When your city’s appearance is enhanced by the addition of such things as spider webs, projectile vomit, and a giant, burning straw man, it’s quite possible that you have an image problem. Such is life for the inhabitants of Thayd, capital city of the Exiles, whose scrappy scrappers have established their base camp in what can only be described as an extended scrapyard. The fortnight-length presence of Drusera’s presumed cousin-in-leg-wraps, Angel, is a subtle reminder that working-class individuals view pants as an unnecessary extravagance that are therefore best ritually incinerated at the nearest tower-sized effigy to appease the wicked whims of that naughty rapscallion Jack Shade.
It should come as no surprise that our Nexian curators needed only the weakest of excuses to turn the dial on Tales from the Fringe up to 11. The end of October and any remaining vestiges of summer’s hazy heat have given way to the leafy winds of the now frightfully decorated Arborian Gardens in the capital city’s southwest corner. What is normally a lush, thriving, cheerful forest has been draped with a gown of night-time stars and sprinkled with strangely illuminating will-o’-whims whose otherworldly glow is reflected in the eerily peaceful waters of the transplanted biome’s central pond.
The festivities on offer allow revelers to accouter and decorate themselves and their rocket homes to their hearts’ content. Collecting floating shinies has the effect of making one glow a ghoulish purple-pink for a while; burning effigies and frightening party-goers are appropriate warm-up activities for farming tricksy treats from your neighbors’ sky-acreage.
Shade’s Eve brings just the right amount of whimsy and levity to themes which at any other time of the year would be positively ghastly. The adorable shadelings that appear in the cleverly named Quiet Downs event are not quite jump-scary enough to make Dook Ookem ook his dookers, but do sufficiently terrorize those who are going for a Gold run with all of the “optionals” intact in a Monty-Python-meets-rabbit sort of way. Succumbing to the fangs of a shadeling – whether due to failure to sprint and/or dodge quickly enough, being caught in one of the numerous foot clamps, or having had one’s sense of direction “adjusted” by the plentiful noxious mushrooms in the area – results in immediate transport into a rather more sinister and sedate black-and-white version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s “Toon Town” inhabited by miniature, mobile marshmallows. Consuming a Primal Echo, which is a fancy way of referring to a rather nondescript human female in nothing more than a t-shirt and shorts, allows one to resume their usual corporeal form and once again stumble along in the spooky darkness of the forest with only a flashlight and ambient death spirits to guide them.
Halloween tourists would do well to stop for a drink or two during Shade’s Eve. Among the panoply of MMO jack-o’-lantern carvings on offer, WildStar is the banana-double-fisting monkey bouncing off all the trees in the forest who puts the ook in spook.