Viva Pinata

"Fourheads, it's nice to see you. Why don't you take a seat over there by Sparrowmint near the orchids. We'll be getting started in a moment."

The beast with four heads slithers over next to an overgrown bird, fat with recently caught worms. He's never understood these guys with wings. "Don't they get tired," he thinks to himself. "With all that flitting around, I can't imagine how they can even think!" He keeps one head trained on the bird, and uses the other three to scan the room. Some of them, like the two Whirlms making out in the back row, are familiar faces. But there are a lot of new folks here, including a very hot looking Twingersnap drinking straight from the tap of the watercooler.

"OK, folks, let's take our seats." Leaving two heads trained on the hottie, he takes one last head to look at the meeting coordinator. He's human, and Nessie thinks he might be the son of the crazy guy with the wheelchair who keeps throwing shovels all over the place.

"Now, I know this the first time for several of you. What we like to do is have one of our more seasoned pinatas do a little sharing first, and then we'll go around and introduce ourselves. Mkay?" The room mumbles it's assent.

A mockery of mickey mouse bounces to the front of the room.

"Hi, my names MouseMallow, and I live in a garden."

On cue, the room shouts out a jolly "Hi MouseMallow!"

"It all started so innocently. I was wandering around, just enjoying a light spring rain. Eating the occasional dead moth. But then I smelled it." His eyes go glassy. "Turnips. Oh my goodness, it had just been SO long since I'd had turnips. So I wandered over."

MouseMallow grows quiet, closes his eyes. When they reopen, they're nothing but hot coals of rage. "But of course, by then it was too late. I ate that turnip. I admit it, I ate it and I enjoyed it. And then that bastard. That disembodied shovel, well he just wanders over and POOF. All of the sudden I'm freakin' purple and I can ... never ... LEAVE."

MouseMallow cleans his claws, trying to calm down.

"I, I know it's my own fault. I know that the turnips made me do it. I know that I am powerless over my own life, and that I need a higher power's help. But ... but then I see the ghost again. I'll be sitting over by the Turnip patch, and I'll see that shovel working on the Syrupent house."

All the purple drains from his face, leaving him white.

"And I know it's just a matter of time before he feeds me to one of THEM!" Thrusting his undersized arm out, he points to a small snake-like creature, curled up around the base of the apple tree. The accused raises his head, as if to say "who, me?"

The meeting coordinator walks up behind the frightened rodent, and bends over to pat him gently on the back. "It's OK. I know you've all been there. Haven't you folks?" Reluctantly, they all nod there heads.

"I can tell we're all feeling a little stressed out today. It's probably the unexpected arrival of our new fourheaded friend, Nessie."

Nessie starts at the sound of his name, all four heads turning to face the dry spot between the trees that serves as stage for today's "Garden Twelve Step: acceptance and reconciliation" meeting.

"Uh, Hi..." he says, uncomfortably aware that he's now the center of attention.

"Why don't you come up and tell us your story?"

Nessie slithers to the front. He's feeling less afraid then he did at first -- he's bigger than anyone else in the garden. "Uh.. well. I was just sitting around in this other really nice garden, and this guy shows up and shoves me in a crate. It all kind of went black for a while. Then I felt like I was sliding through some tubes or pipes or something, and then BAM I'm here."

The audience stares.

The Sparrowmint next to him speaks first.

"There are other gardens? Were you trapped there too?"

Nessie nods. Four times. "Yeah, it was pretty much the same. A little more organized, and we had some of the bigger guys, but yeah, same idea."

Up in the tree, the high pitched sound of weeping came through the gentle buzzing of the Buzzlegum swarm. Silence washes over the group.

The coordinator steps in. "Anyone else?" The silence deepens, grows awkward. "Well. I guess we'll make this a short meeting. Let's all say the serenity prayer together."

There is no holding of hands. In unison, some voices loud, some barely mumbling the crowd recites: "May the gardener grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

It is a short prayer.

The crowd disperses. Each pinata lost in thought. Nessie slides over to the human, who sits there, gently smiling.

"What's their problem?"

The coordinator picks up his clipboard and starts to leave the garden. "Oh, you seem pretty well adjusted Nessie, you'll be fine. But these other ones, they just don't understand." He steps over the line marking the edge of the ordered garden, and walks out in the rest of the world.

"They still think there's hope!"

Nessie looks at the thin line of grass barring his way, more certainly than any fence ever could. He turns back towards the Garden. In the distance, he sees the floating shovel beating a large, winged pinata to death -- right in front of the baby Whirlms.

"Oohhh candy!"

Comments

Excellent work.

... this guy shows up and shoves me in a crate. It all kind of went black for a while. Then I felt like I was sliding through some tubes or pipes or something, and then BAM I'm here.

Trust me, Nessie, you're better off in rabbit's garden. I can hardly bring myself to describe the condition of your former home. It's a total nightmare.

Pigs and geese are sleeping together. A giant green fizzlybear wearing a gas mask is hell-bent on devouring the entire raisant colony. Candaries are being slaughtered wholesale by a ruthless flock of buzzenge interlopers. Whole families of squazzils have fallen ill after succumbing to poisonous vapor-emitting mushrooms. And all pinatas live in fear of a phantom character who haunts the garden, smashing the sick and lame.

*grin* -- I'm doing all I can to keep her happy, she was my special gift...

rabbit wrote:

Then I felt like I was sliding through some tubes or pipes or something, and then BAM I'm here.

Ted Stevens strikes again.

Here, feel free to Cut & Paste -> ñ
Also avalaible in capital letter -> Ñ

I don't get it. Was an interesting read though. What does it have to do with games?

Rabbit, I finally got a chance to read this and I loved it. Delicious.

A mockery of mickey mouse bounces to the front of the room.

"Hi, my names MouseMallow, and I live in a garden."

On cue, the room shouts out a jolly "Hi MouseMallow!"

I felt like I was on a rollercoaster coming over the top of that big hill with the 3 loops and the whole terrifying yet thrilling ride open before me. Four thumbs up.

IgnominiousD wrote:

I don't get it. Was an interesting read though. What does it have to do with games?

GWJ.com is experimenting with their "reviews". We've got a troupe of excellent front page writers but they've expressed dissatisfaction with writing the "9 of of 10, graphics, sound, gameplay" reviews you get at 1,000 other websites. So I think Certis and Elysium got together and said "write what you want." I don't really know, this is what I'm guessing. Eventually they'll hit on a good formula and hire a busload of mexicans to crank out copy.

Hey rabbit, great little piece. Perhaps a tad difficult for those who haven't had a chance to play the game to understand though, as IgnoD illustrates. Hillarious for those of us lucky enough to have played VP.

souldaddy, thanks for your thoughts. I was aware of the experiments, and I've enjoyed most of them. And I really enjoyed rabbit's story. Really. It was a great read. If it wasn't then I wouldn't have read it to the end and then posted. I'm just looking for the hook, that's all. Where's the game part?

IgnominiousD wrote:

souldaddy, thanks for your thoughts. I was aware of the experiments, and I've enjoyed most of them. And I really enjoyed rabbit's story. Really. It was a great read. If it wasn't then I wouldn't have read it to the end and then posted. I'm just looking for the hook, that's all. Where's the game part?

Wait. wait. This is a game site? (looks through the 9 page contract) Awe crap, you're right. It even says it under "Employee Obligations."

Sorry about that (grin) -- Seriously, thanks for the positive feedback, and I'm always looking for constructive and not-so-constructive criticism (I have a thick skin.) I just write and write and write and hope that there's a good enough intersection to be worthy of the front page each week. Sometimes it's more on point than others. Stylistically, this was a little more in the line of what Chiggie does, and frankly, he's got this Third Person Present Whilst Attempting Humor thing down. Thanks for indulging in the experiment with me, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate writing here, and the fact that intelligent articulate people read it and give me feedback. You have no idea what a gift that is.

All I want for Christmas is to keep the gig!

Well, after hearing the Conference Call about Pinata but never playing it myself, I totally get this piece and like it. No clear gaming hook, but with the small background I had I did find it.

Koning_Floris wrote:

Well, after hearing the Conference Call about Pinata but never playing it myself, I totally get this piece and like it. No clear gaming hook, but with the small background I had I did find it.

Same here.

IgnominiousD wrote:

souldaddy, thanks for your thoughts. I was aware of the experiments, and I've enjoyed most of them. And I really enjoyed rabbit's story. Really. It was a great read. If it wasn't then I wouldn't have read it to the end and then posted. I'm just looking for the hook, that's all. Where's the game part?

It's all based on the game Viva Pinata. That's the game part.

Wow that is definately one way of looking at Viva that never crossed my mind. My g/f gets upset every time she sees me beating a Pinata down with the shovel, and that little kid chorus as they explode doesn't help either. It amazes me that she can have a problem with me and animals, but saint's row no problem there.

Anyhoo I enjoyed it.

I just started this game last night, and it is addictive fun. Fun article:)

(Wow, this is a necro - but couldn't find a catch-all. This must have been pre-catch-all days. )

Anyone else have this game laying around?