Rumor has it they used to worship red Kongs around here. You know, the kind that look like insulators from power lines or the rubber bump-stop from an old Volkswagen. But one by one, the Kongs disappeared. The superstitious say that the gods took them back up to Paradise; others, that the Kongs never existed at all except in the minds of the faithful. Me? I think there must be some truth behind the legends. And I aim to find out what it is.
My exploration starts at the spot where the Kong was last reported to be seen, at the Temple of Krate in the kingdom of Living Room. Unfortunately I was too late; the temple had already been raided and plundered, its massive front door left open to the elements.
There was clearly a terrific fight here. The Temple of Krate’s fearsome guardian, the Lion Puppet, was left turned inside out amid the debris. (Such wanton cruelty is typical of temple raiders.) The only evidence left behind is that blood stain on the floor. Perhaps I can learn from it what direction the raiders went when they left; and if one of them is badly injured, that may slow their progress enough that I can catch them.
The trail of blood leads to the Caves of Armoire, at the border between the warring kingdoms of Living Room and Sunny Nook and just south of the Place of Fire. The Caves of Armoire conceal an icon of the hideous god Tel-E-Vision, whose worshipers are said to become fat and slack-jawed. This is dangerous territory. Note that the cobwebs at the entrance of the Caves of Armoire have been disturbed; clearly someone has passed this way recently. Exploration reveals that the caves are deserted now. The raiders have moved on, and I must do so as well.
A crude map half-buried in dust bunnies in the Caves of Armoire leads me to believe that the bandits may have doubled back, crossing the wide plains of Living Room and scaling the sheer cliffs leading to the isolated theocracy of Window Seat, where they worship the Sun God. Sure enough, I quickly find evidence of an illegal excavation high on the mountainous shelf; but what did they dig up? And where did they take it?
From this elevation I can see an ancient bone shrine on top of distant CD Cabinet Mountain. The raiders may have seen it as well. With no other clues, this is a gamble I have to take.
My journey to the bone shrine takes me near the deserted city of Dining Room Sitting Area, a little-used region that was abandoned when its inhabitants realized the foolishness of building everything out of wicker. A quick search underneath Glass-Topped Table Mesa reveals the cobwebs of ages, undisturbed by the passage of a group of marauders. Clearly those I seek did not come this way; and the diversion has cost me precious time.
Eureka! At the foot of CD Cabinet Mountain, I discover a splendid example of the Purple Rubber Chew, an artifact known to be found in the Temple of Krate. This is prime evidence that the bandits traveled this same route.
Unfortunately, CD Cabinet Mountain stands at the mouth of the Barren Hallway, a narrow, desolate pass leading to the intersection of a number of different realms. But there’s only one place lawless enough for them to take their loot: The Garage.
When entering the garage, the first thing one passes is the forbidden kingdom of Cat-Pan. I have tried many times to penetrate the defenses of this fortress in order to learn its secrets and obtain its treasures, but have never succeeded. My only consolation is that the raiders could not have gained access to its wonders either; no foreigners of any sort are permitted in Cat-Pan, and those within never venture out.
Passing Cat-Pan by, I descend the low cliffs into the wide expanse of Dance Floor, where my quest runs into an unexpected and lethal obstacle.
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
I can proceed no further along this path, and must turn back, empty-pawed. The whereabouts of the Lost Kong has eluded me for now. But I am Dennis the Vizsla, and I never give up. I will find them — someday.