Local man Jayden Schwartz has been on a binge of Metroidvanias lately. For those not in the know, a “Metroidvania” is a portmanteau of the names of two video game series: “Metroid”, and “Castlevania”. Generally, these games have you explore a desolate, hostile world by yourself as you attempt to escape it. Along the way, you’ll acquire new powers and go back to old areas to find more abilities in order to progress further, and so on. “And that’s why I think life is a freaking Metroidvania, baby,” said Schwartz. “Think about it. You’re born into the world with no innate skills. You can’t escape the hospital with your starting equipment. You’ve gotta scrap your way out by any means necessary–using your parents as a vehicle to get to safety like how Samus uses the SHAKTOOL in Super Metroid to get through a room filled with spikes.”
Schwartz had played Metroid Dread and Hollow Knight in quick succession, and was reflecting on the dreary, hostile journeys the heroes had to face when it struck him. “The nameless character in Hollow Knight is faced with many duplicitous characters that seem nice at first glance, but will happily take off their mask and stab you in the back when you least expect it. Nosk reminds me a lot of Stacy from 8th grade. Right down to spitting orange acid–though, in her case, it was Orange Crush that came out of her mouth when I told her I loved her.”
Schwartz also noted that you are required to learn and master new skills in real life and in Metroid Dread in order to progress. “Just think about it. When you graduate from high school, that diploma has the exact same function the Storm Missiles do. You need to present that diploma in order to get a decent-paying job but you’ll never use it as a way of defeating your boss because it’s not very powerful. I’m still mad that my manager Anthony made 3 times as much money I did (AKA, had three times the hit points) despite never graduating high school, but that’s why my diploma was super effective when I presented it to him. So effective that I got fired and had to respawn from my last checkpoint of my mom’s basement.”
“In short, life is like a freaking Metroidvania, not a roguelike. It has roguelike elements with the randomized character creation stuff, but you are expected to die a whole bunch of times before you figure out the mechanics you need to win. Here, there’s only one life, and you gotta make sure you’re going down the right alleyways at night in order to get the next upgrade before you head down them. Which is why I’m now down 100k in student debt and need to go down more dark alleyways in order to find a Geo stash,” said Jayden Schwartz.