Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Leaks: Everything Worth Knowing

The entirety of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom recently leaked online over a week ahead of the game’s May 12 release date. Now some players are making their way through it and streaming their journey for all to see while hackers comb through the game’s files for more clues. As a result, we’ve already learned a great deal more about Nintendo’s most anticipated Switch game of the year.

Spoiler warning: We’ll be steering clear of story info below but obviously anyone who wants to go into Tears of the Kingdom with limited knowledge of what to expect should probably turn around.

One big takeaway so far is that Tears of the Kingdom is even bigger than any of the trailers and previews have indicated so far. While the main surface map is borrowed from Breath of the Wild, the floating islands and a sprawling underground region effectively expand the map across two additional vertical layers. There are also some welcome additions to the previous game’s formula as well as a couple of disappointments. Here’s what players have discovered so far.

The game starts with Link at full strength

You might have wondered how Link went from the powerhouse at the end of Breath of the Wild to being back to three hearts again at the start of Tears of the Kingdom. The answer is essentially that he gets Metroided. The game begins with Zelda and him (all 20 heart containers intact) exploring an underground tunnel only to discover the remains of dehydrated Ganon.

The demon king then swells back to life and creates a giant pit that Zelda and Link fall into. While the princess plummets to a mysterious fate, Link is pulled back through a portal by a magical arm. He then awakens in one of the floating islands with no powers and only a small bit of health, ready to set out on a new adventure.

Dungeons are confirmed, sorta

Probably the most requested feature missing from Breath of the Wild were traditional dungeons. Tears of the Kingdom appears to have five Temples and a sixth dungeon that consists of Ganon’s castle. Hackers have already datamined the layouts of some of these locations showing multiple levels. Similar to previous Zeldas, each temple seems to have an initial mini-puzzle area that leads into it.

Once inside, a special companion ability that corresponds to the Temple’s element helps players solve puzzles leading up to a familiar boss battle. I’ve seen parts of the Wind and Fire Temple streamed, and while they might not be as complex as some of the series’s more infamous labyrinths, they look a little more thematic than the first game’s Divine Beats.

There are still Shrines in Tears of the Kingdom’s open world

Don’t worry, Breath of the Wild’s mini-puzzle sanctums have returned, and there are a bunch littered all over the map. Some players are saying there’s over 100, in addition to all of the sky islands and caves to explore.

The underworld map is massive

Hinted at in the launch commercial, Tears of the Kingdom features an entire area that’s deep beneath Hyrule’s surface. The map makes it look just as big as the overworld, in fact. Most of it is shrouded in darkness with Link lighting areas up as he progresses, but it appears to be sprawling. Only time will tell how populated it is with things to discover.

Companions help in boss fights

A new generation of champions will be helping Link this time around, and from the streams I’ve seen it looks like they’ll be present for at least some of the game’s boss encounters. Each one accompanies Link through their local Temple area, with a special ability that can be triggered to assist against the boss or solve puzzles. It’s not clear how much more involved they’ll be this time around, but it seems way closer to having an NPC ally along for the ride than Breath of the Wild’s champions did.

You can’t rush to the end

Breath of the Wild was old school in letting Link take on Calamity Ganon right at the start of the game if players decide to. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. As of yet I haven’t seen any footage of players managing to initiate the final boss fight right from the start of the game, and it appears while the Temples can be tackled out-of-order, the end of the game is off-limits until, well, the end.

Link can sport some wild outfits

Tears of the Kingdom will have new weapons and armor, as well as a bunch of amiibo outfits. The Great Deity armor from the Majora’s Mask amiibo returns from Breath of the Wild, for example. But I also popped on one stream only to see Link running around in a giant Toon Link costume. It was ridiculous, super creepy, and kind of amazing.

Dragons are back

Players speculated about Breath of the Wild’s flying dragons after appearing to spot one in the back of a mountain range in some pre-release footage. Screenshots show they are indeed returning, though it’s not entirely clear yet what role they’ll play. In addition to Dinraal (fire), Farosh (electric), and Naydra (ice), there’s also a Light dragon and a Darkness one.

