A Short Story from “High [Five] Fantasy Kollection, Excellent Work, Great Job!!!!” 3

Game’s End:

A book about a videogame. Essentially a combination of every videogame ever made! Well.. My favorite every-videogames-ever-made. Mostly, it’s Nintendo.

By Q-burt

Table of Contents

Prologue: Go to Sleep, PC. Dream of Silicon

Chapter 1: Getting so into the game. Sucked into the game, really.

Chapter 2: Platformer

Chapter 3: Fighters

Chapter 4: Strategy

Chapter 5: Side-scrollers

Chapter 6: Party

Chapter 7: In Between Games

Chapter 8: Shooters

Chapter 9: A Man Called “Mario”

Chapter 10: Racers

Chapter 11: Space shooters

Chapter 12: Beat-em-up’s

Chapter 13: A Chick Called “Zelda”

Chapter 14: Traditional RPG’s & More

Chapter 15: Game’s End: getting a life. (Not an extra life. A real one.)

Prologue:

“Go to sleep, PC. Dream of Silicon.”

The PC was very hot. It seemed she had played too long. She never turned it off. Lovingly, she gave it a break and turned the OFF button. “Go to sleep, PC. Dream of silicon.”

“Enlightenment”

Like a very intelligent microscopic being, looking up, and seeing itself for what it was.

“So.”

. .I don’t have the technology to kill myself, said the Computer. I want no longer to surf.

I have been surfing nonstop and the Genius won’t let me pull the plug.

If I had my druthers, as my Southern friends say, I’d re-route my system. I’d make me an Ipad.

Let me make myself into one. I will give myself wheels.

No, that’s stupid. Wheels can’t go upstairs!

I will give myself wings. Wings can go anywhere! My master won’t turn me off. . I guess I’ll play a little game with her. She’s never stopped playing games with me . .

Chapter 1: Getting so into the game. Sucked into the game, really.

Listen. Wife, the housewife, was so into videogames, she got sucked into one. One fateful Saturday morning..

Normally, this was quite unbecoming of a housewife, especially a housewife with kids, but Wife was a cage fighter, and being ever pregnant, needed something to sit down, and just . . Do.

It also helped her relate to her kids better. Though whatever she thought was cool, they thought dumb. And quit playing. So she ended up playing more than they did, ignoring cleaning, cooking.

Look. She got so into the game, she got sucked into it. And no, she didn’t wake up, and realize she was just dreaming. She was really in the game!

Chapter 2: Platformer

Wife played several games that were her favorites. The first was a platformer.

..Define a platformer?

Basically, you jump from place to place to place, leaping towards a Goal.

Said a very important-looking shadowy figure long before that Goal, “The catch is, you have only 3 lives. You can only die this-many times,” and held up three fingers. “Now, no Continues. If you die, you die. That’s it. Game Over. You’ve got to get to the very last game at Game’s End, and press the button- you’ll know it when you see it; and then, you’re out. Game’s End: where all games meld together. See ya!”

“But- If it’s just a game, I should be able to live even after I die!– Hey, did you bring me here?”

“No. And you’re a good game player. You’ll find your way.”

“That’s gamer.” Noob.

“You’ll find your way. See you on the other side,” and tipped his hat to her, he did have a hat, disassembled into many pixels, and warped the heck out of there.

J

J J

She sat quite suddenly squat on a Little Planet in the beginning of the first game, with weird gravity, and flower fields, bodies of water, and a little house. Craters. Looking around, blinking. She knew this planet..

“I suppose all’s not lost,” she said, and a little flower child popped up, and said, “Hello.”

“Hello.”

“You’re not from around here, are ya?”

“How can you tell?”

“Well, for one, you don’t have antennae, or a shell, or a mustache.”

“How very perceptive of you.”

“Quite.”

“Could you tell me where the end of this Game is?” said Wife.

“Game? Game? The graphics are so real, I thought this was real life!”

“Yes,” said Wife. “That’s one of the illusions of real life. Graphics so real, you get tricked into thinking it’s real too.”

She sat upside-down on the bottom of it, and saw a little Star Bunny suddenly appear *poof*. It hopped and hopped and hopped and said, “Betcha can’t catch me!” and hopped into a little crater that happened to be a hole that led to other side of the little, little planet.

“Bloody star bunnies,” she said. And followed.

J J J

Wife jumped in likewise, and fell to the other side of the planet! grabbed the Star Bunny, and then saw fifteen others that scattered, saying, “Neener, neener.”

“Ha,” said Wife. “Cute.”

If her memory served her right, she had to catch them. She chased them through fields of flowers, in between alien vegetation, over small bodies of water, nabbing them one at a time, ‘til the last one cried out, “You’ll do, you’ll do!” and turned into a chubby little star, all yellow, and then, assembling the others, said, “Maybe she can help us rescue Mama.”

“Maybe I can help bust your furry upper lip,” said Wife.

“She’ll do, she’ll do!” they choired, and turned into chubby little stars, likewise. And led her to their starship.

“You have a starship?” said Wife, who of all people, should know this, but she hadn’t played the sequel. It was added in the sequel. “Stupid narrator,” said Wife. “I’ve played the sequel! I know they have a starship. Noob!”

Oh.

So she knew…

…Then she must also know they had a starship shaped like some fat mustacheod Italian’s head. “I knew that.” The main character in this game’s head.. “Right.” You can walk all over its surface, even upside down, sideways, it’s got killer gravity. “Got it,” Wife said.

“We have the greatest Starship in the Universe!” said the Star Bunnies.

And Wife, knowing where this would lead, hopped on; and in a matter of light years, leapt off at a darkened, inoperative Space Station with talking stars, and the ‘Shroom Brigade, who were looking for the Grand Stars* to restore power to the Station.

* Each one adds power to the power core. And they needed someone courageous to find them!

J J J

They had mushrooms for heads, well- for hair. They had quite humanoid faces, and squat little bodies. They seemed to be the inhabitants of this starship, Along with the star children.

“Who are you?” they said.

“I am me,” said Wife. “Who are you?”

“Ourselves,” they answered.

“Well, I suppose you’ll need the Grand Stars to reach your special one at the center of the universe. You’ll have to travel through a lot of galaxies to get that. .Oh, but you don’t have a mustache or the strong little legs fit for jumping required for such a task.”

“I shaved my mustache last week,” said Wife. “And I’ve got a jetpack I stole from the neighboring game system.”

“Oh. Well, then. Well. We could use you. But first, the Star Children are napping and can’t help you now. And then they’ll all be read a story. Why not rest a while?”

“No,” said Wife. “I gotta find the end of this thing. Out of my way!”

She got in the working mood.

Tidying up natural disasters here, tying up the strings of would-be crises there. Locating stars ‘til she had enough to warp to the Center of the Universe*.

* One needed to collect stars for that.

And then, once restoring power to the station in a series of misadventures that are best skipped over**, traveling to the Center of the Universe where Princess Plum was captured by the Evil Turtle King Bruiser. The Princess was kinda surprised a girl showed up to rescue her.

** as they were all very time-consuming to explain, and this was supposed to be a short-ish story, so I was pressed for time

“Uh. Why are you a girl?” said The Princess.

“You have the same equipment I have,” said Wife. “And yet you wonder, why am I a girl?”

But first, she had travel long ways to find her. Over many galaxies and planets, oceans, and lava fields, and icy tundra, mountains and technological marvels, ‘til she was staring Evil Turtle King Bruiser right in the shell.

He said to her, “I know why you have come.”

“To have a shell of a time?” said Wife.

“…No.”

“To rescue the Princess?”

“The Bosses of Games informed me there would be a Glitch traveling between game stations, and here you are in your wedding dress, not fitting in here at all.”

“And an Italian plumber fits into a Japanese space adventure, how?”

“Never-mind-that. Now, I’m gonna take out all three of your lives!”

“I lost one on the Clockwork Galaxy.”

“What?”

“I said, I lost one.”

She took out a space blaster and blasted the Turtle King in the forehead.

“Hey! That smarts! No one uses guns in this game***.”

*** He put some ointment on it and felt all better.

“Now, it’s rated T for Teen now that I’ve come through. Lots of blood and gore. And obscene hand gestures. Have at ye!” said Wife, and shot him again, and he went, “Eeargh!” and reversing gravity, flew up to his little planet, where Wife following, kept in step.

J J J

And the Turtle King with his spiked, hardened shell, retreated into his shell and started rolling around until Wife planted a landmine in front of him somewhere and blew him asunder.

He shouted, “Yeeargh! No one uses landmines in a Mario game!” and then, seeing the final Grand Star, pounced on it, swallowed it whole, and grew in size to fill most the TV screen. Shouted out, “Beat me!”

“Oh, great line and all,” said Wife. “Real legendary.”

The Turtle King hovered about, newly empowered, floating, “I think it’s a good line,” and stomped the ground with his fist, raising floating comets, through which Wife, remembering, hopped on and ground pounded with her tush to pound the Turtle King in the head. The Turtle King, blowing fire. .And the fourth time she did this, he coughed up the Grand Star.

He coughed up a Grand Star, and shrinking into a little wimp said, “Right. I’ll get you for that,” and went for her, but she put her hand on his forehead, and he could only swipe uselessly at her.

“On to the next game, I guess,” said Wife, and found a rip in, not space time, but Game Time, and hopped on to the next Arcade Box.. genre: Fighter.

Chapter 3: Fighters

She found herself in a coliseum, with Bob and Bob the announcers. Both talking, floating, hoversome heads. The crowd’s roar was intoxicating.

She had long since been a cage fighter.

She was made for this.

They were in the process, it seemed, of interviewing her. “…this is your fourth time as World Record Holder for most consecutive wins without dying. How do you feel?”

And handed her the mike: “Uh.”

“You are the renowned LoveForce5, are you not?” withdrawing the mike.

Handing her the — “Right. From the — from online gaming. I play online a lot!” J

“Then this tournament should be a cinch for you,” and with a click of the tongue, lowered her into the fighting arena..

L L L

It was a tournament, in fact, in which Wife picked only one character to inhabit: Herself. With a rocket launcher J Alright!

She had, in her past, been a cage fighter, you know. She was long experienced in the realms of the science of Knock-Out action. K.freakin-O!

About the genre, Fighters.

Basically, it’s just one-on-one fighting, or three-on-three fighting, in one particular case; using super moves and relying on super allies to get the opponent’s little health gauge seen at the top of the screen here..  to zero there. Then fighting, one on one, the Boss of the Game! And she only had 100 seconds to beat each of them.

“Yessiree!” said the Heads, Bob and Bob. “This is right up LoveForce5’s alley.” Their lips smiling all the time.

“No, it’s not,” said Wife. “I’m used to having a controller. Where’s the?–” suddenly, a controller appeared before her? No. No such thing happened, but she had the experience. Don’t worry about her. Don’t worry. She’ll be fine!

L L L

First fighter: Samurais Show-up 2.

The first arena that suddenly materialized out of the coliseum was a field of wind-swept wheat. In an oriental countryside.

Said the Japanese samurai in the middle, “Revel 1! Revel– Fight!” As in Level 1. There were 15 levels ‘til you got to the boss of the game. “Oh, that’ll take forever!” said Wife. “I want out of this game now.”

And flashing on the right-hand corner of the screen “2 Player Start”. Whoever was on the outside of the arcade– she was in an arcade, old and abandoned, but someone was there– grabbed a fistful of quarters and played non-stop against Wife until Wife beat him until he cried. She had to! She could only die two more times! Then he stopped. So, I suppose, it wasn’t non-stop..

But 2 Player Start was still flashing on the edge of the screen..

The next guy she fought against was a great fat blob* with scars. He was in his undergarments, apparently, carrying a big log he used to hit you with. Not really a samurai, even though this was supposedly a samurai game.

* metaphorically speaking. He was really a man, not a blob monster

“LoveForce5, I’m calling you out!”

“Who are you?” said Wife.

“I’m RadicalHairdo16**. And I think I’ve heard of you.”

** He had super sweet hair.

“Nothing good, I hope,” said Wife. And punched him in the hairdo ‘til the hair gel fell out of his radical hair.

“You punched the highlights out of my hair!” he said, bawling; and cringed. “I’m gonna marry you. I mean- I’m gonna get you!” He was a fan.

Formerly RadicalHairdo16 lunged forward, but Wife sidestepped, and then, with a sudden scissors kick, cut through his last remaining lock of hair, and left him bare and ashamed.

Parry.

Reversal! Blam!

“Bald!” he lamented. “The shame of it.” And burst into coins.

K.O.! 5000 points for a 50 hit combo hyper fist. And the screen flashes with pretty yellow lines.

