I’m not entirely sure who it was that first coined the term ‘Holy Chainsaw’ – it was either my brother or one of his friends, crammed into the spare bedroom of my parent’s house, huddled around my father’s work computer which contained national secrets, government documents and for some reason a shareware copy of Doom.
What we did all agree on however, is which of DOOM’s many chainsaws it was. Towards the end of Knee Deep In the Dead’s second level you catch a tantalising glimpse of it through a window – standing proudly upon a tall pedestal surrounded by a moat and guarded by a couple of reverential looking zombie soldiers, it called to you by the very fact that you couldn’t quite reach it.
Come to me, It whispered. I am waiting.
It wasn’t just any chainsaw. No, this was the Holy Chainsaw and it deserved those capitals. We couldn’t reach it and for that very reason, we worshipped it. We needed it. For months we tried, hurling ourselves at the tiny window gap, hammering the space bar in the hope that one of those walls would shift aside and permit access to the holy artifact. We pleaded, we begged the level to give up its secrets in a time long before internet guides and Youtube Let’s Plays, but we were lost.
Until one day, it finally happened. I can’t quite remember how, (presumely it came to me in a divinely inspired dream) but whatever came to pass, I emerged one evening from a dark metal corridor into a brightly lit courtyard.
And there, there it was.
I had been chosen. The Holy Chainsaw had selected me over all those that had come before me. Moving forward with reverence, I hit the nearby Divine-Red-Button-Of-Chainsaw-Lowering and the pedestal ground slowly downward, the moat parted and the weapon lay at my feet.
I wrapped my arms protectively around its consecrated spikiness and stood in calm and respectful silence.
Groovy, I thought.
With the Hallowed Rotating Blades in hand, I went forth and drove furiously into my foes. Where a lesser man would have cast aside the Great Chainsaw of Topiary in favour of more deadly ranged weapons like the minigun or rocket launcher, I refused to put it away. Whether it made tactical sense to use it or not, the weapon had chosen me and it was not for me to question its infinite wisdom. No, the Saw and I would be together until death.
Later levels offered up their own chainsaws – poor imitations of the One True Blade that I cursed for their blasphemy. How dare they take on identical characteristics and graphics to the Holiest of Artifacts that I held in my hands? They were nothing compared to its indisputable majesty – their pathetic attempts to sway me by being exactly the same to the weapon I was holding were futile.
So I ripped and I tore. I killed dozens and did other things that would probably get you thrown out of your local B&Q for life, until finally my work was done. About four levels after I was chosen by the Great Mechanical Power-Driven Cutting Tool to carry out its Great Work, I was granted rest. Far be it from me to criticise the Heavenly Endless Linked Teeth for its attack range, nevertheless I was required to close quickly upon foes to spread the word, and this is sometimes a lot easier said than done.
So I fell and the blade fell silent along with me, once more at peace.
All hail the Holy Chainsaw.
Thanks to Richard Goodness for providing what may or may not be the Latin translation for ‘Holy Chainsaw’. Honestly, I just hope at the very least it’s not something incredibly rude.