Welcome back! Or at least, it would be if you’d gone anywhere, but you didn’t did you? Hmmm, ‘Hello’ just doesn’t seem dramatic enough; ‘Well met’ is a bit too amdram, and ‘Ahoy!’ usually dictates that one’s next action is either a boarding of your galleon to plunder it for treasure, or the exchanging of rolling yarns about the fish that got away (probably Zoso trying to debug something) while smoking a pipe and pulling on one’s beard. How about Good Bloginsday? That’ll do.
So, a very good bloginsday to you all.
More about reasons for absence, apologies for such, whys, hows, do you mind if I don’ts, acceptances of apologies, invitations to tea, and excuses about stoves to avoid commitment, later.
Before all that, today’s question: where’s the satellite navigation for my corpse runs in Hellgate?
Zoso and I have been pottering around slaughtering zombies, beating off demons through the persuasive employment of rounds and rounds of explosive-tipped military hardware, it’s the standard thing for a couple of guys with time to kill on a Saturday evening:
“Any plans for tonight? I thought we’d go out for a beer and hit the pool tables.”
“Well we could do that. Orrrrr! We could run around in the local forest, open a bunch of random crates in the area until some Class 1 military hand cannons ping out of one, then search through some underground tunnels, hopefully encountering a rift in the cosmos that takes us into one of the tiers of Hell, and then slaughter all the minions of Lucifer Morningstar that we find there, until we’ve either killed them all and looted their demonic hides, or we run out of ammo and are overwhelmed, and hence spend the rest of all eternity writhing in unbearable agony as our skin is flayed from our bodies while imps rub salt and lemon into the wounds and demons sing Cliff Richard’s number one singles at us. What do you say to that, eh? EH?!”
“Well… I was sort of hoping for a quiet evening, just have a pint, play some pool, perhaps catch a film, maybe meet-up with the rest of our folks, you know.”
“Orrrrr! We could run around the London Underground, equip ourselves in hi-tech armour and weapons, fight our way through hordes of undead and flesh eating monsters which, if we survive, will allow us to travel through a portal in space and time and find ourselves face-to-face with a mega demon of the highest tier of Satan’s army. We can then pit our nigh-on useless weapons against his infinite powers of damnation, and possibly stand a chance of gaining untold riches, but more likely find ourselves being used by him as toilet paper, experiencing pain and suffering beyond belief in the few moments before we are incinerated by his unholy fiery arse. Eh? Am I selling it to you? EH?!”
“Look, I really don’t thin… toilet paper for a fiery-arsed demon, you say?”
“As hot as the sun, and as hairy as a yak that’s overdosed on Regaine!”
“I’m in! Just give me a few minutes to strap myself into an impossibly tight leather suit with a few token pieces of plate armour on the joints that offer no protection whatsoever!”
“Right-o! I’ll grab my demon slayer!”
“That’s a small pencil”
“I know! It’s as much good at slaying demons as anything else; these are otherworldly uncelestial beings, do you really think a gun is going to harm them?”
“Man, you could at least sharpen it.”
Five seconds in to the post and I’ve lost it already. Zoso! I’m blathering again!
Anyway, we were playing Hellgate and I’d run off like a loon in entirely the wrong direction while Zoso methodically made his way through the map. I inevitably gained the attention of several (hundred) members of the flesh-eating fraternity of Epsilon Alpha Tau Pi Epsilon Epsilon Pi Sigma; you’d think that they’d pick a shorter frat. name considering half of them don’t have lower jaw bones. Suffice it to say, I died. Now, Hellgate is an interesting beast in that it doesn’t provide any indication on your mini map as to where your corpse might be when you’re very far away from it, so you have to rely on memory and luck to get back to it, especially since some of the maps in the game are bloody huge. However, you might just be lucky enough to have a friendly Zoso around, so that when you’re lost and running around like a… like a… well, like an incorporeal spirit without its corpse, I suppose, your friendly neighbourhood Zoso can find the corpse, and then guide you in because you can always see other team members on the mini map, even if they are a clueless ghost.
So Zoso’s directions were warped upon entering my mind (who would have guessed that of me) and went something like this:
“Turn left at the next canyon”
“Continue straight on for five hundred yards.”
“In two hundred yards, keep left.”
“In three hundred yards, go around the hill, second exit.”
“Take the exit.”
<Melmoth takes the wrong exit>
“Turn around when possible.”
“At the hill, go all the way around, third exit.”
“At the swarm of Epsilon Alpha Tau Pi Epsilon Epsilon Pi Sigma members, turn left.”
“In three hundred yards, you have reached your destination.”
“You have reached your corpse.”
So there’s your answer; never go out into the field of combat without a Zoso: the satellite navigation of Hellgate corpse runs.