Updated: Jan 3, 2019
DISCLAIMER: This story will have graphic imagery. If you are squeamish, I highly recommend not reading any further.
I was still pretty shook up from the last level when I started "Trance". Trance's map music did nothing to ease the tension. As for how to describe it... have you ever heard the theme from Videodrome? That's the closest thing I can think of to compare it to.
I checked to see who the new monster was, and it was Orga. A monster who didn't make his film debut until 1999, appearing in a game made in 1988. So much for my theories for Titanosaurus and Biollante. There's no way this game was in 1988!
Those guys at Toho may be smart, but I'm sure they couldn't see that far into the future. If they could, they never would have gave Roland Emmerich the rights to make a Godzilla movie.
No, this had to be a hack of some kind. Which just opened up even more questions. Who made this hack? When? How? And most importantly, why? The "why?" was the question that bothered me most.
My immediate assumption was to think Billy did this to pull a joke on me. But that couldn't be right either. Billy didn't know how to make a ROM hack.
And if he did, he'd probably just do something simple and stupid, like replacing the monsters with crudely drawn genitalia. Unless Billy had amazing game editing skills, and a serious dark streak to his imagination that he never told me about, he couldn't have made this. Is it even possible to put a hacked ROM on a cartridge?
Aside from all of that, my eye was drawn to a new icon on the map: a question mark. I was really curious as to what it did.
I'm sure you're also curious, so I'll explain the "Quiz levels" now, since this was when they start appearing. There was one of these per map from here on, and they always appeared near the start of the map.
When you start a quiz level, you appear on a screen like this:
As you can see, there's a question at the top, a "yes" or "no" button, and a emoticon near the center. I refer to the emoticon as "Face" (Real creative, I know), and for convenience, I'll refer to Face as the one asking the questions.
The music for the quiz levels was a track actually in the game. It's the one that plays when you try to use the "Gh1d0ra" cheat and get sent to an unplayable level.
Face asks you twelve "Yes or No" questions and you move your monster to the buttons for your answer. When you answer, the question disappears and Face changes expressions for about eight seconds, then he goes back to neutral and a new question comes up. There was no time limit, nor any wrong answers.
Face has no respect for the player's personal boundaries, and will sometimes ask deeply disturbing and personal questions. For example: (Do you like hurting people?) (Have you ever killed/raped anyone?) (Have you been molested by a family member?)
Other times he would ask questions that were mind-numbingly stupid (Is the Sun hot?) (Is water wet?) or just flat out ridiculous (Does your dog like the President?) and maybe once per quiz, Face would ask you a question about the game.
With one exception, Face's expression changes seem to have no effect on the game, except for indicating what the game creator thought of your answer. His reactions rarely made any sense, and at first I thought they were randomly generated.