Hello everyone, back with a new story! It's in kind of a different format than usual. Not just straight prose. Was interesting to write, and I'm planning on more. So without further ado:
The following emails were sent on the 29th of November 20XX, shortly after the release of the highly anticipated new games console, the Real, and the latest installment of the long-running Realms of Rampage fantasy RPG franchise, which utilised advanced technology to reflect in-game activity onto the user. This exchange, prompted by a Ms. Karen Dziekanowski, is one of many similar email chains sent in the aftermath of the game’s release.
FROM: Karen Dziekanowski (e-mail address censored for privacy)
SUBJECT: Some Quick Questions!
Just want to ask a few quick questions about the Real and the new Realms of Rampage game. LOVE the game so far, so immersive, like nothing I’ve ever played! But there are one or two little things that I thought I’d just clear up with you guys.
Firstly: I know that you’re trying to be super realistic and stuff, but do I really need to get SO wet when it starts to rain? I feel like I might catch a cold-is that even possible? I’m playing blood mage so I don’t have very waterproof armor. And the T-shirt I’m wearing is positively soaked, it’s practically see-through! I hope there are umbrellas in the game, lol!
Speaking of armor, I unequipped my standard mage-sandals in game and it made the shoes on my feet disappear as well. Like, my actual shoes, in real life. When I put the sandals back on my PC, my shoes didn’t come back. Is this a bug? They were $120 so I’d be a little peeved if they didn’t come back.
Hope to hear back soon, so I can get back to exploring the world of Ovara!
First of all, thank you for purchasing both the new Real™ home entertainment centre, as well as Realms of Rampage: The New Sun. The fans are what makes the Realms games so special, and your continued support drives us to make the best product possible for you.
With regards to your queries: Firstly, we recommend purchasing the official Realms of Rampage: The New Sun strategy guide for only $19.99. Many of the most frequently asked questions we receive from gamers are answered there.
The in-game Geo-Natural Weather System is designed to force players into strategic choices: Should you stay indoors, or risk the elements? As such, it is possible for the player to contract various negative status ailments such as the common cold, which will reduce MP generation on top of any real-life symptoms you may experience. This is intentional on the part of the game designers, and we strongly suggest that you learn to adapt your gameplay in order to fully navigate Ovara’s sometimes hostile natural environments. Umbrellas are sadly not currently available, but may be included in any future DLC we release.
We are unaware of any bugs like the one that you described: re-equipping clothing and armor in game should have solved any issues. Have you tried the same process on your other equipped accessories? Try resetting your game and then reloading your last save file. Please let us know if the problem persists so that we may help to resolve the matter
The Realms team
Thanks for getting back to me so soon, appreciate it!
Ok, so I tried un-equipping my leather longcoat and then re-quipping it, same as my slippers. Same result, sadly, but I wanted to be thorough, so I tried it one more time on the steel-laced bra I looted off of one of the Fell-King’s Mauraders. And now I’m standing here topless in the middle of my living room. I didn’t have my blinds shut so Mr Stevenson next door got a good look at me as I stood there flailing my arms about like an angry windmilll. I tried to tell him it was because of video games but he didn’t seem to hear me before I shut the blinds on him.
Anyway, I think I may have discovered another small bug! So I was fighting some Skeleton Archers near the bone-mines outside Tythric. My character had her leather longcoat equipped, which should have minimized any damage from arrows. But instead my armor seemed to do nothing, and also now I’ve got a hole the size of a nickel in my left arm, right down to the bone, and a similar one in my right thigh. It doesn’t hurt or anything (although it looks a little gross, not to mention how weird it felt when I stuck my finger in there), I’m more concerned about a possible bug in the armor system. But I do think I should maybe draw this to your attention, just in case! Please advise asap!
We’re sorry to hear about your ongoing armor issues. Our team has started working on a possible solution, and thus you may experience unexpected restarts as the game undergoes maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience during this time. In the meantime, you should refrain from removing any more of your armor in case of the issue repeating itself.
