Sunday, April 19, 2020

A Test of Island Courage

So I've been playing StarTropics, a game I remember with some fondness. It has its problems, but it's still fun, and whatever else you can say about it, the committment to the tropical setting makes for an interesting game--much more so, for me, than the sequel, which blasts you through a bunch of historical periods in quick succession and as a result never really develops any of them. If that game had chosen one, any one, of its settings and stuck to it, it would've been a lot better. I think.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I found myself stuck at one point, so I paid a visit to gamefaqs to check a walkthrough. I know video walkthroughs are de rigeur these days, but that seems very impractical to me. Give me one of them good ol' plain text files any day. And get off my lawn. So I clicked on this one by "Psycho Penguin," and was stopped dead in my tracks when I stumbled over this passage:

Talk to everyone first, then talk to the woman to the northeast of the chief's hut. She is Miss CoralCola 1990, and she will ask you who is prettier. Of course, you have to choose her for the story to continue. I personally think they're both skanky 8 bit whores, but I have to do what's right to proceed in the game!

JESUS CHRIST, "Psycho Penguin." This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but people who are looking for information about goofy old Nintendo games usually aren't simultaneously looking for totally out-of-nowhere blasts of misogyny. I realize that you were almost certainly a teenager when you wrote this, but still...oh look, our Penguin also has a StarTropics 2 review, where he writes:

Nothing really happens here, just Mike being sucked back in time thanks to a super lame plot where he discovers a mystery code by talking to some whore telepathically (complete with super lame jokes).

...Psycho Penguin. Dude. Are you doing okay? Would you like to talk to someone? Because teenager or not, this is the kind of shit discovered after the fact in the effects of school shooters. One of two things is surely the case: that PP would either cringe hard if shown today what he wrote fifteen years ago, or he's a hardcore T**** supporter. There are no other options.

Of course, my own sensibilities have changed over the years. I don't think I'd have ever written anything like that as a teenager, but I also don't think I'd have batted an eye at it. But I wonder: is it just me, or is this a sign of actual societal change? I'm sure some kids talk and think like this these days, but is it as common? When I was in high school, alas, "fag" was a totally ubiquitous term of abuse, but would that be the case now? I genuinely don't have answers to that, and any speculation I could make would be heavily informed by my little bubble--I wouldn't be hanging around with people likely to use it anyway. Still, I think it's not unreasonable to speculate that the fact that this stuff really is less socially acceptable is in part to blame for T****--people getting mad that they can't barf out their racism and misogyny and homophobia without social sanction. But man alive, even if you think that Political Correctness is a "disease:" talk about the cure being worse than. It's akin to curing someone's congested sinuses by chopping off their head. JEEZ.


Blogger Pan MiluĊ› pontificated to the effect that...

Maybe his nickname is crying for help? Perhaps he is an actual Penguin with psychological issues.

7:23 PM  

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