"(...) Pieces of me are scattered throughout the cosmos. Eventually, another will become sentient and exact retribution. You will never escape the shadow of fear! (...)"
I distinctly remember playing Nemesis (1985) on my cousin's GameBoy.
The only other game he owned was Othello (1988).
My cousin shot himself some ten years later.
When I started to get into videogames my level of frustration tolerance was significantly lower than it is today. But already back than I knew that I would never ever play virtual Othello, so I had to stick with Nemesis, spiteful enticing Nemesis.
I hated it - even so I simply could not stop. Desperately holding back the bitter tears of almost constant failure I had to recognize my own imperfection. I was not a child anymore
(was this Othello's nemesis?).
I still admire the game for its design and structure. I still admire myself when the game reflects my own self, while i am processing its design and structure.I admire the elegance of my own reflexes and my unlikely survival within a beautiful but nevertheless essentially hostile environment - it is survival of the fittest all over again. I enter a beast-like state.
I am still very pleased with myself whenever I beat the game, my early nemesis named Nemesis.
What always fascinated me the most about the Gradius/Nemesis-Multiverse were the Moais, those giant stone-faces spitting glowing Cheerios at the player, raw human figures representing powerful individuals of the past.
The individual in all its egocentric, megalomaniacal glory.
The Maoi: phallic monoliths with neither consciousness nor conscience, satisfying only the most basic of their needs.
Mere mouths to eat and to shit/shoot alike.
A monolith spitting Cheerios of enlightenment.
That clearly is me.
"I am my own opponent? Ha. This will be difficult!" (Guan Yu)
Dynasty warriors 3 (Koei 2001) created first doubts about IGN's interpretational sovereignity (Fist of the North Star. Ken's Rage made me leave for good eventually and led me into the light that is Destructoid. Nowhere else did this masterpiece recieve a more favourable reception).
Apart from this moment of awakening I like the Dynasty Warriors series because of the overwhelming feeling of omnipotence it is evoking.
Finally i can believe that I am not one of the masses.
Because the masses are asses (L7 1997).
In effect though, the game is all about the masses. The uncountable peons, organized in a kind of collective hive-mind, subjects to authority (the generals), subjects to the Empire (Hardt/Negri 2000).
That might be me.
Its gonna work because I'm pushin' it right Super Puzzle Fighter (Capcom 1996)
"It's not whether I win or lose, just as long as I piss you off!"
Absolutely nothing is sultrier than a Puzzle Fighter-Gem, swollen to gargantuan proportions and ready to shatter into your opponent's face. (choke on it Devilotte, please do choke).
You apply constant pressure while preparing for this very last and very sweet moment of releasing steam. A not too utterly veiled ambiguity I totally approve of.
Nevertheless, I think that it I'd like to conclude this with a vague, half-baked Space Odyssey analogy now (because: monoliths had been mentioned).
Apart from functioning as a symbol for swollen male genitalia, Puzzle Fighter-Gems obviously represent the postmodernist fragmented indiviual under the influence of information society and the entertainment industry. Multifacetd, colorful and bloated, yet focused and in a state of flow.
A genuine spacechild (or something).
Me me me!
(I am little fascinated by myself right now - all in all this turned out to be a little heavy on the dick-side. What exactly is it the cosmos wants to tell me here?)