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// article by Jeff

MAN, IT SURE IS HOT OUT.

You're telling me. It's actually the hottest day on record thus far today.

THE HEAT MADE MY DAMN ICE CREAM DRIP ALL OVER MY ARMANI SUIT!

What were you doing wearing an Armani suit on a hot day like today? ...Or while eating ice cream, for that matter!

I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE, 'CAUSE I'M ALWAYS JAM HOT, Y'AWL! ...UNNNH... BUT EVEN IN THIS SWELTERING HEAT, I WISH I COULD BE COOLER.

Have no fear, my finely-tailored associate. I'm sure you could stay cool in my maison!

MAISON? WHAT IS THIS, FOURTH-GRADE FRENCH CLASS? JUST SAY IT'S A HOUSE.

Sorry, but it's not a house at all! It's a maison!

ALRIGHT, I'VE BEEN IN THIS LOUSY MONTHLY COLUMN LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW THIS IS A SETUP TO SOME STUPID GAME. WELL, MAKE IT QUICK. I'M STARTING TO LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS.

Ah, you caught me! Indeed, it's a game I am seguing into, this one called "Maison Ikkoku: Omoide no Photograph", made for the Japanese Famicom. I'll get into the game shortly. But first--

AW, DAMN, SOMEONE GET ME AN ICED COFFEE!

--a little background on why this game has come to exist is necessary. "Maison Ikkoku" is actually a manga from Japan, created by the same person behind such other famed classics as Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha, though Maison Ikkoku didn't have the major overseas support that these ones did. This manga (and short-lived anime series) contains an odd storyline about a boarding house of college students and their attractive, young (but widowed) landlady, Kyoko Otanashi. It feels like a bad episode of Beverly Hills 90210, but I'm sure those folks got into some CRAZY situations! Maybe a furniture dispute or something...

YEAH, YEAH, WHAT ABOUT THE GAME?

Oh, well... uh...

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

Alright! I admit it! I don't know how to play the game! It's all in Japanese! But I can tell you that it plays very much like one of those text-based classic adventures such as Shadowgate or Deja Vu. I can tell that you start out in a schoolhouse, but it's been quite difficult to get farther than that. I managed to open a window in the bathroom and crawl out, but that's about as far as I could get.

SO... RECOMMEND IT?

If you can read Japanese, maybe, or if you are an avid fan of the Maison Ikkoku manga. Otherwise, you'd probably prefer a Toaster Strudel.

NOW YOU'RE MAKING SENSE! LET'S GO GET ONE NOW!

Sure thing. ...Wait a minute! I thought you were saying it was too hot!

IT'S NEVER TOO HOT FOR A TOASTER STRUDEL!

So true... so true...


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