It's another busy Saturday. While we were at the grocery store, our little sister texted and said she was going to video call us. The reason she had to text first is that we don't have smartphones, so all video calling needs to be done with an iPad. But we were at the grocery store! So I texted her back to tell her to wait, and then we raced through getting our groceries and getting home, and the sun was pretty strong so now I have a little headache.
But on the bright side, we got to have a lovely chat with our sister and nephew, the latter of whom assures us all that he got is goldfish-shaped little bowl for Goldfish crackers in the mail, even though his mother is pretty sure it came from Grandma. The only reason I bring this up is that later in the conversation, we were talking about how we needed something, and he suggested, "You can get it from the mail." He also warned us that it might take a while if we did that. I think Mom's habit of buying everything on the internet (by which I mean, everything she sees on the internet, she buys) and having it sent to our sister's house has convinced the nephew that you can get everything in the mail, and there's nothing to it at all.
Anyway, yesterday we started playing Labyrinth of Andersen.
Some of you may remember our adventures with Labyrinth of Grimm several years ago. We loved the game immensely, so when we found out there was a new game from the same people featuring Hans Christian Andersen characters, we had to buy it! And then we didn't have time to play it, and then we didn't have a memory card, and then we didn't have time again, but all of that was okay, because eventually we realized that we are actually woefully unfamiliar with pretty much all of Andersen's actual stories. The only reason we had any clue that The Little Mermaid story was any different than the Disney movie is that...well, first we just know the Disney versions are different, but also because, before the Disney version was released many many years ago, we had seen a different animated version that was truer to the original. At age six, we hated the story, because anything that has a remotely sad ending is bad, period.
But the point is, we had also bought a collection of Hans Christian Andersen stories as part of our Disney Reading Project...and then realized that it didn't have The Little Mermaid in it, so we had a copy of that, too. But we hadn't had time to read any of those, either. (Actually, Athena had read The Little Mermaid.) So we took some time to read the stories before we started playing the game...and so far most of the characters that have shown up aren't in the stories we read. Unless the Dragon Knight and the Black Knight happen to be the learned man and his shadow. Now that's a cool story...but also the only one that had us going, "But...why, Andersen!?" at the end. The concept's really neat, though. The story is called "The Shadow", by Hans Christian Andersen, and it's a really neat concept, so check it out!
So yeah, the book did not have Thumbelina, or the Ugly Duckling, or the hippie ranger guy, so we're still playing it like, "Wow, I have no idea who these people are." Except that we have seen Don Bluth's Thumbelina within the last five years, so there are certain developments that have us going, "Oh, yeah!" Like when the toad showed up, we were like, "Charro!"
But none of this is making any sense! Okay, so here's the story. You play as a girl, and you can name her anything, but we went with the default of Charlotte. She's just you're average super nice village girl until her fifteenth birthday when she wakes up and she's tiny! Oh no! Well, everyone from the village has been invited to her birthday party, which apparently was an all-day affair, because nobody had any time to go around saying, "Sorry, guys, Charlotte's not feeling well. Party's cancelled," before everybody shows up. But the Charlotte they know is a normal-sized girl, so they all assume this new tiny girl is a flower fairy and they call her Thumbelina. (Maybe some of them knew it was her, but the prologue chapter was long, so we may have missed some details.)
And then some big lizards with giant scissors come and burn the village down and stab people with their scissors and cut of appendages. It was really violent, but fortunately there weren't any visuals on that stuff. They were working for the Black Knight, who was there in search of--you guessed it--Thumbelina! So there's a dramatic fight scene with Charlotte's mother and childhood friend, the Little Match Boy (his real name is Lars Christensen, but everybody calls him Matchseller), and Lars finally manages to use the magic from the magic matches his grandfather had to trade ten cows to get (he gave them to Lars on his deathbed and told him to use them when he needed them; ever since, Lars would try to use them just whenever and they'd do nothing, so Lars thought he was either crazy or a liar, but he still loved him).
So the lizards kill Charlotte's mother, but Lars gets away because of the magic matches, and he hides Charlotte in the basket where he carries all his matchboxes. And then more stuff happens, but the point is, that's the setup. Charlotte and Lars have fled their hometown and are now on a journey to figure out how to get Charlotte back to normal, or at least stay away from deadly scissor-wielding lizards.
And then we finally get to see the opening sequence and see all the characters! But there are so many of them and we're so eager to see them all (and there was one guy that we were like, "Why is he naked!? ...Oh yeah, the emperor and his new clothes." they gave him a long feather boa, for convenient placement) that we're kind of impatient with the story, even though it's pretty interesting with just a few characters, except that the action sequences sometimes go on forever, which is not always ideal in a text-based game. But we were playing almost all day yesterday, and so far we've only added one more character to the party! And he's not even officially on the party yet!
And that's what I have to say about that so far.
Today I'm thankful for getting to talk to our sister and nephew, chocolate being on sale, getting to play Labyrinth of Andersen, getting to watch a spider deal with its prey, and getting to watch fun anime this morning.