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Cursed Miis became our utopia

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Like many families, a generational divide divides mine between gamers and non-gamers. When my decidedly non-gamer dad spent hours crafting Miis with black holes open for eyes, before taking them out Wii Sports Resort Table tennis, I knew Nintendo’s Wii and its customizable avatars were something special.

The spirit of the Wii was simple. Young, old, cis, weirdo, modder, noob – anyone can pick up a remote and have fun. And everything about the original Miis, down to their names, encourages users to customize their avatars as amusing self-caricatures. As a result, in my family’s private Mii channel, everything from the ruby-red lipstick featured on my mom’s Mii (aptly named “Mom”) to my own exaggerated eyebrows (dubbed “Eileen”) Chipper replicas flourished. Then, an encounter in 2010 Wii Sports ResortK CPU Mi Takashi introduces us to a different approach to entertainment.

Boasting a garish blue shirt, adorable eyes, and lips undergoing mitosis, Takashi was what I can only describe as “cursed.” when she accused our Miis Wii Sports ResortWith our fish-faced swordplay showdowns, we could barely move our remotes because of uncontrollable laughter. Therefore ThisWe learned, That’s what the Mii adaptation was able to do – produce endless amounts of disgusting, horrifying, and hilarious.

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In the early to mid 2010s, the Mii Channel evolved into an inter-generational activity at our family get-togethers, with countless options for noses, brows, eyes, and other customizable body parts. Gathering around a TV at Grandma’s house, the kids argued with our uncles over features. We laughed when we teased a cousin’s tall stature, and got astonished glances from an aunt while her husband twirled and twirled her mi’s eyebrows like antennae ( No reason, just vibes). After session after session of designing cursed Miis, we got into games like Wii Sports Resort, defeating the ping-pong champion using the Burger Mii and slamming CPU Mii Ryan with the bowling ball facing Mii. Although our damned Mii creation has largely faded into memory since then, our Miis lurk in our Mii channels to this day, walking around with their unholy expressions and noseless faces. Confession: I still find them funny.

In those days the Cursed Mii aesthetic wasn’t just confined to my home. In fact, the chaotic potential and rampant popularity resulted in the now-defunct Nintendo Power featuring MIIS of the Month. magazine. These bizarre designs, also distributed on online forums, inspired users like Chris Elson to create their own abominations. During his elementary school years, says Elson, Mii customization became a multiplayer game with his brother, with each player competing to create the “ugliest” avatar on the DS Mii Maker.

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“The main thing was to make your Mii look as non-human as possible,” says Elson, now a graduate student in Chicago. “I remember trying to make my brother laugh with Mi the Turtle. I removed her eyes from her cheeks.

One of Nintendo's official Mi's known as Mi Takashi has big, scary eyes

Known for his pursed lips, recurring CPU Mi Takashi makes his debut Wii Sports Resort and later graced the screen Wii Party,
Image: Nintendo

Mii with a brown afro and a big mustache looks from the 70s

Michael Tuttori is an unused Mii initially set to appear Wii Musicand Alice’s favourite.
Image: Nintendo

Other combinations included removing a bit of the beauty mark from the forehead to resemble a fly, suppressing nostrils for eyes, and completely inverting a Mi’s face – an option that was found in contemporary customizable games such as The Sims. did not present. While Elson no longer tinkered with Mii Maker, he views his roster of Miis as “ugly but creative things that made us laugh a lot.”

And while Nintendo has left the Wii behind at this point, Miis are still alive.

For Alice, a Mii researcher and modder known online as @HEYimHeroicThe Cursed Mii aesthetic remains a highlight of their everyday gaming experience. Regarding the Mii showing polygons, he says, “The more values ​​I input in Mii Studio, the less it pops on the face.” “That’s how I got my nose there.”

Part of the appeal of Cursed Miis, he says, comes from the inherent freedom, which was also used by Nintendo developers during the early era of Wii U development. For example, they found an unused, always-smiling CPU named Michael Tuttori. Wii Musicas well as generous, unused Miis in “family_post”, a debug folder for the Wii U’s Varvara Plaza from Wii U System Version 1.0.

A messy Mii face showing very long eyebrows and a very low nose

The recurring Mii famously appears in videos by “I want to die” streamer RTGame.
Image: HEYimHeroic/RTGames

A messy Mii design that looks like the character's entire face is hidden behind giant glasses

Discovered by Alice, this “cursed” Mii from “family_post” has eyes popping out of its head and nostrils atop sunglasses.
Image: Nintendo

“Sometimes developers make ugly Miis just for fun,” Alice says. “But other ‘cursed’ Miis may have real uses for game developers, such as testing how big a head can be without cutting hair through an accessory. And some Miis actually make games that Not about Miis.”

Alice discovered it in 2021 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild An enhanced version of the Mii format, called UMii, was used to populate the giant open-world game using the same parameters and features given to traditional Miis.

UMii opened the door for BotW Modders to import their quirky custom avatars into the map and share their work on Discord. gone after alice’s search viral on twitter, they imported Twitch streamer RTGame’s famous Cursed Mii from “I Want to Die,” with her distinctive wide-set eyes and nearly-vertical eyebrows, BotWKakariko Village – and received overwhelming praise from Twitter fans, who immediately pointed out its terrifying appearance. One user said, “To be honest, this might be more disturbing than the original.” answered, “Very good!”

Zelda: Breath of the Wild screenshot shows Link with an unusual looking face

Alice imported the face of “I want to die” into Breath of the Wild
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via HeimHeroic

When asked whether he believes the current oversaturation of customizable characters will weaken the legacy of the Cursed Mi aesthetic (eldon ring, overwatch), Alice remains optimistic about the impact of Nintendo’s trademark avatars.

“Recent Mii games like [Miitopia] “The Mii customization has expanded further,” Alice says. “People have created viral content with them like Squidward. I wish Nintendo had leaned more into Cursed Miis [for] Wii U, they would have sold more units. This is exactly what I want my family to see when we open our new console on Christmas Day. So, I guess as long as memes are here, damned memes will be here.

As Alice says, this doesn’t mean that all unpredictable Miis should be considered cursed. After all, Nintendo is a Japanese company, and what Western audiences might perceive as cursed can sometimes just be the result of cultural differences. For example, some Miis designed by Nintendo Japan are actually based on Japanese celebrities, such as Sanma Akashiya’s toothy grin.

None of this negates the vintage allure that these Miis display in the world of video game fashion aesthetics. Watching your Peter Griffin Mii chat with a Japanese celebrity in the Wii U Mii Plaza while your own Mii speeds past makes for a memorable, perhaps even utopian life within the digital world. Next time I walk around my hometown, I’ll definitely dust off my old Wii to watch the damned abominations of yesteryear, grateful that this customizable menu has brought together gamers and non-gamers, grandparents and grandchildren, Bringing the novice and the expert together. modder.

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