Every day Defunct Games is flooded with hundreds of questions, ranging from comments about our newest shows to our thoughts on old games to relationship questions. We get it here at the Defunct Games offices. In order to help answer some of these letters we've decided to bring in our stable of famous old school video game characters. For the first time ever you'll be able to get family advice from Lara Croft all while asking Sam Fischer how to make the world's best sandwich. This is the Video Game Advice (Working Title) and we're about to go live with your question ...
Q1: The Perils of Dating Royalty!
DEAR MARIO: Lately I have been fighting with my sister, who I will call "Amanda," about the men she goes out with. We both grew up in a middle class household, yet these days she only dates men that have millions of dollars. Worse yet, she's always talking about wanting to date royalty from other countries, hoping that one day she will become a real life princess. Now don't get me wrong, I certainly understand the appeal of wanting to be a princess, but I'm starting to worry that she isn't seeing the forest for the trees.
I am happily married to a man with an ordinary job. We have a very average life, which I'm perfectly happy with. But my sister is constantly putting us down and telling us that we're poor. She's always wearing fancy jewelry and driving fast cars. But the men she dates are never around, they treat her poorly, and a lot of them are at least twice her age. What can I do to convince her that money isn't everything and her dream of becoming a princess is just that ... a dream? Can you help me Mario?
-- MIDDLE CLASS AND HAPPY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR MIDDLE CLASS AND HAPPY IN CALIFORNIA: It's a me, Mario! But I guess you already knew that, since you wrote this letter specifically to me. The truth is I'm not sure I'm the guy you should be asking. You should be talking to my brother, Luigi, he's the one that seems to be in the same shoes as you. Well, maybe not the "same" shoes, I mean, that
would be a little creepy. Then again, I have always thought he might go that direction. Oh I kid; just a little humor. Sorry, it won't happen again.
Okay, back to the issue at hand. You should tell her to look at me if she wants a wake-up call. I mean, how many different princesses have I gone out with? Let's see, there's Princess Peach (ah, she's a looker), Princess Daisy (she was a little too green for my tastes) and Princess Toadstool? Actually, now that I think about it two of those may have been the same girl. I don't know, that was back when I was doing a lot of mushrooms, the 1980s are kind of a blur. I battled a big frog at one point, right? Man, that weird.
Anyway, the point is that I seem to have a type, and that type is rich princesses. And that shouldn't even be possible; I'm just some dude from the lower east side. I'm a plumber who never seems to get any work. I live with my brother for crying out loud. There's no reason what so ever that I should be dating these princesses. Then again, they must be pretty stupid because they keep getting kidnapped. Actually, now that I think about it, this didn't happen before I started dating them. Hmm, maybe I'm the reason all these bad things happen? Maybe it's a sign that I should stick with women more on my level. You know, the slightly pudgy single mother of three. Yeah, she's more my speed. If she has a lower back tattoo and can't seem to stop smoking, then that's my kind of gal. Forget these hoity-toity royalty chicks, give me a real girl. And maybe some mushrooms; I haven't done that stuff in a long time. Hope that helps, Middle Class and Happy.
Q2: I'm Not Going to Shag My Best Friend!
DEAR ICO: I come from a dysfunctional family. I was never close to my brothers and sister. About 10 years ago, I became friends with a gentleman I'll call "Eric." Our relationship is platonic -- we're like siblings. We "talk" almost every day by e-mail because he now lives out of state.
When I mention to my other friends that I have a male friend, I get a funny look because they assume Eric and I are having some kind of affair. They say men and women can't be friends without something sexual going on between them. When I tell them this isn't the case, they don't buy it. What can I say or do to get them to believe me?
-- TELLING THE TRUTH IN OHIO
DEAR TELLING THE TRUTH IN OHIO: What a good question, Telling the Truth. I felt like I really connected with you right from the start. It sounds like you and I have really similar pasts, especially with the dysfunctional families. I don't know what your folks did to you, but I was left to die in a huge abandoned building that was more like
a prison. That's the kind of thing that really stunts your growth; you don't even want to know how much it's costing me a month for the therapy.
