Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The Green Fairy of Rupee Land

Let's talk a little more about parodies.
It's not the green fairy of wormwood that makes the world go round. It's money, or so they (and also they) say. Luckily, I found a little green fairy also for money, thanks to Nintendo. He's male, he's 35, he wasted away his whole exsistence in the dullest, nerdiest way you can imagine and he just received the destiny's call to glory and money. Don't look at me, I', 33. I'm talking about Tingle, one lesser character in the Zelda series, which just got a starring role in the recent Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland. Yeah, that's the English title, translated from the Japanese もぎたてチンクルのばら色ルッピーランド which means exactly the same, silly, thing. You can't take seriously such a title, and that's the point. So, how does this parody work?
Let't start with the plot. The nerdy Tingle embarks himself on a mission to became rich, in order to pour all his money ("Rupees", that is) in a magical spring which will make him even richer. The problem is that every inhabitant of "Tingleland" is obsessed with money. Everyone wants to be payed, even only to talk to you. Not only if you ask for advice, mind you, but also to ask your help. Tingle doesn't have a proper energy bar, damage simply affects your wallet. So what it's true for our dimension, it's true also for Tingle's: money make the world go round. The satire of this game shows no mercy. Characters are grotesque, depicted in a very unusual style for a japanese game. To some extent, the graphics remind me of Alfred Jarry's sketches for Ubu Roi. To think of it, the whole aura of the game vibrates in a pataphisical mood.

Putting sexual innuendo
into a Zelda spin-off is
a strong design choice.
If developers told me
they never saw LucasGames'
adventures, I wouldn't believe them.

Game dynamics are not flawless, anyway. The fighting mechanics are funnier in theory than in practice: you need to hire some wacky mercenaries in order to get help into battling monsters. Battles are sort of cartoonish melees that just "happen" when you collide with foes: you lose some Rupees, the enemy loses its energy and that's it. Your bodyguard cooperates, often in a dumb way, and it's not always easy to make him follow Tingle's orders... This gives a picaresque feeling to it. That's great for the Rupee-oriented game plot and setting, but it's not-so exciting on the long term. That's why Vanpool developers put some mini-games thru' the adventure. We're talking about Nintendo DS, so using the stylus for some quick minigame action is always refreshing, but what you get in the end is a disjointed, albeit pleasing, experience. Again, the mini-games fits well with the satire & parody tone, since you can parody several game genres at a time, à la Wario Ware. Still, the formal and substantial elegance of more focused parody games such as Parodius or Super Gem Fighters: Mini Mix is unrivalled. It would be interesting to see Vanpool developing a full Zelda parody, both plot-wise and game-wise. Because, in the end, Tingle is not really a parody of Zelda: it's a bitter satire of our world (while Zelda itself is sometimes a sweet satire of it, by the way), which lacks a true identity when it comes to gaming. That said, you should really play it, moreover if you're 30+ and you need to improve the way you relate to money - or laugh about it. And now let's go to bed - I have a Yoga class at 5 AM, tomorrow. Seriously.


Molta Gente said...


Ted said...

Odio anche io i commenti fuori contesto, ma devo scrivere questo: quanto è brutta la grafica del nuovo Mario Party 8 per Wii? le scritte sono vergognose e le schermate sono quadrate (!!) con due bande laterali vuote per riempire lo schermo.

Anonymous said...

Master i didn't read the post at all, it's too long. but i've seen that big breasted fairie, and i saw that this is good.

B. said...

Oh, Ted, QUANTO hai ragione. Il fatto è che Nintendo ha un problema terribile: non sa più dove mettere i soldi, se li mettesse sotto il materasso si ritroverebbe a dormire dalle parti di Saturno. Gli yankee dicono di Wii e DS che "they print money". Ciò è pericoloso. Quando ogni mario party vende indipendentemente da quel che c'è dentro un milione di copie, è chiaro che c'è un problema, è chiaro che possono fare lo schermo triangolare o farcire il gioco di Merda d'Artista.
Per fortuna che arriva Mario Galaxy. Puoi riportare al negozio Mario Party 8 e farti fare uno sconto su Tingle DS, in caso.

Anonymous said...

Il problema Raghezzi è che Mario Party 8 è stato fatto da Hudson,non da Nintendo.

Che di suo continua mi sta facendo godere immensamente con Metroid Prime 3 in questi giorni,dopo avermi fatto godere con Pokemon D&P e Super Paper Mario,solo per citare gli ultimi in ordine di tempo.;)