But the important number today isn’t 17 or 800,000 – it’s 5. Because I’ve chosen 5 examples of modern artists who’ve inspired skateboarding culture. Or how skateboarding culture has influenced 5 modern artists. I don’t think the order really matters so let’s check them out.
One word: Obey. It’s primarily a verb but it’s synonymous with Shepard Fairey, the street artist who turned it into a clothing brand, based on his iconic André the Giant Has a Posse artwork. Fairey played a pivotal role in bringing skateboarding culture into the popular scene through art and clothing thanks to OBEY. His 2009 work Alva Frontside portrays skateboarder Tony Alva.
Robert Rauschenberg was an artist who pioneered the “Combine painting” style involving the mix of painted canvases and objects. He was also seen as a forefather of pop art alongside Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. Much like Basquiat, he never worked directly with skate decks but they were posthumously printed onto a series of decks including his works Doubleluck, Watermelon Medley, and Sri Lanka VI.
If you don’t already know Takashi Murakami for his solo art efforts, you might know him for his collaboration with Kanye West on his Graduation album artwork. The Japanese artist is more postmodern than modern but his style looks incredible on skate decks. They’re unique, vibrant, and exhilarating – just what you need for board used on death-defying air tricks, right?
The final artist in this list is Jim Houser. Born in Philadelphia in 1973, Houserʼs is well known in his city as well as galleries in Italy, France, Brazil, and Australia. Enjoi teamed up with Jim Houser to create a series of decks, showing a more whimsical side of skateboard culture compared to other artists. He also created a piece called The Line Up involving a collage of skateboards painted on a panel to complete the skate culture cycle.
Of course, there are way more than 5 artists involved with skateboarding culture in some way: Mark Gonzales, Skip Engblom, Banksy, and Keith Haring to name a few. Many had art printed on boards after death but the opposite was also true, as in their art depicted board life, whether it was on wheels or on the waves.
Postwar modern art, as it transformed into postmodern art, was the perfect aesthetic for youth culture to express itself. Skateboarding was just one such pastime that did the same. Graffiti played a part too. So it was only a matter of time before they all came together in some form and evolved through one another.
The impact of skateboarding on the arts and culture and vice versa is how countercultures thrive. Skate culture is for everyone, not just the men. It’s all about how far you can go before you land something big that’ll change the world.
I want to start by saying I’m writing this because I love hippos. I donate to a pygmy hippo charity every month and I think they’re wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is classed as Vulnerable (pygmy hippos are Endangered) which absolutely sucks because they’re wonderful creatures and they’re being killed for meat, their tusks, and “sport”.
But this is a positive article and it’s dedicated to ten hippos from cartoons, literature, animated movies, and anything else I could think of.
Dirk Dickerdack from Tom Poes
Tom Poes (or Tom Puss in English) was a Dutch comic launched in 1941. Its author, Marten Toonder wrote the comic until it was discontinued in 1986 and it became one of the Big Three of Dutch comics.
The main characters were Tom Puss, a little white cat, and his friend Oliver B. Bumble, a big brown bear who was the lord of a castle. Dirk Dickerdack was an affluent hippo who was mayor of Rommeldam, their home town. Unfortunately, he seemed to suffer from affluenza and cared more about the town than those who lived in it.
Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia
Hyacinth made her first appearance in Disney’s Fantasia back in 1941. She was a ballet dancer who appeared in the segment, Dance of the Hours. She represented the 12th hour, or “noon”. She also made a cameo appearance in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Her only line was “Oh, excuse me,” when she passed Eddie Valiant. She was voiced by Mary T. Radford in the movie.
Hilda Hippo from The Busy World of Richard Scarry
Not to be confused with Hilda Hippo from Mickey and the Roadster Racers (voiced by April Winchell, daughter of Paul Winchell who used to voice Tigger from Winnie the Pooh). Hilda was awkward but pleasant and was allergic to roses. She appeared in numerous forms of Richard Scarry media, including the animated series which I loved as a kid.
George from Rainbow
British readers will almost certainly know George, the pink hippo from Rainbow. His shyness was said to represent shyness and introversion shown in children, as a way to relate to viewers. He was also a little camp which may have been linked to his pink exterior.
George and Martha from George and Martha
George and Martha were a pair of friendly hippos from a book series of the same name, illustrated by James Marshall between 1972 and 1988. They were later transformed into an animated children’s series in 1999, and spawned a musical in 2011. Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin voiced George and Martha.
Gloria the Hippo from Madagascar
One of the biggest hippo characters in recent times, Gloria (voiced by Jada Pinkett-Smith) was part of the gang who were taken from their home in Central Park Zoo and flown to Madagascar by mistake, where they had to learn to adapt in the wild. Gloria was the one who put the other animals straight in true Jada Pinkett-Smith style. Her daughter, Willow, voiced Gloria as a baby hippo in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
Peter Potamus from The Peter Potamus Show and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
I never saw The Peter Potamus Show so I only know him from Harvey Birdman but he was a sleazy hippo in that. He was also lazy despite his status and success and had a weird obsession with sandwiches and strippers. His catchphrase was “Did you get that thing I sent you?”
Tillie Hippo from Cats Don’t Dance
A more obscure hippo, Tillie starred in animated movie Cats Don’t Dance. She was voiced by Kathy Najimy (Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, King of the Hill) and played a “happy-go-lucky hippopotamus who tries to find the best in every situation”. In many ways, she was like Sister Mary Patrick from Sister Act with her penchant for giggling.
The hippo from Silentnight
When I was younger, I used to stare at the hippo and chick from the Silentnight logo on my parents’ mattress. The hippo was dressed in his stripey pyjamas and I always thought he was so cute. Then, Silentnight started making TV adverts and gave him a deep Northern accent which made him even cuter (I’m Northern too so I’m biased).
Hugo the Hippo from Hugo the Hippo
The final hippo of the list might be one of the most obscure hippos of them all, from a global perspective. In 1975, a Hungarian animated film called Hugo the Hippo was released in the US and a year later in Hungary. It had a budget of $1m and the English-speaking version starred the likes of Jimmy and Marie Osmond.
The film was about a hippo called Hugo who escapes captivity in Zanzibar and flees to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Meanwhile, an advisor to the Sultan of Zanzibar tries to catch him. Interestingly, the US production of the film was run by Brut Productions, a subsidiary of Fabergé cosmetics – the same brand that made the ornamental eggs.
In fact, it’s my favourite movie ever. My introduction to it was unorthodox. My estranged father bought me a double VHS Batman/Batman Returns box set for my 3rd birthday. I was too young to remember whether I expressed a love for the Caped Crusader or he assumed, being a child, I loved superheroes but that’s what I got. And I still have it over a quarter of a decade later. It still works (just about).
I loved the first movie but the Batman Returns caught me more. It was darker in tone, grimey and paradoxically shinier and more polished (although I might be thinking about Catwoman’s PVC suit). Tim Burton took a risk with his approach and it effectively cost him the franchise, although he was asked back for Forever and co-produced the film. There were plenty of quotable moments from the movie but in this list, I will be picking some of the more obscure scenes from Batman Returns I loved as a kid. They weren’t all pivotal to the plot but they evoked a reaction in me. Let’s begin!
When Selina Kyle pours Max Shreck some coffee
I’m gonna start off super boring. It’s a lowly secretary assistant pouring her boss some coffee. Nothing to see here, right? Yes, absolutely right. The only reason I liked this was because as a young child, I was fascinated by the idea of coffee and how it would taste. This brown drink that adults loved to drink so much. I was used to tea and hot chocolate but coffee seemed almost exotic. But Batman Returns wasn’t about white people drinking coffee. No, it was much darker than that. I’m older and wiser now and only drink decaf for the taste (the regular stuff increases my anxiety) and I only drink it in the form of mochas. I’m sure Max Shreck would look at me in the same way he side eyed Selina Kyle in the above image.
