the artistry and psychology of gaming


Kyo (SaGa Frontier)

Kyo (SaGa Frontier)

I once visited a massive galaxy with an odd level of technology.  There were massive shuttles that allowed travel across what were known as regions; the vessels seemingly flew through time and space.  There were also mechanical life forms, called mecs, which had artificial intelligence to the level of experiencing emotions.  Despite all of this, some of the regions weren’t completely developed; Shingrow in particular was mostly jungle with a few small dwellings and temples spread throughout it.  It was nice to see areas touched with such impressive interstellar travel that hadn’t been totally corrupted by it.

My favorite region by far is Kyo, which I visited in late Autumn.  It is an area not unlike ancient Japan, and it embodies the season very well.  Their culture is another completely untouched by Space Age technology, which gives the small area a very cozy feel.  It was a bit saddening for it to have been so small, because I’d have loved to explore the area for days on end, but the hour I spent there in earnest is one I’ll never forget; were it not for my nearly constant wanderlust, I’d spend the rest of my days there.

It was late in the day when I arrived in the terminal from my inter-regional voyage, and the setting sun splashed a red-orange light across the red doors and paper screens.  Strolling across the tatami mat and the gorgeous hardwood flooring, I headed outside.  The evening mists floated through the area with its green and brown trees and rusty dirt.  A teal river flowed through the center of the area, and lights from the Japanese-style houses glowed, putting little spots of light everywhere.  Architecture aside, it reminded me of the Autumn evenings from the backwater village where I was born.

Walking about for a while, I wandered into a tiny shop. Inside were a great many wondrous things.  There were paper lanterns of red, teal, and yellow, a suit of armor, a red paper umbrella, some katanas, a lucky cat statue, and a large number of assorted small trinkets.  Though it seemed a bit cluttered, there was an odd sense of organization to it all.

The next place I entered was the Doujou, which was some sort of spiritual training center.  The wood flooring seemed a bit different here than in the other buildings, and there was an ornate floor rug with symbols all over it.  There were assorted spiritual artifacts scattered about the place, and the master sat at a table in the center of it all.  Speaking to her, I decided to undergo the training; she motioned me to the door behind her, and I was in a very wide room with a statue of the Buddha.  Sitting in front of it, I meditated, which took me to another plane of existence.  Upon returning, my mind felt clearer and more alive than ever.

The next place I visited, or tried to visit, rather, was Syoin.  It was becoming very late by then, and the dirt beneath it was a glorious red with splashes of pink to it.  The tatami mat spread out over the porch, and the walls were a deep bluish-purple.  Unfortunately, I was unable to enter, so I simply left.

I concluded my trip by visiting the garden in the center of the region.  The trees of Autumn burned around the area, and a small stone lantern provided a soft light.  A small dwelling floated atop the water behind some rocks and small, well-manicured trees.  In front sat a small pond, the water of which was glassy and almost milky.  A few small rocks sat in it, upon one of which was another lantern.  It was a very serene end to a beautiful evening.

I appreciate every season, but Autumn has long been my favorite.  Everything is a different color, and all seems bathed in a different light that you don’t generally see throughout the rest of the year.  There’s a special feel about the air, and sunsets are even more special and symbolic, because the natural world is getting ready for a long slumber.  At times, it seems as though the whole experience is just a dream.  Imagine it: a three-month dream-like experience that exists in reality; there’s nothing I could possibly enjoy more.

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