The Wizard and the Princess, Part 2: Head First Into Nose Dives

Animation of the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, fading in on a scene where a snake has been driven from a hole.

Day 4

Ugh, my head... my foot.  I don't know how much more of this I can take.  There's nothing in this desert but cactii and rocks, and yet somehow it's able to support hundreds of snakes and scorpions per acre.  I guess the snakes could be eating the scorpions, but then what are the --

Stop, no, I need to focus here.  My number one priority has to be getting out of the desert.  I got the snake out of his hole, so let's see if there's anything useful in there.

Animation of the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, zooming in on a note in a hole.

Just another one of these bizarre notes, written in a language I don't recognize.  I don't speak Serenian -- if Serenians even speak, that is.  In the last town I visited, they just hid in their houses.

No choice but to keep going.  I have to move quickly because snakes harass me at what seems like every step and I'm not sure how much longer I can last in this desert heat.

Image from the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, showing a chasm with a house and tree at the other side.

Wait, is that... a tree?!  I'm finally at the edge of the desert!  But how do I get across that gorge?  

Maybe... no, I'm not going listen to the self-proclaimed "King of Snakes".  There's just no way.  What kind of a magic word is HISS anyway?  It's more like a sound.  

*Sigh*  Fine.

"HISS"

With a jerk, my arms twist backwards and slowly fuse with my waist, which becomes the pivot for a pelvic "U" shape with the ground.  My legs stretch outwards like taffy and the world blurs as eye level descends slowly to the sand.

Sure enough, I'm a snake.  Why did I want this again?  Oh yeah, somehow it was supposed to get me across this gorge.  That seems kind of stupid now.  I suppose I could try slithering down the gorge and up the other side; that would be hard for a human, but maybe not for a snake.

Curling into an "S" and pushing myself awkwardly forward, I slowly make it up to the rim of the gorge.  Looking over the edge, even with my blurred snake vision, I can make out the river below.

Image from the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, showing a river at the bottom of a chasm.

Yikes, that's a hell of a drop.  I can only imagine how long it will take me to climb that thing, if it's even possible with this body.  And who knows how long this --

Limbs suddenly begin sprouting from my snake body and my midsection expands, leaving me in a pose somewhat resembling a downward dog.  Even after the final effects of the bizarre magic fade, flakes of dead snakeskin line my torso and my tongue droops from my mouth limply.  I will not be adding Serenia on my list of preferred vacation spots.

So where does this leave me?  I can't descend or ascend the gorge safely and there's no bridge or narrowing of the gorge in sight.  I guess I just have to, you know, jump.

Obviously it's too far to jump, but what if I made use of both my human and snake body?  With the human body, I can jump and with the snake body stretch to the other side.  It's ingenious!  All I need is a running start, and...

"HISS!!"

Animation of the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, showing someone jumping into a chasm, turning into a snake, and then falling into a river.

Day 5

*Scattered curses echo across the gorge*

Of all the dumbass things in my life, that has just got to be the mother of stupid asshole moves... and of course I'd start on the only climbable side of the gorge.  Ugh, these rocks are cutting me up even through the dead snakeskin.

Approaching the top, I wipe off as much of the dead skin as I can.  At last, I reach the top of the gorge and collapse to the ground in a state of exhaustion.  Laying sprawled on the sand, I stare up at the cloudless sky, wondering how in the hell I'd gotten to this point.  The Mystery House was so much more cozy.  Even the dead bodies had their charm at times.

Finally collecting myself and getting back to my feet, I notice that some items have fallen from my pocket onto the sand.  I move to pick them up , but just then I notice the mysterious notes lying on top of one another.

Animation of the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, showing a pair of notes being brought together to spell HOCUS.

Does that say..."HOCUS"?  I think it does.

That actually makes perfect sense.  The only possible magic word that would be more inane than HISS is HOCUS.  You might be able to make an argument for CADABRA... I might try that if HOCUS doesn't work.

Walking up to the edge of the chasm and performing a sharp roll of my eyes skyward, I take a deep breath and...

"HOCUS"

Animation of the 1980 computer game, The Wizard and the Princess, showing a bridge appearing over a chasm.

The story continues...

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