The Zen of Tempest
Grokking the zen of Tempest
it's like life
achieve laminar shot flow, rhythmic, constant, flow, steady. Breaks
rhythm, uncool, gaps in the pure sweet flow of electric death that keeps them off of you
the ebb and flow of your life's goals and performance as the levelmax keeps bobbing up and down
you're on top of the heap one moment, able to start at 26 with no sweat, then a string of bad starts and unexplainable lapses knocks you back, and suddenly it wants to suck up your quarter only to laugh and give you level 9 and watch with giggling certainty of your loss as you claw your way back up in a onestepforwardtwostepsback sort of wave
reaching level 11, the flat one, then moving up further in two or three-level increments unil the red levels start and the damn web starts vanishing under you, splitting the columns to shatter your player icon in fragments of yellow linear hail while the machine laughs at you in electronic sizzling and sounds of destruction. Learning the new levels, teaching your hands and eyes the new flow patterns, seeing the yellow squiggles in your peripheral vision before they can flex and fuck you up into a whole new reality
learn to slide across the top of the squiggle lines and rain hot death down upon them, hear them crackling as they vanish and leave the columns pure and ready to go, to take your fire, to hold you as you dance about the top. Then
change, linebuilders, columns of interference that at first hide the squiggles from your fire, leaving them to sneakily begin to ascend up columns of safety built by their brethren, and you can't keep all the columns down, they grow like weeds to fast too fast too fast, and if you try to beat them all back you'll only get the tops and then while you're wavering indecisively at the top a yellow ray of doom will jump out at you from down within a column where your fire can't get to it, and then boom its all over and you're banished back to the realm of blue there to unlearn all your new reflexes but only for a level or so and then its back to red, watching as the columns build towards you. Learn, learn, learn; learn that the columns mean safety because they smooth out your fire stream; move it towards laminar flow, erasing the gaps and deadly holes, so that after reducing a column to the other end of the matrix the fire pours out in a stream so smooth that the enemy can't flip over on top of you during a gap in the fire pattern. You can only have so many shots in the web at once, and smooth is the name of the game; smooth to minimize your vulnerable points, and to make the windows of flip opportunity as small as possible for the raft of enemies which seek to crush, burn, shatter or mutilate you, to pull you down into the web
where no superzap can save you, watch your icon disappear into the depths at an unbelievable rate and only then realize that you have none left and swear and reach into your pocket full of quarters and feed it one and watch as the machine laughs and sucks you back in again.
Flip it, smooth it, laminarize it, start again, circle, flow, dance.