For those who write fanfiction or are involved in any kind of fandom, there is one thing that you must begin to realize: Once you get those shipping goggles, they never come off.
It doesn’t matter what it is. Those goggles will be on and you’ll begin to see ships– fictional relationships between fictional characters– where you least want to see them. Video games– particularly Nintendo games– are no exception. I found out the hard way just about two years ago.
The last time I played Star Fox 64 was when I was a freshman in high school, around Christmas time. My cousin had his N64 and the three of us played it together. Back then, there wasn’t yet much memetic mutation on Peppy’s “Do a barrel roll!” line and we never really noticed the chatter between the characters– other than them telling Slippy to shut up. Cut to almost 10 years later, when I get the chance to play it again on the Virtual Console. I was pretty happy because I needed a good nostalgia bomb.
As I began to play, I immediately noticed the dialogue in all its corny goodness. I was pretty amused by most of it, especially the mental imagery of Peppy as a stereotypical USA southerner. It wasn’t long, however, when I began to notice something more than how corny the dialogue was. Once that happened, the shipping goggles from my high school fanfic-writing phase went off big time.
I tried to deny it. I reasoned with myself, saying that it was stupid to think this way, and that video games and fanfics just don’t go well together (Reasoning and truth are two different things.) Unfortunately, something snapped and I finally gave into the shipping goggles.
There was some sort of odd bromance with Fox and Falco I hadn’t ever noticed before. Apparently, I’m a closet shipper of them.
Yeah, you back off, Falco. Fox is all Slippy’s.
This realization horrified me. I did not want to ship video game characters; I had long since abandoned my fanfic writing phase. Why were my goggles going off when I was playing video games? Now, I have nothing against those who enjoy shipping, or are into the whole furry group, but this previously unnoticed bromance was tainting my younger years.
Since then, I’ve begun to notice ships everywhere in video games, both slash (same-sex) and het (the other kind). Luigi/Daisy was an easy one if you play enough Mario Kart Wii; Mario/Peach was way too obvious; Samus/Adam (Metroid Fusion, I tell ya!); the list goes on. I have no idea how I never really noticed any of these ships before, but after finding one pairing in Star Fox 64, I just couldn’t not see any pairing potentials.
Don’t even get me started on the Legend of Zelda games. Link can be paired off with any combination of persons, though Link/Zelda is the best-known one. There’s even the strange Link/Sheik-whom-is-technically-Zelda ship, but there’s so many fan theories about that situation that I’m not even sure how to begin. There’s even one with Link and the Poe Collector in Ocarina of Time (who reminds me of the old man on Family Guy … you know the guy.) Legend of Zelda is a wonderland for anybody who wants to embrace their shipping goggles and the desires of those goggles.
They say that two people who fall in love start to look like one other…
And of course, you can’t forget Super Smash Bros., where there are so many different combinations of characters. I took a visit to Fanfiction.net out of curiosity before writing this and my suspicions were confirmed: there are way too many ships to count. I’m not sure if I should be impressed or horrified. Regardless, it is rather fun to examine for the heck of it.
If you’re one of those fanfic writers or into these fandoms, that’s all well and good. I have nothing against fanfic writers, since I used to be one myself. (Of course, my stories were horrible and so severely out of character.) Again, I’d just never noticed any sort of shipping potentials in video games before– and now that I do, I can’t unsee them.
However, I’ve learned to embrace this, but not try to overly pursue it. I can’t help but notice the pairings, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. In fact, one of my favorite hobbies is making my observations to my friends and see how they react to it. One of my friends has actually called me the Ruiner of Everything because of it. It’s not serious business so it shouldn’t be treated that way. Once I learned this, I’m actually okay with seeing pairings everywhere. In fact, I like to joke about it.
However, for those who are into fandoms and are shippers, just remember that those goggles will always be on and will go off at almost anything. Let this be a warning.