28 Nov 2011

Terrarian on Cadillac: The House on the Hill

It’s been a long while since I’ve diarised my exploration of a single game and I thought Terraria, given its recent massive update (and the fact that it was going for pennies in the recent Steam sale) was an excellent choice to start one off.

I’ll say now, at the time of writing this I have absolutely no experience of
Terraria. Other than pictures or news articles that I’ve skimmed over in the past six months my knowledge of how the game is played and how the open world elements pulled together is completely barren. I am a blank slate ready to be filled with dreams and desires by this rather sweet looking - although, I suspect, incredibly daunting - game.

First things first, let’s get me a character created. Now, usually, when I’m playing roles in games I quite like to use a female protagonist. I’m not embarrassed about admitting that - at least, I’m not embarrassed about admitting that on a gaming blog. I just think it adds an interesting perspective to any game, puts the character’s struggle in a more interesting context. It also turns it away from becoming some manly power fantasy. By the looks of it the character models here are essentially sexless, so I’m not sure if it makes a difference, but I’m going to go woman anyway.

So there she is: Martha of planet Cadillac. She’s pretty awesome because I created her.


The scene opens to a beautiful day on Cadillac. My guide and I stand on a cliff edge and he fills me in briefly (very briefly) on how to get started. First things first, it seems: chop trees for wood, build workbench, make stuff. So off I go, and as I’m indulging in a spot of deforestation without a care in the world a green blob bounces in from nowhere and attacks me. My sword deals with it, no problem, and I find myself wealthier as a result. Score. Onwards I go, chopping through wood, knocking through stone and earth as I climb to the tallest point on the hill on which I stand. This, I think, is a wonderful place to build shelter. The Sun is on its way down. I should get something built.

After some brief foraging - on the internet this time - I learn how to construct walls, a door and some rather natty dining furniture. It’s not complicated, but I needed the direction. Just in time for nightfall I put the last bits in place and, although the zombies are beating on the door, it’s far better than them clawing at my face. I decide to make it my goal on Day 2 to convert my naturally formed cellar into something a little more practical.


I head out west to look for trees to bring down. I’d stayed up all the night, crafting myself some fancy wooden tools: a new sword and a mallet for knocking in walls. A couple of deep ravines slow me down on my way, but wooden platforms I’ve brought along allow me to bridge any gaps. I make my way through a wall of cobwebs before I finally happen across a perfect woodland plateau filled with the tallest trees I’ve seen so far. I work fast to bring the them to their knees.

It darkens as I head back and, once I return home, I notice a new guest in the cave beneath it. A fluffy white rabbit. I instantly decide to make it my pet and hurriedly knock together some wooden walls and a door below to barricade the thing inside. Just as I finish darkness falls again. There’s more trouble tonight. I’ve a zombie trying to chew its way through my cellar door and, every time I take a break from building to deal with it, it flees as I open the door. Several times it does this, but on the fourth attempt I nail it. More money for me! Hoorah! Just as I’m celebrating my victory however, another one - a disgruntled relative perhaps - arrives to do exactly the same thing. I’ve never experienced rats this big before.


I’ve been so busy putting the finishing touches on my marvellous shack that I haven’t planned what to do today. Somehow, now that I have this piece of the world that is mine alone, I don’t want to leave it. I want to decorate it, make it homely, invite the neighbours round for tea. Well, perhaps I can look into that.

Before this though, I head out to deal with an irritating green blob left over from last night and just as I open the door - just as I go to swing my sword - something white bounds past me. “Bonzo, noooooo!” But it’s too late. He throws his tiny form at the blob and now lies split in two, entrails oozing onto the green grass below. I shut the door immediately. I don’t know why. To shield my eyes from the horror perhaps, but in 2D nothing remains hidden behind walls.

I don’t feel like doing anything today. Nothing besides immortalising my late friend’s memory.

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