127/365 – Meditation Games #127 – To The Top Of The Mountain
Developer: Travis Root
Launcher Quote: “Mt. Fujiwara is a small peak in the Suzuka range in northern Mie prefecture, Japan.”
Early platformers were all about that climb to the eventual top or the end of the stage, and challenged you in so many ways. I’m probably dating myself here, but I can recall many hours spent trying to ensure that I could make it to and beat the boss of any NES Ninja Gaiden stage, try to climb my way up to the top of the tower in Bionic Commando, and carefully bounce my way up into hidden heights in Metroid.
Even though the trip up is not nearly as frustrating in Travis’ entry climbing what I assume is Mt. Fujiwara, it is no less accurate in capturing the slow and gradual hopping getting there. Part of the appeal of this somewhat slow and deliberate pace is the fact that every jump and hop upwards feels like you’re achieving something, progressing towards a goal and being rewarded for your skill making sure that you’re timing your jumps appropriately. This is especially true when it comes to the pixellated platforming of old, where just a couple dots shy of a platform or jumping surface can be the difference between life and death.
Sure, this kind of depiction of a mountain climb is likely not to be as accurate as making the hike up the mountain yourself, but it is no less significant or symbolic of making it to the end and showing that you can get there. People wonder why mountain climbs are done, and while there are a myriad of reasons, there’s nothing that beats the view that you get when you’re far up the peak and you get to view where you’ve come from, far below. Such as it is from a certain standpoint even in games of this nature, and while they’ve gotten a little more forgiving in modern times they are no less satisfying when you finally beat them.