Ever have dream about a video game? It’s a fairly rare occurrence for me. But considering that I’ve been playing video games for almost three decades, one was bound to happen sooner or later. Sometime in between the release of Guild Wars: Prophecies and Guild Wars: Nightfall, I had an incredibly vivid dream. If dreams were TVs, this was in high definition. We’re talking 1080 progressive, not that interlaced stuff.
Imagine yourself wearing full battle armor. With a sword in your hand, you’re fighting enemies on the ledge of a cliff. That was my dream, except the ledge was actually an eyelid. I was fighting foes while a giant eyeball tracked my movement. As dreams often do, the theme quickly changed. My armor was replaced by a tuxedo, and then I was transported into a James Bond fantasy. I didn’t remember much of the dream after that, but the vision of a gigantic stone woman stayed with me. Wouldn’t it be awesome to play a Guild Wars map just like that? What if there was a battle on top of a beautiful woman?
That’s too crazy to happen, right?
Having forgotten about my dream, I played through Guild Wars as normal. I begrudgingly started the 15-point attribute quests. These tasks annoyed me. Having experienced the alpha / beta, I was used to getting these points for free. Why should I have to trek through the desert, just to complete some trivial quest? Is the mind-numbing desert heat somehow related to the path of enlightenment? Just give me my points or get out of the way!
Many monsters were slain on my path to perfection. These diversions only fueled my rage. Tunnel vision began to set in. I was totally focused on getting to that green quest dot. In doing so, I almost missed one of the most impressive aspects of Chapter 1. Guild Wars has dynamic environments. Since you are in an instanced zone, it can be programmed to react to your progress. This is clearly shown in the Arid Sea map, part of the Crystal Desert.
“Devona… is that you?!“
When I first zoned into the map, I noticed a statue in the distance. On the horizon stood a curvy vision. Was the desert messing with my mind? Was this a mirage? I turned the corner and she was gone. What was that about? Was it a game glitch? Determined to finish my quest, I didn’t really think about the statue. I was just trying to get to that blasted green dot. My goal was to finish the quest and port out of this barren wasteland. After many minutes of exploration, I realized that I had to get to the top of a stone ledge… but how? There must be a bridge somewhere.