Your Princess is in Another Castle: Adventures in Geek Dating

It is Valentine’s Day, ladies and gents. Yes, the day where love is in the air and you can almost taste it, or maybe that’s just the new perfume your significant other is using for *ahem* special reasons. Valentine’s Day isn’t just for those with significant others, though. It is also the start of an adventure for some.

As people who enjoy and consume video games, we are always looking for that new adventure to embark on. The challenges that await us, begging to be overcome, and leaving us triumphant with our platinum trophy. But what about the adventures and challenges awaiting us here in the real world? For all of those hopeful singles out there, one adventure is awaiting to be triumphed; the adventure of love.

World 1-1

Experiencing infatuation can be confusing, exciting, and downright terrifying. All these unidentifiable feelings going around in your head and stomach just because of this one person that you randomly met or someone you have known for a while, but realized you had special feelings for them. You do not know what to do until it all clicks, you set yourself a goal to accomplish, and a quest begins. No matter the odds, this quest will be accomplished.

You set off into the vast unknown of possibilities, oblivious and ignorant to whether or not this person may reciprocate the cries of your heart. It doesn’t matter to you. You may be terrified, but it is that same terror that fuels your courage and makes you face those odds just like when going up against a giant boss with only one potion on hand. It’s these moments that we as gamers live for; the confrontation of adversaries bigger than ourselves. Link takes on Ganon, even though he is 20 times Link’s size, all because he wants to save Princess Zelda (and maybe even Hyrule, just maybe). Mario stands toe-to-toe with Bowser, who breathes fire and is a giant turtle, just to save his Princess Peach. All these odds that seem bigger than yourself are no reason to stop you from going out there to get the one you love.

So, you get to know them and ask them out on a date, thus ending your first level. It didn’t take much to do so, of course it is World 1-1 for a reason. That doesn’t matter though because the fact you actually did it is a huge accomplishment on its own. Your confidence stats have boosted and you’re ready to take on the next level, which is the actual date.

Level Up!

As any hero must do, they prepare for battle. Training is an essential part of a hero’s journey to get their beloved. World 1-1 taught us the basics of how to go about this whole game, but that alone will get us nowhere. We need to level-up and buff our stats before our next quest: the date.

In order to face colossal shadows of anxiety, you do a few rituals of training such as pacing around your room (+10 Stamina), practicing hypothetical conversations in front of a mirror (+20 Defense), doing push-ups to bring out those biceps (+30 Strength), and  stress eating (+50 Health).

From Monster Hunter, we have gathered that a hunter is nothing without his armor and weapons of choice. You go through your war chest, looking for the perfect ensemble best suited for the situation. Will you choose that leather jacket you acquired in order to seem cool, or just be yourself and wear that Spider-Man shirt, which you look good in any way? Spidey it is. It’s not too flashy or too underwhelming, and shows a bit of your personality without overdoing it. Also, don’t forget your trusty wallet, so you can pay for the bill or, hopefully, split it. Need to save some of that gold for other games, you know.

So, we’re all set for the date. Let’s win someone’s heart and get that second date!

Try Again?

You and that special someone are hitting it off. Things are going well, with you actually keeping up the conversation. Looks like +20 Defense is holding up. You share a few chuckles, get to know each other, and you’re having a blast. Well what do you know, they even offer to split the check. Maybe you can still buy that PS4 Pro after all. With the date finally over, you walk them home and see if they invite you in to offer a drink as a bonus for getting this far. Sadly, no offertory bonus drink. Oh well, maybe they’ll give you a text hinting at a next date. Again, sadly, it’s been 2 weeks since that date and no text.

This is a harsh reality with the quest for love, you can’t always win. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time or maybe they weren’t the one for you. Nonetheless, never falter. There was something wise that Super Mario Bros. taught me whenever I would beat one of Bowser’s castles: keep pushing forward and try again, because the princess is probably just in another castle.