Your video game medicine cabinet

Resident Evil, Take the Green Herb

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 have arrived for dinner an hour early, the last thing you need is to feel under the weather.

Although we try to look after ourselves during this busy period, there’s always the chance of picking up a winter bug during the commute to work. The likelihood of ending up with a headache after a few too many glasses of mulled wine the night before is rather high too. Pete and I are taking every precaution we can this year to prevent anyone in our family from getting ill.

You see, we don’t often get to see my stepson at Christmas due to us being a split-parent family. I won’t go into too much detail here but this only happens if the date falls on a weekend. My and my husband’s families were excited last year when it was due to happen on a Saturday – but everything had to be cancelled after taking COVID-19 tests in the morning and discovering the kid had the virus.

That’s why this month is a big deal for us all. Our first-aid kit is fully stocked and everyone has been warned they need to be extra careful. We’d have access to many more remedies, most of which would work in under five seconds if life were a video game, so I’ve searched the digital world to pull together the contents for a medicine cabinet to get us through the festive season. Although you might end up feeling slightly worse, considering some of the options below…

We’d have access to many more remedies, most of which would work in under five seconds if life were a video game.


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 protagonists at least: they make their way to the nearest inn, get friendly with the landlord and are back on the road at 100% again after a few tankards of mead. You’re more likely to end up with a pounding headache – but at least it’ll make you forget all about the cut which started this situation.

The Elder Scrolls Online, ESO, tankard, inn, drink, woman, barman


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 safekeeping 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.

Castlevania, meat, wall chicken. stairs, bricks, whip, knight


Hearts are one of the most iconic items in video games and they’re legendary for a reason. Just look at Link: he 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.

The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, Link, heart, container


Video game protagonists 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.

Horizon Zero Dawn, warrior, woman, Aloy, plants, herbs


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 height 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 must 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.

Super Mario Bros., Mario, mushroom, blocks


“Finally,” I hear you cry, “Something sensible for my first-aid kit!” Well now, this depends entirely on what’s wrong with you. Max Payne can stagger into a bathroom and pop a bottle of painkillers to keep going after taking a few rounds of bullets to the chest. But in real life it’s probably best to stick to 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, so stick to calling an ambulance for those more serious injuries.

Max Payne, man, cupboard, bottle, painkillers

You’re probably better off sticking to resting in bed, plenty of hot tea and maybe some letsplay videos.

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 resting in bed, plenty of hot tea and maybe some letsplay videos. I hope you stay well for Christmas and have a wonderful time this month!

About Author /

Spreadsheet lover, video gamer and SpecialEffect volunteer. Goes by the name 'kissingthepixel' online. Lifelong fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

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