The Waste Land 2

The Waste Land 2


The Waste Land II

Part I: The Resurrection of the Living

1978 is the year of joy, dancing

Sticks in a black abyss, bouncing

Balls searching for an end, wanting

For nimble limbs to die.[1]

Bunkers kept us safe, covering

Earth from unknown skies, descending

From the abyss, hideous faces laughing.[2]

Vectors[3] surpassed us, in the form of rocks

Showering lonely space pilots,[4] into lifelessness,

And another coin, as if life were so kind.

Wakka, Wakka, Wakka, Wakka, Wakka, Wakka,[5]

And when we were children, staring at the screens,

Mothers in frustration, sick of the addiction;

We wanted to play, in labyrinths we stayed,

Cutting corners, feeding our gluttony, praying for time,

Running away from colorful spirits.[6]

 

What are the stories we tell?

A damsel in distress. An ancestor to man,

Hurling drums,[7] through another abyss

Of labyrinthine ladders. Crossing streets,

Frogs in delirium, dodging buses and alligators,[8] longing for home.

There’s nothing

Special about you.

You’re just an

Ordinary Program.”[9]

Ambiguous life, trapped in worlds

Within worlds, in a looping void

Of neon, armored steel and flashing wheels,[10]

Physiques begin to progress:

“After all, computers are just machines; they can’t think.”[11]

A Lair of frustration.[12]

Sprites and animation never danced in wonder,

Dirk the Daring in search of Daphne,

Singe in league with Mordoc,[13] to give aches and pains.

The agony, the devotion, the cults!

Across dungeons of black.[14]

I see my heart coming out of my chest,

I see slithering, creepy-crawly creatures

Devour me: “Yet another does not return…”[15]

[Left Turn] please!!! [Move][Move][Move][16]

What is this maze? These dimensions!

Away with you Wizard and this cruel world!

[Get Left Shield]no more!!![Attack Right]

“Behold! Destiny awaits the hand of a new wizard”[17]

My very own Copper Key,[18] brought back

From the abyss, from madness, to obtain

Bragging rights, in these war games.[19]

 

A most peculiar idol is born.

On shrooms takes a plunge,

Sluicing the world with siblings,

Italian-Americans![20]

They had not thought death came from sewers.

Exterminate jumping man, kick, kick, kick overalls man,

“POW”[21] flip them on their backs mustache man!

In this cesspool there is no right side up,

Pipes are gates, crabs are demons, coins are addictions,

And fires fly, flaring in fury![22]

Again, again, and again.

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik![23]

Thus begins the era of animosity: the era of obsessions!

 

Difficult paths:

Easy Street

            Middle Road

                        Hard Way[24]

Every newspaper in America, engraved

In blood: “The Daily Sun.”

A child awaits to deliver paper, to every home,

To every family, to every door,[25]

To deliver news: it’s 1942, the war has begun.

Shoot them all down! Every Jap will die in vain,

Destroy the Kamikazes and let the bombs rain.[26]

My enemies will perish, you will not take me

Alive Capcom![27]

 

Mr. Sandman awaits.[28]

Blood pouring down his face, puffy eyes,

Broken nose, and screeching sighs.

The sound of a bell,

“Left” “Right” “Body Blow” “Uppercut”[29]

You’re almost there sweet child, out of the Golden Age,[30]

And into another joyous abyss.

“And swallow up existence with a yawn…

Boredom”[31]

Mankind’s worst enemy is dead.

 

Part II: A Game of Crafting Stars[32]

 

Part III: The Fire Temple[33]

 

Part IV: A Rapture Under Water[34]

 

Part V: And Her Lighting Returns[35]

 

 

 

 

[1] In 1978 Pong was released, arguably the first ever video game. It is a table tennis-like sports game with simple two-dimensional graphics.

[2] In 1978 Space Invaders was also released. A game where the player controls a laser cannon and tries to fend off as many waves of aliens as possible to earn points.

