You think I’m joking.
You think I’m being smug, or ironic when I say that Mr. Resetti, the pictured mole from Animal Crossing, is the most heroic videogame character in history. You laughed at his antics when he yelled at you, the player, for resetting your game without saving; you angrily shouted at him when he showed up as an assist trophy in Brawl. You think I’m having a laugh.
The truth is, you have no idea how heroic Mr. Resetti is. Have you ever considered that he is the only person — the only person — protecting the entire Animal Crossing universe from destruction? That he is the self-appointed defender of the entire village, as he frequently contends with a power (in the form of you, the player) which he cannot hope to ever truly control? That this simple little mole forever fights a losing battle against God Himself in order to protect the lives of his friends?
Hit the jump, and I’ll explain further.
The Last of the Time Lords
Resetti the Mole is the only character in the Animal Crossing world whose sole job is to protect the entire universe from paradoxical destruction. Resetti makes sure the game world’s timeline doesn’t contradict itself. Resetti stands, ever ready, to defend the integrity of his world’s timeline against any and all oppressors who would seek to manipulate that timeline for their own personal gain.
In other words, you.
You are the demon who, at every turn, holds the power (and often the desire) to leave the world of Animal Crossing without saving. You endeavor to cheat the system, to manipulate the world in such a way that your actions do not have negative consequences. You ignore the fact that by resetting without saving, you complicate and harm the Animal Crossing village’s timeline — a timeline which, if filled with enough paradoxes, would altogether cease to exist. Unlike most games, Animal Crossing takes place in a persistent world; even if you aren’t playing, the characters still go about their business and the world continues…so long as the world’s timeline remains paradox-free.
Without Resetti, you’d think it’s okay to quit without saving, erasing your progress simply because you gave a letter to the wrong character in the village. You’d think these little paradoxes are harmless; so what if the village is persistent? It’s not going to make much of a difference if a character simultaneously does and doesn’t have a letter, right? Or if a huge gap of time ceases to exist in the village’s timeline simply because you quit a four-hour play session without saving? Resetti is literally the only thing stopping the entire village from collapsing inward on itself due to your paradoxes and contradictions.
You are trying to destroy the Animal Crossing village. Mr. Resetti exists to stop you.
Mole vs. God
You, as player, hold complete power over the Animal Crossing world. Simply by your decision to give gifts or find fossils, you can be held solely responsible for characters entering or leaving the village. By using your real-world powers, you can turn the console off at any time; you can break the Animal Crossing disc into tiny pieces, severing your portal to the world of the village. You, as a human player living in the “real” world, have absolute power over the inhabitants of the Animal Crossing village.
You are God.
Resetti must defeat you.
Mr. Resetti’s sacrifices are much more admirable when one considers he fights an enemy he cannot possibly defeat — you, the player. You live entirely outside his game world, and are thus impervious to any direct assault. Just think of the balls that takes. Resetti intentionally took it upon himself to wage war with an invulnerable deity on a daily basis. Religious people love to throw around the adjective “God-fearing” as if it were a compliment, but Resetti is heroic specifically through his lack of such an emotion.
Resetti certainly does not enjoy his job — the word “disgruntled” comes to mind — but he fulfills his duty anyway, for the sake of the universe and because no one else will.
Resetti is forever faced with a conundrum: how does one defeat a God? Being confined to his GameCube, Resetti cannot exit the game and slap your hand away from the reset button, in the same way we couldn’t climb up to Heaven and backhand Jehova for creating cancer. Initially, it would seem that Resetti is completely powerless to stop the player from resetting without saving.
Thankfully, however, Mr. Resetti has a few tricks up his sleeve. As the Player-God cannot be harmed with conventional weaponry, Mr. Resetti uses a far more effective and ingenious tool: annoyance.
Should the player reset without saving, Resetti will do anything in his power to annoy the player so strongly that said Player-God will hopefully refrain from ever touching the reset button.
Resetti engages in progressively more irritating tactics in order to get his point across. Initially, he’ll just give long-winded lectures to the player, pointing out the problematic nature of said player’s actions. Later on, he’ll make you write a long letter to him, apologizing for your actions. Eventually, he’ll even perform a fake-reset, frightening the player into thinking all their data from that day was lost. He turns out to have been bluffing, of course — he does not have the godlike power that you do — yet the player still feels the same fear and aggravation that Resetti feels on a daily basis. Hell, he even shows up in a different game (Super Smash Bros Brawl), just to further irritate the player and drive his point home!
These tactics are, to put it bluntly, goddamned brilliant. Resetti uses his limited resources as a mere mole and inhabitant of the game to irritate, inconvenience, and otherwise hinder player progress whenever possible. He doesn’t need to resort to violence or threats; he simply uses his powers of irritation when they are needed.
Winning a losing battle
I know that a great many gamers in the world despise Mr. Resetti. They call him an annoying, arrogant, asshole of a mole who disrupts the flow of gameplay and pisses them off when they should be having a relaxing time, fishing and collecting furniture in some sort of consumerist heaven. They cannot stand Resetti — which means, of course, that he’s winning.
Resetti fights with a God, and he wins. Sooner or later, the player will stop resetting, and the Animal Crossing village will be safe. Players may decry Resetti’s methods, or bitch and moan every time his assist trophy shows up in Brawl; they may argue with every aspect of his methods and personality.
Resetti does not care.
Resetti gets results.
Resetti holds the fate of an entire world on his shoulders as he fights God Himself, and he actually wins.
He’s the most heroic videogame character of all time. Period.
Apart from Solid Snake, anyway.