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Interview with A. Grue

A 'grue' is a mythical creature from the Zork series of text-based role-playing games. They are monsters who fear the light and roam about the darkness, waiting for adventurers to wander too far from the light and too close to their clutches—where they are swiftly eaten.

It was designed as a deterrent to prevent players from blindly solving puzzles in a dungeon by wandering around until they bumped into the solution.

Yet now A Grue finds himself in 'my' clutches, as I am the ultimate predator. His video game retrospective caught my interest and now he will pay... perhaps with his very life.

So, dear readers, enjoy as the Myth Master provides you with yet another hapless victim... ripe for information extraction.
Let us begin.

MM: What would you say is the most difficult part of the creation process?  

Grue: It's definitely the editing. Cutting scenes and images together within fractions of fractions of seconds is very tedious, though necessary in order to attain the perfect timing for a punch line or the continuation of a train of thought. Shooting is something you can usually finish in one or two shots, but editing is pretty time-consuming.  

MM: Wanna know what else is time consuming and quite distracting? A lobotomy!  

MM: On average how long do you spend researching the game that you review?  

Grue: Well, I take some time to scour the web for basic information about the game, and then I look around for some context in which the game was released. It's important to understand these circumstances, because money is always a major driving force behind them. Just as is the case with movies, an artistic vision for a game will always take a back seat to the profit that that game can turn. As the last few decades have passed, our economy -- and video games' place in it -- has changed a lot, so I feel that it's important to reflect that in the retrospectives.  

MM: And playing games... how much experience do you have there?  

Grue: I've been playing video games since Donald Duck taught me my ABCs. I was two.  

MM: Ah, yes... I can see that. Your brain is quite mushy. Don't mind me. I'll just poke about some more in here.

MM: What is your favorite game ever... PC or otherwise?  

Grue: This is like asking me to pick only one type of food to eat for the rest of my life. But if I could pick only one, I'd probably pick the Monster Hunter series — no one in particular. The core game play has remained static throughout them all. But I also feel like Mass Effect comes out on top as well... it's just a different genre of game.

MM: Biggest pet peeve in a video game?  

Grue: This one's actually a tough one.  

MM: Yeah, that's my fault, I've pulled out your frontal lobe. But do try to think. For the fans.  

Grue: I don't spend much time playing bad games, so it's hard to centrifuge my bad experiences and remove the single, common element. But I think that the worst kind of bad game is a game that's been poorly developed. If the developers couldn't get behind the game, then you've definitely wasted your money.

MM: What would your ideal game include (content or otherwise)?

Grue: This is a difficult question to answer as well, because an ideal game could be made out of so many things. You can make a really fun game out of just about anything. It's all in how you go about it. You can make a really fun game with basically no story (Monster Hunter), but you can also make a really fun game with overwhelming amounts of story (Mass Effect). You can even take a game that has virtually no story and make that story very interesting (Shadow of the Colossus). Sure, SotC had epic-scale boss battles, but I kept playing for the sake of the story's resolution. It was poetic in nature. And this isn't even mentioning music games, FPS, RTS, etc.    Ultimately, I think it's about becoming inspired to make an aspect about a game great, and then finding ways to allow the player to enjoy that aspect completely unhindered. All great games have found a way to do just that.

MM: Do you have a favorite old school console? Atari, NES, SNES, etc.?  

Grue: I'd say probably the Super Nintendo. I've got a lot of good memories playing Super Mario World, which is probably still my favorite Mario game to date. Chrono Trigger was a great game too. Super Metroid... the list goes on, really.  

MM: If you could meet one video game character, who would it be?  

Grue: Probably Mario. I mean, if you think about it, he's been around for a lot of years now, and he looks exactly the same now as he did then. What's his secret?  

MM: Mario's secret is much like mine, shrouded in darkness.  

MM: It looks like I've dug as far into your brain as I can... any final thoughts?

Grue: * drooling *  

MM: Oops.  

MM: Looks like another of my victims will be forever changed, perhaps for the better. It's not like anyone will notice. To the rest of you who dare to write or create--and even some of you 'normals'--be aware that I am always on the hunt.


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