Princess Peach Thursday, Apr 24 2008 

Princess Peach is the Nintendo heroine who, though frequently kidnapped in her early life, has survived to become an active, adventurous and sporting princess. She is most Aristasians’ preference when playing light games. But is she a blonde or a brunette?

Miss Lindie reports:
Princess Peach is assuredly a blonde and always has been. Her hair seems to vary from light red to pale lemon – whether from nature or choice we cannot say. But it is true there are some enigmas in her history. In Nippon, she was always called Peach, however in the West there were various changes. In the original Donkey Kong the girl was Pauline – not royal and probably only a distant relation to Peach. Once the Princess arrived in the West, she was at first called Princess Toadstool. The name Peach only became fully current in the 3D era. Also there were some games in which the Princess was Daisy, an auburn brunette.

This is not really as confusing as it sounds. We now know that Princess Peach’s full name is Princess Peach Toadstool, while in Mario Tennis, the Princesses Peach and Daisy are shown to be two separate characters who can play doubles together or compete with one another. This should not be confusing to an Aristasian. Princess Daisy is Princess Peach’s brunette cousin who has at times in true Aristasian Life Theatre tradition enacted the role of her royal relative. She is in fact the ruler of another realm.

Both girls, though entitled Princess, are in fact rulers in their own right. Another curious fact is that while Princess Peach is human in form, her subjects are all Mushroom People, like Kinopio. This raises the question of marriage. It would clearly be impossible for Princess Peach to marry one of her subjects. The anarchic Tellurian argument that royal personages “are just like other people and could marry anybody” would hardly cut much ice in the Mushroom Realm. The Princess must clearly marry another royal personage of her own – um – shape. Since royal marriages are often in the family, her brunette cousin Daisy might even be a possibility, uniting two illustrious realms in time-honoured fashion.

The Silver Screen Game Saturday, Jun 2 2007 

Miss Miranda suggested:
Could we all play a little game? I thought it might be fun to say who you think you really are inside. I mean, who from the movies you think you really are. I mean, who is you, really. Oh, now I’ve fumbled it all, and maybe you don’t even know what I mean, but, here, I’ll go first.

I think that maybe I am the girl Miss Monroe plays in The Seven Year Itch, even though I am only sixteen years old because she is so simple and sweet and a little on the dumb side. I don’t mind saying it, but I am, you know. A little on the dumb side. But who would mind if she were as pretty as Miss Monroe? I’m not, as you can see. As pretty as Miss Monroe, but the way she looks and acts is just the way I feel, so I pick her.

But, if I were to say who I want to be more like, it would have to be Bernadette in Song of Bernadette, because, like Miss Monroe, she is simple and sweet, but she also is so good. Watching that movie just makes a girl want to be as good as she can, even if nobody else understands what being good means.

Oh, I am sorry to babble. I really am.

I hope you all can tell me who you think is most like you on the silver screen and maybe you can say too who you wish you could be more like as well, so I don’t feel so silly for having said all that.

Miss Ellhedrine replied:
Dears and darlings, here is your own Ellhedrine. You can always guess what I have been up to when you haven’t seen me for a spot – just working away, preparing for all those dreadful exams. Now that I know I shall see Miss Barbara sometimes at Milchford I am foply anxious to get there (foply is the next one up after triply, you know – singly, doubly, triply, foply).

And every one has been so nice to me. Miss Barbi and Mina saying I am exotic, even though I am only Ellhedrine Joans from a little town in Quirinelle who goes to Brightsea for her holidays, and even though I wear a green school uniform and only put on my squirrel coat to come here. Well, of course that is kind, but I can hear in your dear voices that you really mean it. I am not sure how you can, but I know you do, and that has made me so very happy.

Miranda, your game is just a wonderful idea. Now, I’ll tell you who I feel like on the silver screen, but you must promise not to laugh. It is Katherine Hepburn. Now isn’t that strange. Every one says “Surely you mean Audrey Hepburn”, but I don’t, I mean Katherine. I know she is terribly brunette and I am rather on the blonde side of blonde, but she is who I mean, even so. I could never be chic and poised like Audrey, but Katherine’s wonderful, high-strung, nervous vitality – yes, you see it now, don’t you? – and her magical theatricality (perhaps that is what makes me seem exotic if I have a hint of it). When I see one of her films I “catch” her for days afterwards and sound much more like her than me.

In the summer my two brunette cousins came down from Milchford with a group of sophisticated ‘varsity blondes and brunettes, and Dora said “This is little cousin Ellhedrine [and she did pronounce the “h”, bless her]. She suffers from the delusion that she’s Katherine Hepburn”, and Lucilella said. “Nonsense, darling, she doesn’t suffer from it, she thoroughly enjoys it.”

Anyway, I am sublimely happy at present, and Katherine-ing away like anything when I’m not swotting. And all that hard work does seem to tone me up and make me feel more alive and able to take an interest in just about everything. It is so good for me.

