Who are you talking to?

Entering the neighbor’s home with both of the children with me. They get punished by their Dad and then the Dad starts to complain about loans that he lent Ness’ father. Apparently, they live in poverty, but the two-story house says otherwise. A small correction, the boys were not punished physically, they are simply not […]

Entering the neighbor’s home with both of the children with me. They get punished by their Dad and then the Dad starts to complain about loans that he lent Ness’ father. Apparently, they live in poverty, but the two-story house says otherwise. A small correction, the boys were not punished physically, they are simply not allowed to eat desserts for a week.

Ness has a treasure hunter friend named Lier X. Agerate, who built tunnels underneath his own home. His discovery thus far is “The Golden Statue.” Taming wild animals with a baseball bat is a great way to acquire goods and gain experience points to level up. NPCs really need to take better care of their dogs because there are definitely way too many wild dogs running around: “Is the mayor going to let them just run around…I’m here to protest!” The town of Onett is currently under attack from sharks.

Onett

Onett

When exploring the world of Eagleland questions regarding realism and realisticness in Earthbound arise. In Gaming by Alexander R. Galloway the amount of representation present within a game divides both social realism and realisticness: “Realisticness is important, to be sure, but the more realisticness takes hold in gaming, the more removed from gaming it actually becomes, relegated instead to simulation or modeling” [1] There are various moments where Earthbound could have been a real world simulator of suburban life with a touch of sci-fi action. So far, in the gameplay that is not the case. Interacting with the citizens of Onett is definitely what really pushes this role-playing game (RPG) further away from realisticness and into social realism. In Eagleland, realism’s “phenomenological qualities,” the “desires…details…defeats,” are present through Ness’ trials of tribulations that came with title of hero. [2]   

There is much to learn about Ness and his neighborhood. Two gameplays have yielded minimal understanding of this environment, but it is definitely not a simulator of the player’s world. Eagleland has buildings and humans that look similar but this world is definitely hiding so much more.  

1. Alexander R. Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 73.

2. Ibid., 74.

Shadow of the Colossus: Return of R1

Shadow of the Colossus does a fantastic job of capturing an element of realism in its game. Similar to its predecessor, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus follows the story of a male protagonist. Fortunately for this protagonist, he is not dragged into a cell, but does instead attempt to resurrect a maiden. The resurrection of … Continue reading Shadow of the Colossus: Return of R1

Shadow of the Colossus does a fantastic job of capturing an element of realism in its game. Similar to its predecessor, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus follows the story of a male protagonist. Fortunately for this protagonist, he is not dragged into a cell, but does instead attempt to resurrect a maiden. The resurrection of the maiden will be a topic in the next log post most likely, but I would like to discuss realism in Shadow of the Colossus.

Obviously the game does not represent reality since there has been no discovery of a giant bridge and hidden temple in our history, nor have the armored remains of colossal creatures been discovered (yes, dinosaurs are being excluded). In this game, magic is real and a deity communicates with the protagonist. But excluding how the setting is unrealistic, consider how this game addresses realistic elements with the human body.

The trade-off between making a game fun and realistic is hard to balance. Magic allows for the sword’s lack of realistic qualities excusable, but consider the mechanic to grip things R1. In ICO, R1 was used to hold a character’s hand and was critical in completing the game. In Shadow of the Colossus, the same button is used to grip the fur or “holdable areas” on certain landscapes and monsters’ bodies. If the player does not climb the beast, defeating the Colossuses is implausible. Combined with a sphere-like meter that gauges the energy you have to grip things, the mechanic becomes a difficult key to success. If there is no energy, there is no climbing.

Other aspects such as riding the horse and certain physics within the game apply, but these topics will most likely be addressed in later posts. I find it fascinating how the evolution from ICO to Shadow of Colossus not only makes health and safety important, but that the same mechanic used in establishing a relationship can be used in slaying monsters. Maybe there is a message about human nature or the duality of man, but until I conduct more research, I am left only with speculation.