I love food, I think you know that from the articles I have wrote in the past. I love food and I’m turning into an old fart. You also know that I love gaming. Now while I did a smash hit article about food to eat while playing video games, I want to write about an article about the food inside of games. You know the types, the ones that look good enough to eat or at least get your interest to the point you want to jump into the TV (don’t do that by the way, I ruined my Toshiba when I saw the cake in Super Mario RPG).
Now, I’m not the only one who’s probably thought about this subject. Proof can be shown in the Youtube series “Feasts of Fiction” and the multitude of online Youtube shows of people making food inspired by video games and other pieces of fiction. Well in this overthinking article that was pulled out of my overthinking head and overindulged stomach, I want to display my thoughts on the foods in video games that you can’t make in a kitchen or hire Bobby Flay to make for you (true story though, though he did slam a door into my face many years ago in Chicago, so maybe he owes me a favor). I’m talking about the ones that seem like you can’t recreate no matter how hard you try or how many years of culinary school/training you’ve had. Mainly because they probably have vague ingredients or you probably don’t know where to start from.
1. Chrono Trigger Liquor
“Nothing more manly than a liquor chugging race.”
“SORRY! I MEANT SOUP! SOUP CHUGGING RACE!”
So for those of you out there that have played this SNES masterpiece know what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, I’ll fill you in. During the game, you’re sent back to the Pre-historic times (65,000,000 BC) and you meet up with Ayla, the leader of the Ioka tribe who is so impressed by your strength and helping her defend her tribe from their enemies, that she’ll fork over the Dreamstone if you beat her in a liquor chugging contest (*CENSORSHIP SLAP*)…sorry, sorry….I meant “soup” chugging contest.
Anyway about the…”soup” and the time this was all taken place intrigued me. The earliest known recording of
alcoholic beverage brewing soup making (according to Wikipedia, a trusted source of knowledge…trusted meaning “shaky as a Soviet era space shuttle”) was dated back to 9000BC in northern China. And while I know that Chrono Trigger did take place in a world different from ours (unless right now we do have robots and frog soldiers running around and I don’t know about it) it doesn’t mean it can’t have some resemblance to us. Our earliest known methods were made through fermenting barley wheat into beer and/or grape juice into wine. So I could only guess that the liquor…I mean “soup” was a batch of fermented fruit juice, given the jungle location of the Iota tribe.
Also, looking at the portions given during the “soup” chugging race, I’d say those bowls are probably equal to the size of a modern day punch bowl. Meaning that Crono out-drank Ayla with punch-bowl sizes of fermented fruit juice. I tried drinking fermented fruit juice once…I should thought twice and saved myself a trip to the emergency room.
2. Pellets from Pac-Man
The other big question is how come Pac-Man can eat so many and not die from a heart attack?
Cherries? Yum. Peaches. Double yum. Pretzels. Yu—-why is there a pretzel in an assortment of fruit? Anyway, when you think of Pac-Man, you think of a yellow ball with a mouth eating both fruit and power pellets. The only thing is, what the hell are the pellets and what do they taste like? If we knew what the hell Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were, we’d get something of a clue.
The only thing we can get from them is their shape and the fact they are called pellets. Pellets, according to ye Olde Google, are mostly those tube shaped things you feed goats and sheep at your local petting zoo. The only thing is, in the 3D games of Pac-Man they aren’t tube shaped. Going with the sweet fruit trend that the Pac-Man family eats in their games, it must be some kind of of fruit-based candy like sweet tarts or skittles (I’m guessing the fruit consumption is there to fool the family dietician).
And as for the power pellets. All I can guess is that they are the super-sized version of the pellets. Then again, how that scares ghosts boggles my overthinking mind.
3. Venezuelan Beaver Cheese Quiche From Leisure Suit Larry 7
Made with ingredients that are more mysterious than the entire Arby’s menu
From the minds of Al Lowe (who I can’t wait to play his reboot of the Leisure Suit Larry series) and inspiration of the Cheese Shop sketch from Monty Python, comes a food that even Anthony Bourdain would refuse instantly just from hearing about it. Now, I’m a man who likes quiche, and while I am all for making recipes I never heard of, where does one get Venezuelan beaver cheese in the first place?
What’s that? Oh. Right.
