Of Helicopters & Dragons
On the next day of my vacation, I relaxed at the hotel but I intended to make the most of my last day and a half. On the morning of my third day, I booked a trip to the Bamboo Forest, which set me back §300 and a helicopter was sent for me. While I was on this tour, I was fortunate enough to stumble across a map to the mysteriously named Pagoda in the Shadows.
Upon my return, the helicopter hadn't even taken off again before I was away on foot following the map to find out where it led. Not surprisingly, it led me to a pagoda where there was a meditating old mystic with balding head and a wispy beard who welcomed me with the cryptic words "Seeing is not knowing". Perhaps I was not focussing properly but the first thing I wanted to do was make some tea.
I was thirsty and in the centre of the pagoda was all of the necessary paraphernalia to make tea but not a single bag of Tetley's in sight. I was thirsty and expected that the mystic would be thirsty as well so I served him up a cup of tea as well. He seemed pleased that I did and said I had considered it to be the first step.
After drinking a few cups of tea together, I bowed to him and we had a game of catch. After a while, he then told me I possessed the charm and panache necessary to hear the legend. Then he proceeded to tell me an ancient fable of a princess whose lands were under attack from bandits, she then called upon the spirit of a mystical dragon who came to her aid, defeated the bandits and helped restore order in the lands. I was captivated. He really brought the story to life. It was as if I could see the princess, the city, the bandits and the dragon. After the conclusion of the story, he presented me with a scroll and with instructions to pass the legend on. With that, there was a puff of smoke and he vanished and I was left alone at the pagoda.
The Pagoda in the Shadows is Takemizu Village's hidden location and provides the successful visitor who makes the mystic a cup of tea with a scroll so he can tell the dragon's legend to people he or she meets. When the mystic was telling the tale, his words (or icons) were animated. Actual movement instead of just bubbles popping up from time to time. Personally, I am very impressed with this reward. Even I was entranced by it.
Finding a map to find this secret location can be done by a reward from a successful trip or from digging for treasure. Heather Miller could find this place if she did come to Takemizu at a future date as she managed to dig one up back in Pleasantview. Hidden locations are only found in the default resorts. If someone built their own custom resort, it would not be possible to build a hidden location of such a nature.
Relaxing, Learning & Touring
There was more for me to see and do by the time my vacation came to an end and I wanted to do as much as I could. I walked from my hotel to Takemizu Springs. There were hot springs here and it was very relaxing having a soak in them. However, I was most interested in learning a new skill.
There were two masseurs on duty and they could offer me Swedish or Acupressure Massages for §100. For §500, I could receive and be taught an Acupressure Massage. I opted to pay the extra. This was now a skill that I could use at home if I was interested in taking up a career as a masseur. As I was not working, it was an avenue I could pursue if I had enough funds upon my return.
Feeling refreshed and full of life, I took a final tour. This time, it was a walking tour through historical (off-screen) locations. Instead of the minibus or helicopter, this time I was picked up by a red bus. The trip was not too successful. Looking for the lost guide in the market is not a good idea. Trust me.
Somewhat disappointed with my final tour but still feeling wide awake, I chose to use my last night to carry out two final quests.
Learning to massage someone can be a useful skill to have. Every resort, if you look in the right place, has masseurs and there is a unique style to each resort. In Takemizu Village and other Far East Resorts, Acupressure is the specialised style. Those who do not travel and learn from other masseurs can only apply Swedish Massage.
Receiving a massage costs §100 whereas learning the local style costs §500, which is value for money if you intend to make a living from it or impress your friends.
The Final Quests
My time was running out and there were several things that I wanted to learn before I returned to Simville. The first one was to learn Tai Chi and I had seen several people practising it around the different parts of the resort. The other was to learn how to teleport from one of the swiftly moving mystical ninja. Rumour had it that there was one about these parts.
Walking quickly from one resort to another, I found a girl practising Tai Chi. I immediately tried to join her and copy her moves. However, by the time that I had reached her, she had stopped practising Tai Chi and was going about her business.
Then as fortune would have it, a ninja suddenly materialised not far from me. Clad in buff-coloured robes and looking more like a Power Ranger than the traditional image of a ninja that was presented in Kabuki plays, I quickly asked him if he would teach me. He presented me with a riddle about which came first, the ninja or the sword. I thought logically although a voice inside me told me to throw my thoughts away and use gut instincts. I did not heed the voice, I answered incorrectly, the ninja informed me that I was not worthy and vanished in another puff of smoke.
Time was running out. I was tired and my vacation was due to come to an end in the morning. I had to resign myself to the fact that I was not going to do everything in one trip that I had thought that I could. In the Immortal Zen Gardens, I drank tea with some fellow tourists and talked about our vacation before we returned to our hotels.
There are three different dance styles in the resorts. In the Far East Resort, Tai Chi is the main exercise/dance style. In the Mountains, it was the Leg Slapping Dance, which Marc was disappointed he had not learnt in the same way that Toshiro is disappointed he has not learnt. In order to learn them, you need to click on someone practising it and ask to join. Through joining in, you learn how to do it.
The Ninja is another mystical part of this resort and teaches the skill of teleportation. Very useful if a sim has to get quickly from one place to another. He appears apparently randomly at different places. His "chicken or egg" riddle has one answer and it wasn't the one that I put. You don't get a second chance at the same place.
Written at 22:35 on Saturday 8 September 2007 by
Complete Editorials Listing