RE Village scene

Who Is Lighting All Those Damn Candles in Video Games?

Let me show you the light

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Resident Evil Village is the latest in a video game trend that I can no longer remain silent about. Apparently, I am not alone in my feelings, as seen in this tweet by Anthony John Agnello, the VP of Creative Strategy over at ReKTGlobal (a global eSports organization).

Agnello proceeds to write an entire thread full of examples of games that have miles upon miles of candles to create an appropriately moody atmosphere. From the Souls series to Mortal Kombat, candles are just… there.


ESPECIALLY in Mortal Kombat, and I love me some MK, but unless if there’s a stage fatality where I can knock your ass out into a labyrinth of scented candle wax (I bet Shao Kahn is a fan of honeysuckle), then WHAT is the point? WHO is lighting these candles? Baraka? Goro with his four arms? He IS a prince, maybe he just likes the way they highlight his features.

Agnello’s thread reads:

These candles are in improbable places. Who the hell had the time to light all these candles, video games? You? Bullshit.

Don’t come at me with that, “Oh it was the enemies, they wanted to get the ambience right.” Horse shit. Those enemies are in life and death situations, they’re not taking the time to light a god damn Cialis commercial.

Do you think I’m stupid, video games? Do you think I’m not going to wonder about who’s going out of their way to light literally hundreds of candles in drafty tombs, caves, and ancient fortresses? Well fuck you, video games. I’ve had it.

Next time I walk into some ULTRA SPOOKY BOSS FIGHT, and there are 8000 candles at varying levels of meltiness, I am out. I’ve had it. God.

Except you, Castlevania. You’re fine. I love you. Please come home.

The vast amount of candles does explain why these areas have an abundance of enemies. Maybe they’re attacking us because we’re interrupting their candle lighting, and well, I imagine lighting that many candles takes a serious amount of concentration. I suppose, depending on the location, the candles could be providing warmth? The Souls series doesn’t look like it’s set in a time where central heating was a thing, and speaking as someone who had to get her furnace fixed in the middle of Minnesota winter, I did legit light a bunch of candles for heat.

Still … 8000 is … a lot.

This particular tweet made me think about some other video game improbabilities.

—The healing items. Not just the way they fix everything, but the fact that these big bad enemies just have them all over their lairs. Like. Instead of having someone light all them damn candles, have someone take out the healing items, you KNOW I’m just gonna stock up on them so I can kill you! Also, can we talk about WHERE some of these items are placed? I’m looking at you, every single game in the side-scrolling beat-em-up genre. Am I just supposed to eat a whole chicken and pizza that was inside a BARREL?!

—Rival battles in fighting games. There are so many situations where two characters end up in vicious battles to the death over things that could be solved with a little communication. I know that there has to be a steady build-up of battles before we get to the boss, but this:

I get it. You want Jade to beat the shit out of Smoke. But that is CLEARLY Mileena that she fought and even Raiden’s out here like, “That’s not Kitana.” WTF?!

—Who is the kind soul who is telling us, “Now would be a good time to save,” because it has to be someone inside enemy territory. Is it someone who has had enough of the final boss’ behavior? Is this their take on giving a two-week notice?

—The puzzle items. I get it in a spooky castle and even in the entirety of Silent Hill, but um, Resident Evil 2 police station… we gotta have a talk.

—HOW DO I HAVE SO MUCH POCKET SPACE AND CAN I GET THAT IN REAL LIFE?! Clothing brands barely remember to put pockets in women’s clothing, who do I consult to be able to 1) get pockets, and 2) get pockets that I can fit my entire office in?

—Breathing in space. Please explain.

—Breathing underwater. Because. Like. HOW is collecting a coin like collecting air?

Of course, the answer to all of these questions is, “It’s just a video game. Hush.” But it’s fun to think about some of the completely out of left field things that we just accept in these adventures. What’s something that happens in video games that you can’t explain—unless, of course, you DO have an explanation as to how Fire Mario can still shoot fireballs underwater.

(Image: Capcom)

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Image of Briana Lawrence
Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)