the artistry and psychology of gaming


Ice Pyramid (Monster World 4)

Ice Pyramid (Monster World 4)

There’s a strange world somewhere out there known as Monster World.  As is common with other worlds, it has very diverse geography and heroes of legend.  There are many different creatures living there, including even sentient dragons.  What’s unusual about it, though, is that the world itself is considered to spread seeds.  It’s a difficult concept to explain, but throughout various stages of its development, it spun off copies of itself, which in turn, became new worlds of their own.  Some of these new worlds further developed in a different manner than Monster World, whereas some others developed very little if at all.  It’s not terribly common to find a world like this, but when you do, it weaves a very interesting history with alternate possibilities as to how it could have turned out with different circumstances; almost like peering into a parallel universe.

One of its most interesting features is the Ice Pyramid.  The Ice Pyramid is exactly what it sounds like: a gigantic pyramid crafted of ice.  Needless to say, it is in a very cold region of Monster World.  The pyramid itself has three entrances, each of which leads to a different area, each marked by its differently colored interior.  Though somewhat small in size, each section is absolutely labyrinthine, and full of riddles and traps, making it a lengthy journey to get to the pyramid’s heart.  Like the pyramids of this world, though, it is filled with wonderful mysteries just begging to be discovered.

I reached the region at twilight during a heavy snowstorm.  The evening sky was a deep red, casting a pinkish glow upon the snowy hills in the distance.  The approaching night painted the clouds purple and black above me, and I walked along the blue, crystalline path of ice, thankful for my good traction.  Along the path, there were deadly structures that looked like large shrubs completely iced-over.  They were easily sturdy enough to impale anyone unlucky enough to fall into one; a treacherous proposition on a frozen pathway.  After a long trek, I reached the massive blue steps of the Ice Pyramid, and made my way to the first entrance.

The other side of the door was embedded high in a wall, so I was dropped quite a long way into the dark halls of the forgotten tomb.  The poor lighting caused the blocks of ice to appear almost black beneath me.  Ornate columns crafted from some off-white stone material held up the ceiling in the corridors.  Perhaps the strangest feature of this area was the hazy glare of a mysterious purple mist that floated through the area, painting the distant walls in a darker shade of itself.  It often obscured the hieroglyphics on the walls, which looked juxtapositioned due to the browns and pale yellows that they sported.

The technology in this place was incredible, considering how old it was.  It had an automated elevator made of a block of ice, some gears, and a pulley system; a bit crude, perhaps, but impressive nonetheless.  Also impressive was the idol chamber, which seemed to be crafted of a brownish stone, and had purple depictions of the pyramid’s attendants.  There were also hieroglyphs etched into the ceiling above, likely telling the purpose of this chamber.  There were 5 ledges, each with a mural behind it, framed in a dark green stone, and with an ankh just within its zenith.  These pedestals all required a specific idol found somewhere else within the pyramid, and they somehow knew which idol was on which ledge; only the correct combination would open the way.  There were a few similar chambers elsewhere within the pyramid, but far less ornate and without the ledges.  They also had large stone pillars carved from a dark green stone, and a few columns with a spiraling pattern and a very ornate design at the top.  Clearly, these people were talented with stonework.

The second section of the pyramid was very similar to the first, though far more complex and differently colored.  The mist permeating this particular area was a dark blue, and the nearby blocks of ice had an almost greenish tint to them; like a corrupted teal of sorts.  The columns here were of a markedly different design: crafted of dark stone, and bowed out toward the center.  There were many hidden passages in here, marked with orange doors with a strange language written upon them and an eye carved in the center.  At spots, there were strange, pale-colored urns attached to the ceiling with three red eyes painted upon them.  These would rhythmically emit a cold gas, which could freeze a person solid, should they stand within its chilly shower.

The third section was the most complex of all.  Pharaoh statues lined the corridors, and a bluish-purple mist, far darker than the others, wafted through the corridors.  The ice below me looked almost colorless.  There were secret passages with very ornate carvings on the walls; they were much better lit than the rest of the pyramid.  Within these passages were many deadly traps that required a great deal of cunning to bypass unscathed.  It was quite a grueling endeavor, but I finally made it through the entirety of the pyramid, and was able to return to the kingdom from which I’d traveled to get here.

It strikes me as interesting that a pyramid crafted of a material that is by and large transparent could not only be dark within, but could also have different sections that have such different colorations.  It could be due to a unique quality in the water of that region, or a function of each section receiving a different angle of sunlight, or even something completely different.  Sometimes, the marvels of ancient technology are just that: marvels.  It almost makes you wonder what future generations will say about our technology when we’re all dead and gone.  While certain things may be left behind, they will be largely out of context, and the subtleties of our culture will be merely lost to the winds…

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