In case it's not totally obvious from my writing about being employed by King Koopa, learning sad life lessons from Punch-Out!!, or the naming of my son, I'll just state it outright: I am a big-time nerd for retro video games. Currently, the newest system I own is the Nintendo 64. Also currently, I am working my way through Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. (Although it's a Gameboy Color game, and I do own a Gameboy Color, I do not own the cartridge for Oracle of Seasons. Instead, I'm playing it on a rad website.) I'm pretty far along in the game, which any Zelda fan will know means I've amassed a large assortment of items. Man, I love items. Who doesn't love items? In celebration of one of my favorite aspects of the Legend of Zelda series, the inventory screen, I'm going to share with you (lucky, lucky you) some of the awesome items I've picked up in the game and my thoughts on what I'd do with them if they were real items in a real inventory. (I do have a real inventory of weapons and gadgets, but it's nowhere near as impressive as Link's.)
Okay, so I've got the standard items like a sword and a shield (both are upgraded to level 2 power, bitches!!), but that's pretty typical adventure stuff. Where the games get really interesting is when you start collecting the more unusual tools. The following list will include the items, as well as the description of them found on the inventory screen, with my ideas/desires as to what I'd do with them in reality.
Shovel - a handy tool
Oh, wait. I've got one of those in real life. Damn! So much for making this look interesting. The shovel is much more useful in the game, however. No matter where Link digs a hole, he's bound to find rupees, hearts, or various types of useful seeds. I only ever seem to find rocks and creepy earwig-type things.
Power Bracelet - a strength booster
When Link starts his adventure in Oracle of Seasons, he is swordless, shieldless, and apparently lacks muscle tone. He can't even lift up pots to smash them and look for items. Only after he finds the Power Bracelet can he lift (and smash) the pots and move heavy objects around.
Since I work in a warehouse loading mostly-light-but-sometimes-heavy-as-fuck items onto trucks, I could use this item fairly often. You know how when you're moving (or helping a friend/family member move) and there's those boxes that aren't superheavy but just awkward to pick up because of their size or shape? That happens to me just about every night at work, but I could easily put a stop to it with a strength booster like the Power Bracelet.
Also, I could hustle meatheads at gyms. I would swagger into a gym, swagger over to where guys lift the free weights and check themselves out in the big mirror, and loudly boast that I could lift more than any of them. I would embarrassingly fail to lift the same amount as my first competitor, then challenge him (or a different meathead) to a double-or-nothing wager, let's say 100 rupees, er, dollars. Then I'd use the Power Bracelet to lift way more than my opponent. I'd be so rich! People fall for these types of hustles, right? No? Only in sitcoms?
Rod of Seasons - best used from atop a stump
Since the description doesn't really tell you what the Rod of Seasons does, I'll tell you: it's a scepter (not sure why they didn't call it the Scepter of Seasons instead of the Rod of Seasons) that Link can use to change the seasons. I guess that's kind of self-explanatory. Rather than "best used from atop a stump" it should just say "you can only use this from atop a stump". Luckily, there's lots of stumps dotted throughout the vast landscape. And luckily for me, there's a big stump right in my own backyard.
So what would I use the Rod of Seasons for? One thing I'd do with it is put an end to people wishing it was the opposite season. When, in the midst of a sticky-humid summer day, somebody said, "I wish it was winter!!" I would hop on top of a stump, twirl the wand, and after a flash accompanied by a weird sound effect, it would be wintertime. "Ohhhhh! I guess you should have changed into something warmer than shorts and sandals before making that wish!" I'd gleefully shout in their face.
I suppose I could find more practical uses than to be a weather-controlling-bastard with the rod. It would be an awesome filmmaking tool. I could film a seasons-spanning epic without actually having to wait for the seasons to change. (By "seasons-spanning epic" I mean stupid comedies that take place in different seasons.)
Perhaps I'd do some research into what toll the rapid season changes would take on the environment, but I think we humans have pretty much destroyed the environment already. YaYa's first tee-ball game was in 40 degree weather. Her second game, a week later, was in nearly 90 degree weather. No Rod of Seasons was used to achieve this.
Magnetic Gloves - magnetically attractive!
"Magnetically Attractive!" sounds like the slogan for a perfume or something. That's only half the story about these gloves, too. You can switch the polarity of them to draw or repel metallic objects. And if the metallic object is large and/or firmly planted in the ground, you can use the gloves to pull yourself toward it or go flying back in the opposite direction. They're quite awesome.
Part of the inspiration for this article came last night when Ginger was briefly watching me play the game. "Magnetic gloves," she said enthusiastically, "Can I get a pair of those to climb the refrigerator with?" I'm not sure why she'd want to climb the refrigerator, since she's taller than it and therefore already knows what the top of it looks like. But her question did send me down a path of thought that led to this blog entry. Actually, I've been wanting to write about Legend of Zelda again, and this was the perfect nudge.
If I had a pair of magnetically attractive(!) Magnetic Gloves, I'd use them to parallel park. I have pretty lousy depth perception, and trying to figure out how far away things are while looking in a mirror or awkwardly craning my neck only makes it worse. Because of this, I very rarely parallel park. With the gloves, though, I could just get the car sort of near where I wanted to park and then magnetically move the car to fit perfectly into the space.
Also, when some d-bag with a fancy car or giant compensator truck parks in such a way as to take up two to four spaces in a parking lot, I'd use the gloves to move the vehicle all the way to the end of the parking lot. And put it one space.
Moosh's Flute - a flute for calling Moosh!
You know what? Fuck parallel parking or finding a good space in a parking lot. I'd just use Moosh! That may not sound impressive if you don't know who/what Moosh is, so I'll enlighten you. Moosh is a big blue bear. With wings. Yep, a winged bear. And with the flute, Link can call him whenever he needs to ride a winged bear, which is like all the time because why wouldn't you ride a winged bear all the time if you had the option?
So that's what I'd do with this item. I'd call Moosh all the time. I'd fly to the store on Moosh, I'd cruise around town on Moosh, and I'd use his ground-pound technique to smash stuff and scare everybody. I'm not sure, exactly, where Moosh would come from when I used to the flute. In the game he just comes from the top of the screen. I don't know if he magically warps there or if he just flies really fast from wherever he is. It doesn't matter. He's a friggin' winged bear!
Having Moosh around would also be to my benefit for one of the occasions when I accidentally piss off a popped-collar douche-nozzle in a bar. You know, the type of popped-collar douche-nozzle that leaps at any opportunity to get pissed off and start a fight. In this scenario, the popped-collar douche-nozzle would start huffing and puffing his Abercrombie-adorned chest, only to have his too-much-hair-gel friend grab him by his tribal-tattooed arm and say, "Wait a minute! Isn't that the guy that rides around on the winged bear?" Douche-nozzle would strain his brain to produce a thought and decide against being a nearly-thirty-year-old guy who still starts bar fights. Then I'd ride Moosh to a diner and get chili sauce on my pants.
Alright, so let me quickly take inventory of my inventory. That sounds clunky; I'll try again. Let me itemize my use of items... Crud. Okay, let me process how I'd use video game stuff. That'll have to do. If I had access to Link's collection of weapons and gizmos, I'd hustle muscleheads, shut up season-complainers by giving them what they wish for, move people's cars when they park like assholes, and ride a winged bear. I guess there's a reason Link has all this cool stuff and I don't. He goes on heroic adventures while I'm stuck dealing with everyday annoyances, mostly of the human variety.
If I had to choose just one of these items to have and to use, obviously I'd pick the winged bear, because WINGED BEAR! Unfortunately, I have to settle for the shovel.