To the bottom

It was becoming a stale Saturday night, I needed something to do, something to exploit. My Xbox 360’s backlog wasn’t appetizing, the PS3’s wasn’t either. Steam hosted a long list of embarrassment and boredom except one spark of attention-grabbing hope down on the bottom. I’ve never played Terraria, and by “never played” I mean I installed it, spent 28 minutes with it and uninstalled it. It was on sale, did you expect me to actually play it? Breaking my usual tendencies, I re-installed it while I did a quick google search for “terraria mods”. I found a helpful list of them, but really I only needed one.

The character editor granted me a Molten Pickaxe. And so my journey to the bottom of my Terraria world begun.

A lot of distractions were calling me away from Terraria. Twitter was, as usual, abuzz with complaints, bragging, and whining. YouTube was whispering to me about its wealth of stupid cat videos while Reddit just disturbingly breathed into my ear. Not this time though, I was determined to dig myself into the fiery depths of Terraria.

It was really boring initally. Terraria’s art is not all that interesting on the upper half of its world. Thankfully I didn’t spend much time up there, my Molten Pickaxe kept things bright and chomped away at each set of two parallel blocks beneath me. Over and over again.

I heard enemies growl, scream, and scuddle along beside me. When they got close they were either immediately obliterated or set on fire shortly before death. I thought nothing of it, the two blocks below were my only focus.

Deeper and deeper I dug. Every now and then I would come across an underground pocket of water, these were the most annoying parts of my expedition. Drowning wasn’t really much of a problem considering the 1000 health points I gave myself back in the editor, but the water caused me to float around, and in the event I spent too long under, I could risk dying. To counter this I pointed my pickaxe left or right away from the liquid and continued my descent.

Then things got weird. Bats, skeletons and lava started appearing. Was I entering some kind of hell where the inhabitants of my world were forced to writhe around in agony? It was terrifying for a moment, then I kept digging.

It had been a while once I started hitting wilder formations of caves and lava. It got a little trickier, the flaming blobs of slime didn’t help. I almost died at one point trying to fight off a burning slime, but in the end my molten pickaxe disintegrated it.

The walls started to crack and reveal rigid lines of bright red lava. Then I struck free space and realized I was falling onto the top of a building. Other buildings were there too, all of them darkly lit with a sharp purple hue emanating from below. No pickaxe work was necessary to get all the way down. I passed an oddly placed furnace. Finally, I met back up with stone, although it was more of an annoying reunion of two people that hated each other in the past rather than old friends.

At this point it had been at least 20 minutes. As expected, I kept digging downward. A few levels deeper and then it hit me: the camera stopped moving. That could only mean one thing. The revelations hit me as the last stone block shattered. There I stood, on the bottom of Terraria.

All of the sudden, the furnace from just a moment before looked angry, it was sending down its minions to destroy me. I fought off fireballs and more slimes. I knew what I needed to do next, a giant pool of lava was on my right, I was going to end my mining career the fastest way I knew how. I dug as the furnace tried to restrain me, it was like it wanted me to stay, to give it a reason for being. As I was breaking the last block before the lava would pour in, I thought about what I had just done. I had ignored the game. I massacred multiple creatures blindly. I saw the Terraria’s limits. I was a monster. The block shattered, I jumped up in a desperate hope to revert my actions, but I was too late.

Quest complete.

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