Super Maria Sisters Monday, May 14 2007 

Long, long ago (in gaming years), there was a Tellurian girly version of the Nintendo classic Super Mario Brothers. It is actually called Great Giana Sisters (Great for Super, you see – the game even paralleled the title of the original word for word) and was published by a company called Rainbow Arts.

giana-sisters.jpg

In Aristasia Pura this may have been something like the original form of the game, but in Telluria, of course, it was a copy. It was produced for the Commodore 64 ordinator and the Amiga (which means girl-friend by the way). However, not surprisingly, Nintendo was a touch piqued at this rather blatant swoggling of its flagship franchise, and equally unsurprisingly threatened to take legal action. The game was withdrawn.

I have heard that Great Giana Sisters was actually quite good, though the title screen artwork, as you can see, while jolly, is hardly Nintendo quality. Of course in those days in-game graphics were fairly rudimentary anyway and the ones in this game were well implemented by the standards of the time.

Here is the story of the game. I am not sure of the original language, though it does appear to be a translation:

One night, when little Giana from Milano was fast asleep, she had a strange dream. Everybody dreams weird things at night, but no-one will have experienced situations such as Giana is about to. Giana suddenly finds herself in a strange mysterious world, where everything is completely different. Gravity has almost disappeared – sometimes one feels like flying away – and everywhere there are unexplainable buildings and structures. Old grottos and deserted castles seem to hide lots of secrets, and frightening and hideous creatures appear. This wouldn’t be too bad, except that Giana can’t leave this world unless she finds the magic, huge diamond. So she starts searching for this wonderful jewel. However, she is not totally alone, for her little sister Maria can dream too.

There is a version of this game available for loading down here and it even appears that it can be played on-line by several players at once, which was a very exciting thought for the Game Friends Club. I have tried it but found it confusing and it does not appear to work properly in all respects. I am told it is not nearly as good as the original Great Giana Sisters. Perhaps some one else will have better luck with it than I had. Do let me know if you do – or if you find a good working version of the game.

However there are lots of top-quality girly-games around now, such as Alice in Wonderland (Gamebaby) and Lady Sia (Gamebaby Advance), with the finest graphics and the very latest technics from Novaria; so we need not feel too deprived.

Parlour Games Wednesday, May 9 2007 

Miss Felice Nonchalante suggested:

Although Novarian light games are deservedly popular among Aristasians, there is much to be said for the Arcadian parlour game. It develops social graces and improves memory and/or invention. The following is a rather charming example I found in a delightful book published in that province.

This game is played by six girls, and she who makes a mistake in it is decorated with a paper horn, a number of which must be prepared previously.

All being seated in a circle, one of them turns to her neighbour, and begins the game by saying:
“Good morning, genteel lady, always genteel. I, a genteel lady, always genteel, come from a genteel lady, always genteel, to tell you that she owns an eagle.”

The next then turns to her neighbour and says:
“Good morning, genteel lady, always genteel. I, a genteel lady, always genteel, come from a genteel lady, always genteel, to tell you that she owns an eagle with a golden beak.”

The next girl says:
“Good morning, genteel lady, always genteel. I, a genteel lady, always genteel, come from a genteel lady, always genteel, to tell you that she owns an eagle with a golden beak and silver claws.”

The next says:
“Good morning, genteel lady, always genteel. I, a genteel lady, always genteel, come from a genteel lady, always genteel, to tell you that she owns an eagle with a golden beak, silver claws and lace skin.”

The next says:
“Good morning, genteel lady, always genteel. I, a genteel lady, always genteel, come from a genteel lady, always genteel, to tell you that she owns an eagle with a golden beak, silver claws, lace skin and diamond eyes.”

The last says:
“Good morning, genteel lady, always genteel. I, a genteel lady, always genteel, come from a genteel lady, always genteel, to tell you that she owns an eagle with a golden beak, silver claws, lace skin, diamond eyes and purple feathers.”

The slightest mistake being punished with a paper horn, most of the heads are tolerably well decorated before the end of the game.

Miss Carina added:

My favourite game when I was young was “I Spy with My Little Eye”, which I remember playing with my mother every week while we were walking to church. This is how I learned the names of trees! An enduring favourite, though, is “I Love My Love with An A”. I am sure you know it – it goes, for example, “I love my love with an A because she is artistic; I hate her with an A because she is annoying; I love my love with a B because she is beautiful; I hate her with a B because she is bombastic” and so on. The picture of a very strange individual emerges! It can be difficult – I remember one howler: “I love my love with a J because she is dutiful.”

Parlour games are a pretty good way to break the ice when meeting new girls, or to liven things up if there is a dull patch. The advantage over board games is that they tend not to last so long; and the advantage over light games is that everyone can take part. Also they often end up with everyone laughing, because they are so silly!

This is an unusual variant of “Simone Says”, called “Fly Away”:
Everyone sits in a circle or in a half circle round the fire, each with her hands on her knees with the thumbs linked. One of the players then says: “Fly away, eagle!” and the others have to raise their hands imitating the action of flying, at the same time repeating “Fly away, eagle!” The leader then goes on, “Fly away, parrot!” or “canary” or “moth”, with the same response. Suddenly, however, she will cry, “Fly away, dog!” or name some other creature which cannot fly. Anyone who raises her hands or repeats the words is out of the game and so it goes on until everyone is out.