Hyper Light Drifter and the Stuckness of Exploration

It’s the damn keys. That’s the current suspicion anyway. I’ve hit a wall, finding at least four monoliths per corner of the map, six tops. The map isn’t helping much either, to the East I see nothing lit up but I’m still missing pieces. In the North I found one I haven’t tapped yet but I can’t get to it, only stare and try to lay the underground complex out in my mind to trace my steps back to see what I missed. After too long to tell, I headed West to find the last two I see on the map.

But the keys. I see these doors that need soo many keys, and I have three, and who knows where the others are. The doors I’m hoping lead to items, I’ve started finding sets, but again, only three so far. After so many fights these pieces of gear really make a difference. The combat is fluid enough that I’ve started considering tactics and timing. It’s all very Assassin’s Creed the way you move through enemies. There’s only the boss to the South marked on my map that I can’t get to, the keys have been my distraction, I thought I would have found more by now.


Hyper Light Drifter Keys

#Hyperlightdrifter . . . So excited to find this fourth key after 30 hours.


This is something I’ve grown accustomed to playing certain games. I like to put a fair amount of time in before I look anything up at all, at least 20 hours. After that I am still reluctant, who knows how many hours I’ve spent sitting in front of Zelda 1, still haven’t looked anything up, still haven’t beat it. Terraria has gone the same way, I recognize it as a game wherein the player is dropped into a wilderness, so I treat it like that and experiment and explore. By the time I get enough hours in that I am “ok” to look things up I don’t want to. 30 hours into Hyper Light and the little I have  searched is likely all I ever will until I finish it. I’d like to think this is what Heart Machine wants, me to take my patient time with it.

There is a situation that defines a concern for me though, when I found the rifle. It’s an upgrade I understand, and I’ve come to like using it. Before that though I had really fallen in love with the handgun, stringing together shots and sword strikes in a continuous barrage, strung from enemy to enemy in a chain of dashes. It was a blast balancing shots and strikes. Until I traded my handgun for the rifle,  I wanted the rifle, just not the shotgun, which I also had with me as I felt it balanced the handgun out as an arsenal. If I’d known I could only carry two ranged weapons I wouldn’t have dropped the handgun that I’d paid for upgrades for. By the time I realized what I’d done it was too late. I went back to the source of my confusion and there was no gun. I don’t know how to get it back.

That’s where I have a problem with the complexity such vague interactions cause. Hell I may still have it and just not know how to equip it. How would I know?

For the time spent I consider that a minor complaint, but its something that sticks in my mind. I’m still digging at it. The game begs for understanding. My character is sick, for example, and I don’t know why and I want to know if I’m searching for a fix. There seems to be a war machine in the making, an army of sorts, and I want to know more about that, and the ruins, and the tablets, and the gear I’ve yet to find, and all the stories NPC’s have told me in pictures. Combined with boss fights I love, I’m excited to play through the NG+, but answers first…

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One thought on “Hyper Light Drifter and the Stuckness of Exploration

  1. […] does everything. Art, code, sound, in the case of Fez, sometimes various assistants in the case of Hyper Light Drifter, but the vibe is the same, she does this, he does that, we all do this one thing because it sucks […]


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