The Diary of Dr. Kick:
Mysterious Stone Archaeologist
Carrie & I are in the habit now of visiting garage sales, yard sales, and estate sales (see my article on how to run one of those). It was during a recent rummaging through an estate sale that I came upong a seemingly innocuous book. Imagine my surprise at the fascinating (and at times alarmingly racist) tale of supernatural adventure I found contained therein.
I have transcribed the text verbatim and present it to you now:
22 June 1984:
I've decided to keep a diary of my travails, so that should I fail in my endeavors, those who follow in my footsteps might be able to avoid whatsoever pitfall claimed me.
23 June 1984:
My day started out well enough. I hopped on a quick flight to the Andes in South America.
My pilot managed to land our plane within 30 feet of a thousand-foot cliff! After chiding him for his recklesness I placed onto my shoulder my constant bluebird companion, and stepped out onto the grass with thoughts of finding Mysterious Stones and being "in adventure."
Certainly the prospects for finding Mysterious Stones in this random section of the Andes was high, as already the ground was littered with jewels of some sort. They were laid out in a curiously geometric pattern that meant no doubt some degenerate native tribe had placed them deliberately. I would have to collect some for further, later study.
But first things first, not knowing into what dangers I would be traipsing, I commenced a warming-up exercise that consisted of vigorously kicking the air in front of me.
Considering that my name is Dr. Kick, from a young age I endeavored to live up to the activity thusly implied, and adopted a rigorous regimen of daily kicking so that I un-boastfully sport one of the best kicking legs this side of professional soccer players.
Confident now that I would be able to face any ahead danger, I noticed a helpful blinking arrow on the ground. My expertise in archaeology told me that such arrows usually point towards mysterious stones.
Following the blinking arrows, I strode forcefully across an extraordinarily narrow wooden beam without ever once slowing down. Once across I was immediately faced with a heathen temple boasting not one, but four identical entrances, one of which was completely inacessible.
All three accessible entrances were marked with a sign that, even though written with the mongrel natives' degenerate heiroglyphics, strongly resembled the English word "up" with an arrow pointing up the sets of stairs. The blinking arrows at this point were no help to my archaeologist eyes; an equally-weighted arrow indicated that mysterious stones might be found beyond each of the three accesible entrances.
I ascended the steps of the entrance the farthest to my right, not knowing what godless, pagan rights had once been practiced within by the half-caste creatures native to the Andes. I passed through a long corridor whose aperture was roughly square, and was lined with still-burning torches that stretched forward into the preternatural darkness.
For how long had these torches been burning? Surely they had only recently been lit, and perhaps some ugly, misshapen tribe of Andes people had only recently been practicing their greusome rites just beyond.
I soon found myself in a vast chamber helpfully labeled in English as the "Life Room."
To my utter horror there were things moving within the brightly-lit chamber. Small orbish monstrosities scurried across the blue-tiled floor with sickening speed, and to my right I spied what was no doubt the effigy of what passed for a god to the low Andes people, with a sickly-yellow birdlike beak. Yet as I noticed it, it sprung seemingly to life and advanced forward.
Though stricken with a horror that would surely have driven most men to instant and irretrievable madness, my scientist's eyes noted an even more amazing site within the confines of the Life Room; the floor was littered with scores of egg-shaped mysterioius stones that in height rose nearly to the bottom of my sternum.
I drew my standard-issue archaeologist's pistol with its supply of infinite ammunition, and expertly fired off shots at the walking bird-god fetish (or idol, or whatever it may have been). It vanished as if it had never existed, making me at first question my eyes. Had it all been but an hallucination brought about by my imagination? The disgusting orbish things persisted in approaching me, and so I fired repeatedly at them until they, too, vanished upon impact with my pistol's bullets. Soon, however, the idol and the orb creatures reappeared as if they had never been gone. It would seem my pistol would only keep them at bay for short amounts of time; I could ill afford to remain stationary.
I approached the nearest mysterious stone. Who knows for how many centuries this carefully-carved and delicately decorated stone had sat undisturbed in this ancient temple? I swiftly applied standard archaeological research procedures to the mysterious stone post-haste: I gave it a mighty kick.
