The Longing-ist Playthrough: Day 4 – 04/01/22 – 394 Days, 8 Hours, 33 Minutes and 53 Seconds to go…
Oh, did Day 4 have some excitement! Like, legitimate excitement. The kind that made me realise this game isn’t just going to be a slow shuffle through 2022, but an intriguing saga that will keep me gripped. At least, that’s how it feels after last night… but let me start at the beginning of my session, which was decidedly more mundane.
I fired up my Switch and found Monty still dutifully pouring through Moby Dick – he’d managed to get to page 228 out of 2564, which is pretty good going for a single evening. Much further than I ever got, I imagine. I saw the horn sitting beside the curtain and realised I never gave Monty the chance to give it a test drive once we got home last night, so with a click of a button, I encouraged him to go for it…
Now, Monty’s my friend, so I don’t want to say he was bad, but… he was bad. A few lumpy sounding notes squirted out of the bottom of the instrument and that was it. There was no tune or song to speak of, just a sad little *mwrp mwrp mwrp*. I don’t think he’s ever seen this thing before, let alone played it. Not wanting to be rude I gave him this face 😅 and hit the button again just to be sure I heard that right, and wouldn’t you know, he wasn’t half as bad this time. He held a pretty long note that suggested at a little breathing control, so maybe it’s just a matter of practice making perfect. I’ll have to give him a few blasts every time we come home, so I can see if he improves.
Not really having an agenda for the first time, I asked Monty to set off to the [moss room] to do a little more harvesting in readiness for that glorious bed that’s coming soon. We passed the [library] on the way up there which left a bad taste in my mouth after yesterday, but the journey was otherwise uneventful. Reaching our destination, we pottered around and collected a load more moss, bringing us to a total of 21 pieces. Surely that’s enough for a bed… how soft does he want it?
Unsure what to do next, we just wandered around a little, eventually ending up at the [deep divot]. I know Monty told me it would take a month and it’s only been a few hours, but I was keen to see how that little water drop was getting on – and honestly – the answer was ‘not bad at all’. A dank pool of water was now up to Monty’s ankles and it was nice to see some progress, no matter how small. Slow and steady wins the race, and all that.
So, at a loose end again, I thought we should pay a our [little friend] a visit to see how he was getting on with that web ladder. I was looking forward to exploring the northwest corner of the [old mines] and frankly, was being impatient. Monty had said it would take a few days but as we approached our eight-legged buddy, I began to get my hopes up… it certainly looked like he was finished with the ladder…
And he bloody well was! 🤩 Now I was excited – more to explore!
“Thank you, friend.”Monty
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Walking left and uphill, the music began to pick up – gone were the echoey, airy sounds of the [old mines] (that I had missed yesterday thanks to the Wolves fans), and now a twinkly, ethereal melody crept in. For lack of a better word, it was nice. There was a calm to the sound that was quite a departure from anything the game has offered before, with every preceding being pretty gloomy and foreboding.
And as the music started to lift, so too did the lighting level, with tiny spots of shimmering pink glowing in the tunnels ahead of us. What are those things coming from the ceiling? More crystals? Getting closer, I saw a small purple item protruding from the ground and I realised ‘no, those aren’t crystals… but mushrooms!’ I excitedly asked Monty to pick one up, fully expecting that he’d harvest it like he had the moss, but to my surprise he held it in his hand and the area around him began to glow in bright pink light!