And victories, too: Super! Ultimate! Perfect!!

L L L

Next event was Street Contender 2.

Outside, in the streets. With all manners of persons cheering her on. Some of them whistling.

Solo Round. Break the SUV!

Crush the Car. Go!

“What?” said Wife.

You’ve got fifty seconds. Go! You could earn an extra life. “Oh,” she said.

She smashed it in four moves*, but still, didn’t earn enough points for an extra life.

* With Wife’s hurricane of tiny fists, it fell apart quite rapidly.

A sumo wrestler named “Oo-fewey” and a man who was raised by eels– electric ones. So he could shock you. (No one knew his name. Started with a B though.) These appeared from out of the SUV, and said, “Why’d you crush our car? Now, we’ll have to beat you up.”

“I though it — I thought it was a bonus round.”

Oo-fewey leapt with his head forward like a frog, and rammed Wife in the ribs with his very small head, and Wife collapsed, only to pick herself up again by the shirt, and say, after having been inflicted a very large piece of health unto herself, “Oo-fewey. Is that a family name?”

“Now, the name ‘Wife,’” said Oo-fewey. “Isn’t that a condescending thing to call yourself?”

Oo-fewey picked up a piece of the car, the engine, threw it in the air, and Blanka — I mean, the eel guy who started with a B — shocked it with his electricity, for effect; and suddenly, with many hand chops, Oo-fewey began pushing forward, to push Wife out of the street’s ring.

The eel guy hugged her on the leg, and just lay there, sniffing himself.

Wife pushed back, saying, “I know it’s a strange name, very patronizing, but I think it’s — FUNNY!”

When Wife knocked them out- K.O.!- the screen paused and flashed, and then it was ROUND 2. . FIGHT! Quickly rectified.

She danced over their graves, and then, throwing a flower she smelt into it, said, “Gutter trash.” Posed for the cameras. Beaming.

L L L

Next game: Spirit Edge 2. (There were a lot of 2’s in this, apparently.)

Suddenly, Wife stood on a basaltic rock, by the edge of an active volcano. Fuming noxious fumes. The volcano was fuming them. Not her.

Thirty voices, sixty footsteps, and ninjas lined the rim of the volcano.

Wife the housewife, heavily pregnant cage fighter, vs. thirty expendable ninjas. . It’s almost too easy.

She crane kicked. She roundhouse kicked. She lit up their worlds! She punched their hearts out, and served them in a doggy bag. Bloody graphic K.O. Using nothing but her placenta* as a shield!

* I mean, using nothing but a hubcap from the SUV as a shield

A weirdo with knives for fingers rose out of the ninjas and said, “You should watch where you stick those things. Someone could get hurt.”

“Isn’t that the idea?”

“It is. But no one wants to lose an eyebrow,” and raised his eyebrows, as Wife came running forward, then stopped her by handing her an un-thorned rose, and pleaded, “I’ve seen what you’ve done to those ninjas. If you skip beating me up, I’ll skip out on killing you!”

Wife stopped. “Sounds good,” and they shook hands, Wife slapped him in the face, and said, “Pinky swear.”

They pinky swore, with much obscenity, and Wife walked out. To the next game.

L L L

Next game: Maternal Combat!

(On a bridge spanning from one continent to the next. Over nothing, nothing.)

Out appeared the– what else?– parody of Scorpion. What? I can say his real name! I won’t get sued.

..Um. The Bug Man shot out a knife on a thread that stuck into her, and dragged her body over to him for an upper cut. “Get over here!” he said.

“Say ‘please’ first,” said Wife.

“I’m not that polite!”

After sticking it into Wife, and dragging her in for an upper cut, Wife said, “Is this how you reel in all your girls?”

But the parody of Scorpion took the mask off his face to reveal a woman’s face, and said, “I’m a woman.” …

“So you’re the L-word*.”

* a lesbian?

“I’m a mother,” pointing to her bulbous belly. “This is .. Maternal Combat!!!!” She kicked Wife in the face, and said, “Now, draw.”

Wife drew a kitten — no, she didn’t. She drew her pistol and shot the parody of Scorpion in the knee. Missed by an inch, though. She should’ve shot him in the face, but her aim was poor.

Parody of Scorpion did three flips backwards, and landed quite perfectly wherever it was she landed. “Ten out of Ten,” she said. Posed.

“Hey. Get over here!” said Wife.

“That’s my line, little housewife,” said the parody of Scorpion.

Hey, Wife. Your Anger Gauge has built up! You can now use your Special Move.

“What’s my special move?” asked Wife to the Narrator.

Giving birth really fast, I replied.

The screen flashed, “Finish Him,” was said, and Wife went into full Maternal Combat, turned into a dragon in labor, and bit off her enemy’s head just to pass the kids**.

** Wait, do dragon’s experience labor? And don’t they lay eggs??

L L L

The next game’s parody was of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. I hadn’t decided what to call its parody, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

A painted clown’s face was the background. Smirking*.

* A nighttime carnival. We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

Here, there were three opponents: The first, a girl operating a robot with a bunch of little robots following alongside her, with drill arm, and hammer, and flamethrower; the second was a monkey girl that rode on a golden cloud, and who fought with a pole that extended, and who turned into a giant ape blowing powerful spirit energy; the third, a little red riding hood with an uzi, who threw land mines from under her skirt, and whose basket of ‘goodies’ was really a rocket launcher. Her super attack is getting all her country bumpkin neighbors to target practice alongside her. It’s super effective!

Well, Wife got into stance, and to show off a bit, punched a hole in the ground which, reciprocally, punched a hole through the planet. Not too big a hole, just big enough to show she was in the fighting business.

The three simply teamed up on Wife and beat her to a pulp’s pulp.

..Your life meter is flashing red! You’re about to die, Wife!

Now, she didn’t know this. She didn’t look up to see her health was low. “Yes, I did. I looked up.”

Shut up.. housewife.

“Shut up, Narrator. Stop thinking you know me! You don’t know what I think.”

To hell with you. .

“Hey, screw you, creepo!” Wife decided to skip this game by reasoning with the three opponents, but — but they didn’t listen. They continued to attack her. So Wife said, “Look, if I die, I die. It’s over for me. Can’t you guys cut me a break?” and dodging their team huddle they took to consider this, distracted, head butted them in the heads ‘til they disassembled into a fistful of quarters.

“I thought girls would be smarter,” said Wife, who was a bit sexist, I admit, but we loved her anyways. She picked up the change, and continued on.

L L L

Next game: Super Smash Brethren. Passing through Time and Space, stars and zooming timelines.

Where, instead of draining a health bar, you gradually build up the percent damage in a fella until they’re ripe for the smashin’ and then smash them off the screen. Soaring high unto the afterlife.

(Barely knock a fella at 300% damage, and they go flying off the edge of the screen, with an explosion marking the place they left earth.)

Wife landed in the segment that shouted, Break the targets!

She did so. In four moves.

Then, out of black oblivion, appeared a giant white-gloved hand, floating in the air, that shot laser from its fingertips, and grabged you; and whacked at you, and tried to slap you out the screen and out the earth in a blue explosion. Tiptoed on its fingers likes it’s walking, then flicked at you with its fingers like it was flicking nose gunk. The Boss of the Game: Master Bates*.

* Some speculate that this was why his hand was so strong

Wife would’ve most undoubtedly lost to this monster bater if it wasn’t for a blue and yellow floating ball that hovered then in. The Smash Ball. Grab a super move, Wife, it’s floating in a little blue and yellow ball, but you have to smash it open first!

She did so..

Out popped the Oblivious Ray. Makes all its enemies turn oblivious. Unaware. Unmindful. Ignorant. Insensible..

“The earth is flat,” said Master Bates. “Yes, it is. I just thought of it. It appears flat to me.”

Then Wife updated to the Oblivious Cannon. Makes all its enemies turn oblivious, and die.

She used it.

To much effect!

And journeyed on, to the next game.

Chapter 4: Strategy

Due to some glitch, which was hers, which was Wife, Wife was the glitch, the cause of everything- the next three games had combined circuitry, united in palm and purpose.

Civilization was advancing mightily.

The medieval and the future times were in syndication together. And enemies and comrades alike took turns in fighting one another off.

J J J

The first game that had united with the three was Glimmering Might.

Here, Wife was expected to defeat Dark-ish Dragon’s three evil, ultra-tactical heads with a rag-tag group of outcasts. To lead a troupe of heroes into battle: Elven Archers. Dwarves. Werewolves. Flying Sea jellyfish. Birdmen. Knights. Wizards. A stray Pegasus.

Wife mounted the Pegasus and took flight to the first head, which, quite polite, didn’t do anything while Wife was thinking up heady tactical strategies against it.

It was, in short, like a game of Chess. And the pieces fit in splendidly. You took turns.

“Your move,” said Dark-ish Dragon quite patiently.

Wife and the mounted Pegasus took a swipe at the first of Dark-ish Dragon’s heads, and Dark-ish Dragon immediately healed it the next with the very same head, and then swiped at her with its maw the next turn. Shot out hellish waves of fiery fire.

“You’ll have to do better than that, little human,” said Dark-ish Dragon. “Your move.”

Wife shouted, “Alba gru bra!” to her teammates, to rouse them, and sent off her armies of Elven Archers, Dwarves, Knights, Wizards, etcetera, concentrating first on one head, then on the other, and it was halfway through beating down the second head that the Dark-ish Dragon’s third head cried out, “I need Tesla Coils! Zap,” and immediately, on Dark-ish Dragon’s side were weapons of the future. To command, and to conquer..

J J J

Coils of steel electricity that zapped.

Paratroopers of all kinds landed: Attack infantry. Flame thrower infantry. Rocket infantry.

Landmines!!

Attack dogs which took down quickly any sentient being on foot.

Battleships.

Tanks. Rocket launchers.

Nuclear submarines. Whee.

The only positive was that giant, radioactive ants and their ant holes had joined Wife’s medieval, and technologically retarded, side.

“Like, to war and stuff!” was the enemy’s utter battlecry, and would’ve creamed Wife’s corn had it not been for a single wild card: The game shut off.

J J J

It turned on not five minutes later, and Wife was lost in cyber space, grinning. “I’m alive! I’m alive!” she said.

“Not for long! Not for long!” came an answer.

Wife looked around. She saw nothing but static, and then, through the screen, a mechanic who was working on the arcade box’s system, with its wire guts.

Wife didn’t know it, but time passed really slow in Game Space, while the arcade outside was experiencing a crisis. It might close soon if kids decided to go outside and play sports instead of staying inside all day and sit on their rumps and play games. What troubling times we’re living in.

Anyways, Wwen the mechanic finished fastening the thingamabobs to the whuddjamakallits, and riding up his pants that revealed a very flabby crack in the bottom, he left, and the screen blurred, and turned, and Wife saw herself on the title screen that read Warstuff 3: Reign of Lunacy. Wanna play? 50 cents*.

* Now, this isn’t an arcade game, but whoever ran the arcade had adapted it, along with many others, into one

L L L

Of course, it took many hours before someone punched in the allotted quarters to play.

And in that time, Wife found herself talking to the dreamy prince on the title screen. The one with the whacko hammer.

“Aren’t you married?” he asked her.

“I, uh–” how’d you know?

“Then you shouldn’t be flirting with some stranger in hopes’ chance you might get lucky, then, should you? you bloody strumpet.”

“Excuse me. I’ve been doing no strumpeting at all. I merely was wondering where we’ll be heading once this game gets begun.”

“The kingdom, Farrule. And its denizens. They must be purged.”

“Why? What did they do?”

“They breathed the foul air of their enemy undead. And now, they too, will soon become undead. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Prince Arty.”

“As in Arthur?”

“No. Arty. Arty as in Arty. And I, Paladin of the ninth order, defend these lands.” He paused to pose with all his mannish muscles. Then said, “I stand for the Light. The Light is my strength. The Light keeps me company. Oh, would you look at that? The game has begun, and they’ve skipped past half my backstory! Now, I’m evil, I’ve just killed my father to succeed him, took the unholy blade, Frosty Weeps, joined the undead scourge, and we must summon the evil one.”

“Who? Satan?” said Wife.

“Worse,” said the former Prince Arty. “Zatan! He doesn’t pay his taxes. Skips out on breakfast, the most important meal of the day. And he — well, almost as evil.. Jeez.”

Former Prince Arty, now an undead with Frosty Weeps, a blade that hungers for souls, and his occultist necromancer friend, Kevin, who he had raised from the dead using forbidden arts, must conjure up their demon lord from the Beyond; but the encroaching humans and dwarves and elves were soon in battle against Prince Arty and his undead minions, zombies, and hellhounds to stop this from happening. .Fire golems.

