the artistry and psychology of gaming


Tanetane Island (Mother 3)

Tanetane Island (Mother 3)

There was a small group of islands out in the middle of a vast ocean that I once visited.  Their name was rather appropriate: Nowhere Islands.  Most of the time I spent there was in a small village known as Tazmily.  It started out as a humble little place, but the introduction of unnecessary material possessions and money ruined this wonderful little place.  Upon getting more, the villagers wanted more, and the downward spiral of insatiable desire turned it into yet another town full of strife, backstabbing, and drama.

There was another island in this group, though, that brought me a mystical journey into places I’d never imagined.  This place was called Tanetane Island, and I’d ended up there after attempting to reach it on foot.  Whilst walking upon the bottom of the ocean, using the rather strange oxygenating devices found there, I ran into a few problems, which were more than I could handle.  I was rendered unconscious, and, when I came around, I was on a tiny beach that served as the entrance to a rather dense forest.  Exhausted, wounded and on the brink of starvation, I was fortunate enough to happen upon a pile of beautiful purple mushrooms.  What I didn’t know was that, while delicious and more than enough to fill me up, they also possessed powerful hallucinogenic properties.

The lush, green forest, very typical of its kind, suddenly became alive with color.  The beach was a pale blue-green, almost like a fantasy-driven cloud, and the deep pink ocean lapped upon its shores.  The lighter pink leaves of the trees were supported by their strong, green trunks.  The grass beneath me was almost sanguine, and the dirt was of a deep green with a hint of blue.  Thicker patches of grass were a very pale purple, also with a hint of blue.  Tiny, mace-shaped shrubs of varying shades of pink erupted from the ground.  Most interestingly, the snake that had been digesting a frog was still doing so, only now, the snake was an umbrella with a writhing amphibian in its belly.  I was feeling wonderful and very laid back.

As I floated through the forest, I encountered some odd tree stumps.  Like the other trees, the roots began aboveground, so it stood like a tensed-up spider, but the stump was hollowed out, and occasionally, a puff of what appeared to be steam would be emitted from the hole and dissipate.  I wandered through this unearthly wonderland, exploring alcoves, and sighing at how it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.  It wasn’t long, though, before my subconscious began to catch up with me, and this dream forest turned to a nightmare.

Everything was fine until I encountered those mailboxes.  They’re just filled with horrible spite and malice.  The first one I opened was filled with postcards.  I took them one at a time, and each had a horrifying picture of me, depicting scenes from the worst days of my life.  I still felt compelled to keep pulling them out, and when I had removed the last one, the mailbox was then filled with tortured screams.  I suppose they were hiding behind the postcards, which makes sense when you think about it.  They only became worse, being filled with such unspeakable horrors, like one that was empty, except for one thousand rat corpses.  At one point, I encountered my beloved, long deceased by this point, who repeatedly said horrible things to me, outright blaming me for her death.  After this, reality dissolved into a pink and orange field of flowers, and she was nothing more than a single eyeball and a grinning mouth with lips black as a moonless night, and was quite intent upon killing me.

After the battle, and many others like it, I wound up in front of a sign indicating that there were hot springs ahead.  I had decided that a long, hot soak would do me well.  I entered a small paradise around the spring, with beautiful flowers everywhere.  Upon getting out, I got dressed and admired myself in the nearby mirror; I was absolutely stunning!  Further along in the forest were a few large, mint green rafflesia blossoms, which contrasted nicely with the colored grasses from whence they sprang.

Soon, I encountered a cliff with a vine ladder, which I climbed to a plateau.  Upon this sat something terrifying: a motor home.  I started thinking of how scary it would be were it to begin moving, but suddenly found myself far more terrified that it was sitting still!  I climbed another nearby ladder to where the grass was a deep red.  There was a blue, wooden fence to my right, and a cute little frog with butterfly wings was fluttering about the area.  Before my eyes was an orange pond with a large, green seashell with a door upon it.  Next to the path to its door was a very mean… I think it was a sponge-pomegranate-taiko drum, which said horrible things to me.  I wanted to pull his moustache off and teach him a lesson, but thought better of it and entered the giant seashell.  Inside was a wonderful room, decorated in pink.  I remember a beautiful woman there, whose orange hair reminded me a bit of my deceased beloved, though it was not as long or as straight; I think it was feathered.  The last thing I remember was collapsing into her arms, then waking up in the same place, only decorated in blue with a splitting headache.  The first thing to greet me was a pink-haired woman with a five-o’clock shadow and her giant pet octopus.  The forest was certainly a lot less beautiful when I explored it without hallucinogens in my body.  It’s probably best you not know what the hot springs truly were…

I am often irritated by the arrogant assertion that outer space is the final frontier.  Outer space is limited by its physical size, whatever that may be.  However, the mind, the true final frontier, is without limitations unless you impose them upon yourself.  Your mind can create worlds of its own, and even change them as it sees fit.  You may see this every time you dream of somewhere similar to a place with which you are familiar, or even of somewhere you’ve never been that may or may not even exist.  It is said that you dream every night of your life, so just think of how many worlds you’ve created, even assuming you only make one every time you dream.  Think of that happening for every single person, even if just in this world.  Even if it often takes hallucinogens to bring them to your vision, unless you happen to be a synaesthete, that makes them no less real.  Not every world must be physical or able to be conquered to be truly “yours”.

Author’s Note: I’d like to take a moment to thank Zip Code Ness, whom I hope to have read this.  Without you, and your battery save archive, I would never have had the time to reach this area, near the end of a fairly lengthy game, in order to take the appropriate screenshots, and thus complete what has been one of my favorite installments of Oases of Beauty to date.  You’ve done me a great service.


  1. You’re welcome! I’m glad to have helped.

    • That’s so cool! I’m very glad that you managed to find this article; you put a lot of work into those saves, I’m sure.

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