I was still pretty shook up from the last level when I started "Trance". Trance's map music did nothing to ease the tension. As for how to describe it...have you ever heard the theme from Videodrome? That's the closest thing I can think of it to compare it to.
I checked to see who the new monster was, and it was Orga. A monster who didn't make his film debut until 2000, appearing in a game made in 1988. So much for my theories about Titanosaurus and Biollante. There's no way this game was made in 1988!
Those guys at Toho may be smart, but I'm sure they couldn't see that far into the future. If they could, they never would have gave Roland Emmerich the rights to make a Godzilla movie.
No, this had to be a hack of some kind. Which just opened up even more questions. Who made this hack? When? How ? And most importantly, why? The "why?" was the question that bothered me most.
My immediate assumption was to think Billy did this to pull a joke on me. But that couldn't be right either. Billy didn't know how to make a ROM hack.
And if he did, he'd probably just do something simple and stupid, like replacing all the monsters with crudely drawn genitalia. Unless Billy had amazing game editing skills, and a serious dark streak to his imagination that he never told me about, he couldn't have made this. Is it even possible to put a hacked ROM into a cartridge?
Aside from all that, my eye was drawn to a new icon on the map: a question mark. I was really curious as to what it did.
I'm sure you're also curious, So I'll explain the "Quiz Levels" now, since this was when they start appearing. There was one of these per map from here on, and they always appeared near the start of the map.
When you start on a "Quiz Level", you appear on a screen like this:
As you can see, there's a question at the top, a "yes" and "no" button, and a emoticon in the center. I refer to the Emotion as "Face"(real creative, I know), and for convenience, I'll refer to Face as the one asking the questions.
The music for the quiz levels was a track actually in the game, it's the one that plays when you try to use the "Gh1d0ra" cheat and get sent to an unplayable level.
Face asks you 12 "Yes or No" questions, and you move your monster to the buttons for your answer. When you answer, the question dissapears and Face changes expressions for about 8 seconds, then he goes back to neutral and a new question comes up. There was no time limit, nor any right or wrong answers.
Face has no respect for the player's personal boundaries, and will sometimes ask deeply disturbing and personal questions, For example:(Do you like hurting people?) (Have you ever killed/raped anyone?)(Have you been molested by a family member?)
Other times he would ask questions that were either mind-numbingly stupid (Is the Sun hot?) (Is water wet?) or just flat out ridiculous (Does your dog like the President?) and maybe once per quiz, Face would ask you a question about the game.
With one exception, Face's expression changes seemed to have no effect on the game, except for indicating what the game creator thought of your answer. His reactions rarely made any sense, and at first I thought they were randomly generated.
The questions never followed a pattern, Face never stayed on the same subject for more than 2 questions. Early on, there were questions that made me think Face was building up to something, only to then ask some stupid garbage.
Here are the expressions of Face that I saw while playing. I'll separate them into two categories: The expressions I understood, and the expressions I didn't.
First are the expressions I understood:
1. Neutral, his default expression
2. Angry (If you try to attack Face, his expression changes to this, but nothing else happens)
6. Maniacal (Face made this expression when he was being an asshole. You'll see what I mean later)
And here are the others:
2 of these only appeared once (Numbers #1 and #12), and I suspected they might have been in-jokes from the creator. Their respective questions were "Do you like Ice Cream?" and "Are you a tough guy?".
As for the questions in the first Quiz: Luckily, I had a notepad and pen handy. I have problems remembering things, so I often carry one around to jot things down, and sometimes I doodle in it when I'm bored. So when the first quiz started I thought I'd record what happened. I'm glad I did.
Here are the first series of questions, my answers, and Face's reaction:
1. Do you like the game?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Happy
2. Are you afraid?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Surprised
3. Are you over 18?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #5
4. Do birds have teeth?
Answer: No, Reaction: Love
5. Is peanut butter good?
Answer: No, Reaction: Sick
6. Does the moon rotate?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #11
7. Have you had a job?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Confused
8. Do you like hurting people?
Answer: No, Reaction: Annoyed
9. Is the Sun hot?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Sad
10. Do you like dogs?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Happy
11. Is the president good?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #3
12. Does your dog like the President?
Answer: No, Reaction: Angry