Don't read if you have no interest in contributing to this wiki. (Tumblr joke)
Hello there, Tumblr references aside, I'd just like to speak towards those whom it may concern. So if you're indifferent about the whole helping of the wiki community, then that's fine by me. No pressure or anything, this site isn't an economy with working employees with salaries. If you honestly don't care or are too lazy to give a damn about any of this stuff, then you don't have to respond to what I'm about to share. So anyway, the message below is directed to whom it may concern:
So for quite a while Nitrome has been implementing more and more diverse and thoughtful gameplay mechanics. However, this really makes it hard for us to organize things more recently as it really blurs the line between one thing and the other. (This is in no way the fault of the game developers, it's not their fault for coming up with creative ideas after all.)
For instance, the slimes from Flue . They're obviously enemies. Or not, according to NOBODY because he says that the slimes have no health and thus are invulnerable so they act as a hazard. Now let me just get this out of the way, all enemies are hazards, it's just that enemies are more sentient and/or are individuals whose purpose is to oppose the protagonists' advance. The slimes are actually antibodies, or red leukocytes (Red white blood cells.) and they have teeth. They are clearly beings of sentience because of their teeth, right?
But since the slimes move in a specific predictable order, they are arguably just cogs in a clockwork. But the only reason why we can't seem to parallel slimes from Flue with the spikes from Flue is because slimes have the features of an actual creature with interior motives. Though arguing that they're simply cells in the body that are made of a bunch of chemical reactions would make it so that we should also believe that Blue from the Test Subject series isn't a character. Then we'd also start saying whether AI robots from Final Ninja are living or non living things which we would use to distinguish whether they are hazards or enemies, we'd just end up with an existential crisis after that! So no, let's not do that.
Crumbling blocks , are interactive objects in some cases. Such as Cave Chaos 2 where you must get rid of them to proceed. However in Frost Bite , they serve more of a hazard. Now if you get hit in the face by a basketball, is the basketball automatically a hazard? No, but it did inflict you damage. But was it the intention though?
Then how about wind from Lockehorn ? The wind is labeled as a hazard, (though the page doesn't even exist yet) but the wind itself doesn't inflict damage on the protagonist, it just puts them in harm's way. If wind isn't an enemy because it's not sentient, and it's not an interactive object because it isn't interact-able at all, then what is it – some background annoyance? What kind of category is that?
How about Barricadebots from Chisel 2 ? The don't inflict any damage towards Chiseler directly nor indirectly and they are indestructible. What they do however is prevent the player from advancing. Not through means of endangering them, but just simply preventing them. Similar to the black cats from In the Doghouse . They don't really harm the dog , they just stop him. The pink lasers from Flipside, they don't kill you, but they do delay you from winning the race. How about Pushy from the Cave Chaos games? Pushy doesn't harm the miners, they just push against them. (though they do push you off the edge).
But what about an enemy that takes no health away from the player, but just stuns them? Like the Mystical flying fish from The Bucket. The fish can't be killed, it has no health, so if it hits a hazard, it's still fine. The raccoon however can be killed.
Now one thing that I think a hazard should strictly be is an object that is especially used or set up to inflict damage to the protagonist or to hinder them from making any further progress by putting them in danger. A hazard isn't sentient or is directly being controlled by sentience, that's called a weapon. An automated weapon, on the other hand, would be a hazard.
If an area of the floor in your house is crumbly and might break if you step on it, is it a hazard? No! It wasn't set there on purpose, it just happened. If the floor was intentionally damaged, then that would be called a trap. See the difference? A trap is an object set up by intelligent life forms in order to damage others. What if it's a general sending his soldiers to war? That's an example of intelligence setting up a hazard, right? So are the soldiers hazards or enemies?
You see, this isn't really all black and white. One thing could easily be considered another while still remaining in its current form. Leukocytes may not be sentient due to them just being chemical reactions leading one thing to another, but can't we say the same thing about us too? What about the Detection Proton Canons from the Test Subject series? They're clearly intelligent, immovable, harmful, but can also be destroyed. What are they, hazards or enemies? Imagine a robot that once freely moved around on its own then was stripped of that ability and replaced with a gun. They are now immobile turrets who were once to be considered an enemy. It still has the same AI, but in a different body.
So if a hazard can think on its own but is restricted by its immobility, are they more of a buzz saw or a killer robot? The slimes are clearly sentient-looking due to how they move and look. But if they're possibly being controlled by exterior force, then are they enemies or hazards?
What about something more recent? The Auto-winch from Beneath The Lighthouse. Nitrome themselves stated that the Auto-winch is a “trap”. However they aren't really harmful on their own. The most obvious examples that first come to mind are the Auto-winch levels that have the retractable spikes. The Auto-winch doesn't even always appear while a hazard is present. Some levels have the winch with the retractable spikes, others have normal spikes, there are even levels that have no spikes at all. Heck, the retractable spikes don't even always appear with the Auto-winch! Similar to the wind in most games. It doesn't directly inflict harm on the protagonist, but it may move them in position where they are endangered or sometimes they can further help the player advance. I think saying the auto-winch is a hazard is like saying gravity is a hazard while you're falling off a cliff. But gravity isn't hazardous without the cliff.
So why is this important? Well just think about how many unfriendly arguments these problems have spawned. Remember when the people were rambling over what is or isn't by using hurtful words against each other? That's just ridiculous. These philosophical examples are not just for rambling but you you to realize how things aren't really that simple even if we want them to be.
Even if at the end of the day “it's just a video game”, at least you realize that things aren't simply one thing or the other. You could even say that taking all this info into consideration would just over complicate things here, and I agree. But really, it's the thought that counts. We can't just say that I am 100% the good guy or the bad guy. Same as how a thing isn't always 100% an enemy or a hazard or an interactive object.
I only have one suggestion that I DO NOT want you guys to get worked up on. Arguments are good, but long arguments about wiki rules aren't really our strongest point, and isn't even worth it questioning a broad community about a decision. It only really ends up never getting through most of the time usually due to the length of an argument discouraging people from making it even longer so hey just stop talking about it, ultimately achieving nothing.
So I'm not gonna state a suggestion for the wiki, I'm just gonna announce my future actions with or without approval from the perspective of the community as a whole. Because really, the community isn't even a whole.
I'm going to start adding a Miscellaneous category made especially for those ambiguous objects from Nitrome games. I will only add objects to “Miscellaneous” that don't seem to fit in a specific category. Meaning Auto-winch will be added there. I will also search for other things that fit the same description as miscellaneous if I ever come across an article with a misleading label.
If you want to play along, then that's fine, but I'm not asking anyone to do this alongside me. If you're worried that I'm doing an act of vandalism, then don't worry. I won't do anything drastic like turn everything into Miscellaneous. And if you disagree with this, then reread my blog post and consider the points I make and see why I disagree with you.
Oh and also, why don't we make articles of locations anymore? We're being so inconsistent. So please guys, don't just delete my articles for being different. You guys wrote once articles like that too, and they were great and informative.