Feline Friday is my chance to celebrate famous cats across the arts, whether their origins are in gaming, film, anime, literature or anywhere else.
If you have a request for a future feline, please let me know on Twitter.
First Appearance: Hi-Fi Rush (2023)
Covering a live event as a journalist can actually be quite a stressful process. You’ve got to take shorthand information on the fly while still keeping your ears open for further tidbits, separating new details from the old, before distilling that into its sharpest points and producing clear, accurate copy as swiftly as possible.
The recent Bethesda and Xbox Developer Direct is a recent example that truly played havoc with my emotions; specifically, the moment Tango Gameworks took the digital stage. The thought process was, “oh Shinji Mikami, my beloved Resident Evil senpai… hmm, a new IP, this looks different… music-based timing combat, how trendy… holy fucking shit there is a cat in this game.”
Luckily, I was not assigned to break the news on Hi-Fi Rush, as the above is pretty much how the final article would have read. I was quick to produce a guide about this cat, however, and whether you can pet it (spoiler: you fucking can, guys).
808 acts as both a visual aid and combat assistant during your missions, turning into a portable speaker that keeps the beat and acts as a metronome. This is not only an excellent talent for a kitty to have, but perhaps an indictment on the musical wherewithal of the game’s protagonist, Chai.
Look, I love Sami, but if I’m relying on him to understand the tempo of Nine Inch Nails songs, then I cannot in good faith claim to be a “future rock star”. I will, however, see if he’s up for a fist bump when he next awakens from his nap.
808 was constructed by the enigmatic Peppermint, and she is able to communicate through her remotely, which may give a false impression of sass. Be not fooled, as this is not 808 herself, she is but a humble feline with a keen sense of rhythm. She does pull off some boss poses, however, so she is not without her own personality program.
As the game has only recently released, further details on our
furry metallic pal are fairly scarce. Indeed, searching “Hi-Fi Rush 808” on YouTube more readily leads to an old man showing off his speakers than insight into gaming’s newest, bestest girl. That guy is going to be so confused when his view count suddenly sees a random ass spike.
Thankfully, Hi-Fi Rush has unexpectedly caught fire since its stealth release after the presentation, so in time, the Internet will be flooded with all of the character analyses, crossover mashups, and rule 34 fan art that your blackened heart could ever hope for.
It also lends itself well to offshoot projects, like an animated series and limitless merchandise opportunities. All this is to say, I don’t really have a lot to work with at the point in time, and I’ve clearly been padding my word count from the opening paragraph onward.
Down the track, I might flesh out this article with more extensive knowledge on 808, once I’ve been equipped with the relevant information. In all likelihood I won’t, as this was nothing more than a transparent attempt at grabbing them hot clicks on a Friday, but there is at least a vague ghost of a chance.
Thank you, Tango Gameworks, for bringing a kitty into the limelight. Hopefully you drag this website into relevancy, too, kicking and screaming though it may be. Let’s get famous together, Mikami-kun.