Something about Cave Story's asthetic

May 13, 2023 at 1:57 AM
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There's something about this game's aesthetic that gives me this nostalgic/hopeful/I-don't-fully-know-how-to-describe-it feeling that I hold dearly but can't completely comprehend, it made my eyes water on my first playthrough, and I'm not the kind or guy to do that. This feeling is the strongest for me in:

. First cave (oddly enough not last cave even though they are similar in astetic)
. Mimiga village
. Egg corridor
. Plantation
. The teleporter rooms in the plantation
. Some others that I cannot think of right now (lost my train of thought)
. Some other random intervals of low strength to high strength, for example, when the enraged mimiga jumps out of the chest in the room in grasstown right above the room Kuzmana's trapped in.

Oddly enough, this feeling is very nostalgic for me, even though my first playthrough was on CS+ steam sometime in early 2022 and I didn't grow up with a lot of things like cave story. For all I know it could have been a previous life. Heck, something that strengthens this theory is that sometimes when this feeling is very strong, I think of the Nintendo Wii... WHICH I HAVE NEVER OWNED!!! And like in a reminiscent way. The Wii ended it's life when I was a little kid. And, even though the original graphics are better in my opinion, this feeling slightly but definitely noticably gets stronger in some areas when I have the remastered graphics on. Ive been talking about this feeling like it's a binary thing, but that's just for clarity, it could not be more analog!

Well, I've rambled for long enough, I just wanted to document this and ask you guys if you ever feel anything similar because it is truly fascinating to me and I want to understand it more so badly, maybe get some kind of... Closure? Climax? Something? Or more realistically I can at least progress my understanding of it. I really think some people might feel the same because look how freaking dedicated this community is! Various ports/engines, a boatload of great mods, modding tools that dig through the assembly code of this game??? (That requires so much skill, dedication, knowledge, effort, oh and did I mention dedication????? Or skillllll???????????)

Oh well look at that. I forgot that I was gonna end this essay of a post, I just couldn't help myself could I? Well, I'm not restructuring this entire thing. Thank you for reading this long post! And please let me know if you feel anything similar!
May 15, 2023 at 3:09 PM
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Pixel has always had a very classic minimalistic artstyle that isn't quite like anything else. There's some nostalgia attached to it for me now since I've been playing them for so long but it's always carried a sense of understated geniality and careful craftsmanship. It's incredibly appreciable how he's stuck with it too, the PiTest demo was about as basic as it comes and at the same time quite possibly the most endearing thing he's made yet.
May 16, 2023 at 3:15 AM
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The human mind sure is a mysterious thing. Sometimes we can be reminded or have associations with things that we only barely or subconsciously remember, and sometimes it takes a good piece of art or media to activate that. And given the love and care that went into Cave Story, it doesn't surprise me that you had such an experience with Cave Story. I guess I didn't have that same exact experience you describe, Fruit Snacc, but I think that it's likely that your mind may have subconsciously made a lot of associations with things that you had been conditioned to think were "nostalgic" in nature, and Cave Story seems like a prime specimen to do that kind of thing given all of the retro games that influenced it.
Aug 7, 2023 at 5:14 AM
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i feel ya man

the reason why i got into cave story was because of undertale
cave story just seemed like a cooler game anyways

the graphics remind me of a less edgier version of homestuck (like undertale but without the genocide run)
the mimigas (despite looking like the goats from undertale) remind me of my niece, nephew and my friends i grew up around
the robots look cool and have that y2k feel to it (while also feeling 80s sometimes) (curly brace also looks like a streamer with her long hair and all)
balrog looks like an offbrand spongebob (which is awesome and funny)
misery looks like a batman villain or a yandere mixed with some dnd type of thing (which is cool)
the sakamoto family is very cozy and is the kinda family i wish i had (especially with most of my irl family dying off due to canadas aging problem)
and the mix of sci fi and fantasy that doesn't go into the uncanny valley makes this game so great

i wish this game had more of a community when i was a teen (especially with homestuck taking over anime conventions here in canada back in 2012)
same thing with sylvanian families over bronies, boomer shooters over cod and classic lego and classic lego games over lego friends and lego city undercover

why couldn't i have stuff like this when i was a teen!!!

also i see what you mean by it reminds you of the wii
i too also miss the old days of flipnote and the classic internet (when things werent toxic like they are now and the only thing to worry about is whos tail or petticoat is the fluffiest and if memes can work as punchlines in a modern cartoon or anime)
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Aug 11, 2023 at 7:48 AM
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The game is so unique. I feel like nowhere else can you find a robot helping bunnies from an evil doctor.

It's my favorite game because it's its own world, complete and majestic
Aug 12, 2023 at 12:08 AM
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Wow, I didn't expect this post to really get noticed! I think I worded some things a little weird but it's not a big deal. Thank you all for your input so far!