I was pretty buoyant at this discovery. The thought of having something luminescent that might help me explore the dark caves was an exciting one. Hold on a minute… I looked in the corner of the screen and saw that the prompt ‘Eat Mushroom’ had appeared…
Now we have a dilemma…
I’m a pretty risk-averse guy, and as a child had always been told not eat any mushrooms that I hadn’t come from the supermarket, so having the option to have Monty eat something without knowing what it would do to him made me feel uncomfortable. I looked over at my girlfriend sitting at the other end of the sofa and explained my quandary…
“Tell him to eat it.”Flippant & Uninterested Girlfriend
Okay, here goes nothing… I hit the button and watched through my fingers as Monty put the ‘shroom in his mouth and chomped it down with a satisfying crunch… And that was it. 🤷♂️ Ah well, at least it wasn’t anything bad. A tad disappointed perhaps, I asked Monty to continue on, picking and eating a few more glowing mushrooms as we went, before using the last one as a pink torch, of sorts. We passed some ground that Monty thought could grow more mushrooms, so I asked him to plant the one he was holding in the hopes of replenishing the ones he’d just gobbled down.
Finally coming to the end of the tunnel, it opened up into a large cave with huge, bulging mushrooms growing from the ceiling – but these ones were green and completely out of reach. There was nowhere else to go from here, so we wandered off and checked the other pathways available. We encountered a few more dead ends before heading to the last tunnel available – it was pretty high up and running left-to-right. Monty crawled through a little space and then walked into a tunnel filled with smaller green mushrooms, and these ones very much pluckable and eatable.
“I wonder if the green mushrooms taste just as good as the other ones.”Monty
Only one way to find out… Monty stuffed a green ‘shroom into this mouth and then retched as his face turned green and his eyes bulged out. I don’t think the green ones are tasty, mate. Thankfully Monty didn’t throw up or otherwise show any negative signs after that, so we continued on, ignoring any further green mushrooms, since I didn’t want to make him unwell. This tunnel was the last unexplored one in the area and I was hoping it might double around and eventually lead me to the mattock… But it in fact led me absolutely nowhere.
Completely frustrated, I turned Monty back, asking him to go to the [broken stair], which I hoped would be accessible soon, since time had been accelerated somewhat by Monty spending the night reading in [our room]. We picked one more purple mushroom on the way back, just to enjoy the light show once more before leaving, and that’s when I noticed that this one wasn’t glowing… Is this something to do with the green mushroom? Maybe I knocked out his equilibrium and need to get level him out before the mushroom glow will work…? That being my thinking, I asked Monty to eat the mushroom….
And this is where stuff get’s really exciting…
There was a moment where nothing happened, but looking closely I could see Monty’s pupils starting to dilate; half a second later there was a flicker of pink over his normally-yellow eyes, his pupils went haywire and he fell to the ground in a heap. Oh god – what have I done?
Monty had a dream.
He dreamt of a bearded old man drawing a pail of water from a well while a small ginger child sat against it, pulling petals from a flower. As grey beard finished and turned away, a tiny spider leapt from the well and landed on the nose of the child, startling them. The spider jumped away and the child explained what happened to the old man, who seemed to chuckle to himself. The child, who had big round eyes and some kind of tail, apparently, then stood up and followed the old man out of shot, but not before tripping over on the way. Monty then awoke and stood up, seemingly as bewildered as me.
“What a strange and beautiful dream.”Post-acid trip Monty
What in the world was that about? That old man looked almost identical to the Mountain King, and despite the child looking very different – those globular eyes looked just like Monty… Something about the camera fixating on the well as the two characters walked away was strangely menacing. I was both enthralled and a creeped out by what I just witnessed.
I need to know more. 😳 Now’s not the time – I don’t want Monty getting addicted to trippy mushrooms; we’d better move on for now.
I decided to continue on with my plan of checking out the [broken stair], and upon arriving was thrilled to see tiny flecks crumbling from the stalactite above. As we got closer Monty told me it might come down “any moment now”, so I waited around in the hopes of seeing it dislodge and smash to the ground… That might be the most action I see down here. I waited for a few minutes before coming to the conclusion that Monty and I probably don’t share a sense of time, and that ‘any moment’ might be an hour or more, and so decided to call it a night.
I left Monty by the [broken stair], ready to cross over and explore tomorrow. But even after I turned off my Switch, all I could think about was that weird dream and that damned well…