Where Death Goes When He’s Bored…

Meridian 59 is old school. I mean like OOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDD school. Like “Bob Dole used to play this game as a teen on his abacus” old. The graphics are pretty rough – I think the only chip you’d need to run this thing is a Dorito.

Now, having dissed thusly, this is THE game. When you talk about graphic MOGs, M59 was around before the likes of Lord Briton still thought the Atari Adventure game was the shit. The game has all sorts of history behind it. Truth be told, I can barely keep up with the history of whether or not I put my underwear under or over my pants. So trying to track down the years of history that went into this game were WAY beyond me. But when I first spotted the ads on Penny Arcade – well, that was enough for me! I mean, advertising on that site takes some serious duckies (in other words, they’ve still refused to put up my banners in exchange for me power-leveling them on Darktide). So this MUST be a legit game!

(Good grief. Can I just take a moment to focus on what a pathetic victim of commercialism and a sad fanboy I am? Let’s face it – if Penny Arcade ran an ad stating the benefits of hitting yourself in the face really hard with a hammer, I’d doubtless give it a pretty good go. I’ve got my hammer already picked out and everything.)

Anyway, I go around and tried to find something out about it. It seems that everyone I talked to knew about the game; they all heard about it. It’s just like these bastiches not to tell me about cool stuff! Yeah! Remember that time you ‘forgot’ to tell me water will put out fires you set in your crotch, Quix? Huh? Remember that? When I walked around with the fires, and the burning, and the…uh…never mind.

So there’s this new…er…OLD game. It’s basically a sword and sorcery sorta deal. Yeah, I know – a MOG based on swords and sorcery? Insane! And there’s a lot of similarities here to other games – to cast spells you need certain components; there’s three different kingdoms you can ally yourself with; monsters prowling the surrounding lands like to eat you – yeah, it’s all been done before. Er – well, actually, after. Anyway, it’s nothing unusual.

What is unusual – and pleasantly so – is the in-game communications. Not only is there chat and broadcast abilities, but you can send email – IN THE GAME! Yeah, it’s HAWT. I mean, normally I have to wait until I log off to read all my hate mail. Not any more! Now if you hate me, you don’t have to take time away from your game to tell me! It’s awesome!

But this game is CONFUSING. Don’t bother looking for any nice and easy starting missions! I spent a good hour wandering around the starters’ town, and it still didn’t help me when I got to the ‘real’ world. Instead, I plopped out into the real world, and promptly got eaten by a rat. Weeeee.

And you think Death sucks in other worlds? Buddy, Death in M59 is like DEATH. He’s been pumping steroids and working part-time as a supervisor in a Kathy Lee Gifford Sweat Shop just to make sure he’s the right kind of sadist for the job. When you die, you might as well just sit down and start crying and get it over with. You lose what you’re carrying, all your money, half the stuff your friends were carrying, most of your sanity, half of your health, the clothes in your closet, some stuff in the store that looked interesting and any lint in your belly button.

Yeah, Death sucks THAT much.

So of course I spend most of my time running into him.

You say, “Oh look, what’s that thing over there? A pile of dirt?”
Groundworm eats your face!
You say, “AAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!”
DEATH says, “Hey baby. Bend over!”
You cry.

You say, “Hrm…zombies! They’re dumb and slow! I can tank them!”
Zombie says, “BRAINS! BRAINS! BRAINS! Er…wait…Kwip? Hrm. INTESTINES! INTESTINES! INTESTINES!”
DEATH says, “Toss that salad, boy!”
You weep.

And the thing is, it’s bad enough to just die and be unhappy. But then you’ve got to find your way out of the underworld! There’s all these portals you can choose from, and of course I have no idea where I was when I died, so I have no idea where I should get out…bleargh.

But people in this game – sakes alive. They actually HELP you. It’s pretty insane – there’s such a low population, you can actually say hello to everyone in the game when you log on! That’s just kooky.

Anyone else playing this? If so, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from someone that actually is good at this game. They make a big deal out of the fact that even low-level people can help out in guild wars. Right now, the only way I’m thinking that’ll happen is if they use my dying as a distraction for the enemy…