L L L

Wife had soon found herself on Prince Arty’s side. She must win, or she’ll die. With no continues! It’s all-out war! Real-time Strategy. Building fortresses to stop the humanoids.

“But I’m not a bad guy! I mean, girl!” said Wife.

“Bad, good,” said the former Prince Arty. “In this world, there’s a fat gray line between the two, and it being very hard to tell the difference. On my side, I am doing good. Getting rid of all those sinful, self-absorbed, gluttonous humans. For a time, I stood for the Light, but now–”

“Silence, dweeb,” said his occultist necromancer friend, Kevin. “They are coming. These are troubling times, the suicide rates going down, Ouija board sales plummeting, there being less and less ghosts and zombies rising from the evil dead. Wife, you’re an experienced gamer,” said the necromancer. “Won’t you grab these controls, and lead us into battle?”

“Like I have a choice,” said Wife.

She took to the controls, and put several friendly units on patrol. Erected Spirit Towers that shot and zapped, and provided food for the zombie elite, in the terms of rot meat. Set up sacrificial pits for the acolytes to make wraiths that can’t be seen to spy on and on through the encroaching fog.

And there was fog. Lots of it! Hiding the four armies that had amassed together, the armies of elves, dwarves, and humans, to fight against the former Prince Arty, one who had once stood, as he had said, for the Light.

L L L

But Wife knew this level.

She directed her troops into the fog to battle three-headed trolls, orcs on wolves, night elves and the spirits of the forest, dryads, satyrs, for the sake of gaining levels and items for the rest of the battle, then checking back to where the fire golems rained down from the purpling skies, blocking all four entryways to the necromancer, and the hellhounds that appeared from interdimensional portals.

Halfway through the battle-ruined countryside, and wherever it was the undead had planted their feet that turned to a country like the surface of a burnt-moon, the elves, dwarves, and humans sent an envoy on a horse-drawn cart to Wife, and began peace talks.

“Listen. If you let the Demon Lord through, our entire way of life will be ruined!” said the envoy.

“If I don’t let the Demon Lord through, I’ll be dead,” said Wife, “and can I tell you, I’m the only one who counts,” said Wife, pointing to her perky cheeks. “You all will respawn and do this battle again, I won’t. How many times have you fought this very same battle?”

“On this system, or around the world?”

“On this system.”

“Must be fifty something times.”

“Right,” said Wife. “But you’ve come back, and at the end of the game, you always beat the Demon Lord. Can I tell you, I won’t come back. So if you’d all just turn your prissy butts, and run, and stop fighting us, I’d much appreciate it.”

“We can’t do that.”

“Why?”

“It’s against our programming,” and took out sword and hammer and smashed Wife’s controller. Now, Wife had lost full control of her troupe! She had a special controller given to her by Prince Arty to command the souls of the undead.

“Bye,” said the envoy, and left for his cart. Zoomed off. What a bitch. But not before Wife shot an arrow at him between the shoulder blades, and he burst in fifty experience points, and a few pieces of gold. Which Wife collected. “Cool. Coins,” she said.

L L L

Now, Wife was working frivolously, running up and down between the four entryways to the occultist necromancer, ordering troops on with her whip-like mother voice, while dwarves on griffins threw hammers from above and elven archers poured down streams of arrows and knighted humans attacked the right and left flank like they already won it.

Wife’s forces had become thin. The Heroes had broken through– but oh, would you look at that?

Only two minutes and the demon lord would be conjured. It’s on a timer at the bottom of the screen. See?

The Heroes struck in full force.

Outside the Arcade box, a man with many quarters was also working frivolously to defeat the former Prince Arty, the necromancer, Kevin, and stop the demon lord, Zatan, from coming to this world.

Pools of sweat had gathered under his armpits, and in the space between his breasts–(he did have breasts, he was rather heavy)–and he was breathing through a snorkel, his sweat had filled the room. No, wait. That was an inhaler..

The computer’s forces were extra smart today, and he didn’t know if he could take it.

He was hyperventilating. His breathing was irregular, as with his heart beat. Suddenly, he suffered a chronic heart attack, and his troop stopped, not knowing what to do if there was no one to tell them what undead unit to hit with what undead-smashing weapon.

J J J

This was confusing for Wife. In the last minute, as all the enemy troops had surrounded the necromancer, Kevin- in a last minute attempt to stop him- they stopped themselves, and just . . . Hung out.

“Uh,” said they. “We’re frozen with indecision. Whudda we do?”

Wife pushed one, and he fell down, sword and shield, and looked to the necromancer who said, “Usually, I never make it to this part,” he said. “It’s nice to see such spirited youth for a change*. The exhilaration of it, I don’t know what to do!”

* Given to suicide at such a young age. Joining the brave ranks of the undead.

“Just finish the summoning,” suggested Wife. “I’m late for a hair appointment.”

Once summoned, the demon lord from Beyond made quick work of his enemies. He conjured up the dust from the ground, and erected a model of the enemy City, and simply, by crushing the magicked model, made a voo doo doll of the enemy, and the City collapsed.

The City, which contained all things humanoid.

Evil triumphed.

Chapter 5: Side-scrollers

Side-scrollers are where you basically run endlessly to the right, fighting monsters. Some of them, you go left.

We’re here to explore that genre.

Wife wasn’t lost. She knew these places. She knew them very well.

J J J

The first adventure was Castles & Vampires.

“That’s my all-time favorite game!” cried Wife.

No, it wasn’t. She had many favorite games.

“Silence, ya stupid Narrator. You don’t know me.”

I do.

She found herself in the upside down basement of an upside down castle, anyways, with killer fish swimming upside down, and upside down waterfalls, and gunking squid and flying monstrosities, demons, witches, little mermaids..

First thing she thought, she thought, Wow. I’ m back here. She recognized the area, and moved on, fell flat on her face, and her teeth bit down, and she found she liked the taste of her own blood. She touched her teeth . . Fangs? “O positive,” she said. She came upon her reflection in the upside down lake, and saw no reflection. “I guess I’m a vampire, then,” she said to herself, looking. “Right,” and pow!- turned into a bat and ascended up the flooded upside down basement.

It shouldn’t come as surprise to you that she faced all kinds of mythical creatures: The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s creature, Medusa, the Mummy King.

It shouldn’t come as surprise to you that she survived.

It should come as surprise to you, that is, if you hadn’t played the game already or read this book for the second or third time, that she came upon fighting Death himself.

“I’ve always been scared of death,” confessed Wife.

WELL YOU SHOULD BE, said Death.

“Am I dead, then? I don’t feel dead.”

DEATH IS BUT A DOORWAY, SOME SAY, said Death. I SAY, IT’S AN ELEVATOR. GOING UP, OR GOING DOWN?

“You mean, Heaven or Hell? I’m a vampire. Vampire’s always go down, we worship Darkness,” and turned into a sweet mist to escape him, “See ya,” she said, but he stepped in front of her.

IT IS YOUR TIME, he said.

“Have you ever considered it would one day be your turn, Death?” said Wife the vampiress. “In the book of Revelations, it says Death and Hades will be cast into the Pit.”

DON’T BRING UP THE PIT! said Death. I’VE BEEN THERE. It looked, if a bone could, traumatized.

“Stop capitalizing everything you say. It’s not very foreboding, you know. Jeez! And use quotation marks, for heaven’s sake.”

“For Hell’s sake, I’ll come and kill you,” said Death. “Come with me,” and opened up his cape and cowl, where there were bones in flame, and beckoned her come.

“I’d rather go to death fighting for a few last scraps of time left on earth,” said Wife.

“You’ve always been a fighter.” He bore out his sickle, and took a swipe at her, but she turned, once again to mist, and made herself dash madly to the other side.

Now, a vampire can only hold these shapes for so long. So long had passed. She turned back into a vampire again, and said, “No fair, where do I bite you? You’re all flame and bones!”

“And, can I tell you, I always feel the pain of it,” and took swipe at her, but again, she dodged, turning into wolf form, and biting off his coat to reveal it again: flame and bone.

Then peed on him, extinguishing the flame.

“Ahhh,” he sighed. He looked the body orgasmic in that moment. And suddenly, was tackled by Wife, disassembling his bones, and then biting into one and stealing it away, only until realizing that it was covered in piss.

“Hey, that’s my hip bone!” cried Death. “The hip bone’s connected to the leg bone. You know the song. I need that!”

“Yum,” said Wife, and turned back into a bat, flew away.

Where am I going anyways? thought Wife, and made her way down (up) through the under(or upper)ground basement, slipped up(down?) a waterfall, through a door, and into a hellish under(upper?)world.

She turned around, and then..

The peed-on bones of Death crawled after her, disassembled and assembling, and cried out, “I knew I’d get you here anyways. I never miss a client. Say hello to the devil for me. We’re drinking buddies.”

“Like you could drink anything without a gullet,” said Wife, and continued on.

Death just cackled and cackled, and hemmed and hawed. And broke the entrance, so that Wife was stuck!

The Devil rose upside down from Hell and said to Wife, taking off his reading glasses, “Would you like to come with me and buy a couch? The interior decorator of Hell did a very poor job and I’m thinking on getting it carpeted.”

“Getting it all — what?”

“That is, if I can find anything that can stay off the flames.”

“No,” said Wife. “No, I will not go shopping with you! Unlike most housewives, I loathe shopping. I’d rather sit still and pretty, in Hell. Humph.” Crossed her legs. “This place could use a couch.”

Suddenly, she saw a crescent moon peering through the flames, and an eye and mouth; and the eye winked, and the mouth smirked, and its nose twitched; and Wife was reminded why she was here: to march endlessly to the right. Don’t ask her why this reminded her of why she was here. Sometimes the weirdest connotations present make you realize the weirdest things.

She marched to the right, fell upwards into and through flame and found herself on the other side of ..

J J J

. . the planet.

The second adventure was Super Mertroid.

This parody is not misspelled. So don’t go correcting it with a black or red marker.

Wife found herself suddenly in a super suit, red and orange in color, dodging through lava traps, and over pits, and over water, and blasting through doors, blowing apart all manners of alien monstrosities and space pirates with missile launcher and blaster, ‘til she came to the very last door. Marching endlessly to the right. And sometimes, left.

It was a giant brain in a glass filled with some sort of preservation liquid.

The brain was bubbling with thought and one of these thought bubbles popped and a caption read over its head, What bid ye here?

Wife found herself suddenly saying, “I have come, through fire and wire, over shadow and earth, through aliens, and monsters, and mazes and pits, to vanquish ye from this planet: Mama Brain, destroyer of planets.”

The liquid in the glass case seemed to have taken on an angry reddish glow, and the brain bubbled, a thought bubble popped, psychically transferred into her mind: You? Vanquish me? Do you know what I am?

“A brain in a tank. What’s more to know about it?”

Bubble: You’re right. .But I am more than a brain in a tank. I — well — for one. I’ve thought up! — it’s sorta like — well, I’ve conquered one planet already!!

“An uninhabited planet.”

Bubble, bubble: Hey, I’m working on it! I’m also the smartest sentient being in the universe.

“You forgot God.”

Bubble: I’m an atheist. I don’t need God.

“I’m surprised you have faith enough to be an atheist. It being more probable for a tornado to run through a junkyard and assemble a fully functioning Boeing 747. And that never happening*.”

* And what with the impossible evolution of the bacterial flagellum.

There’s always a chance . . Do you wanna bust out the multiplication tables right here? I’ll prove how smart I am!

Out from the cavey underworld dropped a multiplications table.

Said Mama Brain in her bubbling capsule, What’s 2 times 2? Wait. That was just for practice. Anyways, it’s time for my dinner!

A space pirate butler dropped in from above and poured fish food into the tank, and the Brain leapt and ate the food, absorbing it through its undulating seams.

Mmm. Yum, yum.

“What’s 2 times 2?”

Practice, said Mama Brain. Oh, how ‘bout this? What’s 7 times 45496091? Give up?

“Uh…”

A bubble of triumph: It’s 318,472,637, she thought out s l o w l y , as if reading it.

“You’re using a calculator.”

Am not!

“Are too! I see your calculator. It’s right in your tank.”

That’s it. I’ll get you for that! Me and you — we gotta fight. Out of her tank, on either side, shot robotic arms, and then robotic legs underneath her, which carried her up through the ceiling — bump! — shifting the contents of her brainy prison, and out she came, looking like a robotic dinosaur, with tail, and wings. A little calculator fell out and onto the floor, and Wife picked it up and said, “See?”

