At the end of April this year, Ian over at Adventure Rules ran the first ever Charming and Open event. He invited readers to ask him questions about video and tabletop games but there was one catch: in return, he could ask them a question of his own and both parties had to answer honestly. I decided to query Ian about the location in a video game he’d most like to visit; and he asked me about my memories of The Secret of Monkey Island.
It was such a good idea that many of us were very happy when he announced another Charming and Open event at the beginning of December! Austin from Reaper Interactive enquired about his most embarrassing gaming moment; Chris from OverThinker Y wanted to know which gaming character he’d least like to meet down a dark alley; and Retro Redress asked Ian to tell us the one game he’s always wanted to complete but never has.
Head over to Adventure Rules to check out more of the great posts published as a result. My question to the lovely Ian this time was: which video game character would you most like to meet in real life and why? The one he posed to me in return is below, and this is my answer.
If you could choose any creature from a video game to be your pet, what would you choose and why?
The Last Guardian turned out to be one of the most touching and thoughtful games I’ve ever played, and a title which creates one of the most believable bonds between a human and an animal. It’s therefore no surprise that my immediate reaction to this question was Trico: a giant griffin-like creature whose name can be taken to mean a portmanteau of ‘bird’ and ‘cat’ in Japanese.
But thinking about it harder, I realised how completely impractical this would be. He’d never be able to fit in the house and would therefore have to sleep in the garden, which would almost certainly annoy the neighbours. I dread to think how much the weekly food bill would be – and that’s even if we could find a glowing-barrel stockist. And I’m not sure our cats would be best pleased about us getting a Trico as a pet.
On top of all that, this is a video game creature which needs to be free of captivity. His fear of the stained-glass eyes dotted around the environment in The Last Guardian paints a picture of the traumatic conditioning he’s been subjected to for years and, after going on such a long journey to ensure the boy’s safety, doesn’t he deserve a little peace and happiness in return? So no Trico.
How about Crow, the talking bird? He’s one of my favourite characters from The Longest Journey series: a womaniser who’s partial to fleeting visits with birds replete with kisses but he’s fiercely loyal and has a great sense of humour. He wouldn’t take up as much space as a giant griffin-like creature and we already have a bird-feeder in the garden, so board and lodging are taken care of.
He would be the sort of pet that would look out for my stepson and I get the impression the two of them would be inseparable. That would be a source of comfort for myself and my other-half: the teenage years are fast approaching so someone who’s going to help keep him on the right track would be much appreciated. While Ethan is away during the week, Crow could fly over to see him and make sure he’s doing ok.
But this is a creature who, despite being able to speak fowl language (pun intended), prefers a ‘decent conversation with people as bird twitter can be somewhat limited’. Does that mean he’d want to involve us in endless discussion after a long day at work, when all we want to do is crash out on the sofa and play video games? And what about the cats: perhaps they might take to living with a new winged-pet a little too well. So no Crow.
How about a Slime from Slime Rancher then? These are gelatinous ball-shaped aliens that live in the Far, Far Range; and their permanently-happy expressions and high-pitched voices make them seriously adorable. There are a number of different species but the Pink Slime is the easiest to look after as they’ll eat all three main food types in the game: fruit, meat and veggies.
They’re soft, squishy and very happy to be around people so there’d be no need to worry when our friends bring their young children over for a visit. In addition, their plorts (diamond-shaped items they produce after being fed) are used to manufacture everything from food products to household cleaners. My other-half and I could therefore sell them at the Plort Market to generate a second income – kerching!
But there’s the danger of our pet turning into a Largo Slime and this in turn transforming into a Tarr, a creature who seeks only to consume and replicate. I’m also not sure Pete would be happy taking a Pink Slime out for regular walks where all the neighbours could see. Add to these downsides the fact that our cats would constantly be covered in sticky stuff and therefore need constant brushing. So no Pink Slime.
It seems as though a lot of animals within video games, regardless of how adorable they are, would make a pretty lousy pet. Whether it’s issues with space and food bills, incessant talking and attention-seeking, or the threat of it turning into a hostile creature, there’s always something that would put you off keeping one in your own house.
I think it might be best if we just stick with our cats, Link and Zelda. They might leave fur all over the house, steal the quilt while we’re sleeping at night, and want to sit on our laps while we’re trying to play video games. But we love those little fluffballs and wouldn’t do without them.