We’re pairing 8-bit music thematically, rather than based entirely on series. You can find this track and more Tater-Tot Tunes on YouTube! Stop by and jam to some great tunes.
Normal Happenings is proud to present The Characters That Define Us, a year long collaboration of 52+ incredible bloggers!
For today’s short and sweet Sunday post, we’re joined by the incredible Max, The Wandering Mage! Not only does she do fantastic work over on The Well-Red Mage, but she’s also quite the accomplished Twitch streamer. Go follow her on Twitter! We’re pleased to have her on board discussing one of the unsung female heroes in gaming, Dixie Kong!
Thank you, Max, for this fantastic piece. Without further delay, let’s get started.
My first gaming console was the SNES, packaged with Donkey Kong Country. I was a latecomer to console gaming, but had been into computer games for years. From Kings Quest to Commander Keen and knock-off Sonic, everything I knew regarding video games were “boys are heroes, girls are rescued (or bad guys, in the case of the legendary Carmen Sandiego).” The only time I saw myself, a girl, as the hero of a story was when the hero was a personality-less avatar picked out of a batch of pre-designed characters. But if we’re being honest, it didn’t really bother me, because I didn’t know it could be any different. That was just how the world was: a boy’s world that I was just being allowed to play in.
The original Donkey Kong Country stuck to the old familiar: a lead and a sidekick, both boys. I was fine with it. After all, I didn’t know what I was missing. And then I picked up DKC 2, and the world changed. Instead of the big ape I’d been running around with in the first game, here was a little girl monkey, with blond pigtails and pink clothes, and she wasn’t the one being saved. She was doing the saving. She was one of the heroes. I spent almost the entire run with her in the lead when possible. Why be Diddy Kong unless I had to be? I could finally be a girl, like me, and save the day. I would love to shake the hand of the person who first looked at Donkey Kong Country 2 and said, “What about a girl?” That person changed my world.
And then, in the third installment, she wasn’t the sidekick, but the main hero. Player one. She introduced me to a world that broke what I thought were the rules. We did not have to be the damsels in distress. Peach could save Mario. Zelda could fight back against Ganon. I could save myself and others, should I ever need to. In time, Peach and Zelda would find their own heroism, but for the tiny preteen me, Dixie was the one who was there first.
Adventure Map! *FINISHING UP!*