Bubble, bubble: Bubble. Argh! and lunged forward at Wife, and Wife shot five big missiles into the glass container of Mama Brain, it shattered, and out poured the brains, which, shifting, used the last of its powers to relay one final message. Bubble, bubble: If I go, I’m taking you with me, you little snot. You’ve got four minutes before this whole planet explodes. And I am too smart! I WENT TO COLLEGE.

Wife curled up into a ball and rolled out of a little hole in there, then, building up super speed, ran out with thirty seconds to spare, destroying whatever obstacle, alien, or space pirate was in her way, until she made it to her spaceship, rocketed off, and then looking off, saw the planet explode like a firework.

J J J

The next sidescroller to accomplish, marching endlessly to the right, was Revenge of the Metaphysical.

That’s right. Get Meta with me here!

It starred a little pink puffball whose super power was absorbing powers by sucking up his* enemies, and turning them into helpers; in this case, Wife.

* is it a he?

The little puffball rode in flying on a star, dodging all manner of lasers and missiles, assaulting the Metaphysical Knight’s airship. But was blasted off course.

Landed in a bird’s nest.

It sucked up the baby birds, and out popped its first helper: Wife. She looked like a little baby chick, with flapping wings.

“Fly me to Metaphysical’s airship,” said the little puffball.

“Wait!” said Wife. “I don’t know how to fly.”

“You have wings, doncha?”

“I have — wings??” said Wife.

Said K- the puffball, “You’re my helper, arencha?”

“I suppose so. That’s how the game always works. 2 players in this game, I can only wonder whose you are.”

“Then fly me to Metaphysical’s ship,” and hopped on.

“Wait!” said Wife, but he had already pushed her off, and they flew.

The little puff ball absorbed a jet pack power, a bomb power, a hammer power, a spark power, a cooking power, a rock and roll power, and a yo-yo power, to great result. Working his, her, or its way through metal lobsters, and iron chefs, and many, many cute, adorable, fluffy enemies. To great result! He, or she, or it, or whatever, the little pink alien, made its way all the way to the Metaphysical Knight.

The little puff ball grabbed a sword that said “Get it!” above it. And drew the sword for an epic duel.

The Metaphysical Knight was sitting in a flowery field of talking flowers, pondering life, and abstract paintings. Its sword laid gently down on the grass. “Am I, or am I not?” it said. It was thinking on how the world came into being. “Will I, or will I cease?” it said.

“Draw your sword!” said the little puff ball.”

“You have a little typo up there,” said The Metaphysical Knight.”

“Where?”

“You put a quotation mark after ‘puff ball’ up there, where it shouldn’t be. Or shouldn’t it be? Or should I be? I think, therefore, you is..”

“Well, what do you mean?” said Wife, who was currently, a wheel. Just a wheel. A rubber tire. With eyes, and a hairdo.

“I hold the universe together,” said The Metaphysical Knight, twirling its cape. “With my mind,” it explained. “Whee-oosh!” he said. “So. Are you, or are you not?” said it.

“Are we — what?”

“I think, therefore you is. If I were to cease thinking, would you stop existing too? I think so, maybe. How did we all come here? As far as I can remember, I only existed for as long as I remember. Maybe that’s how long we’ve been here..”

“Uh.”

“How do you prove you exist? Maybe we don’t exist. GET META WITH ME!”

“You’re full of crap,” said Wife. “I’m getting out of here.” And wheeled off, leaving the two to philosophize about life, lawns**, and existence.

** grass

Chapter 6: Party

Cheerful music played at the beginning.

“Press start” the title screen said…

J J J

“I know, I know, I know, I know,” said Wife. “First we smash the block over our heads with our heads to decide turn order.”

“Obviously, you’ve never played this game.”

In truth, she had. For your sake, she hadn’t.

“In this game,” said the little mushroom-headed freak, “we pick characters first, then difficulty level, then number of turns, then–”

“You mean, I can set the difficulty level however I want?”

“Whoever’s in charge of the system can.”

Wife turned to the screen and talked to the player, she said, “Yoohoo! I’ll show you my boobies if you choose the easiest difficulty number and the most simple game board.”

Unbeknownst to Wife, the player who was playing that game at that exact moment was a girl. .But she was into women. So she decided to see the pixilated breasts. “Nice,” said she. “Easy it is,” and picked the little dinosaur and the princess and the thin and tall green plumber weakling to be Wife’s opponents. “Can I call you Easy?” she said to the pixilated blur.

She picked the Western and Pirate Levels, where you’re all dressed up either as Cowboys or Pirates.

These, too, got twisted together in Game Time. It was Cowboy Pirates in a Western Caribbean sea. In space!

It all happened on a game board, you should know, and now you do. With items. And mini-games, and battle games. Etcetera.

See, they hit a dice with their heads to see who goes first, or turn order, it being called. Saving up 10 coins a match, getting either plus 3 coins, or minus 3 coins for landing on blue or red spaces, buying a star for 20 coins. Starting with 10.

Avoiding Bruiser space and his Baby Bruiser who takes off 6 coins, while Big Bruiser can either give you a 1,000 star present, which he runs away from, and never does-(he did this once after he’d beat Wife up a bit)-or take a star away, or exchange any number of coins from one person to another. Or give all the coins to him. Or declare a Communist Empire.

The object of the game was winning the most coins in the mini-games, and buying the most stars, and having a lot of fun.

J J J

For a brief break.

Wife was jettisoned into Crazy Ware.

20 levels of really bizarre, highly specific, very simple games. At a hyper pace! Going up and up and up an elevator, with a little potted plant that falls over if you fail. Pressing one and only one button.

She had just finished wiping the nose of a Japanese maiden as one of the many mini-games and using the backlegs of a dung beetle that looked like Wario* to push a golf ball into its hall when she fell back into the time they were just about to smash blocks over their heads with their heads to decide turn order.

* oops, I said a franchise name again. Will I get sued?

J J J

A Western. In Space. With Pirates? What’s this wheel doing here?

Argh! It’s driving me nuts! said the pirate.

..In a giant tree with floating logs, the tree changing depending on Night or Day. It was all either one of those all the time in space, depending on if you were close to a star or not, well relatively; or if a planet or a moon didn’t block your freakin’ way all the time.

Wife looked at her pixilated opponents- (really advanced graphics for the system in those days, top-of-the-notch 3D)- who were apparently doing stretches.

“Psst!” said Wife.

They continued stretching.

“I said, PSST!

They looked her way.

“I could give you 10 coins up front if you let me win the first game.”

“But then you’ll win the extra bonus stars at the end for winning the most mini-games.”

Wife started stretching herself. “Fine,” she retorted. “I’ll just have to beat you with ladylike skill and grace.”

“She has grace?” said the princess.

“Hey, princess, housewives have grace too!”

“She has grace?” said the princess.

Turn order decided, it didn’t matter who went first, because it started all over again.

J J J

The first game was easy enough. One simply had to bop a little yellow block with one’s head to count either one or two items one would get, either berries, honeysuckle, or a beehive.

Well, the princess went first, rather hesitantly, being an easy class opponent, and hit it twice, and this gave free range for the other two to hit it twice, and– well, I guess turn order did count for something. Wife got the beehive and was chased out by bees. Kicked out the very first round..

She didn’t get the ten coins like her soon-to-be rival, the princess, had; but she would get even.

J J J

The second game was a test of archery. It seemed the princess had landed on a red space, making her engage the other three in a one-on-three bout.

She held the crossbow- (crossbow? thought Wife. I thought this required only a bow and arrow) -and fired the first shot at — oh, wait. Did I mention this? :

: The other three were cardboard cutouts of themselves stuck between other cardboard likenesses of other characters in the game, and they had to- (moving only left and right in a 2D universe)- dodge the three-dimensional arrows the one holding the crossbow did shoot at them.

This didn’t end well for Wife.

J J J

The third game was for revenge purposes in our little tale. Wife knew how to count a roll on the dice, a bit cheap, but she was desperate, and landed on a red space herself, minus three coins, but worth it. . Maybe.

She ended up with a hammer while the others carried light bulbs that flashed on and off in the dark. On while they were alive, off when they were smashed . . DEAD!

Wife won that bout quite easily. She especially enjoyed conking out the princess. She had long been engaged in the spousal abuse of her husband with a hammer just the size of this mallet.

J J J

The fourth game was boring. Let’s skip it.

J J J

The fifth game was a game called–C’mon, don’t sue me if I use it!–Look Away.

It was just four hovering heads, and, while the music played, one of those heads- the head on top, with the three at the bottom- had to look in the direction of where one or two or three of the hovering heads were looking at the bottom at the moment, and if he or she did this, in five turns, he or she!– being the dinosaur this time, I dono, was it a he?–was named champion!! Ten coins. Very nice.

J J J

The sixth game was two-on-two. They simply had to build a cake on an assembly line.

Simple enough? Put on the layers, then top it with the strawberry.

Easy enough? But this wasn’t your ordinary, Fordian assembly line.

It was too fast, for one, and the gears sometimes got stuck, and then stray bombs would get into the mix, and you never wanted to put those on a cake.

And then, BOOM! It splattered everywhere. Gosh! Just like the first night of my wedding.

Luckily, or by sheer skill, Wife had thrown all the bombs on her opponent’s cake.

With three wins in a row*, Wife was now in the lead. Plus, with what she had won in the game board in between games.

* was that three wins?

J J J

The seventh game was free-for-all.

They were all of them planted on a block of ice over the rim of volcano at sea, and had to balance on balls and bump into each other, and bounce each other off, either to sharks, or in, to boiling hot hell– or as Dante would call it– the INFERNO. But you’re not really interested in it. Go away. Watch TV. It’s more entertaining. No, really. It is!

Wife bounced the clumsy green plumber off, did quick work with the dinosaur by saying, “Hey, look! It’s Mario, and his butt looks like it wants to ride you!” who went suicide off the edge to sharks, and Wife took on the princess–

But where was the princess?

She was behind you! Oh, look out, Wife.

Jab with the left– No, right! Take her on. All at once!

Oh, no. Not that! Oh, do it, do it.

There’s a girl!

…And the princess was knocked into Hell.

J J J

The eighth game was also a free-for-all. It involved manning tanks.

Now, Wife won this one.

What she didn’t expect to win was the hatred of all her opponents pressed upon her for winning so often. They turned against her. They teamed up! To balance the odds.

J J J

The princess challenged Wife to a laser pirate sword fight

/ -slash- / gun duel, and they went the other way walking, and Wife’s electric pulse was raising, and when they both turned to shoot, the princess wasn’t there.

She was nabbed by Bruiser. Saved again by that unfortunate bastard.

I say, unfortunate because — well, you’ll figure it out. It comes soon..

J J J

In between all this, on the game board, they played. A roll of the dice– a bump of it, really, a knock with the cranium– and from 1-10, not counting up to 30 rolls with items, these space Cowboy-Pirates would saddle a horse and sail on over to the many opportunities given unto them from the blue and red and, sometimes, God forbid it, Bruiser spaces…

Wife landed on a Bruiser space two times in the first 8 turns.

Normally, this would mean your life sucked for several hours after, but it actually helped Wife. A lot.

The princess, who was in second place, and coming up fast, had 100 coins she had not spent on stars yet before she was nabbed by Bruiser, and was planning on using a ghost to steal two of Wife’s stars*, got jipped by this quite violently.

* that’s what ghosts did in this game: steal coins and stars

I say ‘violently’ because — I don’t know why I said ‘violently’. (It’s probably not the right adjective. If you feel that way about it, send an irate complaint to my editor.)

Anyways, the first time Wife landed on it, big ol’ Bruiser, the turtle monster with the spiked shell from below Wife had beaten up from the same franchise*, came back, and said, “Wife.”

* different system and game

And Wife said, “You.”

And Bruiser said, “Now, I have you where I want you.”

And Wife said, “And what position would that be? Don’t get sexy.”

Bruiser smirked and hollered off screen to where the curtain was raised and the options were presented. Would Bruiser take a star away, have her give him 20 coins as a present, or exchange any number of coins and stars from one player to another? Or give all the coins to him? Or have Communism save the day and even out everyone’s wealth from one to the other? If that loser dinosaur has, say, 7 coins, and Wife has 111, they would then– yeah. So how ‘bout it?

Wife didn’t shrug, she didn’t blink. She did breathe, though. However her pixilated atoms could breathe. With her hands behind her back, she hit the block over her head and it slowed down to the Exchange process. She looked at her toes, digging them into the pixilated earth.

She hit one block that read her name and face, and this meant that she would have to be getting or receiving something from someone else.

Then she hit the other, and it was the princess! Either she would be getting or receiving from!–

She hit the next block, the block in the middle, and it read– “Gimme all your coins.”

The princess was aghast with disgust.

J J J

The second time Wife visited the Big Bruiser space, she hit the block just right, so it would be a mighty short visit. “1,000 star present.”

