Heartbreak addendum

More bad news: I think yesterday I permanently ruined my chances of ever convincing my girlfriend that videogames are pretty great. She’s expressed some vague interest in Animal Crossing, and her fondness for Angelina Jolie automatically translates into an above-average tolerance for Tomb Raider (despite the complete lack of Ms. Jolie in said games). I was kind of hoping those could maybe serve as chinks in the armor of her indifference, but then I made the mistake of playing Dawn of Sorrow in her presence.

Not that Dawn of Sorrow is an unappealing game on the surface! It’s just that I happened to be using a fully-leveled up soul combination of Skeleton Waiter and Persephone. Which means I was battling the forces of darkness by syphoning my enemies’ life force with a demon maid’s vacuum cleaner before finishing them off with a bowl of curry rice. This was harder to explain than you might expect.

“So what is that thing you just used?”

“Oh… well, I captured the soul of a demonic karate maid and now I can drain energy from bad guys with her vacuum. Plus any time someone shoots an arrow or something at me, the vacuum will suck it in. Plus whenever I destroy a candelabra or skeleton or something the vacuum sucks it up as it crumbles.”


“Also, the suction effectively disables a lot of the female monsters in the game, because they’re too busy keeping their skirts down to attack me.”


“I prefer to use the curry, though — it’s really powerful now that I’ve leveled it up to a complete place setting.”


“Right. I can toss a plate of curry at bad guys and if they walk into it, they’ll be destroyed.”

“That’s stupid. Why curry? Why not naan?”

“It’s Japanese, not Indian.”

“OK, so why not sashimi?”

“Well, you serve sashimi slightly below room temperature, so I don’t think it would be as dangerous as a plate of hot curry.”

“Still, why curry? Why not tempura? That’s fried and oily and way more dangerous.”

“Uh… well, have you ever eaten Japanese curry? It’s pretty dangerous.”

“‘Bland’ is not the same thing as ‘dangerous.'”

“But… uh….”

From this, we can take away two important lessons. One, videogames are ridiculous. Two, I’m really pathetic when it comes to rationalizing their excesses. Bonus lesson: I really shouldn’t post conversations like this because they’re intrinsically not interesting to anyone who is not me.

44 thoughts on “Heartbreak addendum

  1. I thought it was interesting. It reminds me of trying to explain the appeal of gardening and fossil-hunting in Animal Crossing to my brother.

  2. I’ve actually pretty much given up converting people. Although my strictly anti-game cousin rather enjoyed Katamari Damacy.

  3. Gah, why must you insist on disabusing me of my belief that my blogging habits are bravely pressing on in the face of tiresome irrelevance and collective indifference?

  4. Actually, it is pretty interesting. I’ve managed to make something of a gamer out of my wife, though she would never find a Castlevania game the least bit interesting. She loves stuff like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, and has been completely engrossed in Brain Age since it came out. She also likes anything that uses something other than a standard controller (DDR, Donkey Konga, etc.). I have high hopes for the Wii!

  5. I want to tell myself you’re just making up all that stuff you just described in Castlevania, but I believe you and I am afraid.

  6. Interesting soul choices. I didn’t know Persephone could vacuum projectiles.

  7. So far, it seems Persephone can nullify Skull Archer’s arrows, Frozen Shade’s ice javelins, and the toxic clouds from Gorgon and Catoblepas. There’s probably more, too. It’s sort of insane how many random details this game has.

  8. I long ago gave up trying to directly interest my girlfriend in linguistics. But she (over)hears conversations about it, and I mention certain word-related things that are things people are in general interested in (funny dialects, whatever), and she admits that over time she’s started to pay more attention to how people say things. And that’s all I can ask for. How to apply this in your life is left as an exercise to the reader.

  9. my girlfriend is the most patient person in the world. she sits and listens to me talk about linguistics, religion, music, and obscure gaming esoterica with the same bemused expression. its a big part of why i’m marrying her =)

    and dude, japanese curry offends my very being. and when the fucking kids ask if i, as an indian, love curry rice, i want to pull their tounges out.

  10. Countless volumes (or at least, webpage features) have been written on how to get these…girl-friends…to enjoy games played on video. But perhaps you can convince her that your interest lies in the complexity and odd interperetations of cultural references? Or Alucard. fe-type males love Alucard.

  11. For a series steeped in gothic horror Castlevania sure is wacky. I just finished my first play through of Rondo of Blood and trying to explain to my dad exactly why a little girl in a pink dress was chucking doves at a giant demon’s face was rather hard.

  12. Well, OK. To be completely honest, I’m not really concerned with getting my girlfriend to care about videogames. I mean, it’s not like I really care that much about them either. But I’m certainly not above stretching the truth for the sake of a blog update. (Although the conversation really did go almost exactly like that.)

