Individual Work
(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors

"(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors" is a short Flash experience created by Gregory Weir and published in 2008 by Future Proof Games. It places the player in control of a tentacled undersea monstrosity, who they have somehow come to inhabit through a dream. As the monster, the player must learn to interact with the humans going about their business on the ocean's surface, being able to choose between friendly and cruel options. Players can help, kill, or merely toy with the humans they encounter, leading to one of six possible endings depending on the choices they make.

Players are greeted with a small window into the monster's world, depicting the shoreline, the sky, the ocean, and the monster character beneath its surface. The monster itself is a large black blob with three bloodshot red eyes that follow the cursor around and one giant, curled tentacle. As the title suggests, the game focuses on the bright colors that the monster grows to love through its interaction with the upper world, with a diverse palette of gaudy colors, in stark contrast to the monster's near-monochrome look. The game's sound design is simple and to the point, with the background sloshing of waves replacing the need for music. Certain elements of the game do make noise, such as boat and plane engines, explosive devices, and the monster itself if it is hurt. These sounds are un-elaborate and perfectly literal.

There is one method of control in "The Majesty of Colors," and that is the mouse. Players move the cursor around the window and, with a click, cause the monster's tentacle to unfurl to a specific point. Clicking on certain elements, holding the cursor, and dragging the mouse around will cause the monster to pick those elements up and move them around. For instance, the monster may pick up a human, and can either deliver them to safety, drown them by holding them underwater for an extended period, or just drop them in the water, where they swim in a panic.

While "The Majesty of Colors" is a simple, brief experience, there is some meaning to be found within it. The monster character acts as a sort of anti-Lovecraftian counterpoint to the nihilistic, classical view of monsters, given that the player can choose a kind, innocent interpretation of the monster if they wish to do so. "The Majesty of Colors" is most accomplished in this respect - it allows the player a choice in an absurd situation, giving them control over the narrative, however short it may be. Its haunting qualities (described by the creators as "pixel-horror") juxtaposed with its cheerful colors gives it a feel that lends it some staying power in the world of short online experiences. It represents the best of the 2000s era of Flash games, showing the polish and nuance these experiences could be capable of if handled with care.

Author statement: 
“(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors” is a pixel-horror game that puts the player behind the tentacles of a titanic, writhing sea creature. It’s a tale of love, loss, and balloons with five different endings. Will you befriend the humans or fight them? The choice is up to you.