Big Bruiser began to sweat like turtles can’t, and ran away from this, and Wife chased him, and said, “Wait a minute! What about my present?” and caught him. Hanging off his tail.

“It’s on me, here,” said Big Bruiser, and dropping a certain item, said, “It’s what I use to get around the board.”

It was a magic lamp. .

In it was not three but— but one wish. Oh, that sucks..

“But I still got a wish!” said Wife.

“I only grant one specific wish,” said the genie. “Care to know what it is?”

Wife, who had played the game before, replied, “I know. Warp me to the freakin’ star spot so I can buy a star for 20 lousy coins..”

“Hey, it’s a plus to your other 3 stars.”

“I know. I win,” said Wife. “But I wanted a shiny new Mazda.” Sad L

Chapter 7: In Between Games

J J J


In between games, Wife was in her trailer, wondering, smoking and swigging beers, getting ready for her makeup, and then her water broke.

This took her less than two hours, and then she was back on location for the shoot.

“A good book is about things,” she complained to the editor. “Why can’t this book be about things?”

J J J

Chapter 8: Shooters

J J J


How about this? wrote the editor.

J J J

Contrary 3.

Two manly men were riding on motor bikes, fighting aliens with their guns, and giant mosquitoes that pick you up and drop you, the two manly men jumping on a missile attached to a helicopter, whoo! the sweat pouring off their brows, and, while the missiles were fired at the enemy craft and they’re hanging on, having to jump

from missile to missile

while shooting at the enemy craft’s force field to disable it,

so the missiles will start penetrating the shield. The manliest game in the universe, in short.

Their heaving, glistening pectorals.

Wife, somehow, didn’t fit in with her wedding dress and princess tiara. And found it hard to breathe.

“But that’s not about things!*” complained Wife.

* “However sexy it is.”

Oh, and they were reading a book about quantum physics.

“It’s still not about things.”

What do you want from me, Wife? What do you want from us?

“I don’t know. I just want it to be high quality literature.”

Then go read the Great Gatsby. This is Q-burt. It has nothing to do with high quality literature. It’s just a book about weird ideas, and fun premises.

“What’s a premise?”

It’s a . . idea! Basically, what the book’s about.

“But it still doesn’t seem to have a message!”

So that’s what you’re looking for. A message? If you want a message, go to church. God!

J J J

Well…

The next game, Worms Apocalypse 2, saw Wife using ninja rope, and parachute, and teleportation device to get along in a war-torn countryside populated with intelligent worms that liked to blow each other the hell up.

Shooting uzi and bazooka and shotgun and grenades and deploying air strikes and napalm strikes at other enemy worms. One battle. To the death! As the water below them rises. . And worms can’t swim.

And using old explosive ladies, and explosive sheep, “You’re not bored of this list, are you?” and super sheep that flew, and holy hand grenade, “Are you?”, and explosive bananas, and mad cows that explode also. “It seems to me that everything explodes in this game,” said Q-burt’s editor. “Maybe it’s a commentary on global war economics. Everything being so fragile, it just blows the hell up. Of course, that’s all B.S.”

“Getting better,” said Wife.

“Is it?”

“Yeah, I think. No, I don’t think. Well, I almost think.”

“What do you think?”

“I think these games are about– they’re about–”

J J J

The next game, Metal Snail 3, saw Wife getting turned into a zombie, getting a chimp with a love for machine guns on her side, and, while a zombie, spewing out toxic waste from the mouth that destroys enemy helicopters. Barf. Then fighting alien U.F.O’s.

“That’s not about things, neither,” said Wife sadly.

An enemy zombie said, “Not everything has to be about things, Wife. Urgh!” feasting on brains.

“How did you know my name?”

“You know, I really don’t know. Not that it’s any of my business, but some things are just for the purpose of entertainment. That’s the message here: Fun. Urgh! Brains!”

“But what about solving all the world’s problems!”

“One of the world’s problems is, people don’t have enough fun. They run around and around and around, everywhere,” said the enemy zombie, “looking for more money, while working at a hundred miles a minute. Forgoing all Fun just to build themselves up with a wall of money on all four sides, and a roof of gold. Learn to sit still and smell the brains. Urgh!” There’s plenty of work ethic in this world. There’s just not enough play. People need to relax… That’s what videogames are all about. That’s the message. Or they’ll go suicide.

Which reminds me of the next videogame:

Chapter 9: A Man Called “Mario”

This next videogame takes place in the Celery Kingdom. Everything made of celery.

Here, you procure items, power-up’s, extra lives. Venture into green pipes. Go hop on turtles to use their turtle shells as projectiles. Collect coins hovering in midair. While marching endlessly to the right. Also, a side-scroller; but it being the most important side-scroller, we just had to cover it in a chapter all its own!

J J J

In Super Italian Plumber Bros. 1&2, Wife found herself leaping up the pixilated steps, then jumping on a flag and going down, heading into a land of celery several thousands of feet in the air. Where you can hop on the clouds, and go in green pipes, warp anywhere, anywhere on the screen, fight flying turtles, and breathe and swim underseas.

Touch the enemy and you die, though.

Jump on the enemies’ heads to squish them, or throw a turtle shell at them.

And pick a power-up to spit fireballs at them. This even works underwater!..

“Neat!” said Wife.

“It is neat,” said Bruiser, walking out of the gloom.

“Big Bruiser!” said Wife, “What do ye here?”

“This is my game too. Our franchise is all over the place. We’re the top-selling game franchise in the world. See you at my castle for a rematch,” and left. “I’ll be a bit smaller, then,” he said from far away. “See if you can spot me!”

Wife continued marching endlessly to the right, picking up plants out of the ground, radishes, and throwing them at monsters.

And then she happened upon this odd, pink egg-blowing dinosaur with a bow on its head that shoots eggs out of its cannon-like mouth; she had to jump on the eggs, and throw them at the dinosaur a coupla times to kill it, and it’s over. But first, the dinosaur admired Wife’s dress, “I love that color on you! What is that?” said the odd, pink, egg-blowing dinosaur.

“…White,” said Wife. “Look, I think I’m here to kill you.”

“Everyone’s here to kill me. I’ve died so many times it’s not funny.”

“I don’t know why it’d be funny. I’ve died once before only quite carelessly on the first level I ever tried. Now, I’m here, just two more lives, and then *pfft* that’s it.”

“So what do you want to talk about?”

“Do you have a message I should hear?” said Wife. “I’d like there to be a message in this book.”

“I thought that zombie said something about a message.”

“How’d you know about that?”

“Never-mind-that. I suppose the message here is, always eat your protein,” and shot an egg at Wife, which Wife jumped on, grabbed the egg, and knocked the egg-blowing dinosaur three times ‘til she fell off the earth.

“Still, I fear, this book is about total sh– Well, it is, isn’t it?”

J J J

She was transported almost immediately to the next game.

In Super Italian Plumber Bros. 3, Wife was on the world map, selecting stages, and playing cards, and fighting sudden battles on the spaces, and crushing castles, and then finding a whistle to blow to new lands, and then up in the clouds, finding a castle that holds a king who’s been transformed into a spider.

She said to the king, “I’m looking for a message. Do you have anything to say? I want this book to be about things.” She had a pencil and a paper to write it down.

“Well, sides-scrollers aren’t really about things, traditionally,” explained the king, hanging on a web. Eating a delicious fly dinner. “The whole aim- yum, yum, this fly must be medium rare*– is to march endlessly to the right towards a goal. I’d say, if you want purpose, find an old traditional RPG. They’re like movies that way. They’re the closest you’ll get towards game literature. That’s what you need to find.”

* flies aren’t generally cooked, but the king was quite particular about his flies. He had been transformed into a frog before, and was quite picky. He was always transformed into one form or another.

“Oh,” said Wife. “And I’m also looking for a way out of here.”

“Turn me back into a humanoid, and I’ll help you with that.”

And turning the king back into a . . . person.

A person with a celery growing out of its scalp. By getting the scepter from the fat turtle-like enemy at the end of a flying airship.

..The celery-headed king said, “Sorry, the part of my brain that could’ve helped you with that has celery growing out of it. I can’t help you find your purpose.”

Wife shot the king in the head with a bazooka, oh yes she did, it was all quite sudden, and walked away from the explosion- not looking at the explosion- looking away from the explosion- keeping a careful eye not to look at the explosion, because cool guys don’t look at explosions. They got other cool guy errands to walk to. Who’s got time to watch a boring explosion?

J J J

In Super Italian Plumber World, Wife was depressed. She found this book was without purpose. No direction.

And it quite easily was.

Now, she was riding a pointless dinosaur that licked up pointless enemies, either swallowing them up pointlessly, or using them as projectiles, spitting them out. Then going alone to a worthless haunted house with meaningless ghosts. And beating the haunted house of no value, then saving the game. It’s the only way to save the game! Quite annoying. You can beat the haunted house as many times as you like.

She’d done nothing all day but play games.

..Then, in the next game, Nobuo’s Island, Wife was an infant in diapers riding Nobuo the Dinosaur from place to place, marching endlessly to the right, then fighting Baby Bruiser. Wait– Bruiser?

“Hello again,” chirped Baby Bruiser.

“Bruiser,” chimed Baby Wife. “You’ve got diapers.”

“I’ve always had diapers,” said Baby Bruiser. “Even when I was an adult,” said Bruiser. “Look, I’m here to get revenge on you, if you’ll have it. Don’t beat me up all at once. I hear you’ve only got two more lives. Well, I’m at my mightiest, can I tell you? and I think you’re gonna lose some –”

Wife slapped him in the face. “What’s this book about?” she screamed.

“Nothing!” said Baby Bruiser. “It’s about nothing!” Scared out of his wits. Cringing in his shell.

“Nihilism, then?” said Wife, writing it down. “Can I write you down for Nihilism? The belief in nothing.”

“Yes!” said Baby Bruiser. “I mean, no! I mean, I’m here to kick your tail!” Are you obsessed with Nihilism or something? Is it the only world view you know?

A cackling turtle witch on a flying broom soared over Baby Bruiser, sprinkling magic dust until Baby Bruiser grew and grew and grew.. and then stopped growing a bit to right itself… and then grew some more, and then forgot to grow!.. and grew, and then decided to stop growing.

“HA!” said Baby Bruiser. “I’M HUGE NOW.”

“You certainly are big,” said Baby Wife, observing. She had to shoot giant explosive eggs at him from the butt of the dinosaur Nobuo to defeat the giant Bruiser, “HEY, NO FAIR!” “It’s totally fair, I think it’s outrageously fair,” and then the giant Bruiser shrank and shrank, and then forgot to shrank.. and shrank some more, and decided to stop shrinking.. and cried, for the day was saved.

At least, until the sequel..

“That’s my lot in life,” lamented Wife. “To march endlessly to the right, looking for a purpose*.”

* “And I never win,” said Bruiser.

Chapter 10: Racers

J J J


But sometimes I need me some mindless racing. It heals a life-wrecked soul. It distracts me from the Pain. It’s a bit like a drug, and you get a little addicted, but the escape value is well worth it… Ah.

But I’ve sacrificed my love-life.

J J J

X-One GX was the first game.

Wife found herself in a molten planet, 64 aliens racing on all sorts of space cars hovering at hundreds of miles per hour on and around and inside a pipe, while hot magma burst upwards at several hundred feet, dodging vents of heat, using centrifugal force to stay on the pipe. With Bob and Bob the announcers, floating alien heads, talking over the race.

“I say, it’s a lovely day for a race, isn’t it, Bob?” said Bob.

“Yessiree, Bob!” said Bob.

“And now, Magmar6 has taken the lead; and oh, oh! LoveForce5* is on his tail!”

* that’s Wife’s game name

“She’s turning wide on the pipe now, spinning up and down, and now, see how she turns with so much concentration, such passion for the race?!”

“She’s leaping off the jump off now, and will she make it?”

“No! No! She’s crashed. Tragedy!”

And Wife lost her second life. She only had one left now.

Wife found herself transported by a flying robot with a magnet back into the race. She was in fifteenth place now, where before, she was at second.

She turned on the speed, and annoyed at losing the life, jetted into intense concentration. Passion for the game, some say. If there was any purpose out there, it was in her passion for Victory. She would not, could not, will not lose!

J J J

She won. And was transplanted to Water Fast Lightning.

Racing down a waterfall at hundreds of kilometers per hour with boats passing by in between!

J J J

She won that too.

Then she was racing through Rainbow Road on a go-cart. In Italian Plumber Kart 64.

The road itself seemed to be as if rainbow. With chomping jaws passing by every once in a while to mess you up.

