the artistry and psychology of gaming


Muda Kingdom (Super Mario Land)

Muda Kingdom (Super Mario Land)

Today, I’d like to speak of the world of Sarasaland.  This mysterious land is one I’d often heard about in my childhood, but didn’t get to visit until much later.  So many adventurers had been there after hearing about it in the Mushroom Kingdom, but I hadn’t the means to get there, since I’d unwisely invested in the means to reach far less exciting lands.  At any rate, Sarasaland was comprised of four distinct kingdoms, each with its own unique biome and architecture.  There was the desert kingdom of Birabuto, the Neolithic kingdom of Easton, the Oriental kingdom of Chai, and the one that enchanted me most: the aquatic kingdom of Muda.

Muda Kingdom was a fantastic island nation, comfortably nestled in the waves.  I’ve seen many island nations, but there was something special about this one.  Perhaps it is my fondness for the shore, or maybe it was the playful melody whispered by the waves and carried on the wind, but Muda seemed to stand out amongst the four kingdoms.  The inhabitants of this nation traveled in these strange, bell-shaped flying machines, which could also function underwater; a great feature to have in a place like this.

I first arrived in Muda by one of these strange flying contraptions.  I bid the pilot farewell, and began my journey across strange natural pillars that arose from the water below.  They were almost like pillars I’d seen in the Mushroom Kingdom, but with uniform thickness throughout.  As I made my way forward, I saw some strange floating platforms moving back and forth beneath some clouds, which I used to make it safely to the next small island.  This new island had a tall pipe, into which I fell, leading me to an underground treasure trove.  There were more golden coins than I could count; it was almost like I’d stumbled across an ill-hidden pirate treasure.  Deciding not to take what wasn’t mine, I climbed back out empty-handedly through another pipe.

Upon returning to the surface, I continued on, reaching a bridge that was somehow suspended in midair.  The structure was very simple: merely thin boards with a gap in the middle.  At its end was another set of pillars with stone bridges more conventional in design.  Further down the line, I found another pipe; this time the way out required fair agility and reflexes.  Later on, there was another bridge, with a section that had apparently fallen, as it was markedly lower than the rest of it, with another floating platform leading to a cache of coins above it.  Not far from there was a steel tower with two entrances, the upper of which also required a fair amount of agility to reach.

From here, I was picked up by another by another of the strange craft and brought to a different area of the kingdom.  This new area seemed to be some sort of floating fortress.  It was constructed of blocks with geometric designs upon them.  The structure of the inside seemed a bit cozy in a militaristic sort of way, despite how little sense that makes to anyone who hasn’t been there.  There seemed to be a tight area down below, which I couldn’t figure out how to access, and didn’t care to, having not quite gotten over my claustrophobia at that point.  This place also had some pipes leading to coin caches, into which I peered, but largely ignored.  I eventually reached another steel tower, which forced me to climb platforms too weak to support even my light weight to reach its higher entrance.

It turns out this tower was a bit of a facade, as its real purpose was not to reach into the sky, but to provide access to the tumultuous waters below.  Within was a docking station for small personal submarines.  I was given the opportunity to pilot one called Marine Pop, which I am told was once piloted by a great hero of these lands.  I dove deep into the ocean, and began my underwater adventure.  There were several of the bell-shaped craft down here, many seemingly at a standstill.  The seaweed and bubbles dancing in the current made the trip all the more enjoyable.  At the end, I entered the docking station, which was in the kingdom of Easton.

Among the many aquatic adventures I’ve had over the years, this is one of the most memorable.  It was a brighter, happier trip than the likes of Maridia, and I got to delve fairly deeply into the culture of the inhabitants of the Muda Kingdom.  So, never hesitate to explore an area just because you’ve already seen many faces of its particular biome; you’re bound to find even more.

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