The sun was as bright as it ever was in Tribalstack Tropics, not that Yooka noticed. He was focused, determined to leave no stone unturned, leave no nook un-crannied and no crannies un-nooked. Today was the day, just like yesterday was the day, and the day before that… And the day before that. But today was different, Yooka could taste it in the air, feel it in his bones, today WAS the day.

“Can we just give up and go home!? You’re never going to find it! We’ve been here for days!” Laylee moaned, nestled in Yooka’s crest. Yooka ignored her, his eyes scanning the horizon for that tell tale glimmer that would yield their prize. Our heroes weren’t chasing Pagies this morn, no their quarry was something far smaller, far more valuable.

“Come on Laylee! It’s here, I know it!” he said cheerily.

“Only because the totals screen tells you…” replied Laylee.

Setting off along the sandy trail, our heroes resumed their hunt. Nimble bobbed happily in the air by her track. Defeated days past by the intrepid pair she was content to watch them go. Hugging the cliffside, the pair searched high and low. Pawing through foliage diatribes time and time again in their quest. Things wouldn’t be so bad were they allowed to continue their search unmolested, but the Corplet savages here were yet to get the memo, not that they could read it if they did…They don’t take kindly to outsiders, especially not annoying reptiles and screechy bats. Capital B had given them this land for their own and they would defend it the best they could.

As it turns out they’re pretty bad at their job. Yooka fixing his gaze on the Great Rampo’s ramps didn’t even notice as the Corplets tumbled off. Laylee watched transfixed, or more accurately bemused, the last time Yooka acted like this was when the storm blew their flag away and he spent a week looking for it.

“Its not here, that would be way too easy. And we looked here 6 times yesterday. Ol’ Slopey himself said it wasn’t.” She muttered, not expecting a response.

“Was that before or after you flew into his eye?” cracked Yooka, smiling to himself. Laylee chuckled and went back to looking around. Sure she might not like it but the quicker they find this thing the quicker they can go home. “Let’s get to higher ground and see if we can spot anything.”

Yooka-Laylee and The Forgotten Quill - n3rdabl3

Rock climbing is a simple thing when you can fly, a skill the duo took great advantage of, soaring to the top of the nearest rockface. Watching the Corplets go about their business below was oddly satisfying for Laylee, they were almost cute, at a distance at least. Scanning the rock face as they ascended they found nothing, just as they had time and time again.

Landing with a thump, Yooka hopped to his feet, gazing intently into the distance. Laylee flopped onto the cool surface of the rock and gathered her breath and basking in the bright sun. Yooka scanned the terrain, eyes probing every crevice, tracking every movement long enough to discount it from thought. The characteristic bobbing glint was still nowhere to be seen.

Nimbly jumping across the rocks a little ways, Laylee could catch up, he began absently whistling to himself. The sun beat down mercilessly but the stone remained cool underfoot, ‘Funny how that works…’ Yooka thought. Shaking the thought from his head, there were more important tasks at hand. “We have to be getting close. Let’s cool off by the pool a while. I want to look at the underwater cave again.”

Groaning loudly, Laylee flapped back to her perch on Yooka’s head as he bounced back down the mountain. The pair made their way past Trowser’s “office”, having exhausted every part of it the day before, waving as he slithered past. Dr. Puzz’ temporary lab was just up ahead but the good doctor was lost in thought, not even looking up as they passed.

The pool was sheltered from the sun and the cool waters welcomed Yooka and Laylee into its embrace. With an audible sigh the two drifted gently for a time, enjoying the feel of the water on their skin, before Yooka heaved in a deep breath and disappeared into the depths with a splash.

The intrepid pair had found a gap in the rocks below a few days prior that lead on to a secluded little cave. The current was fierce and strong in the cave, so Yooka swam hard to counter it. Sheltering himself briefly by a sunken pillar, eyes feverently searching the waters for a twinkle, a glow, something to indicate his target was nearby. Fingers gripping the faded paint tightly as he leaned further out to find nothing, just as he had before. Shaking his head he made for the surface.

Yooka-Laylee and The Forgotten Quill - n3rdabl3

Laylee lazed on the shore, drying out under the warm sun as Yooka surfaced. “Nothing again?” She chirped merrily, a smug grin on her lips.

“It’s here, we know it is. C’mon lets see if Shovel Knight has seen it! He’s always on the lookout for treasure.” Replied Yooka, unphased by his companion’s jibes, they’ve been friends for long enough after all.

Shovel Knight stood facing the horizon, his mighty shovel upright in a fresh mound of dirt, odd that there were no holes nearby… The tower loomed ominously beside him, the rickety bridges creaked in the gentle breeze. Stepping up to join the iron-clad figure, the pair stood silently watching the clouds roll by.

“Magnificient. Truly magnificent.” boomed Shovel Knight, “How fares thy adventures, little ones!?”

“We’re looking for treasure! Have you seen any near here?” asked Yooka.

Casting a glance to his shovel, Shovel Knight turned to face the duo, “Nay! The treasures we both seek appear not to be found in such places. However it may be in the tower over yonder?” he suggested.

“Laylee flew all round it yesterday, I’m not sure we’ll find anything new but it can’t hurt!” said Yooka, turning to face the bridge. The coarse wood was rough under foot, creaking with every step. The pair crossed the gap cautiously, careful not to look down.

Reaching the other side, they ascended quickly, the traps and triggers well known to them by now. Climbing the tower as they had many times before yielded no secrets. No hidden treasure chambers or rotating walls next to suspicious idols. The ever cheery Yooka remained undetered. It’s here, we just have to find it.

They took to the skies to aid their descent, flying would be faster than climbing after all, they’d cover more ground. Nearing the bottom of the tower Laylee was hit hard by a sudden gust of wind, the two blown this way and that in the turbulent breeze, before being tossed into a soft patch of grass. The stone ediface towered dark and foreboding above them as they gathered their wits.

An odd flicker of movement caught Laylee’s eye off to one side, sheltered by a large stone ramp. Shaking her head and hopping to her feet, she ambled through the grass, eyes wide, disbelieving. “Er….Y-yooka….” she stammered, “Y-you m-m-ight want to s-see this….”

Holding a hand to his head as he sits up, the world spinning briefly from the fall. Looking over towards his small companion his eyes track the same mesmerising movement. Enthralled he seems to float to his feet in a daze, gliding across the ground.

There it was, after all this time, bobbing gently in the air in front of them. Standing transfixed, neither moved, neither spoke. They just stared at the object of their desire for so long, hanging in the air, tantalisingly close. Yooka took a cautious step forward, reaching a hand toward the golden Quill, feeling a warmth radiate along his fingers.

Yooka-Laylee and The Forgotten Quill - n3rdabl3

With a tingle and a chime, the Quill leapt into his hand, danced along his arm and span around his head. They were done. They had found it after an agonising search, The Forgotten Quill, left behind and alone.

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A run in with a Nintendo 64 one fateful evening gave me an inexplicable power to untangle any wire and clear any game cartridge of dust. Powers that are little use in this day of wireless technology and digital media downloads….

  • Jack Chameleo

    I skipped to the end. There’s a lot of describing things but not much in the way of conflict or tension. Kinda a long, deep valley that just abruptly ends. Could be good if revised and shortened