Back to Bugdom

Picking up Bugdom from where I left off, I’ve managed to breeze through level 3 and make a little headway into level 4. It won’t be long before I catch up to my initial sally from before this blog.

Where level 2 was basically similar to level 1, just longer and more difficult, subsequent levels start introducing new stuff. Level 3 is water-themed, built around a pond festooned with lily pads. There was a certain amount of swimming in level 2, but but on level 3 there are enemies that can swim faster than you. I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be. They’re brown and long-legged — possibly semi-transformed tadpoles? At any rate, they effectively turn the water into a no-go zone, or at least a get-out-quick zone when you inevitably miss a jump or two. Traversing the water over longer distances requires the assistance of what I assume to be a water strider dressed as what I assume to be a cab driver. A grotesque worth of the Joker, anyway, and difficult to control. He moves forward at speed for as long as you sit on his back, while you steer with the mouse. But the steering is ridiculously sensitive, so you mostly spin in place for a while, then go in a straight line until you hit a wall, then spin in place there.

As I remember it, level 4 has a similar vehicle section, only airborne. That’s the part that caused me enough difficulty to give it up last time. I haven’t quite gotten there yet this time around, because I’m still working on navigating the extreme hazards on the way: paths trodden by enormous bare human feet, on trousered legs stretching out of sight into the sky, each capable of halfway killing you at the slightest touch (yes, even if it doesn’t step on you, even if you stumble into a foot that’s already on the ground). The presentation, and especially the soaring music, gives this an epic feel, relative to the hazards you’ve faced so far. This is the land of the titans. The feet move around in regular patterns, just like the other invincible hazards like the slugs in the first two levels, but it’s even more imperative to watch them in advance and know where they’re going to be and when, because once you’re close enough to be stepped on, you’re too close to see and react to the foot descending from the sky at your position. And watching them closely enough to predict their movements reveals a peculiar thing: the feet are not paired. They’re just individual feet, moving in cyclical patterns independent of any other feet. What’s even weirder is that you don’t notice this at first. The first time you see a foot, it gives the impression that the other foot is just offscreen. But there is no other foot.

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