Day Four Hundred and Thirty Two.
Bored, bored, bored, bored, BORED. I hate this job, it's the same thing, EVERY DAY. New arrival takes a wrong turn, decides to have a pop at me, I make sashimi out of them, then guess what: they're back thirty seconds later to get chopped up all over again.
Do these people have no common sense at all? Today, right, I'm stood here, surrounded by bloodstains and glowing messages and shit, all telling them to come back when they're a bit
stronger than a haemophiliac kitten with giga-rickets, when this bloke turns up. He reads the warning messages people have left, which is more than most people do, so I'm thinking "good, he's got the point".
Nope: here he comes anyway, waving a piddly stick at me like he's trying to shoo a hungry badger away from his cat's dinner.
Mate, just touch that bloodstain over there, see what happened to him: bloke with shield up, legs it in my direction, suddenly comes to a screeching halt. He crumples into a heap, limbs sticking out at impossible, excruciating angles, nose halfway across his now-jigsaw-of-a-face. Picasso'd.
So here's the thing – he runs at me anyway. Now I know we don't all have the benefit of a good education, but it's not like I haven't given him a clue, is it? Time to cut him down effortlessly so he can go and post on a forum about how "bullshit hard" this game is. Then I expect he'll be back off to that Call of Duty, where he gets a thrash metal riff and a big, shiny "WELL DONE YOU SPECIAL, SPECIAL GUY!" message for walking a total of 50 metres.
It's not really like that in the army, you know: your immediate superior doesn't chase you around the battlefield, playing badass riffs whenever you successfully put one foot in front of the other, putting his Gibson Flying V down every 12 seconds to adorn your genitals with various bravery medals.
I suppose I'm just saying I feel undervalued. The whole reason I'm stood here is to teach people how this game works from an early stage: you're not controlling the five o'clock-shadowed, tribally tattooed bullet-sponge Gruffalo fleshtank you're used to. I saw one lad crouching behind one of our gravestones for about ten minutes. I thought he was having a shit. Turns out he was waiting for his health to regenerate.
The thing is, part of my job description reads like this (and I quote,) "Catacombs Guard must non-verbally inform player that this area is currently too difficult for them. Catacombs Guard may do this using a variety of techniques, such as leaving a large number of player bloodstains around them and horribly murdering anyone who ventures near". Now I absolutely agree with that: we don't want to be flashing text up on the screen that says "THIS AREA IS TOO HARD RIGHT NOW. TRY SOMEWHERE ELSE AND RETURN WHEN YOU ARE STRONGER". We're classier, more subtle than that.
The problem is, so many of the other games they're playing do exactly that. They're either young players who have always had that handholding mechanic in their games, or oldies that should know better, but have played so many 'modern' games of late that they've lost their edge. Back when they were kids, all their games were akin to playable, fever-induced nightmares, where you had to do something simple like walk through your house, except everything in your house was out to kill you. No explanations or tutorials were provided, you just got dropped in and off you went, getting your six year old arse kicked by malevolent toasters.
We've lost all that. Now everyone expect reasonable checkpoints, they expect the game to tell them what to do, they expect minimal punishment for careering frivolously into ludicrously dangerous scenarios. So they see me and think "it's only a single bloody skeleton, right? How bad can he be?".
Sometimes I want to grab these clueless shitters by the ears, push my skinless face right up against theirs and shout "LISTEN: this is not about you. This game is a metaphor for REAL LIFE: you will fail. Over and over again. Fail. The world was not built specifically to accomodate you. There will always be someone or something better than you.
You are not special. You are demon fodder. The only real satisfaction you will get will be from invading and ruining your fellow human beings' shit, because we all want to be better than the next man and crush him at any cost. If you persist and exhibit resilience instead of throwing your dummy across the room and crying, you will succeed.
This game will save you. It will save you from sitting in front of countless empowerment fantasies where you need but twitch your fingers a bit to be showered with praise. It'll save you from being handed fucking TROPHIES for doing next to nothing, from being told in explicit detail where to go next. Hell, some of them don't even trust you to look in the right direction and let you press a button that points your head the right way as if you were an anaesthetised labrador. It will save you from all of that. It will give you your brain back. It will let you evaluate, accomplish, achieve, all by yourself.
That one thing you can't quite manage? That bit that's just beyond your skill level? Don't worry about it. Everyone hits that point, and it's gutting, but it's yet another important lesson this game will teach you. Just be glad that, as a human being, one day you will die: that is your ultimate gift (yet another thing this game teaches you). Be thankful you're not a fucking immortal skeleton, torn out of the ground, bound together by magic, courtesy of some bored necromancer and given the job of attempting to educate fools like you OVER and OVER AGAIN that the true rewards in life must be earned through perseverance and hard fucking work. Not handed to you on a plate".
I'd love to bellow that in the little bleeders' faces. Sadly, it's not that easy when you don't have vocal chords. Or lungs.