Videogames & Loneliness: Jo Ego III

a guided remix
from video game descriptions,
fairy tales, how-to guides, and flights
of fancy


There’s a reason Jo Ego has hung around so long,
and it’s not just because she has to battle her way
out of the hot crevice. The dread exhausts her.
Is hell absolute?

Casting another look at her steed, who is contentedly weird?
Jo frets about monsters and goat-people,
the in between equinox of forever.

It’s up to her and magic.
But there’s also a touching exercise in empathy (or the lack).

Prince, her horse, climbs up the mountainside
with a grappling hook.  Prince climbs and climbs,
always burning.

For this quest Jo is a red-head, quick and scrappy,
but beneath, she is pure virago.

One of the most powerful abilities
in this video game story is
Jo’s explosions and gun fights.
Her near-misses can impact the narrative.

Jo’s companion, Prince, is hopelessly lost.
The alternate endings vanish completely,
and which one of Jo’s adventures is the greatest story,
which manages to pack an emotional punch.

Time travel doesn’t have the best track
record as a narrative tool.
Among wolves like any woman who flees
a dreadful situation she loses
the source of storytelling finesse.

The game starts simply enough
at a town festival, but soon she
finds herself in the unassuming wilderness.

Friends are thrown into a massive adventure
where Jo, in a complex love dodecahedron with cavemen,
cursed knights, and robots, baddies and undead monsters
beneath her feet, searches for humanity.
And you find a way to connect to it all.

Technology may change, a phoenix may rise
but first  titles and graphics are improved.
Jo always has the same capacity for love,
and greed, so she has to die.

Death is quick. She devotes her tongue to a berry,
She  tingles and she feels numb
then tells a sprawling tale about the death of storytellers
who never know when to create quiet moments.

The mountain answers mockingly.
In a language heavy with stone. Jo is unable to move
because she is dipped in  unethical progress, and new light.

Keeping track of timelines gets complicated,
every colour of her life passes before her eyes.
Her motivation was never the desire to go abroad
and see the world. She gets her fulfilling lead.

Her lack of breath mounts a black horse,
and gallops away down an impromptu road.
Soon the gray towers of the old castle depict
an opera performance, her gasping.
She coughs up dark crimson.

Her breath journeys on, spending the days traveling,
while Jo drowns the nights in little wayside inns,
till one day she finds herself in the heart of the
red granite crags and makes a heroic sacrifice
as glaciers sparkle in the sun like torrents of shivers
broken off by an avalanche. That really steals the show.

Jo washes up on the banks of a river, her body
covered in  green algae and ferns by villains
we’ve never met, and the script does an amazing job
of building up the heartless colour of smoke like a shroud
there in the bright sun and the silence of the mountains.


Image: The Secret of Mana (PS4)

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