Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Heart-Melters #8 - Mona


Who is She?
Mona is the super-attractive developer of bizarre games in the popular Wario Ware game series. Besides being a developer, Mona also spends her time doing a wide variety of odd jobs. She played in a band, served as head cheerleader for the Diamond City Roughs, operated a pizza delivery chain and a gelato shop, and rode a motorcycle to escape from policemen with her monkey. She goes into each of her job with gusto and pizzazz, and has supreme confidence in her abilities. However, while she has a lot of positives, but she has a preference for guys is just about as messed up as my preference for girls. It is no secret that she holds a mega-crush on Wario, virtually looking up to him like a god. Why anybody would have a crush on Wario is beyond me. He's ugly. He's selfish. He's arrogant. Waluigi is so much better than Wario in every way possible except for maybe brute strength. Mona is good-looking, and she has a charitable heart. She should seriously stop wasting her time with Wario and go for somebody a lot better, although the choices in Diamond City are a bit limited.

Mona's Influence (March 2004, January 2007)
Mona is the one that is different from most of the others. Her face is cute enough to melt anybody's heart, but she's the only one without a particular age dedicated to her. Rather than an extended age, my attractions to her were quick, ephemeral flashes. My earliest memories of Mona came during a Gamers Club meeting in early 2004, which was the first time I ever played Wario Ware: Micro Mini-Games. I quickly noticed that one of the developers was a lot better looking than the others. In her amusing but long introductory video, we see her tossing banana peels at police cars trying to stop her from getting to her destination. Yet who was she? I didn't pay attention to the names of any of the developers. Wario was the only person I knew in Wario Ware, because I knew him from his past appearances in Wario Land and Mario Party. And I never really did bother to read about Wario Ware in any of my Nintendo Power issues to find out. I suppose I could have done a Google search to find out who she was, but I never had a chance to do so. I found myself chatting with Mac and Taylor on the Nintendo of America NSider chats instead of researching the mysterious but cute developer.

My path crossed with Mona a few weeks later, when Mega Party-Games was coming out in the States. I was browsing the NSider forums when NOA Greg posted a thread announcing the Mega Party-Games site. I had nothing better to do, so I went to check it out. Voila! That was when I found out the name of the mysterious developer: Mona. Mona, eh? The first thing that popped into my head was the Mona Lisa, but this Mona is a lot more attractive than the Da Vinci one. When I unlocked the desktop wallpapers, I saved them the ones with Mona onto my hard drive. Even though I never used them, I guess this is one way in which Mona is similar with the previous Heart-Melters. However, unlike the other Heart-Melters, I did not go out and buy the game to get my Mona fix. While I hadn't come up with the term Heart-Melters at the time, I never felt very compelled to look at her, so if I had written about the Heart-Melters at that particular moment, Mona wouldn't have made the list. However, that would change in a few weeks.

The Age of Mona
The moment that solidified Mona's position as a Heart-Melter came sometime in early 2004, possibly in February. I no longer remember the exact date (which is a major shame), but I was at Clemons library one night to see what was going on at the Nintendo HQ chat on NSider. Somebody on the chat mentioned the latest Wario Ware game, which would be released in America later in the year under the title Wario Ware: Twisted. I was curious to see what the mega-cute Mona would look like in this new Wario Ware game, so I headed to the Wario Ware: Twisted page on the NCL website. One of the first things I saw Mona, and it blew me away. There she was, wearing a yellow shirt with a cute, blue skirt skating around on rollerblades. I was smitten by her attractiveness and left with my heart melted. The feelings faded later that night, and I never did go out and buy Wario Ware: Twisted, but that particular event made such an impact on me that when I first wrote about the Heart-Melters Gallery in 2005, Mona made the list as one of the eight.

Even though I included Mona as one of the Heart-Melters, I still felt that she was a questionable one at best. I made implications within the thread that the Gallery will have a cap at eight. I was thinking of excising somebody when a new Heart-Melter appears on the scene, and I had targeted Mona to be the first to go if it ever happened just because her hold on the spot was based primarily on the events of one night. While I eventually changed my mind about the maximum list, Mona remained the weakest of the Heart-Melters for about three years. This too would change. Wario Ware: Smooth Moves was released for the Wii in January 2007, and it became the first Wario Ware game that my sister and I purchased. Although I hadn't been very impressed with the official art released on the NCL website, but once I played the game I knew Mona would stay as a Heart-Melter. It was the first time I had a chance to play a Wario Ware game thoroughly, and Mona was without a doubt my favorite part of the game, even if her appearances were quite sparse. However, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves wasn't a very long game. My friends and I had unlocked practically everything within the space of a day. Once my sisters and I accomplished this feat on our game, we eventually stopped playing the game, and Mona's second age quickly drew to a close. This took approximately a week or two, making the age extremely short lived as well, but I no longer see Mona as a very tentative Heart-Melter.

Strength: 9 - Mona initially earned the position as a Heart-Melter as the result of a relatively short-lived flash of feeling in one random winter day, so she probably would have ranked 10th between early 2004 and December 0f 2006. However, her second age as a Heart-Melter following the release of Wario Ware: Smooth Moves allowed her to push past Kiki to claim the #9 spot. 

Duration: 10 - Mona's first period as Heart-Melter in early 2004 was at most only a day long, although it probably didn't even last a day. Her second period in January 2007 was not much longer, coming to an end after only a week or two. Most Heart-Melters last for a couple of months, and even the Age of Kiki lasted approximately a month, so Mona drops into the cellar in this category.

Recurrence: 3 - While the Ages for most of the Heart-Melters last for a few months, but once the Ages come to a close, the attraction pretty much fades away for good. Mona is one exception in that she had an even stronger Age several years after the initial one. Even after this second Age came to a close, I continued to follow the releases of new Wario Ware games closely just to see what Mona would be doing in the newest entry. That pushes her near the top of the Recurrence list, although the top two spots are held by two of the strongest Heart-Melters, and for good reason.

Overall: 22 - If you're going to pick one Heart-Melter that's not like the others, Mona takes the cake in just about every way possible. She came out of nowhere to melt my heart for a day, and while the degree to which my heart was melted was relatively minimal at best, but that was enough to put her into the list that Lyn, Nami, and Rukia couldn't crack. And then she melted my heart a second time after a long hibernation, an achievement only the top Heart-Melter can boast, and even though it wasn't enough to push her eighth, it completely changed my opinion on Mona as a Heart-Melter.

Next Up: Spice Up Your Life

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