Not only did it crack as expected, but it flew forward with such ferocity that, upon striking the mysterious stone directly in its path, it cracked that stone and sent it flying into the mysterious stone directly in its path. A chain reaction of sorts occurred wherein each mysterious stone thusly struck would strike the next mysterious stone in the line and cause it to fly forward. This chain stretched across the entire chamber, until the final mysterious stone in the line struck the wall. But rather than shattering as one might expect, it rebounded and began anew the chain reaction in the opposite direction, leading directly back to me. The stone that I had initially kicked was thus at the end of this chain reaction, and once struck by the flying stone on its far side, it flew back towards me, landing half-cracked directly at the spot where I had initially dislodged it with my kick.
This is all, of course, exactly as my archaeological expertise predicted mysterious stones would behave.
Using my pistol to keep at bay the heathen evils prowling the chamber, I again kicked the mysterious stone at my feet and re-started the chain reaction. When this time the chain reaction brought the initial mysterious stone back to my feet, all mysterious stones in the line shattered completely open, revealing various decadent archaological treasures within them.
I continued my careful scrutiny of the room by kicking various lines of stones and cracking them open, collecting the treasures within. I noted at one point that one of the horrible orbish creatures strayed into the path of a moving stone and vanished as surely as if it had been struck with a bullet from my pistol. I vowed to be careful not to also stray into the path of a moving mysterious stone, else the impact would surely fling me helplessly into a far corner of the chamber!
A surprise did meet me upon the kicking of a certain mysterious stone: not only did it halfway crack, but it began flashing various colours. Intrigued, I kicked it for a second time and it shattered as expected. But I was unprepared for the noxious, formless vapor that arose from the ruins of the mysterious stone. Rather than dissipate into the atmosphere as most vapors should, it coalesced into a hideous mockery of a humanoid form, with a wide, seemingly-grinning maw and terrifyingly glowing eyes.
Suppressing my instant urge to go utterly mad, I drew my unending pistol and fired blindly at the bloodcurdling apparition. Fortune favored me at that moment, for a bullet pierced the non-corporeal demon. It flashed a furious red and at that moment I noticed that it carried some kind of key, which it dropped as it vanished.
Instantly the massive stone slabs in the north, west, and east walls raised up. There appeared at each entrance now a flashing arrow, with the promise of more mysterious stones deeper within the pagan temple. Surely I had seen enough to already drive the heartiest mind to the point of irretrievable madness! And yet something deep within me stirred, and I felt such unending curiosity as I had never before felt. I knew that I had come too far to turn back now; evading the monstrosities still prowling the Life Room, I stepped into the tunnel revealed behind the western slab.
The tunnel curved so that I emerged from the northern entrance to a room helpfully labeled "Religion Room." But what heathen, godless, uncultured religion could this be? For strewn around the room were a myriad of bones, no doubt of god-fearing Christians such as myself, sacrificed by the low-born natives for the pleasure of who knows what fearsome devil?
A heavy stone slab crashed down behind me, sealing me into the room. As I watched, the skulls of some of these remains grew in size so as to come nearly to my waist, and began to bounce about the floor as if possessed!
Had I my wits about me, I would now have been rendered a sensless, gibbering shell of a man. Yet the nonstop series of macabre horrors that had already paraded themselves before my eyes had served to somewhat desensitize me to this newest depravity. Seeing that this room was completely devoid of mysterious stones, I took it upon myself to keep the gibbering skulls at bay with my pistol while proceeding to kick open the chests scattered about the room. Being simply regular chests and not mysterious stones, they did not fly across the room at the touch of my boot, but did shatter utterly after two sharp blows from my heel.
I was fortunate to find that by remaining relatively still near the low wall at the south of the chamber I could remain veritably hidden from the undending stream of skulls that generated in the pit of human remains just on the other side of the wall. Thusly shielded I could use my pistol to easily pick them off.
Much to my surprise one of the chests, upon being kicked open, revealed an exact duplicate of the key-bearing spectral monstrosity that had first plagued me in the Life Room!
Weilding my archaeology pistol, I once again disposed of the vile gaseous form, and the released key once again caused all of the giant stone slabs to slam violently upwards. Keeping a wary eye on the hordes of skulls, I made my way to one of the exits and down another squarish hallway. I found myself in a room labeled rather un-helpfully as "??? Room."
Inside this sickly-purple room I once again found myself hunted by an animated pagan bird-idol and a pair of orbish monstrosities. But surely a room labeled by triplet query marks wouldst be full of many mysteries, I thought to myself. And, indeed, the ??? Room did not disappoint its moniker, as when I once again found in the course of my kicking of mysterious stones a particular specimen that flashed in a way identical to the mysterious stone in the Life Room that had released the noxious ghost. Upon shattering this one with two sharp blows, though, a devlish ghost did not emerge. Quite the opposite, in fact.