Bruce Wayne waiting for the Bat Signal in the dark
This is one of my favourite scenes in the whole film. I was a happy child but this intrigued me. Why was he sat in the dark, with only the moonlight to keep him company? What was he thinking about? The fact he had the signal wired up to an automatic lighting system that shone directly into the room was amazing to me. I still don’t know why he was there in dark solitude but I understand it now. I do it myself sometimes. It helps me clear my mind. Perhaps this was his idea of meditation. A lot better than Bruce Wayne’s weird gravity boots from the first movie.
When Batman fought fire with fire. Literally.
One of the major criticisms Tim Burton received for his second Batman movie was the darker approach compared to Batman. As a kid, I thought it was cool. And that was the problem for parents. After all, the film was rated 15 in the UK and PG-13 in the US. It was more difficult to market for younger children in terms of merchandising (although I still have the Duck car and Batmobile from those movies and I used to have the trading cards with awful chewing gum I wasn’t allowed to have – thanks, mum!)
Here, a firebreather tried his luck with Batman’s car, forgetting 1) he’s Batman and 2) he has an armed Batmobile (although the security of that was in question, which I’ll get into later). Batman turned around using a rotating platform embedded in the bottom of the Batmobile and blasted fire from his exhaust. But Batman isn’t supposed to kill people! I guess he did in this one.
Selina Kyle tasing an unconscious clown
While on her way home, Selina was held hostage by a clown from the Red Triangle Gang and his Omega Stun Gun. I assumed this was just a prop for the film but Omega Stun Guns are real. 150,000 volts for $85. Anyway, Batman takes the time to get out of his Batmobile, have a staring contest with the clown, and knock him out using his grapple gun and some of the concrete wall behind him. Yet more public property damage from the man in black.
Max Shreck falling through a trap door
What are the chances Max Shreck would escape to an empty alleyway and stand on a trapdoor leading to the Penguin’s underground lair? Anything is possible in Batman Returns. The sudden drop had me in stitches as a kid and it still makes me laugh today.
The Penguin flaps the dismembered hand of Max’s former partner in his face
There are ways to hold someone to ransom. They often involve money. But not for The Penguin, the rich kid formerly known as Oswald Cobblepot. Batman Returns is set during Christmas (which makes it a Christmas film and I will not hear any debate on the matter) so The Penguin opens up his Santa bag for Max. Has he been a good boy? Hell no.
The first “present” is a Thermos filled with toxic waste. Don’t ask how that didn’t burn through the plastic. The second gift was a bunch of illegal documents taped back together after being shredded. “A lot of tape and a little patience make all the difference”, he said. The third and final present was the best/worst, depending on your point of view. Fred Atkins was Max’s old partner who was “on vacation”, until Penguin revealed that vacation was indefinite via his severed hand. Brilliant sadistic humour from Danny DeVito.
I always thought I misheard this line but it turns out I didn’t. Selina finally got home after her circus ordeal and we find out she took the stun gun home. Good call. She sits down to listen to her messages and finds one she sent herself. She forgot to sort out the papers for Max’s meeting with Bruce Wayne. And that’s when she uttered the famous(?) line. Why did she call herself a corndog? I’ve yet to hear anyone use this as an insult. Selina was a kooky one. Until she went way over the edge.
Cats nibbling on Selina Kyle’s fingers
I haven’t heard a good explanation for this. Why were the cats nibbling her fingers? Did they transfer some kind of supernatural cat spirit into her? Why did they swarm her in the first place? I remain confused but it happened and it somehow gave her “nine lives”. Tim Burton must have been high as hell when he put this together.
“I’m not really one for speeches so I’ll just say thanks.”
I used this quote to announced I was leaving my last job. Nobody got it but I’d been waiting to use it for AGES. In the context of the film, Penguin had devised a plan to have the Mayor’s baby stolen by one of the clown hoodlums responsible for the terror a few nights before. Once the clown flipped into the man cover, the Penguin ascended as the “saviour”. How the Gothamites bought it is anyone’s guess. But they seem comfortable with a man dressed as a giant bat fighting their battles for them so anything goes I guess.
