Friday, August 25, 2006

Inside a video game

I don't know what I did yesterday that made me dream of this at all. I worked out for about an hour and-a-half, I said my prayers, I put music into Cakewalk, and I watched a couple Homestar Runner clips. My evening menu consisted of two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a small dish of strawberry yogurt. If you can figure out how I got this from all that, be my guest...

Also, a person that I'm sure everyone here knows shows up later. I mean absolutely no offense to this person. Confused? Keep reading...

To start off with, I was playing an old video game, Doom II. I've played the game enough to know most of the levels quite well. The odd thing was that the game looked a lot better than it had ever looked before. I looked around in the game. Everything looked very realistic. I looked down. I saw my feet, and a very sweet gun. I looked back up, surprised, because in Doom II, you never see your feet, and you only see the barrel of your gun. It suddenly hit me: I wasn't playing it. I was the main character! (Justin or Jonathan, are you reading this?) I was holding an old--but still very sweet--rocket launcher, and I was hunting aliens and demons. Sweet. Bring it on!

The nice thing about being in a video game and realizing that it's a video game is that you have a lot more control that you would normally think. It's rather like when you are dreaming but then you realize it's a dream. You can take full control of the dream, by either letting things go as they are, or by simply altering the whole thing.

I began running, something you normally can't do with nine fully-loaded weapons on you, and a backpack containing extra ammo for all of them. If you've ever played Doom II, you know that these aren't just various pistols. Your starting weapon is a pistol, but if you look hard enough, you'll find a chain saw at the very beginning. (If you don't, there's always your fists...) The next weapon is a single-barrel shotgun, followed by a double-barrel shotgun (two separate weapons, and you get to keep both), a chaingun (or a gatlin' gun, depending upon what you what to call it), a rocket launcher, a plasma gun, and a BFG9000 (which takes the ammo of the plasma cannon, using 80 rounds per shot, and dealing sick amounts of damage to everything in the room). And I had the rocket launcher out, loaded and ready to go. What's funny about this is that my personal favorite was the plasma gun, even over the BFG9000...

Anyway, so I went sprinting along this rather familiar looking outdoors area, looking for something evil to blow up. But everywhere I went, there was nothing. It was as though I had already completed the level, but I was missing one key. I do that all the time. I'll just miss one thing in a level, and then after I've killed off everything, I'll run around and pick up all the ammo I missed, while I hunt (and hunt and hunt) for the one hidden key. I kept running around, but there was nothing...

I finally went into a building. There were bodies of the evil ones everywhere -- too bad I missed all the fun. I heard something coming from one of the rooms though, and I readied my launcher. I opened the door, and there was a room full of barons of hell and hell knights. They were all facing away from me. In their midst was a large cyberdemon, who was facing me. In the first instant, it looked like the smaller demons were taking orders from the cyberdemon. Suddenly the cyberdemon, seeing me, opened fire. He hit one of the barons of hell, who did not take kindly to it. The rocket splash damage also hit other demons, who had the same reaction. They started firing their energy balls upon the cyberdemon. I saw a way for this to get ugly. I ran back and forth behind the group. In an attempt to shoot me, the cyberdemon hit more of these barons and knights, causing them all to turn against him. I quickly exited the room, just in case any of them noticed me, and also, to avoid any potential damage.

This part of the dream is one room of an actual level from Doom II.

The rocket fire slowly subsided, and the room became silent with one last explosion. I couldn't tell who had survived from the sounds. When I opened the door to investigate, I saw two barons of hell and a hell knight still alive. Their comrades were all dead. The remaining three turned on me. I fired off a single rocket at them, knocking back the hell knight. Then I realized the power I might have in the game. I put away the rocket launcher and prepared to see what I could do.

As anticipated, the fire didn't stop. The three beings launched their energy balls at me. I caught all three of the energy balls and just held them for a second or two. The beings looked at me in utter disbelief -- I guess no one has ever done that before. They fired off another volley, and I caught them as well. I merged all the energy into one large one, but before I could launch it at them, they had fired off another volley. I knew I could catch the energy, but what else could I do? As the energy approached, I swung my fist, effectively reflecting them all back to their originators. Frustrated, they charged me. I launched the energy ball at them. The force of the energy that I had packed was more powerful then a rocket, and actually blasted them through a wall into the next room. Quite satisfied with my abilities, I sauntered on through the new hole...

...into an office. At the desk sat two burly men, and Therese O. The men were cheesed off, and Therese just sat there letting them rant. From their rantings, it was clear that the two men were the barons, and that Therese had been the knight. In spite of the fact that the knights are inferior to the barons, it was also clear that she was their leader. While they were raving, she was simply sitting behind the desk in the executive chair. It was clear that she was not happy with the situation either, but it was done, and there was nothing that she could do about it.

One of the men came up to me, yelling something. I just stood there was a slight smirk on my face and let him rant. It was about all he could do anyway. As he walked back to the table, I actually began to feel a little sorry for them. The way that the guys were acting, it was as though they had never been defeated, and this was their first taste of something that wasn't victory.

The same guy suddenly spun around and launched a fireball at me. I had been half-expecting it, but wasn't really prepared at this close range. Still, I noticed it, and without moving a muscle, I stopped the fireball dead in its tracks. I sent the fireball back at the guy, but it was only powerful enough to forcibly make him sit down. He started to cry.

I looked at him in disbelief. A baron of hell was crying. His crying started up the other one. I could only think of one response, and it was sarcastic:

"What, do you guys need a hug?"

"Yes," was their response, also taking me by surprise.

Hopefully, I could surprise them all back, so I geve the first one a hug. He cried on my shoulder like a little kid. I've never felt so uncomfortable in my whole life. I shouldn't say that, because the next two were just as awkward. The other guy got up and made a group hug effort, so I offered my other arm to him. The same thing happened. I wondered to myself, "Why did I say yes? These guys ... geez!" When they were finally done, they returned to their seats, sniffling a little. I looked at Therese, who looked rather embarassed by her comrades' behavior. I asked her the same question. The guys piped up, "He's a great hugger!" (Like I said, uncomfortable, but it gets worse.) She said sure, she'll take one. So I hugged her. Her response?

"Eh, he's not that good..."

Feeling extremely awkward, my dream suddenly twisted out of that into a completely different spin. Sadly, I don't remember the second half of the dream. The second half had almost nothing to do with the first half, and I remember waking up feeling a whole lot better than I did when my dream jumped tracks. I just can't remember. I guess I'll have to end on the awkward note and see if it will come back to me...

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