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"As Jailbait runs he's breathing very hard and grunting--let's just say that without the visual, the audio sounds extremely dirty. Finally, Jailbait stops and screams, 'Gaignuuuun!' This, following all that moaning? Let the fanfiction derby begin."
     -Sam, Xenosaga Part 10




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Hoku : Part 1
By Ted
Posted 04.01.07
Pg. 1
Dear friends, I have come here today to recap for you the game Hoku. I will warn you that not everyone will understand the greatness of this game, or even the mechanics of play. It transcends your dull, humdrum, mundane gaming experience in a way that I can only compare to my first experience of Earthbound. (Mother, for those of you who, like me, instinctively understand the greatness that is the Mother series and its incredible depth as compared to that venial, shallow upstart Final Fantasy) Hoku is unique in all of gaming; it may be unique in all the known video game world, just as I am. Relish the font of quirkiness that is Hoku, and relish the font of sexy, bleeding-edge, front line new horizon gamer that is me. I am your Luigi. The sooner you recognize this, the better this recap will be for you. For time and tide wait for no man and I wait for no reader to catch on to just what the hell I'm talking about. If you snooze, you will most definitely lose, and I will be off spending 1,300 on a new, exquisite fountain pen with which to write my no-doubt thought-provoking and thrilling memoirs without you.

 
Felt tip pen!

On that note, let's begin. We'll start with the orange marshmallow pie I consumed for my morning repast. I like pie. Pie is good. Pie is all that is right with the world, and the Japanese make the best pie. Pie makes the world go round. I could compare Hoku to a large, fluffy, cuttlefish chip and egg pie, but the comparison would make no sense to those of you without the fulfilling and wondrous experience in Japan and Asia as I have, and I would be wasting my fantastic intellect in trying to explain it to you. So, I won't be comparing Hoku to a pie. I could compare playing Hoku to the somewhat ugly girl I saw on the street who I desired, for just a brief and fleeting moment to have wild, ungainly sex with me in the middle of a packed metropolitan train, while the salarymen looked on, their expressions dulled by loss of sleep and the constant pall of cigarette smoke that clings to every molecule of air in Tokyo, like it's own, carcinogen-laden shadow cloak. I would like to have a shadow cloak, and not just so I could do chicks on the subway. No, I can get any woman I please in the swirling hodge-podge that is Akihabara Denki Gai, or the Akihabara Electric Town to you heathen American infidels who come, sporting your otaku badges and clutching your stained Tifa body pillows. Not a one of you knows how it truly feels to be called "Chikan!" by the adoring throngs of nubile, delightful young ladies in their loose socks and hiked-up schoolgirl skirts. I do not long for them, no! I do not seek them for saliva-boiling fumbling encounters behind the manga-clogged dumpsters that crowd behind the shops, not at all! I seek them out for their unique and wondrous personalities, and watch as the smoky breeze gently lifts the pleats on their fuku and the white panty goodness that lies therein. You crass, idiotic Western pigs will never understand my joy in such a display, joy that is as unknowable to you as the moon, like the starched, taut buttock moons of those girls. It is completely unknowable to you, foreign and strange. Like me. I am no longer one of you, and all the better for it.

Pocky!
 

These thoughts occurred to me as I was riding the train to Shibuya 109 to get a new shirt. I have a favorite shirt, it is vermillion, orange and puce, and it compliments my bright eyes and wonderful complexion. It suits the floppy hair that falls over my collar, hair so different from the gleaming black hair of the men and women who pass me on the street, hair that I capture with the 2 trillion megapixel camera on my new, Asian cell phone. I got it at the Bic Pen shop from the Paypal donations of my legions of devoted fans. Don't you wish you had devoted fans too? Of course you do. My devoted fans love it when I make strange, non-sensibly whimsical videos of myself on my cell phone and post them to my website for them to admire. My website says I'm cool, and of course my devoted fans believe it. They believe every word that falls, like precious cherry blossoms fall from the many trees, onto my keyboard and into their hungry, aching eyes. A day without my writing etching its white-hot message into their wretched and devoid souls is like a day without carbonated chrysanthemum green tea beverage.

How Awesome is this recap?
It's totally awesome! I love you!
It's so awesome that its awesomeness blinds me.
It's the end-all and be-all of recaps. It makes no sense, but one day, I hope it will.
Words cannot describe the awesome.
SPOON!

 

Then it occurs to me that Hoku is very much like a carbonated chrysanthemum green tea beverage, now making its cool, fragrant way past my parched lips and into my 300 popcorn-filled stomach. For it is often my habit to subsist solely on these things, while I wait for another Paypal donation that doesn't go toward paying for my games, my toys, or my internet access. I could sully myself to make money as a writer, but no! That way lies madness! For the ignorant fools at gaming publications want me to talk about their silly games more than expound upon the wonder and greatness that lies at my very feet, in the form of my very cool shoes. For you know I have very cool shoes, I must have very cool shoes. My shoes, by their very good fortune to be on my feet and buffered by my cotton socks with the missing heels and unraveling stitches, have gathered to them the very essence of my coolness. Some say it smells like rotten corn chips, but I say that greatness has an indefinable essence all its own. Just like Hoku. I will write to you about Hoku. I must write to you about Hoku. Those game magazine editors, pah! They know nothing of Hoku. The game Hoku is so far beyond their imaginations, and they scorn what they do not know, just like many in the gaming community who make fun of me for my passionate prose that glides past their consciousness, never registering on their puny brains of my greatness, my indelible hipness, my inter-continental suaveness, wit, and mojo. I will speak to them now - Fools! You plebes just don't understand my genius, spewing forth like the rich froth of elucidation, coating everything it touches in its white, glowing flow. The bukkake of genius is beyond you, and you are bereft by the loss!

