Arcaned Machine 1
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November 21st, 2010

Arcaned Machine 1

So I was inspired to do this short storyline by the prints I’ve been selling of the Princess Planet characters in a made-up sidescrolling video game. The Arcaned Machine arc will run until the end of January. I hope you are as excited as I am to have the Snowman back. I also hope you are as puzzled by the frequency of crates in video games as I am, or else the gag makes little sense. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a large crate in my life. Maybe those small ones you get oranges or avacados in? But the frequency with which wooden boxes appear in castles, lairs, barracks, hideouts and pretty much everywhere else is ridiculous. It’s even worse than the frequency of first aid kits. (And yes, I understand crates are just easy to render shapes, but I do think it is weird that we accept them so readily).

11 Awesomes Comments!

  1. RavenBlack

    Have you ever seen one of those big bulkhead sort of sliding metal doors (often operated by a colored keycard) in real life, either?

    Though on the flip side, when the crates are there as a background to fighting alien zombie strippers in space with a laser gun and no breathing apparatus, it’s understandable that we wouldn’t find it awfully hard to suspend our disbelief of (frequently unbreakable) crates.

  2. admin

    I guess the disbelief is something like “I undestand why zombies and laser weapons make this game more fun, but crates?” and also that it isn’t just in one game, but so many, like copying off the kid in class who didn’t have the best answer.

  3. Ribusprissin

    And then you have games like Trine, where the first spell the wizard protagonist learns is Summon Crate.

  4. ColdFusion

    I think that’s the reason Half-Life was set in a secret science lab base.. and at least there were a lot of crate-loading machines. Clearly super-scientists go through a LOT of crates. One wonders if it’s like jugs of water at the store, where you can send the crates back when you’re done, and get some of your deposit..
    But.. AGAIN, most of them are EMPTY, so it’s like, what?

  5. Jackson

    Well that’s just crate.

  6. Jackson

    CHRISTI: I hope this game doesn’t have a sewer level.
    SNOWMAN: That’d be just grate.

  7. crowbar

    I’m sure Christy will have a kickass limit break!

  8. admin

    A friend just sent me an email about how in the real world, shipping yards with wooden crates that have invasive species (like a Japanese pine beetle) can do more damage than a bunch of fireball spells.

    Ribusprissin – Hilarious!

    ColdFusion – But you have to open all of them because what if you miss an easter egg!!!

    Jackson – Those jokes are crated 8 out of 10.

    Crowbar – I had to look that up. I was a C64 and PC guy. Never had a console. No need to console me though.

    Jackson –

  9. Bok

    The argument that “crates are easy to render” is a bit outdated as well, since in most games crates aren’t just 6 flat sides anymore but have all sorts of doohickeys, greebles and nurnies on them. I think a more likely reason is they’re easy to fit into an area that would otherwise be pretty boring to fight in; the crates give the player something to hide behind. Doesn’t make them any less ridiculous of course (especially since in the real world, if there are crates at all, they’re generally placed in corners instead of in the middle of a walkway, making them unfit to hide behind)
    A much bigger annoyance in modern video games in my opinion is ridiculous plumbing. It seems that a wall isn’t a wall unless it’s completely covered in an intricate network pipes, generally with spotlights on them. What’s wrong with a smooth concrete wall? You know, like actually exist?

  10. Ribusprissin

    Yep, the only other spells he learns in the whole game are Summon Plank and Summon Fulcrum. Well, not including the magic maneuver to transform into the other two protagonists …
    It’s a weird game. Worth playing though.

  11. Steve

    Ribusprissin: “weird” and “worth playing” are practically synonyms
    Being not much of a shooter player, the only crates in video games I’m familiar with are the ones from Ratchet and Clank that give you some bolts(currency) when you smash them. If you want to lose another few hours on TVTropes, look up Crate Expectations and Rewarding Vandalism.