The sad story of R.O.B., the least eligible robo-bachelor in town

Gyromite (1985)

It’s the thing that no man ever wants to hear, especially if it’s the first date. There’s been a lot of build-up to get to that point, a lot of cringe lines from you in particular. The girl’s been waiting to see you in person, and you may have even featured in her e-bathroom – that is, her WhatsApp group with all the other girls. They’ll judge you harsher than Crufts, that lot.

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In an alternate timeline, I’d be Prince Burkey

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light (1990)

I know you never believe me when I come out with things like this, but I am actually descended from nobility. That’s right: I have blue blood, and you may well be wondering, if that’s the case Burkey, then why is it that you’re tight with money? Why were you on the dole? Why do you never exercise any kind of power, and why are you not inbred?

Well, perhaps some people would contest that last one. But I have a perfectly good answer to every one of these rebuttals, and unfortunately it’s that old devil at work again: organized religion.

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It’s just a set of eight new sprites, and none of them with smegma hair

Mega Man 6 (1994)

The other day, when my good friend’s young daughter proudly showed me a picture she’d drawn of me, I was absolutely chuffed to buggery. She is four years old and was drawing me from memory, so of course a few artistic licences were taken. I don’t have eight spindly legs, to my knowledge. And I certainly don’t have bile green skin with smegma yellow hair.

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It’s the fastest circuit board on two wheels

Excitebike (1986)

A friend of mine recently expressed his desire to dispense with that ozone-killing, turtle-plastic-trapping deathmachine known as a car, and instead get himself a motorbike. It’s a lot more nimble, he said, and would get him to and from the train station or the shops a lot quicker.

Cheaper to run too, of course, and I imagine less chance for something to go wrong. Well, it all sounded very green to me, though not as green as his even more outrageous intention to test drive and intentionally buy an electric car. Still, his motorcycle wish was definitely up there in the madness stakes.

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Beer, boobs, hospitals and punctuality. Does it get more German than that?

Double Dragon (1990)

I’m well versed in hospitals, you know. I don’t mean medical hospitals – dreadful places, you know. Full of death, and suffering, and the nurses are nowhere near as up for it as several video tapes from my youth had led me to believe. I did have cause to visit a general hospital in my adult years, in order to have a flap of skin cut off the end of my gentleman’s area.

And I was gutted, you know, as that was the only bill I ever paid in full and I still ended up getting cut off. I was unlikely to get the blind circumciser at least – that guy got the sack. At least my surgeon wasn’t money hungry anyway; some of those guys are only in it for the tips.

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The transformation of Mega Man into Gomer Pyle Man

Mega Man 5 (1992)

As Mega Man embarks on his fifth death-defying adventure, I feel I must finally lift my head above the parapet. It’s time for me to be a little bit ethical here, and ask that difficult question: are we sure Mega Man isn’t traumatised by now? I suppose the logical answer to this is that he is a robot, and robots don’t suffer from PTSD.

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A good night’s sleep is an adult’s greatest fantasy

FFIII_logo

Final Fantasy III (1990)

Like a lot of people out there, I’m a fool to myself almost every night. No, for once I’m not talking about self-debasement – I’m talking about sleep, and that’s deprivation, not depravation. And I know you’ll sympathise with me; will have experienced that terrible moment in life, when you finally decide to try for some sleep, you set your phone alarm and it tell you, “Alarm set for 2 hours and 32 minutes from now”.

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How to keep your Babushka happy, on an infinite budget

Mega Man 4 (1992)

So the question is this: where is Mega Man from? In-universe, I’m talking about now. We know he lives in the future, because proper numbers no longer exist and the calendar eventually tells us it’s the year 200X, although I haven’t a notion how you’d pronounce that.

Mega Man does look like a distinctly Japanese creation, with his big wide anime eyes. And yet the American box arts make him look like something out of a Fallout game, if it were set in the 1980s. So is he American or Japanese, or miscellaneous? Do these countries even exist anymore, in Mega Man’s world? What about France, the UK, Russia?

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Learning languages ain’t easy, so don’t beat yourself up over it

Final Fantasy 2

Final Fantasy II (1988)

Still looking for a New Year’s resolution? Learning to speak and write in foreign languages is a pursuit most noble, you know. It’s a sure-fire way to broaden your pathetic, shallow mind. For language learning purposes, there are all kinds of devices you can make use of that’ll make you a proverbial polyglot.

In the old days you’d have to use books, which is never ideal. That’s what they keep trying to do in schools, and school is the last place you want to try learning a language in. Case in point, I tried learning Irish for 13 years in school, and French for 6 years, and what can I show for it?

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Third time’s just about the charm for the boy in blue

Mega Man 3 (1990)

The third instalment in any series can often be finely poised on the knife-edge of quality, and very rarely will they be middle-of-the-road – they could be sensational pieces of work, like Goldfinger and Rocky III. Or they can turn out properly lacklustre, like The Godfather III and, I’m sorry to say this, Back to the Future 3.

With the NES though, there was plenty of greatness where the number 3 was concerned. Plenty of great trees were pulled up, an Irishman might say. Super Mario Bros. 3 was the crown jewel of the system. Castlevania 3 was strong as well, Ninja Gaiden 3, Dragon Quest 3… we’ll not mention Double Dragon 3 – good things don’t always come in threes.

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