well, i’ve always really liked the background in xevious, with its quilt of ambiguous greenery and little walking paths, bodies of water. as a kid i’d feel kind of let-down by shooters with inviting background graphics you couldn’t “Go down” into, and explore- a weird hang-up to have about a game really! in practice i guess it was just a matter of whether the terrain has collision in some form, whether you can direct the motion of the camera- but without this technical understanding the imagination i had of it seemed more like the difference really is whether I’m “only ever seeing the world from a plane”. i can’t go down and touch it and wander around and grind my little guy against some rock faces. i just glide by on a fixed track watching it go by, not even the pilot as much as a passenger laying on the car seat rotating my head back and forth, the plane staying in place but moving in vision. mysterious orbs and enemy bases go by, there is a nice lake with some hiking trails, there is a clearing, a beach, it all blends together after awhile but it suggests all these other places you could be.
it might be interesting to imagine going down and walking the forest trails, but at this point i do have more appreciation for gliding past things as its own end, not really getting to know any of them that intimately but knowing it must be out there, have its own weird edges if you really got to know it, but you probably won’t get to ever know any of them in much specific detail- i don’t really know what “Planet Xevious” is or how it differs from other countless sci-fi shooter settings, but it apparently does have some very nice national parks, which i will always think of.
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