We'd almost forgotten about Ross Dannenberg's fun Patent Arcade website, and have almost forgiven him and his colleague for suggesting that everything in the world ever should be patented (we jest!), so we can link to his new Nintendo-related patent analysis which deals with Star Fox, oddly enough.

He explains: "Remember StarFox? I do (I'm getting old). The '179 patent describes a number of gameplay aspects of a video game in the StarFox series. As the patent correctly professes, I always enjoyed the ability to select the level I played, instead of having to sequentially move through each level every time I started the game. Allowing the player to replay a level without resetting the game the player avoids being “burdened with unwanted labor, thereby losing his interest in the game or having a burdensome feeling….”"

Of course, some may find it a little seditious that Nintendo is trying to (and succeeding in!) patenting the concept of "a plurality of different courses through which a player can successively advance by successfully completing a current one of said plurality of courses" - basically, a branching level structure that you can play in any order. But they have, so kudos to Mr. Dannenberg for explaining it.