the artistry and psychology of gaming


Magicant (Mother)

Magicant (Mother)

There are worlds much like our own out there, as impossibly coincidental as that may seem.  I’ve visited several such worlds, one of which reflected the 1980s in our own.  Even the way that the light shone down from the sun was a perfect replica of that particular decade.  There were towns, cities, a zoo, factories, schools, and other such mundane locations that, despite their bland palettes, were very charming.  Also like our world, there are a number of well-kept secrets, one of which I’d like to talk about today.

I’d entered a normal-looking cave, which contained a winding path above an abyss.  At its end, I encountered a strange object; it was tall, twisted, pink, and shaped vaguely like soft-serve ice cream.  I touched it and focused deeply; I heard a lovely voice asking a question.  Inexplicably, I knew the answer, and upon saying it out loud, everything faded from my sight.  When my sight returned, I was in a place that a nearby resident informed me was known as Magicant.

I was standing upon pinkish clouds, surrounded by a pale bluish-green river.  There was a large, twisted pillar of white behind me.  I crossed the nearby pink bridge into a village of blobby-looking pink houses.  Most had pink doors, but some had doors of cyan or red, as well.  Their interiors were very small and plain; each was either green and blue or an orange-brown color, and only a single room.  Almost all of the residents were wearing wide-brimmed hats; the males’ were similar to cowboy hats, whereas the females’ resembled those of witches.  The entire village was surrounded by a fence of pillars like the one that was behind me upon my entry.  I’d decided to leave the safety of this fence, braving the wilderness of Magicant.

There were non-cloudy areas, which were flat pink and had mint green bushes, as well as the occasional red bush.  Many strange creatures roamed this area, though they seemed to be friendly enough.  I headed to the southwest corner, which allowed me to enter a wooded corridor.  The trees here had stringy, tangled trunks of magenta with messy leaves of mint green; while their colors were pretty, their shape was very unappealing.  It was unnerving just to look at them, especially en masse; I could feel their spaghetti-like trunks writhing through my skin as I walked by.  Apparently, I was in the minority in this thought, because there was a house smack in the middle of it.  Inside was an extremely loud guitar player, who couldn’t stand the sound of his own song, and didn’t even seem to be aware that he was the one playing it.  I was beginning to wonder if this whole world was just some kind of sick joke.

Heading north again, following the river, I crossed a bridge and reached a splendid fountain.  It was like a twisted mountain with two interlocking zigzags at its zenith and a bowl attached to its side, from which the water spilled.  I felt a strange spiritual presence hiding here, but I’d decided to let it sleep.  I headed back through the wilderness to find a line of pillars with similar zigzag designs atop them, which I followed to a massive palace that appeared to be constructed out of strawberry mousse.  Answering the guards’ bizarre riddle, I made my way inside.

The glorious jade flooring was so clean that I could see my reflection in it.  The palace was similar to the houses in Magicant, except that it was much larger in size.  Exploring, I eventually reached a room with a long red carpet.  At its end was a beautiful, motherly, yet very sad looking woman sitting upon a throne with a bald, clown-like retainer at her side.  The throne was an elegant golden chair with red velvet padding upon the back.  This queen and I chatted for a bit, after which, she told me the way out of Magicant.  I wanted to give her a deep embrace in an attempt to make her feel better, but for a nobody like me to touch a queen was out of line, so I refrained.  I merely thanked her and was on my way.

South of the palace was a great number of wells made of pink brick.  I climbed into the one that the queen had indicated and wound up in an extremely dark chamber made of giant blue bricks.  I took the path that I’d been told to follow through this well-worn tunnel, eventually finding myself in a small labyrinth.  I found a sleeping dragon, but I did as I was told and left him lying dormant.  At the end, I found a door with a dejected man standing guard.  He started going off about how everyone ignores him, but when I paid him some attention, he flew into a rage.  I crossed my arms, turned away, and stopped listening to anything he had to say.  He said, “Thank you,” and disappeared, allowing me to walk through the doorway.  Suddenly, I was in a cave similar to the one I’d used to enter Magicant; walking outside, I found myself back in the real world, wondering what had just happened.

I was never able to find out what Magicant really was, but I think that’s part of what made it so special.  To have no choice but to bask in its mystery and take it at face value – for better and for worse – was an experience I’d rate among my very favorite.  Upon my arrival, I’d thought it to be nothing more than some lame children’s candy land, or even an adult’s interpretation of that, but the more time that I spent there, the more that I realized how special it was.  What got under my skin most of all, though, was this haunting sense of familiarity, as though I’d been there before, but couldn’t quite place the memory.  Exploring a world that forced me to explore my own memories: that is truly an adventure.

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