At last, the table is set. The drinks cabinet is stocked, and the starter is ready to go. The first of my five fictional characters are on their way to my home. There is just one final video game guest to invite to the dinner party.
If you want to see who else I picked, look right here:
- Gaming Fantasy Dinner Party – Guest Number One
- Gaming Fantasy Dinner Party – Guest Number Two
- Gaming Fantasy Dinner Party – Guest Numbers Three & Four
- Gaming Fantasy Dinner Party – Guest Number Five
It would be presumptuous for me to state that I have ‘saved the best for last’. This sixth and last dinner guest is, however, my first and favourite choice for a video game guest.
I’m not inviting this character because of their personality; compared to the other five guests I know very little about them as a person. I’m also not asking them to join the party because of their legacy. Whilst the other five characters reside in iconic gaming franchises, I’ve only ever played one game which featured this last guest. I only have one, very significant reason to invite this individual: she is from the most integral game of my video gaming life.
I can’t say I know much about the ideals and interests of my sixth guest – the game grants very little dialogue or time to reflect with this protagonist – but what’s a Dinner Party if not a chance to get to know somebody better. When that person is the main character from the video game that I played more than any other in my youth, the very least I could do is offer them a glass of wine.
Guest Number Six – The Shaman
I have already talked about my complete adoration for Populous: The Beginningin at least one other post. When all other games fail, I can return to this game and enjoy it endlessly. This was one of the first games I bought with my own pocket money, and even now ranks high in the number of hours I’ve banked with any game.
To put it simply, you as the player take charge of a small tribe and attempt to exterminate one or more other tribes from the face of a very small planet. Each level is a new planet, but it’s the same tribes trying to kill each other. The reason for this galactic conflict? You’re the blue tribe and they are the red, yellow or green tribes. They have the audacity to wear clothes and paint their walls in not-blue?! For shame. They may be an identical tribe to us in every other way, but it’s the principle of the thing!
The second, possibly more important distinction between the tribes are their Shamans. Each village centres around a magical entity capable of all manner of powerful spells. The most impressive, most dangerous and most successful Shaman is, of course, the blue Shaman. Under the player’s direction, this Shaman conquers planet after planet for her worshippers. With each victory she grows more powerful, moving steadily closer to her ultimate goal: ascension to godhood.
When it comes to the dinner party, being able to sit alongside such an extraordinarily powerful being would no doubt yield some fascinating conversation. This is a video game character whose starting ability is a fireball thrown from the fist with gleeful ease, progressing to control over lightning strikes and spells that frighten and charm the minds of her enemies. One conversation I would love to have with her concerns one of her later, most powerful spells. She eventually learns how to conjure a draconic creature known as the ‘Angel of Death’. Exactly what is this creature? Is it some great celestial being? How can she bend such a terrible thing to her will?
The Shaman must have some fascinating stories that go beyond the battles she has fought. She has travelled in ways that the majority of living things could only dream of. She has drifted amongst the stars, for one thing. The game gives no clues as to how The Shaman journeys between worlds, but it is clear that her powers extend to space travel. Furthermore, the Shaman has often travelled beyond life itself. As long as The Shaman has just one worshipper left alive, she is able to reincarnate moments after her death. Even most video game protagonists cannot claim to have truly experienced their own deaths, with most games reloading a checkpoint at the moment of the characters’ demise. The Shaman however, travels between this existence and the next. Oh, what incredible things she must have glimpsed!
The Dinner Party
At first, the language barrier might seem like a problem. However, I’m sure Mordin will bring technology from the Mass Effect universe that allows for all the guest to understand each other. There might also be concerns that someone from such a different culture might feel out of place in a modern-day dinner party, but I’ve seen enough of The Shaman to suspect that she would conduct herself with poise and civility. If anyone is going to be crass, its almost certainly going to be Ganondorf…
The invitation also implies that the all-powerful Shaman revert to her human form in order to take her seat at the Dinner Table. Have an actual deity at the party will certainly spark some fascinating stories, and I’m sure The Shaman will appreciate the respite from protecting two dozen worlds of needy tribespeople.
With The Shaman invited, the Dinner Party guest list is complete. The Shaman will round off an eclectic mix of people with an incredible range of life experiences and outlooks that will make for some fascinating discussion. Outside of combat, her magics can no doubt be employed for more fun low-key displays to entertain her peers. The Shaman can literally bring the fireworks to the party.
My dinner party is complete, and I’m pretty happy with the choices I’ve made. There’s the slight chance that having such powerful people in one room will cause some tension. Defenders of the human race, evil conquerors, actual gods… there’s bound to be the occasional heated back-and-forth on world events and personal views. This is definitely one of those evenings where politics is off the table.
I am however, confident that with the right food and music these fascinating people can spend a few relaxing hours with each other. After all, can anyone really fall out when tiramisu is involved?
What do you think? Are these six guests a recipe for a disaster, or a tasty mix of delicious characters? Who would your video game dinner party include?