Deforestation: The Forest

Two posts in one day then. Glorious. This is something I was writing for IndieHaven, but we decided to take another angle. This was already written, so I thought I’d put it up here – a special feature, if you will.

The thing with games that don’t provide you with a narrative is that they can create some fantastic emergent stories. Experiencing these stories and sharing them with people ensures the longevity of this sort of game, and I thought rather than review the game, I’d tell you my story.

The Forest then. Like Minecraft with gore, cannibalism and deep sobbing. At least it didn’t make me cry like Slender did.

I’ve got a good head for statistics. The chance of being on an airline flight that ends fatally for you is eleven million to one. You’ve got more of being hit by a car, struck by lightning or scalding yourself to death with hot water, but sometimes your number comes up.

The front of the plane comes away before I even notice it, windows shatter and the last thing I see before my face meets the seat in front of me is the trees.

There was a kid with me, my kid? Now he’s in the arms of a half naked guy clambering around the wreckage, but he doesn’t pay me any attention as he leaves. I black out, again.

Several hours pass. I wake up with a bunch of dull aches and a desire to sell off my frequent flier miles.

Who was the half naked dude? Can I save the child? Should I wait for rescue? Who jammed that axe into the flight attendants back?

These are questions I need to work out for myself now. A brief search through the plane and the surrounding debris has provided with with a backpack full of booze, cloth, sticks and an axe, and I’m ready to go and find some help for myself when I see something at the tail of the plane.

I wouldn’t describe myself as Ray Mears, but I know a campsite when I see one, and the tents are comforting until I make my way closer and see the blood. People have been torn from the sleeping bags where they lay, and the entire place seems like the setting of a low budget horror movie. The light is waning, and I definitely don’t want to be here when night falls.

After walking  for several minutes I find a beach, the long sight lines in each direction make me feel slightly safer, and so I decide to use the wealth of survival information provided by my guide to build a hunting shelter and catch some food. Perhaps I was too confident, as I quickly cut down a tree that lands on my face and eat a hearty meal of poisonous berries.

It’s not long before I run into trouble. There’s crackling in the bushes and I notice him, slightly taller than me with grey skin and what looks like a cape made of human bones, sticking up at angles behind his shoulders.

We look at each other for a while, the same way a hunter and a deer might lock eyes. I couldn’t work out which of us was the hunter and wh… out of nowhere a second guy comes sprinting out of the undergrowth and takes a swing for me, I manage to reflexively block with the axe and that’s when I realise I’m surrounded. Clever boy.

I’ve got a rucksack full of molotovs for just this occasion. I ease the first into my hand, light the fuse. I only throw the first one to judge distance, but it hits home in the middle of a group of them, they scream and flail as they light up the night and suddenly there’s just three of us, dancing away beneath the moonlight. The advantage was mine as the two men make long charging runs at me across the open space, and I have plenty of time to deflect or dodge their blows before landing a few of my own, and I manage to take out one of the assailants before a lucky blow knocks me unconscious for the third time in 24 hours.

I hate forests.

Turns out getting beaten to a pulp by vicious half naked attackers isn’t the end. I wake up face down on a slab in a dark cave, I can see lights dancing away in the distance, the bodies of fellow passengers hang half naked next to me.

I hate caves.

I ignore the instinct to turn on the lighter for now, carefully watching the flaming torches as they dance away through the cave. It’s a long tense two minutes until I’m sure they’ve left.

I turn on the lighter.

I’m face to face with several half naked men. One of them snarls.

I hate cannibals.

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