Out with the old, in with the new as they say, and this ViViD level is no different. Ever progressive and ever mindful, CERES has decided in their war against the evil carbon footprint to give citizens both new and old a lesson in healthy living. To show this, they've created a level all about... recycling, or as close to recycling as a company like CERES can get. (Which isn't very close at all, honestly.)RECYCLING AND YOU: HOW NOT TO BE A DIRTY WASTE OF SPACE
This, of course, means that when you're dumped in to today's ViViD level, the first thing that will hit you is the stench. It's vile and rancid and the type of stench that makes a person want to give up smelling altogether, and when you finally open your eyes, you'll see why. There's trash everywhere. The buildings are decrepit and crumbling, the cars are broken down and rusted, and overall, it looks like the apocalypse rolled right on through. Which is weird because this is definitely not a post-apocalyptic game. Yet wandering around this pathetic excuse for a ViViD level will just reveal more of the same -- it's a total wasteland.
And if you look up, you will see a billboard.
You'll only have a moment to be offended by the sign before, amongst the piles of trash and rubble, there's another, smaller pile of trash and rubble. The only difference is this one can talk.
Welcome to The Dumpster Dive, my cool cats and sweet kittens. A brand new ViViD level, created and innovated to you by CERES's very creative and innovative technicians. We're all here to help you learn to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle, givin' you kids some tools to help you lessen your impact on the planet. After all, we're all here together on this great planet of Tellus. Wouldn't want to ruin it, right? Ha ha!
Happy Trash Day to Cerealians one and all!
[ 600 ] So, you're here.
You're probably sitting in a pile of trash because, well, everywhere is a pile of trash. You're in a landscape of trashiness and there's no escape. Your only option is to give in to the sweet, sweet pull of the garbage. The buildings are crumbling, the sidewalks are a mess of bottles (but no bottle caps), rubble, and empty chip bags, and you're stuck in this... trash. This garbage. This hellhole.
Wasn't recycling supposed to be clean?
It probably takes a rat skittering over your foot to get you going but like any good game, the protagonist needs to move. If you're going to find out anything in this trash heap, you'll need to explore a bit. See if you can find someone else! Or something else. Maybe someone more experienced with ViViD can help you figure out how to log out. Even if logging out doesn't seem to be working right now. You should be careful too because one wrong step might cause the pile of trash you're standing on give way and send you into the sewers below.
Which means there are rats, there are bugs, the ground is unsteady and... yep. It's starting to rain.
[ 800 ] And then come the... trash drones.
They zero in on any living thing in this ViViD level -- if you’re moving, if you’re breathing, if you have some sort of a pulse, they’ll be there. And they’ll grab you and take you away. No matter how many you shoot down, more and more and more will come, never stopping until you're swarmed completely by them. They have to get you! You're garbage, you're garbage, you're garbage! You're garbage!
And so, you're snatched up.
Don’t worry, though. After a short flight (wave hello to your fellow drone-napped neighbor!), you'll arrive at three huge trash chutes with three equally huge signs above them. GARBAGE, RECYCLING, and COMPOST hang above the chutes and the drones pause just momentarily before announcing one of these options in a robotic voice. You've been sorted and without any preamble, the drone will dump you in whichever one it decides.
Hopefully you don’t end up in the compost. Gross.
Of course, once you down there, there's plenty to poke around in (or not much if you're still not into the whole trash thing). It's piles and piles and piles of trash as far as the eye can see! Again! If you're especially clever, you may be able to use the trash to build a way out of the chute. The very, very long chute. Maybe there's someone around that can help you? And better do so quick, who knows what CERES has deemed to be "recycling" this time.
[ 1125 ] CERES's standards continue to shine on again, because after some time, those chutes will finally start working. So if you've been separated from a friend through any of this ordeal, don't worry about it. You're all gonna end up in the same place anyway.
Which is the incinerator, of course! (Wait, that’s not how recycling works.)
The ground beneath you shifts, enough to knock over whatever flimsy excuse for an escape plan you have, and suddenly all of the trash, compost or recycling will be dumped down into an underground furnace -- along with everyone stuck there, of course. Bit by bit, everything moves ever closer towards that red hot furnace and it’s clear that everything's going to be dumped straight into the fire and burned. Say your farewells. Make nice with your neighbor. Finalize your will because --
Oh. It stopped.
Looks like it jammed.
It doesn't remain jammed for long because CERES is, if anything, highly efficient. So it starts up again. But then stops again. And then starts again. And then stops again. This may be a glitch in the level, actually.
So, you're still getting ever closer to fiery death, but... slowly. Very slowly. In fact, you could probably walk away from said fiery death faster than you're going towards it. It's like they can't even program a near death experience right!
[ 1125 ] Maybe you avoided the incinerator. Maybe you ended up in a different part of the level altogether. Maybe you just got lost. Either way, now you’re stuck with the age-old hobby of enthusiasts and the exceptionally desperate alike.
And CERES wouldn't send you down there without an incentive, you know. If you look, it seems like there might be something valuable, something incredibly important and just for you. A shiny item that you’ve always wanted right from home and it’s right there in your grasp, something precious that you could never get in Cerealia. How it came to be there, nestled between an empty carton of eggs and a half-eaten cheeseburger, no one knows, but you'll be filled with the inescapable, all-consuming urge to go get it. Just jump right into that dumpster and get it.
The more you resist the urge, the more it'll hurt. (As in, physically hurt actually. The feeling will be comparable to your fingernails slowly being plucked out.)
This is ViViD though and the moment you hit the trash, the spell breaks. You'll see that your most precious thing, whatever it was, was never actually there. Instead, you seem to have actually grabbed something else and whatever it is, you can't let go of it. Be it an empty bottle of bacon soda or a bicycle tire with a giant hole in it, it's attached to your hand now and no matter what you do, you can't get it off.
Hopefully whatever you grabbed wasn't too big because it looks like you're not getting rid of it. Not till you beat the level.
[ why o'clock ] The odd thing about being stuck in a trash wasteland is that you can go for ages without seeing another person. Ages. Of course, CERES doesn't like that very much since ViViD games should be co-operative! Player with player! Player against player! Players who shouldn't be playing at all. That's the type of play CERES supports.
Which means the longer you go without seeing another person, the more you might feel an itch. It gets under your skin, making you feel dizzier and dizzier, and shorter and shorter of breath until -- you pass out. Vision going dark, breathing cutting out, and down you go into the trash and whatever this ViViD level has planned next.
It won't take long. You'll wake up feeling slightly confined and there will be a moving body next to you. It seems as if you've finally, finally found someone -- and they're really, really close. In fact, maybe a little too close? When you open your eyes, you'll see that the two of you may be bound together in a way that might be familiar to some.
But instead of a shirt, it's just a garbage bag. A really, really strong garbage bag that can't be broken out of no matter how strong you happen to be. No laser eyes, no super powers, nothing will separate you from this person other than, well, getting along.
There really is only one question you have to ask yourself now. Just one.
What the hell does this have to do with recycling?
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