the artistry and psychology of gaming

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Gyro Man (Mega Man 5)

Gyro Man (Mega Man 5)

In what to us is a futuristic world in which robots are commonplace, there are many things that would seem strange here in ours.  Certainly, the robots of all shapes and sizes are a bit out of the ordinary for us, but so are some of the facilities that one might encounter here.  I’ve spoken of the facility where crystals, evidently a common source of energy in this world, are mined.  There are also subterranean military bases large enough to house many tanks and missile silos, space colonies, laboratories that perform experiments with anti-gravity technology, and more. Perhaps the most unusual is the high-tech structure high above the clouds.

The term, “sky fortress” is a bit inaccurate, as it appears to be not necessarily used for defense.  I doubt that this place is a city, since none of the structures looked anything like dwellings.  The next logical guess might be a weather control facility, but I found no evidence of anything there that might be capable of such a task.  There were no aircraft there, so any idea that it might be an airborne hangar or refueling station was quickly dashed to bits.  The best I could guess, it was likely some sort of laboratory, but whatever it was, it was certainly quite the spectacle.

Beneath me was a large glass case with some sort of conduits inside of it.  There were propellers all over the outside, likely utilizing some sort of wind-based power, which is an excellent idea so high in the sky.  It was all set into a large, orange structure crafted of some metal I’d never seen before. The blue extended forever, with clouds all about, both near and far.  Just a bit from the platform was a large sky elevator, which took me even higher into the clouds.

There were more conduit cases, but before me were also some mechanical structures.  They were encased entirely in glass, though certain parts were reinforced with a light green metal. Inside were mechanical parts that were in constant motion.  The poles leading up to the top of these structures were threaded cylinders, and had a wide disc at the top.  It seemed that the fans were powering them, but the outside of the structure was not spinning, so I could not ascertain their purpose.  There were a great many of these tall structures, so I used them as platforms as I made my way through the sky.

Further across a great number of floating platforms, some of which fell under my weight, I found what seemed to be more of an edifice, but turned out to be a death trap.  There were ornate columns on either side of it, each having a space-age design that is difficult to describe.  This trap was another sky elevator, but floating in its shaft were a number of platforms with large, spinning drill bits on their undersides.  Fortunately, the elevator moved far more slowly than the first, but upon safely reaching the top, I could not help but wonder what purpose such a thing might serve.

I strode further and further across the sky, over more of the space-ace pillars and floating platforms at dizzying heights.  Despite the danger, the embrace of the clouds gave me a very secure and comfortable feeling as I performed this death-defying act.  It might sound silly, since clouds are really nothing more than condensed water vapor, but at those heights, the air is very different.  Few realize this, as most are distracted by how much more difficult it is to breathe for them.  At any rate, I eventually happened upon a cozy little place nestled within the machines.  In this alcove, I stopped to watch the great number of propellers spinning peacefully around me.  Even at this proximity, I was unable to discern their true purpose.  Through a series of nearby gates, I was able to reach a large open-air chamber, which may well have been a control room, but there was nothing with which I could interface, so its purpose, like that of this entire place, remained unknown to me.

The greatest moments of adventuring sometimes come from the wonders of our childhood.  When I was very young, any picture I drew had ground on the bottom, sky at the top, and nothing in the middle, due to my misconception that the sky was different from the air all around me.  I’d often wondered what it would be like to visit the sky, especially when I saw my first clear sunrise – the first two I’d seen were cloudy.  As I stared into the pastels of the fading dawn, I dreamed of seeing it closer one day.  While the idea of the sky itself being a place on a map is preposterous to my adult mind, it made my trips to places high in the air no less magical.  In a sense, I was fulfilling my old dreams, ludicrous as they were, but without them, I’d never have even considered exploring such a place, nor would it have been as meaningful.  While getting bogged down with blind nostalgia can easily ruin one’s experiences in the present as well as cut one off from the desire to experience anything new, living out the dreams of days past is not something to intrinsically ignore.

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