So even though I co-wrote the prologue, I've also written my own contributing chapter to the carnival story. I pretty much based it on the Carnival Night Zone level from the video game Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and I take no shame in the fact that I've blatantly ripped off pre-existing characters. So my story is essentially fanfiction in that regard.
I want to shift gears a little now and talk more about this specific level in that game. I've posted in blogs past about how my favorite game of all ever is Sonic 3 & Knuckles. And there once was a time when, while playing through this game, I'd always groan when I came to a certain stage. And that stage was, as you may have guessed, Carnival Night Zone. It's such a loud and obnoxious stage, with so many annoying little spring traps and such. Not to mention the Barrel of Doom that was impossible to get past.
This is the last thing you see in the game.
Who knew that all you had to do was press up and down over and over again? Seriously, it's the only part in the whole game like this! Oh, and the boss of this stage, yeah, you're not going to beat him the first time around. Ever. By the time you actually get to him, you might get in a few hits before "Time Over" kills you, which was always a pain.
However, as time passed on and I played through the game many more times, this stage has grown on me. So much so that now, I think it may well be my favorite level in the whole game. The traditional circus music on loop used to drive me batty, but now I can't get enough of it. And even the Barrel of Doom is no longer an issue. Sure, it's a little screwy that it's the only part in the game that uses that mechanic, but screw it! Once you've figured it out, it's no longer an obstacle, and it's actually a good in-joke to poke fun at. And the same thing goes for the boss. Yeah, I still can't beat him the first try without running out of time, but I go into the stage knowing this up front. So when I get to the boss, I'm expecting it, and as such, I'm no longer annoyed by it.
So I've had a love/hate relationship with that particular level. I used to dread it, but now I can never wait to play through it. Its certainly stuck with me through the years, and I think that's why its been such an inspiration to some of my writing. I guess I failed to mention that this current carnival story isn't my first piece to be influenced by that particular stage.
This is sort of an odd post, I admit. Here I am talking about a random level in a random video game. God I sound like such a nerd (what else is new?). But I guess if I should take away something from this post, it's that you never know where you might find that spark of creativity. Inspiration can come at you from the oddest places.