Another reason I feel like we connect is because I also have a friend of the opposite sex. I know the saying that men and women can't be friends, there will always be some sort of sexual tension. But I don't agree, the two of us are just really good friends. She's really a special girl, her name is Yorda. Oh, and get this, she's foreign, so we have almost no idea what each other is saying. In a way it's kind of sweet, even though I can't tell her about my day or any of the normal things. I rescued her and helped her escape that prison I was telling you about, it seemed like the right thing to do. We've been really good friends ever since.
Hey, why am I not tapping that?? Sorry, I hate to turn this into a "me" problem, but after all the stuff we've been through, I really should have gotten to at least third base. It's not like we're friends for the company, most of the time we just sit there silent. It's actually kind of lame. Yet every time I'm dating some other chick I'm always thinking of Yorda. Sweet, innocent, angelic Yorda. The girl that glows ... literally. See, I'm thinking of her right now and I don't know why. No, I know why, it's because we're both lying to each other. I'm sorry Telling the Truth, but you are lying, you and I both know that if he had to save you from a large prison that you would totally be into him.
Q3: You Can't Say That On Television!
DEAR MARCUS FENIX: My mother is very strict about the use of obscenities, so I don't use them at home. However, I have become close friends with "Mallory," and cuss words are part of her normal speech.
I have been to Mallory's house where swear words are normal among her parents and siblings. (Her parents are worse than she is in this regard.) I know it's not right, but it's the way she has been brought up.
Recently, Mallory spent the night here, and my mother heard her cuss. My younger sister was in the room. After Mallory left, my mother said she will not tolerate such "filth" and said Mallory is no longer welcome in our home, especially because she thought nothing of exposing my sister to such language.
Abby, Mallory is a loyal, caring friend. Her behavior is the result of her upbringing. I don't think it's fair to ban her from our house. I would ask her not to talk this way in our home, but I think she might slip up and sometimes forget. Have you any suggestions?
-- TARZANA, CALIF., TEEN
DEAR TARZANA, CALIF., TEEN: This is a good question. Definitely a good question. When I first got this question I thought to myself, "FUCK YEAH!" But then I realized that this is exactly what everybody around me expects. I don't want to have to live up to everybody else's expectations; I want
to just be myself. And to do that I have to cut out the profanity, because I'm like your parents, I'm offended by all of the four letter words.
But let me tell you, it's not hard. I get your struggle. I mean, look at my friends, most of them can't construct a sentence that is longer than three words. I once caught Augustus Cole winded after having to explain where the nearest ammo dump is. I mean, he needed his inhaler for it. They just aren't used to saying much. But that's now how I am; I'm constantly on the phone talking about my feelings. One of the reasons my wife left me was because I talked so much, she finally couldn't take my constant yammering. And the steroids. I'm sure the steroids had something to do with it. Actually, I think she may have been killed on Emergence Day. Yeah, maybe we should move on.
So Tarzana California Teen, I don't think you should do anything. Soon you'll be old enough to live on your own and say whatever you want. It sounds like your parents are just looking out for you, even if that means they are being a little too overprotective. It must be nice to live someplace where profanity is your biggest concern. Try living someplace where there are huge alien creatures bursting out of the ground and destroying everything. No wonder none of my colleagues have anything to say.
(Disclaimer: Any and all advice giving in this episode of Video Game Advice Column (Working Title) should, and must, be disregarded completely. Never should you actually take the advice of these video game characters, this is entirely a joke and I doubt that Solid Snake is going to guide you in the right direction when it comes to you dumping your high school boyfriend for a teacher. And while we're talking, these are real letters that are written to Dear Abby. These people have been helped by Abby, so don't feel bad for them. But at the same time don't think that these letters are actually written to Defunct Games. What do you think this is? This is a show about fictional video game characters giving advice. Sheesh.)