Saturday, February 14, 2009


What? Castlevania has pathos? Kill a Ladycat and get a Heart Repair (or possibly a Croque Monsieur, which is a nice crunchy hot ham and cheese sandwich). Lord, there's an untold story.

In fact, I'm having Qualms about this. Can I play Castlevania if I have to kill the Ladycats? What is a Ladycat, anyway?

Well, when the horrible quasifeline murder is over and you've successfully dispatched your spitting, slashing, rampaging Ladycat, what remains is not the mortal dregs of a cat at all, but a pathetic naked girl collapsed into a little ball like a whipped child (these are a few pixels on a tiny screen, you understand, not a pre-Raphaelite romp in a lilypond).

Moreover, the Ladycat in all her feral glory is a lithe woman with yellow fur and a green bikini, a cat's small head and a long writhing tail. She stalks on palms and heels like a human child, she attacks, slashes, pounces and yowls — and dies far too easily. And she may drop, now and again, on expiring, two of the best possible gifts you can receive in this game, namely, a massive infusion of HP courtesy of the ham sandwich or a generous and unexpected burst of a dozen or so Hearts, which is real power in the heat of battle with your direst foes.

So, a maddening confluence of four of my favorite things — hot ham and cheese sandwiches, hearts, girls and cats — in a little package of tiny murders wrapped up in a bow. Can I do that? Can I kill the Ladycats? I dread the karmic consequences.

Werebats, I understand. No problem there. But Ladycats? No. This time, I take a stand. Dracula may win, but I can't defeat him by killing Ladycats. That would not be Right. Maybe I've been hoodwinked by evil in a beguiling form, but really it feels like the only evil here is mine, marauding through the Ladycats.

Unless they're just pretending...

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