Bruce didn’t realise his soup was “supposed to be cold”
Bruce has a butler for a reason: his parents had him first. Other than a heavy inheritance, he also got Alfred Pennyworth and the Briton was the closest thing to a Robin that Bruce had in the first two movies. In this scene, Bruce doesn’t trust the Penguin and reckons the Red Triangle Gang are linked to him somehow. Alfred brings him his dinner as he works. To Bruce’s surprise, it’s cold. Alfred replies matter-of-factish, “it’s vichyssoise. It’s supposed to be cold.” Bruce returns to eating it once the intended temperature was established. I always thought he said fishyssoise and had no idea what it was. But I wanted it. Now I don’t because cold fish soup sounds horrible. And it looks like İşkembe Çorbası.
When Bruce “mistook himself” for someone else
For years I thought he misspoke. Until I realised he hadn’t. Bruce went to that meeting with Max. The one Selina nearly died over. Bruce questions Max’s agenda with his power plant. Max gets defensive and tells Bruce he’d have his assistant throw him out if she was there. And guess who walks in just as he says it. Selina is back with new hair, a less dowdy outfit, and a Band-Aid on her head. Bruce is mesmerised and suddenly forgets who he is and where he is. When Max introduces him to her, Bruce replies “we’ve met.” They have. But he was in his crime-fighting suit and Selina didn’t have 8 extra lives. Selina doesn’t think they’ve met before and Bruce says “I mistook me for somebody else.” He did but Selina thought he misspoke as did I for over 20 years.
Penguins like raw fish, who knew?
I thought this was appetising as a kid. What was I thinking? Probably the same as Oswald as he now wanted to be called. Max popped by his new abode and told him to come downstairs for a surprise. Oswald claimed he was busy. Max tempted him with a raw fish. Oswald didn’t need telling twice. He hobbled down the stairs with his fish to a room full of people: his Mayoral campaign team. Max had the idea to replace the current mayor with Oswald in a dynamic power structure. Or something. Would you vote for a dirty man who ate raw fish?
That time Batman let a man blow himself up… and enjoyed it
Burning a fire breather to death wasn’t enough so Batman let a circus performer blow himself up. While Batman was cleaning up the mess the Red Triangle Gang was leaving (again), one of its members gets in his way. Batman punches him and it does nothing (I don’t even know if it landed). Then he looks down at the GIANT BOMB STRAPPED TO THE CIRCUS DUDE’S WAIST, smiles, punches him into a hole, and the bomb goes off. Batman just killed another guy. What the hell?!
When Batman pulled a “claw” out of his Batsuit
Batman and Catwoman had a fight on top of some houses. She stabbed him in the stomach with her makeshift claws. He bitch slapped her from at least 10 stories high and she conveniently fell into an open top truck filled with kitty litter. How did that get there? Hold on… how could Batman have just back-handed a woman off a tall building without thinking of where she’d land? And how can his armour – which was bulletproof in the previous movie – not withstand a small needle? Yet more unanswered questions. But the bit I enjoyed the most was seeing him pull it out. Why? It showed he was vulnerable and still just a regular guy. With millions of dollars. And major homicidal tendencies.
Bruce and Selina go straight to dessert
Bruce is a lonely dude. He wears a heavy rubber suit and cape every night saving the useless lives of Gotham – not the best icebreaker. He has Alfred but they’re not as close as they became in later films. His last relationship with Vicky Vale ended, it seemed, due to her not being able to date two men at the same time. That’s understandable. But Bruce now had his eyes set on Selina Kyle. A dark mysterious woman who said things straight. I have a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer and this role is exactly why.
In this scene, Bruce sits by the fire with Selina and they talk about his past. He drops a smooth one-liner and she goes dark and non-sequitur again before pouncing on him. They uncover each other’s wounds from the previous night and realise they can’t succumb to their carnal desires. Then Commissioner Gordon appears on the television as the perfect buzzkill and they both have to leave to put on their respective costumes. It’s hard being fucked up.