But what of me, you cry, my readers, my friends, those of you who stay with me through thick and thin, those of you, even now, devouring my words as if they were holy writ? For you, a special blessing, a special treat. Yes, Hoku. We'll soon be getting to the part where I tell you all about the game Hoku and how it has the power to transform your very soul. Come with me, and leave the soulless behind, waiting for their turn in my fountain of glistening wisdom. And speaking of wisdom, this reminds me of the time that I was playing ping-pong with the Dalai Lama outside the Bloomington Chick-fil-A in the College Mall. He was concerned about Shiggy Miyamoto's plans to start a rock band using lemmings, but I said to him, "Hey! If the Blue Hearts aren't busy, I'll call them up and we can all jam!" Then space aliens flew out my butt and I dreamed I was playing Dead or Alive Volleyball III with Pope John Paul II. The pontif always did like the ladies, just like me. That new pope looks too much like the Emperor from Star Wars to ever get a chick, which reminds me that I need to have my Jedi robe laundered. Perhaps the sullen-faced woman who I saw once in a run-down Laundromat would be there again. We would share soap flakes and giggle like small children in the snow. I could pretend that I was a character in Megatokyo. I've always wanted to be a character in Megatokyo, but those fools wouldn't recognize my unique, quirky humor or my literary genius. What losses for you, my readers, that you will never see my handsome face in your favorite manga!

 
My favorite beer!

How Awesome am I?
You're completely awesome.
You're better than Mario
You're better than Samus Aran
You're better than Locke
You're better than Jesus
You're better than the wizard

 

Nor will you ever see advertisements for the game Hoku in a manga. For Hoku is above such desperate pandering for customers. One look is all it will take to convince you that Hoku is the best game you have every played in your entire life, just as this recap will invite you back, again and again, to caress my words with your loving, beseeching eyes, hoping to find one more glimmer of meaning that had eluded you on your first two-hundred read-throughs. You will clutch your copy of Hoku, and you will sigh with contentment that it was I who brought you to this gaming Nirvana, and that it will be I who will lead you on to the promised land of a Hoku recap, springing from my fingers like a sexy, digital Athena as drawn by Yoshitaka Amano.

I think on the fleeting beauty of that sexy, digital Athena. I think a sexy, digital Athena could only add to the wonder and beauty of Hoku. I hope that when the blockbuster sequel is made, they will call the game Hoku 2 : Sexy Digital Athena's Revenge. Then you, my readers, could bask in the knowledge that you saw the future in this recap. Yes! This recap can tell you your future! My future includes scaring up enough money to eat this evening from the kindness of beautiful strangers. I will go out into the smoky streets of Tokyo and expound for them my love of their culture, of their unique Japaneseness that thrills my heart. Kindly men and women, moved by my words, will pat me briefly on the hand and throw money at me, while making a hand motion that in the crude, uncultured US would mean "Go away" but here, means something altogether more kind and sweet.

 
My shoe!

Are you a hot Asian chick? Do you want to do me?
Yes!!! Take me you hot, gaijin stud-muffin!
Of course. However, like all hot Asian chicks, I claim to be eighteen and I look like I'm twelve. You okay with that?
Yes, but I have syphilis.

 

It is the sweetness that haunts me as I head home after an exhausting day of drinking in the whirling carousel of culture that is my day in Tokyo. I feel sad for all my readers who will never, ever experience the joy, honor and complete contentment that is to score a half-eaten container of natto and a milk tea from a kind-eyed grandmother at the train station. The joy and wonder of it fills my heart with the same kind of contentment that I felt the first time I turned on my Super Famicom. The flash and dazzle of the modern gaming age will never hold the true depth of artistry that was the 16-bit gaming era. Anyone who says otherwise is a Philistine of the first order, and you may tell them so! In fact, I implore you to tell them so! Go out into the world and proclaim it on dirty American street corners. Deride those idiots who believe that Final Fantasy VII is the end-all, be-all of video games. Spit on them as they pass, like an angry, fiery, Japanese woman did to me! Pray that the spitting does not fill the heathen wretches with unrequited desire, as it did me!

I now ask you to forgive my sudden outburst. It's just that, as a bleeding-edge, new wave game journalist, I sometimes am quite taken over by my passion for all things gaming. I'm sure that the passion I feel for gaming shows in every sentence I have written to you so far. It was this passion, this steadfast, pinpoint desire to showcase my love of gaming in my writing that led me to you in the first place, to recap that joy of gaming joys, Hoku.

Are you a video game publication? Will you hire me? Please?
Yes! Your kind of non-linear thinking is just what we need to lose our fan base and destroy our business.
Yes! You make other video game writers look good.
Yes! We hate our shareholders. We want them to die. Your writing should increase our shareholder suicide margin by 50%!

 

 
Hoku!

And yet, alas. It has grown late here in Tokyo, and I must soon retire for the evening, even as you retire, red-eyed and weeping from the end of my recap. For we will soon reach the end, and although it pains me, it must be soon. Yes, yes, very soon. The land of the rising sun's sun sets all the same, and although I pray that its culture, wisdom and video game excellence will soon caress the filthy, heathen shores of my renounced country of birth, I cannot hold out much hope of redemption for you. Until you have tasted the chocolate and eel fin pie, you cannot know the true joy and blessed illumination of what it is to be in Japan. I pity you, all of you. As for Hoku, I don't know what to tell you that I haven't already said. I never actually played it, and even if it had, it still wouldn't be as good as Earthbound.

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