If you're reading this in America, today is Groundhog Day. That makes me think less of the prognosticating rodent who looks for his shadow and more of the 1993 Bill Murray comedy that has entered our cultural lexicon. Specifically, it makes me think how much being a character in a game would be like being in Bill Murray's time-warp predicament. I think it might go a little something like this….
Day 1: Well, I'm here. Wherever "here" is. All I know is I fell down a pipe in Brooklyn and ended up in this place. Oh, look, that mushroom-thing has eyes. And legs. And is coming towards me….
Day 2: Note to self: don't touch the mushrooms with eyes and legs. They hurt. Also, I somehow ended up back where I started. Hm.
Day 3: Flowers with teeth come out of pipes. They also hurt. Why do I keep coming back here?
Day 4: Frustrated with being stuck in this place — tried punching those bricks above my head. A mushroom came out. I was scared to touch it and ran away. I sprinted headlong into a bizarre bird-turtle instead. Ow.
These guys are not friendly.
Day 5: I WAS WRONG, THE MUSHROOMS THAT COME OUT OF THE BRICKS ARE AWESOME.
Day 6: Being a giant is cool, but it doesn't last if a monster touches you. I have to get out of here.
Day 7: Some of the bird-turtles can jump. Uncool.
Day 12: If I jump on the monsters, they die! I should've thought of that sooner. I got so excited about jumping that I jumped into a bottomless pit and woke up at the start again.
Day 20: So desperate to find a way out that I tried falling down all the pipes I could find. One actually worked! And I found a bunch of coins! I'm just going to stay down here. It's safer than dealing with those monsters.
Day 21: Um…that didn't work. Apparently everything starts over if I take too long to die. What kind of hell is this? What did I do, God? WHAT DID I DO?
Day 30: I'm really starting to hate that music — it's all sprightly and pleasant while I'm down here dying for all of eternity. Screw you, music. You don't have any Springsteen up there?
Day 45: When I touch the glowing star that comes out of the bricks, the monsters can't kill me! Nice!
Day 46: Glowing stars do not save you from bottomless pits. Noted.
Day 50: Actually made it through the procession of horrors to find a giant flagpole and a castle at the end. The castle is empty. The path away from it leads to a pipe and a terrifying underground cavern filled with more monsters. I'm not going back there. I'd rather die in the sun.
A fate worse than death.
Day 51: Sat on the flagpole all day. Just because.
Day 52: Grabbed a glowing star, stood still until its effects wore off. Reason: spite.
Day 53: Spent all day jumping in place. I like the sound.
Day 54: Tried to light things on fire with that special flower. Everything here is non-flammable. Well, that sucks.
Day 62: OK, I have to try to get out of here. I'm going back into the cavern beyond the castle. God help me.
Day 75: Survived a hellish subterranean castle, guarded by a giant, fire-breathing turtle whose face I will see in my nightmares for the rest of my existence (or I would, if sleep existed here). Found another mushroom with eyes. This one seems friendly, though. He says my princess is in another castle. Who? I mean, I used to call that broad I dated in '78 "princess," but how does he know that? Man, no girl is worth this.
This is the face that would haunt my nightmares…if I could sleep.
Day 87: I seem to have proven myself somehow — I'm not getting sent back to the beginning any more. Are you getting bored up there, God? Devising some fresh torment for me? WHY ME? WHY?
Day 136: Oh, good — a turtle is throwing sentient spiked balls with legs at me from a cloud. I was just getting comfortable.
Day 164: I need to stop whining and focus. I'll never get out of here if I don't. I'm not gonna write any more until I figure this out. I know I'm close.
Day 183: I think I did it! No more mushrooms, no more turtles, no more lava, no more swimming — I'm at the end! There's the princess. Wow, is she ugly. Who cares? Another human being!
"Your quest is over." FINALLY.
"We present you a new quest." Wait, what?