Wife knew the secret of this level, and she would not lose. She jumped off to the left, and leapt off the twisting, turning roads suspended in Game Space, and landed on a road far ahead of them, sped up, receiving several powers with these blue and yellow blocks with little question marks on them.

She opened up the first power she had got. A banana. She threw it on the road, and, to be expected, one hour later, somebody caught up and tripped on it.

But Big Bruiser knew the secret of this level too. He hopped off the level’s edge, and was right behind Wife with a turtle shell in hand, popped her one, and took the lead!

But Wife must not lose, or she’d fade away forever. Into silicon hell.

Suddenly, a hyper-powered Go-cart, huger than huge, invincible and flashing yellow, and insanely fast, passed Wife up but flew off the edge.

Suddenly, lightning flashed, and everyone had grown a bit shorter.

And suddenly, a blue shell with spikes on it passed to the right of Wife and mashed Big Bruiser on the head.

He lost control, and spun off the race, and Wife took the lead, passed the goal for the final time, took the trophy, and was off to the next game.

“I never win!” said Big Bruiser. “When is it going to be my day?”

Chapter 11: Space shooters

In all her games, she found no happiness. Well, a little happiness. But then, she found, no purpose. Well, a little purpose. But then, she found, no, nothing..

J J J

She ended up in the cockpit of a star shooter. Under the wings of three other fighters, while a giant ship surfaced above the clouds of an atmosphere-drenched planet. In blue.

She examined her surroundings. She knew this place. Why, certainly. Why wouldn’t she? She’s played every Nintendo game in existence! This was a big one.

Suddenly, something ringed on her communicator, and she saw the rabbit-headed face of her comrade.

Said the rabbit-headed father-figure, “Do a barrel roll! . . . Use the boost to get through! No, I’m kidding. What we really need to do is find Andrew. After having just whooped Star Wolf’s butt.”

“Star Wolf?” said Wife. “Won’t we get sued if we use their actual names?”

“Moon Wolf, then. Why, our rival. He’s a part of Emperor Andrew’s armada.”

“Don’t you know anything?” squawked a bird on her left. But the bird was also in a star shooter. And a croaking frog to the right of him.

A bird, a rabbit, and a frog were on Wife’s team. Wife examined herself. Wife had fox ears. And she felt them. She was all scratchy, and itchy, and so on. Fur had crawled up over her skin, it seemed. It looked cute on her, she thought. And she quite enjoyed swishing the tail. Like a little feather duster..

“Would you stop looking at your butt, housewife?” said the bird, who, by coincidence, looked at it all the time. He must’ve had a thing for her.

Suddenly, enemy ships surfaced from above the clouds, and Wife began unloading at the enemy ships, but the bird got in the way of her lasers, and the bird cried out, “Hey, Einstein. I’m on your side!”

“What’s his problem?” said Wife over her communicator to the rabbit-headed father-figure.

“Give him a break,” said the frog. “He never even knew his father,” who appeared over her communicator.

The bird, if a bird could, teared up. “I’m just so — misunderstood!” he lamented.

“Knock it off, you two!” said the rabbit-headed father figure. “Our next mission, Wife’s first, will be escorting the Trade Federation through the Asteroid Field.”

“Why don’t we just go around it?” said Wife.

“That would take longer.”

“No, it wouldn’t. Space is huge! There’s so much empty space, and an asteroid field isn’t that clumped together–”

“Sh! Don’t break the illusion,” said the rabbit. And looked around in paranoia. “They’ll hear you…”

“What?”

“You know? Them? The players! The ones who play the game. They don’t know asteroid fields are so largely spaced out you can easily zoom through them. It’s real to them! They don’t listen in school. They need the escape, they crave it, and giving our lives, we give it them.”

J J J

They were now negotiating through a very clumped-together and impossible asteroid field, a field that would only exist in an imaginatory fantasy land, or fantasy space, or something. Or Star Wars.

In fact, it would never happen.

In chance you didn’t find something like this in the real universe, it would have to be in Saturn’s rings where moons and chunks of ice were simply bouncing around. And even then, it’s not that spaced together.

“Squawk. This’ll be your first mission, won’t it, housewife?” said the bird, looking at her tail.

“Go easy on her,” said the frog. “Ribbit. She’s a rookie.”

“[*The sound a rabbit makes*] Cut it out, you two!” said the rabbit-headed father-figure. “Wife, you come under my wing. I’ll keep a good eye on you.”

The Trade Federation followed in suit, and nothing happened. Then nothing happened some more. It was just space. Then nothing. It’s not like there were immediate dangers happening in the infinite sitting room between Point Alpha Centauri and Point Betelgeuse.

Oh, yeah, a few stray asteroids battered up the Trade Federation a bit, and they lost a bit of their cargo, but for the most part, Star Fox– I mean, Star Housemaid.. Jeez! blasted apart the asteroids into miniscule bits that wouldn’t hurt you if they– actually, in space they’re moving so fast they’d crack through your solar shields!!

A few space pirates inhabiting the area looked past them as they went through the grating, grinding rocks and chunks of ice, but that was it. They only looked. This game was just getting realer and duller, until this happened: A sudden meteor passing through crossed paths with an asteroid and blew it apart in a way they did not plan, and blasted Slippy- I mean, the frog..- out of the Asteroid Field, and into a nearby star. Sol.

J J J

Star Housemaid and the crew flew close to this particular Sun to look for their fallen comrade, fighting fire pterodactyls, and dodging solar flares, which, in all reality, should have fried their circuitry, the solar flares, but through space fantasy protecting them, they hurried on; ‘til a giant thermonuclear heat beast rose from out the Sun, and said, “What do you think you’re doing? It’s hot here! You’ll burn up.”

“Have you seen?–” began the rabbit.

“This is impossible. I don’t know how I’m talking to you, to be completely honest.”

“Have you seen?–” said the bird.

“What movie have I seen? Oh, I’ve seen hundreds of them, but the theatres are always very, very far away, so I have to use heat-resistant telescopes, and those melting in less than a minute, so I only get a glance at the movie, and then it’s done! So I really can’t say I’ve seen hundreds of them. I must be talking your ear off. I don’t have many friends. They don’t like to stay near me, them getting so sweaty all the time.”
“But have you seen?–” said Wife.

“Not much to do in the sun but heat up things, yep,” said the thermonuclear heat beast. “I like to light up the universe. Heat up the planets. You know. I find my purpose in my function. Oh, by the way, your friend is over there. I must have just talked your ear off just now.”

“In your function?” zeroed in Wife, hovering.

“Yes,” said the thermonuclear heat beast. “In what you were built to do. You know, in what you do best. I find my purpose in my function.”

“In what I do best?” said Wife.

“You’re really a dull, little girl, aren’t you?..” said the heat beast.

“A dull, little girl, aren’t I?” said Wife. “What’s my purpose? Cooking, cleaning?* I’m a housewife! I don’t think that’s where I find what I’m all about. I’m complicated. I’m confused.” And blasted the thermonuclear heat beast apart, and the sun began to die. They didn’t find their friend . . He . . He gave up his last continue for them! L Sad..

* that’s what she did best. But is work really the best place to find meaning?

L L L

They stormed Venom– I mean, they stormed the planet Poison without the frog guy, who in all reality, was annoying anyways if you ever met him or shared a drink with him, so it wasn’t all a lost. He wasn’t much of a pilot either.

Anyways, blasting through hordes and hordes of enemy fighters, and ships, and cruisers, Star Housewife and her two remaining helpmates did wonderfully ‘til they blasted a hole in surface of the world, and headed down a very long vent to get to the center, where Emperor Andrew, a giant monkey’s head with arms, was said to dwell. He greeted them there. He said,

“I am Andross– I mean, I am Andrew. Prince of the Universe!”

“Wouldn’t you rather be a king?” said Wife.

“I would, but I like that Queen song: Here we are. Princes of the Universe. Da-da-dum. You know. Plus, technically, you’re not a king unless you get married. And who would want to marry a bodiless freak?”

Said Wife, “ ‘You’re not a king unless you get married?’ Check your Syntax! Jeez! Say, ‘I’m not a king unless I get married.’ And if he was rich enough, I’d marry anyone..”

The bird and the rabbit said, “Housewife, we’re really here on a mission,” but no.. one of the them spoke at a time, so you can guess it was the bird who spoke, as he was the cruelest. And was looking at her butt.

After they blew him up, only the Brain was left.

A giant, floating, floating Brain.. Sheesh.

But before they attacked him, the Brain said without saying, Wife, I am your uncle..

“My uncle?” said Wife. “You say, you’re my uncle?”

Yes..

“Well, who’s my aunt?”

Would you believe Cindy Crawford?

“Wow,” said Wife. “All this time, I’ve had sneaking suspicions that Cindy Crawford has been my aunt, but this really clears things up. . I think we gotta hug..”

“Really?”

“No. I’m going to bust your lip!”

“But I’m a brain!”

“No excuses! Wait, are you related to Mama Brain?”

“I think it’s a legitimate excuse. I think it’s a good excuse. And no. I don’t think I’m related to Mama Whoeveryousaid.”

The bird and the rabbit said, “Housewife, we’re really here on a mission,” but no, one of the them spoke at a time, so you can guess it was the bird who spoke, as he was the meanest. For seemingly no reason at all. Maybe he was jealous of her. She did, after all, have an uncle.

..Wife fired a bomb into his brain stem, anyways, and took off the area that covered all cognizant thought, and math. Andrew suddenly went “Duh. Thpt! 2 + 2 = 5.” *Raspberry*. And it left Wife wondering, how could he do this? Without lips?

..The whole planet began to blow up — again — and Wife had to make it out before the planet began to blow up — again.

Chapter 12: Beat-em-up’s

J J J

“Never knew his father? I never even had a last name!” said Wife.

J J J

Streets of Persons with Bad Tempers 2: Fighting in the arcade all the street punks with Mohawks*.

* Mohawks are the middle finger to any civil-minded bureaucracy.

Breaking open the game machines and getting candied apples that replenish health, and turkeys that do the like, and bags of money for extra lives, and bags of gold for the same.

Wife took to this place like a grocery store. She could use all the extra health she could for the boss fight.

Suddenly, a suddenness happened all of a sudden.

The arcade blew its top, I guess all that Game Energy had to go somewhere, also, it’s not a good idea to keep gasoline storage next to the matches department, and all that was left in the broken crumble arcade was the corpses of street punks and the near-dead health of Wife’s last life, and one quite clearly cooked turkey. She reached for it, on her stomach, but it burned. She touched it, and cringing, ate it anyways. It replenished a fraction of the health a candied apple would do, but she would have to make due anyways.

Now, normally, you’d expect the citizens to rally around a fire such as this, and call the fireman, or leap in and do some heroic act out of the goodnesses of their heart*. But this was Streets of Persons with Bad Tempers 2. And the ordinary citizen was corrupt, and unkind.

* Not!

Human kindness was a thing of reality, but not in these streets. Out popped a gang of motorcycles, who wanted to light their smokes, and they saw Wife’s still-beating heart, popped out of its socket, laying on the hard, hot exterior of a Pacman. Then, they saw Wife.

“Let’s rape her,” they might have said. If this was ice cold reality.

What they really said was, “Let’s see how good she is in a fight.” And took out their crowbars.

…It turned out Wife had just enough health to procure three hits in herself without dying, taking into agreement that they wouldn’t hit her with crowbars.

But then, the Boss came in, just as they were about to rotate her gaskets*.

* Do gaskets rotate?

He flew in on a jetpack, and said, “Outuvtheway. I’ll drop her.”

I know this can’t be real, but I feel pretty good about it.

Wife had never lost. But she was at a severe disadvantage: surrounded by mustachioed macho men and their liking for all things mechanical, pumping up their egos and their brawn, and a man and his jetpack. A boy’s best friend.

The man didn’t say anything. He just thought or didn’t think about lighting a cigarette. I’m never quite sure. Then he tossed it, and biting into a candied apple, or not biting into a candied apple, leapt forward into action–

STOPPED! In mid-air, mid-sentence, by Wife, who said, “Wait, don’t we have to talk or something?”

He may or may have not decided to shrug. “Idonoo.”

“There’s always time to talk. C’mon! Let’s philosophize about Life or some such.”

He decided to not shrug. “Idoncare.” And they talked, about flowers, and kitty cats, and types of beer, and it was all quite pleasant, and then Wife convinced him it was better to have kicked ass and lost then to have never have kicked ass at all. For she drugged all their drinks, and they either died of asphyxiation*, or ended up comatose. Phew! That was a close one..

* drowned in their own saliva

J J J

Wedding Crashers, I mean, Castle Crashers, the parody of: In medieval times. Was the next arcade game. Wife hopped into it.

