world map excerpts

I should clarify that this is woefully incomplete not because I can’t remember any more of the map but because for some fool reason I convinced myself I could do the whole map basically screen-perfect from memory and then found out in the trying that that was a ridiculous, demoralizing thing to attempt.

And so these drawings, across three sheets of paper (measured out carefully to 16*8 screen proportions on the graph paper but pasted together not-to-scale here in order to make the emptiness a bit less sprawling), stop the moment I was Not Quite Sure about how a screen broke across to the adjacent one.  Or in a couple cases, a screen too late — I’m certain that on the left end of the central section I divvied up the screen real estate wrong.  And I knew it as I was doing it.  And so I stopped.

I’ve been meaning to come back to this one for weeks and weeks now, and I keep not quite having the will to make myself crazy on it again.  I know ninety percent of the remaining map reasonably well, but not well enough to glue it all together without a reference like this.  It’s a maddening little feat — and defeat — of memory, the way individual screens come to mind without effort but slotting them into one precise puzzle of map with a ballpoint pen just doesn’t happen.  How uncertainty over where the tiles of the map went moving from screen A to screen B blossoms into a kind of mind-melting circle of doubt.

Because, the thing is, I’ve spent a lot of time with the Zelda map. 

Not just as a kid, though to be sure I spent a great deal of time with it, it was one of my early NES loves and I’d scoured most of the map in great detail, burning every bush, bombing every rock wall, memorizing the locations of the heart container. 

But more recently, even, less than two years ago, I spent days building Hyrule’s overworld from scratch in Minecraft from reference maps.  I felt after that like I had the map tattooed in my mind, indelible, unforgettable.

And yet, here we are.  Memory fades.

the whole game

I played this game a ton, but beat it so few times that the section where the evil doctor has your girlfriend (next to the dungeon) is particularly hazy. I probably haven’t played this game since summer break after 6th grade!

I really liked recording a high-pitched tone and mailing it to the record execs as a demo tape, then watching their windows crack when they give it a listen. Classic! I don’t think I ever figured out what that sarcophagus was for, but I probably  tried every item in the game on it that summer.

Awesome stuff, Matt.  Compare and contrast with this previous MM map; I love the way different approaches to the same game play out like this.  So great.

world map

This game is EPIC: epic music (yoko shimomura), try epic plot (a bit cliche in some parts), and epic music…

clocked about 70 hours and still can’t beat the secret final boss, if you know Altus you know they like making things impossible :(

Oh man, epic RPG for the DS by freakin’ Atlus?  I think this is going on the todo list.

world map

Yay, Super Mario World. This is one of the first games I own ever and I’m surprised that I can still remember portions of the stage even though I never fully 100% completed it nor played it since middle school. 

Chocolate Island is hard, I don’t remember any of the stages there.  I also just remembered that there’s supposed to be a shiprwreck somewhere near Bowser’s Cave.

world map

Man, Baldur’s Gate. I must have played it through half a dozen times by now. It was one of those games that just blew my mind when it came out – the scope and scale of it. The ability to wander off to the east when you were told to go south, and just beat on gibberlings for a while. I don’t remember if I played this or Fallout first, but both were formative in defining the type of game I wanted to play.

Originally I was going to draw a map of Candlekeep, but that seemed a bit too easy, and might have required some actual artistic ability on my part, to draw turrets and flowerbeds and whatnot. So I decided to see how much of the world map I could remember. I went ahead and added joinable NPC placements too, just for kicks – I think everyone’s right, except I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the cleric who’s turned to stone at the Nashkel carnival. Something Nordic, anyhow. I never took her, for some reason.

I’m quite pleased with the map itself. The south-west corner’s always been rather vague for me. I know roughly what’s there, but not how it all fits together. And I’m sure there are nine screens in Baldur’s Gate itself, but I haven’t a scoobie’s what’s in the upper-right corner. Maybe there are only eight, after all.

Submitting is very cathartic, because I can finally go look up what’s really where and all the many ways I’ve gone terribly wrong. And that darn cleric’s name.

I know what you mean about the carthasis, because I’m still intending to get back to work on my detailed Hyrule overworld and having to studious avoid The Legend of Zelda in the mean time is a weird mental strain.  It’s not like I’m even that likely to encounter it on any given day or even week; just knowing that I can’t look is enough to mess with me.

world map

I feel this map it quite representative of how I played Baldur’s Gate – starting dozens of games and playing the first half over and over. Also getting my face eaten off on a regular basis by wondering away from the main plot.

Despite being able to remember everything from the Golden Pantaloons to the best people to steal from, I recal absolutely nothing about the city itself.

Oh and I didn’t even check spelling whilst drawing this, so sorry about that.

Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!