As you know, we strive to make our game as realistic as possible, and with our new Real™ system we can bring this from the screen right to the player. This extends to the thrilling risk of the tactical action combat of Realms of Rampage: The New Sun, so any physical sensations or changes that you feel are intentional, assuming that they correctly correspond with the in-game action. While some consumers may find this alarming, the same is true of any healing items you take. Thus we would advise you to seek out your local cleric, or stop by one of Ovara’s many merchants to purchase a healing potion, which should restore both your player character and any real-life synchronized experiences.
The Realms team.
Hi guys, just wondering if there’s any update on that clothing bug. I keep accidentally deleting my real life clothes; I’m down to a really old, ugly Christmas shirt and some shorts that don’t really fit me anymore. I’ve asked the girls at my dorm if they have any spares but by sheer coincidence they all sold their old clothes to a charity hospice last week. What were the odds, huh? Most of them don’t play video games but they like watching me play. Maybe I’ll get you all a few more customers soon ;) Anyway I’m gonna tackle the Forest of Dreams tonight, first proper dungeon! Hopefully no more tech issues for me, lol, you must be sick of hearing from me!
Also you guys were right, a healing potion cleared up those arrow wounds like they were never there. I’m going to have to make sure I have healing potions on me from now on-don’t want the girls looking at my holes, after all. It might put them off the game!
The following is a transcript from the thread titled “noob mock thread”, from the official Realms forum, the 31st of November, starting with forum user Rhegar92’s post made at roughly 8:21 pm EST.
Rhegar92: OMG best thing ever just happened to me, I was fucking dying.
So I was in the Forest of Dreams just there and I met this female mage who was like, level 5 or something, bog-standard leather armor and stuffand I tell here there’s free loot over behind the starting basement. She follows me there like a total noob. I don’t think she knew about PVP cause when I started attacking her she just kinda stood there. I ended up cutting off both her arms-she must have been AFK or something cause she was still just standing there. I ended up looting her of all of stuff-even her clothes, so she was buck naked and armless. Shame you can’t actually fuck other players (yet!). I’ll have to find her again though. Maybe she’s still standing there now…lmao
Ganand0rf: pcs or it didn’t happen
Weedlord420: lmao nice
MrBazoo: SHOW US PICTURES
Galadrilol: op is a fag
AtomicMitten: Lol epic XD
Praisethebuns: I need pictures of this right now motherfucker
Rhegar92: Fine, here are the pics I took. Fap away, brothers.
Praisethebuns: HOLY SHIT OP DELIVERED
Wonderwomban: I ain’t clicking that shit
Baker: It’s legit. Holy shit, thank you sir.
BigMastadon: This is the greatest game of all time
Weedlord420: lmao nice
Hey guys, sorry to have to email you again but a really weird thing happened last night! I was about to do the Forest of Dreams when a really nice player told me I could get a free treasure chest just around the entrance! I followed him there and I was just about to open it when the door rang. So I go and answer it, and it’s a pizza guy-had totally forgotten that I had ordered one, lol! I’m looking through my pockets for my purse when suddenly my right arm fell right off at the shoulder, landing on the floor and rolling halfway out the door. No blood, no pain, even if you could see the bone in the stump.
I realized pretty soon what had happened-must have been attacked by a monster when I went to get the door. Typical, right? I tried to explain to the poor guy at the door that it was ok, it was just a video game thing. He looked a bit pale and shakey, and I tried to take the pizza box off him as he got the shock out of his system . Talking to people who don’t play games about games is just the worst, isn’t it? It’s like, hello! 21st century calling! Unfortunately my other arm fell off right about the same time. The pizza survived the drop but now the delivery guy was freaking out, waving his arms about and swearing. I told him to calm down, that I was ok and that the money was in my purse if he could just get it for me.
He said I was crazy (rude!) and went to pick up my purse. At this point though-and here’s why I’m emailing you again-the clothing bug struck again. Only this time I didn’t even un-equip my stuff, the game must have mega-glitched out. My shirt was the first to go, leaving me topless at the doorway (only the pizza guy was about though, and he was fumbling with my purse. Men can’t ever work them, have you noticed this? Purses and bras, man’s worst enemies XD) Then my pants disappeared, followed quickly by my underwear. The pizza guy went to give me my purse back and went white as a sheet. I shrugged as well as I could without arms and told him for like the umpteenth time it was just a video game thing. He ran away! At least he left my purse.
