Christmas is never a good time to fall ill. When the house is covered in the remains of wrapping paper, the cat is threatening to eat the turkey, the table still needs to be laid and your parents are due to arrive at any moment, the last thing you need is to feel under the weather.
But although we try to look after ourselves during this busy period, there’s always the chance of picking up a winter bug – or having a headache after a few too many glasses of mulled wine the night before. Never fear though because video games have the answer as always! Join me as we search the digital world to pull together the contents for your first-aid cupboard and help you get through the festive season. Although you might end up feeling slightly worse, considering some of the following questionable medicines…
Cut yourself while making dinner and don’t have any bandages in the house? Then head to your liquor cabinet for that bottle of wine you were saving for your next dinner party and down it in one. It seems to work for video game characters at least: they make their way to the nearest inn, get friendly with the bar-keep and are back on the road at 100% again after a few tankards of mead. In reality you’ll probably end up with a pounding headache – but at least it’ll make you forget all about the cut which started this situation.
Chicken seems to be the perfect thing to eat when you’re feeling in bad health. Take games like Streets of Rage and Castlevania for example: grab a drumstick left on a newspaper stand or wing hidden in the wall for safe-keeping by a kind citizen, and you’ll be back to your old self in no time. Maybe. There’s always the possibility of getting food-poisoning from eating poultry stored in an unsanitary environment – but who wants to risk cooking when there’s a danger of cutting yourself and having to resort to alcohol? Safety first.
Hearts are one of the most iconic items in video games and they’re legendary for a reason. Just look at Link: here simply touches them to absorb their healing powers and his health is replenished immediately. If only it were that straightforward – and clean – in real-life. First, you’re going to have to find somewhere to store all those still-beating hearts because I’m not sure your medicine cabinet will keep them fresh. And then you’re going to have to grab one in both hands, take a big breath and then go in for a bite. Yum.
Video game characters make self-medication seem easy (I’m looking at you, Aloy). All you need to do is munch on a handful of those weird herbs you’ve spent the last hour collecting and you’ll be feeling right as rain again in a few minutes! This is another one I’m not sure is going to work as well in real life though. If the bitter taste of chewing on some unknown leaves wasn’t enough to put you off, there’s always the fact that the plant might not actually be digestible for humans – and you know what that means.
Well they work for Mario, don’t they? Consuming a mushroom has all sorts of beneficial effects according to his series: you might increase your life, grow in size or gain incredible powers. Of course, the plumber does end up with a headache after bashing all those bricks to source the magical fungi, so he unwisely has to resort to some of the other medicines on this list. And in real life there’s every chance you could find yourself on a really bad hallucinogenic trip – or in hospital, having your stomach emptied.
“Finally,” I hear you cry, “Something sensible for my first-aid kit!” Well, now that depends entirely on what’s wrong with you. Max Payne can stagger into a bathroom and pop a bottle of painkillers to enable him to keep going after taking a few rounds of bullets to the chest. But in real life it’s probably best to stick you taking them when you’ve got something as minor as a headache; your pain might fade for a while but it’s almost certain you’re going to bleed out. Stick to calling an ambulance for those more serious injuries.
Hopefully these medicines will leave you feeling as though you can take on the final boss single-handedly… although, to be honest, you’re probably better off sticking to bed-rest, plenty of hot tea and maybe some video games. Whatever ails you, I hope you feel better soon!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.