Happy Thanksgiving Kotaku! My name’s Peter Tieryas and I’m your guest editor for the next two days. Last time I was guest editor was about a year ago and I wrote about some of my favorite games including Chrono Cross, Metal Gear Solid 2, and even some Xenoblade Chronicles X.
For the next two days, we’ll get back into retrogames, existential musings on game narratives, and some of the strangest foods in gaming.
A little about me? I used to work in the game industry (LucasArts, EA) and am an occasional contributor to Kotaku (last two things I wrote about were Blade Runner PC and Snatcher). I’m also the author of a book called Mecha Samurai Empire and the United States of Japan. The latter won Japan’s top science fiction award, the Seiun, which was why I found myself in Japan for the first time in August-September.
I’d read Brian Ashcraft’s article about the brain cake at the Capcom Bar and as I was staying just a few blocks from it in Shinjuku, I had to try it out.
The Capcom Bar is super cool and a lot of fun. As suggested by the name, it’s Capcom everywhere, from toys to posters and game booths where you can play Capcom games. The menu itself is a themed one revolving around Capcom games like Mega Man aka Rock Man and Phoenix Wright. I gravitated towards the Resident Evil brain cake.
I’ve always enjoyed the Resident Evil games, but it’d been a long time since I was actually scared by one. Resident Evil 7 VR changed that. It was horrifying putting on my PSVR and walking through the Guest House. It felt like I was actually there. That first video sequence with the cameraman was terrifying as I did not want to go down the stairs into the sewer. “Go down!” my wife ordered. But peering over the hole and feeling like I was one of those minor characters in a horror movie about to get destroyed, I did not want to descend.
Horror never felt so visceral. I was getting a real life glimpse of the Black Mirror episode, Playtest.
Back in reality, I ordered the Resident Evil brain cake and they brought it out. The waiter, staying in character, even made a zombie grunt and performed a twisted finger action with his hands.
The photos don’t actually do the cake justice. It looks way more disgusting in real life. I felt repulsed. I tried to avoid eating it for the longest time. But eventually, I had to make the plunge.
The part that shocked me? It actually was not that bad. I’ll go a little bit further. The brain cake was really good with cream inside and the raspberry sauce mimicking blood actually complementing the cake nicely.
I didn’t try out any of the other items as we were there mainly for desserts and honestly, the Resident Evil dishes looked way too gross. But the cake defied expectations and delivered a culinary experience that was nothing like I’d expected.
There’s some kind of deep gaming allegory I wanted to make connecting that realization with the articles I have planned, but sometimes, a Resident Evil brain cake is just a damn tasty Resident Evil brain cake that will make your tongue explode and your brain feel like it’s being chomped on by zombies and you’re still reaching out for your fork because you want a little more ice cream.