My all-time favourite scene in Batman Returns
A lot happened between the previous scene and this one. Here’s a breakdown:
The Ice Princess was captured
Batman and Catwoman fought again
Catwoman took her away
Batman finds her tied to a fire escape ladder
The Penguin throws an umbrella filled with bats at her, she flails and falls to her death, and more bats fly out of the Christmas she subsequently lit after falling on the giant switch (she was meant to do this without dying)
The police shoot at him and he falls off a roof
Catwoman says some stuff and tried to poke her claw into his neck but misses
Batman “flies” to his Batmobile which has now been hacked by the Red Triangle Gang
Catwoman celebrates with The Penguin who thinks he has a chance with her
She tells him to do one. He wraps a helicopter umbrella to her neck and she falls into a glasshouse, managing to live again.
Batman tries to drive home but his vehicle is under the control of The Penguin
Batman finds the device that’s causing the issue and regains control, before punching the Batmobile mini-TV screen
So to this scene. As Batman faces a very thin gap between two buildings, he needs his Bat-torpedo (why didn’t they just join them? It’s not even big enough for someone to walk through. Also, when did he get a Bat-torpedo?). The button to activate it didn’t work. He tries again. And again. He is inching closer to the gap. He has nowhere to go as the police are chasing him. And then he utters the immortal phrase,
“Alright, now I’m a little worried.”
He swipes across all the buttons and switches and finally, it works. He slides through the gap and the police cars chasing him crash into each other. Batman escapes to live another day and find out how the hell he let security get so slack.
Another reference to the first film and a cool hidden switch
Oswald was at the height of his campaign. Bruce – as Batman – was seen as even more of a pariah. But he had a plan. Before he punched his TV, he inserted a CD into the Batmobile to record everything Oswald said about Gotham and its citizens. Very un-mayoral things. (By the way, CD recorders cost about $10,000 in 1992 when this was filmed. Rich bastard). On his way down to his “recording studio”, Alfred mentions security to which Bruce scoffs and reminds him of the time he let Vicky Vale into the Batcave without Bruce’s permission. Alfred didn’t like that. Bruce then plunges his hand into his fish tank and flicks a hidden switch which opens a sarcophagus filled with spikes. Because of course, he does.
Bruce scratches a CD unnecessarily
I thought this was awesome back in the day. Until I realised it was superfluous. Bruce gave Oswald a taste of his own medicine by hacking into his press conference and playing the unsavoury comments he made about Gotham through the speakers. Everyone started throwing vegetables and eggs at him (where the hell did they come from?) and he fleed via his gun umbrella. Max Shreck, who was with him, bounced with a shrug. The CD scratching only seemed to matter to Bruce who never pursued a career in DJing after that.
WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE ESCAPED AND HAD SEX?
Max hosted his annual Masquerade Ball. Bruce had an invitation which he initially rejected before realising Selina might be there too. He turned up without a mask, made a brief “I care about Gotham speech” to Max and he said “yawn” in response. He actually said the words. What an asshole.
Amongst the crowd, Selina appears and they dance. After some horny words, Selina reveals her intentions for being there – she’s gonna kill Maxie Boy. Despite having killed at least two people we know so far in this movie, Bruce questions Selina’s morals. They kiss under the mistletoe and repeats the words Bruce said to her as Batman, when she was dressed as Catwoman. He then says the same words she said to him back to her. Then it clicks. They realise each other’s secret identities. As if their distinctive eyes weren’t a giveaway (I thought this guy was a genius?) She asks him if this means they have to start fighting. He says they should go outside. But they never make it and I REALLY WISH THEY COULD HAVE. What about that big California King over in bedding?
The Penguin sending out his “kinfolk” to kill kids
After Batman foiled his Rameses-style plan of snatching all of Gotham’s first-born sons, The Penguin resorted to Plan B. He rigged missiles to a colony of penguins and sent them out to blow shit up. He gave a resounding speech which involved blowing “erogenous zones sky high” (eww) before they were sent off to their deaths. The music accompanying this was brilliant and is transitioned into the Batman theme which was sublime. It got me hyped, regardless of the impending doom of a hundred penguins.
