Die, die, die my darling.
We sit at opposite corners of my room, staring at each other.
I choose the corner next to my bed, from which I can make some sort of protective duvet fort, cuddling my knees, one eye twitching (symptomatic of either my deep-rooted anxiety or addiction to caffeine, possibly both).
He sits in the other. A horrible little red fleck, grinning psychopathically almost as if to suggest ‘Dude. You got me, like, two years ago. I kind of want to get my girlfriend back now. What is wrong with you!?’
Well, let me explain. Let me explain what is wrong with me. What is wrong with me is that Super Meat Boy – the ‘he’ in question, and name of the game in which he is the chief protagonist (duh) – is the hardest game ever. It is the WORST. If the Child Catcher and Voldemort had a love child, it would be Super Meat Boy. It is simply that level of grotesque. And nobody can win it unless they are imbued with some serious magic juice. Honestly.
Perhaps you think I sound overdramatic about a game that only requires something like 3 buttons on your keyboard, but if you haven’t felt this way about Super Meat Boy, I’m sure you’ve felt this way about some other game (though if you haven’t felt it about Super Meat Boy you should go to the hospital and get your innards checked – you may be an extraterrestrial). I refuse to believe that Super Meat Boy does not personally goad each and every one of you with his horrible little scuttle and endless penchant to kill himself right at the very end of a level by salt/a chainsaw embedded into the ground/a falling spike/his evil doppelganger, or you know, just ‘cos.
Or perhaps you are reading this with one eyebrow slightly arched, a single bead of sweat falling down your forehead, because these are clearly the ramblings of a madwoman – and you would not be wrong. I am mad because Super Meat Boy has driven me mad. I am mad because I have let a small, indie game take over my life. I am mad because I have invested many, many hours in it and it is still not done (I shall not divulge exactly how many hours, but let’s just say it’s well within the triple digits mark).
So for those who are not familiar with Super Meat Boy (a.k.a., the individuals in the world who still see colour, and have never spent the entire night drinking straight spirits and crying into a bag of Reese’s Cups), let me set the scene for you. Let me explain my madness. At least, let me try.
It begins with ripping your heart out of your chest. Like all awful, life-consuming games are inclined to do.
If I had to pick one word to describe Super Meat Boy, actually, it would be DEATH because at the root of all things you consistently DIE.
You are a lump of meat (well, you are, but in this game you are particularly so, as you are a steak). A small, abhorrent fetus in a jar decides that your girlfriend (who is a bandage, and I assume the bandage version of Jessica Rabbit because she gets a lot of male attention in this game) is his cup of tea and decides to steal her, flagrantly disregarding any sort of normal social conduct.
This is all pretty standard. But then.
Then, you are subjected to a myriad of ludicrous little worlds, in which there are plenty of preposterous little levels, in which you die monstrous deaths over and over and over. Seriously – over and over and over again. If I had to pick one word to describe Super Meat Boy, actually, it would be DEATH, because at the root of all things you consistently DIE, and it taunts you to your very core because you believed you were somewhat good at games but, on playing Super Meat Boy, you realise that actually you are not and your dreams are DEAD.
Caution: May Induce Rage
To avoid rabbiting on for years and years (which I could genuinely do, but I am somewhat aware that at the moment the takeaway messages of this piece are horrible love children, uncontrollable crying and DEATH), here is a quick shortlist of things you can look forward to hating if you pick up Super Meat Boy for the first time – which, by the way, you probably shouldn’t. Not if you value your inner sense of peace. Which clearly I didn’t. I miss it now.
- Your Meaty Doubles: I am aware that ‘Your Meaty Doubles’ sounds like the name of an unsavoury film or a really excellent sandwich, but I’m actually referring to your bearded doppelgangers that come to MURDER you further down the line. Charming.
- The Repetitive, Endless Demon Music: As you will doubtlessly play each level again and again, failing at least 80 times before a victory is achieved, you will learn to hate the music for each level with a passion only matched by the various, emotive roles of Nicholas Cage.
- The Cataloguing Of Your Failures: On the rare occasion that you will actually WIN a level, you get to see an instant playback of all the attempts you have previously made. You’re basically watching a mass suicide. It’s great (note: heavy sarcasm intended).
- The Secret Levels: There are, of course, hidden levels in the game which you can complete, but let me tell you straight – there’s literally no point. Because you won’t be able to do them. Some of them require you have gravity-defying powers. Scientists and wizards alike are baffled.
- Your Horrible Friends: When you are playing Super Meat Boy, try to avoid having any of your horrible friends over. Because your horrible friends will not understand how hard Super Meat Boy is. Your horrible friends will tell you you are lame. Your horrible friends might even take the controller off you and, through some ridiculous fluke, finish the level in a moment and then never let you live it down. Because everybody has one of those horrible friends.
- You Will Have No Fingers: By the end of one stint of playing this – which will approximately be about three days of playing, because of course, once you start to torture yourself you cannot stop – you will have no fingers. They will have fallen off. Or be splayed like stretched out spiders, forever deformed. I can no longer wear gloves.
Ultimately, I guess the moral of this article is don’t play this game. Or do, in which case please email me, so I can take pleasure in the fact that someone else feels my pain – the sadistic trait of a truly defeated gamer. Until then.
Afterthought: There is one okay aspect of this game, which is that one of the world’s. Hell (aptly named) – has a truly awesome soundtrack. Sometimes I listen to it when I need to get mad at something, like rude pedestrians or angsty articles, not dissimilar to this. I recommend you do the same.