Image: Nintendo Life

In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you'd find all the weird goofs that we couldn't fit in anywhere else. Some may call it "filler"; we prefer "a whole page to make terrible jokes that are tangentially related to the content of the mag".

We don't have (paper) pages on the internet, but we still love terrible jokes — so welcome to our semi-regular feature, Back Page. Today, it's Friday 13th, and Kate just wants you to stay safe...

[Originally published on May 13th, 2022]

Right. Okay. Are you sitting down? Good. Don't move. It's Friday the 13th once more, and you know what that means, right? No, it's not Jason Vorhees' birthday — it's the unluckiest day of the year, for... reasons. And this one's especially bad, if you believe in superstition and astrology, because Mercury is also in retrograde, which means that, um, it's doing something that makes things bad. Just go with it!

With two such catastrophic events happening at the same time, I want to make sure that you, our dear readers, are safe, so you can continue to read our articles stay alive. So whatever you do — don't leave the house. Don't get in the car. Don't go anywhere. Just stay inside, and play video games, and make sure that you're playing them as safely as possible.

To help you out, I've made a short list of how to play some popular games on Switch in the least dangerous way possible...

How To Play Games The Most Safely

Ring Fit Adventure

STOP THAT — Image: Nintendo

Seriously? You're doing cardio, on a day like today? You're mad. But if I can't stop you, I can at least help you. Think of all the ways that Ring Fit could kill you: You could accidentally strangle yourself with the ring while attempting a squat; you could fall backwards while doing yoga and impale yourself on the armrest of the sofa; you could be so overwhelmed by Dragaux's musculature that all the blood rushes to your cheeks and then you die because the blood isn't in all your important bits. I am not a doctor.

How do you avoid all these terrible fates? Simple: Stay on the sofa, and pretend to exercise, but don't. It still counts, probably — and we've all played Wii Sports and Wii Fit this way, haven't we? Ring can't tell if you're jogging or just wiggling the Joy-Con, but be sure to wiggle gently, lest you smack yourself in the face and lose all your teeth.


You are NOT invited to my cube — Image: Mojang

What do the deadliest things in Minecraft — lava, mobs, fall damage — all have in common? That's right! They are outside of your house. The best way to avoid them all is to make your house as small and impenetrable as possible. Build yourself a nice dirt cube with just enough room for you and any other friends you want to keep safe, and just stay there for however long you want to play Minecraft on Friday 13th!

Bonus points if you build your miserable protection cube out of something explosion-proof like obsidian, but be aware that gathering obsidian is scary and dangerous, so this method only works if you already have some. Isn't safety fun?

Pokémon (any of them)

Officer Jenny is a good backup if you can't find your mum — Image: The Pokemon Company

You know who's a threat in the Pokémon games? The Elite Four. Team [Rocket/Magma/Plasma etc.]. Literally anyone standing on a pathway. Tall grass. Wild animals. Your best friend/rival. Even the Pokémon Professors, who are apparently content to make a pre-teen do all their research work.

You know who's not a threat? Your mum. She's probably never seen tall grass in her life. All she does is wait at home and occasionally call you (much like a real mum). Go spend the day with her! Show her all your Pokémon! Tell her about the world that she's never had the chance to explore! Actually, no, don't take her outside, she might die! Stay in the house!!!

Stardew Valley

Goats are scary! Stay back! — Image: Concerned Ape

The safest way to play Stardew Valley is to treat yourself like a toddler: Don't talk to strangers, don't go into caves, and go to bed early. Your parsnips and cows can survive one day without you — and besides, livestock can be dangerous. One well-placed kick in the head and you're toast, and Harvey isn't a good enough doctor to help you.

Super Mario Maker 2

Mario and Luigi are cowboy builders and I do not trust them — Image: Nintendo

Don't tempt fate with all the bells and whistles in Mario's toolkit — just make yourself a nice, pleasant walk along a totally straight path. No enemies, no holes, no unpleasant surprises — just Mario and his thoughts. Doesn't that sound lovely?

Untitled Goose Game

Just leave them alone — Image: House House

This one's a bit different, because you're the one causing everyone bad luck and misfortune, so how about this: Just take the day off. Stop being a chaotic nuisance and just be a goose instead. Stay in the pond. Honk if you must. But just leave everyone alone, or you might end up as lunch.


Why go to Twoson when you can stay in Onett forever — Image: HAL Laboratory/Ape/Nintendo

Haha! Cross-promotion! If you're playing Earthbound because I told you to, then I like you, but also, make sure to take precautions. Just like it was in the '90s, Earthbound is all about a group of unsupervised children travelling to towns and getting beaten up by cops infected with some kind of brain-virus.

In retro JRPG style, the monsters and brain-poisoned adults will make a beeline for you as soon as they see you, which makes it a little hard to avoid them, and they can all run much faster than you. It's a risk-reward situation, though, because beating them gives you money, which can be used to buy healing items and better equipment. So what can you do?

Remember that it's a JRPG and do what all JRPGs want you to do: grind. Go back to one of the earlier areas and kill a bunch of dogs and spacemen (again, just like the '90s!) until you have fat stacks o'cash, make sure to call your dad to get the cash sent to you, and just do that for the entirety of Friday 13th. The rest of the game will be a breeze in comparison.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

You're not supposed to talk to strangers, but he seems nice — Image: Nintendo

It's dangerous to go alone — so why bother? Even if you're playing in Master Mode (WHAT ARE YOU DOING, IT'S FRIDAY 13TH) there's a nice safe place for you: The very, very beginning of the game. Sit down with King Rhoam (uh, sorry, spoilers) and eat baked apples forever. Maybe he'll get bored of waiting and just tell you everything you need to know without you having to do all the (scary, dangerous) shrines...

Dark Souls

AAAAAAAAAAAAAH — Image: From Software


Stay safe out there, gamers — and tell us your tips for not-dying in the comments! But please be careful not to cut yourself on the keyboard.