If you’ve got nothing nice to say… maybe die and never come back?

Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012)

I want you to dispense with any good mood you may have had, and try to think about the people who annoy you most in your day-to-day life. For my own example, I’m frequently aggravated to the point of gnashing and grinding of teeth on the bus when I share a deck with this guy who phones other people all the time, and I do mean all the time. I’m serious, this cllown must go through his contacts list, whoever was idiotic enough to give their number to him anyway.

I could almost handle it if the conversations had any juice in them at all – I love to eavesdrop on recently released criminals who I also share a bus with, because when they’re talking about peope getting filled in with hacksaws then you cannot help but take notice. But this telephonic bete noire of mine just talks athe most mundane rubbish about his day to anybody. It’s not like he’s a doddery old fool either, he can’t be that much older than me – and before you laugh, I ain’t doddery, not yet, actually, what was the question again?

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Pokemon Sun & Moon

Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016)

No psychiatrist has ever managed to catch me and pin me to their long sofa yet, and if I valued my continued liberty to live outside of an asylum that I’d better keep it that way. I will give you one psychological nugget (surprisingly _not_ the best type of nugget) though, not because I’m terribly arrogant enough to believe you really care, but just to give the police a bit of a clue if ever I’m wanted for murder – I am introverted to an incredible degree.

Anyone with any level of introversion will recognise at once the idea of recharging after social interactions. Being introverted doesn’t mean you have to be a shrinking wallflower, a strong silent type or even, God forbid, a boring prat. You can be the life and soul of the party if you like, but you better believe you’ll need that recharge period, that blessed bit of alone time when it comes.

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Fire Emblem Thracia 776

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

Unfortunately it’s true what they say, you know – one day you become a little bit tired and you never recover from it. It seems to happen in and around the time when you know you won’t be able to do the long nights out anymore. Your bones finally creak in protest, your brain refuses to go at full power, and every muscle in your body is saying no, that’s your lot, we’ve had enough. Your body has gone on fatigue strike.

I can’t have been too surprised about it. I see sleep as some sort of effrontery against me, a challenge that I need to overcome. Unprofitable, uncreative hours spend doing nothing, in bed? I’ll save them for the hangover, but each and every day, no thank you. So I might only have 5 hours of sleep, 4 on a schoolnight. Perhaps predictably, this has given me suitcases under my eyes, a ski slope forehead, bundles of grey hair and the realisation that I’m never going to get back to 100% condition again. Christ, I’m 30 and I’m knackered.

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Pikmin (2002)

So how do you know when you’re old? You could go off physical signs, but they can be misleading. After all, unexplained pains in muscle and joints? I’ve had them all my life, or at least since I turned 18. It tends to happen to me only after nights out, which only adds to the mystery. But in reality, although I read about people turning 30 and suddenly getting all kinds of aches and pains, I just have to wonder how decrepit they are. Having grey hair is another obvious symbol of elderhood, but again, I’ve confounded follicle science by having greys since I was 15 [link to starwing?] and you could never accuse me of being 16 going on 60, could you?

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“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years with the mice and sheep”

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2013)

My last stint at running a city went rather badly. I cared little for the opinion polls, which were grossly misinformed. The pollution and crime were natural by-products of a bustling, modern city. You never hear people criticising Las Vegas do you? My decision to genocide my townsfolk is what really did for me. After having been tried and very nearly convicted of crimes against humanity, it was decided that I would avoid 1,008 years in prison if I promised to never run a town of people ever again.

I needed some group to bully in order to fill my days though, so I took the midnight train towards Cunnyton, a hopeless little berg located far away from human civilisation. So far away in fact that I’d be the only human sod there, a fact brought home to me by the strange cat who began Gestapo questioning me on the train. I swiftly informed him that I was the only totalitarian around here and that he should watch himself. Never saw him again.

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Come along a guided tour down a gradual Pokédecline

Pokémon X and Y (2013)

I have to wonder what it’s like for those famous people who have completely outgrown their friend group on their way to greatness. It’s happened to me a lot, actually. That is, people around me go on to find success and meanwhile I’m still finding farts funny, especially when I wake myself up with them.

There must be some dreadfully awkward scenarios where the superstar get temporarily embarrassed; after having been whisked away into the world of fame and fortune, they suddenly have to re-face their old childhood. Take noted treacherous Sassenach Graham Norton for example, he’s actually from the same neck of the woods as me, but he’d never tell you this himself of course.

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How Burkey longs to be a skinny flat white

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations (2008)

Try as I might, I’m never going to be accepted into the inner circles of polite company, and I think I’ve finally found the reason why: I’m not a coffee drinker. You mustn’t get me wrong, I actually do enjoy the taste of the stuff. I’ll even do you the favour of eating a coffee-flavoured chocolate sweet every now and again. It’s just the coffee culture that I can’t get on board with.

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Man’s mission is to get her in zero clothes

Metroid: Zero Mission (2004)

I’ve been thinking lately about what’s been the worst event of my life. I just about managed to avoid soiling myself in school, which means I don’t have a guaranteed winner to submit here. Any other possibility I conjure up, they really all just fade in comparison to the one and only time I ever had to wear a wetsuit.

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Nothing like jobhunting to make heroes feel like zeroes

Sonic Heroes (2004)

I’m on the job hunt again, which is an almost unbeatable way to sap your self-confidence. Probably online dating is worse for morale, but at least if you’ve got a bit about you, you can have several dates, buddies and bits on the side. With a job, having more than one means you’ve probably got all kinds of debts to your name, and you’re a much harder worker than me.

Generally you want one job, if even that; if you’re lucky enough to be in a country with a generous dole, then I genuinely don’t mind you taking my taxes, so long as you’re good stuff, you know, not a scrote, not lacking flair. And if you’re a creative type, have a double week on me.

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Throw 25 Pesetas in and feel the Fury

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (1991)

It must be nice to live in luxury, I thought to meself, as I sat back and loaded up the Metal Slug Anthology. I’d dropped fifty or sixty bones on that in 2006 for the Wii version when I was new to the series. Come 2020, I bought it again, this time on PS4 for a measly fiver. A fiver, for seven games, at least some of which used to come in their own dedicated arcade cabinets with some of the loveliest hand-drawn graphics you’ve ever seen. Posers like me can go on about how you practically need to sell a kidney to be a retro collector these days. But never mind the original, physical copies; if all you want in your life is the 1s and 0s, then it don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

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