Look. Puzzle Link. I’m just not sure you’re what everyone needs in this day and age. We’re all for innovation. We really are. But I’m a charm guy. I’m a potential guy. I like charm and potential and to be perfectly fair… you really don’t have… either of those things. I’m sorry it has to work out this way. It’s not you… it’s me. I just don’t see this working out. You’re nice and all… I just… look… I think I’m gonna go. I’m sorry. I’ll pay for dinner.
I looked back fondly on this game from the comfort of my living room and realised that there was nothing to hold on to. Those memories of a bygone age… those memories that I thought were so precious and so true really were just… false and more out of hope than anything else. I wanted to be reminded of the times when we used to go and holiday and spent a lot of time together… that moment that I set me eyes on them and just knew that I had to have them. I would have to be patient. I would have to be patient…
And now… here I am with not even a single lasting, true memory of the time together being worthwhile… I don’t even remember what the point of all that time was.
I feel sorry for Puzzle Link… I do… but the time has come.
I remember back when things started and the moment I laid my eyes on Puzzle Link… it was one of those where I simply had to look twice and then had to look away in case they saw me looking at them. I couldn’t help but take another peek. It was something new and unique and I found myself drawn to the colourful exterior… I had to know more.
Soon enough, I got to know a little bit more about them and I found out that Puzzle Link would be going on holiday. My mother told me that. She said that I’ll see them again when we went away… she seemed to know more about it than I did. I was so excited. The thought of being able to see Puzzle Link again was something I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I was already excited about the holiday and now here I was… excited about something else too… it was breathtaking. I’d never truly felt like that before.
And we spent a beautiful weekend together as I figured Puzzle Link out and as much as I enjoyed their company and was able to find out more about them so easily… they frustrated me too. I mean… nobody’s perfect but it wasn’t a bad frustration. Occasionally, they would beat me in a game and I would just have to concede defeat. I didn’t mind though… I just enjoyed the time we spent together. It was a beautiful moment. That whole weekend was just amazing.
And after that weekend, we would spend more time together, flitting between games now and then until eventually… something just didn’t happen anymore. The spark had gone. There was nothing more to know or to learn and there was nothing interesting to grab hold of anymore. I learnt nothing from being with them. They learnt nothing at all… everything felt fruitless. The vapidity of the whole situation overtook me and… for want of a better term… I suppose I wanted more than that. They were safe and ordinary but… I didn’t want that.
I wanted better.
And so it came to be that Puzzle Link and I ended our relationship. It wasn’t entirely amicable. They really didn’t take to it too well. They started to shoot blobs at me. You see, the whole nature of Puzzle Link’s courting involving shooting blobs to begin a chain and then shooting linking blobs to link like-coloured blocks together until they disappeared. It was fun and interesting to begin with, watching those blocks explode in a puff of ploops and then setting off a chain reaction of other coloured blocks puffing like ploops too… and then eventually, they could see the end and would join together the C blocks to end the game. And it was magical for a moment.
But soon it became very repetitive and boring.
Stage after stage in our relationship just began to pale and fade into one another. The colour drained after a while so Puzzle Link would throw in a different bit of colour occasionally. It tried to make out as if it were something that it wasn’t. You can dress it up all you like but let’s be truthful here: you can’t polish… ha… well, you know the rest of that phrase.
You see, Puzzle Link liked to up the ante. When it thought you were ready for the next challenge, it would add more coloured blocks and make things go faster and try to fill the place with blocks to defeat you… and it did occasionally get very frenetic and, truth be told, the whole idea of somewhere filling up with more and more blocks became rather stressful so I couldn’t really deal with it when things became too much for me. But there are only so many times that you could deal with that, particularly when there’s a blaring siren going off in the distance as if there’s some danger arriving soon… you’d think having a little danger here and there would spice things up but if anything, it just became even more irritating.
And so sometimes just to stop the ringing and buzzing and… linking of everything… I would purposely just lose to let it happen. I had no desire to continue… no reason to keep going with the charade. I was too cowardly to just turn around and say “I can’t do it and I can’t deal with these games anymore…” so I had to pretend.
