Merry #Listmas! What better way to kick off another blogging holiday season than with a topic that is perfectly delicious – food and drink! While some virtual fare is best left to its own virtual world, there’s no denying that video game food has quite the avid following these days. Between sites, channels, and physical cookbooks, there are many outlets for anyone interested in the meals of their favorite games and characters, along with any beverages of choice. Food has long been used in games to boost health and provide other power-ups, but only recently has it become more interesting than roasted chickens hiding in walls (though that itself is pretty interesting!). If I had to put together a video game meal of my choosing, it might look something like this…
Aperitif: Quad Kicker (Mass Effect 3)
Drinks ranging from those that will pick you up to knock you flat, can be found throughout the Mass Effect games. But, having only just played Mass Effect 3’s crew-centric DLC, The Citadel, for the first time recently, I had no idea that Specialist Samantha Traynor was quite the bartender. At a certain point when the crew is mingling in Shepard’s apartment, players can direct Traynor to gather drink orders from all the guests. Of them all, Wrex’s Quad Kicker, despite its raucous name, sounds like a great starter. Bourbon, spiced rum, and ginger ale makes for a tasty-sounding concoction. The recipe also calls for curry powder on the glass’s rim, which Wrex skips, and so would I, but to each their own.
Soup: Yeto’s Superb Soup (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
Before Twilight Princess‘s Link ends up in a very scary situation with Yeto and his mate, Yeta – the duo are yeti-like creature that live in a place called Snowpeak Ruins – Link is tasked by Yeto to help him make a soup to help cure an ill Yeta. The ingredients are a tad arbitrary – reekfish, pumpkin, and goat cheese – but the general idea of a rich and creamy pumpkin soup sounds absolutely delightful after downing a Quad Kicker. In the game, the reekfish forms the soup’s hearty broth, and in my kitchen, this would be replaced with no-less-tasty vegetarian substitute. From there, it’s just a matter of adding pumpkin puree and other spices, cooking the mixture for a time, and adding in something creamy at the end. I don’t hate the idea of using goat cheese – it would be interesting to try – but something like crème fraiche might make more sense for the general palate.
Salad: Delbert’s Tato Salad Surprise (Fallout 76)
Truth be told, I’m not exactly sure if this “salad” counts as a salad or a dessert, but it is intriguing, nonetheless! In Fallout 76, Delbert Winters was a reverend in the West Virginia town of Flatwoods. When an aid group called the Responders came to town, Delbert helped in several ways, not the least of which was teaching folks the ways of Appalachian cooking. All his recipes sound, well, odd, but also plausible. Tato Salad Surprise contains only three ingredients – tatos (Fallout’s mutant hybrid of the tomato and the potato), sugar, and…um, thistle. Reading Delbert’s instructions, one would first melt the sugar until it’s syrupy, like molasses, add in cubed tatoes, and top the dish off with thistle (leaves, I take it, which are actually edible). In my head, the results almost sound like candied sweet potatoes and greens, but I imagine tatoes to be more savory, so maybe the dish is more like a sweet curry? Either sounds okay by me.
Main: Shoyu Ramen (The World Ends With You)
As I mentioned before, food has played various roles in games since the days of Pac-Man. Over time, those roles have become both more sophisticated and more realistic. The role of food in The World Ends With You is great example of this evolution. In the game, eating food provides various positive effects, which is very game-y; but the act of gathering food by the main character, Neko, is as mundane as it is in real life. No magical chickens falling out of walls here. Neko has to go to restaurants and other food sellers to get what he wants. And of all the things he can buy, the rich, soy sauce-based Shoyu Ramen sounds most wonderful. I do love me a big bowl of ramen, complete with lots of noodle and vegetables floating about. And especially now that it’s winter, the thought of ramen is doubly delicious! (Funny, too, that I picked another soup dish – that’s just what this season calls for!)
Dessert: Anti-Gravity Chocolate (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)
When I think of all the pies, cakes, cookies, sweet rolls, and other delicious treats that could top off my strangely strange video game meal, the only thing I feel is…very full. So I think it best to end things as simply as possible with a simple piece of chocolate. But not just any simple piece of chocolate. This simple piece of chocolate comes courtesy of the Panther King’s impudent Professor in Conker’s Bad Fur Day. This very special chocolate is imbued with anti-gravity effects, meaning it never touches the ground. Five-second ruled be darned! This chocolate will always be perfectly pristine as it floats safely above even the filthiest of terrain. What’s even better is that if one piece of this delicious chocolate isn’t enough, it quickly regenerates, meaning that an infinite supply of chocolatey goodness is merely at one’s fingertips. If one has the stomach for it, that is.
Lede image take by author during Xbox One gameplay of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (© Bethesda Game Studios).