When we look across the fields, through the cold air sinking beneath the darkening sky, what do we see? Do we realise the limit of our own perception? Do we perceive the limit of our own collective experience? Do we truly see at all? Or are we simply a collection of wild animals, kept in a crude self-imposed captivity, nothing more than an absurd exhibition?
… and then there was nothing. I was assailed that day by a blinding light as I gazed upon the cold new dawn, seized by a paralyzing fear as the great cataclysm burned silently in the sky. Where once there were stars like precious diamonds in the night, there was now a brilliant emptiness. Whence came it? Was it of divine conception or something far more sinister?
For so long our desolate planet has suffered us our existence. Even the mightiest rivers trickled parched through the cracks of barren land. When the void appeared, it gave us hope: a chance to rebuild far away. We would not make the same mistakes again.
In a glade of frosted white-tipped flowers there had stood an ancient cherry blossom. I remember how we had spent our first night together there, relishing in our newfound love. But when the void appeared, we found it scorched and withered, consumed by a cruel inferno, and the world burned and burned and we wept for our past and for our future.
As the day drew closer, I knew my task was futile. Tomorrow I would be called to duty; tomorrow I would be sent into the void. I was considered by many a hero, the ‘bravest explorer of the final frontier,’ the saviour of our race. I never disclosed my true peril to her... I knew I would never return. On the last night we stood on the edge of our bitter world and felt the dry wind on our hair, hand in hand as the dusts of the once fertile plains swept around us.
In the end we were twelve: twelve mothers and fathers, each of us courageous pioneers, each of us desperate in our hope. Was there surely a new world beyond that great cataclysm in the sky? As we departed from our world and travelled towards our brighter future, I pondered our diminishing hope. I pondered how our race struggled to survive even in a dying universe from which none could escape, and yet we believed that the void would set us free.
Approaching that terrible cataclysm, I was filled with awe - a relentless surge of fear, abhorrence and wonder that filled my entire being. I could see it in the eyes of my companions too. As our vessel began to buckle beneath extraordinary pressures, I closed my eyes. What fate awaited us when we passed the event horizon, none could say. The night was pulsing; it knew no fear.
In that brief moment we travelled billions of light years. I became too enthralled with a rapturous fear to remember anything other than the incessant cruel voices whispering in my ears. It was surely the voices of the gods, of the atrocious divine few who have toyed so mercilessly with us, their puppets. And then suddenly, all was calm. We had passed through the restless fourth dimension to find a sky entirely empty save for one solitary earth-like planet that utterly filled our horizon. A grave feeling descended upon us then, as we acknowledged that this was our only option. Fuel reserves were nearly dry, and its gravity pulled us ever downwards in a relentless spiral.
And so I sit here, writing my final goodbye. Of the twelve explorers, I am the last survivor, all alone in this cruel, callous world, reeling with a broken heart and broken hope. We longed for something new, but this planet is no utopia. Indeed, it is as parched and cold as our own. My mouth aches for water; every word I write causes pain. There is no solace in the grit and the ash, just shattered dreams in an accursed universe. I think I shan’t last another day, however I simply hope this message reaches somebody before…
And so just over a year later by human standards, the lone wanderer arrived to find eleven shabbily dug graves and one solitary skeleton, its spacesuit lying to its right. And he wept: a most terrible piercing cry totally absent of tears. He cradled the skull in his own skeletal hands and cursed this unfeeling dying universe to which he was still a slave. And then he noticed a brace of scarlet, blood-like flowers growing on the skull like a majestic crown, like a candle in the dark, and he was glad.
Critical Annihilation is a Twin-Stick SHMUP (Shoot-em Up) made entirely out of tiny voxels. We take advantage of voxel technology to hype up the explosive gameplay. Everything is destructible to its core. As your home planet gets invaded by aliens you decide to take up arms with the rest of the planet and annihilate every single alien in site. As you progress in the game you'll bring yourself to whole new planets like the Moon and Mars until you've reached the aliens Mothership. Why exactly are these cliche aliens attacking your cliche planet in the good old fashion cliche way? It's for you to find out as your destroy every cube of their being. This is the same game played by popular youtubers Markiplier and JackSepticEye; Critical Mass. Now with updated art and updated code to bring you a more full, and action packed experience. --- Game developed by Devoga Artwork by: Zach Soares - twitter.com/y2bcrazy Joe Dunkerley - twitter.com/Cynical_Poet
Soundtrack by Shurk: @shirkofficial
Support on Bandcamp: bit.ly/CritAn-bc Support on iTunes: bit.ly/CritAn-iTunes --- Watch on YouTube: bit.ly/theprophecyep-yt Listen on Spotify: bit.ly/CritAn-spotify
At first it was simply a legend handed down from generation to generation: the prophecy that foretold the coming of the masked one, the one who would liberate the people of this oppressed new world from pain.
