Thursday, September 27, 2007
and as I stared I counted the webs from all the spiders
Why you should never try on unknown shapes in public.
Mr. Allen found a haunted house, the Devil's Labyrinth in Rivata. He didn't seem enthused, but I talked him into it, and when we arrived, we were joined by Miss Neome, and off we three went.
As one walks in, one is given a choice of three paths. We chose Ba'al first (Incubus to follow, then finally Lucifer). Each path chosen changes the path you walk.
Ba'al's path was full of deceptive little physical tricks--disorienting slides through walls, particle and texture effects (that did, on occasion, greatly increase lag), bouncing body parts, floating physical ghosts.
Ba'al's path was also the most 'haunted house' part of the Labyrinth. The sounds were phenomenal and unnerving, the little objects to click to continue forward--or backward, or to the side, or down--were well integrated and spooky in their own right, on not infrequent occasion.
The spookiest part for me, though, was a patch of all black corridor. We had no idea where we were going until I saw, far in the distance, a patch of brilliant white light. We ran towards it, gasping in the deep-cave darkness, and emerged into the corridor of light--corridor so pale that it had lost all definition. This stretched our nerves to threads and we literally ran to get away from all the bright. Very effective.
At this point, we were being told we had arrived in Hell. Despite all our best efforts to the contrary.
I've always believed Hell is other people, but apparently? Hell is tie-dyed. My companions fled shrieking, looking for a way clear of paisley. Me? I felt surprisingly at ease.
I hit the most dreadful patch of lag while briefly accessing the roof, and I was only able to drag myself slowly across the stones as Miss Neome bid us adieu from afar. As she disappeared, I slipped on the paving stones, and when I next awoke, I was back in the sewer systems, and Fawkes had been locked behind bars.
I'm still confused as to why this happened.
But I helped him get out, and we kept moving together, searching for the exit.
We found a medical lab instead, bloodspattered and full of the shrieks of those who had died on the bloodied table. We noticed....something...watching us through the broken window...just in time for the viral purge to begin. As the walls began to ooze deadly green gas, we scrabbled at the side door and fell through--only to see a sign that said we'd reached the end of the haunted house.
Of course we went back in and tried the other paths! Though this is where Devil's Labyrinth gets very surreal. Where Ba'al's path was long and involved, and frightening, the path of the Incubus? Frustrating, circuitous, and involving way too many choices.
Why does this sound familiar?
We followed that with a final trip (for tonight, anyway) down the path of Lucifer. Lucifer's path is oddly elegant--less outright frightening, and more simply amazing. Lucifer led us from the switchback stone tunnels, into metal-grating corridors and finally, onto an airless moon. Lucifer the space demon? Truly, at that point, we didn't care, we were very pleased.
To get to Devil's Labryinth on your own, just click here. Tip them if you feel they did a good job. Personally? I think they've outdone themselves.