Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why We Don't Hug Mummies

Well, the interactive Buzz thing is over. There were some really fun moments and some really awful ones, but the thing I'd like to share is how they died.



DEATH NUMBER ONE: ETHAN READS A BOOK OF UNIMAGINABLE EVIL

> examine tome

The Tome of Nal-Shalberon A'Ktah is too small to live up to the expectations set by the word "tome" - rather than the stereotypical 300-pound monster it is the size of a typical hardcover book, bound in pale leather with alien glyphs on the spine that seem to move when viewed out of the corner of your eye.

> sit on bed, read tome

You are now sitting on the bed.

You open the tome and start to read. At first the strange symbols are impossible to decipher, but somehow the longer you look at them the more sense they make. After a few minutes it seems obvious, even a child could read this book. It makes perfect sense, not just in format but in content. It contains nothing but the truth, the simple and undeniable facts of reality. Everything is clear to you now. Everything. Laughing, you walk over to the wall and begin to beat your head repeatedly against it while praising Nal-Shalberon A'Ktah, the shambling horror from beyond the void. Plaster drifts down around your feet as the wallpaper tears, and then the white dust turns to paste as it mixes with your blood. Your laughter increases as you think of the beauty contained in the tome, the symbols and drawings - oh, the drawings! - that still burn in your mind like beacons of light in the uncaring darkness of the universe. Eventually the damage to your skull is enough that something pierces your brain and you drop to the ground. It takes several hours for you to die, but only a few minutes longer for your body to rise again, hungry and cold.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***



DEATH NUMBER TWO: RYAN LIGHTS THE COUCH ON FIRE AS PART OF SOME PLAN I DON'T UNDERSTAND

After much struggling, you manage to get the couch into the kitchen. The cats scatter from it as it leaves the living room.

> Use the razor to cut some cloth off the couch. Wrap it around a busted off table leg and set it on fire. Set the couch ablaze with the improvised torch.

You hack at the couch with the straight razor and remove a strip of fabric.

You attack the table with the shovel, eventually managing to remove a leg.

Wrapping the couch fabric around the table leg, you form an improvised torch.

You light the torch.

You light the couch, amazed at how fast the fire spreads. The entire couch is ablaze in seconds, leaving you in an awkward position. The couch takes up most of the tiny kitchen, and all exits are blocked. Finally you make a break for it and try to vault over the couch, but by the time you fumble your way over the back your clothes are on fire as well. You do your best to follow the advice given in elementary school and "Stop, Drop, and Roll". Sadly, in your disoriented state you roll into the couch which, weakened by the flames, tips over onto you. Thus pinned, you slowly burn to death.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***



DEATH NUMBER THREE: WALTER RE-CREATES THE IN-GAME STORY WHERE SOMEONE DROWNS IN CATS

> That cat room sure was nice, let's go there and sit in that nice recliner. Recline!

Living Room

You stand the recliner back up, and then sit before the cats have a chance to reclaim it.

You recline, stretching out and relaxing. Now mostly horizontal, you are deemed a surface by the cats and swiftly covered.

You shoo some away but find that they're quite determined. You attempt to un-recline but there's just too many cats. The weight, the heat, is becoming oppressive. You find yourself becoming claustrophobic. You heave at the felines with all your strength but somehow there's always more of them. Not attacking, not hostile, just... omnipresent.

You are having trouble breathing. Cat hair fills your mouth, your nostrils. The sound of purring taunts you as you try to scream but only manage to choke on a tail. Dear lord, you are drowning in cats. You are now in full-on panic mode, flailing and striking out as best you can under the blanket of feline apathy. It has no noticeable effect other than sapping your strength further. Before long, you don't even have the energy to inhale.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***



DEATH NUMBER FOUR: JOE HAS A FUNNY IDEA

> Pull loose bandage really really hard.

