the artistry and psychology of gaming


Scorch (Ristar)

Scorch (Ristar)

Today, we’re going to visit another solar system, though I’m not sure of its name.  Unlike the last one we visited, this one has six planets.  Flora is a lush world filled with vegetation.  Undertow is an aquatic planet, the surface of which is covered almost entirely by water, forcing its inhabitants to live underwater.  Scorch is a hot industrial planet, heavily populated by mines and factories.  Sonata is a strange world dedicated entirely to music.  Freon is a cold, frozen world, much like most planets on the outer rim of a solar system.  Automaton is a high-tech planet filled with machines, with little to no organic material.  As you can see, each planet in this system is named very aptly, so it gives explorers an idea of what they’re in for.  Behind the somewhat dull and predictable names, though, hides a colorful beauty unlike any other.  Scorch, as I’ve mentioned, is an incredibly hot place.  Besides being naturally hot, all of the factories give off pollution, which, along with the numerous active volcanoes, makes the atmosphere thicker, so that heat is trapped in.  To make matters worse, one of Scorch’s major industries is mining, so there are many areas where you’ll find open flames for smelting.  Now, I’m fortunate enough that my body is capable of comfortably handling up to about two hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit, roughly one hundred twenty-one degrees Celsius, but most adventurers would be well advised to bring some sort of protection.  I’ve explored one of the large processing facilities there, and it was quite an experience.

The surface of Scorch is the coolest place on the planet, though that’s not saying much.  While on the surface, it’s not uncommon for flaming meteorites to come crashing down upon you.  The ground is so hot that it glows, and the atmosphere contains gasses that are combustible at lower temperatures, so watch for sudden firestorms.  If you can get to a safe place, though, you’ll notice that it’s quite beautiful.  Much of the surrounding rock is a prismatic blue, that shines much the way the bottom of a pool of water does as the sunlight hits the bottom.  This rock is some sort of crystal that grows in hexagonal prisms, which melt on the surface and pulsate varying shades of orange.  Many of the surface rocks are of a similar bluish-purple color, including the aforementioned volcanoes.  The sky is a deep magenta, giving much of the planet’s surface in the distance a purple hue.  You’ll also notice the glow of the factories’ machinery in the distance.  Despite the many cool colors used, you can tell that Scorch’s surface is extremely hot, just by looking at it.

Underground, there are many smelting plants.  Being closer to the planet’s core, the same bluish rocks you saw above appear red down here.  This is partially due to all of the open flames reflecting such a color upon them, but heat is definitely a factor.  Stalactites of a strange yellowish-green loom overhead.  You will also find entire walls covered in open flames from automated torches.  In the background, you can see blast furnaces and other assorted machines used in processing raw materials.  Deep in the belly of the beast, the stone takes a different shape, almost as if it’s beginning to melt.  It’s very dark down in the bowels of the machinery, but within the blackness, an elaborate network of pipes and service ladders are barely visible by their subtle glow induced by the heat.  It is down here that the planet’s leader, Adahan, a large, armored, mole-like being, oversees things.  He runs a tight ship, but that’s why the planet is so successful.

So, while the people of Scorch are extremely industrious, and therefore, very successful, they suffer a lot of hardships.  It’s a beautiful place, but there is absolutely no escape from the stifling heat or choking atmosphere.  The next time you take a look at something made from materials from Scorch, make sure you take time to admire all of the hard work and suffering that went into it; that’s what fetches the high price tag.  Always remember, absolutely everything has its price, so if you want something, you’ll have to work for it.


  1. Wow, this one really looks enchanting.

  2. This whole game was enchanting; I wish Ristar would come back.

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