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Fatal Labyrinth

Everyone in the village is standing still, uncertain of their fates. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about this. I’ll probably die along with everyone else, if I just wait around for someone to inspire themselves to become a hero. How did I get myself into this situation? A dragon has stolen a goblet and I must reclaim it goblet for my people. You cowards, what are you doing, standing around and wallowing in your misery? I’ve got to do something about this.

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So I enter the castle. Whatever, it’s only 30 floors high, it couldn’t take long to get up there, right? Man, whoever designed this castle should be thrown into a volcano. The corridors veer from one area to the next, all sparsely decorated with obscure floor-panel designs. Littered about every early room are various pick-ups. A battle-axe for high damage, at close range, or maybe a far more accurate sword, which in turn deals out less damage per hit. I may never be able to pick my poison, but I can pick my potion always.

The first floor was easy enough, as you might expect. Mostly, I worked on some battle tactics, my abilities to remain healthy and keep a good defense improves as I train, with no end in sight. Meat lies before me, and I’m not sure who put it there. It is probably a trick, but I need to eat. Turns out the meat was fine, but it gave me such a stomach ache I could barely move, after eating it. I was shrewd with the confidence of monetary value as I scaled the castle. That is, until I got further up and a money-bag was actually a villain in disguise. I’ll be damned. But when I went to grab it, this money-bag killed me, and a grand funeral was held due to the extreme amount of funds I had collected, thus far.

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Anyway, I’ve now found myself re-born on the fifth floor. Only, the room is different. I begin to panic as the walls seem to be closing in, although they’re obviously not. Yes, every room is randomly generated by some evil maniac who does not want this castle to be consistent, or allow for me to hastily run up a spiral staircase and put an end to this madness once and for all. Magicians continue to put me to sleep, as other creatures are unloading hard attacks, my skull feels like it is being stomped into the floor. In a last ditch fleeting motion, once awakened from the Magician’s spell, I collect myself against the wall, in the northern chamber. I drink some kind of potion, not knowing what sort of effect it has, apparently it prevents rust. That’s okay, I haven’t faced any enemies who have the power to make my weaponry rust, just yet, anyway. It would be nice if a description would come with these items before you waste them with the belief that there might be some percentage of alcohol content in the “red potion”. Apparently, there’s not.

I decide to use my extra weapons as projectiles, and throw them at the fifth room full of enemies. I use a cane to bring on some magic and begin to wonder what magic properties a cane really has, anyway? Important thing is that it does something and looks cool. As I finish off all the enemies in the room, I realize there’s no way out. No exit up, and no way down. Mysteriously, all of the stairs seem to put you in the center of a new room with no way to go back down. These are the stairs of the future. But really, some kind of elevator might’ve been a nice touch. This castle really does look repetitive and I begin to feel motion sick, as everything looks like a repetitious pattern of empty rooms stretched onward with no exit. I need more food. There’s none around. I feel myself dying and am healing myself at the same time, as I walk to a wall, ready to search my bags for some kind of health potion. Leaning against the wall, I press on it and a secret passageway emerges, giving light to a staircase that wasn’t exposed previously.

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Now I’m contemplating suicide as I have over 20 more floors to go and the exits are becoming harder and harder to find. Sneaky bastards. Do I really have that much incentive to complete this mission? What will I get in return? Another visit to the somber town in which people don’t want to save themselves but insist I do it? At least I’ll be getting a nice funeral, with all this gold. Maybe if I could find a staircase downward, they could just buy a new goblet with this gold. Jesus Christ.

This is my last journal entry. Nothing’s going as planned, as I’ve been unable to locate a pre-prepared pot-roast or an exit for the last 5 minutes. I feel myself dying now and have started throwing my weapons at the wall, in frustration. I hope this finds you well, but if you find this journal separate from me, don’t come looking for me. I don’t think it’s worth the trek through this, Fatal Labyrinth.

5 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

Gentle persuasion

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