a portfolio of videogame writings
Spelunk into the subterranean hollows of The Cave and you’ll find the genetic remnants of Ron Gilbert’s adventure game heritage strewn throughout. The numerous “New Grog” vending machines and sentient geology are homages to The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion; its puzzles are based on the collection and predetermined use of various everyday items; and each of the multiple playable characters’ stories is a darkly comic morality tale.
The fact that there are seven individuals to choose from is not an incidental design decision. Each has been drawn to the cave in search of what they desire most, delving down on a promise that should they best its trials, it shall be granted. The only thing connecting them is just how dark and morbid their backstories and desires are.
These intrepid explorers are all comically exaggerated archetypes. There’s the Scientist, the Adventurer, the Hillbilly, the Monk, the Twins, the Knight and the Time Traveller. You choose a party of three as the gravelly tones of an eighth character, the ever present self-narrating cave, perniciously sets (and is) the scene with gleefully sinister relish.