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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Let's go on a grand quest!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hi neighbors. My son likes to play video games. Actually he is a master of most of them and is busy designing his own. Because he is so skilled, watching him play is more like watching an animated movie than a game. He goes through so quickly that the story line is easy to follow; most of the time at least.

It seems the games he plays most often always involve some quest to find various "items," then fight a super villain and thus save the world from certain destruction. The destruction is usually brought about by malicious actions of the villain at the first part of the game.

After starting a sequence of events that will lead to certain doom, the villain disappears for the rest of the game only to show up at the end. Apparently he goes off somewhere to hone his fighting skills, learn more nefarious tricks of the villain trade, collect bigger and better weapons, and amass a great army of monsters, demons or zombies.

The good guys start out the adventure simply enough just trying to enjoy some quiet time in their hometown, or to enjoy a vacation from their usual occupation. Their usual occupations include soldiers, mercenaries, thieves, monks, government agents, flower growers or wizards.

Inevitable they run into some person they knew years ago (even if they are themselves only a teenager) who tips them off that there are foul deeds being done on every corner and that (insert the name of the villain here) is responsible.

Confused, and uncertain if the world needs to be saved, or if he has time for that extra round of bird races at the amusement park, the hero wanders back home and finds his childhood sweetheart.

These sweethearts are always young, beautiful, intelligent, and adventurous and masters of every hand-to-hand combat skill known to mankind.

After spending a few seconds pondering why he left this girlfriend in the first place, the young hero tells her he must go save the world.

She already knows what's wrong with the world from the gals at the beauty shop -- and may have even dated the head villain in the hero's absence.

The hero listens while she tells him all about the villain's plans, secret fears and inner turmoil.

Not wasting time trying to figure how and when his sweetheart learned so many intimate secrets of his nemesis, our hero offers her the opportunity to go with him to destroy the villain and save the world.

He probably figures it will give him a chance to learn more about her dating habits. Also she does have a mean right hook that might help in a fight.

In their travels the couple collects at least one or more comrades who each have some special skill. These skills might include being able to steal the power to hypnotize from a lizard (who would have thought it?) or gain the power to heal from a zombie.

This steadily growing little band of adventurers easily hikes across continents, or find boats or airplanes setting about.

Occasionally they will find a library of ancient books, or an old, wise person who tells them what they need in items or skills to defeat the villain.

There are always many, many monsters to fight in order to gain these items or skills. Many items or skills (and some monsters) are hidden in treasure chests in dungeons, caves, people's homes and just laying about in the wilderness.

Weapons include swords, first and foremost, gauntlets with magical powers, hats and armor and most powerful -- ribbons.

Not only does fighting monsters give items and skills, but players gain "points" which increase their stamina, strength, etc. They also get money for killing the monsters to buy more items or weapons.

The good thing about killing the monsters is that the dead bodies just dissolve and there's no mess to clean up. That's just good sanitation -- ask any mother.

After collecting all the skills and items, gaining enough "points" to overwhelm Superman himself, the intrepid gang of heroes finally face the villain.

The main hero (first one we meet and the beloved of the mercenary girl-next-door) always has the most power, the biggest sword, the fastest gun, and the least fear of anyone else in the group.

With much shaking of mountains, flashing of lightening and tsunamis of the seas, the villain is finally defeated and the universe is once again safe.

Our band of travelers does not get to return home to a ticker tape welcome. No, most citizens didn't even know how close they came to having no planet!

They split up, each returning to their previous lives of semi-unemployment; awaiting the next world crisis.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup