Today’s topic in the 100 theme challenge is #10, Breathe Again. What a strange topic that is. Well, this means several things to me. I could take it very literally and write about holding my breath, or I could think about what this phrase means to me in a less obvious sense. “Breathe again” makes me think of being in a time of stress and when it’s finally all over, you can, well, “breathe again”. But, you know what, I’m going to go with the literal definition. That’s right.
But, it’s not a time I breathed again, no, I’m writing about a time someone else did. Or failed to. No, nothing morbid. This phrase actually makes me think of this great web site I used to go on called “Homestar Runner”. Have you heard of it? It was a delightful site with silly characters and hilarious videos. Oh, how heartily I laughed when visiting this site. Everyone’s favorite character was not the one the site was named after, though, the bizarre, unintelligent Homestar who has no visible arms and talks with a lisp. We all liked Strong Bad (with brothers Strong Mad and Strong Sad, of course) and the funny videos involving him answering emails people wrote to him, and he was not always nice about it. (And don’t bother asking him how he types with boxing gloves on….) But, the characters and videos are not the subject of this post. It is the games.
This site also had some very humorous games, including some text adventures, the only place where I have ever played such games. These games, at least on this site, sometimes included images and sometimes just a blank screen with nothing but text to read, and you must type actions. If the directions you can go are North, South, or Dennis (play the games, and you’ll know what I mean), then you can say “Go Dennis”, and your character will, indeed, go Dennis.
One game was called “Peasant’s Quest” starring a peasant named Rather Dashing who is trying to go after the dragon Trogdor the Burninator for burning down his house. This game actually had graphics, and it involved you wandering around this large area using the directional arrows and trying to figure out what to do using, as I said, text-based commands. (I also think some of the monster names were based off of people that had emailed Strong Bad in the past.) In this game, some of the commands resulted in silly response, too. There was once a door I couldn’t open, so I typed “kick down door”, and I got back “Violence is not the answer”. I also got killed when I messed with this mean, old horse. Stupid equine creature.
And then there was the “Thy Dungeonman” series, originally with no images at all, but later on I played one that had pictures. This game involved finding your way out of a dungeon, and you could not move the character in this game as you could in “Peasant’s Quest”. This one was entirely controlled by typing (this one involved the “North, South, or Dennis” directions), and it was pretty funny. And actually pretty fun, too. I had quite a good time trying to figure out what to do and where to go, despite not being able to see anything in the first few games. It doesn’t sound like a good time, but I assure you, it was.
And one in particular stands out to me, one where I kept dying of rabies repeatedly because some rat bit me, before I decided to give it the cheese cloth (despite the fact that I don’t think that’s made of actual cheese). Well, I remember my first time through the game, at the beginning, there is a chamber pot. You know, it’s used for…going to the bathroom. And in that chamber pot was a key. You needed this key, but being a chamber pot, it was quite smelly and unpleasant, and your character would simply refuse to grab this very important key, despite this key being the, well, key out of his cell. So I thought about this for a moment, then, I typed in “hold breath”. He did, and he got the key, and I left the room, proceeding to check out the surrounding area. And you know what happened? I died. Because of one simple thing. I had forgotten to…wait for it….wait for it…breathe again.
And there you have it.