As though my prayers to the one true God had been answered, a curiously glowing being with the outlines of what classical minds had long considered to be an angelic form sprang forth from the ruins of the mysterious stone. The idol to false and loathsome gods found itself frozen in abject terror. So, too, did the orbish creatures, due no doubt to the diabolical nature of their very existence. I found that I was free to shatter mysterious stones to my heart's content as the vile evil in the ??? Room had been rendered completely powerless against the might of Almighty God. In short order I discovered another flashing mysterious stone and shattered it open, pistol at the ready to dispatch the key-guarding ghost therein. As the slabs opened into unknown chambers of depravity, I could not help but feel regret and fear in having to leave the beatific presence of my angelic guardian. But further into the temple I must venture, and the angel made no motion to exit the ??? Room with me.
I passed through a "Science Room" with little incident. I found I had become quite adept at evading bird idols and orbish creatures while smashing mysterious stones in search of their valued treasure as well as each room's resident spiritual keymaster.
It was at some point around this juncture in time that I discovered my brave bluebird companion would periodically (and seemingly randomly) leave its perch upon my shoulder and as if in a frenzy fly about the chamber attacking the menacing terrors therein. After a few moments it would always return to my shoulder unharmed, but its scant moments of activity had served to distract my enemies so that my work of creating chain reactions of shattering mysterious stones could go unmolested for a precious few seconds.
Upon escape from the Science Room I found myself in the bluish "Education Room." What horros had been fed into the mongrel tribal children in this place where only the Devil's ideas took hold I dared not imagine, and went to my work of shooting the bird idol and orbish creatures and kicking chain reactions of mysterious stones into rubble to reveal their treasures.
When another flashing mysterious stone my kickings revealed to me, it was with great haste that I didst shatter it to coax forth its contents, anticipating either another spirit or perhaps even another angelic aide. My surprise was beyond measure, however, when out of the mysterious stone leapt an incredibly small and old Oriental man.
Dressed in a simple, red, over-the shoulder garment and weilding a bluish staff, the man, who I could only presume had been preserved in some sort of ageless sleep within the mystical confines of the mysterious stone until my righteous boot had freed him, said nary a word to me, but with shockingly serene attitude made his way directly towards the advancing bird idol and proceeded to attack it with motions of surprising fluidity for a man of such obviously advanced age.
The animate bird idol, being caught unawares by this onslaught from my Asian benefactor, was too distracted by the assault to pay any heed to my activities. Keeping the simple-minded orbish creatures at bay, I quickly collected many mysterious stone treasures before finding another flashing mysterious stone.
Expecting another beneficial circumstance to spring forth from this flashing mysterious stone, I kicked it open with nary a thought to the consequence. It is with such hubris that many a great man has fallen to his doom. And indeed my doom did nearly open a metaphoric bottomless pit beneath me at that moment, for out from the mysterious stone carcas sprang not a benefactor, but the ultimate of all possible detractors: the grim reaper itself, the detractor of all life, rose from the mysterious stone.
Being of a scientific temperment from an early age, I had long ago dismissed as childish the notion of the personification of death. But even I, as steeped in realism as I was, found myself backing away in blind panic at the sight of the sickle-weilding nemesis, though only three feet tall he was. Was this truly the ultimate mean to the ultimate end? Was this ghastly, skeletal collector that all men saw in their final moments?
Firing my trusted pistol with the absolute accuracy of clarified terror, my trust proved unfounded as the bullets passed directly through the skeletal being, finding no flesh upon wich to strike. It approached me still, the vacant sockets in its skull-head filled with a more-than-imaginary sinister urge. I had but moments to steel myself for the final period at the end of my life's sentence when I was given momentary reprieve from an unexpected source. The small Oriental disengaged his attack from the bird idol and made with unerring aim directly for death's frightful figure! The two engaged in an epic struggle.
Perhaps, then, this was no ordinary Oriental. Perhaps this Chinaman was in actuality some sort of ancient spirit of defence, dimly conceived in superstitious villages in darkest Asia.
While the two titans clashed, I stumbled almost blindly upon the flashing mysterious stone that released the key guardian haunt. And a good thing, too! For in that instant, it seemed that the grim reaper triumphed ultimately over the Eastern mystic, for my would-be guardian vanished in a flash as if he had never been in the room at all. Death turned and moved immediately in my direction. In the few moments I had before that spectral sickle would sever my very soul from its corporeal shell, I somehow managed to fire off a round that punctured the key ghost and raised the stone slab behind me. I stumbled backwards through it and it slammed shut again. Death did not follow.
Wasting a few precious moments to slow my heart to a more acceptible rate, I proceeded down the squarish hall into the "Art Room." No such dramatic incidents occured therein as had occurred in the Education Room. I was able easily to evade the bird idol and requisite pair of orbs while collecting mysterious stone treasures until I did release the key guardian, only to dispatch him within an instant. As the stone slabs raised I ventured deeper still into the forbidden depths of the godless chambers.
When I emerged, I had found that I was at long last at my intended destination: the "Treasure Room" of the Andes Mountains.
Among a veritable sea of statues depicting some repulsive native face was a long table upon which three treasures of incalculable value sat as if awaiting my very arrival that day. Unfortunately the room was crawling with skulls of the same sort that had plagued me in the Religion Room previously. Carefully keeping them at bay with my pistol, lest one agile decapitated monstrosity slip up to me and cut short my excursion so close to success, I stepped up to the table and grasped in my hand what appeared to be a stone egg. To my shock the other two treasures on the table vanished instantly from sight!
I wasted no time pondering this, as the ever-persistant skulls were fast approaching, and upon my grasping of the treasure the stone slabs in the Treasure Room had raised up and the helpful flashing arrows beckoned me to flee. And flee I did. As I made my progression back thorugh the rooms I had previously visited, I discovered to my joy that all of the stone slabs were still in their raised positions, making my progress outward much more rapid than had been my progress inward.
With little incident I saw ahead of me glorious sunlight, and soon I was outside of the temple and within sight of my awaiting airplane.
After making my way over the narrow log bridge to where my airplane rested, I noticed figures moving on the opposite ridges. Due to their basically humanoid appearence, I at first mistook them for Andes natives. But upon closer inspection I discovered that some sort of breed of upright alligator or crocodile stalked the area in front of my plane!
Their glowing red eyes filled me with a nameless dread, but my pilot beckoned me quickly forward, and evading the snapping jaws of the monsters I boarded the plane and my pilot quickly took off, making good our escape.
24 June 1984:
The flight back to New York was uneventful, and allowed my addled mind to slowly recover its senses and my battered body to rest. At one point I nodded off, but quickly awakened with a start when I found my dreams filled with leering bird idols and snapping skulls, and a skeletal figure with a scythe.
Once my plane landed in New York I wasted scant seconds and made my way to a high-rise building filled with eagerly-awaiting members of the press, five of my scientific colleagues who were eager to identify whatsoever specimen I returned from my sojourn, and two drunken, red-nosed Irish police officers ostensibly there to keep anyone from stealing the artifact.
Strangely, my colleages conversed only in one of the Asiatic languages, perhaps Japanese. I was therefore wholly unable to understand their yammering. The only part of their entire conversation I understood, in point of fact, was when they simultaneously announced that they were awarding me 10,000,000 archaeology points! Such an archaeological honor was unheard of!
Emboldened by such recognition of my prestige, I swore that the very next day I would set forth and rescue some other priceless treasure from some other undeserving savages!
25 June 1984:
My plane left early in the morning. Its destination was that singularly dark and foreboding island in the sea known as Easter Island due to its discovery on the holiest day of the calendar year. What irony!
My pilot skillfully landed on a small plain littered with pots and statuary in the infamous "Easter Island Head" style. Also littered about were human skulls, no doubt the remains of horrible sacrafices to dark, heathen, blood gods. The presence of a blinking arrow, however, let me know that mysterious stones were no doubt nearby.
However, I had only traversed a scant handful of meters across the surface of the island when I was beset upon by the savage natives themselves!
Fearful that one of them might chuck a spear towards me, I sped towards the refuge of the dark, opened maw of an immense stone head towards which the blinking arrows were guiding me.
After crossing a squarish hallway I found myself inside a chamber filled with mysterious stones. It was very reminiscent of the type I had found in the distant Andes. It was helpfully labeled "Education Room."
What could explain such striking similarities in two temples so many thousands of miles distant from each other? Perhaps Satan himself had reached out to the dim-witted minds of the natives of both Easter Island and the Andes and instilled within them such visions that they independently created nearly identical temples in his unholy honour?
