Issue 3.4: The Shadows We Cast
A Psychological and Narrative Survey of the Shadow Archetype in Video Games
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Game & Word Volume 3, Issue 4: Sunday, May 22, 2022
Publisher: Jay Rooney
Author, Graphics, Research: Jay Rooney
Logo: Jarnest Media
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Table of Contents
Summary & Housekeeping
Feature: “The Shadows We Cast” (~30 minute read)
Food for Talk: Discussion Prompts
Game & Word-of-Mouth
Today, we’ll get acquainted with the Shadow archetype, its role in human psychology, and how the protagonist’s Shadow is depicted in video games—particularly zooming in on EarthBound, Celeste, and The Legend of Zelda.
Book Giveaway Closes Tonight!
HEADS UP! The clock is ticking. It’s almost over. Our book giveaway is about to wrap up! The entry period closes tonight at 11:59 pm (PDT); so if you, or anyone you know, would enjoy these books, then hurry—today’s the last day to add yourself to the pool. We will announce the two lucky winners next Sunday, May 29, 2022. More details in the link below:
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Game & Word and Switch Weekly Talk About EarthBound
I know it seems like I’m plugging Switch Weekly a lot recently (and I’m sure Switch Weekly’s readers feel the same about Chris plugging me and Game & Word), but I promise it’s not intentional or planned.
There’s just so much overlap in our newsletters’ audience, chosen topics, and commitment to quality that collaborative opportunities inevitably pop up. And Chris is just such an awesome guy to collaborate with!
In any case, Chris was kind enough to invite me as a guest on Switch Weekly’s YouTube channel to talk about why “You need to play EarthBound on Switch.” And if you know anything about me, you know I never pass up a chance to talk about EarthBound! The end result is the following video:
Between the video you just saw and the fact that EarthBound has featured so prominently in this volume, I hope I’ve convinced you to pick up your Nintendo Switch (or procure one if you don’t currently own it), purchase a Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) membership, and boot up EarthBound.
It is one of the most compelling, whimsical, funny, bizarre, terrifying, joyful, heartrending, beautiful, earnest, moving, and genuinely life-changing stories ever told (and not just in gaming, but in any medium). I truly believe I’m a better person for having played this game, and I can’t wait to hear the impression it leaves on you.
I sincerely believe that everyone should play this game at least once in their lifetime. And now that it’s on NSO, it’s within easy reach of millions of potential fans—including, most likely, you. Seriously, minimize this tab and go play this game ASAP.
Sorry, I get carried away sometimes. Anyway, do any of you love this game as much as I do? If so, please let me know (and why) in the comments:
[Sponsored]: From Playing Games to Making Games
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The next cohort starts very soon, on Monday, June 6, 2022. That’s only two weeks away! You can learn more on their website, or jump-start your application by scheduling a call with the Headmaster:
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Feature—The Shadows We Cast
🚨🚨🚨 SPOILER ALERT 🚨🚨🚨
This post contains visual and narrative spoilers for Celeste, EarthBound, and several games in The Legend of Zelda series. You've been warned!
💡💡💡 POINT OF CLARIFICATION 💡💡💡
For consistency’s sake, this article will refer to MOTHER 2 / EarthBound as simply EarthBound, as we’ll be examining the North American localization and not necessarily the original Japanese script (unless otherwise noted).
This also applies to any character/location names and dialogue that differ between the two releases (ie, “Pokey” instead of “Porky,” or “Evil Mani Mani” instead of “Mani Mani Devil.”)
CONTINUED FROM ISSUE 3.3
Time itself seemed to have frozen as my Shadow’s booming voice knocked me off balance. It must have taken half a second for my back to hit the shallow water, but as far as I knew, all of eternity had compressed into that single half-second.
As I endlessly waited for my body to finally land with a splash, an all-consuming fear—an unknown fear, one I’d never felt before—overtook my mind and body. It hit with the strength of a million panic attacks. I tried reaching for my smelling salts, but even moving my hand felt interminably slow.