One Jump Away from the Center of the Galaxy

I’m almost done with No Man’s Sky.

There’s not much left for me to do. I’ve traveled 180,000 light years with a single ship. I’ve landed on exotic planets. I’ve fed creatures that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’ve gotten into dogfights in the fringes of space with greedy pirates. I’ve cultivated minerals and ores. I’ve huddled in caves, waiting out the most hostile of planetary conditions. I’ve even let aliens perform insane experiments on me, and due to a complex language barrier I’m not sure I’ll ever know what they did.

I did all of this in the pursuit of the center of the galaxy, a single location that is somehow both distant and close. In my dreams, I can hear it calling to me, and I’ll be there in just one more warp. It won’t be long now. I’m filled with anticipation. After all, I’m a spaceman, and traveling is in my blood.

Plus I already ran out of trophies to get.
Plus I already ran out of trophies to get.

To be entirely honest, I’m not sure what’s waiting for me. I’ve spent so long just trying to make it from one point to another that I had never considered the end of my journey before. It always seemed so distant and I thought I’d never make it. I thought perhaps I’d give up and move on. I’ve had so many highs with the game, but for every momentary fix there’d be three hours of accompanied grinding and resource management, resulting in an addicting (yet oftentimes tedious) roulette where I wasn’t always guaranteed to get what I needed.

I think it was all worth it, though.

Because despite No Man’s Sky not having always been this perfect experience, I can honestly say I’ve never had one quite like it. I’m glad I got to get lost in a world or two or even a couple dozen. I’m glad I had the chance to see the beauty in a procedurally generated galaxy.

My journey was hauntingly beautiful at times.
My journey was hauntingly serene at times.

In the end, I won’t care what’s waiting at the center of the galaxy. I won’t care if it’s a billion units for me to spend on a new ship. I won’t care if it’s some kind of new way to play the game. I won’t care if it’s God (read: Sean Murray) speaking to me from the heavens. Once I get to the center, my journey will be done. I’ll set the controller down, and I’ll move on.

After all, I’m a spaceman.

Exploring the stars is in my blood, and I’ll be content knowing that I helped map out a small section of an overwhelming infinity.

Jonathon Garrard

Jonathon lives just south of Indianapolis, Indiana, and he's beaten a video game or two in his time. He also writes books. You should follow him on Twitter.

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