The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s incarnation of series protagonist Link is usually a master chef, able to produce a medley of mouth-watering dishes using nothing more than a simple campfire and foraged herbs, meats, and vegetables. However, sometimes, the Hero of Hyrule will toss some less-than-savory ingredients in a pan and wind up with a pixelated mess dubbed “Dubious Food.” Despite its appearance, Dubious Food is fully edible and even restores a handful of Link’s hearts.
Today, we’re going to be taking a look at ten other video game meals that could just as easily earn the “Dubious Food” label. In order to be considered for this list, a food had to:
1) be able to be eaten by human or humanoid characters
2) not have exclusively negative effects when consumed (a mix of positive, neutral, and negative effects, or a roulette of random effects where some are negative, is allowed) (yes, radiation poisoning IS considered a negative effect – sorry, Fallout fans)
Without further ado, let’s dive into some less-than-yummy meals this GameLuster writer is thrilled they only have write about, not actually eat!
Honorable Mention: Sad Grandma Birthday Pasta (Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony)
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony sees the unfortunate students forced to eat food not-so-lovingly cooked by the Monokubs, a group of sadistic bear-shaped robots led by series mascot Monokuma. Arguably, eating their creations may be greater torture than participating in a killing game – one of the few named items we see them offer the students is described as “Pasta that tastes like a lonely old lady eating her grandson’s birthday cake.”
Unfortunately, players are never given clarification of exactly WHAT this bizarre pasta creation tastes like, as only one character (the less-than-sociable anthropologist Korekiyo) eats it, and a murder occurs shortly after, so the protagonist has little time to inquire about how the spaghetti tasted. Bet it was gross, though.
10. Mysterious Wall Meat (Castlevania Series)
Nobody knows anything about this most mysterious of meats. Where did it come from? How did it wind up embedded in the walls in the first place? What kind of meat is it? How is it still capable of restoring health to the player and not…y’know…poisoning them or something, given that it was just chilling in a wall for who knows how long before they found it? The Castlevania series spans a large number of games – plus spinoff media such as the recent Netflix series – but we are no closer to learning the truth about Mysterious Wall Meat. Perhaps we may never be.
9. Raw Flour (Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia)
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is not the only video game in which characters can sustain themselves by consuming raw flour. However, it was chosen for this list because some members of your army actually like raw flour, and have it listed as one of their preferred foods over normal things like cooked meat, fruit, and…y’know, actual bread made with the flour. Really, guys?
8. Whipped-Cream Curry (Pokemon Sword and Shield)
For the most part, the curry dishes players can craft in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield look pretty good. They’re topped with things like beans, toast, sausages, noodles, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. I can even accept the game’s assertion that Slowpoke tails are a tasty and acceptable ingredient, as they apparently fall off naturally and no Slowpokes were harmed in the making of any plate of Tail Curry.
But whipped cream? This is a step too far. Nothing can convince me that whipped cream goes on curry. Cheese, maybe, but not whipped cream. No, absolutely no thank you – no amount of added Berries could make this a palatable dish.
7. Mammoth Cheese Bowl (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
It’s….just a giant bowl of cheese. Harvested from mammoths. No additional ingredients, no seasonings…there’s actually no word on whether or not this stuff is even cooked or if it’s simply served raw. It is, however, apparently enjoyed by giants, and is capable of restoring a small amount of health and stamina to an adventurous Dragonborn who gives it a try. But given that the player character of Skyrim is known for happily consuming such delicacies as unidentified herbs and concoctions, bees, and, most damning of all, sweet rolls that did not belong to them, their opinion on the matter is not necessarily a trustworthy one.
6. Suspicious Stew (Minecraft)
Made from a combination of mushrooms and flowers, Suspicious Stew can best be described as a gamble. It can restore your health, make you resistant to fire, allow you to temporarily jump higher….or it can poison you, blind you, or cause you to wither away. However, what is most disturbing about Suspicious Stew is not the table of effects it draws from but the fact that it technically counts as a type of milk, because it can be harvested from mushroom-covered cows called Mooshrooms. It may be milk, but it’s certainly not something I’d ever want to dip my Girl Scout cookies into…
5. Dog Food (Wolfenstein Series)
Technically nutritious enough to count as a meal. Somehow able to restore four health points to protagonist BJ, despite being something that no human should consume. Actually considered a valid strategy by some players who don’t want to waste their valuable medkits when an alternative healing option is available.
And what does it say about the next four items on this list that they were judged worse than literal dog food…Well, nothing good, that’s for sure.
4. Lucky Lunch (Stardew Valley)
The innocuous, cutesy name and positive effects of this dish (increased luck, something few other in-game meals are capable of providing) might initially cause you to give this star-shaped Stardew treat a pass. However, a closer look at its ingredient list will reveal that Lucky Lunch consists of a whole sea cucumber, a single tortilla, and one blue jazz flower. How on earth is that supposed to taste good? Does your luck increase because you ate something so terrible and somehow survived? While the completed version of the meal looks alright thanks to its cheerful star design, I can’t help but imagine the Farmer wrapping up a sea cucumber in a tortilla and just…chowing down. A truly nauseating mental image.
3. Fluffy Mackerel Pudding aka Feast Day Fish (Dragon Age)
I debated for a while about which item was more disgusting: Lucky Lunch or Fluffy Mackerel Pudding, as both involve cooking seafood into a dish that really doesn’t seem like it should contain any type of fish. However, I ultimately gave Fluffy Mackerel Pudding the spot because the Lucky Lunch at least looks appetizing. Fluffy Mackerel Pudding just looks like some sort of horrifying beige nightmare that might be served at the world’s worst high school cafeteria.
Dragon Age kindly provides players with a recipe for this “feast day treat,” allowing them to prepare Fluffy Mackerel Pudding in the real world and try it for themselves. I am proud to say that…I very much did NOT do that, because my stomach is not that strong. It apparently was a real recipe though, and was once included in a Weight Watcher’s cookbook in the 1970s. Presumably because it caused you to lose weight by being so disgusting that it turned you off food for the rest of your life.
2. Pretty Much Everything (Earthbound / Mother series)
OK, technically the Earthbound / Mother games feature a few normal dishes such as the Bag of Fries or the humble Bread, but the disgusting offerings definitely outnumber them by a significant margin. I mean, look at some of these names: Peanut Cheese Bar? Kraken Soup? Piggy Jelly? Trout Yogurt? (Seriously, what is it with video games and serving up weird fish-centric dessert dishes. There are way too many of those on this list.) The Mother series takes the second-to-top spot solely because of how many less-than-appetizing food options are available.
But is there a single dish that can top this veritable buffet of gross in sheer inedible-ness?
Why yes. Yes, there is.
And it’s none other than…
1. Moist Tomato Cake (Final Fantasy XV)
Did I decide to write this list almost entirely so I could talk about how much I hate Moist Tomato Cake?
…Yes, yes I did.
Almost everything master chief Ignis produces in Final Fantasy XV looks absolutely mouth-watering. (In fact, the game’s development team actually cooked most of the in-game “recipehs” themselves to ensure they tasted good). As you travel around, your party can chow down on juicy steaks, delicate desserts, multiple varieties of cup noodles, and even the finest of Scientia Sushi.
And then there’s this thing. A damp-looking slice of vaguely fluffy, spotty red cake made out of killer tomatoes, served with a side of even more tomatoes, plus some kind of cream that probably does nothing to dull the awful taste. Multiple sites have tried to make Moist Tomato Cake for real, and all of them have proclaimed it utterly disgusting and near-impossible to eat. (Although, according to the limited-edition Luncheon Mats sold at the Square Enix cafe, which paired characters from the game with their favorite foods, Moist Tomato Cake is apparently enjoyed by literal gods.)
Plus, this recipe can actually cause a glitch if you harvest Killer Tomatoes too early in the game. Ignis’s recipe-learning animation will fail to trigger, and you’ll be left with an awful blank spot in your recipe book forever. Seriously, there’s nothing good about this stupid “dessert.” Truly the worst of the worst, the dubious-est of the dubious….I ask myself, would I rather eat Dubious Food than this?
Yes, yes I would.
Which disgusting video game foods would you add to this list? Anything included here that you actually think sounds delicious? Let us know, and uh….bon appetit, I guess?