Gleeoks come in all different kinds

The three-headed hydras from the original The Legend of Zelda that fans spotted in the recent trailers do indeed come in several different forms. Reminiscent of Breath of the Wild’s varied Lynel types, players appear to have so far discovered electric, fire, and ice types, as well as baby Gleeoks and a tri-elemental one that mixes all of the types.

The music is even better than Breath of the Wild’s

I’ve had various streams of Tears of the Kingdom on for much of the past 24 hours, and while there are occasional lulls just like in the previous game, something about the music overall feels on another level. Like the main theme song that’s an absolute banger, the tracks for exploration, boss fights, and other moments feel very distinct and full of personality.

Probably still no underwater exploration

One of the things players have been most hyped to uncover is full-fledged diving. Unfortunately, players don’t appear to have found any new items or abilities that let Link explore underwater in Tears of the Kingdom. No one seems to have actually beaten the game yet, so there’s always the possibility of something hidden late in the game. For now, however, it seems like Breath of the Wild’s lack of diving will carry over.

Your horses carry over

A Breath of the Wild save doesn’t seem to carry much over to Tears of the Kingdom, but players are reporting that your staple of horses will remain intact. And with the new building mechanics they’ll be more useful than ever. Link’s ultra hand can craft carriages and other horse-drawn vehicles. All that ranching in his past life is about to pay off.

You can’t pet the dogs

Some developers, even at big studios, have latched onto the “Can You Pet The Dog” meme in gaming. Not Nintendo. Six years later, Tears of the Kingdom adds and iterates on a lot of the previous open world game. Showing the pets some love isn’t one of them. Or maybe Link just hates dogs.

Survivor Is On Sale Barely A Week After Release

Though Respawn Entertainment’s gargantuan Metroidvania Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was only released a few days ago, on April 28, the $70 game is already $10 off. Amazon recently added a sneaky “apply $10 coupon” box you can click while purchasing physical copies for PS5 and Xbox Series X online.

Read More: Another Big Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Patch Is On The Way

The $10 coupon also applies to the $90 Deluxe version of the physical PS5 game, but strangely, not to the Xbox Series X copy, which is instead listed at a 7 percent discount of $83. To incense gaming device loyalists even further, there are no discounts listed for any of Amazon’s digital codes of the game.

Sorry! Take it up with Bezos, not me.

This will, again, disappoint PC players, but console owners have another Jedi: Survivor deal to consider, too, if $10 from Bezos doesn’t sound like a sweet enough deal. Target is offering free $10 gift cards to PS5 and Xbox Series X owners when they purchase either a standard or deluxe copy of the game online. That way, you’re not only spending nearly $100 on a video game, you’re spending nearly $100 on a video game, and you can get a “free” three-wick candle.

Read More: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor: The Kotaku Review

You’ll certainly want to get yourself comfortable while playing this massive sequel. “Survivor feels huge, dense, and super got-dang expensive,” Lucas White writes in his review of the game for Kotaku, “and after just a few hours of playing the game’s action-packed intro on Coruscant […] its heart-stopping 150GB download size started making sense.”

“Despite playing for around 30 hours before seeing Survivor’s credits, I ended up leaving much of its world(s) unexplored,” he continues. “This is an ambitious Metroidvania that straddles the line between meticulous level design and open-world map game, that also desperately wants to tell a profound Star Wars story about found family, faulty institutions, and the personal costs of resistance.” Let your personal cost be $10 less, at least.

Survivor Brings Back Infamous And Annoying Boss

In Star Wars, death is just a detour. A minor inconvenience. If you are famous or well-liked, odds are you’ll be back, either through the magic of prequels or through just being straight-up brought back to life to get fans all excited. And this tradition continues in the recently released Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which brings back a particularly annoying and beloved boss from the first game, along with that creature’s child. As Luke Skywalker himself once said, “No one’s ever really gone.”

Before we go any further, consider this your official warning that below this sentence you’ll find some minor spoilers for Jedi: Survivor and Fallen Order. 

Image for article titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s Most Annoying Boss Returns In The New Sequel

Back in 2019, when Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launched, players quickly encountered a large toad-like alien boss on the planet of Bogano that could easily kill Cal when first met. The boss was named Oggdo Bogdo and within no time, this big alien frog became a fan favorite. Many players who tried to defeat the boss the first time they encountered it found that this was quite tricky, as Bogdo was very hard to kill and did a lot of damage, and Cal typically still had very few health items and not many abilities unlocked. However, that didn’t stop some who were determined to kill this oversized frog, even if it meant dying over and over to do so. And now, it turns out Bodgo had a child and we should all feel a bit bad about killing a parent.

Where to find Oggdo Bogdo’s spawn

On the planet Koboh where much of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor takes place, players can visit a location called Fort Kah’lin only a few hours after booting up the game. This large base is filled with baddies and droids. But once you fight your way through, Cal will end up in an area that seems like a boring old room but is actually hiding a trap floor. Step on it and you’ll be dropped into the lair of a big ol’ alien boss with a familiar name: Spawn of Oggdo.

Fextralife / EA

Yes, this is the child of Oggdo Bogdo. I mean, it makes sense. Star Wars loves to have all of its characters related to each other. So I’m not shocked that the toad you killed in the last game has a kid just lurking in a lair far from the planet where you fought its parent. It’s hardly the weirdest thing in Star Wars lore.

Like the younger toad’s parent, Spawn of Oggdo is a tricky fight, especially if you rush to find this creature the first time you visit Koboh. Like before, you’ll be low on healing stims and won’t have all the abilities and upgrades needed to easily kill this space amphibian. But if you can dodge all of its one-hit kill attacks and defeat it, you’ll unlock a nifty little cosmetic from the first game.

The return of Oggdo Bogdo

“Wait!” I hear you scream. “This article promised a boss returning from the first game, not the spawn of a previous boss.” That’s true. And you should be patient and yell less. I’m getting to that part. You see, once you defeat the spawn of Oggdo, you can head back to Doma’s shop near Greez’s saloon in town. When you enter you’ll notice a new Force tear thingy. These are rifts in the Force (or something) and upon touching them Cal will be tasked with a challenge that will test either his combat skills or platforming experience.

This particular rift in Doma’s shop leads to a new and challenging boss fight. If you decide to enter, be prepared for a very hard encounter and one which will likely kill you at least a few times if you aren’t properly leveled up or focused enough. Why? Well, waiting for you on the other side of this rift is Oggdo Bogdo and the Spawn of Ogdo.

ActinTuffGaming / EA

That’s right, both the kid and the parent are waiting for you and ready to kick your Jedi ass as many times as they can.

Just like before, these enemies hit hard and have a lot of health. And having to take out both of them at the same time is a truly tricky challenge. But it’s not impossible, and if you defeat them you can rest assured that you’ll never have to deal with either Oggdo Bogdo or its spawn ever again.

Well, until they likely return—probably alongside another member of this toad family—in the future Star Wars Jedi sequel. Like Luke Skywalker said at the start of this post, “No one’s ever really gone.” Not even a disgusting and hard-to-kill alien toad or its equally tough offspring.

Lost Pokémon Anime Episodes Rediscovered After 12 Years

Jessie, Meowth, and random Team Rocket members are shocked by a glowing object.

Screenshot: The Pokémon Company

In the spring of 2011, Japanese broadcasters declined to air two episodes from the Pokémon anime due to a catastrophic earthquake. While the networks originally promised to air them at a later date, these episodes never materialized. Now, thanks to the efforts of a fan who tracked down a copy of the script, we’re finally able to see how the Team Rocket arc would have concluded in Pokémon the Series: Black & White.

The Pokémon anime was building up a dramatic arc in the spring of 2011, which involved Team Rocket trying to use meteorite technology to take over Unova. Unfortunately, a major earthquake and tsunami hit the east coast of Japan the very next day, resulting in widespread devastation and a tragic loss of life. Understandably, this upheaval also had the side effect of causing two episodes of the Black & White anime to be postponed. That postponement turned into a cancellation, and Pokémon fans were left wondering how the arc concluded for over a decade.

Recently, a fan found someone who owned copies of the episode scripts, and they were willing to sell them for $4,000. The Pokémon community raised the full amount, but then the owner decided to donate the scripts free of charge. The organizers refunded the contributors and even translated the scripts from Japanese, so you can finally see what happened in the episodes “Team Rocket Vs. Team Plasma Part 1” and “Team Rocket Vs. Team Plasma Part 2.”

If you skim the contents of the scripts, you’ll see why Japanese broadcasters felt the need to take it off the air. Team Rocket’s leader Giovanni secured a mysterious and powerful rock called a Meteonite, and he intended to use its power to take over the Unova region. Team Plasma stole the Meteonite, but they quickly lost control of it. The space rock started reacting with a meteorite from a nearby museum, and the resulting heat waves started destroying entire buildings. Fans have long suspected that perhaps the episodes contained imagery that was too similar to the destruction caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and this was why they never aired. Now it seems that their guesses may have been accurate. An association with a real-life tragedy wouldn’t have been a great look for goofy antagonists who are mostly intended for comedic relief.

Some fans mourned how Pokémon history was changed because of the earthquake. “They definitely planned on having Team Plasma play a bigger role in the Black & White anime before the episode cut,” speculated one fan. We may never be able to see the episodes, but it’s still neat to learn what Pokémon anime history could have been.

Game Pass Adds Free Trial Referrals For Friends

A promo shot shows off Microsoft's new Sunkissed Vibes Special Edition controller.

Image: Microsoft

Game Pass PC is full of great games, and a new referral program now lets you invite friends to play them with you free for two weeks. The new benefit arrives alongside Redfall, Xbox’s latest co-op shooter featuring an eerie open world and lots of vampires.

Announced over on the Xbox Wire blog on Tuesday, the New Friend Referral program is a perk for every Game Pass Ultimate and PC subscriber that lets you essentially gift up to five 14-day free trials of Game Pass PC to friends and family who have never been enrolled before. While both console and PC users get access to it, the free subscriptions are only for Game Pass PC. Not bad.

Read More: The 25 Best Games On Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft is pushing it to promote Redfall, which lets you host matches of up to four players and supports cross-play between Xbox Series X/S and PC. But there are plenty of other great candidates as well, from Rainbow Six Siege to Minecraft Legends. On the single-player front, Hi-Fi Rush and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty are also some of the best games of the year so far on Game Pass (though Wo Long, a Souls-like, still has some performance issues on PC).

The perk is an obvious play by Microsoft to try and boost Game Pass subscription numbers on PC. Growth of the Netflix-like game service has slowed on console, according to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, but remains strong on PC. The free referrals are one way to pump those up, especially as Microsoft’s gaming division struggles on the hardware front.

It’s a shame that players who send out the perks don’t seem to get anything in return if their friends or family end up subscribing for real. It hardly beats the $1 for the first month deal that Microsoft recently canned, either. And again, it’s only for Game Pass PC, rather than console players as well. Still, it’s a nice way to temporarily send a couple hundred free games to the PC gamers in your life.

Redfall Review, Review In Progress And Impressions Roundup

Redfall, a vampire shooter out this week on Xbox and PC, was developed by Arkane Studios, the same team behind classics like Dishonored and Prey. It’s one of Microsoft’s first-party exclusives for 2023, a big release for the company’s Game Pass subscription service. And by most accounts, it sucks.

We’re currently playing the game together for our own impressions, which will be published soon, but in the meantime—because I find the reception so extraordinary given the scale (and price) of the release—I thought I’d roundup some of the impressions and review pieces out there from outlets who managed to receive code ahead of Redfall’s release (we, obviously, did not), or have been updating a review-in-progress piece as they go along.

Let’s start with GameSpot, who reviewed the game and gave it a 4/10:

Ultimately, Redfall is a game that should not have been released yet. Its litany of bugs hampers the gameplay loop of exploring its world with friends, and that loop itself feels compromised by elements that are poorly executed and ill-suited to the team implementing them. I can’t pretend to know whether Arkane chose to make a loot-shooter or was assigned to make a loot-shooter, but I can tell you what it feels like: one of the best game studios in the world suddenly made toothless.

GamesRadar gave the game 2.5 stars out of 5:

Redfall is ultimately not up to Arkane’s usual standards. It feels rushed, unfinished, and unsatisfying to play. Single-player is hampered by a squad-based open-world shooter structure, multiplayer held back by odd decisions, and decent gunplay is marred by uninspiring mission structures. It’s a confusing game, full of contradictions, and the result is unfulfilling.

IGN’s review-in-progress is not a positive one, and deals mostly with constant bugs afflicting both single and multiplayer modes:

With Redfall arriving at IGN just a couple of days ahead of its official release date we haven’t had enough time to complete a final review yet – certainly not without becoming a nocturnal monster myself and staying awake all weekend. However, after several sessions – solo, co-op with a friend, and also in a group of three – I must admit I’m thoroughly underwhelmed by Redfall’s vanilla missions and lifeless world, and very disappointed at its lengthy list of display issues and bugs.

Giant Bomb’s Quick Look says:

Redfall fails to compel on nearly every level, not just in its uninteresting story, but also its all-too-familiar gameplay. Not only does Redfall feel like a game stuck in yesteryear, even its performance finds a way to disappoint.

Eurogamer’s early impressions are actually quite optimistic, writer Christian Donlan preferring to reserve final judgement until the game was done, but I thought his anecdote at the end here was a pretty good summary of the game’s visuals:

So how is it ugly? It’s technical stuff, I think, and while I’ll leave that to Digital Foundry I’ll say that the edges – technical term – are a little rough. Textures sometimes pop in late or not at all, so those beautiful trees are always bursting into fiery life a little too close by, and at one point the classic immersive sim storytelling graffiti on a wall was weirdly pixellated. Character models are still and oddly lit. I should add here, I’m trying to be objective, which is always a mistake. I think the patchy textures – yes, I’m really about to say this – gives the town a slightly impressionist feel. The waxy characters are wonderfully waxy, the kind of things you might meet on a trip through a haunted Hall of Presidents. Even so, there’s no ducking the fact that my wife came into the room when I was playing, looked at the screen in horror and said, “Jesus! What happened to Fortnite?”

I should note not all reviews and impressions pieces are so down! If you head over to Metacritic you’ll find some outlets—many of which I’ve literally never heard of, but still—have given the game positive scores, like We Got This Covered, who rated it 4.5 stars out of 5, saying:

With rich, beautiful open worlds, a multitude of weapons, and a wide variety of enemies to square off against, Redfall amazes. Players won’t regret staking their claim on Arkane’s latest masterpiece.

OK. Enough with the professional reviews. Let’s see what people who paid for the game—and if you bought this instead of playing on Game Pass it was a full-price $70 release, an important point to remember here—have to say. Here’s a selection of some of the top Steam reviews at time of posting:

Ignoring the performance issues, this game is bad. The AI is pathetic, even on the highest difficulty. The controls are clunky. The graphics are average. The world is empty. I don’t understand why these companies think they can start charging $70 for unfinished garbage. I couldn’t even stomach an hour of this game.

Extremely average and unfinished game. Poor performance on PC and riddled with bugs and glitches.

I’ve heard great things from Arkane, but this is not it. I played with two friends, who also refunded. Going to try and give it a go tonight on the $10 PC Game Pass instead. But that first hour was clear to me: this is not a $70 AAA release.

I’m going to wind up with that last one because, having played it for most of yesterday, it’s actually the closest to my own experiences with the game. This plays like a remaster of a PS3 shooter. It’s an unfinished concept piece, a pitch project that somehow made its way to retail.

It’s tough to explain how raw the whole thing feels without playing it yourself. Even the fonts look like placeholders. Arkane is a studio responsible for some of the most important first-person games of the last decade; to see their name attached to this just…really bums me out.

Anyway! Like I said, our own impressions will be coming soon, so check back to see if a few days of multiplayer madness will have our team (not me, I live on the far side of the moon) thinking any differently to these reviews.

The Great Pokémon Trading Card Game Migration Is In June

Pikachu is seen walking in front of a computer and phone playing Pokémon Trading Card Game Live.

Image: The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company is officially migrating its online trading card ecosystem to its new app, Pokémon Trading Card Game Live, on June 8. This means if you’ve been playing the digital card game on Pokémon Trading Card Game Online, which has been the platform for official online play since 2011, you’ll have to make the switch at the beginning of next month, as the original app is being completely removed from digital storefronts the same week.

Pokémon Trading Card Game Live has been in beta since November, and if you’ve already been playing the game over there, not much will change when the full game launches next month. But if you’ve been holding off on making the switch, you’ll have to once the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online app is delisted from mobile and desktop storefronts on June 5. Players have had a bit of time to make the transition, and The Pokémon Company stopped adding new cards and packs to Online back in March. So anyone using it hasn’t been able to play with cards from the recent Scarlet and Violet packs, though they will be supported in Live. The Online app will continue to support Versus Ladder reward tracks and bug fixes up until its sunsetting in June.

In the meantime, anyone who logs into Pokémon Trading Card Game Live between now and launch day will receive commemorative accessories, including a coin, card sleeves, and deck box all featuring the Global Beta logo.

All of this follows some controversy surrounding the transition between the Online and Live clients. Both apps use the same online profile, so transferring from one app to the other isn’t that difficult, but Live has come under fire for drawbacks compared to Online, including a loss of in-game currency when transferring and a general lack of feature parity. On top of this, booster packs have fewer cards in Live than they did in Online, which The Pokémon Company has deemed “optimal” for the game’s economy. But warts and all, this is the game online Pokémon players will have to use come June. Hopefully the bugs in the beta are ironed out, but most of all, hopefully some of these changes will be reverted to give folks a better version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game instead of a substandard one.

A Counter-Strike Map Is Telling Russians About The Ukraine War

As journalists and editors know, cutting through the noise to deliver the news can be a tricky business. It’s even harder when you’re trying to report on the invasion of Ukraine, and your target audience is located in Russia. Since March 2022, the Russian president has made it a crime to call the invasion a “war.” So Finland’s biggest newspaper took creative measures to distribute the news in Russia: it put the information in a custom Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map.

Last year, the Russian central assembly ruled that disseminating “false information” is a criminal act that carries a 15-year jail sentence. Because of this, several independent Russian news outlets have shut down, and the BBC pulled out of the country. One Wall Street Journal reporter was even detained in Russia on charges of espionage, where he remains to this day. Journalists who report on news that is unfavorable to Russia are labeled “traitors.”

According to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, CS:GO is extremely popular in Russia—it’s played by nearly 4 million people, mostly young men. And unlike other western services such as Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, the servers have remained online in Russia. So Helsingin Sanomat paid two custom map designers to create a map with a hidden room that details the horrors of war in Ukraine. Helsingin Sanomat released the map on May 2.

A CS:GO map shows the Russian strikes on civilian targets in Ukraine.

Screenshot: Helsingin Sanomat

When a player dies on the de_voyna map, they’re able to freely roam the space and find an underground room near a flame (which has symbolic significance as a war memorial). Once they enter, they’ll see newspaper headlines about the war in Ukraine—including the massacre in Bucha, where mass graves have been discovered. A map details the locations in Ukraine that Russian soldiers have attacked, and a table lists the number of Russians who have been killed. Another station tells the story of the Ukrainian civilian Yuriy Glodan, whose family was killed by a missile strike while he was shopping for groceries.

“Russia’s senseless aggression on Ukraine has killed tens of thousands of civilians, including children,” one of the map makers told Helsingin Sanomat, who has chosen to remain anonymous out of concern over potential internet harassment. “The least we can do is to bring Putin’s war crimes and Russian propaganda to light.” Kotaku has reached out to Valve for a comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

This is pretty nuts. Russian law has now made it criminal for global news organizations to speak truth in the public eye, but CS:GO is making that possible through journalistic ingenuity. You can check it out yourself by going to this link.

Survivor Hero’s Mullet Is Making Waves Online

Cal is seen sporting a mullet and mutton chops.

Image: EA / Kotaku

I still haven’t gotten around to playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order or its new (apparently fraught) sequel Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but the more I see of the game’s extensive fashion and customization options for protagonist Cal Kestis, the more tempted I feel. However, one Jedi rebel hairstyle is getting a lot of attention online, and that’s the mullet. It turns Cal from a spacefaring twink into a good, ol’ fashioned (still spacefaring) lover of beer, blasters, and the Second Amendment.

Though I’ve seen all the movies and played several games, I’m not a Star Wars fan. But I am a fan of Shameless actor Cameron Monaghan, who both voices and performs the Jedi and provides Cal’s face. As a gay man who lived in the rural south most of his life, I find his Shameless character Ian Gallagher incredibly relatable as he sorts through his identity, the conservative expectations of Middle America, and how he deals with patriotism in a country that does not care about people like him. Because I latched on so heavily to his character during my ongoing marathon of the show on Netflix, I’m drawn to Jedi: Survivor for the actor at its center more than any of the other good things the game has to offer. But looking at Monaghan with a mullet and mutton chops feels like looking into an alternate universe in which Ian never overcame the expectations enough to become his own person, and fell hard into some right-wing, gun-nut mentality. It’s unsettling, but I can’t look away, especially as jokes about the mullet are spreading online.

Cal looks extremely silly with the mullet in context, but that hasn’t stopped fans from latching onto the lewk and making jokes about the intersection of Star Wars lore and conservative, good ol’ boy politics.

The quote retweets on this tweet showing Cal in his full space redneck persona are full of zingers.

Ultimately, as much psychic damage as it does to me to see Ian Gallagher with a mullet, the jokes have been very good, and it does speak to how much customization Jedi: Survivor allows. Between this and the game’s scene-stealing alien, Turgle, I keep finding new reasons to maybe jump into Respawn’s take on a galaxy far, far away. Maybe after I finish Shameless and the rest of the Summer Games Hell is over.

Redditor Pours Coffee Down Butthole After Losing RuneScape Bet

Runescape characters clapping in a village.

Screenshot: Jagex

Folks: Never make a bet that you’re prepared to lose. Just ask this Old School Runescape community member who thought that his rival wouldn’t be able to get a coveted pet with a 1-in-9,779 drop rate and was so confident he bet against it. Unfortunately, his rival did the statistically improbable, and instead of going back on his promise like a lesser man, the Redditor actually got his fiancé to pour scalding hot coffee on his asshole. I can’t help but salute his courage and good sportsmanship.

The giant squirrel is an extremely rare Runescape pet that you can obtain from the MMO by completing certain obstacle courses. Originally spotted by GamesRadar, Runescape player heytomsmyname had run 100 laps every day for over 200 days in hopes of obtaining the pet. But the drop rates are so abysmal that Redditor TessaHolly was convinced that he wouldn’t be able to obtain it within the next 24 hours.

“If you get it tomorrow I will have my fiancé pour hot coffee on my butthole,” he wrote on Reddit. Tom got the giant squirrel the very next day. “I thought to myself: What is one more day? There’s no chance they will get it. I was so close to deleting my Reddit account and abandoning the bet because I couldn’t believe they actually got the pet,” he told Kotaku over DMs. But to him, a promise was a promise.

Literally any normal person on the internet would understand if a grown man didn’t want to ask his fiancé to pour hot coffee on his asshole. It would have even been easy to lie and say that she refused such a ridiculous request. But (un?)fortunately for TessaHolly, his fiancé was very sporting. “When I asked my fiancé for her assistance, her face lit up with excitement and she said ‘of course’ and asked me if she could share it with her friends,” he wrote. Relationship goals, honestly.

If you want to watch a video of a man squirming away from a pot of scalding hot coffee being poured on his ass, be my guest. Don’t watch this at work, obviously. “My butthole feels tender,” he told Kotaku. “I’m so glad that I invested in a bidet.”