After that I had to walk all the way back to town like that and get an oracle to heal me. I ended up just logging out to leave the dungeon for tomorrow. I didn’t even get my loot! I hope the poor guy that was trying to help me got away from those monsters. I think they chased him off before they could do any more damage to me.
Sorry if I’m rambling a little, just thought I should illustrate how these glitches can be a little embarrassing. Hope you get round to sorting them soon!
The following is based on a video uploaded onto Youtube on the 3rd of December 20XX. It received 500,000 views in one hour before being deleted for breaching the site’s content rules, and was only recently recovered.
The video opens with the game already in progress. A pale, elven looking woman-the player character-is standing by the entrance to a mystical forest. She is wearing a long brown leather overcoat, pants of a similar make, long gloves, and sandals. Her hair is long and golden, and she stands in a neutral stance, a dagger in its sheaf on her left hand side.
In the bottom right hand of the screen there is a small boxed cut out section showing two young women. The women on the left is small, pale, bespectacled and has short, black hair, and is wearing a Slayer T-shirt.. On the right is a smiling, slightly older looking woman wearing an old-looking navy hoodie that, going by the size of her chest and the way it is straining the material, is either hers from a much younger age or borrowed from her friend. She has medium length brown hair and bright green eyes.
“Hiiiii!” says the girl on the right, waving at the camera. “Welcome to our first video-“
“Oh my god, Karen, your character waved!” interjects her friend, laughing.
“I know, it’s cool, right? Say hi, Karen!”
“You named your character after yourself? Haha you’re like, the least creative person.”
“Taylor shut uuuup!” laughs Karen, as she starts to walk her character towards the entrance by moving on the spot. “Ok, so we’ve never done this before, but I think people need to see how cool this game is. I’ve read some pretty weird reviews…”
“Yeah, same.” Says Taylor, putting on a cartoonishly sad face. “It sounds awesome from what you’ve told me, and what I’ve seen. But you know the internet. It’s either the greatest thing ever or the worst thing ever.” The two friends nod in agreement, and Karen beings to relate the plot context of where she is and why she is at the Forest of Dreams. As she does so, the camera that is on the two girls seems to fall off of whatever it was perched on, revealing the bare legs of Karen walking up and down. It soon becomes apparent that the hoodie she is wearing is the only item of clothing she has on. The tip of her labia is occasionally visible as her hoodie moves up and down.
“Oh shoot, the camera! Taylor, fix it! I don’t wanna get banned on our first video!”
Taylor’s face soon comes into view and she quickly readjusts the camera, setting it back at face height.
“Um, sorry for that. My fault. Uh, hope no one saw anything…” says Taylor, although it would appear that she is smiling as she speaks, and there is a certain blush in her pale cheeks as she rejoins Karen’s side.
“I think it was fine. Let’s keep going. To glory!”
“Yes, to glory, haha! Onwards!”
The virtual Karen is soon surrounded by thick, almost crystalline trees which shine an eerie blue. As she walks, the two girls engage in small talk about various topics, such as game mechanics and why the last game was not as critically well received as previous entries in the Realms series. Suddenly, a wolf-like creature leaps from the trees and moves to attack Karen, as dramatic string music starts to play.
“Alright, combat! Let’s kill something!” cheers Taylor, as Karen moves into a combat stance, shoulders apart. “Do ya thing, girl!” Karen flexes her fingers and points her palm forwards. In game, her character launches a fiery projectile through the air, which hits the creature dead on. It yelps and audibly sizzles, but still launches itself towards Karen. The brunette jumps to her right, briefly off camera, and then jumps back again as Taylor watches and laughs.
“Yeah, nice moves Karen! Go Kaaaren, go Kaaaren!” sings Taylor. Karen now draws her dagger and attacks the beast, slashing at its face. This seems to finish it off, as it collapses in a heap.
“Wooooo-Oh watch out, another one!”
Sure enough, soon Karen is attacked by another of the wolf creatures. There is a close range melee, and eventually the creature is slain. Taylor moves to high-five her friend, then stops.
”Oh my god, your fingers!”
Karen holds up her hands to the camera, showing that her middle three fingers on the left is gone.
“Damn, that’s like 20HP.”
“Is this game for real?!” says Taylor, who is surprised but still smiling. Karen shrugs.
“Yeah if my character loses her fingers then I sorta lose mine too. It’s cool, huh? Good thing I don’t need a controller!”
“Do they grow back?”
>”Yeah, I’ve got healing potions. But I’m gonna save them for now I think. Er, sorry if anyone’s freaked out watching this, I’m ok!”
The video continues mostly straightforward for about 30 minutes, during which more enemies are defeated and some light puzzles are solved. The environment grows increasingly less organic and more artificial, as seemingly man-made traps become recurring parts of the environment. During this time, Karen receives a few light wounds such as a gash in her right arm and an arrow wound in her thigh, but neither of the two college girls consider these to be major injuries and continue onward.
At the 46 minute mark of the video, Karen encounters an obstacle.
“Oh hey look, it’s a pendulum trap!”
“Classic video game dungeon trope.” Comments Taylor, as they watch the bladed pendulums swing back and forth across a narrow wooden bridge (or rather, a plank), suspended over a large chasm. “What happens if you fall in?”
“I, uh, don’t know actually. Let’s try to not find out.” Karen walks onto the bridge, holding her arms out for balance, and waits.
“Oh wow, I can feel it zooming past my nose. Feels…heavy.” Says Karen, laughing nervously as she concentrates. Karen is able to move past it, and then the next pendulum with a certain amount of ease. Each time she does so, her friend closes her eyes and squeals, although it is unclear if this is out of genuine anxiety or as a play for the camera.
“Ohmygodohmygod, so tense!” says Taylor, as Karen gets to the last pendulum.
“Taylor please don’t, you’re making me nervous now!” laughs Karen, as she starts to step forward. At this point, a ringing sound can be heard, and it becomes clear that Karen’s mobile phone has went off. She hesitates, which throws off her timing and concentration. The heavy pendulum blade swings right through her, entering roughly at the centre of the body, but missing her head, exiting just to the left of her neck. Both Karens, in game and real life, are bisected vertically from the shoulder down.
Taylor screams and runs towards her friend, holding the half of her which still has her head attached, as the hoodie she was wearing falls into two pieces and leaves both halves nude. The left side falls to the floor with a thud, and the corresponding half of her virtual character disappears down into the dark depths of the pit. The pendulum, now covered in gore, comes back for a second pass. Taylor pushes her friend forward so that she is out of danger. Karen collides with the camera, which spins and lands on the floor.
From the camera’s new vantage point, lying on one side beside the half with her head on it, we can now see Karen’s insides. Intestines starts to pool onto the floor. A single lung can be seen behind a still beating heart, which dangles awkwardly to the side where the brunette’s left ribcage used to be. Her spine is clearly visible, trailing a white line from the top to the bottom of the wound. It appears that the pendulum hit Karen more centrally at the bottom-her womb and vaginal passage are perfectly bisected, with the exit wound lining up perfectly with the natural holes she possesses.
Taylor appears hysterical at first, cradling her fallen friend in her arms, game forgotten about for now. Karen looks down at her shortened, named form, her right arm making a futile attempt at holding her innards in, before giving up and letting everything spill out. Then she looks up at her friend and asks her a question.
“Who was ringing?”
“…What?” replies Taylor, blinking back tears.
“My phone. Was it my dad? He’s always checking on me, it’s so lame. “
“Oh no, the video! It’s ok guys, I’m still good! I think I have, like, 1hp left though. And my potions were in my satchel. Which was on other side of me. So I guess this dungeon run is kinda botched. Haha.” There is a long silence as Taylor struggles to regain her composure. She whispers something into Karens hear, who nods. Taylor gets up and moves off screen. The video ends.
FROM: Taylor Smith
Subject: Dear Realms Team
Ur game sucks
End of part 1. Feedback and suggestions always welcome!