the artistry and psychology of gaming


Spark Man (Rock Man Overdrive)

Spark Man (Rock Man Overdrive)

As you know by my constant ravings, I have had many dreams of the futuristic world of robots.  Some of my favorite dreams have been of my second trip, but more recently, I had one of the third trip that rivals even those.  This was a dream that altered quite a bit, both in terms of visuals and structure.  My trials were both challenging and engaging; the kind of stimulation that brings lonely desire upon waking to realize that it was only a dream.  Still, I am grateful to have had this experience, and I will always have my memories.

Today, I wish to tell you of the area that replaced the power plant in my dream.  In the physical world, there is no denying that this facility is a power plant.  Even without looking at all of the machines and lights indicating output, one can simply feel the electricity in the air.  In my dream, however, it is not so clear; on the surface, it appears to be some sort of cavern bridging the human world and the demon world.  I have come to the conclusion, however, that this must have been some sort of power station that fuels itself through occult means.

When I first entered, I was in a place that is difficult to describe; I could tell that I was underground due to a thick layer of rocks.  On top of those rocks was groundwork made of an irridescent metal that shone in light blue and deep purple.  The walls appeared to have the same sort of electrical output indicators as in the physical world, but they did not light up, and the floors and ceilings were just some sort of scalloped metal beams.  There were light orange mechanical pillars with square wave cuts in them where they fit together, and strange gray idols of varying heights that resembled the stacked barrel robots of my second trip to this world.  The ladders were carved of the same stone that surrounded my location, and in the distance, I could see strange, twisted, blue-and-purple pillars with eyes upon them.  This place looked very much as though it were prepared for some sort of demonic ritual.

I climbed up the ladder, leaving the small chamber, and came into a corridor.  There were occasional gaps in the pillars, through which I could see a layer of uncovered stone.  Though the stone itself is brown, from where I was standing, it appeared in a dark green color; whether from insufficient lighting or some sort of demonic energy, I could not tell.  There were two types of boxes on the ground before me; one was a small orange box that almost looked like an air conditioning unit, and the other was a blue and purple crate with an intricate design upon it.  Further still, where the pillars became even more sparse, there were patches where the rock was so far away that I could only see blackness in the distance.  It was here that I encountered deep chasms, so I had to jump very carefully across the tall idols.  At the end were two floating sections of the idols topped with carved representations of a spring-like robot from my second trip sitting atop them.  I also encountered more rope-like pillars, though these were much closer – giving them an orange color – and had their eyes closed.

Climbing another ladder, I found myself in an area with a familiar element: a woven metal cage, much like the ones in the physical world’s power plant, except in a rust color, rather than dark blue.  Climbing even further, I reached an area containing three twisted pillars with a stack of crates that reached the ceiling on either side.  In the distance, these crates became the same dark green color as the stones, lending credence to my theory that it was a dark energy that tinted them.  Before me was another chasm with yet another familiar element: the small, red-and-white platforms that rocket skyward the moment that any weight is placed upon them.  Unfortunately, above them were the six-pointed death spikes that I had also come to know and dread in the physical world; they rapidly pulsated blue-and-purple to white-and-blue.  I made carefully my way across and up a long ladder, passing a few floating idol heads.

At the top was a very low ceiling lined with the spikes; carefully choosing my path, I made my way to an area above this ceiling, where it became the floor.  I headed across the top, making my way to another split that took me downward.  I took the further path, leading me down a long zig-zag.  While I chose the path without spikes, I was stuck on a path upon which I was defenseless to an onslaught of agggressive robots, but I stand by my choice.  After a very long fall, I found myself above a dreadful section filled with spikes, chasms, and massive robots throwing large cubes of pressed machine parts at me.  I made my way through a marathon of chasms, spikes, and trash compactors, taking little time to admire the cages and stretched crates in the distance as I leapt over idols and into a hole.

Down here, there was a precarious set of jumps across idol heads under a low ceiling, but something about the scene really struck me.  I crawled through a narrow passage, leading me out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Here, there were a number of large cubes of rock contained in the purple metal with closed-eye pillars and darkness as a backdrop.  These cubes came closer and closer to the spiked ceiling as I went, leaving very little room for error.  I carefully made my way across, soon coming to the antechamber, which had several layers of scalloped metal beams, with some closed-eye pillars and abject darkness in the distance.  I entered the control chamber, which was a large chasm with a few idols standing out of it, some of which formed the very walls.  There were several pillars with closed eyes, but the ones in the distance took on that dark green color, leading me to believe that this is where the rituals happen.  From here, I took my leave, moving on to bigger adventures.

It seems strange – does it not? – that in a dream, we know far more about our surroundings than we ever could in the physical world.  One might argue that this should be obvious; we are the creators of the worlds in our dreams, after all!  However, to acknowledge that this knowledge comes from the part of our mind that creates the world is to assume that the dream is lucid, which is the exception, rather than the rule.  How is it that our brain can compartmentalize our dreams so?  We are able to know their true nature and innumerable details about them, and yet, neither are we aware of their being a dream nor do we question how we know this information.  It seems that this may remain just another mystery to our dreams.


  1. I like some of the imagery with this one. Good descriptions.

    • Thank you! It was actually a screenshot of this stage that made me want to play it in the first place; it’s not often that you find something this unusual – nearly indescribable – in a Mega Man hack.

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