And I became tired of pretending.
Occasionally… and this is where the kill arrived… Puzzle Link would try and entrance me by offering me these… cards. If I was good enough at their games, I would be able to win these cards and keep them in a collection and it would show just how good I was at someone. It made me feel happy again. It made me feel like I was wanted and valued and that I could show off my success to everyone! Look at the cards I’d received as the winner of this game! I could show everyone my collection!
I could show everyone my Mimi card and how it looked as thought it was drowning when in reality, it was just an attention-seeking little bastard who liked to pretend to drown in two inches of water… it was a horrific sight to behold. To think that someone would go to that much effort to get your attention.
And then there’d be a Lional who would force me to sing even when I didn’t want to. I mean… in reality, I could have overpowered this guy. He was shorter than me and weighed less than me so surely I could have just laid him out on the floor if I didn’t want to sing (and I really DIDN’T want to sing) but… then I would have been a monster. “Why did you hit him? He’s smaller than you, you bully!” they’d tell me. “Couldn’t you have resolved your differences in another way?” they’d also say. Well… no, because all he says is ‘Let’s Sing!’ and there’s really no arguing with that if they won’t listen to reason!
And then as much as I love watching television… Puzzle Link’s friend Tely… kept telling me to watch them… and… I couldn’t after a while. That aggressive stare and that awful dancing… I couldn’t be friends with these people anymore. It was just not helping me… I was getting worse and worse… I could feel the situation just crumbling around me and I had to stop pretending… I had to stop thinking that there was a point to this whole thing.
There wasn’t any point at all.
I couldn’t get away from the fact that every day just ended up being the same thing… over and over… over and over… all I did was link blocks… and these blocks weren’t even interesting. They were boring to look at. Blues… Reds… Yellows… the occasional-orange-looking one that… really just didn’t fit… I really couldn’t stand it anymore.
What was I doing this for?
But then suddenly, Puzzle Link tried to change things… they tried to make me see things from a completely different viewpoint and… I couldn’t.
I couldn’t do it.
I thought it was all fine. I thought I could do it… To start off with, I was linking blocks together and they would disappear and cause a chain reaction and then more would disappear until the screen was somehow… empty. But the more times this happened, the more I realised that making the blocks disappear was just making me empty inside. I couldn’t feel anything for this anymore. It was gone…
It was clear to me that Puzzle Link wasn’t even trying anymore. I couldn’t bear to watch it all happen and even though they hadn’t changed… I had. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point. There wasn’t one. I wasn’t able to see the point to playing their games. Just linking blocks… and watching them go… I couldn’t imagine my life continuing in this way… the thought of living in this way was eating away at me inside.
I had to end things.
I had to…
And when I told them… it didn’t go well. It really didn’t go well. They kept trying to link me to something else to make me disappear. They became violent! They tried to kill me in broad daylight and if I was a block of red or blue or yellow or occasionally orange, then maybe I wouldn’t be writing this right now… maybe I’d be off somewhere in the ether… a puff of ploops diffusing into nothingness. And yet… they tried to link me with someone else and it never happened… because we’re all unique in our own way. We can never truly be matched with someone just like us… because no one is like us.
And alas… it was done. It was indeed game over.
There was more to Puzzle Link than initially met the eye but by the same token, I just need you all to know that Puzzle Link was also lacking anything new or interesting. It was twee and tried to be more interesting than it truly was. It hid itself behind its ‘cards’ or ‘friends’ or whatever it was it had… and yet that feeling of accomplishment – that fleeting feeling that there was a real reason to be here… having a life with this person – it wasn’t a memory. It was a giant lie. It was all one big giant lie.
And here I am. Standing here at the end of the lies and the deceit and the trickery… and I was still here. My life was back to how it was before. Yes, those moments on that one holiday which we shared so beautifully together, I can never truly forget them. They will always remain special to me.
But everything else has been shaded by bitterness and dulled by boredom and repetition. It couldn’t really offer me anything else.
Puzzle Link was a holiday romance that I will never forget.
But a relationship and experience I would sincerely prefer not to.