But over time, as it was passed down from the great elders to those who would follow in their footsteps, the legend spread far and wide, and local abstractions, elaborations and twists on the traditional tale were spun. Where in one valley, the masked liberator could be known for his peace, so equally in the next, he was known for his incessant fury.
And so it was in the clandestine cultures of these far flung communities that the tales of hope and wonder, fear and intrigue were sung. Finally, on the night of the ninetieth solstice since the departure of the masked wanderer, the most prominent members of the communities - shamans, wizards and knights - gathered at the holy base camp of the highest mountain in the land. Connected only through their folklore, they shared their music: their twists, abstractions and elaborations, their cultural experiences of this unifying legend.
And on that fateful night, as the sweet music was heard, hope was restored across the land.
Welcome to ‘The Prophecy: The Remixes’, showcasing the songs of the most powerful shamans, wizards and warriors in the this world and their twists on the tale of Shurk.
At first it was simply a legend handed down from generation to generation: the prophecy that foretold the coming of the masked one. Only he could release the people of this frail new world from unrivalled tyranny.
Here, nothing was sacred; nothing was untouchable. On this barren foreign planet, mothers would hold their sons as they watched their world burn away. Incessantly, the raw resources were depleted, their new home catastrophically exploited, and the bright sky now blackened like charcoal. And so inevitably it was only a matter of time before these poor settlers were forced into brutal submission by the totalitarian regime and wired up to the system’s Mortal Engine – through unrivalled clandestine technology, glistening wires and tubes, their very bodies would fuel the raging industrial fires of the new age. And for this, they would pay the ultimate price.
Yet nobody objected. Not one soul mounted their righteous revolution against this bloody regime of pure human exploitation, because nobody knew. Because for them, nothing ever changed. Because the system was already inside their minds.
However there was one spark of hope left for this innocent race… the masked one. His true name was known to but a few, but his legend was known to all. For when the human race first fled Earth and arrived on this godforsaken new world, it was told that the masked one would be the deliverance from despair, from insanity and from evil. And when he came, not one soul would be left behind.
Welcome to the Cosmic Casino, the esteemed modern establishment of the 25th century... and the very essence of moral decadence...
Central News, 20th February, 2453: “Celebrations resound throughout the capital with the highly anticipated grand opening of the Cosmic Casino…”
…and so the inquisitive townspeople flocked towards the glamorous allure of the casino. Inside they played, captivated by their all-consuming gambling addictions, and wealth was drawn from all around. But alas the privileged hierarchy here soon became greedy, and the once thriving city slowly succumbed to the parasitic influence of the casino.
Central News, 3rd April, 2453: “Local pauper wins the jackpot of a lifetime…”
…On a single roll of the dice in this turbulent environment, the poorest can be flung to the dizzying heights of wealth and splendour whilst the very richest will inevitably tumble to impoverishment, living the lives of those they once considered dirt.
Central News, 8th April, 2453: “Jackpot hero of last week discovered dead after 4 day long slot machine binge…”
…Their eyes glued to the dazzling display of the addictive machines that take so much and yet give back so little, their pockets emptied and their already frail bodies wasting away, they continue their futile pursuit of sudden transient riches. They are trapped in a relentless cycle, and the comforting blinking lights to which they had become so accustomed silently mock them...
So often in life we under-appreciate the true value of unity. It is the bond between us that carries us unconditionally through hardships, misdirection and torment; it effortlessly spans the boundary between co-operation and calamity. Yet inevitably, somewhere and somehow, this bond will break, and chaos will ensue. When things begin to fall apart, your heart will fill with darkness. Sometimes, your greatest friend will tragically embody your greatest nemesis. Yet it is when all hope seems lost and the empty mind feels only pain that unity must prevail. Welcome to ‘Nemesis’, retelling the journey from unity to betrayal, and showing that in life, the relationships that we build are not always as they seem.