Cave Story: Just some robot I used to know

I’m about to get into spoiler territory here, so You Have Been Warned. Ready? I mean it. I want to focus on one of Cave Story’s charms: the characters.

Cave Story is rife with quirky, odd-ball characters. Some are talking rabbits. Others are crazy robots. And still others are people in Cthulu costumes. Each one is quirky and interesting. In this way, Cave Story really reminds me of the Nintendo games of my youth. I think the video game medium makes it easier to accept strange characters. I don’t really know why. Maybe it is the cartoonish nature, or that as a player, you are forced to interact with the cast. In Cave Story’s case, you best get accustomed to chatting with robots and rabbits ASAP.

But then, maybe it is just me. Being one who enjoys quirky humor, oddball characters, and writes fantasy stories, talking animals don’t bother me. Nor do floating islands or disgruntled robots. I still think “being in” the game makes one more accepting of the strangeness, be it Cave Story or Final Fantasy VII. A casual observer might be more likely to question the world of the game.

Case in point, my girlfriend. Now, she is no stranger to fantasy or science fiction, and I don’t bring this up as a sexist, archaic “Girls Don’t Understand Video Games” argument (I know plenty of ladies who are hardcore gamers). No, I bring it up, because her casual observations helped me appreciate the strangeness of the game even more.

“Who’s that?” she asked when Curly Brace joined me. “Is she your girlfriend?”

“Uh, I don’t know,” I said between mashing buttons. “She’s just some robot.”

“A robot?”

“I’m a robot too.” A jump. A shot. “I think.”

I bested a boss, and the cave flooded with water. The screen went dark, and when my character came to, Curly was immobile next to me. Steph said as I walked away, “You’re leaving your girlfriend!”

“She’s not my girlfriend! And besides, I can’t take her with me. There isn’t a Drag the Dead Robot command.”

“I’m surprised there isn’t.”

I found out later, there is a way to rescue Curly — using the Tow Rope. So, I suppose there is a Drag the Dead Robot command. Oops.

I bet the strangeness of Cave Story will turn some folks off, but it kept me interested. I wanted to see how strange it would get in the end, and it did not disappoint. Like any good platformer, Cave Story ups the ante for the final boss battles.

I am curious to see what Gavin and Kevin’s final thoughts are of the game. I loved it, and I think the odd-ball characters and story kept me interested. If the game was void of any kind of quirky story, or characters, I may not have enjoyed it as much.

And further research shows there are additional endings. Back to the cave!

Read Gavin Craig’s week 3 post

Daniel J. Hogan’s webcomic and humor blog, Clattertron, features very few dead robots. So far. Follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan.

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  1. […] also really happy that you brought up Curly Brace, Daniel, as I found myself surprisingly affected by the way she left the story. Cave Story actually […]



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