Penelope was not part of the MoeGamer staff right from the start, unlike her two peers. The story of her origins has been told in The MoeGamer GameCast, so check that out if you want to find out a bit more about her background.
For now, though, let’s take the opportunity to have a chat with this infrequently seen but vital part of the MoeGamer machine.
Penelope: Good evening, Master. I hope the day has been agreeable.
Pete: Not too bad, I guess. Could do with it being a bit cooler.
Penelope: I will endeavour to see to your comfort.
Pete: No, no, no, you don’t need to do that, I was just making conversation.
Penelope: Oh, I see. The “small talk” that you are quite bad at.
Penelope: Very well. If there is anything I can assist with, please let me know.
Pete: Actually I was hoping we could have a bit of a chat. You know, for the website.
Penelope: Do you feel that is a productive use of your time, Master? You have that Esperanto visual novel to be getting on with, do you not? And didn’t I see a package from Limited Run arrive earlier?
Pete: Both of those things are true. But I wanted to introduce you to all the nice boys and girls out there.
Penelope: As you see fit.
Pete: So why don’t you tell everyone a bit about yourself?
Penelope: What would you like me to explain?
Pete: Just… introduce yourself.
Penelope: Very well.
Pete: Whenever you’re ready.
Penelope: Greetings, reader. I am Penelope. I am a cat. I am at least partially responsible for raising the Master here.
Pete: Could you… elaborate on that a bit?
Penelope: Of course. I did not always have this form; this form was, in part, produced by the Master’s imagination, much like it gave form to both Midori and Yumi. In my original form, I was part of the family. The Grand Masters took good care of me, and when a new Master joined the household, I took it upon myself to do that which I was capable of, within the scope of my own inherent limitations.
Pete: Those limitations being…?
Penelope: I was a cat.
Pete: But you’re a cat now.
Penelope: I was an actual cat. You know this already, Master.
Pete: I know, I’m just setting the scene.
Penelope: As you wish. My duties as a member of the Davison household included watching over the young Master during his infancy, and reporting to the Grand Masters should he appear to be in distress.
Pete: You would go and fetch my Mum or Dad if I was crying.
Penelope: That was correct. In exchange, I was rewarded with the tokens of feline appreciation and, occasionally, a rare treat from the table of the Grand Masters.
Pete: I believe you became quite fond of those treats from the table of the Grand Masters over time.
Penelope: Indeed. I developed rather a taste for the delicious pale substance known as “cheese”, and of course I was always delighted to be able to indulge my naturally carnivorous tendencies upon those occasions when the Grand Masters prepared the ritual banquet of flesh.
Pete: The Sunday roast?
Penelope: Is that its proper name? It always seemed to be quite a major event, with much preparation by the female Grand Master before the remainder of the household joined together for the ritual sacrifice.
Pete: Stop making it sound weird! We were just eating a delicious roast.
Penelope: Yes, it was delicious. I appreciated the opportunity to dine with you on occasion.
Pete: That’s right, you actually did join us at the table on a few occasions, as I recall. Particularly Christmas.
Penelope: I appreciated the trust you put in me on those occasions. I always believed myself something of a cut above my peers, so I was pleased to have any opportunity to prove that to the household.
Pete: You were part of the family.
Penelope: I was glad to be considered thus, and happy to contribute how I could to the Masters’ and Grand Masters’ overall wellbeing. And I will be eternally grateful for the time you helped me recover from an injury.
Pete: It was scary. A stranger came to the door and was very apologetic; “I think I’ve just run over your cat,” he said, and you were nowhere to be seen.
Penelope: I was frightened, and did not know what to do. Unlike the Masters and Grand Masters, I had neither the autonomy to be able to get myself to suitable assistance, nor the ability to communicate effectively while in distress.
Pete: Well, you’re not alone there, certainly.
Penelope: I thought my life was coming to an end. My leg was in incredible pain, and I tasted blood. But as I was about to give up hope, I heard familiar voices. I remember little of what followed, but I know that I was saved, and that it was through the efforts of you and your household.
Pete: It was through the efforts of your family.
Penelope: It is kind of you to say so. But I was a dependent, never more so than on that occasion. The incident left me unable to contribute meaningfully to the household’s life and wellbeing for a while, but still you stood by my side and supported me. I will never forget that.
Pete: I, err… sorry for any times we might have taken the piss out of your bald leg and limp.
Penelope: It is of no consequence. I am aware of the humans’ tendency to make use of humour to defuse a distressing situation, so I do not blame you for such things. As I say, I will forever be grateful for you ensuring that my life did not come to an end that day — and that indeed, I was able to continue living a long and happy life until the end.
Pete: Are you sure you…
Penelope: It is a fact that cannot be changed. The cycle continues, Master, and I am here now as a result, able to commune with you in this form. One day you, too, will pass from this mortal coil, and then perhaps we may be reunited via yet another means.
Pete: I… remember the day it happened. In fact, I remember the few days around it.
Penelope: I knew that my time was drawing near. I was becoming weak and feeble, unable to participate in many of the activities I had once enjoyed. I did, however, appreciate that you continued to treat me as you always had done.
Pete: You getting old didn’t change that you were such an important part of our lives. We didn’t want our time together to end. Even if your breath did smell awful towards the end.
Penelope: There you go with the humour to defuse the situation again, Master. But it was true; even I knew that I was losing control of my body, and I regretted you having to see me that way. But still you stood by me. And so I held on… until it would cause you minimal distress.
Pete: On your last night with us, you sat down in front of the heating vent in front of the hallway; somewhere I’d never seen you sit before. You wouldn’t move from there, so we brought you some water and some food. You didn’t seem to want it at the time, so we left it with you, and went to bed with heavy hearts. In the morning, you were gone.
Penelope: I am sorry that I had to cause such grief to the Masters and the Grand Masters.
Pete: You don’t need to apologise. We knew that you were happy. We knew that you passed away peacefully in a place you felt comfortable, safe, and secure. And we knew that you were aware how much we loved you; how important you were to us.
Penelope: That… is true. I… was… part of the family. And I will never forget that.
Pete: And we never forgot you. That is why you’re here today right now.
Penelope: Thank you. For what you did back then… and for keeping me in your heart.
Pete: …This, uh… this got a bit real, huh? So, um, what is… your favourite video game…?
Penelope: Ms. Pac-Man.
Pete: And, um, can you tell everyone what you do around here…?
Penelope: I occasionally provide therapeutic services for your perpetually troubled mind. I read the news on the GameCast. And I post links to all your articles and videos on your Discord.
Pete: …Thank you, Penelope. For everything.
Penelope: You are welcome, Master.
The MoeGamer Compendium, Volume 1 is now available! Grab a copy today for a beautiful physical edition of the Cover Game features originally published in 2016.
Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve been writing about games in one form or another since the days of the old Atari computers, with work published in Page 6/New Atari User, PC Zone, the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, GamePro, IGN, USgamer, Glixel and more over the years, and I love what I do.
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