Girl Talk: Garcia Hotspur
by Jennifer Culp
All alone on Halloween night? Still looking for something (or someone) to do? You, my friend, are in luck. Meet the perfect Halloween boyfriend: Garcia Hotspur of Shadows of the Damned.
Aside from being incredibly handsome, our boy G doesn’t have much to recommend him as a traditional, any-time crush. The man wears a purple leather jacket and gaudy skull rings on every finger. His reading skills are … limited. He goes everywhere with with his mouthy buddy Johnson, with whom he communicates mostly in penis jokes. He has a well-developed ego, and his feminist credentials are abysmally low. He’s a demon hunter, which is a pretty high-risk occupation, not only for himself, but also for the object of his affection. Just ask his lady-friend Paula, who’s currently spending her time in Hell dying over and over in various gruesome ways thanks to some demon lord’s notion of a manhood-measuring competition with Garcia. And though she may be in Hell, there’s that whole ‘he already has a girlfriend’ thing. So, not great relationship material.
But as a Halloween boyfriend?
Garcia Hotspur may just be ideal. On other nights his occupation might be a downer, but what better way is there to spend All Hallows’ Eve than annihilating legions of grisly demons alongside a hot guy? Pass me a couple of those skull rings, G. I’ll bring my own purple leather. And Johnson? His continual presence could become irritating — if he didn’t happen to be a former demon who can turn into a torch, a motorcycle, and an impressive variety of heavy weaponry. Plus, nothing relieves the tension of journeying through Hell and slaughtering countless demons like an obscene amount of genitalia-based humor, and as for Paula? Surely she won’t mind loaning her man out for just one night, particularly to a nice gamer who just wants to help him save her from eternal torment.
And oh, what a night it will be! You might start out rolling your eyes at the campy exploitation-style premise and sophomoric dick jokes, and you’ll most likely be grossed out and/or terrified by your demonic foes. After getting accustomed to the controls and Johnson’s British accent, however, you’ll be nonchalantly blowing off heads, snatching all the performance-enhancing gems you can carry, and chugging entire bottles of tequila to keep Garcia at full health (liver damage not being a concern in Hell, apparently). Whether you started out giggling or disdainful, you will eventually become numb to penis references, and then you will begin to predict them or even think of better ones and yell them at the TV before the characters can speak. And then there comes a point when you find yourself earnestly shouting at the real man who shares your life and household, “SHUT UP, HONEY! I’M TRYING TO BLAST THIS ASSHOLE’S ARMOR OFF WITH MY HOT BONER!” and he will laugh and you will realize that you are having so much fun, more fun than you ever could have imagined when you were first introduced to Garcia Hotspur.
At five acts and about eight hours of play (give or take depending on your skill at shooters, the difficulty level you choose, and how often you pause the gameplay to bombard your friends with dick joke texts), Shadows of the Damned offers the perfect amount of time with your Halloween boyfriend. If all goes well, you can relinquish Garcia to his “angel” at game’s end and move on to video game crushes you can discuss more easily in polite company. But damn! While it lasts, there’s one helluva time to be had with Garcia and his long, hard Johnson. All buns — I mean, puns — intended.
Previously: Companion Cube.
Jennifer Culp would also like to note that a video game Halloween date will never ask you to share your candy.