This is a reprint of the letter from the editor in Unwinnable Weekly Issue Thirty-Four – check out the excerpts at the end of the post. You can buy Issue Thirty-Four individually now, or purchase a one-month subscription to make sure you never miss an issue!
I just got back from the Silver Bell Tavern up the hill. In the winter, when I walk to and fro, I usually wear earbuds playing heavy metal at a loud volume (you’ll hear more about this in my story this week). As I made my way down the hill, carefully dodging patches of ice, “Blackened” by Metallica came on.
As the initial strains of plaintive guitar slowly faded in, I realized I can no longer conceive of a world without …And Justice For All.
What I mean is that I can’t imagine listening to that album for the first time anymore. I certainly can’t imagine being a fan of Metallica in the summer of 1988 and waiting with the full weight of post-Master of Puppets anticipation crushing down on me. What must it have been like, to tear open that cassette and crank it at top volume for the first time, before the world became familiar with the sound. Was it awesome? Was it obvious so early that there was no bass in the recording at all? Did it matter?
In a lot of ways, for me, …And Justice For All has always existed. Like Escape from New York and Salem’s Lot and The Killing Joke have always existed. There was a point, of course, when I encountered each of those things for the first time, but I don’t remember them feeling new in the same way as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy did this past summer. I was somehow aware of their basic shape before I experienced them first hand.
And those are all things that were created during my lifetime. I feel like I was born with the knowledge of the twist in Psycho embedded in my brain. And I can’t help but wonder what it will be like for a kid born today. While we all wait with frothing excitement to see how, say, these Marvel Universe movies work out, they will grow up with that as part of the tapestry of their culture. Not only will they, on some level, already know how it turned out, but they’ll never understand the particular kind of excitement those movie elicited.
What’s that mean for them? For us? I have no idea. All I know for sure is that I am more of an Iron Maiden guy.
* * *
This week’s cover story, by Miguel Penabella, take a speculative look at the future career of Suda 51. Amber Harris delivers the illustrations and cover art. Mitch Bowman debuts his new monthly music column Throwing the First Brick with a look at Japanese hardcore band Envy. I find myself warmed over by the puzzle game A Good Snowman is Hard to Build. Finally, our resident Space Marine Aurelius Ventro dishes some dietary advice.
Have fun at GDC.
If you need me, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kearny, New Jersey
February 27, 2015
It was on the OiNK forums that I first discovered Envy. These days, they’re probably the band I’d name if I was forced to answer one of those questions that starts with “If you could only listen to one band for the rest of your life…” I can’t think of many bands with a catalog as lengthy and consistently excellent as Envy’s (maybe Converge?), but one album of theirs has always stuck out to me as perfectly emblematic of why I give a shit about music in the first place.
“The Footprints of Envy,” by Mitch Bowman
Up in the air I went. I hovered there, improbably, for a good minute or two. I wonder what a passerby would have thought to see me levitating there in so awkward a position for so long. I idly contemplated grabbing one of the railings, but upon observing the position of my feet relative to the position of my head, I decided I was already fully fucked. I gave myself over to my fate and careened down onto the bricks.
“Snowfall,” by Stu Horvath
The mild financial and critical success of DEATH or Glory fuels Suda’s subsequent vanity project, the inexplicable arthouse wrestling game Tokyo Takedown! Driven by the developer’s neurotic passion for masked wrestling, the game offers a throwback to his first foray into videogames in 1993, Super Fire Pro Wrestling III: Final Bout.
“Suda 51, A Career: 2015-2051,” by Miguel Penabella
Recently I’ve decided to start cooking for myself more as a way to eat healthier and save money. However, I’m having a hard time working up the discipline both to cook regularly and to find recipes that work for my busy lifestyle. Do you have any cooking tips or recipes you could send my way?
“Dear Space Marine,” by Aurelius Ventro