Good food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so few things are as painful as seeing DELICIOUS food in our media while knowing tonight’s dinner will be cheap take-out. Stian asked me to compile a list of foods and drinks in video games that I (would) love to eat in real-life. You got it bro.
Tamago Nigiri – Pokémon Stadium
Growing up on anime often meant seeing cultural influences that didn’t make much sense to me at the time. Pokémon, of course, became infamous for turning Japanese rice balls into donuts in its TV adaptation, so it was bizarre when Pokémon Stadium then released with a mini-game where you play a Lickitung rampaging around a sushi restaurant.
Now, it’s important to know that I don’t eat fish, so sushi has never held too much appeal for me. The BIG exception here is Tamago Nigiri, a delightful block of sticky rice with a slice of fried egg draped on top. I am an egg fanatic and could chug tamago nigiri by the boatload. Fortunately, that is exactly the point of this mini-game.
Smoked Bear Meat – World of Warcraft
Cooking used to be one of my favorite professions in World of Warcraft, to the point that I have roleplayed characters that were just cooks for whatever party/guild/organization they were part of. There’s no shortage of fantastical recipes to pick from, but my favorite is actually quite simple.
Smoked Bear Meat… it sounds so dangerous. I have no idea what bear would even taste like or if there are even any cultures that regularly eat bear. I’d love to try it sometime, and having it be smoked sounds like a great extra on top.
Mushroom Risotto – Zelda series
Cooking is Link’s latest hobby as of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, though the legendary hero has mixed success in this field. When you know what you’re doing, it’s possible to put together great meals that bestow you all kinds of great buffs. When you don’t… prepare for some dubious meals.
While a lot of the foods in Breath of the Wild seem delicious, particularly when it comes to skewers, I have to go with the food that’s my actual, real-life favorite. I absolutely adore risotto, especially vegetarian kinds with veggies and mushrooms mixed into it. Preparing a good risotto is a struggle, so seeing Link just whip one up from a pot on a random campfire is astounding.
This boy has a career as a master chef ahead of him once he’s done saving the world and all that.
Pumpkin Pie – Stardew Valley
Another real-life favorite of mine is anything pumpkin related; an opinion I feel somewhat alone in. Nobody else seems to enjoy a sturdy pumpkin soup for example, but that just means that I could hoard Stardew Valley‘s Pumpkin Pie all to myself.
I’ve never had pumpkin in a pie before, I have to admit. Usually I am not too fond off pies myself, but the prospect of having a slice of pumpkin pie, fresh from the oven with ingredients literally pulled from the land (and cow) that morning. It sounds heavenly.
Mammoth Burger – Earthbound
All this talk of pies, rice, and veggies might make me look like a bit of wimp, so let’s get down to some real MASCULINE food. Meals filled to the brim with testosterone and regrets!
Strangely, the best example I could find came from a game that’s not exactly meant for manly men. Late in your journey through the cult classic Earthbound, players have the option of purchasing MAMMOTH BURGERS. At $98 it’s a steal this late into the game, especially considering the source for the meat is supposedly extinct. And man… just imagine the size of this burger. It must be glorious!
Fans of the Mother series can create an imitation of the mammoth burger through the recipe featured in the kickstarted Mother’s Cookbook. It’s not the real deal, but as close as you can realistically get.
Banana Pizza – Runescape
I love me some exotic pizza. Much to the objection of my friends, relatives, and general health, I’ve been known to try to out a variety of dubious pizza combinations. And no pizza ingredient is as disliked as a healthy serving of fruit.
While the peasants bicker and moan about the legality of pineapple, refined folks such as myself contemplate the viability of banana on pizza; A recipe for such featured in the long-running fantasy MMORPG Runescape. I am certain it has to be great! After all, you need level 85 in cooking in order to pull it off, making it the most difficult (and thus delicious) pizza in the entire game.
Besides slices of delicious banana, Runescape‘s take on this pizza also features nuts, cooked chicken, and curry leaf, on top of the regular ingredients for a normal pizza. That just sounds amazing.
Aiya Rainy Day Special Mega Beef Bowl – Persona 4
The Rainy Day Special is a legend in Atlus’ Persona series. A trial harder to overcome than any shadow or Japanese deity, but one that helps you grow stronger with each (failed) attempt.
Outside of gameplay benefits, I am simply tempted by the allure of a beef bowl too fierce to overcome. A sea of high-quality food, seemingly never-ending. I’d probably have to share it with a friend to not waste half of it, but if the option were there, I’d sure be looking forward to those rainy nights where I could head out and take on this fabled challenge.
Ryncol – Mass Effect
Krogans are hardy creatures, capable of surviving just about anything owing to the hellish planet from which they hail. Logically, a race that enduring needs to really step up their alcohol game if it’s to have any effect. Ryncol is their solution, a drink so strong that it has hilarious effects on any other species that tries it out. Unless it instantly kills them, of course.
Only an absolute fool would try their hands on a glass of even mixed Ryncol and no responsible bar owner would serve it to non-Krogan clients. Naturally, I want an entire bottle of the stuff. I’m a big boy, I should be table to tank it right? Right?
Takoyaki – The Legendary Starfy
Let’s get real. Risotto is a pain to make, but finding a decent restaurant that serves it isn’t too hard. Likewise, pumpkins are plentiful enough that I could eat it whenever I want. But takoyaki? Now that’s a rare treat.
I’ve never been to a restaurant that serves takoyaki. There’s no snackbar or food stall that I know of that serves it. The only time I get to eat some of these divine octopus balls is at a Japanese culture market that comes around like twice a year, several cities over. I don’t particularly care for the Starfy series. The games are fine. I. Just. Want. Their. Takoyaki.
Curry – Disgaea 5
The food on offer throughout the Disgaea series has always been useful, but rarely appetizing. Charred newts, caterpillar eggs, snake kidneys? How about guzzling down just a bottle of barbeque sauce? Yea, I’ll skip out on those.
Then Disgaea 5 came around, which went all-in on turning curry into a gameplay mechanic. You can buy all kinds of curry in the game’s HUB world that bestow powerful buffs, like a seafood curry that gives you more counter-attacks or a sardine curry that lets you move further.
But this is a list for taste, not gameplay benefit. And by far the tastiest-sounding curry available has to be the cutlet curry. Good cutlets are already a delight and I am curious how it’d go down alongside a curry. Assuming that Killia does the cooking, there’s no doubt in my mind that it should be the tastiest curry I have ever had. So long as I don’t ask about the source of the meat, that is.
So that was a delectable list to make. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to write this, Stian. In return, I have a challenge for you. Among all the superpowers and magic out there, I am of the believe that shapeshifting is the coolest and most creative. It’s rare to see it pop up in video games, so could you write a list of your favorite shapeshifter characters in gaming?
That seems like a steep challenge, but I hope it’ll keep you occupied for longer than 15 minutes for a change.