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Stangors Saga: Day Two

Now I am a little worried. I put in Monster Hunter Tri just to see what it looked like, thinking I might play it for a few minutes. Suddenly I realized that an hour and a half had vanished while I had been running my character to the point of exhaustion, trying to kill enough dumb herbivorous monsters to complete my first assignment, which was to bring Fresh Meat to the somewhat passive-aggressive Chief’s Son. It took me about ten monster kills before I finally read in the instructions that in order to gather the Fresh Meat I first had to sheath my new knife. I also learned entirely by accident that I also could not return to the village and «recharge» unless my sword was sheathed.

I just about killed that poor character, Stangor the Monster Slayer, before I finally got the damn Meat to the Chief’s Son, made it back to the village and «recharged» (which is done by hopping into one’s bed and sleeping for three seconds, and also saves the game).

The next morning, when I woke up, all I could think about was going back to the woods and gathering some Resources for the village by small-monster-killing and mushroom-gathering and such — doing my manly duty, which (to cut through the bullshit) is to make a lot of game money. That’s actually what the monster hunting is all about.

So it’s not like I’m escaping the real world into total fantasy land. I still have the same overriding need: COLD HARD CASH, even in Monster Land. I still have to do all kinds of tedious shit (not that different from my real job) before I even have a chance to get KILLED by a monster.

There are a couple of things that make dwelling in that time-wasting game world pretty attractive to me. There, I am not Stang, a little guy with glasses who’s pushing 60, but a tall, strapping, tireless homosexual named Stangor. I assume Stangor is gay because he’s so good looking. Only gay dudes are that studly-looking.

Stangor is also pushing 60, and like me has a long ponytail that’s generally kept balled up and out of the way. I was able to customize Stangor just that much. I could have made him a Black guy with an Elvis hairdo, for instance, with red underwear instead of blue. But I couldn’t make him a girl. There are no female Monster Hunters. That’s another reason I assume Stangor and all the other Monster Hunters are gay.

No wonder my wife stayed on Facebook. This is about as all-boy a game as one could hope to find.

Also, Stangor, though not tireless — I had him so exhausted he fell asleep standing up every time he stopped running — still can actually run for an hour up hill and down dale, never stumbling. And he has a map in his head so he can see where the trails are. His aim with the sword is still a bit clumsy but that’s my fault; I panic when I get surrounded by monsters even if they are timid herbivores.

The monsters are «dinosaurs» from an alternate reality. Beautifully designed, fairly realistic, but generally looking like somewhat weirdly-frilled or armored offshoots of known dinosaurs. For that matter the humans are all some odd strain of far-future or deep-past Japanese. Even their writing looks more like Japanese than anything else.

So far it appears that games have not changed in any huge measure since PacMan. You still have to get Power Objects, unlock new stages, win prizes, or keep getting killed over and over. Funny, that also happens to summarize the plots of more than half of the movies I saw this year.

I CAN beat my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I WILL spend the day working, not hunting monsters. I CAN. I WILL. This I, Stangor, do vow upon the Blade of Maldagor.

***

I ukene fremover presenterer Imagonem en serie gjesteblogger fra Ærverdige Ivan Stang, skriftlærd og radiovert for den internasjonale Church of the SubGenius. Pastoren deler her den oppbyggelige fortellingen om sin gjenoppdagelse av dataspillenes vidunderlige verden med oss.

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