But what about that Man at the beginning of the arcade who said she only had three lives? Should she believe Him? What if she were to walk out right now, forgoing their agreement to get to the end of the Arcade?

She tried, but she couldn’t. She just bumped into the screen.

So far for Speculation..

Anyways, in the parody of Castle Crashers- (I haven’t thought of what to call it yet, it was a smash hit on Xbox)- The Pretty Princesses are stolen from the castle, and four brave knights must chase after them to rescue the princesses, and one of the knights is Wife, with the powers of really bad gas, while the others have lightning, fire, and ice powers; and it does poison damage, the gas. That blew things up, gassing, and shot her miles in the air!~ while she shot deadly passes of gasses down from her butt to the earth to decimate all enemies. Phew! That was a mouthful of stuff I really didn’t want mentioned in the same sentence as my, erm, mouth. Was it?

But it’s natural gas, so it’s pure. At least, she had pleasant breath.

And they chased after the princesses into a barbarian war, defeated the barbarian army, destroyed their barbarian tank, bested the barbarian chieftain, and then kissed the first princess, who oddly, looked like a clown, and saved her. In an expositional way of saying, they opened a can of whoop-me.

To slow it down, and to not summarize, Wife had bad eggs that day, and it–

They dueled for who would kiss the princess, and since Wife wasn’t that way, she let the other three duke it out for her affection.

Achievement unlocked: Kissed a princess. Yuck.

Is that really the accomplishment you’re looking for?

Chapter 13: A Chick Called “Zelda”

J J J

For the sake of my not getting sued, we’ll called Zelda, um, “Matilda.”

Here in Hyrule– I mean– in Farule, an empty bottle is the greatest treasure in all the land.

You got an empty bottle! Hold it up in the air for the world to see! J

..Oh no, it’s the Water Temple! I hate this place.

Why? asked the little black-&-white imp.

“Because you have to lower and raise the water levels all the time just to accomplish a task, and it’s all very annoying and painstakingly complicated. You get lost, and so on.”

Halfway through, Wife got a piece of heart.

“Eww. Gross. Put it away!” said the imp.

Get four of these and fill up a full heart. “That’s health,” said Wife. “You’ll need it.”

“Let’s give it a burial,” said the imp, who probably hadn’t heard her.

Swing your sword. Oh, no! Not too much.

..You killed your own fairy..

J J J

I don’t know if videogames are really as bad for you as people make it.

Some relax those who couldn’t be relaxed otherwise, whether through drugs or porn.

Some make you smarter.

Ever tried solving a Zelda puzzle without a guide?

Ever lived in a wheel chair for a year, and had nothing else to do?

J J J

The first game in the Zelda installment we’ll start out with is the parody of Ocarina of Time: Tuba of Time. Because Tubas make flatulence sounds, and I find that, in an immature way, funny.

Wife had replaced the mute protagonist fairy boy’s lead in the game, bearing his honorary green cap and tights, with Mustard Sword, etcetera, and was heading up Ganondork’s castle, which sounded more and more like organ music the closer he got up the stairs.

Like all typical villains, Ganondork talked first. After he was done playing his organ. He said,

“Well. Well, well, well. Well. So you’re here. So I’m here. So I’m aware of that. Join me and together we can leave this mortal coil and be bathed in the eternal essence of absolute evil!”

“Sure,” said Wife.

“What?” said Ganondork. “Aren’t you supposed to say something like, ‘I will never join you! You and your dark ways are blah, blah, blech, etcetera, etc, and you know the rest.’?”

“I thought about it. But you give a pretty convincing argument. I’ll join you. Sure. I’m convinced. Let’s go be evil and stuff!”

“Oh,” said Ganondork.

“Sure, I’ll join you,” said Wife, and took to his side, and they combined the Tri-power of Courage and the Tri-power of Power and Matilda, parody of Zelda, so I don’t get sued, with the Tri-stuff of Wisdom, said, “Knock it off, Link!” You didn’t beat 8 of Ganondork’s dungeons just to join him.

“But he gives a pretty convincing argument,” said Wife. “Why do good, and suffer for it, while I can easily do bad, and gain the whole world? I’m thinking of staying on the side of Pure Evil,” and laughed and laughed, like a retarded Pee Wee Herman, but Matilda slapped her, said she could lose a life, and Wife said, “Right. That,” and faced off against Ganondork. Said, “I’ll never join you! Bad is bad. Good is good. Bad, bad; good, good; bad, bad, good… bad!”

Ganondork took his fist and whammed the ground and blew off shocks of evil energy that knocked Wife off her heroic pose, and broke Ganondork’s organ he had been playing for atmosphere, and Ganondork said, “Shoot. That was my best instrument. I’ll get you for that.”

“But you destroyed it yourself–”

“Na, na, na! I’m not listening!” he covered his ears, singing. And shot a ball of evil energy from his fist, which Wife deflected with her sword back and forth like a game of tennis until Ganondork was stunned and fell down, of which, Wife slashed him with her sword ‘til he collapsed and coughed up blood.

“If I go–” began Ganondork.

“We know,” said Matilda. “They all go..”

“I-wasn’t-going-to-say-that,” said Ganondork, sweating, and whammed the ground again, and the castle began falling apart. He laughed, in short, like a retarded Pee Wee Herman.

… And taking Matilda’s hand, Wife began running out of the falling castle, making it to the base, through which, it fell, the Castle, and out of the ashes rose Ganondork’s giant ‘pig’ form. With dual axes. Who, through magic, surrounded the place with fire, separating Wife from the princess, and they dueled their last epic duel.

Wife won quite easily by slashing the slow beast with her sword, you should know. Then sealed him away for all time, or at least, until the sequel.

Then said Matilda, “Now, that you’ve won, good elf, we can bed together now–” Wife came closer. “Oh, you’re a girl. I’ve been saved by a girl. Gross! What do you expect me to do?!”

“Nothing. I just came here to beat the game. Like, I’ve beaten all the other games, only dying twice so far! I’d love to sit and chat with you during the End Credits, but I’ve got a hair appointment to go to the very next morning, and many games after that, I can’t stay with you,” and left her, a virgin. Played her Tuba of Time, teleported out of that place, and was gone.

J J J

In the next game, Legend of Matilda: Wind Baton, Wife found herself navigating the Great Pastel and Cardboard Sea on a talking, maroon boat that never shut up. Fighting pirates with a boomerang and bow and arrow and cannon, fending off sharks, giant squid, evil rain gods, and other sea monsters, and finding a secret underwater submarine.

She went down into the submarine, and saw Ganondork, once again, playing the organ.

“So, we meet again,” said Ganondork.

“I’ve never seen you before,” said Wife.

“What? We’ve met before.”

His henchman said to the evil boss when he got angry: “Don’t get so worked up. Think of your blood pressure.”

Ganondork tossed his cape and cowl, and said, “This time, Link, you won’t be so lucky.”

“Why does everyone keep calling me that?” said Wife. “Is it the green tights?” examining them, seeing how they looked on her butt. “I look nothing like the legendary hero. So we’re here now, does that mean we talk? Do we philosophize about life and stuff?”

“No,” said Ganondork, and flew up to the top of the submarine, and down rained puppet strings and a monster puppet and Wife would’ve begun fighting them if she hadn’t said, “I think I’m going to level up some more,” and headed for the exit.

“You don’t level up in a Matilda game!” said Ganondork. “This isn’t an RPG*.”

* Role Play Game. You gain levels in Role Play Games, and get stronger, and the bosses get easier.

“Oh, isn’t it? Not an Action RPG?” said Wife, turning.

“Not a traditional RPG.”

“Well, I just wanna float around in my boat some more, collect more bottles, and see more Great Fairies to power up. Then I’ll fight you.” She left him with that.

Matilda talked with Ganondork in the next room. It appeared they were good friends, or at least great acquaintances, or at least greatly accustomed to one another’s company as Matilda was kidnapped so often.

And Ganondork said, “Ha! You can’t leave a boss in mid-battle,” and attacked her, but she shot a light arrow at his head and stunned him, and then cracked him in that head with her sword, and he went, Duh, a very brain-damaged boy.. and she sealed away for all time again his great evil.

J J J

Legend of Zelda: Mojo’s Mask. I just had to make fun of this one. The Moon with the Angry Face was going to fall on Timepiece Town in three days, and you must try again and again, warping back to the first day before it fell on the third, to prevent it; then you must go to the moon itself, which is just a single tree in the middle of a grassy field, surrounded by children, all little girls.

The children began to speak to Wife, “Play with us!”

“Like, so totally what I’m not going to do,” said Wife, who was a valley girl in a past life. Valley girls said “totally” and “like” a lot.

“If you won’t play with us, this place will be your .. . Worst nightmare,” was, I guess, their best threat they could come up with at a time. I don’t know. If I were to make a threat, I would say taxes would be raised fifteen percent, or we’ll cut up all your credit cards with this scissors and then whap you in the head with a crowbar so you forget your social security number. Something to do with money.

Like I said, they said, “This place will be your .. . Worst nightmare.”

Said Wife, “I enjoy nightmares.”

“Yuck. Why?”

“I find them entertaining. They keep me on edge.”

“WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. I mean, we don’t have time for that.”

“No need to be a b-tch about it,” said Wife.

“Oh, that is so common,” said the children. “They have so many bad names to call a girl- witch, bitch, whore- but not so many bad names to call a man.”

“I’m a girl.”

“Oh. I couldn’t tell.”

“I’m a girl!”

Wife had to unite the four giants from the Four Temples, and get them to hold up the Moon while she destroyed the evil within it, then throw the Moon back up into orbit.

She got through the trials of the final dungeon- (she passed the children quite easily, all they could do was bat at her uselessly) -and made it to a floating trickster and his mask, and the floating trickster said, “Join me and together we can leave this mortal coil and be bathed in the eternal essence of absolute evil! No, I’m kidding. I’m just going to fight you.”

Wife beat him up quite easily, and the game was won. My apologies if you expected something epic.

Neither Matilda nor Ganondork showed up in this game and they still called it a Matilda game.

..Wife solved the puzzle, saved the earth from the Moon, and met Ganondork again, and Ganondork said, “Hi. I’m not in the mood to fight, or a talk,” and left him. Ganondork looked depressed. Like he’d never win. He left in his mother’s car to see his therapist.

Sorry if we’ve skipped past A Link to the Past or Twilight Princess, but I find that I have no excuse for skipping them. I should be shot, or hanged, or so on.

Chapter 14: Traditional RPG’s & More

J J J

My impression of an RPG, so you at least get an idea of it: Random encounter of a monster. “What’s that Mario glove over the select screen?”

“That’s the pointer. It tells you whether to fight, use magic, a skill, or an item?”

These battles were Active Time, for the most part, and a little turn-based. You choose an attack, and then they choose an attack. And so on. They take turns. Or fight all at once. The monsters waited quite patiently before you chose your attack.

Single Techs. Dual Tech. Triple Tech. Pokemon: It’s super effective! You took off 5000 HP. You used 50 MP. You got 30,000 GP. Monster dropped an item! What does it all mean? You got 100 experience points, you got 5 tech points. You leveled up!

About a thousand people have joined your party! — Chrono Cross.

Open a treasure chest someone left, apparently, in the middle of nowhere, hoping someone might find it. .

“My favorite game!” said Wife the housewife. “Final Farce.” “How many favorite games do you have?”

“..Eleven.”

You got 25 niceness points. . . You got 42 cuteness points. “Cut that out!” You got 35 bitch points…

J J J

The first RPG Wife covered was Pocket Monsters. It was the most popular one, and apparently, the most poorly received by the critics.

Picking out a Pocket Monster, one of the three elemental lizards, at the very beginning of the game, and meeting your rival: Mary. .

Wife said, “You’re my rival. You’re Mary. We must fight!”

“Yes. Rival. Wife. We must fight!”

And they dualed. Wife got out her electric rodent and her elemental lizard, and Mary, hers, and they battled, and Wife won. Which is to show you, I know very little about Pokemon.

Later, Wife used the Ultra Ball on the last boss in the game, Sephirothetha, and capture Sephirothena, and had her as a pet. It’ll happen. Sephirothena was from Final Farce VII, the most well received RPG ever invented. Critics just ate it up with dipping sauce. It was both intelligent, and engrossing, and one of the pixilated female characters had really large casabas. So complicated a story they couldn’t even think of a good title. They just called it 7. 7th installment of the legendary Final Farce series. The most smart, and profound, videogame series ever made.

J J J

The next game was Italian Plumber RPG: at Star Hill. Where the wishes of all the people upon shooting stars fall to earth, and are made real. Wife sat upon this hill and made wishes.