You grab a loose bandage and yank, hoping for a cartoon-like spin that leaves the mummy either dazed or destroyed. A small strip of bandage pulls free in your hand. Hmm. The mummy takes your arm the same way it has taken the other items brandished at it, and crumples it effortlessly into a ball. You collapse to the ground screaming and spraying blood everywhere. You attempt to aim the blood at the mummy just because you can't think of anything better, but it doesn't seem to harm the monster or even make it slip. A hand closes around your head and squeezes - your skull explodes under the pressure like a tomato in a microwave.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***



DEATH NUMBER FIVE: KELBY TRIES BRUTE FORCE

> Use the wall as a launching platform as I attempt to get as much momentum as possible, before hurling myself at the mummy, in order to knock it down, while being ready to run toward the kitchen the moment I have an opening

You attempt to tackle the mummy.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***



DEATHS NUMBER SIX AND SEVEN: KELBY TRIES SOME REALLY STRANGE MUMMY-SLAYING METHODS

You're about to examine the tub when the mummy, annoyed at your REPEATED trips into and out of the room, grabs you and slams you down into... well, the bathtub. That's convenient I guess.

It's an old claw-foot tub. The inside is covered in grime, Dr. Paprika, and you.

The mummy looms over you, eager to finally crush your skull. It seems likely that trying to climb out of the tub or even stand will get you killed.

> go to sleep

The mummy makes an elaborate series of gestures that mean, in an ancient Egyptian form of sign language:

"What is this, suicide by mummy? I mean, seriously! This is embarrassing for both of us. I don't like being used like this. If you want to kill yourself go... I don't know, overdose on pills or jump off of a bridge or something. Don't involve me.

"Or... or are you genuinely trying to accomplish something? Are you trying to sleep me to death? How would that even work? I'm vaguely aware of some sort of parallel dream world here but you would still leave your physical body behind for me to crush, and I suspect you would wake up when your bones began to shatter.

"You baffle me. You horrible, insane little man. If you were part of a large group this wouldn't confuse me so much, there's always a few people there just to die. Redshirts, you know. But when there's only one adventurer it's practically a law that they have some ace up their sleeve or incredible fighting skills or whatever.

"Is there a main character around that I could speak with? Do you have a boss, a more charming and dashing partner, something like that? It can't really be you, can it? Pathetic."

Of course, you can't understand ancient Egyptian sign language and your eyes are closed so you can't see it anyway, and it wouldn't really matter even if you did see and understand because then the mummy crushes your skull.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***

Restart, Quit, or Undo?

> UNDO

Previous turn undone.

You now remember something that never happened. You lose one sanity point.

> Hug the mummy: xyzzy release the mummy xyzzy

You scroll up just a few comments and read the description of events. "It seems likely that trying to climb out of the tub or even stand will get you killed." You ponder that for a minute, trying to figure out what the words mean. Surely that message is trying to tell you something. Hmm.

You decide you can think about that more later, once you're out of this stupid tub. You stand up to hug the mummy.

*** YOU HAVE DIED ***

ACTUAL CONVERSATION THAT TOOK PLACE IN GOOGLE CHAT:

me: If only you had HUGGED the mummy!
Kelby: lol seriously?
me: No, I'm messing with you. He would have torn your arms off.



DEATH NUMBER EIGHT: KELBY FINALLY MANAGES TO FINISH WHAT HE STARTED

The bottle has no label. It contains five sinister-looking black pills.

> Mmm.... sinister-looking black pills.... I eat one

It's been described as "sinister" but you're pretty sure that means that it's candy... right? And anyway, there's no possible way that this could be a bad idea or have any negative effect.

Of course if it does you'll be completely screwed since you are on your last sanity point. But then again, it seems TOTALLY likely that taking a pill will magically make you win the game.

So what the hell, you take it.

You lose one sanity.

The elephant starts chanting, causing the machinery in the walls to slow. Thank the lord that your beard is made of bees. Clutching the Flaming Sword of the Angel Gabriel, you venture forth into the land of Narnia.

And then your body starves to death.

And then Monte repairs the machine and summons Nal-Shalberon A'Ktah, and tears the Paper Street house off of reality entirely.

And then Nal-Shalberon A'Ktah breaks through into the real world and destroys everything.

You asshole.

*** YOU HAVE LOST ***