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Dangling participle. - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
Dangling participle.
I'm not sure I ever posted this.

I feel I should explain my obsession with the phrase "where are you going to?" Anyone familiar with the computer game series King's Quest?

When I was young, when my family was whole and actually enjoyed each other's presence, we used to have family game nghts. Once a week or so we'd all sit down and work through the current King's Quest installment.

My mother though, at the time, that it would be good for us since we were a blended family. My brothers came from a separate marriage and at the time must have been about ten. My father really didn't want anything to actively do with them (or my sister, but she barely existed anyway). So we'd gather about the screen as my Dad typed commands as we talked about what we thought to do next. It's like driving to the Dells but with far less punching.

In retrospect it was my and Dad talking about what to do next and Rich and Rob screwing around, my mother trying to contain them. I think Dad only half listened to them anyway. Most of the time I didn't really know what was going on but tried to be helpful. Too bad I got Dad trapped by Manannan so many times. How was I supposed to know that using cat fur versus mouse fur would trip some in-game shenanigans that ultimately kill the hero?

The point. By the time King's Quest 6 had rolled around, my parents had were in counseling and my brother's had dropped out. By the time my Dad bought a copy they had split and my mother's entire side of the family had vanished in one way or another. This was probably the first game that we didn't play as a family, or at least that my father and I hadn't played together. It was a hard transitional time for me for obvious reasons. There was a point in the game, though, that I was struck by the whole situation.

At some point on one of the various game islands a string of letters washes to shore. They read "Where are you going" with missing letters at the end. Though a complete phrase, the main character (Alexander) question what it meant. I, as the player, was content to leave it a question. But, being a quest game, everything solves a puzzle. At some point you need to cross a path blocked by a giant animal, half monkey, half chameleon thing that refers to itself as a dangling participle. To get past him, you give him the string of letters. The participle freaks out and completes the sentence as "Where are you going to!" and decides that this question must become his new way of life.

I was asking myself these same sorts of questions with great fear (and better grammar) because I had no idea what was going on with my family. I hate to admit but that little character (and phrase) became a mantra for me through most of high school. It did me well. During those years I explored indian ruins, the grand canyon, meditation, Reiki, ritual sacrifice (seriously - I went to a Sundance in South Dakota where they slaugtered a Buffalo during the opening ritual). High school were my formative years. They started me to where I am now.

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Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic

10 comments or Leave a comment
questingfalcon From: questingfalcon Date: August 11th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember KQ6. I found the part where you had to climb up the cliff with the wind trying to knock you down relevant to my life at the time.
abmann From: abmann Date: August 11th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure if you're mocking me or not.
questingfalcon From: questingfalcon Date: August 11th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I know its pretty rare, a non-mocking comment from me. I was actually playing KQ6 towards the end of my senior year in high school, when there were a whole bunch of college rejection letters coming in... the irony amused me.
abmann From: abmann Date: August 11th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Funny situation re: colleg letters - I was accepted to the Engineering department at university of illinois which is pretty rigorous but the overall college said my grades weren't good enough for it.

I'm not sure how that works out.

Go here, slackey. This will offer any number of opportunities to ridicule me.
(Deleted comment)
abmann From: abmann Date: August 11th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was weird. Though the buffalo fed the entire group of us for the week. Best stew I ever had.
(Deleted comment)
abmann From: abmann Date: August 11th, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I only cheated some of the earlier games, one and two. Now I can finish them all in a single session, usually.

Which was your favorite?

Ever play Space Quest?
feodoric From: feodoric Date: August 11th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
kings quest and space quest 4evar!!
abmann From: abmann Date: August 11th, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved them good. First two games in both series were damn hard. I hated the vine maze in SQ2.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 26th, 2005 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)

King's Quest IX

Did you hear about the King's Quest fan game that just recently got shut down? www.kqix.com

Some fans have joined forces to try to save the game: www.savekqix.org

abmann From: abmann Date: October 26th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: King's Quest IX

That's very sad. I was hoping for redemption of that terrible game that Was Mask of Eternity. However, I'm very excited about the compilation releases of Space Quest adn King's Quest. They must be mine!
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