the artistry and psychology of gaming


Lampflower Forest (Seiken Densetsu 3)

Lampflower Forest (Seiken Densetsu 3)

The world of Mana holds a great many wonders.  The forces of nature are so powerful there that the inhabitants have created technology to harness it, albeit inefficiently.  I suppose that I can understand the desire, however, since it is a world full of natural wonders.  There are such mysteries as a forest of eternal night, a desert made of phosphorescent glass, and a valley filled with enormous, glowing gemstones.  Perhaps the greatest of this world’s wonders is the Lampflower Forest.

Aside from being extremely remote, the Lampflower Forest seems to be nothing special at first.  Looking more closely, one can see that it has some unusual geographical features.  While many of the forests I’ve explored are mostly flat, this one features a number of cliffs, and even a deep ravine near the beach.  It is immersive, yet the time of day is always evident.  Spending enough time here, though, it is evident that the Lampflower Forest is a place full of secrets.

After landing at the beach, I headed a bit inward.  I was greeted by numerous trees rising from the ravine to the north, their leaves orange and purple.  The bluish-green grass beneath me was spotted with tiny flowers of all kinds, though most were either blue or golden yellow.  The brown rock of the cliffs brought everything together, creating a very lovely palette.  Upon going a bit deeper, I discovered what became my new favorite plant.

It was a vine with very large leaves, and was quite a prolific ground cover.  In fact, it was so thick that it served as a greater obstruction than even the trees of this forest.  All over it were the most unique flowers I had ever seen.  Their base was white with dark blue accents, but they were flowing with pastel yellow, pink, green, and blue, creating a look like some sort of prismatic celestial object.  It almost seemed like some sort of energy was running right through them, and that the forest was alive with it.  This must have been the Lampflower.  Words truly cannot do them justice.

I headed in further still, admiring the scenery as I went.  After getting lost in a maze of flowers for a little while, I traveled back in the direction I believe to have been north.  I wandered around lost a bit more, passing a golden goddess statue.  Not too far from there was a cliff that was a dead end.  Now having absolutely no idea where I was, I began trying to find my way back out.  I was unsuccessful, however, and the sun was beginning to set.  I’d decided to sit down and try to make sense of the whole thing, and before I knew it, night was upon me.

I caught something out of the corner of my eye.  One of the Lampflowers appeared to have changed color; the energy flowing through it looked like a bright pink with red accents.  Having no better idea at the moment, I strolled over to take a closer look, and it was indeed glowing a different color than the rest of them.  Glancing over, I noticed another patch of pink Lampflowers, and so I headed in their direction.  Against my better judgment, I followed a trail of them back into the maze in which I’d initially gotten lost, and what I found was something that I never could have expected.

Deep within the maze itself, I noticed that the Lampflowers in the bush in the center was pink, as well as the flowers along the trail to what I thought to be the east.  Musing for a moment, I happened to look down and notice that the patches of grassless dirt were shaped as arrows in the directions of the four trails.  I headed down the pink trail to reach an identical area, though here, they indicated the trail to what I’d calculated to be the south.  It was a map for the observant, though to where, I’d had no idea.  I’d decided to follow it and see what I could discover, and sure enough, I reached an area that looked quite different.

Here was an area without Lampflowers, but with some other flowers I’d not yet seen.  There were little white ones, some pink ones, and some conical blue ones.  Pressing on, I found myself in a village filled with very timid inhabitants.  I entered the largest house, and the man inside introduced himself as the leader of Diorre, which was the name of this village.  He explained that the villagers had wished to conceal themselves, and after getting directions from him, I’d promised to leave and never return.  On the way out, I’d noticed something that I’d missed on the way in, likely due to overwhelming relief: two formations that appeared to be burial mounds.  I made my way back to the golden statue.

From the statue, I headed southwest, going deeper still into the woods.  The path was lined entirely with Lampflowers, though none of these had a pink glow to them.  Still, in the middle of the night with the more bluish palette of the forest, they were nothing short of stunning.  They seemed to sparkle as I headed through them.  At the end of this trail, I reached a clearing, surrounded mostly by trees, the orange of which had adopted a blue-green hue under the mantle of darkness.  Right in front of the tall cliff before me was a mess of trees and lampflowers, though these did not glow; they were merely white with the dark blue accents.  I’d wondered if this were some sort of special place, but even after spending the rest of the night here, I was unable to be certain.  With my newfound sense of direction, I left the forest at daybreak.

Though I’d spent quite a lot of my time as a child exploring the woods around my house, I’d never had the courage to enter at night.  It’s truly a shame that my well-founded scotophobia had gotten the best of me, because that is when the forest truly comes alive.  While everything is much easier to see in the daytime, it is paradoxically the dark of night that reveals many of its secrets.  Aside from the obvious nocturnal species, it is also when the spirits come out to play, visible only to gifted individuals.  If nothing else, though, the light of the moon streaming through the leaves overhead provides a fresh perspective and a rare beauty to the forest.  Those who claim that the night has less visual diveristy than the day have never taken a moonlit stroll through the forest.

One Comment

  1. Wow this is great. I’m playing this game right now for the third time. :)

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