. Make note of that.