Light, followed immediately by existence. I enter the world, clad in armor, with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other; I am newborn and prepared for war. I am the Sun Warrior, chosen by the goddess to overthrow the Dark Lord, and I will succeed. I take in my surroundings. I am in a dimly lit cave with a narrow path leading me into the unknown–to my destiny.
I begin my trek down the path. Torches adorn the cave’s sides. Dripping water echoes off the walls. I hear a faint shuffling, and it is not long until I am set upon by a pair of zombies. I get hit in the shoulder and the leg. The pain blossoms across my body before I slay them and move on. The cave continues, twisting back and forth, up and down, my progress only slightly hindered by my injured leg.
Eventually, the cave begins to open up and I find myself facing a large pair of double doors, shadows dancing across them. As I approach the gateway, I know that it is part of my destiny. Steeling myself, I push them open and walk in. The doors close behind me with a boom. Cautiously, I walk forward, my eyes exploring the space. It seems to be some old arena, circular, and surrounded by the remains of bleachers, all of them long empty. That’s when I hear it. A growling, followed by great booming footsteps. Before I can turn around, I am hit by a massive impact. My body fills with pain as I’m propelled across the arena, dead before I hit the ground. And there is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence. I am back at the cavern back where I started. I sputter, stumbling. The goddess allowed me to cheat death, giving me a second chance to fulfill my destiny. I begin walking through the cave again, this time unsurprised and uninjured by the pair of zombies, until I again reach the double doors. I then take a deep breath. I will not fail twice. Then, I push the doors open. I am again in the arena. This time, I watch the direction from which I heard the growl. There is a moment’s hesitation before the same sound echoes through the arena once more. The growl. The footsteps. Then I see it. A towering Minotaur charges at me, inhuman nostrils flaring and dragging a gargantuan hammer behind it. It reaches me and swings, most likely the same attack that killed me last time. I roll out of the way and begin to attack the beast. It bleeds, but otherwise shows no indication of feeling the blow. I attack two more times, to similar effect. As I wind up for a third attack, the hammer comes crashing down, killing me instantly, and there is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence. The goddess has granted me a third chance. I begin to sprint through the cave, stopping only to kill the ever-present zombies. Reaching the doors, I stop, gather myself, and then open them. The Minotaur charges and I roll out of the way, attack once, block his hammer, and then attack once more. It continues like this, the beast showing no signs of pain, and I tire quickly. The battle only lasts a few minutes until I mess up once more. I’m rolling away from a hammer swing, but I’m off slightly, and I roll towards him instead. It only delays me a few seconds, but it is enough time for the hammer to come down, ending my life a third time, and there is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence, I am back in the cavern, physically well, but able to recall the wounds of the past all too well. That fourth attempt ends in death, as do the three after it.
My eighth cycle begins. Light, followed immediately by existence, I kill the zombies, and then force myself through the caves. At this point, I am beyond weary. Any tension or excitement from the encounter is long gone, as I’m now sure in the inevitability of my resurrection. When I reach the arena, despondence gets the better of me and I’m killed by the Minotaur’s initial charge. Any goddess that would subject me to this is not a kind one. There is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence. There, in the cavern, I decide that I’m done. I don’t want to serve a goddess like this, and I’m sure there is another way out of the cave. My mind craves rest, But when I go to lie down, I find that I cannot. My limbs disobey me. They begin carrying me back through the cave, despite my struggle to stop them. I reach the zombies, then the arena, then the Minotaur. I fight him, against my will, before I mess up (or, rather, my body does), and I die. There is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence. Before I am fully aware of my surroundings, it happens again. My legs begin to carry me through the cave. I am a prisoner inside my own frame. I fight the zombies, reach the Minotaur, and die. This happens four more times, my body in rebellion each time. There is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence. Still, I am without control. But something is different this time. When I reach the Minotaur, my (my body’s) reflexes are faster, my (my body’s) strikes are harder, as if suddenly, a whole trove of knowledge about the fight has been revealed to me (it). At some point I stop fighting myself and again fight the beast, slowly but surely wounding him. I do not know how long we fight, but we both show signs of exhaustion. And then it happens. The Minotaur swings his hammer, in a way I hadn’t seen before. Since I am unprepared, it catches me in the chest; there is a brief moment of pain, and then I die. And there is darkness.
Light, followed immediately by existence. I’m in the cavern again, but as I am catching my bearings, words appear in front of my eyes, staying in front of me regardless of how I move my head. They appear to made of fire, but no heat comes off of them.
“Quit Game?” appears, immediately above “Yes” and “No.”
Before I can react, a small hand appears, moving quickly to the “Yes.” A clicking sound echoes throughout the cavern, and the words change. “Save Game?”
The hand is back, and it pauses for a moment before moving to “No.” There is another clicking noise, and then, there is darkness.
1. (in Gnosticism) one of a class of powers or beings conceived as emanating from the Supreme Being and performing various functions in the operations of the universe.
2. an indefinitely long period of time; an age.