Really? You’re not done with school yet? I know that joining the work force can be a pretty intimidating thing for those with arrested development, but the foundation received upon graduating from our NES program and successfully completing the advanced training our SNES curriculum offers is more than enough to prepare any student for life outside the safe cocoon of the house they grew up in. But whatever. Maybe the pursuit of a deeper knowledge, one that allows for multiple perspectives of a previously unseen dimension, is the core motivation for taking out additional student loans that will be complained about for many indebted years to come. If that’s the case, then make your parents proud of their little scholarly financial dependent by earning a Nintendo’s Virtual Console University N64 Masters Degree today!

Numerous multi-faceted polygonal courses await, challenging students to finally see the world as they never have before, a place of muddled texture, where exciting new adventures await in every direction and (mostly due to hardware limitations) surprises can suddenly pop up out of nowhere. Only the best will be able to pierce the dense fog of the unknown and wrap their brains around not only bizarre new concepts, but an even more bizarre controller. So besides finally becoming a self-sustaining adult, what are you waiting for?

Our VCU N64 Masters Program features such classes as:

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Hydrology 399: Wave Race 64

Mostly known as that last resort when there isn’t any more Mountain Dew in the fridge, or the liquid state of those frozen things that keep Mountain Dew cold, water is actually so vital to Planet Earth that it has its own branch of science. No lie. Of course, it’s really hard finding anyone who is even remotely interested in studying this utterly bland source of all life as we know it, but that’s where VCU comes to the rescue. Our technologically advanced* water simulator, titled Wave Race 64, makes studying the movement and properties of this utterly neutral element seem more like a vacation at an seaside resort. While atop awesome jet skis that mask the learning taking place, students will be subjected to completely realistic physics that demonstrate the importance of hydrodynamics as they are bounced around and smashed up against wooden piers, sand bars, and sunken pirate ships. Though the forces acting upon these gas-powered solid bodies submerged in H2o will be the main focus because that’s all that really matters to jet skiing, those curious about the other purely intellectual pursuits like Bernoulli’s principle will find plenty of evidence to support it probably.

Flow velocity, the hydrological cycle, pressure, and density will all be thoroughly examined, but getting back to more practical subjects, did we mention how pretty the water is? It’s blue, and wavy, and there’s even some dolphins playfully swimming around. It is seriously doubtful that moisture has ever looked this good in real life, and students will learn to appreciate the beauty and fluid movement in ways they never could before in that disappointing thing called nature. Look, studying water is a tough sell, okay? Just roll with it.

*For two decades ago

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Photographic Composition 399: Super Mario 64

Taking a truly great photograph is about more than just pushing a button. Perfectly capturing the subject matter requires knowledge of not only what belongs inside the frame, but what belongs out. It can be a frustrating process that results in unwanted information ending up on the screen, but students aspiring to see the world rather than just look at it will find no better way to hone their artistic eyes than by attempting to make the best out of unwieldy equipment, and there are few better examples of such than in our Bad Camera Simulator, Super Mario 64. Students used to the freedom of pointing and shooting at anything they want will learn a valuable lesson about working with limitations, as the stupid little flying turtle with glasses masquerading as a shutterbug for some reason sometimes can’t turn no matter how many times the c-buttons are mashed.  What this does is teach the ability to view the subject in ways previously unconsidered, like obscured behind walls, trees, or giant eels, or anything else inconveniently placed, which can lead to unique thematic angles. For instance, those looking for vertical symmetry atop a narrow plank will be slowly corrected by the drifting cameraman, instead forced into viewing the subject from the side, thus injecting an element of unnecessary danger that was not initially present and completely unwanted. You’re welcome.

As a side focus, the subject of voyeurism and ethics will be touched upon. Watching someone through the lens of a camera can offer a glimpse into human truth, but it can also be kind of creepy, especially when it involves passively watching mustachioed subjects being electrocuted, drowning, or burning to death in lava. Though capturing natural images is a noble pursuit, those riding magic flying clouds should quit being dicks and try lending a hand once in a while.

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Social Anthropology 399: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

The isolated bubble of academia often cultivates out of touch intellectuals who are anathema to any fun gathering of regular human beings, but luckily by enrolling in our The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask program, these elitists can learn to relate and gain an understanding of common cultural attitudes and behavior without ever having to actually get their hands dirty and experience them. Wandering through the streets of Clock Town allows for field research without the awkwardness of the field, providing a great cross-section of normal problems that the common folk have, such as loneliness, disillusionment, duty, unrequited love, itches that can’t be scratched, hands stuck in toilets, alien abduction, selling one’s soul, and of course, fear of death by homicidal moon. How the members of this society interact with each other and attempt to deal with their various issues will provide valuable insight into the many facets of a working community. From gender relations and kinship to economic and political organization that includes law enforcement and conflict resolution, things that most social people intrinsically comprehend via simply living their life will be studied at a distance in great detail and analyzed to the point of where broad generalizations can finally be made, resulting in that cold, superior feeling one gets from forming conclusions based on putting others under the microscope.

Speaking of which, participants in the class will themselves be observed by students of another sociology class for the purpose of studying the Hawthorne effect. Though we expect most of our sophisticates to willingly bypass the frustration of jumping through time over and over again to finally complete the same stupid tasks in the proper order to help some lowbrow mohawked dude see his chickens grow up, perhaps they will be more inclined to fake compassion when fearful of being judged.

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Ethology 399: Pokémon Snap

For those who would rather relate to their dog than the rest of mankind, an even more fringe area of behavioral science is available through Pokémon Snap. According to Wikipedia Ethology is the objective study of animal manners under natural conditions, and what better place to do that than Professor Oak’s weird island full of pun monsters? Hopping aboard an automated all-purpose buggy that surely won’t disturb the delicate balance of this precious habitat, students will document these mysterious and exotic creatures by throwing stuff at them then taking pictures. This very traditional method of animal research will require a keen eye for detail and the ability to resist catching them all, as well as flexible ethics that don’t waver when it comes to introducing new food to the ecosystem for the purpose of a lure, pestering or even knocking out innocent Squirtles with a grapfruit-sized metal ball, or irritating the hell out of both man and beast by injecting the unnatural tunes of the Poke Flute into the formerly serene environment. Seriously, this is how it’s usually done, folks.

Afterwards your carefully composed photographs* will be judged by the supposed Professor on a variety of criteria that has very little to do with anything academic. Though the images will hopefully show aspects of Pokémon communication, emotions, and perhaps even mating rituals, it seems that all science is really interested in is spying on these pearls of nature in an attempt to try to catch them surfing or doing goofy dances when no one is looking. You’ll just have to trust us that somehow this will benefit the human race.

* despite some admitted irony, no photography credit will be applied to any MFA. We already have a class for that.

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Screenwriting 399: Star Fox 64

Any aspiring Hollywood scribe knows that the best way to show off your talent and creativity is by recycling old ideas and regurgitating them up onto the screen over and over and (hopefully) over again. Because why tell a good tale just once? To that end students of our esteemed screenwriting program will do a semester on Star Fox 64, the reboot of an origin story that had itself already “borrowed” pretty much every plot point from something better. In order to fill the allotted time necessary to justify the class expense, our highly-trained-but-ultimately-unsuccessful film professors will break down each element of this derivation and its inspiration, detailing out how tiny little alterations to characters and themes can help seemingly revitalize time-worn but proven material and milk an entirely new generation of theatergoers out of their hard-earned money. Differences that don’t really matter include Andross’ banishment to Venom instead of fleeing there (harsher punishment implies increased evilness), Peppy Hare aged considerably to dole out cliche advice and fill the “wise man” need of any hero, and the obligatory parallel of Star Wolf to provide contrast and show audiences where Fox could go if he let’s his vengeance take hold. Deep, right?

Also emphasized will be amplification. Bigger and better is always the way to go if you wants to get paid, so forget about subtle, layers, or emotional twists. Utilizing manipulative devices such as a dead father/son dynamic is guaranteed to get those males teary-eyed remembering how badly they wanted to prove themselves to their own dads, while increased action will keep viewers distracted from the sameness by all the pretty lights and loud noises. More battles, more enemies, more set pieces that remind players of popular summer popcorn movies involving giant space ships; these are the tools of every hack’s trade. An explosion every few pages and a healthy dose of simplistic retribution is all you need to earn rave reviews and the number one spot opening weekend, so stop trying to do something special and just piggyback off someone better. It’s the screenwriter’s way.

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These and many other classes from our N64 Masters Program await, each offering a proven way to delay the maturation process. We know what you’re up to and we have the means to help you put off real life as long as you’d like, so enroll in VCU today!

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About The Author

Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy grew up in the hearty Midwest, where he spent many winter hours playing Nintendo games and watching movies while waiting for baseball season to start again. When he’s not writing screenplays to satisfy his film school training, he’s thinking about his next Legend of Zelda post.