[3] A small leap in game design that displayed perfect polygonal shapes.

[4] In 1979 Asteroids was released, a video game where the player controls a spaceship in an asteroid field and tries to destroy asteroids and aliens while avoiding collision.

[5] The sound Pac-Man makes when he eats.

[6] Pac-Man was the highest grossing video game of all time. The most iconic video game in 1980’s popular culture. The player controls Pac-Man through a maze. The goal of the game is to eat all the dots in the maze while avoiding four ghosts.

[7] Donkey Kong was the first ever platforming game in which a monkey throws barrels at the player. The player controls “jump man”, who is an early incarnation of Nintendo’s flagship character Mario.

[8] Frogger, a game where the player controls a frog and tries to cross a busy street, dodging traffic and various animals in order to get safely across.

[9] A quote from Tron the 1980’s film produced by Walt Disney Productions, in which a computer programmer is transported into a computer where he interacts with programs in an attempt to escape.

[10] Tron the video game was released after the motion picture it was based on, it made more money than the movie. Two of the four mini games in the video game included: destroying tanks and making enemy motorbikes crash by outdriving them.

[11] Another quote from the film Tron, this quote is said by the character Dr. Walter Gibbs.

[12] Dragon’s Lair was the first game to incorporate actual animation. It is considered a cult classic, notorious for its difficulty and its frustrating gameplay.

[13] Characters from Dragon’s Lair.

[14] Dungeons of Daggorath was the first ever game to attempt three dimensional graphics.

[15] A quote from the wizard of Dungeons of Daggorath who appears on the screen when the player dies.

[16] The game Dungeons of Daggorath used typing commands to maneuver through a maze.

[17] The final speech by the Wizard after the player completes the game.

[18] A reference to Earnest Cline’s novel, Ready Player One in which Dungeons of Daggorath is a major part of Halliday’s grand scheme.

[19] Another reference to Ready Player One in which the hero Parzival has to reenact the entire 1983 film WarGames.

[20] Mario Bros. the very first video game to feature the character Mario. The Italian themed hero was created by Shigeru Miyamoto.

[21] The “POW” was a weapon that resides in the middle of the screen in the game Mario Bros. A player could pound on it and activate a powerful shake that would turn all enemies on their backs, leaving them vulnerable to attack.

[22] In the original 1983 Mario Bros. Debut, Mario and Luigi jumped around in sewers defeating crabs, turtles, and avoiding fireballs.

[23] Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade No. 13 in G major which played at the beginning of Mario Bros.

[24] A reference to the 1985 video game PaperBoy. These three paths represent the difficulty the player could choose.

[25] PaperBoy is a video game where the player controls a boy on a bicycle and delivers newspapers to the neighborhood.

[26] 1942 is a video game where the player controls a plane and shoots down enemies planes. The goal is to reach Tokyo and destroy Japan’s air fleet.

[27] The company behind 1942. It is criticized for shady sales practices, producing mediocre content, and showing tremendous bias towards Asian consumers.

[28] The most lucrative opponent in the 1984 video game Punch Out!!

[29] Punch Out!! Is a boxing arcade game. The player controls a green haired character who has to climb up the ranks by defeat diverse opponents. Arguably the game that started the sports game genre.

[30] 1978 through 1984 was the most innovative time for arcade games.

[31] A line from Charles Baudelaire’s poem “To the Reader.” It suggests that man’s consequent downfall is attributed to being bored.

[32] StarCraft was released in 1998. It is a real time strategy game that established competitive gaming, becoming South Korea’s national sport. A modern day chess-like video game in which a player has to carefully choose countering units in order to beat opponents in a futuristic war.

[33] The second dungeon in Ocarina of Time which was the fifth installment in The Legend of Zelda series.

[34] A reference to the video game Bioshock which is set in a technologically advanced city under water called Rapture.

[35] Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII featured a protagonist named Lightning, one of the most iconic heroines in the Final Fantasy series.

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