Seriously, what is going on with Miles Morales’ apartment?
The star of the latest Spider-Man adventure from Insomniac Games lives with his mother Rio in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. You visit their shared home a few times over the course of the story, and it looks like a totally normal living space at first glance.
Don’t be fooled. In truth, Miles and Rio have set themselves up with tripped out Wonderland in northern New York City to call their own. Natural laws of logic and reason don’t apply here. You might get there and set out to hunt for Easter eggs, but what you actually find is a pile of “But… why?” questions.
Before I get into it, let me just say: This is all in good fun. The team behind Miles Morales is a talented group, and they built a tremendous game. I’m not here to knock their work; the process of building a game often involves creative problem solving and careful time management, and there’s no doubt a very good reason that some of these things are the way they are.
But that doesn’t make them any less funny.
Books are great, right? Rio and Miles definitely think so. The Morales home is filled with shelves and shelves of mostly hardcover books. It’s wonderful! Reading is, after all, fundamental.
When I first visited the apartment and popped into camera mode to seek out Easter eggs, those bookshelves were the first place I turned. I immediately wondered what kind of little tidbits I’d find hinting at the larger Marvel Universe.
Instead, what I found was a lot of fakes. Not just fakes, but repeat copies of fakes. In some cases, there are five, even 10 copies of the same thing spread across the various shelves in the Morales apartment.
It’s not just the number, though. The titles are noteworthy, too. You’ve got several copies of “Dictionary.” A number of others called “Maps” (why not “Atlas”?). The list goes on: “Legal Asylum,” “History,” “Family Geneaology,” “Locating Flowers.” Plenty of others. But then things get really weird.
What is “Complete Guide” all about? Complete guide to what? Everything?? How about “Bizarre Skeletons”? There are several copies of that one even though I’m struggling to imagine what even one would have to offer. But my favorite of them all: “Terrific Cheeses.” There are ten (10) copies of “Terrific Cheeses.” I don’t think it’s a multi-volume set; Rio and Miles just really like sharing their enthusiasm for cheese. (Fair.)
Breakfast of your dreams
Spider Man: Miles Morales is the video game that dares to ask: What if bacon, but cereal?
The Morales family keeps no fewer than three boxes of Bacon Snaps cereal in the kitchen. All three of those boxes are open. I’m not sure why, but it seems like a bad idea. Cereal goes stale when it’s left out, and if there’s any actual meat in these puppies then I’d also be worried about getting sick.
What a dream though, right? Bacon cereal? There are lots of things in the Morales home that made me cackle, or furrow my brow, or just gave me pause. But the moment I saw Bacon Snaps I knew that my life, your life, all our lives are less than they could be without Bacon Snaps in our collective day-to-day.
The rest of the Morales family cereal selection is intriguing, but nothing holds a candle to Bacon Snaps. Otter Bites look like chocolate kibble with purple marshmallows mixed in. We can’t even see Cloud Puffs and Sunrise Crunch, but those seem like mundane names that are maybe comparable to Kix and Corn Flakes, respectively?
Still. Bacon Snaps. Bacon Snaps.
Kitchen storage as modern art
Don’t stray too far from the Morales kitchen, we’re not done yet.
Take a look in the cabinets. All of the cabinets. Rio’s kitchen is filled with glass-fronted storage, allowing you to see what’s inside and how things are organized. Well let me tell you, friends. The concept of being organized follows its own set of rules in the Morales household.
Take a look in this cabinet and think about what you’re seeing.
Some fruit preserves, some cans of soup, a squeeze bottle of hot sauce, and sealed jars of beans, loose macaroni, and more (but different) beans. Normal stuff, right?
But wait. Look in another cabinet and tell me what you see.
Beans again, macaroni again, and maybe lentils? But beans and macaroni in a second cabinet. That must be everything, right? Yeah, splitting up the beans and macaroni across two sets of jars and cabinets is a little strange, but it wouldn’t go any further than that.
On one hand, this “let’s put everything in every cabinet” approach makes it easy to avoid losing things. On the other, literally what? Who does this?
Look at this chicken statue!
I don’t know why this strange chicken statue that’s sitting off to the side in the Morales kitchen cracks me up, but it does.
What are you doing there, bud? Just taking up space? That statue would look a million times better in a cabinet, if only every cabinet in the apartment weren’t filled with some combination of repeating bean and macaroni jars.
Also, aren’t we in New York City here? Rio, what are you doing? No one has space in NYC and here you are giving some of your precious counter real estate to an enormous chicken statue.
What time is it?
There are three main rooms in the Morales apartment: Miles and his mom’s bedroom, plus the living room with attached kitchen. There’s also a bathroom. Ya gotta have a bathroom. But I digress.
Across those rooms I counted five clocks in total. Most of them are in the living room, and two are hanging on the wall right next to each other. That’s strange enough on its own, but we’re not done yet. Why? None of the clocks are set to the same time.
At what point do we have to entertain the possibility that Rio is intentionally messing with Miles? The two hexagonal clocks do show the same time, as do the two pendulum clocks. Then the round one is operating on its own schedule.
This has got to be some kind of psychological warfare. There’s no other reasonable explanation.
Why no PlayStation?
Tell me, dear reader: What is wrong with this picture?
That controller is similar to controllers we’ve all seen before, but it’s obviously just a fake, generic controller. With A/B/X/Y buttons. On a PlayStation exclusive that is launching alongside Sony’s latest console.
Let’s game this out. Insomniac made this game with a PlayStation-first mindset. Maybe it’ll come to PC or some other hardware eventually, but its first months (or years) of life are reserved for PlayStation. Why, then, is it using Xbox-style buttons?
Come on, guys. This is easy synergy. You’ve got a Miles game that’s exclusive to PlayStation and you’re putting a controller inside his in-game apartment. Make it a DualSense! It’s Sony’s hot new thing! Truly, the mind boggles.
This last one is without a doubt my favorite.
Rio Morales is politically engaged. In fact, as Spider-Man: Miles Morales opens, our hero’s mom is in the middle of running for public office. It’s an all-consuming process, so she obviously does plenty of work on her campaign from home. That’s why it’s perfectly normal to see this bulletin board hanging by the apartment’s front door.
Look at those Post-Its off on the left side, though. Rio seems to be scrawling down different ideas for campaign slogans. Again, a perfectly normal thing for someone who’s seeking office to do. But. For reasons that are a complete mystery to me, one of those Post-Its simply says… “Salmon!”
This one broke my brain a little. It’s consumed my thoughts at least a few times a day since I discovered it. Why salmon? What’s with the exclamation point? Did Rio just have a bit too much to drink that night? Did she realize while preparing dinner at some point that she was missing the main ingredient? Is this a single-item shopping list that got mixed into the campaign slogans pile? Or is Rio actively considering “Salmon!” as a viable and effective way to pitch herself to the people?
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but it’s possible I’ve lost some sleep over it. Insomniac, if you’re reading this and are game to address the thinking behind even one of these apartment oddities, let it be salmon. Why salmon??
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.