Our choir of gaming Christmas carollers is back once again for the ninth day of Blogmas, where creative conductor Athena from AmbiGaming is leading us all in a rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas – but with a video game twist. Be sure to check out her blog today to see what she’s written for her ninth answer in this collaboration, and keep your eyes peeled for all of the other bloggers out there taking part.
Yesterday we looked at five games we’ve played more than once (and are likely to do so again). With the choir clearing their throats and warming up in the background, let’s see what the subject of today’s verse is:
On the ninth day of Blogmas, the gamers said to me:
What are your 12 favourite gaming memories?
Tell us 11 games you love!
What are ten reasons you’d play a game?
Give us nine games on your to-play list!
Who are eight characters you love?
Share seven of your favorite posts!
What are your six gaming or blogging resolutions?
What are five games you’ve played more than once?
Share four dramatic or memorable game moments!
The following post contains spoilers for Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, To The Moon, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Maize. If you haven’t played these games yet, I’d highly recommend doing so before reading on.
1991: LeChuck reveals himself to be Guybrush’s brother
In the tunnel system underneath Dinky Island during the final scenes of Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck’s Revenge, an incapacitated LeChuck tells Guybrush to take off his mask to reveal the ‘true face’ of his nemesis. He’s then revealed to be none other than… wait for it… his long-lost brother Chuckie. As the game ends however, Chuckie looks at the camera with glowing red eyes dancing with evil magic; and the player is left wondering whether not everything is as it seems.
I remember being totally blown away by this moment when I first played the title as a kid – and then being left completely confused. Are Guybrush and LeChuck brothers though or is this all an elaborate spell? It’s never officially explained and it’s not even made clear in the rest of the Monkey Island series, but in a chat interview published on 21 July 2003, Ron Gilbert said: “In one sense, yes they are brothers, in another way, they are not. If you get what I mean.” No, unfortunately I don’t.
2011: Johnny finally realises his dream of going to the moon
To The Moon’s story starts when doctors Eva Rosalene and Neil Watts are tasked with fulfilling the dream of dying patient Johnny Wyles: he wants to go to the moon but can’t remember why. They insert themselves into an interactive compilation of his memories and traverse backwards through his life to uncover the source of this wish, so they can implant a desire for space-travel in order to make him think it came true before he passes away. (It’s a little more complicated than this but you get the gist.)
It’s later revealed that Johnny wants to visit the moon because of a promise he made to his now-deceased wife, River, when they were children. After meeting at a carnival they agreed it’s where they would meet again if they were ever separated. Sadly Johnny didn’t remember this promise due to a sad event in his history, but he felt enough for River to know that it was where he needed to get to. And damn if that isn’t one of the most heart-wrenching stories ever.
2013: Naiee faces his inability to swim
In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, the siblings must embark on an arduous journey to reach the Tree of Life in order to save their ill father. Each brother is controlled by one of the joysticks on a controller and the player must use both in tandem to progress through the game. Naia is the stronger of the two and can pull levers by himself while younger Naiee is smaller and can fit into tighter spaces; and when it comes to swimming, Naiee’s fear of water sees him climb onto his sibling’s back.
Towards the end of the title however, the younger brother is on his own and must face this phobia alone. At first it isn’t clear what you need to do because his right joystick isn’t working; but once you realise you need to use both joysticks together, similar to what you’d do if Naia was there, a bolt of emotion hits. It’s a beautiful way of reminding us that even though the people we love may have gone, we’ll never forget them and can use the memory of them to give us strength when we most need it.
2016: A disco in the middle of a field saves the world
Although it may not have made my favourites list on DAY, Maize is one of the best titles I finally got around to playing this year. It’s so weird but in a good way: the developers have left the game’s description deliberately vague and I can only guess they made this decision so as not to put anybody off. Trying to summarise a story about sentient corn and what happens when two scientists misinterpret a government memo here would make a lot of readers think it was something best left in that dark corner of my library.
The title ends on a plot-twist so bizarre that it’s almost not a shock after everything else you’ve witnessed. The final battle involves a sequence like a Dance Dance Revolution round to an upbeat track about top secret experiments and it’s such a fitting way to round off a game as crazy as this one. Partying with sentient corn and scarecrows in the middle of a field, dancing to an 80s-style song while trying to save their world – now that sounds just like my kind of shindig.
It’s time for the choir to take a short break so we’ll be back for the tenth day of Blogmas tomorrow, with three things we want gamers to know about video games for the new year. In the meantime, why not tell us your own memorable moments in gaming in the comments below?
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.