What happens when you combine narration, gameplay, and a beautiful voice? You get one of the best levels in a phenomenal XBLA game.  

You download a game called Bastion for your 360. You pick up your controller and play as the character The Kid. He is full of life. It’s funny because The Kid ain’t much for words, but The Narrator by the name of Rucks keeps the story moving without missing a beat. You enjoy the game, for it is rich and unique. Even the scumbags don’t seem to bother you as you explore a world filled with wonder. Then you come to a place called Prosper Bluff and suddenly life in the wasteland gets a little sweet. 

Prosper Bluff use to be a beautiful destination to visit before the world fell apart, but what makes it special is everything you start hearing as you walk. As you make your way through the level taking out peckers and activating switches, Rucks explains what the once-peaceful vista was like. Out of the blue he begins to hear something he hasn’t heard in a long time; singing. 

The singer hums along as you continue through the level. With a cue from Rucks, you are graced with a lovely melody as a decaying world rebuilds around you.  It is a somber tune about the singer’s people who were shunned to the outskirts of the land and divided by a giant wall. As you grow closer, the song becomes more vivid and eventually it becomes clear the song is hinting at events that led to the great calamity.

At the end of what remains of Prosper Bluff you find a young maiden by the name of Zia, an Ura survivor with a voice of gold. When you first encounter her you stand quietly there for a few minutes soaking it all in before returning back to the Bastion.

You lean back into your couch and forget about the world outside. Even though you had things to do and places to go, time stands still. You feel the need to continue the game, or at least keep going to save your progress. In the end, it’s futile, for neither you nor The Kid can bring yourself to interrupt that girl. I guess the calamity has that effect on people. Too bad the world is still in ruins when you come back. 

The Encounter 

Just the song