Selina finally talks back to her boss, in PVC
Selina had given up on maintaining her outfit. She’d been “killed” enough times and she was fed up. The man she loved was also her sworn enemy and she still needed to kill Max. Batman had already sorted out The Penguin – by killing him – and now was the time to sort out Max and his feelings for Selina. He suggests they give up the fight and just go home together. Selina loves the idea but rejects it saying she “just couldn’t live with herself”. She wasn’t a house cat.
By this time, Bruce ripped off his cowl and revealed himself to her in a symbolic loving gesture. Max was shocked by this revelation and said, “Bruce Wayne, why are you dressed up like Batman?” Selina, sick of his shit, replied, “because he is Batman, you moron.” Then Max shoots him, shoots Selina a few times but she doesn’t die. Left with two lives, she uses that Omega Stun Gun and they share a “kiss” with it. Sparks fly, but not in that sense. And she’s nowhere to be found. Max, however, is turned into a fried mummy. There goes that power plant!
No Brucey Bonus this Christmas
We’re at the final Batman Returns scene! If you’ve lasted this long, thank you for reading. This made me sad as a kid because I really wanted Bruce and Selina to get together. But it was never gonna work. They were too different. That didn’t stop him from pursuing her for one last time when he saw her silhouette in an alleyway. He got out of his car and went to investigate but only found a stray black cat. He brought it back in and Alfred lightened the mood by wishing him a Merry Christmas. Bruce returned the greeting, wishing goodwill to all men. And women. The film ends with the Batman Returns theme, the Batsignal shining in the sky, and Catwoman rising to it. She lived but we never saw her in that timeline ever again. Never mind.
CONTENT WARNING: This article may contain spoilers or descriptions that may be distressing for some readers.
I have a casual interest in comic books. It has waned over the years but I still like the stories and love the art. The relationship between Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage is my favourite of all comic book stories. While Venom remains my favourite villain of all time, I know little about Carnage in comparison. I knew Cletus Kasady was a serial killer but nothing about who he killed or why. Then I found this video.
Variant Comics is run by a team of two comic book lovers, Arris Quinones and Tim Connolly. For this “Most Evil Carnage Moments” video, Arris delves into the mind and behaviour of Carnage and I think I need to see a psychiatrist. He is pure evil! Cletus’ back story stems from the classic “neglected as a child” trope. This spawned a murderous spree including pushing his grandmother down the stairs, killing animals, and even… throwing a baby out of a window. Thankfully, Venom saved the baby as he partnered with Spider-Man to stop him.
Could Carnage feature in the Venom movie sequel? If it does, it’d be interesting to see how far they push that story – from a purely subjective point of view of course.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Corey Johnson via Twitter and Instagram over the years and I’m a big admirer of his aesthetic and the aesthetics he admires. So it seemed fitting to ask him to be part of the inaugural chapter of this Top Five series where I asked him to pick his top 5 skateboarders.
Open Culture has selected 10 iconic films to watch for free, from Nosferatu to the prophetic classic Metropolis.
German Expressionism ended in 1933 when the Nazis came to power. They weren’t interested in asking uncomfortable questions and viewed such dark tales of cinematic angst as unpatriotic. Instead, they preferred bright, cheerful tales of Aryan youths climbing mountains. By that time, the movement’s most talented directors — Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau — had fled to America. And it was in America where German Expressionism found its biggest impact. Its stark lighting, grotesque shadows and bleak worldview would go on on to profoundly influence film noir in the late 1940s after another horrific, disillusioning war.
Nintendo announced their newest console today, the Nintendo Switch. It will be released in March 2017 and acts as a “hybrid device”: both a tablet-like portable console and a home console placed in a docking station (complete with satisfying “click” sound).
The Switch also holds two wireless controllers you can detach, used individually or together as a normal gamepad. Only a handful of games have been announced, including the usual suspects – Legend of Zelda, a Mario Kart game, and a Super Mario game amongst others. But there are a few I’d love to see on the Switch. Here are 8 of them.
