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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tiny Screenshots of Tiny Barbarian

Her full red lips smiled, and from her slender feet to the blinding crown of her billowy hair, her ivory body was as perfect as the dream of a god. Conan's pulse hammered in his temples. - Robert E. Howard "The Frost-Giant's Daughter"

"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is a short story about Conan just finishing up a battle out in the middle of the tundra when he encounters a beautiful, naked woman. She mocks Conan, making the barbarian both angry and horny, so he chases after the bitch on a quest to rape her.

But the frost-giant's daughter has set up a trap and Conan is ambushed by the woman's two frost-giant brothers. Conan, being Conan, slays them both and crushes the woman in his embrace. Lucky for her, Ymir is her dad, so she just calls out her old man's name and rides a beam of light out of the arms of her frustrated, would-be rapist.

So what does this have to do with Tiny Barbarian? The game is based off of the story. Yes, it's a game about rape and it's adorable!

Sword? Yes.
Actually, it's more about hitting things with your sword while you chase after some 8-bit poon. Tiny Barbarian was developed in Game Maker and I've encountered games that feel like this before, but who gives a shit, right? It's fun!

(I totally saw that coming)

Coins? Yes.

It's a short game. You can beat it in well under half an hour; or, to be more specific, you can beat most of the game in a few minutes. The centerpiece frost-giant brothers boss fight, though, is a bit tougher. A lot tougher.

I won't spoil it but the bosses are hard in the best kind of way. (These tricks might help you out).

Breakable blocks that contain turkey legs for no logical reason?

And the music is rad as hell.
My 8-bit itch has been scratched.


Okay. Let's be honest. Tiny Barbarian has very little to do with "The Frost-Giant's Daughter". It's about as good of a representation of a book as a game as most games are as movies.

But games are about challenge, and Conan's challenge was catching up to his prey for some non-consensual sex, and in that way this game is pretty accurate.

(I might have stretched myself a little thin on that logic thread. What am I saying here? That beating this game is going to make you want to rape someone? Just enjoy the game, okay?)

And read some Conan. It's awesome. Even more awesome than when Arnold does it.

Honestly, I love Howard's work. It's gotta be the most ridiculously over-the-top, manliest literature ever written; although some of it is staggeringly racist. I remember one story where Conan saves a chick from these black tribesmen. He butchers these dudes, and the chick asks, "Why did you save me?" And Conan gave a whole damn speech (the funniest thing about Conan the Barbarian is that he speaks more eloquently than anyone else in the stories), and what he says basically boils down to, "I saved you because you're white."
Not because she was a damsel in distress or that the tribesmen were kidnappers or that Conan was horny. No. Conan is a dirty racist.

And a rapist.

You know what?
Maybe liking Conan is not a good thing.

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