the artistry and psychology of gaming


Poseidonia Shrine (Rygar: The Battle of Argus)

Poseidonia Shrine (Rygar: The Battle of Argus)

There is a kingdom upon a very large island hidden in the sea; it is known as Argus. Argus was a place not unlike our own world’s Ancient Greece. In fact, Argus even shares some of the same mythology with the Ancient Greeks, or so it seems. You see, in Argus, things like cyclopes, minotaurs, centaurs, and the Cerberus were no mere mythology, for there was a time when their gladiators battled them; a time when they roamed the earth. The kingdom was no stranger to many phenomena that you and I would consider to be supernatural.

Argus is a considerably vast kingdom for the size of the island upon which it is found, and contains a number of remarkable structures. The most beautiful place that I visited on the island, though, is unquestionably the Poseidonia Shrine. Though it was deserted when I entered, leaving me unable to truly understand its history, it appears to be a structure dedicated to a water god. While it certainly is reverent to such a deity, to call it a shrine is a bit misleading; it is very sizable and intricate inside, rather than being a mere place of worship. The technology that these people were able to employ with their level of development is nothing short of astounding.

It was a beautiful sunny day when I entered the courtyard; the blue skies wonderfully complemented the white stone and its gold trim. The floor was covered in an ankle-deep layer of water, and a few lily pads floated atop it. Sadly, this shrine seemed to be in a state of disrepair – many of the columns had broken – but it was still a lovely sight to behold. I found a small tunnel, which led me to higher ground, where I could get a better view of the area surrounding the shrine. A wide semicircle of stairs spread out before the shrine’s entrance, with a narrow section walled in and arched in golden brick, and water cascading down the rest. There were a number of cliffs in the distance with water pouring from them, which created a large rainbow over the comparatively mundane doors. I headed inside, and was surprised yet again by what I saw.

There was a dry path through the water in this chamber, the Heaven Room, but in the water were clam shells that expelled a dark magenta gas of some kind. Before me, I could see a statue of four columns holding up a platform upon which were three mermaid statues, which held a large globe with water rushing through it, all underneath a permanent rainbow. I headed toward the statue, passing by two reddish statues of some kind of griffin-like creature with reptilian features. Surrounding the mermaid statues was a round path, which had three branches; I’d come from one, and another was sealed, so my choice was easy. I headed down the left path, admiring an iridescent flame as I went, and entered the doors at the end.

I came to an outside area known as the Sun Room, where a broken golden arch stood before a broken bridge. It appeared, however, that this bridge was meant to be this way, so I walked onto it, assuming that there was some sort of illusion making it invisible. Sadly, I was mistaken, and I went crashing to the floor below, and nearly breaking my legs. Down here, I explored until I found the Tower of the Sun, which housed a shining object so bright that I could not see it very well. I touched it, and when the ground began to rumble, I ran back out to the Sun Room and hopped onto a set of banded logs just in time to keep from drowning when the water rose. I paddled it into position, fashioning it into a bridge far more sturdy than the nonexistent one from before. I then stepped forward into the Hall of the Sun, a beautiful chamber filled with cascading water, but left not long thereafter, as there seemed to be very little for me to do in here. I headed back to the Heaven Room, noticing that the other path was now unsealed.

Down the other path, I came to the Moon Room, which left me breathless. It was a dark cavern filled with iridescent waters, which cascaded into the section below. There were many corals adorning the walls in a variety of colors. There was also another non-bridge before me, though I had no real way of traversing it, so I descended willingly. This room was far more kind, though, as a large shell provided stairs for me in the form of its spines. Down inside, the splendor only augmented, as I was immersed in the rainbow waters, and a large grouping of glowing purple coral decorated the doorway. I found a small chamber with another intricate sculpture; it was a pair of the strange creatures that I’d seen in the Heaven Room with a fountain in the center, upon which stood an angelic woman with a conch shell on either side of her. I touched the feet of the statue, where a glow was emanating, and a number of round floating platforms with ripples in the center appeared in an upward spiral. Leaping my way to the top of the chamber, I made my way into the very depths of the shrine, where there was a long path of ice leading out into the deep waters. At the end of this path was a raft, which took me to a nearby island, but that is a story for another time.

Water is the basis for life as we know it, and being so mundane, it is easy to forget how beautiful it can be, as well. It is clear, and while that is not inherently beautiful, its contents and that which lies within and beneath it can both affect its perceived color. Perhaps the old beliefs that water had the power to create illusions stems from the ripples it creates, distorting that which it envelops. However, whether liquid or solid, water can easily refract the light that hits it, showering everything around with tiny rainbows. I would like to propose that its illusory reputation originates from the dichotomy of its colorless nature and its ability to create color. In any case, water has fascinated the minds of countless lifeforms over the years by its being so simultaneously simple and mysterious.

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