I could not ponder it at that moment, for stalking the Education Room were two tiny, legged versions of Easter Island Head statues, as well as a larger, legless one. I realized that for all intents and purposes the small statues behaved exactly as had the orbish monstrosities in the Andes temple, and the larger statue behaved exactly as the bird idol had. Thankfully my archaeology pistol could discorporate these monstrosities as easily as it could the monstrosities in the Andes.
Such striking similarities did not end there, for upon kicking several mysterious stones I found a flashing one, and breaking it open in fact released a key spirit of a type absolutely identical to those that had plagued the Andes temple! Before I could shoot it with my pistol I was attacked by the various mobile statues in the chamber and was occupied in evading them for many moments. When at last I could return my attention to the key spirit, I discovered to my horror that its non-corporeal form had slipped from the chamber! How was I to escape through the hallways without the key that caused them to be raised?
I was answered almost immediately when a massive earth tremor rocked the very foundation of the temple. The brickwork floor began to give way, and had I not my wits about me I surely would have tumbled into the glowing, featureless red nightmare below!
Fortunately, the earth trembler had also dislodged the heavy stone slabs blocking the tunnels, and I managed to make my way out of the chamber.
The earthquake almost immediately ceased and I wondered if it were not a coincidence.
I proceeded through many rooms with familiar names, usually plagued with the Easter Island Heads, although in some instances with animated skulls not unlike those found in the Religion Room in the Andes temple. From the moment of the earthquake on, I was very carefull to dispatch the key spirit as quickly as possible to avoid even the possibility of being entrapped within the island crypt I was exploring.
In the enigmatic "??? Room" I discovered a plethora of flashing mysterious stones, and discovered to my delight that one contained another angelic spirit, and another the spirit of that small Asian man. I also discovered to my horror that one mysterious stone released the haunting figure of death into the chamber.
The most shocking discovery, however, was when kicking open one of the flashing mysterious stones revealed what appeared to be a carved, painted representation of my own bearded face!
How could this be? Perhaps my cleansing of the hideous Andes temple had created such a disturbance in the unnatural energy of the place that its effects were felt here, across the ocean where the natives, no doubt attuned to the dark energies, had carved this effigy of their enemy and placed it within a mysterious stone? At any rate, upon picking this item up off of the floor I was filled with a most curious sensation of vitality, as if I could rise from the grave one more time than usually allotted.
At any rate, I continued to explore the temple, which offered up few new surprises apart from the "Art Room" wherein I discovered that hellish flames would spontaneously leap from the center of the room and encircle its perimeter for a few moments before dying down.
Eventually I found myself in Easter Island's treasure room and, evading the skulls found therein, I discovered three treasure identical in form to those I had found in the Andes. I snatched this time the treasure that resembled a glass of water. The other two treasures vanished utterly.
I quickly made my way out of the temple and evaded the rampaging savages to board my plane and escape.
26 June 1984:
I directed my pilot to fly me this time directly to Hong Kong, as my prestige in New York was already at its highest. Perhaps in the British outpost of Hong Kong I could spread my fame even further.
27 June 1984:
Upon arriving in Hong Kong I was immediately escorted to the remnants of the imperial palace and was given audience with what I can only assume was a high-ranking Chinese official. Though he, too, spoke only in an Asiatic language that sounded suspiciously Japanese and not Chinese in origin, I understood quite well when he awarded me another 10,000,000 archaeology points! Indeed, my fame as an archaeologist was now equal in both hemispheres of the world.
That night, though, my thoughts wandered back to the two treasure rooms from which I had rescued priceless artifacts. Had there not been a third treasure stationed on each treasure table? A treasure that was the very image of Hellfire? I knew then that my quest for treasure was not at an end, and decided to set forth the very next day to find another heathen temple.
28 June 1984:
My search brought me immediately to Egypt, home to countless unsavoury pagan gods. My pilot landed skillfully on the desert floor less than 100 meters from the entrances to three temples. A blinking arrow greeted my descent from the plane and I knew then that ysterious stones were ahead.
I was not openly attacked as I made my way towards the temples, but I did think I saw the sand moving in disturbing ways, as if large forms were wriggling hideously just beneath the surface grains.
