Maybe you rolled your eyes at the modern interpretation of Tom Nook, animal crossingcapitalist overlord. You know, the one where people try to say it’s just okay for him to burden you with crushing debt and perpetual home improvements you don’t want, while waving that he exercises predatory control over the economy of your little piece of paradise. But you know what? After playing the new version of Disney on the animal crossing life-sim genre, I’m inclined to agree with these forgiving guys. Maybe Tom Nook isn’t so bad at all. Not compared to Scrooge McDuck.
Although they share DNA in terms of mechanics, Disney Valley of Dreams is configured very differently from animal crossing. For one thing, Scrooge doesn’t start out as the big dog in town, even though he has plenty of money and could probably buy the whole place. For some reason, he needs you, the player, to help him reopen his dilapidated store. Nook also sends you on errands, of course, but Scrooge is absolute crap about it right off the bat.
On the one hand, this duck tells you about the value of investments at a time when the whole city is invaded by black magic that makes people disappear and everyone slowly forgets everything about themselves. Tell me, good sir, who’s gonna spend money in your store when Mickey Mouse can’t remember what his wife looks like? What is the value of money in the post-apocalypse, besides being a cold, metallic substance in which to swim? Why are you asking me to make your store more appealing when you clearly have the capital to hire workers, or even you could use the money to help one of your neighbors avoid impending disaster? What a mess. I see the giant vault hidden in the back, Scrooge!
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But hey, of course. We are here to rebuild and eventually all the menacing thorns and spooky mists that destroy everything will disappear so we can worry again about giving all our money to the rich. But then this asshole wants me to help him advertise the store, to a clientele who, again, are slowly losing their minds. To do this, Scrooge demands that I put on A SHIRT OF HIS OWN FACE SO THE OTHER VILLAGERS CAN SEE IT because remember, yes, the economy must never stop, even though 99% of my friends and family may be dead.
While wearing this shirt he asks me to go over there and put up signs for his store which I imagine has less to do with advertising per se than acknowledging that everyone is suffering intense dementia, so maybe they need the signaling.. After all, at this point in the game, there are only three functioning buildings in the entire city. It’s hard to miss a giant department store having its lights on when everything is cast in eternal darkness. But, being my own brand of asshole, I simply put every sign Scrooge gave me right outside his store rather than anywhere it might be useful. I don’t soil my town with this capitalist garbage. I just need your friendship points, old man.
In all of this, when spoken to, his dialogue is incorrigible. If you ask him why you’re doing all this hard work, he pushes you away and actually says, he did the hard work when [situation that does not apply or matter to the task at hand]. If you leave the conversation, he doesn’t say goodbye. He wishes you a bullish day in the stock market. And the big reward for reopening the economy? The privilege of giving Scrooge more money in his store, of course. It won’t let you preview anything you can’t afford, so don’t start having fun ideas.
I’m still pretty early in the game, and I know this is all meant to be endearing if not fairly faithful to the actual character. It’s Scrooge, for God’s sake. Wouldn’t it be weird if he was a generous guy? Still, it’s hard not to balk a bit at everything Scrooge wants me to do, precisely because of the type of character he is. Why am I being asked to sell gems at the Dingo booth, the market that is usually booming with $1 seedlings? Am I helping him launder money? Why doesn’t he leave Goofy’s business alone anyway? He has an empire, Goofy just wants to do his thing! Stop pushing it to grow! Goofy would probably stumble and drop all his money on the lake anyway with a big old gawrsh, then never think about it again. The lanky dog lives a simple life that Scrooge could never imagine.
I may become Scrooge all wrong and that over time, I come to discover that he is in fact a very good guy in all financial talk. But this asshole makes even friendship difficult. His favorite items happen to be the rarest items in the game that are worth the most money. Of course, Scrooge, I’ll give you a GOLD BAR for some stock market advice. TF.
Sorry for always badmouthing you, Tom Nook. You are a cool guy after all. Nintendo made try to tell us he was Nook misunderstood at the time when. And hey, at least with Scrooge you know exactly what you’re getting because he never tries to hide it.
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