I did it!
After twelve hours of playing this game, I finally bred a level 5 unicorn. I now have a chance to find some of these titular magic crystals.
The only fly in the ointment is that the random name generator chose to call my epic unicorn, who could attract the attention of the gods themselves, Fanny.
Oy. None of the names are particularly great, but if it had been "Grace" or "Nantres" or "Arleigh," at least it would have had some gravitas. No offense to anyone reading who might happen to be named Fanny, but it's not especially magical.
Then again, the unicorn itself is not very magical. It looks exactly every other unicorn I've ever had, and though the missions it unlocks include pulling the chariot of the sun (on a scale whose low end is "pull a plow for a neighboring farmer"), doing so involves disappearing from the screen for a couple of minutes and coming back with gold - just like literally every other mission. So, I kind of hate this game.
Yet I can't help being at least a little proud. It gives me cause to ponder the meaning of video game accomplishments. According to Steam's global achievement statistics, only 1.6% of people unlock the level 5 horse. Technically, that makes me part of an elite group of players. In all the world, I am amongst the top two percent of everyone who's ever played Secret of the Magic Crystals.
But if I put that on a resume. . .
Why do I do it, then (abstract motives like "gathering material for my blog" notwithstanding)? If I were going to get all sociopolitical I might posit that a modern, post-industrial economy is structured in such a way to deny autonomy to the lower economic classes . . .
. . .And thus I spend half a day breeding virtual magic ponies to claim a feeling of power and control I can't get in my daily life.
There's got to be a less depressing way to put that.