the artistry and psychology of gaming


Dark Torvus Bog (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)

Dark Torvus Bog (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)

Dark Aether was quite a special place, whether under purple skies during the days of its control of the light energy, or whether under red skies in the days thereafter.  With the Ing-mutated creatures all about, it was certainly a very dangerous place, but there is a beauty to its horror.  It is true that perhaps many may have to be trapped there long enough to form a sort of Stockholm Syndrome in order to appreciate it, but the preferable method is to become powerful enough to defend oneself and to put aside all irrational fear and treat its dark atmosphere as one might a grassy field on a sunny day, or even a memorable moonlit summer night.  Putting aside scotophobia and fear of the unknown can go a long way to appreciating other worlds.

Perhaps the most stunning area of Dark Aether is Dark Torvus Bog.  A corrupted version of the original Torvus Bog, it turns the ordinary to the extraordinary.  During my very first forays into Dark Aether, I’d wondered what water might look like on the dark version of this planet.  It was here that I encountered quite a bit; it is a bog, after all.  I must say that it was far more spectacular than I could ever have imagined, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Dark Torvus Bog has more obstructions than its Light World counterpart, which causes its aboveground and underground areas to be separated; they are inaccessible from each other.  The entrance to the underground section is stunning, as is the Crypt, which is the area into which you emerge.  Most of the rest, sadly, is naught but rusty, brown machinery, long abandoned, and is thus quite ugly. Even the occasional splashes of red light do little to bring a pleasant sense of aesthetics to the area.

The other half, however, is a wonderfully wild and twisted swamp from the likes of nightmares.  Grotesque, writhing vines are everywhere, covering the walls, and even lending their appearance to some organic platforms.  There are structures that resemble giant mushrooms and rafflesia blossoms.  There are also organic containers that resemble inverted jellyfish of a light, translucent blue.  The shallow liquid covering the ground is of a deep purple, complimenting the dark atmosphere perfectly, while also providing a strong underlying color.  Peppering the area are also little wisps of energy, which, when activated, create temporary bubbles of light energy, which shields from Dark Aether’s harmful atmosphere.  Yes, the only thing more harmful than the atmosphere is the aforementioned purple liquid itself, though the aggressive inhabitants are dangerous of their own accord.

Dark Torvus Bog has its synthetic structures, as well.  Amongst the large trees and other monstrous plant life, many metal and stone structures can be found.  Being a shadow of Aether, the high technology of the Luminoth still exists, though some of it has been corrupted to serve other purposes than those originally intended.  Perhaps the most impressive area is the Dark Torvus Arena, which is back in a corner. It resembles a high-tech version of an Ancient Greek Coliseum.  While there are blue lights running all around the area, there are also four pillars with a red crystal adorning their respective zeniths.  Standing against the background of a red sky, they are quite a sight, conjuring images of an erupting volcanic wasteland.

Of all the wonders Dark Torvus Bog has to offer, natural and otherwise, the most beautiful is the one that few ever see and survive to report.  It takes a very impressive suit or a unique type of body to withstand any amount of time in the dark liquid permeating the surface.  Plunging into its depths, however, allows one to view a vast world beneath the surface.  While not large in physical size, the fact that it is difficult to see very far gives it the illusion of grandness.  The waters of Maridia were so vast and peaceful that I could float there for hours, but these waters could hold me captive for days.  Mere pictures cannot do it justice; it is merely something that one has to experience firsthand, though, sadly, very few will be able.  I am very fortunate to have been able to explore their depths.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.”  The same goes for other worlds.  What some may find horrifying, ugly, and uncomfortable can be a veritable paradise for others.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, or everyone in the universe would strive to live in the same place.  Perhaps you may even find somewhere you’d like to call home for the rest of your days while out adventuring.  Personally, I could never settle on just one place.

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