It’s the holidays! Time to bust out the eggnog, enjoy endless replays of your favorite Christmas songs, go shopping, and the various other things. Of course, video games like to celebrate too! In this series, we will look at games that have holiday themed levels, downloadable and/or unlockable content that is Christmas related, or the game is entirely a holiday game.
***WARNING!*** Some of this article contains spoilers for the level “A Christmas Wish” in Elite Beat Agents, especially if you watch the video. I felt that explaining the level was the best course of action. You have been warned.
Elite Beat Agents is a game for the Nintendo DS that was released in November 2006. It is a music rhythm game where you tap, slide and spin on the touch screen to the beat. And it is extremely weird, funny, and unlike anything else. The EBA are pretty much secret agents that solve people’s problems by dancing! Most of the songs in the game are also very good (even if some like “YMCA” get old after awhile). If you want to know more about the main parts of the game, Google it. For I am not here for those kind of details… No! We are going to go into much darker and festive ones.
All of the songs in this game are humorous, normally because the person you are trying to help is an idiot, the music is just so bad it’s funny, or the problem is just too weird. All except for one. And it’s a Christmas one.
The mission “A Christmas Wish” starts with a family of a wife, her husband and their daughter Lucy. The man seems to be going on some sort of business trip, and everyone is saying their good-byes. He asks Lucy to make a wish to Santa, and she says she wants a “girlfriend” for her teddy bear. Before leaving, he makes a promise to his daughter that he will be home for Christmas.
The comic cutscene cuts to six months later. Lucy is seen looking at pictures of her father, and starts talking about what she wants to do when he gets home. However, her mom tells her (and reveals to us) that the father was in an “accident” and is “never coming home”. When Lucy insists that he made a promise and will be back, the mom loses it and yells at her to forget about him, before walking off to cool herself down. We are then left with Lucy shaking and crying, hoping that her dad will come home.
And then you start. Even the usual “Agents are… GOOOOOOO!” line that the Commander says before you start missions is left out. (I assume he’s crying and doesn’t want to show that to his agents.) Can you create a perfect Christmas for Lucy and her mom, help them heal, and, just maybe, help her dad keep his promise? All while playing to “You’re the Inspiration”?
For those of you who want to see what I just explained and the full level, below is a video of the mission. Be warned, it’s the whole thing and may spoil it for you.
Any dry eyes in the room? Didn’t think so. Compared to the rest of the game, this sticks out to you the most. It’s one of the few things I can say really touched me in a video game.
Can you fail this mission? Yes, but please… restart or skip the scene if you do. I’m sure you don’t want to see a fail from this yourself…
Well, thank you EBA for making a charming and touching level to celebrate the magic of Christmas. Cheers! Now, let me go play that level with the Pug dog to make me laugh again…