Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gaming with Aquaphobia Part 1

Aquapobia is generally defined as the fear of water. In my case, I am fearful of a body of water that is bathtub-sized or larger. I may have understated "fearful" in the previous sentence so let me elaborate: I am deathly scared of it where if I see it or get close to it I would start feeling nauseous and a devastating notion of dread would overwhelm me. Strangely, I am okay with aquariums as long as I am staring at them from the sides instead of looking down into them. The funny thing is, I remember swimming as a child so truth be told, I really don't know where it could have come from. I do know that it started early while I was growing up and it is getting worse by the year.

Video games and realistic looking water were not synonymous until recently and year after year, the technology has provided us with some amazing looking H2O. I can breathe easy for now because game developers have not perfected their graphical and physical representation of water... yet! In this series of articles, I will be sharing my catastrophic but mostly funny experiences with digital water as an acute aquaphobic.


A masterpiece that unintentionally contains some ultra-frightful moments.

This game doesn't have realistic looking water but the reason why the water sections below are so traumatic is because of the game's success in creating a grand sense of scale. The game's hero, Wander, is but a tiny spec compared to his surrounding environment and the majestic beasts that he has to destroy.

i) The Road (or Water) to Colossus 3

For those who are not familiar with the game, at the beginning of each of the game's sections, a disembodied voice would provide Wander with a cryptic clue about the next colossus that he must dispose of. When I reached this mushroom shaped structure in the middle of a large lake, I completely forgot that the voice speficially mentioned that the colossus could be located on top of the structure!

What is that lake doing there? Help...

Because I was in a state of panic and disbelief to what I was about to endure, I ended up spending an hour jumping in and out of the lake and walking around it to see where to colossus may be hiding. In the game, Wander can use his sword that would reflect a guiding light towards the direction of the colossus he is hunting but since the lake is shrouded in mist, making the sword useless, I was continually misguided by my own fear. At one point, I forced myself to jump into the lake and started circling the entire structure as my teary eyes were analyzing the murky water. Because I was too afraid to swim towards the land surrounding the lake, I decided to get on the stone slope that lead up towards the top of the structure and that was when I realized that I had been torturing myself for no logical reason.

ii) In-Flight Beverage

The 5th colossus was a bird but of course, it just had to be fought on a big lake.

It has wings... So why are we here on a lake?

Now getting near the colossus was hard enough because of the amount of swimming that took place - I tried thinking about a happy place with each second of swimming time. The first time I encountered this colossus, I kept falling off it and got dropped right into the creepy lake below. I am so glad that at least I am not that fearful of heights because I would have had a heart attack during this fight.

I rather stay up here for the rest of this battle please.

iii) Debating the Bait

Guess what happened two colossi later... Another big lake and this time around, there was something big lurking underneath. When I first arrived at the lake and saw the gigantic serpent just slithering inside of it, I practically froze. I kept looking at it moving about for probably close to half an hour. When the disembodied voice starting telling me that I needed to lure out the thing by swimming on the water surface, I almost wet myself.


While on it, the colossus would sometime dive in pretty deep...
A move more shocking to me than its electrically charged horns.

After the long period of time in total shock, I jumped into the water. When I saw the colossus started heading my way, I felt the shivers run up my spine, freaked out, and got out of the water immediately. After another half hour of doing what I just described repeatedly, I was finally able to finish the job. I was thinking to myself, "That was so messed up".

iv) 4th Time's the Harm

The 12th colossus hid inside another huge lake. Though the surrounding for this one was bright and clear, it still didn't take away the nastiness of it all.

Run! Oh no, there's no land, so I guess it's "Swim!"

A menacing colossus but not as scary as the lake.

It was a big, big, lake.

There is definitely a better way to get to the top of this colossus' head but in a panic-stricken frenzy, I thought that the best way to do it was to swim around the beast and climb up its furry backside. The method worked but I will never forget spending too much time in the water chasing after the colossus as it kept taking me further and further away from the small platforms scattered across the lake, away from where I felt safer!


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