Cosmic Heroine Power!!

Alternate image for "Bubblegum Slaughter"

Alternate image for “Bubblegum Slaughter”

If you were a child growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, you probably heard of or watched shows such as The Powerpuff Girls or Sailor Moon, in which young girls with special powers fight to protect their city and loved ones from the forces of evil; I know I was one of them. Even now, some of my favorite series like Madoka Magica, Little Witch Academia and Bee and Puppycat include familiar tropes of young women gaining powers and fighting for justice. These works are known as the “magical girl” genre, or mahou shoujo as they are known in Japan. And I have discovered an interactive fiction story that both plays the magical girl genre both straigth and deconstruct it called Bubblegum Slaughter.

Cover image for "Bubblegum Slaughter"

Cover image for “Bubblegum Slaughter”

 The story was written by Merritt Kopas, who has also written several other interactive fiction games and editor of an annotated anthology of Twine games set to be released in 2015, and the game was created using the Twine platform. Kopas’ games deal with “relationships, bodies and emotions”, and many of them are personal games for her. Bubblegum Slaughter is, according to her, “inspired by Arkham Horror and childhood memories of Sailor Moon,” and I would say that this a love story for the magical girl genre. The tropes are all there: the transformation sequence, the band of female friends, crystal power-ups (in which I myself had a Crystal Blade in my playthrough of the game though I wasn’t able to use it) and even the romantic implications between you and your mentor. And in the end it is also deconstructed tragically, along with adding elements of cosmic horror such as beyond-human forces and Lovecraftian monsters. On her site, Kopas says there are five different endings based upon the choices you make and there are other features that make it an IF game, such as the opportunity to fight monsters and gain crystals for weapons, and a safe spot on the rooftops where you can heal, create your weapons and survey the city. 

While not as thought-provoking or personal as some of her other work, Bubblegum Slaughter is for the fans of the tragic magical girl, a game that explores the main character’s loss of innocence by the end of the game from someone whom she cared about deeply and the choices one must make either for one’s self or for the good of the world. And who doesn’t want to gain the powers of love and justice while shouting “Cosmic Heroine Power!” to the heavens? 

  1 comment for “Cosmic Heroine Power!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *