the artistry and psychology of gaming


Flash Man (Adventures of Bass)

Flash Man (Adventures of Bass)

Continuing the most beautiful dream I’ve had of my second trip to the world of robots, I continued to explore the various sites I’d visited while awake.  By now, I had already explored both the sky and the construction site.  At that point in time, I did what I usually do: visit the energy crystal mine.  Some purists will tell you that this is a place to visit among the later areas; I will not.  The truth is, though, that everyone has his or her own unique way of exploring this particular sector of the world.

At any rate, the mine in the real world is a wondrous place because of its unique composition.  The layout has been carved from the crystal that is mined there, which is a bit of a mixed blessing.  While practical and efficient, it makes exploration a bit precarious, because it is so smooth and slippery.  What it lacks in safety, though, it makes up in sheer beauty.  Not only is the entire inside of the mine cast in a lovely shade of blue, it also emits its own light, which causes the interior to flash different shades of blue.

Of course, in my dreams, everything is slightly different from its real-world counterpart, and this was no exception.  Aside from coloration and layout, the actual color of the flashing changed.  That is to say that rather than three shades of the same color, the caverns flashed three entirely different colors!  As I entered, the walls were a color halfway between magenta and purple; it was deeper than magenta, but had more flair than a typical purple.  The second color was a sort of sickly orange that had tinges of greenish-gold to it; it was a color I’d only ever seen in this dream and in Peloponnesus.  The third and final color in the loop was a gorgeous emerald green; the caverns were colored according to the three secondary colors of pigment.  Consequently, the carved blocks were these colors, as well, though in different shades.  The purple was a pale shade of its corresponding wall color, the orange was a lovely pale orange that I’d previously seen in an ice-carved labyrinth on the moon, and the green was an electric lime color.  Although these colors do not usually go very well together, they looked great in here, almost like a dance party from several decades ago.

My entry point was a dangerous one indeed; the carved rocks above me extended just as far as the ones beneath me, so I had to gain enough momentum to slide and leap at the very edge to reach the next platform suspended above a fatal drop.  There were several more platforms above the abyss a bit further on, though after a short hopping session, the danger faded away for a while.  During that stretch, however, the arrangement of the blocks combined with their colors to form a beautiful pattern, like some sort of inverse mosaic painting.  At its end, the block formations became much more solid, creating an aesthetic reminiscent of a child’s block fortress.  In fact, some of the placements seemed almost entirely random, and even out of place.  I used to build such structures myself; to most children, function is less important than aesthetics, however they perceive beauty.

After traveling a bit further, I headed through a sort of a chute formation, which dumped me into an open area.  This area also terminated in a double chute at the other end, the more elevated of which was blocked by a blue wall that made an odd sound when struck.  Instead, I took the lower of the two, leading me into a vertical labyrinth of sorts.  On the way down, there were a number of choices to be made as to which path to take.  Of course, some of these were blocked by similar blue walls, which limited my options.  Some of these rooms had very visually interesting layouts, and I wanted to see each of them, but they all brought me to the same place.

At the bottom of the long shaft, I reached another area with a deep chasm beneath.  This room had very thin blocks upon which to stand with fairly sizeable gaps between them.  Remember that these blocks are very slippery, so this was a no-brakes marathon of running leaps.  Eventually, the ground below became a long slab of rock without gaps.  I continued along the top, dropping to the lower level when I ran out of road, so to speak.  At the end of the line, I saw the usual gate to the control chamber, this time with the pulsating visage of Dr. Light sitting above it.  I’d seen this throughout the dream in the place of Dr. Wily’s logo, but here, it really stood out to me.  Heading through, I entered the control chamber to find that the bricks lining the wall were of different shades than the walls and bricks elsewhere in the mine, but still pulsated with color.  From an indescribable purple, to a golden orange, and then to a spring green, they shone more beautifully than I’d ever seen them before.

The setting in a dream can take on a number of forms.  Sometimes they mimic reality perfectly.  Other times, they only bear the identity of a location, so while they look nothing like its real world counterpart at all, the dreamer will still “know” the place despite its dissimilar nature.  In some instances, the place will be similar, but slightly different in layout or orientation.  The most special kind, at least to me, are the ones that change the rules of how a place operates.  Maybe it’s an icy desert or a tundra with blistering heat; maybe it’s a normally seafaring vessel that sails through the air.  It could even be a dream in which you have sound-to-sight synaesthesia, causing beautiful colors to erupt from whence sound emanates, painting the otherwise mundane location a prismatic wonderland.  Whatever the case, it allows the dreamer to see an old memory from a new perspective – no matter how shallow the difference – and perhaps gives him or her a newfound appreciation of something that he or she has known for so long.

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