Ever since my cousin introduced me to Golden Sun, it’s been my favourite RPG not called Pokémon (more on that later). The original game, released on GBA, tells the story of Isaac, Garet, Ivan and Mia, four teenagers tasked with saving their world, known as Weyard. It’s an archetypal fantasy RPG with plenty of magic, turn-based gameplay, classes, dungeons and caves. Psynergy is the game’s version of “mana” while Djinn are special creatures that give the characters special moves and the ability to change classes and abilities. The music, graphics and gameplay were already brilliant on both the two GBA versions and the DS versions. A Switch version has the potential to be fantastic, especially scenes like this:
A Pokémon racing game
Asking for an open world Pokémon game would be too easy. There’s definitely going to be one for the Nintendo Switch but what about a racing game? The spinoffs have involved pinball and puzzle games but a racing game would be a great competitor to the Mario Kart version we’ll eventually get. The only concern is how many Pokémon would be made usable, given the introduction of Sun & Moon by March 2017. There’s likely to be around 800 known Pokémon so who knows which ones would be picked. Mewtwo in a car? Perhaps not.
Super Mario RPG
A Mario spinoff never released in Europe, Super Mario RPG was the first RPG in the Mario series and the only game to be made by Square (now Square Enix). It’s also uncommon in that it doesn’t involve Bowser as the main boss. This time, you have to beat Smithy who steals the seven star pieces of Star Road where “all the world’s inhabitants’ wishes become Wish Stars, and Mario must return the pieces so these wishes may again be granted”. Paper Mario is likely to get a Switch version but perhaps they should look towards a remake of this.
Chrono Trigger is an all-time great, not only in the RPG category, but for games overall. It was highly praised for its simplicity, varied gameplay, and humour and spawned a few sequels and an enhanced remake for the Sony PlayStation. What better way to further enhance a prestigious game than to freshen it up on Nintendo’s new innovative console. The simplicity of both game and device would marry up perfectly. It would also sell incredibly well given Chrono Trigger’s stature.
Street Fighter will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017 and 20th anniversary of Street Fighter III. Chronologically, III is the most “recent” game so an anniversary follow up would be quite interesting although possibly confusing. That being said, nobody really plays Street Fighter for the storyline. They want to fight. The multi-playability of the Nintendo Switch allows for vigorous (and/or strategic) button smashing and could add a new flavour to tournament play. I hope this one happens.
Mario Kart is a shoo-in for a Nintendo Switch racing game but the world needs another F-Zero game. The SNES version remains a classic; the music, the cars, the incredible track designs, not to mention the graphics and the speed. A sequel was made for the N64 – F-Zero X – and while most features were retained, graphical detail was criticised. Four more were made, three for the GBA and nothing since 2004. The F-Zero franchise has since gone on hiatus, which is disappointing. Bringing the franchise back for the Nintendo Switch would surely entice prospective buyers, sceptical or otherwise. Any excuse to ride as Captain Falcon, to be honest.
A modern-day Strike game
I loved playing Desert Strike on my Gameboy. I don’t know how I found it or why it initially appealed to me but it was fun to play. The last Strike game was released in 2000, and there have been many conflicts since so plenty of inspiration for a new version. It might also be interesting to see an isometric game on a console like this. I just hope it doesn’t involve Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A Waluigi game
His first appearance was in Mario Tennis for the N64 in 2000. Waluigi has yet to star in his own game and it’s time for that to change. His brother Wario has had the lion’s share of publicity, headlining around 20 games since his first appearance in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins in 1992.
However, not everyone likes Waluigi. Kotaku, GamesRadar, IGN, and Complex (who included him in a list of “the ten video game characters who look like sex offenders”), have all expressed their disdain and that’s probably why we haven’t seen a Waluigi game as yet. But done correctly, he could change people’s minds. Maybe.
And while they may seem like broken English to many outside the Caribbean sphere, they have resonated with me since childhood. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of Jamaican people isn’t the “cool” stereotype the West love to perpetuate but their no-nonsense approach to life lessons. This should come as no surprise given the nation’s history of enslavement and the horrific ordeals suffered by not only the original natives but its “newer” generation from Western Africa.
Below are seventeen proverbs and phrases from Jamaican culture, some of which I live by and have heard in my household from the moment I was lucid enough to understand.
