Genetics struck my birth and development without mercy, my friends. Obviously I was blessed with a few positive features to give myself some chance of passing on my cursed genes to the next generation and fulfilling my one purpose on this doomed carbon rock we call Earth. Namely, a beautifully chiselled face, a model’s poise, wonderfully shaped feet and so on. The usual pluspoints possessed by any man who has any hope.
But there had to be compromises somewhere, and so it was that I was stricken with the inability to walk. I don’t mean I’m an invalid or anything like that. I mean, I actually cannot do what most human beings would term “walking”. I can move my legs at awkward angles and sort of lamely shuffle almost horizontally from A to B, but that doesn’t exactly qualify me for the catwalk (a shame, given the model-like poise I lied to you about earlier).
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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1988)
I’ll tell you a scene that struck a chord with me in a film, shall I? It was when I first watched Saturday Night Fever (1977, disco, Bee Gees, Travolta throwing shapes, you can’t not know it). I’m sure I was like many in assuming that the vast majority of the film was basically a disco-themed musical with a rudimentary love story bolted onto the front for wider appeal. You could more or less relay a synopsis of it to people using just the songs on the seminal soundtrack, I thought.
So when I watched the film and saw John frustrated with his dead end job, frustrated with his father and frustrated with the girls that attach themselves to his group – so much so that he tells us that they all must make the decision to become “nice girls or c**ts” at an early age, well, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised. This was quite a bit grittier and downbeat then I’d have ever imagined. How the director (Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird’s brother no less) managed to make a thought-provoking, sometimes grim movie with Night Fever and You Should Be Dancing playing in the background, I’ll never know, but he managed it.
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The Legend of Zelda (1987)
You may one day be flicking through your TV guide (on your television’s internal EPG of course – what use is a TV guide magazine in this day and age?) and see an episode of a programme you like about to come on. But the episode synopsis seems rather unfamiliar, and when it comes on you’re wondering why Kramer is being called Kessler or why Smithers is black with blue hair.
What you’ve done is stumbled on a very old episode, perhaps the first ever – and it looks remarkably different to what you’re used to. Everything looks weird, and it’s pretty jarring. This isn’t the show I fell in love with, think to yourself, with the occasional mewl of protest at the television to show your disapproval. You pick up on every single detail and say to yourself “yeah, I see, so that’s where that came from, but… I don’t know, it’s a little weird”.
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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)
I have this frankly unnerving propensity for doing things the complete opposite way of how they really should be done. Manoeuvre, signal, mirror, that’s my motto behind the wheel. I tend to put the milk in before the sugar, which some tea authorities I know inform me is unfathomably wrong. And I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve tried to slip some baggy tracksuit bottoms down past my inevitably Nike-runnered feet.
So it proved to be the case again when a new handheld Zelda sequel, directly modelled on the best of the series in the Super Nintendo’s A Link to the Past, was announced. I should have had a penile accident, the good kind, right there and then. Instead I felt a combination of emotions, all of them negative. Disbelief! Panic! Fear!
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F1 2011 (2011)
It may perhaps have skipped your notice, but there’s a big football tournament going on at the moment known as the World Cup, although it doesn’t feature every team in the world and the trophy isn’t even classed as a cup (and to be classed as a cup, you’ve got to be able to drink champagne out of it).
You may hate this cavalcade of football, or soccer if you prefer, as much as all other sports, and you may find yourself annoyed that it’s been taking over popular culture and all of your news feeds. And you’ll doubtless be even more annoyed that you’re now beginning to actually learn of obnoxious players, soulless teams and shameful incidents through cultural osmosis. Right?
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Pokémon Snap (2000)
You don’t need a scrub like me to tell you, the insecure mess reading this, that life is inherently unfair. Neither you nor me were blessed from birth with an elite sporting ability, or with model good looks, or some other form of unique ‘talent’ to separate us from the mouthbreathers – or better still, to have been born into aristocracy. Imagine that?! But no, not us. I hope, then, that you and I can share this tentative sort of bottom-feeding bond, in that we as people were both pretty much finished before we ever really got started, and this “life” we’re currently living now is the very best we can hope for.
Eddie Hitler had it right when he told us that life was about: you get born, you keep your head down, and then you die – if you’re lucky. Mediocrity is something that we just have to get used to, or so conventional wisdom tells us. I suppose you sometimes get some special snowflakes who become just a little bit uppity and console both themselves and their own doomed existence by posting “artistic” pictures of “inspirational” quotes on Facebook, for the viewing benefit of nobody in particular. Can’t knock these people for effort – what are you without effort? But I think, on the whole, we’ve resigned ourselves to our dismal fates, and any stroke of good luck that does come our way is rightly met with either indifference or a suspicious shrug of the shoulders.
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