  13. Man your girlfriend is great

    this sounds like danny trying to explain like fucking IIDX musicians to me! They’re all stupid though and I don’t care and when I told him thusly he got SAD and by sad I mean he said well you can tell the difference between these songs if you knew about music which DAMN

    I’m sorry if I say all that crap sounds like bleepy bloop shit techno because IT DOES

  14. …I think it actually makes ME a sad person to know that when I saw Mia’s comment, I started trying to figure out which musicians were being mentioned.
    Mr. T. for life, yo. (Let’s see who makes the obligatory stupid f@#*ing joke, now…)

  15. There’s a LOT of stupid stuff in Dawn of Sorrow.I remember actually laughing out loud the first time I encountered a “demonic karate maid”. Then I realized she can totally kick your butt and started getting serious. I also noticed that the Killer Clowns just happen to drop hamburgers. And for some reason those Mandragoras make me think of “Home Improvement” when they scream. Either Dawn of Sorrow was meant to have thinly veiled humor, or I just have a stupid sense of humor. Either way, I probably looked like a mad man holding the DS in my hand, cackling at some of the weird eccentricities of the game.

  16. Though the cute ninja maids bow before engaging in combat, and sit down politely to die, they are defeated in sexiness by the student witches, simply by the fact that they have CREAM SODA. Also, does the vacuum function the same way in Aria (why check when I can lazily ASK!?)? Also, the ninja maids from Chronicles pwned the GBA variety, imho. I’m not sure why, but I feel that I can say it with conviction, regardless.

  17. Mr. T? Pshaw. his stuff from the early mixes was utter crap. TaQ/Taka and Akira Yamaoka for life, yo.

    I met Yamaoka at a party before TGS. everyone else was blathering about some silent hill crap or something, but all i wanted to do was talk about how freaking amazing In My Eyes, Rislim and I Feel… are.

  18. One wonders how these demons decide to appear whenever Castle de Vania manifests itself. Do they while away the hours in the chaos dimension or wherever thinking up new ways to appear and destroy whatever pesky hero comes a’whippin’? Persephone must’ve gone through quite a few rejected forms if “Demonic karate maid” is the one that made the cut.

  19. They used to throw ninja kitchen knives, too.

    I didn’t care much about the vacuum at first. Then I learned that it completely nullified Death sickle fields and blocked at least two types of Abaddon swarms for massive healing, and any item that can stump two of the last bosses in the game can’t be that bad.

  20. I think this has to do with Freud’s theory of penis envy. Your girlfriend hates video games because it destracts you from giving her what she wants most. Your money.

  21. I can attest to the superiority of the X68000 maids. While AoS and DoS’s Persephones don’t do more than walk back and forth and kick, the original incarnations spin-jumped like ninjas all over the place and shot throwing knives in twelve directions. And they were only found in one of the very last areas of the game, which gave you the sense that you were dealing with Dracula’s personal attendants.

  22. I think this has to do with Freud’s theory of penis envy. Your girlfriend hates video games because it destracts you from giving her what she wants most. Your money.

    Wow, can I use that in a sig?

  23. I was able to convert my girlfriend with the 1-2 punch of Katamari and Animal Crossing. We’ll, not really “convert”, since she’d played a couple Final Fantasy’s before we met. So maybe I “re-converted” her. Now she’s the one that got a DS Lite, and not me…

  24. Haha, nice story. I’ve had my shares of trying to teach the Mrs. the beauty of games, but it’s really a loss cause. Especially when you dive into the specifics and she starts giving you that glare that she could leave at any second if you continue. Still, random/pointless posts are fun to read, so they’re worth sharing. I mean it’s game related in some way.

  25. Dawn of Sorrow has become my favorite DS game, but there’s one minor gripe I have with the game: Soma has no throwing animation for the axe and sickle. WHAT. THE. HELL? The sickle hopped-up with the Skelerang soul was my main offensive stylin’ my first playthrough, but every time a sickle would magically come out of Soma’s chest, I’d die a little on the inside. I mean the game pays so much attention to small (wonderful) details, but for the act of visually communicating the main character’s potential primary weapon, they just figure it’s no big deal?

  26. Spaghetti! *cough* Ack, stop that.
    Anyway, as long as this has become the personal girls-and-games stories thread, I’ll throw out the fact that my wife is a big fan of Harvest Moon… and Tekken. Ok, so she likes to slash the characters, but she’s also better than me at the game.

  27. I have a female friend who kicks my ass at 99% of all games (not that I’m a slouch, she’s just THAT GOOD). Does that count?

  28. “I Feel” really is amazing, isn’t it Shivam?

    Anyway, my wife and I first got involved over a game of Metroid Zero Mission.

    Tomm FTW.

  29. I haven’t read most of this, because i’m lazy, but that conversation sounds frigteningly similar to how I typically interact with my wife when it comes to video games.

  30. My girlfriend plays Halo and Warcraft III. She also gave me Howl’s Moving Castle for my birthday. God, I am SO marrying her.

  31. Ha ha, my girlfriend, on the other hand, witnessed Panic! on the Sega CD and LOVED it. You know, because it’s weird.

    She even likes Earthbound quite a lot! I love that girl.

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