Picture this: You’re on a beach. You’re digging a big hole, because that’s the best thing to do on a beach, maybe second only to eating an ice cream or finding a reaaaaaally smooth rock. But suddenly, your neon-pink plastic spade hits something hard.
You claw it out of the wet, dark sand with your fingers, too excited to continue using the spade that you bought an hour ago from the beach shop for an exorbitant £25 price tag – and now you have, in your gritty, wet hands, something unexpected. What is that? An oil lamp? Buried beneath the Cromer sands? How unusual.
You clamber out of the hole, grabbing a nearby Harry Potter beach towel to clean it off, but the second the towel touches the tarnished brass – POOF! A genie comes out. You know it is a genie because you watched Aladdin three times in a row last weekend, and although this chap isn’t blue or Robin Williams – in fact, he looks more like the guy at the ice cream stand with a slightly green tinge – you’re about 90% sure he’s one of those wish-granting types. He did come out of a lamp, after all.
So, congratulations: you have one wish! Not three, I know – we don’t have all day – but one wish is still better than none wish. However, the genie has one main rule: you can only wish for the revival of a long-defunct video game series. It turns out that he’s been sponsored by Blockbuster, and you don’t have the heart to tell him that Blockbuster is dead, so you agree to his terms. This is my fantasy, don’t ask questions.
Would you ask for a sequel to the 2010 murder-mystery ghost spelunking game, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, from the creator of the Ace Attorney series? I think I probably would. In fact, if I had a big lump of money, and didn’t have to pay bills and keep my snack cupboard stocked up, I’d probably dump it all on Shu Takumi and tell him to go wild.
Then again, I’d be extremely excited to see another Mario and Luigi RPG, since the last one – Paper Jam – was not quite up to the series standard, and it came out six years ago. Six years!! In that time, we’ve managed to have an entire global pandemic, a Brexit, and that one year where all the celebrities died. In fact, are we sure that the Mario and Luigi games weren’t preventing all of that? Maybe they were holding back a tidal wave of world events like a dam. There’s only one way to be sure, and that’s asking a fictional genie to force Nintendo to make another one. Obviously.
But perhaps you’d love Nintendo to acknowledge F-Zero or Star Fox, given that the former has been absent for 16+ years, and the latter was left to flounder on the Wii U? Maybe you’d really love to play Mother 3 in English on the Switch – or maybe you’d love a Mother 4? Perhaps you’ve been wondering for years what Kid Icarus is up to, and whether he’s old enough now to just be called “Icarus” (YES WE KNOW HIS NAME IS PIT GO AWAY)?
However, the genie has another stipulation to the contract: “There can be no life without death,” he says, ominously, “and if you want to revive a game series, you must in turn destroy one.” Not destroy as in “never existed”, of course – we’re not about to mess with time paradoxes, thanks – but just ensure that it never gets any more sequels.
So, what will you tell the Genie of Cromer Beach? Please phrase your answer as a wish.