Level 9: Grim Reaper [Last Before Spring Break]

by Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo

Catherine Zeta-Jones begins the level by stating:  “There’s something in this field more dangerous than a hog. (I hear the putative grim reaper laughing and what sounds like a scythe swinging) A giggling, grinning reaper. Even if you stand still, as quiet as you can, it’ll come and get you. Ready to run.” As I begin moving through the tall grass (or what sounds like it) I become frenzied, unable to distinctively make out where the reaper is, or where the musical note is. I hear both, vaguely in front of me, but just like in the island, the sound of my charging through the grass, makes it hard to pay attention to other sounds. In an instant I hear the sound of a scythe across my neck, blood spouting forth and the grim reaper laughing. She offers this advice: “You can outrun a reaper. Listen hard while you run.” The second and third times I play, I try to move a little more judiciously, taking a step and then considering where the notes and the grim reaper are, and each time I am killed suddenly by the reaper. As I’m reincarnated a fourth time, I move a few steps toward the musical note and then stop to hear if its closer, rather than walking toward the sound carefully to make sure it is directly in front of me. If I walk straight ahead, I run into the reaper. After playing the game over 15 times, I take a step back and decide to memorize the path I have used in the few instances that I was successful rather than use the musical notes as the primary means of feedback. I remember that the last time I’d gotten the first music note, I’d wiped my finger from left to right and then run until I hit a wall. Then I’d turned the control from right to left slightly and run towards the first note. In order to get the second note, I had turned almost 180 degrees and run straight back from the place I got the first note. I wasn’t able to make a mental map of the one instance that the exit had appeared, so after getting both notes, my only option is to run until I can hear the sound of the exit over the sound of my running through the corn stalks. As I run into the exit I’m met with a huge sigh of relief and some kind words from Catherine Zeta-Jones: “Well done! Up in the air into an open waste land. The perfect spot for a home-run.” Once again I hear a large roaring sound, and trees cracking as I take off in my hot air balloon.

It’s about to be spring break, so I will be back playing the game on Monday, March 26th!

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