Tatler Hong Kong

Heard around Hong Kong this month


HONG KONG HAS BECOME central to one of this year’s most highly anticipate­d gaming titles. Stray, originally slated to come out last October but now set to be released on Playstatio­n 5 in “early 2022”, according to French developer Bluetwelve, is an open-world game where players take on the role of a street cat navigating a cybercity inhabited by robots by solving puzzles and evading enemies. Stray, formerly known as Hk_project, is said to be heavily influenced by the unique aesthetic of the Kowloon Walled City, conveyed through narrow alleyways pierced with neon lights. For Hongkonger­s looking for signs of home in the map design, producer Swann Martin-raget told Edge magazine that the environmen­t was designed in such a way as to evoke a sense of alienation. “Obviously this place is supposed to be at least unwelcomin­g,” says Martin-raget. “This is why we also developed an alphabet for the whole language for the game—to have players really feel that they don’t understand this place and they don’t get all the codes of this environmen­t.” Meanwhile, gamers’ excitement continued to ramp up—cats are one of the main pillars of the internet, after all. “This is a console seller,” said one fan.

AFTER A CAREER of more than seven decades in showbiz, Patrick Tse has finally won a Best Actor award, presented by the Hong Kong Film Critics’ Society at their annual prize-giving in January. Tse, 85, won for his role as retired contract killer Chau in last year’s black comedy Time. Tse came out of semi-retirement for the role—he officially stopped acting in the 1990s after moving from Hong Kong to Canada—though still makes occasional film appearance­s. He made his debut aged 17 in 1952’s

The Stormy Night, and went on to become one of Asian cinema’s most popular idols over the next few decades. In his acceptance speech, Tse said he would invite the cast and crew to a six-star hotel for coffee, and paid tribute to his co-star, Petrina Fung Bo-bo. “We had great chemistry on set. I hope there will be more opportunit­ies to work together in the future,” he said. It’s never too late.

BARELY HAD THE YEAR begun when Hongkonger­s had to get their heads around the baffling news that hamsters were the latest enemy in the government’s war on Covid-19, based on the possible risk of the rodents transmitti­ng the disease to humans. After more than 2,000 hamsters were culled by authoritie­s—despite an opposing petition attracting 40,000 signatures from the public—an anonymous group of university students announced their plan to resurrect the culled creatures as NFTS. “We will not stand for the euthanisin­g of our little hamsters,” read an Instagram post from the team, announcing the project’s aim was “to stand up, spread [the] word and positivity”, and that some of its proceeds would be donated to animal charities.

EMIGRATING Hong Kong pet owners have been clubbing together to charter private jets to transport their furry friends, at a cost of up to HK$200,000 per owner-pet pair, according to the Financial Times. Private-jet brokers have reported a huge demand from people leaving the city who don’t want to abandon their pet, whether dogs, rabbits or tortoises. The current method for transporti­ng pets offered by commercial airlines separates animal from owner, creating anxiety on both sides, not to mention there is a current lack of flights due to pandemic measures. When pooled between multiple travellers, private planes become an option—and a journey to remember, at that. Owner and emigree Bianca Ho shared her story of moving her dog Caviar to the UK after waiting for more than six months for a place on a commercial airliner. “We were waiting for a pet cargo ticket for so long,” she said. “Even if it’s too expensive for us, it was a special experience. We were very concerned about the dog being in cargo for 12 to 13 hours. My dog is very emotional and sensitive.” A pooch could get used to this kind of lifestyle.

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