Pushing the matter out of my head, I entered one of the three temples indicated by the flashing arrows and found inside many chambers filled with mysterious stones and heathen horrors almost identical to the temples I explored earlier in the week. Surely the similiarity of three such temples thousands of miles apart could not be happenstance. There was some sinister design behind them; some sinister, dark god controlling the degenerate natives of these god-forsaken lands to create almost-identical temples to its malign glory.
Instead of orbish creatures or miniature statues, within the Egyptian temple I was plagued by disembodied, giant eyeballs and a larger Egyptian idol. The course through this temple was difficult and complex. Having become perhaps complacent after conquering two other temples of this ilk, I tended to tarry in the rooms, collecting as much treasure from the mysterious stones as I could.
Time slipped away from me alarmingly quickly, so that before long it was nearly midnight! Strangely, I was alerted to this when the words "HURRY UP Dr." appeared in the room with me!
Having learned not to question benevolent interference in such a malevolent locale, I redoubled my effort to find the Treasure Room.
When at last I located it I made short work of the skulls therein and grabbed from the treasure table the final treasure: a painted carving of the fires of Hell.
I then quickly back-tracked my way out of the hellish temple and crossed the decaying sands to my waiting airplane, in which I made good my escape.
This time I was certain I saw the sands move in four different locations, and as the plane rose into the night sky I looked back. Through the gloom I could swear I saw a bandaged mummy rise from the sands for only a moment before sinking back below the ground. I shivered a little thinking of what horrible fate might have awaited me had I strayed too close to the shifting sands.
29 June 1984:
I directed my pilot to return to New York, as I had had enough of dangerous exotic locales and felt an almost childish need to return to the safety of actual civilization.
30 June 1984:
My inexplicably Japanese-speaking colleagues again awarded me 10,000,000 archaeology points for my exquisite find. Yet that night I had a troubling dream:
As if in a vision I saw a room wherein three dreadful statues rested, each one of them carved in the manner of each of the three temples I had visited during the preceeding week.
In front of each of the statues appeared the treasure I had collected in the corresponding dungeon. Then strange words filled the room. I shall try to recreate them as best I can recall them, though much of the text appeared to be in Japanese:
Upon awaking I was haunted by the fact that the part of my mind that produced the dream had given me zero combination points, and then entreated me to "TRY AGAIN!!!" My colleagues had given me a total of 30,000,000 points, yet in my dream I received zero combination points. Why would I need to try again?
I felt a strange, lingering presence, as if the dream had not come from my subconscience at all, but from some other intelligence trying to tell me that I had done something wrong. Then it struck me: there were three treasures at each temple, and upon touching one the other two had vanished. What if I had retreived the incorrect treasure from each temple? Surely there was a correct sequence of treasures that would allow me to receive these elusive combination points!
Tomorrow I will heed my dream's plea to "TRY AGAIN" and fly once more to the Andes, and after that Easter Island and Egypt. I know into what horrors I am leaping, for I have leapt thrice already. I leave this journal behind in case I should not return from this dangerous holiday into sinister, godless darkness.
And there the diary ended with many pages left unwritten. Did Dr. Kick succeed in retreiving the correct combination of treasures from the three temples? If so, why did he not continue his tale in this diary? Perhaps he merely started another diary during his travels. Or, perhaps, he met some grisly fate in the bowels of some hideous temple.
Surely some records of these events (other than this diary) must exist, for although he was horribly racist, Dr. Kick's diary claims he did receive 30,000,000 archaology points from his colleagues.
I know not the answer, for all research into Dr. Kick brings no result. It is as if the man never even existed!
And yet, last night, I had a strange dream wherein I saw three statue heads representing three different temples...
"Mysterious Stones" is a fascinating video game. It takes the basic gameplay from the classic "Eggs" and "Scrambled Eggs" arcade games and wraps it in an Indiana Jones style adventure story. Out of context of the Eggs series of games, the play control makes no sense; an archaeologist kicking lines of ricocheting stones around in order to crack them open!
At times it is also a frustratingly difficult game. The fact that your character is two sprites high and the pistol is only in the topmost sprite makes it at times impossible to shoot the smaller enemies! And the sheer bizarreness of the gameplay is enough to throw off most people upon their first play-through.
If they stick with it, though, they'll find a game that is surprisingly rewarding. I still haven't found the correct combination of treasure to get the Combination Points bonus at the end of the game. I did discover, though, that if you collect the same treasure from two different temples then you get kind of chewed out by whomever you present the treasure to: