How did the start of this global pandemic go for you? For my part, my life was going normally. As my job often leads me to be away from home, I put gaming aside to concentrate on writing my texts.
In the week of March 9, we learned of the existence of a contagious virus in Quebec. We don’t know much, except that we have to protect ourselves from it. Tuesday, I am in a show at UQAM, Wednesday the organizer decides to cancel and Thursday, I do a headline in St-Hyacinthe. On my way back, I stop in a pharmacy to get some toilet paper because there is none left anywhere in Montreal and I’m going to run out.
Thirty minutes after posting on my Facebook page that the weekly evening that I host will take place because it is our mission as an artist to deliver shows (and that sick people or caring for the elderly should stay at home), the government announces the end of all indoor gatherings. Containment is imposed on us.
My first instinct is to worry about whether I will be able to eat every day and pay my rent in some time without making a show. Once the PKU is announced, I am relieved. My first instinct was to get my hands on a copy of The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. I wish I had had the idea of getting my hands on some free weights to keep me in shape!
Escape to Hyrule
Did you feel like the first weeks of confinement lasted forever? Me too. Fortunately, even though I don’t think Breath Of The Wild is the best Zelda, it remains excellent.
In all the fantastic and unrealistic universe of Breath Of The Wild where Gorons and Zoras wander in their streets, the most eccentric was to be able to travel and converse with other characters.
Even if this game involves its share of waste of time, it allowed me something that was almost forbidden to me: to walk outside! See the world! Wow!
As I spent the majority of my evenings away from my pre-pandemic home, I was able to emulate this feeling of discovery thanks to Hyrule. It did me good. I traded the streets of the Plateau for the shrines of the Great Plateau.
Find ordinary Mario Odyssey
After exploring Breath Of The Wild and end up with a strange dissatisfaction, a friend passed me Mario Odyssey. I know. I know. I often play games years after they are released. Usually it’s because I wait for the prices to drop on classified ad sites.
And there I was faced with an unpleasant feeling: disappointment. I couldn’t wait to continue exploring a multitude of different worlds!
If Mario 64 had 15 different paintings in 1996, Super Mario Galaxy offered 42 worlds in 2007 and 49 in the sequel in 2010, I could only hope for the best for the most recent three-dimensional Mario!
Ultimately, the game only offers 14 realms. Less than 24 years ago. In addition, the story of the game is that of Bowser who wants to marry Peach by force, which implies a terrible wedding night and which made me uncomfortable.
Even though I was disappointed, I continued to play for a very simple reason: he does the job and spend the time well. Even that he gave me my biggest dose of emotions without my expecting it:
Be knocked down
One of the levels in Mario Odyssey is a metropolis called New Donk City. While we are in broad daylight, we accomplish various missions like in all other worlds before.
One of the quests offered by Pauline, the mayor of the city, is to recruit musicians from across the city for a festival. So… I do. As I was a little indifferent to this world and operated on autopilot, the festival has started.
And there, night fell. Fireworks have erupted. The neon lights on the buildings came on. The song Jump Up Superstar starts playing and I cracked.
Seeing New Donk City as the city of Montreal in the summer made me realize how much I tried to escape to Hyrule or elsewhere, my real favorite moments are those in the city. These are evening walks coming back from a show. It’s walking home after the movies when it’s getting late. It is to stumble upon the fireworks of La Ronde by chance when returning from a festival. And all of that will not happen in 2020.
Mario Odyssey must be added to the list of games that made me cry. It should be inserted in the first three positions.
Essentially, I tried to run away with my head in the sands of Gerudo Desert, but New Donk City forced me to face the reality: nothing will come back as before for a long time.
Ah! And I went on the brush playing Mario Kart! The return of the good old days!
All this thanks to the video games which gave me the time to live my break and get back to life as if the words of Jump Up Superstar were written for me!