Game Theory: Adventure Island, A Philippines Vacation
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Game Theory: Adventure Island, A Philippines Vacation

slap on some sunscreen and break out your peeler cuz we’re getting fruity hello internet and welcome to game theory the show that’s gonna put this game on the map literally this week we’re gonna put this game on the map literally by the end we’ll see that this tropical romp is a key to unlocking a real yet virtually unheard of war in America’s history so enough pussyfooting around and let’s do this now I’m a fan of hard games old-school hard Battletoads I want to be the guy both on my top 10 list and man the original adventure Island is definitely in that league slippery controls 1 it kills lack of continues memorization glorious you play as Master Higgins a baseball cap green short short wear and Joe Schmoe who’s not afraid to let it all hang out as he skateboards his way to rescuing his hot trophy girlfriend princess leilani whose name mysteriously changes to tina and credits wait did she just break off the ropes herself women unacceptable anyway Hudson soft the developers and publishers claimed the setting of the game this so-called island of Adventure is located in the South Pacific I say they need to retake world geography let’s look at the gameplay like a lot of old platformers this one doesn’t let you daintily saunter through its gauntlet of snails frogs and jumping octopi Oh oh no you best be running your rotund self to the finish line before this bar runs out what is it it’s a starvation meter huh that’s right unless Higgins is constantly stuffing fresh island fruit down his gullet every couple of seconds he loses all will to live and that’s where we find our first clue the local cuisine here are all the foodstuffs that appear in the game we have bananas and this could be an apple or a cherry this could be a tomato or an apple let’s just say that’s a carrot and if Yoshi’s Story was a waste of money at the very least it taught me that those are melons oh and there’s coconuts hanging from the trees in the background coconuts and Ben anas are the most common in the game so we’re looking for a place that has a lot of both here are lists of the top five coconut and banana producing nations in the world comparing the lists Brazil and India aren’t Islands leaving only the Philippines but is it an island now mind you geography was always my worst subject in school so this was a legitimate question but for those of you playing at home yes yes it is however never is it listed as part of the South Pacific to make our case airtight let’s look at the rest of the pixilated produce carrots are listed as one of the most important vegetables found in the philippine highlands so check there as for the melon see the pattern on it that’s because it’s a netted melon also called a nutmeg melon a rock melon a musk melon or most commonly a cantaloupe that said does it exist in the Philippines normally not so much but a company named Agri nurture has created a new strain of cantaloupe specifically in the Philippines called the honey melon this super fruit thrives in tropical soil produces more frequent and sweeter yields and is resistant to pests the fact that it’s rarer also reflects it being the most prized fruit for Master Higgins in the game cherries and apples normally need cooler climates to flourish but submitted for the approval of the game theory society I give you man’s Anita’s small trees spread throughout the Philippines that produce fruit the locals call Philippine cherries as far as apples are concerned check these out they’re called star apples for the star pattern in the pulp and yes they grow in the Philippines and to cover all our bases if these poorly defined pixels happen to be a tomato tomatoes ranked second only to eggplant in production area in the country eggplant which also makes an appearance in the game to suck the life out of our poorly protagonist I don’t know what it is about old NES games but between this and Kid Icarus it’s no wonder that a generation of kids grew up not wanting to eat their veggies Matt Pat Hudson soft said the game is in the South Pacific true but despite these oceanic nations producing some amount of coconut and banana the rest of their crops are much more limited Vanuatu coconuts Tuvalu coconuts Papua New Guinea coffee and coconuts Tonga squash and coconuts Micronesia taro and sweet potato and it wouldn’t be the first time an old NES game had errors in it I mean look at the games booklet King Quiller as a final boss no such enemy exists so are we really going to trust their authority but yes you’re right fruit alone does not a meal make it’s only the garnish on this delicious entree of proof we’re making so let’s look at some protein we have red octopi blue octopuses some long thin fish that jumps out of the water to attack and a fire spitting cobra there is also a generic bird bat and spider but those guys appear in every game so who cares here’s a video of a red octopus off the coast of the Philippines so we know that they’re around but more interesting and rare is the blue octopus or should I say the blue ringed octopus the only species in the world that features the color blue found in the Pacific waters around you guessed it the Philippines despite being the size of a golf ball they’re one of the world’s deadliest animals they carry enough venom to kill 26 adult humans in 90 minutes 10,000 times stronger than cyanide and with no known antidote and imperceptible bites it’s no wonder Higgins dies in one hit from touching them when it’s in attack mode the rings on its body changed to a bright peacock blue wild the long thin fish looks a whole lot like a barracuda and not only do they live in and around the Philippines there’s even a lake named after them but most fitting of all there have been reports of barracudas jumping out of the water to attack humans finally the fire spitting cobra is actually an exact match to the Philippine Cobra a highly venomous breed of spitting snake found on the islands and yes you heard right it’s able to spit its venom up to ten feet the fastest recorded death caused by a bite from these guys 30 seconds not quite the instant kill featured in the game but pretty darn close so I feel safe in saying that between our flora and fauna we have a good handle on the location of the game but how does knowing that Adventure Island is located in the Philippines better our appreciation of this NES classic well that’s my final thought look at Master Higgins clearly a stereotypical American overweight baseball cap prone to shirtlessness hot trophy wife who doesn’t even know her own name now look at the villains of the game all animals or veggies found on the island with the big boss being a voodoo wizard so one well you’ve heard of the spanish-american war right how about the philippine-american war beginning in 1899 one that took more lives and cost more money i hadn´t this is a much abbreviated overview but during the u.s. imperialist days after kicking the Spanish out of the Philippines Americans lingered a little too long in the island that thought it had won its independence realized that they had just changed owners I propose that Adventure Island is a symbolic representation of this struggle between the natural old way of life and the dominating American influence that’s why all your enemies are nature themed but if you really don’t believe me consider this after winning the war American settlers develop the land using the rich soil to start huge tropical plantations for workers they hired the local Filipinos don’t you find it odd that the American heroes name in adventure island is master Higgins what kind of a name is master or is it a title given to a plantation owner an American plantation owner in the Philippines I’ll let you be the judge but hey it’s a theory a game theory thanks for watching the world in the world in the world


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