Well the voices in my head said Venezuela, but since I’m not an insane idiot like Sean Penn, I refuse to buy a ticket to Venezuela. In that case, I guess I will have to find a substitute. I could head up to Oregon right now with their high woodland beaver populace, but I think the hipster population in Portland probably are two steps ahead of me and already building fifteen restaurants that specialize in faux-Venezuelan Beaver Cheese Quiche dishes. So I guess that’s out of the question.
4. Ghost Food from Final Fantasy VI
Fills your HP, MP, and cures all sicknesses and ailments…except being a ghost.
When you’re a muscle-headed karate master who also is the brother of a womanizing king that lives in the middle of the desert and is traveling back home with a depressed samurai/medieval swordsman and a feral child who has looser grasp on the English language than Farmer Fran from The Waterboy, you’ve seen probably seen it all. So when you demand a ghost to conjure up a five-course meal in front of you, you don’t hesitate for a second and start chowing down (much to the dismay of Cyan). Though since he’s the only one who ate the damn thing, only Sabin knows of its taste. But that leaves a question on everyone else’s mind: “what the hell does ghost food taste like in the first place?”. Knowing that it was made by a ghost on a ghost train, it’s most likely light yet fulfilling….like spongecake….made out of the souls of the damned.
5. Insect Cuisine Food from Breath of Fire 2 / Fallout Series
No man would eat such things…well maybe Andrew Zimmern.
Of all the games that forced you to eat bugs as a way of staying alive or fulfilling one’s belly, the two that come to my mind are the Breath of Fire 2 and the Fallout games.
In Breath of Fire 2 (one of my favorite games on the SNES btw I want to take this opportunity and say Tony you still have my copy of BoF3 you borrowed back in 1998 and I want it back), you help an aspiring frog-man prince/chef named Jean gather ingredients (in this case insects) and turn them into inspiring dishes to prove that he is the real prince so you can stop an imposter from taking over and killing everyone in the kingdom. You make three dishes, including one called “Fly Pudding”. Of all the dishes, the “Fly Pudding” both irks me and intrigues me. I mean pudding…made of flies. Well, let’s just hope we don’t see Bill Cosby on TV marketing us to eat fly pudding. I get sick enough eating tubs of Jell-O tapioca pudding as a mid-morning snack.
As for the Fallout, well I can understand in that universe, you have to eat whatever you can find. Radioactive cereal, SPAM, that wolf that tried to kill you, and if you have the right perk, human flesh (insert Hannibal joke here). Also, in a radioactive world that was caused by massive nuclear strikes, there is no question there would be hazardous hordes of roaches about that wouldn’t think twice of om nom nomming you from the ankles up. That’s why you kill them and eat them first before they eat you. Besides, you have to remind them where they are on the food chain in the post-nuclear apocalyptic world. And if you’re wondering what they would taste like, well according to culinary guru Alton Brown, cockroaches are closely related to lobster. So basically eating radioactive cockroach meat is like eating lobster…if that lobster was from Chernobyl.
Also it should be noted, that while these dishes sound odd, entomophagy is common all around the world. So in a sense, this is kind of normal thinking in other perspectives. No need for a nuclear strike to experience it.
6. Vigors from Bioshock Infinite
“Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach—OH GOD IT BURNS! IT BURNS!”
Like other articles around the net, I’m not going to spoil you about Bioshock Infinite since it recently came out. But I don’t think there is anything to spoil when I’m just talking about the many “interesting” consumable liquids in the game. If there was one thing on this list that I wish I could somehow recreate, it would definitely be the vigors (then I’d sell them in stores a’la Jones Soda).
There’s a vigor for every kind of situation out there. Is there an over-aggressive/pushy Gamestop salesperson forcing onto you crap that you don’t need? Don’t get infuriated with him, just set him on fire with Devil’s Kiss! Did someone take that parking spot with his sports car that screams “I’m a douche”? Well send his to Maserati to Abu Dabi with Bucking Bronco! Is a swarm of college hippies approaching you to a sign some kind of useless cause petition that will somehow take more money out of your wallet? Well they can’t really argue with you when you’re shooting a Murder of Crows at them.
While I may have covered a number of unobtainable/unmake-able foods from video games, I’m sure my overthinking mind has forgotten about a few. I doubt anyone would want to do any of the ones I mentioned. For one thing, unless there is a nuclear explosion that wipes out our country, I doubt you can make most of the radioactive insect foods I mentioned. Also, don’t ask about how we can recreate the vigors from Bioshock in real life, because I don’t want the FDA knocking on my door, asking questions and forcing me to make them secretively in a winnebago in the middle of the New Mexico desert.