My Neighbour Errol: Sparklies (aka Video Games Part 2)
I have been officially moved in for a week! The Cavern is lovely. Dim and cold, but lovely and big. I will make a proper post about it once I get these insane amount of boxes unpacked. I have been pretty distracted.
One of the distractions has of course been the inevitable Errol visits. With a Playstation 3 and N64 within such close proximity, video game consumption has tripled in the last three weeks, as has juice and popcorn consumption.
Playing video games with Errol is always an adventure. I’ve talked a bit before about Errol’s obsessive compulsive treatment of video games. And that’s no different than it was before. But WHAT he gets obsessed with and just how much he transforms into an ADD 5 year old on sugar is harder to predict.
Take Ocarina of Time. An older game rife with exploration and side quests. There are secrets and items in every corner. Characters to talk to. Ledges that just beg to be climbed. And weapons like the big Goron sword.
Does Errol get excited about any of these? No, he whines that it’s going to take too long to get the weapon which will clearly make the rest of the game far easier for him. At most, he will spend 5 minutes on a quest before getting tired and whiny.
But then he will enter a room full of rocks. And will not rest until all of those rocks are smashed or bombed. This might take ten minutes. There will be absolutely no point to it. But Errol doesn’t care. Those rocks need to be smashed.
Then there’s Uncharted 2. There is a pretty linear storyline and guards to avoid and take down. There is a grand mystery to solve!
But then Errol discovered a small, sparkly thing that turned out to be a treasure. Does the treasure add much to the game? Not really, it’s just something pretty to look at. You might get a PS3 trophy at most.
Errol will spend hours scouring the landscape for small, sparkly treasure. Hours.
The moment we enter an area, is his first concern what might shoot at him, or what puzzles there are? No.
The worst part about this is that I’m not even really justified in my criticism. Because his method works. He is successful at finding and getting to the sparklies. I am pretty certain he has found almost every treasure so far in the game. And so no matter how much I may sigh or swear as he goes behind yet another statue to search, it always ends with him looking smugly over at me to rub that success in my face.
And then finally, there’s Ni No Kuni. Are there lots of things to find here? Not really. But the game is terrible for Errol’s last weird video game habit: refusal to use any helpful item ever.
This game goes out of its way to make sure you are stocked up with bread (which replenishes your health). Not only that, but you earn money from your fights so that if you need to buy more bread, you can do so. Not only THAT, but sometimes enemies give you bread!
Does Errol EVER use ANY of his health items? His health will be circling the drain, some little adorable pokemon type monster will be completely destroying him, his poor avatar will be gasping with breath, wishing SOMETHING would heal him.
But no. Errol flat out refuses to actually USE anything he collects. And it is STRESSFUL to watch. Not even so much because he’s dying but because IT WOULD BE SO SIMPLE TO FIX THIS PROBLEM!
And does he try to find health afterwards? No, with 5/40 hit points left, he goes barreling into another monster.
And wins. Somehow. Friggin…
The only thing that gives Errol greater joy than sparklies is watching me get more and more frustrated as he gets distracted or stressed when he REFUSES TO TAKE HEALTH AND IS ON THE BRINK OF DYING!
The same goes for Last of Us, a game which gives you a limited storage for supplies and practically forces you to use them if you want to collect any more. This did not sit well with Errol:
Errol: I wanna pick up those bandages!
Me: You can’t.
Errol: But why not?! (begins to hyperventilate as the character wildly flails around the random item he can’t pick up)
Me: Because you have to use up the other bandages you already have.
Errol: But that will use them up!
Me: But there are more bandages RIGHT THERE! Make a Molotov!
Errol: I don’t wanna get rid of the bandages!
Me: Well, let’s move on then.
Errol: But I can’t just leave an item like this behind!
Actually, I think I’ve figured it out. Errol is simply the hoarder of video games. The magpie if you will. He collects and keeps absolutely every useless object and then hoards it to himself for useful reason.
I think it might time…for an intervention.