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

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

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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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A man and his dog is a bond that lasts forevermore

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Secret of Evermore (1996)

Although I do like cats more, I definitely agree with the assertion that dogs are a man’s best friend. Yes, I know there’s some dogs out there that are specifically trained to kill on sight, and won’t even consider easing their jaws until you’ve become dead meat. Well, those doggies aren’t your friends. But you know those lovably dumb dogs that follow you everywhere, always want to know what you’re doing, and get all over-excited when you come home. You couldn’t invent a better pet if you tried, could you?

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Black Mages are promoted to their level of incompetency

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Final Fantasy (1987)

Sometimes I have to wonder how frustrating it must be to be a manager. Obviously, as I am an unambitious layabout, I haven’t got a staff to manage. But I do have extensive experience with Football Manager, which almost counts. There’s no need to overcomplicate management, because it’s a lot more simple than people realise.

Just have a think about what it’s like for sports managers, or better yet, put yourself in their shoes. You try to empathise with the players, get on the same psychological wavelength as them to make sure the big babies aren’t on the verge of bottling it. You prepare the team as well as possible, make sure they’re conditioned, make sure they’re fit. You lay out the full strategy against your next opponents, several times and as plainly as possible. Then your players go out and act like a bunch of pilchards doing whatever they like, and you’re left tearing your hair out. And in the end, guess who gets the bullet?

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All young men need something to scare them straight

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Secret of Mana (1994)

I had a tough start with Secret of Mana. Things seemed so rosy – the year was 1995 and my mother had gone into town with the promise of bringing us home a new Super Nintendo game. What she brought us was the green wonder that is Secret of Mana, a game that was advertised as being like Zelda! That was all I needed to hear. I probably near took the glorious woman’s hand off and clambered up the stairs to play it immediately.

As I often did as a 4-year-old gamer boy, I pressed my little golfball head as closely to our 1970s television as I could without my hair standing on end. Then I pressed the Power button to load up the game, a chilling roar that must have surely come from the bowels of hell blared right in my face, and I screamed to the high heavens and left Mana alone for several years.

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My dear Gaspar, history is for the anoraks

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Chrono Trigger (1995)

Alright, philistine time: I was never much interested in history. You’re better off making history than studying it, right? It was great when we got around to studying the World Wars in school, though. Men love war, and those two were the best rammies of the lot. Unfortunately the curriculum in Ireland is a bit slow to update, and the history books when I was in school never featured 9/11.

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Donkey punching is tame when it comes to Urban Dictionary

 

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The World Ends With You (2008)

Have you ever visited the website urbandictionary.com? It’s this fantastic user-generated trove of slang and turns of phrase from regions all over the world. It’s a real eye-opener: I now know that my name means a “huge sarcastic asshole that ends up becoming amazingly sweet”, and that I am in possession of both moobies and a chode. There’s hundreds o’ thousands o’ bits o’ vernacular backchat on there, definitions for just about any colloquialism you’ve ever heard, and racism that I didn’t even know existed.

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Disney mixes better with Dublin than it does Final Fantasy

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Kingdom Hearts (2002)

It’s probably something that’s no big deal for proper countries out there, but Ireland has only recently seen the arrival of an honest to God, fully fledged Disney shop. And not only that, but she’s set up camp on the main shopping street as well, so we know that old Walt’s crew must mean some real business this time.

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