Interesting thing about months-long, cross-continental RPG quests. The human immune system wouldnt like them one little bit. Between the perpetual, mostly on-foot travel, constant exertion, ever-present risk of attack, resulting plethora of minor flesh-wounds, repeat mana burn-out, and potential for zero sleep, even if your game has a day/night cycle (and if you do get any, its likely to be al fresco), an RPG campaign conducted under real-world conditions would make you ill.
Levelling up as the journey goes on? No way. By the end of an RPG quest conducted under real-world conditions, you wouldnt be stronger. Youd be a quivering, snotty, coughing ball of infection. Maybe thats why levelling slows down the further you get into a game.
Slippy-slidey ice worlds! Amazing! Slipping! Sliding! Pretty, tinkley tunes, evocative of all the best things about Christmas! Murderous snowmen! I love them, you love them, and Mario certainly loves them. He loves the atmospheric change of pace. He loves the new challenges thrown up by the extra momentum and inertia under his platform-savvy feet. He loves stomping on insidious, sentient snow-piles and making friends with friendly penguins.
He loves all of that because he only has to involve himself with the fun parts of winter. Never once has he, around level five or six, realised his error in only bringing along his standard dungarees and thin work jumper. Never once has he found himself slowing in the run up to an important jump, joints seizing and hands aching. Never once has he slumped under a tree, mere feet from the final flag pole, so tired, so cold so hungry so blue
Wear and tear
You know whats ridiculous about the epic, House of Blue Leaves fight scene in Kill Bill: Part One? Its not that Beatrix kills roughly a thousand sword-wielding Yakuza while taking barely a scratch. Its the fact that after demolishing the structural integrity of seven or eight gangsters, shed have found herself unable to inflict more than a nasty bruise on the rest. Swords, you see, go blunt really fast.
Katanas in particular, being the samurais weapon of choice, are not really design for long, protracted duels. Instead, theyre all about short, incredible sharp, one-hit kills, ideally after walking up to someone like a badass and slowly explaining how youre definitely about to kill them and that theres nothing they can do about it. Sorry, Mitsurugi, Yoshimitsu, and any protagonist from Onimusha. In real-life, after a few choice cuts youd be reduced to slapping your opponents to death with a long, steel ruler.
Ken had it in the bag. It had been a tough fight. Bison had been typically relentless from the off, keeping up the Knee Press pressure and dodging every corner-trap with that bloody EX Psycho Crusher of his (seriously, how does he get that crap out so fast with half a scrap-yard attached to his shins?), but all the pain had been worth it. Kens Ultra gauge was now ready to go, and while he had just been knocked down, his opponent was getting cocky. The dictator had thrown caution to the wind and was actually jumping in. The crazy fool! What was he thinking? One Ultra Dragon Punch on wake up, and that shit-eating grin would be wiped off Captain Caps face forever.
Bisons boots grew closer. Time slowed down. Ken rose to his feet, prepped the Shinryuken, and leapt. His fist connected with Bisons chin, and his wrist crumpled with a nasty snap noise, as a direct result of the sprain hed incurred during that cheap, one-two punch combo after the cross-up in round two. Kens fist went as limp as a dead squid, and immediately afterwards, all was darkness.
John Marston was not happy. Yeah, well help, had said the cheery locals of the oppressed Mexican town in the south. Just one thing. Can you go and single-handedly clean out the fort in the north for us first? Wed appreciate it ever so much. Youll find it really easily. Its only 50 miles away, just past the big rock and left at the third cactus.
What theyd spectacularly failed to tell him was that the entire desert was made of rocks and cacti, and the northern border was 150 miles across. And everywhere was full of hungry coyotes. No, John Marston was not happy at all.
Simple pleasures (and simple pains)
Anything else you'd add? Any average, underplayed woes plaguing your life that you really think game characters should get their fair share of? Let us know in the comments, and then go and have a nice cup of tea to calm down.
And while you're here, why not check out what would happen if a game hero applied their high-fallutin' powers to a more normal life, in Solid Snake doing mundane, unexciting jobs. And another worthy click would be The 12 most important desks in video games.