For this week’s Wild Card Friday, I will attempt to explain my 1,000,000 rose ordeal.
What words can describe the agony of rolling a katamari through a frozen ice rink in a seemingly endless circle, in a futile attempt to roll up one million roses? Well, it began with my recent completion of We ♥ Katamari, the sophomore PlayStation 2 release that I played, in eager anticipation for the upcoming PlayStation 3 release of Katamari Forever.
Having virtually everything done on my mental checklist, only one thing stood in the way of completing the game: those frickin’ roses.
Okay, two things needed to be done if you count the myriad of objects that I inadvertantly failed to collect in various levels, but that’s a picnic compared to those dang roses. Having pleased every fan in the game, the King of all Cosmos brings a rose to life. And this tiny rose utters the most absurd request my ears could ever bear to hear: One million red roses.
So I’m taken to the level, where I’m expected to carry out this ordeal. Scads of roses adorned the snow covered landscape everywhere. Single roses and bouquets of 10. With the counter starting at 0, I think to myself “What the heck have I gotten myself into? This is going to take a long frickin’ time.”
It then occured to me that I have completed this ordeal before. Twice! Once in 2005 and again in 2007. This isn’t going to be so bad, right? My optimism faded when I completed 200,000 roses for the day. Okay. That’s 200,000. But I still have 800,000 more of those crimson pests to collect!
The next day came, and then the next. In each of those days, I coasted along, collecting 100,000 roses a day. My count was now a slightly higher, but still low 400,000. Not even halfway there. Then Wednesday came. I thrust my katamari back into the sea of roses scattered around the frozen ice rink. I languished in my room, rolling each thousand. I rolled up a thousand, replenishing the roses with each reset.
I began to lose my sense of awareness with my surroundings. All I saw was my controller and the screen. The headaches began as my brain liquefied. Roll a thousand. Reset. Wash, rinse, repeat. Minute by minute. Over and over. The same route around the seemingly infinite rink of roses.
When the day was over, 300,000 more was rolled up. 700,000 roses now. Almost there. The next day, I cruised along, much in the same way I did before. Same level. Same strategy. Same speed. Clicking the analog sticks up and down. Making gradual turns to collect every bouquet of roses on my route. Averaging 50 seconds per thousand.
In my adament pursuit to collect them all, my total was now 900,000. Only 100,000 away from the million. So close, yet so far away. The next morning was the home stretch. The light at the end of the tunnel. I inched my way forward and rolled each rose up, becoming ever closer to the million.
Suddenly, the moment was approaching. I was at 990,000 roses. Just 10,000 away. A breath away from a million. Then it happened. The climax. The culmination of 16 hours of rolling all boiled down into a triumphant second of victory: I rolled up a million roses. The victory was signaled by a ridiculous anthem of bizarre absurdity. An assorted cacophony of squeals, screams, and singing in Japanese. As I ran my crowned Prince to the other screen to save my game, I knew that it was finally over. I have done it for the third time. I have wasted countless hours, in a constant pursuit to reach the absurd goal of that little rose: one million red roses.
There. I’ve done it, you stupid rose! I’ve done what you asked, so what more do you want from me? If it’s more roses you want, I’ll burn you and your friends! Understand, Mr. Rose? The trial is over. The victory, won. Just what is there left to do now? Oh yeah, the objects.
And just as I said before, the objects are a picnic. And now it’s time to feast, then wait in eager anticipation for Katamari Forever to come out.
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