We’ve finally entered the new year! Congrats to all of you for making it this far, and thank you for your continued support of our blog, whether it be by leaving comments or simply lurking. I don’t know about you, but one of the New Year’s traditions that I find particularly hard to keep up with is resolution-making. It’s great in theory, and gets me pumped for about the first three days of January, but then whatever resolution I made ends up getting pushed to the wayside. So this year, I just decided to not make any. However, I did make the promise to myself that I would try to consume much more diverse media this year. If you, too, have always found yourself wanting to support more diverse creators and diverse casts, but likewise found yourself having no idea where to start, today’s web crush may be just what you’re looking for!
You may recall earlier this year when I spoke of Mystic Messenger, the mobile dating sim game created by Korean company Cheritz that blew up in certain circles on the internet. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the game, I lamented that Jaehee’s route—the only woman on the datable cast—left off on a wholly unsatisfying note. To that effect, not too much later I recommended a fic that I hoped would soothe the pangs left by Cheritz. This time, I aim to do the same, but through a different medium. Though the fandom has quieted, if you’re like me and still eagerly, but silently, waiting for more Mystic Messenger content, I bring to you this fan-made game starring none other than the queen of the RFA: Jaehee Kang.
Video games are great. Over the years the medium has flourished into a bountiful crop of entertainment; if you’re looking for a specific story or method of gameplay, it’s sure to be out there somewhere. As the game catalog continues to expand, however, sometimes it gets a little difficult, or appears incredibly daunting, to find that specific something you’re looking for. This is especially true when searching for queer representation through the swathes of games that would just rather not explore this aspect of their audience. Today’s web crush hopes to make this search a little easier on those wanting a little more LGBTQ+ representation in their gaming experience.
While there are many forms of historical fiction, one of the set-ups that people return to time and time again is that of a more medieval era. Princesses, dragons, references to Arthurian legend; on a surface level, what’s not to like? With the way this era has been romanticized, de-romanticized, and romanticized again, it almost feels natural to be drawn to it, and one of the biggest sources of the romanticization is, of course, knights and the chivalry that comes with them. Knights fighting for their beliefs! Knights, protecting the people they care about! These already make a strong case for me to give a shit about a story about knights, but today’s web crush added one more ingredient to make itself positively irresistible: lady knights who love other lady knights.
Ladies in video games have come a long way from Pauline getting manhandled by Donkey Kong in his self-titled arcade game. Yet, still, the trope of the damseled woman is one of the staples of video games, and her love at the end of a heroic rescue is the ultimate reward for the hero du jour. One of the series that suffers a lot from this is the Zelda franchise. It’s true that Link and Zelda don’t always have an implied romantic relationship, or that Zelda just sits there waiting for Link to come and beat Ganon in any of his incarnations. However, the minds behind Zelda seem adamant against creating a game that gives Zelda a more active role—or even makes her the protagonist—and thus she inevitably becomes a victim in each and every game.
As the wielder of the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda is intelligent and cunning, so it really is a shame that players only get to see the tip of what this really entails, even though they do get to see how Link’s Courage and Ganon’s Power work. Today’s webcomic Web Crush finally gives Zelda the spotlight she deserves, and in, perhaps, one of the most unlikely of ways.
Spoilers for Life Is Strange below this line.
I’ve spoken about Life Is Strange a few times on this blog before: the episodic game by Dontnod Entertainment came out January of last year. Focused on the time-travel gifted teen Max Caulfield, the game places both Max and the player in the middle of a mystery surrounding her hometown of Arcadia Bay. As interesting as the story was, and as relatable as the characters were, Life Is Strange had one major problem: killing off the main wlw ship. Okay, so technically Max didn’t have to sacrifice her best friend/girlfriend Chloe Price—the option to “save Arcadia Bay” forcing Max to accept Chloe’s inevitable death as she gets murdered—but upon choosing to stay with Chloe instead, the girls sacrifice everyone in Arcadia Bay for their love. I don’t think I’ve met anyone that didn’t agree this was a super shitty way to end Life Is Strange’s story, and an especially shitty way to handle one of the few positive wlw relationships that I can think of in a recent non-indie game. But today, have I got a solution for you!
I really enjoy the Kickstarter platform, and I have a lot of faith in crowdfunding as a concept. Despite there being disappointing results from time to time, I don’t think that is a fault of the service. I’ve backed a few projects that have gone well, and I’ve seen even more projects succeed and please customers. Alternative funding methods help more interesting stories and concepts come to life. One such concept is this week’s Web Crush: Ikenfell, a role-playing game about witches, wizards, their school, and their adventures.