Something Stinks: The ‘Fun’ of Sewer Adventures

Chrono Trigger Screen Capture

Chrono Trigger Screen Capture

Dear Creators,

All of us protagonist and supporting cast characters got together because we have a concern.  This has been on our minds ever since we realized that all of us have gone through the same thing.  To be honest, we don’t see why this event had to befall us in the first place.  You have plenty of choices for a setting, but all of us have found ourselves in this one . . . aromatic locale.  Sorry, I’m trying to explain this without throwing up because the stench is a vivid memory.  Here we go:

Please, stop having us go into the sewers!

You can put us in caves, swamps, or something that has a similar feel to it, but we’re really tired of this location.  Nothing good ever happens down there.  At least in a cave, we can sit on the ground or not have to worry about what we’re stepping in.  In a swamp, there’s less claustrophobia and it’s easier to stomach the more disgusting aspects of that world.  When you put us in a sewer, our minds remain on one horrific fact.  We’re stepping in water that came from toilets or whatever the world’s equivalent is.  Now, there are dry areas down there, but we only get there after trudging through the muck.

Let’s go back to the water issue.  Why do you insist on us falling into the sewage or getting hit by a wave of the stuff?  We can’t even figure out why such a thing would happen in most situations.  There’s no tide down there, so where is that flood coming from?  I admit that I don’t know how sewer systems work, but randomly flash floods sounds like an infrastructure problem.  Though, one doesn’t really care about that when you’re trying not to inhale, sniff, open your eyes, or think about your situation.  You should thank us for continuing on the adventure after reaching dry land. The adjectives you use to describe the smell are not enough to portray the true horror of the moment.

Now, we understand that this is a classic route to escape a dangerous area.  The streets above are too dangerous, so it’s best to go under.  Unless you know where a catapult is or have access to a flying device.  Let’s not forget magic portals, jumping spells, and various artifacts.  I think I remember many heroes who rush around the streets long enough to cause confusion and destruction, which allows them to escape.  My point here is that many of us have skills and tools that make a trip through the concrete bowels a rather ridiculous choice.

Oh, why would anybody hide a valuable artifact in the sewers anyway?  Yes, nobody would really look there beyond homeless people avoiding bad weather.  Not to mention any curious citizens or criminals.  Honestly, there’s a lot of traffic down there because of your obsession with stinky settings.  We’ve sent this information to the League of Antagonists to see what they think.  Do not be surprised if they agree that the sewers are a terrible place to hide things.  This might be going over your head, but we feel that drastic measures must be taken to preserve our sense of smell.

We needed to get that off our chest.  Thank you for listening and we hope you agree that it’s time to get out of the sewer.  At least stop the flooding because it takes so many bottles of shampoo to fix our hair.


Brotherhood of Protagonists (Minus the Turtles)

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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34 Responses to Something Stinks: The ‘Fun’ of Sewer Adventures

  1. It does seem to be a staple in some genres. Has it reached trope proportions? I’m not so sure. It depends on what’s done with it. I can see why characters would rebel though.


  2. L. Marie says:

    You made me laugh out loud!!! This is so true! Everyone winds up in the sewer. Criminals hide down there, as attested by an episode from one of the animated Batman series where Batman and Batgirl wandered through the sewers looking for Killer Croc and Babydoll. Even in a movie that came out this year, I recall the main character and sidekick escaping through a toilet. 🙂 So hilarious!


  3. Jean Lamb says:

    But my hero needs to sneak through it into the besieged city so he can open one of the postern doors so his troop of mercenaries can invade! (he gets stuck with the job because he’s junior to everyone else).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lol – have you been reading my Endgame draft? I have some heroes escape through the sewers. In the next scene, they’re supposed to go to the palace. That’s when I thought, “hmm, better have them clean up a bit first…”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. noelleg44 says:

    You must have been reading over my shoulder when you wrote this! I just finished a sci fi book where half of it involved looking for gems in a sewer system of a dystopian world, populated by mutants. This post made me laugh! PS The book was good, despite the sewers.


  6. L. Marie says:

    Didn’t Ant-Man wind up in a sewer drain? Does climbing on a sewer pipe also count? If so, that happened in the Miyazaki movie, Spirited Away. 🙂


  7. Dear Brotherhood, Your complaint has resonated with me. I stand four square behind your efforts to clean up certain venues. I take the pledge to eliminate sewers from the settings of choice for escape. The only real appeal was the dialog about how badly the place stunk but rest assured different scenes can also be interesting. Thanks again for bringing this matter to my attention. Also, thank you for referring to me as a creative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sewers have always been popular, in fact the Paris sewers are famous, people have been touring them since they were built.


  9. Love it, Charles! But I can just see the replying editorial from cave-denizens. “Don’t send those noisy heroes trampling through here. Our cave environment is very fragile!”


  10. adeleulnais says:

    But….I love putting my characters in the sewers, falling into them, having to hide in them…….


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