28 May 2010

Retropolis and the Last Voyage of "La Gata"

It's truly impossible to capture this place in a photograph, because everything is moving. When you arrive at the Last Voyage of "La Gata" you'll find yourself in a driving rainstorm, with howling winds whipping around you—and you're on the deck of "La Gata," a creaking hulk of a ship that seems on the verge of disintegration. As you're tossed this way and that—literally, and I hope you're not prone to seasickness—you can virtually hear the old girl starting to come apart, as wood and rope struggle against the forces of nature. It's really quite an amazing experience! The worst thing facing the little ship isn't actually the rain...it's "the beast," a leviathan that rises from the deep and whose tentacles encircle the hull, about to swallow the ship at any moment. (The presence of the beast you can turn on and off by clicking on the lantern.) But not all is dark and serious here...bring a friend and sit down at the arm wrestling table, or, if solo, swing on the mast, walk a tightrope, or hang in the cage. Now, say goodbye to Nell the Parrot, and walk to the bow of the ship. Open the door, and click to teleport to your next destination...

The doomed ship and the Retropolis Adventure Sim as a whole (of which the ship is a part) are the brilliant creations of Tricia Farella, who modestly says, "Welcome to my workspace and lab. Home to my various experiments. Please feel free to look around. hope you enjoy your visit..:)" With a lovely use of Curio Obscura's Anywhere Doors, you'll find yourself jumping from one part of Retropolis to another—but sometimes having to solve a puzzle along the way. Above is one of your next stops, a fantastic mushroom swamp or forest populated by dragonfly-like creatures and slowly moving plants. (This space one reaches after first exploring the caves below.)

At the top of a high tower you might encounter one of the three gryphons that stand guard...

...before finding your way down to a massive and mysterious chamber, through which, thanks to a brilliant use of a shadow megaprim, you can't see. To get to the other side of this space, which is your eventual goal, you'll have to walk across the floor. But the floor isn't your friend, as it's a maze—only some of those large stone can be traversed; the others give way and sink into the ground, taking you with them, and you have to begin anew. But eventually you will get there, to the other side, and, after answering a riddle, you'll open another door...

...leading to a small room containing a bed, bookshelves, a desk and other objects. Here is a substantial puzzle, and you'll need to take your time. Put on the HUD (there's a sign on the wall) and search the room for the clues you'll need to find to get through the next door. Cam around very carefully, checking surfaces and under things. Eventually you'll unlock it! I'll save the rest for your imagination—there's plenty more to see in Retropolis!

And my outfit, shown best right above (click to zoom in), is the absolutely mad "Vanitas" avatar from alpha.tribe, which has more parts and pieces than I'm wearing, and even comes with its own AO and sets of poses! Quite a fabulous creation.

By the way, you can even purchase the Retropolis "Rocking Junk Boat" on XStreet here. And thanks to my friend Crow DeVinna, who had Retropolis listed in her picks.

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