If yu cyaan ‘ear, yu mus’ feel
(If you cannot hear, you must feel)
Put simply, if you don’t heed the warnings of others, you must deal with the consequences. These can be emotional or sometimes physical so be careful!
Let fart be free wherever you be, ‘cos that was the death of poor Mary Lee
This is a silly rhyme my mother often said to me whenever someone broke wind. On a deeper level, it could be interpreted as not holding onto worries or fears or it will cause you harm.
What is joke to yu is deat’ to I!
(What is a joke to you, is death to me!)
Be mindful of who you play jokes on as the recipient could misinterpret your jovial intentions.
Finger never seh “look ‘ere,” ‘im seh “look yonder.”
(The finger never says “look here”, it says “look yonder”)
We never like taking the blame for things or acknowledging we’ve done wrong, but it’s important to do so otherwise we’ll continue to make the same mistakes and never grow.
(A peacock hides his feet when he hears about his tail)
Much like above, if our weaknesses are exposed, we look to hide them and feign an aura of strength. It’s okay to be vulnerable at times; it shows you’re human.
Nuh wait till drum beat before yu grine yu axe
(Don’t wait for the drum to beat before you grind your axe)
Always be prepared. Not as punchy as the Scouts’ motto but a useful proverb nonetheless.
Dawg nuh hol ef im ha bone
(The dog does not howl if he has a bone)
You might think bad times in life are more prominent around you when you seek help but the truth is people who are happy and content rarely exclaim their joy. As a society, we moan and complain a lot and make our voices heard rather than being grateful for what we have and saying as such.
Yu cyaan siddung pon cow back n cuss cow ‘kin
(You can’t sit on a cow and insult it’s skin)
Following on from the last proverb, don’t take help from someone and insult them. You’ll soon find people help you less if you’re ungrateful afterwards.
Me come yahd fi drink milk, mi nuh come yahd fi count cow
(I came to drink milk, not count cows)
Similar in ways to “curiosity killed the cat”, don’t worry about details which do not concern you.
Chubble deh a bush, Anancy cyah l’kum a yaad
(There is trouble in the business, and Anancy takes it home.)
Anansi is a spider from West African folk legend and features heavily in Jamaican culture. He is never satisfied with leaving things in their proper place and much the displeasure of his family, he often likes to pillage the places he explores. The moral to learn here is to not concern yourself with things you should leave alone.
(Those who want it can’t get it and those who get it don’t want it)
You tend to find people who want things so desperately can’t get them (at least immediately) and those who get it all the time don’t fully appreciate it when they have it. Two lessons to learn here. Nothing comes before its time and appreciate what you have when you have it.
Poun’ ah fret cyaan pay ownse ah dett
(A pound of fretting can’t pay an ounce of debt)
Worrying will only make your troubles worse and won’t solve anything. Use this time to find a solution. In the words of Bobby McFerrin, “don’t worry, be happy”.
Yuh spread yuh bed haad, yu haffi liddung pan it haad
(If you spread your bed hard, you half to lay down on it hard)
A variation of “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it”. Be accountable for your actions.
(Every dog has his day and every cat his 4 o’clock)
Things might be riding high now, but they won’t always last so don’t laud it over people as the roles could soon be reversed.
Tek whey yuh get tell yu get whey yu want
(Take what you get until you get what you want)
When I was unemployed, this was a regular phrases uttered by my mother and it’ll always ring true. An ideal situation may come to you but not immediately (unless you’re lucky). In the meantime, take another opportunity until that perfect job or situation comes about.
If yu cyaan get turkey, yu haffi satisfy wid Jancro
(If you can’t get turkey, you have to be satisfied with John Crow)
There will be times when you can’t have what you want and you have to settle for what you’re given. More often than not, these times come when you least expect them so, again, be grateful and appreciate what you have while it’s here.
Good frien’ betta dan pocket money
(A good friend is better than money)
Money is a tool, not a saviour. People can provide better assistance than financial aids so if you have the choice of both, consider your options carefully.