One of the most difficult questions you could ever ask me would be “What’s your favorite video game?” And honestly, don’t ever expect me to narrow it down to a single game. One game that is the essence of everything that I love in the medium—even thinking about it now, the task is daunting. Sure, I’ve waxed poetic about Dragon Age several times, and have expressed my love for various other games, but to say any of those are my favorite? Well, that might be saying a bit too much. It still doesn’t feel right to claim this one as my be-all-end-all favorite either, but looking back, 1998’s Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for the Nintendo 64 is the game that I have the fondest memories of, and the only game I’ve ever cared to speed run. Furthermore, and perhaps more pertinent to this blog, the game really has shaped my so-called aesthetic when it comes to a game’s narrative and use of lady characters. Basically: if you don’t have a musical number by your big bads at one point, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.