Stages of Mystery: The Secret Garden Nightclub

I like fighting games, even if I suck at them. And one of the things I like about fighting games are the stages themselves, even if the majority of the time, they’re either city streets, some cack-handed caricature of a specific culture or a secret underground base.

Still, sometimes music can give me ideas for stages I would like to see in a fighting game, but aren’t going to happen because 1) I have no means to give them form outside of crap prose, on account of being no game designer while also being a shitty artist and 2) No studio in the world is going to give a toss about the random ideas of some random nobody. It’s an unfortunate reality with basis in both common sense and intellectual property law. And I’m not about to be one of those dicks that go around requesting a free commission either, for reasons that should be obvious.

So what are my options? One, really. I blog them, and I hope they prove some form of entertaining read that keeps me feeding this blog with something other than music and rants. And I might not restrict myself to fighting game stages, either. Just don’t expect any attempts at actual game or level design, because that’s not a set of skills I have under my belt. These are purely descriptions of visual themes, along with a link to the music that inspired it, and in some cases I’ve pulled characters from some of my past NaNoWriMo efforts, because I like to think these characters wouldn’t look out of place in a fighting game.

So, to start, here’s one stage, a forested area sitting atop a nightclub:

High above the smoggy streets of coastal Suncaster, the Secret Garden nightclub lives up to its name, for atop this towering venue rests a small oasis of nature, standing out amongst the concrete jungle below. Though a high steel fence circles the garden protects visitors from an untimely fall, considerable efforts have been made to cover it up though the clever placement of plantlife, trees and vines. Efforts to great success, many would say, as it has been proven time and again that it is incredibly difficult, if not completely impossible to spot the artifical barrier.

A large pond resides in the middle of this rooftop realm, with a low island formed at its centre, adorned with grass of a more vibrant shade of green than has been seen out in the wild. Questions have been asked as to the “authenticity” of this grass — is it real? Who knows, but not a single visitor has denied that it feels real. Up above, the midnight sky is clear, and the ancient light of distant stars glitters among stars not seen before nor identified by astronomers. These stars are only ever seen within the confines of the Secret Garden, and appear to hang directly above this place, rather than countless light years away. In fact, some of these stars seem to have been caught in the very trees that circle the island.

To the north of the lake is what can best be described as a throne, formed and twisted from untraceable roots bursting from the ground to form a central seat for the club’s propietor, a diminuitive and young-looking redhead in a formal knee-length party dress adorned with a mixture of emerald and sapphire sequins, its low-cut back providing room for her to spread her colourful, butterfly-like wings as she sips her champagne and watches the crowd form on both sides of her. The people that form this crowd are similarly dressed and armed with a glass of some alcoholic beverage, though each one lacks any features as distinguishing as that of the fairy on the throne. For all anyone can tell, the entirety of this crowd is human, and as much as they are dressed for a formal party, it appears they are also here for a fight.

A fight that is about to occur in the centre of the island ahead. From the night sky above, an object falls, striking one end of the island with the apparent force of a small meteorite and throwing a cloud of dust into the air. The cloud soon fades, and in the resulting tiny crater, a young woman draws her fist from the point of impact and pulls herself into a commanding stance. Though expected to dress in stark contrast to the partywear around her, the girl’s blue t-shirt, black pleated miniskirt and baggy socks that only just reached below the knee seems a far cry from the protective gear one would expect when entering any kind of battle.

“Ladies, Gentlemen!” the fairy calls out as the girl dusts herself off and straightens her silver pigtails. The winged woman’s voice, though high in pitch and dainty even by human standards, booms across the garden by way of undetermined means. “Taking a little time out from fighting the crime that plagues this fine city, the centennial teen, the immortal vigilante, the one and only… Party Crasher!”

The crowd bursts into an almighty roar of cheers and supportive whistles, a positive cry that travels beyond the confines of the garden. At the other end of the island, a man in a long black trenchcoat marches forward, his head shaved completely clear of any hair while at the same time exhibiting a neatly-trimmed beard that extends just beyond his neck, the only thing that serves as any indication of his natural hair colour. As he approaches an equidistant point opposite the white-haired girl, the greatsword that hangs from his back hisses from its scabbard as he casually draws it over his head and brings it down before him in one smooth slice, planting it firmly into the ground by his feet.

“And tonight,” the fairy on the throne declares. “She’ll be facing the calm that brings the storm… Ragequit!”

Another roar arises from the expensively-dressed crowd. The Party Crasher raises her fists while Ragequit takes a moment to crack his neck both ways, along with his knuckles.

“Hope ya enjoy gettin’ yer head stoved under the ground.” the immortal girl calls out to Ragequit, who simply shakes his head as he pulls his sword from the ground.

“Round one, people?” the fairy announces, both as a declaration and a question to draw the crowd’s attention. “Are you all ready? FIGHT!”

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