The Sadness Bomb is one of the most effective combat devices ever created. No other weapon has ever incapacitated so many without a single gram of explosives.
Construction started twenty years ago. The aim was to spark off something in the brain of the victims. Find a universal emotional tie.
The first step was the creation of Seiko Productions. We all know the logo. A silhouette of a mouse, rising up on its back paws, and the twelve note sting that rises and falls. The music took six months to infuse with melancholy, the design another year to spark off ennui.
So began their puzzle games. A simple enough premise. The player follows a mouse across a snowy field, and try to catch him before the blizzard overwhelms them. You might have to avoid a series of hidden pits, or clamber over walls before the rodent disappears. But the snow is always there, the mouse is always.
Critics attacked Come Home Seiko for an unnecessary level of difficulty, and the need to repeat levels again and again. One even mentioned how the theme song will scar your brain.
They churned them out, across console to handheld to mobile, the notes playing again and again. That logo flashing for a few seconds before every play. Even if you are not a gamer, you’ve seen and heard them on the bus, or round a friend’s house.
The bombs themselves are cube shaped, and require two soldiers to lift them near enemy lines. Speakers are the best analogy, but these explosives are so much more. Upon detonation a single flare dances across the sky, and a hundred tiny holes reveal themselves in the makeup of the cube. A familiar tune rings across the battlefield, and an iconic rodent logo projects onto the trees.
Anyone watching paused, a held breath warming in their lungs. No-one remembered Come Home Seiko, or even the connection with any kind of game.
Instead they thought about nice times with their families, or travelling back from work after a hard day. A quiet night off, with the computer for company. Every memory wistful, the happy core made rotten by the present.
They stood in the war zone, and remembered, even when the person next to them fell.