Diving Into The Bizarre World Of Video Game Foods
In video game logic, the wounds of a true action hero can never be healed by something any less disgusting than a full turkey dinner found behind a dumpster. Any real person would probably die from this, but if you're a true main character, you'll actually see your health instantly restored. What the hell is up with this trend? Laziness can't be the answer as there's no way that a basic square-shaped medkit would prove harder to draw than a perfectly round pizza. There seems to be no real explanation, which leads me to believe it's probably some residual stuff from the war on drugs that Nixon managed to erase perfectly, for once.
The trend began with the RPGs of old, a type of game where it kind of makes sense because players are meant to see things unraveling over a longer period of time. In simpler RPGs, instead of getting different bars for all sorts of stuff as you do in The Sims, players would just get an all-purpose health bar. The trend got simplified further and crossed over to action games, a place where it makes no sense at all. The first instance I found of the trend in an action video game is that of Rambo from 1985, which actually tracks because that's the guy who treats his liver wounds by exploding them.
One of the wildest examples is that of Metal Gear Solid, a game about a supersoldier who resorts to rubbing his wounds with combat rations even though his blood is filled with nanomachines capable of healing.
You just gotta love the Tekken series over its nutritional scrutiny: As long as you're eating chicken-related stuff, like eggs, tiny chicks, or adult chicken, It doesn't matter if you pick them up straight off the ground.
And sometimes, it goes even beyond the nonsense of accepting that food can directly be traded by health in real life. Like, it's easier to get that The Ninja Turtles can heal via sewage-drenched pizza than it is to accept that there's pizza already waiting for them on the floor when they go back to dinosaur times.
Interestingly, it seems as if the wilder the game is, the better its take on food actually ends up being. Take Final Fantasy XV, for example, an otherwise off-the-rails experience where food actually just gives players a boost related to what they just ate.
Cruelty Squad is by far the most bananas game on the list, but still the one with the best take on food as a vehicle for direct healing. You can actually heal yourself via food, but you'll only regain exactly one health point from each person that you eat.
More modern games have seemingly fixed this problem by just having characters automatically regain health over time, but maybe that's because Master Chief's armor in the Halo series is actually feeding him via a tiny inner straw. Look, it's not the worst thing that his suit does. (Space is cold … and lonely …)
Join us next time when we discuss the healing items in Resident Evil, a series that never had the guts to admit that the main characters are totally smoking the special “herbs” they get for “healing” purposes.
Top Image: Capcom