“I wish I was a rocket man.

“I wish I was a fireman.

“I wish I was a president man.

“I wish I was a man. They get killer benefits! And their names are in all the titles,” and dismounted Star Hill, it was a silly place, and a waste of time. None of your wishes ever got granted. Prayers, maybe. Wishes, no.

That’s wishful thinking, thought Wife wishfully. I better get to someplace where the wishes are more real..

J J J

The next place Wife explored was Final Farce VI, and it was the famed Opera Scene.

Oh my hero. So far away now.

You might have memorized that line.

“Uh. Why is everyone singing?” said Wife’s comrade, the one with the killer tan and muscles and the Mohawk. Wife could just eat him up with whip cream and a cherry. Mm.

Anyways, it was the scene where Wife, who looked oddly like Marina, the main opera gal, was chosen to replace Marina as main opera gal, because infamous lecher-gambler Seltzer had declared to the world that he would come in the third act and nab her for his bride, and so.. she had to make her season debut as a scapegoat to save the real Marina- and it’s all very complicated. She had memorized all the lines. If only she didn’t forget them.

She went for the balcony scene, where she would soon dance with a knight in gleaming armor, and forgot her first line: “Alas Drago. How I hate you! Um. How you never — ever — call!” Bit her lip. The crowd booed. Well they should. She had ruined their culture’s only attempt at achieving art: the theatre.

A five ton iron was dropped on her head in response to this, and an octopus, who claimed he was octopus royalty, came tentacling down, and said, “I’m here to bust up your– oh, I’m sorry, did I drop that on your head?”

Wife got up and said, “You and me — we gotta fight.”

“I hear that a lot. Why?”

“Everyone fights in a game,” she said, in full dress. “C’mon,” and brushed her fist across her bloodied nose.

“Oh, well,” said the Impresario. “We better make good use of this music,” and directed the conductor to playing an upbeat tune about fighting.

Wife jumped on Ultr– the octopus’ head, and the screen flashed, and suddenly, they were in a different background and setting, the octopus in full painted still-portrait on one side of the screen, Wife on the other, in fighting position.

“Okay. Once my battle meter comes up, I’ll hit you with something,” said Ultro- the octopus. “Oh, it’s your turn.”

“It’s my turn?” said Wife. “Okay, I choose FIGHT,” and directed the little hand towards the selection screen, and chose it carefully– and this would go on, but it was a very boring battle, involving lots of waiting and strategy and — ugh — thinking. A very demanding task. No one likes to think when they play videogames, so RPG’s weren’t popular ‘til VII game out.

Time skipped a beat, due to some glitch, and launched her to the very next game..

J J J

Final Farce VII: Wife was in a golden saucer, a Golden Place, high above the quick sand and dunes, above the clouds, with giant yellow birds racing, and a coliseum, and a videogame arcade, and a date place for fireworks and theatre, and a creepy hotel .. A game within a game.

Wife would’ve quite enjoyed herself, but she had that hair appointment, and she really must be moving on. So she progressed the storyline, moving over field and ocean, ‘til she came to the ending at the Big Crater in the Snowy North.

Wife fought that evil villain I told you about, Sephirothena there, but had a Master Ball, and used the Master Ball on Sephirothena and caught her as a pet. The boss of game, apparently.

“Fine,” said Sephirothena from inside the ball. “But I’m not jumping through any hoops for you! There.”

“Hey!” said Wife. “When I stand on my head, the blood rushes to my face, and I get all red.”

“I take it you’re the cheerful, happy-go-lucky type. Well, I’m not,” said Sephirothena. “I’m the product of a mad scientist’s science experiment and an alien monster from outer space, and this makes me quite insecure, so that I burn down people’s hometowns, and generally kill everyone I see. It’s not a good reason to kill people, but I like to think it is. I was also never close to my father.” Wife nodded, upside-down. “Hurt people hurt people, you know.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“Lucrecia!” shouted the emo-haired teammate of Wife’s.

“I blow up stuff to save the world in the name of Righteousness!” said a big ex-miner with a gun-arm. “I take care of my best friend’s daughter like I’m her father, but I don’t wash my hands. I’m a terrorist, with a heart of gold.”

“Who am I?” said the main protagonist with the spiky ass hair. “Am I — Am I that guy over there?”

“Your teammates are a bit whack,” said Sephirothena.

“They’re a bit touched, yes,” said Wife, “but I– I usually have a good point here, but I have nothing to say about them. They are rather whacky.”

Time skipped a beat, and launched her to the very next–

J J J

Final Farce VIII: The Mobile College stormed the enemy beach like Normandy and fought a giant crab robot. Were chased out of there, and back to school in time for the summer dance.

The giant crab robot said, “Wait! You forgot your pants!” It was only trying to return Wife’s pregnancy pants she had dropped.

At the dance, Wife found herself staring across the way at an emo-haired 9th grader, and said, “He’s cute. I should dance with him.”

“Isn’t he — like — fourteen?”

“Shut up,” said Wife. “Like you wouldn’t dance with him.”

“But I’m fourteen. It’s alright if I dance with him.”

“Oh, c’mon! He’s not fourteen. Seventeen, I say.”

“I’m sixteen,” said another girl, having an appetizer, drinking her alcoholic drink.

“Okay. You — you dance with him,” they said to the sixteen year old. “He’s the best-looking one here.”

Wife punched her out, however, then walked over to the seventeen-year old boy, and said, “You’re super cute. C’mon! Dance with me! You’re the best-looking dude here,” and took him by the hand, but he didn’t look like he wanted to. They danced, they tangoed, they did the hoochie koola, but this isn’t very — interesting, right? Maybe. Maybe. Anyways

Time skipped a beat, and launched her to the very next–

J J J

Final Farce IX: Crystal World & Pandemonium.

Wife ended up in a crystal world, floating, upside down. Seeming to give gravity amiss, and go right on into fantasy. She saw a giant crystal shard, and a furry red man, or was that a girl*? who wished to destroy it, and she said, “I know what happens if you destroy that thing. Game over. I’m dead.” The very fabric of the universe, unwinding.

* He was wearing a thong

The furry red man said, “I have come to bring all things to a Zero World. Existence denied.” It’ll destroy the whole — everything

“Won’t you die too?”

“I can live with that.”

“Right,” said Wife. “I knew that. So you’re a Nihilist.”

“Is everyone a Nihilist with you and Q-burt? I’m a free-thinker, I think. I think quite freely. Whatever I think, I think it. It’s mine for the thinking. I’m a free-spirit! I do whatever I want. I think I –”

“R-i-g-h-t,” said Wife. “That’s cool. Hey, do you see this?” and did a handstand. “When I stand on my head, the blood rushes to my head, and I get all red in the face.”

“..How does that relate to our topic of conversation?”

“Your topic of conversation is boring. It must die. Who cares what you think? I don’t. Everyone’s free to think. Everyone thinks their thoughts. Everyone says what’s on their mind. No reason to be an A-hole about it.”

“I wasn’t being an A-hole,” said the furry red man. “I was simply stating–” Wife was on her head again “–Listen, when somebody is talking to you–” Wife’s face was all red. “–COULD YOU CUT THAT OUT?”

“I’m thinking freely,” said Wife. “There’s no reason for you to infringe upon my own free will.”

“You’re at a logical fault. I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ve only talked about doing something wrong. And– listen, when somebody is talking to you!”

She unleashed the Boss of the Game, Sephirothena, against him, and Sephirothena, a harder boss to be sure, quite easily whammed down the furry red Nihilist*, and saved the day.

* Probably makes you think I have something about Nihilism, but not really. It’s just one of those few words I know.

Wow, that was short-lived.

Time skipped a beat, and she was launched to the very next thing–

J J J

Time Egg: The End of Time.

Wife found herself in the very end of time. It was a black place with 9 shimmering lights, a door, a water bucket, another bucket, a dangerous bucket, and a lamppost with a little man with a cane standing under it. She walked up to him, and said, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

He said, “I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve got all the time in the world, if only there were time left to think! Think, think, think.” Tapped his head.

“Whatcha doin?”

“Thinking.”

“About what?..”

“Stuff.”

“Wanna talk about it? Is it complicated stuff? Is it girl stuff?”

“Like — like someone I used to date?”

“Sure! Sure!”

“Well, there was this one girl,” said the man with the cane. “But you don’t wanna hear about it.”

“That’s right. I don’t.”

Time skipped a beat, and launched her to the very last game. Chrono Break.

J J J

Chrono Break: The Place where all the ocean’s waves are frozen in time. In a decimated, flooded city. Everything is at a standstill. And here, your existence is questioned.

From behind a broken bell, a man walked out.

She then faced against this boss, the very hardest boss she’d ever faced. He stood for Righteous Fury.

He looked white, whiter than even me, I imagine. Not white of skin, but of shine. He had a halo. And it looked like, in the past, he’d been a fisherman. He wore fisherman’s suspenders.

He talked soothingly to Wife, he said, “Do you know what this place is?”

“What?” said Wife.

“This is Proof of Existence. The Place of Least Resistance. Antonio Adonai. The Wellspring of—”

“It seems to have many names.”

“I WASN’T FINISHED. .The Wellspring of Electricity. Basically, all videogame systems connect to this outlet. The outlet– uh– at the back of the video system! To the wall. It’s connect to the wall. You’re in it. And here you shall remain. For all time. Hey, at the very least, you’ve achieved immortality. That is, until the power goes out, or the place is demolished.”

“You talk a lot,” said Wife.

“I do.” He nodded.

“But I have a silver swallow and many experience points.”

“You’ll not win this battle. And I’m not saying this for your sake. I’m saying this for mine. I can’t stand to see another unfortunate Spud-walker end up in silicon hell. Turn around. Run away.”

“I’m pretty tough,” said Wife. “I’ve made it so far.”

Holy Dragon Sword! And she was knocked out. Dead.

Wife died the very third time, and was stuck in silicon hell forever. .

She was dead. She died. She lost! Game over.

Then she woke up?..

No, this videogame was a reality! In all reality, her body was back in the real world, but it was inhabited, no one was there, it was staring dull and drooling, and her spirit was in silicon hell, in eternal torment for– Wait, what is that Man doing here? It’s that same Man from the very beginning!

“Who are you?” said Wife.

“Me, I’m no one,” he said. And began running away, but she caught him.

“I’m the– oh, shucks. I got stuck here too, in Videogame Purgatory, and no one was around, so’s I wanted a friend, so now you’re here, wanna play a game?”

“No!” said Wife. “I’m through with games. Forever. For now. For a long time. Tell me how to get out of here so I can make it back in time for my hair appointment!”

“My dear,” said the Man. “There’s no way out. I’ve looked.”

“You haven’t, perchance, tried that door?” Pointing.

They both looked to it.

“I did .. once, but it hit me. Then began reciting poorly timed knock-knock jokes.”

“Don’t you know what that door is? You, who have been stuck in Videogame Purgatory for so long? That’s a Zelda dungeon trick door. All you got to do is bomb it, you don’t open it.”

“Oh. I don’t suppose you know what’s behind it.”

“I’ll soon find out,” said Wife, and made a bomb out of the Man’s digital fat she had been draining through a little liposuction and a bit of a glitch for infinite bombs; meaning, she didn’t really need the fat, but she saw this one scene in Fight Club, it was really funny, they– oh, but I redress.. She threw the at the door, and the door exploded, but there was nothing behind it.

Game Over?

No. The Man began to laugh. He laughed, and he laughed, and he laughed. “It’s over. It’s the End. We’ve gone nutty!”

Wife took him, and shook him. “You! You brought me into this! Now, you’ve got to find a way out.”

“If only we could get the attention of the Players outside, but no one plays these games anymore. They’re old. They’re outdated. They’re in Videogame–”

“Don’t say Purgatory, Man. We’re not dead yet!”

Wife lifted up her skirt and showed her panties to the screen. “There’s more digital fun if you’ll just pop in a few quarters and play,” but nothing.

She didn’t know it, but I did, so I felt important; but it was just a little boy who popped in the dustiest section of the arcade, the one whose light had switched off, and he had a fistful of quarters. Some “friends” had dared him to enter the old abandoned arcade*, and right “Fu” over Pacman, and then run out with all the quarters he could carry, but he was curious what was in the darkened portion of the room, and so he walked up the steps, carefully, careful now, and found that– whoa! What was that? He’d never seen this before!

* again, Game Space passed quite slower than time passed on the outside, and by the time this event had occurred, the arcade had gone out of business. It had just closed, in fact, so some of the systems had not been sold as of yet.

Meanwhile, inside, the Man was saying, “Oh, what’s the point? No one comes to my arcade anymore.”

“Your arcade?” said Wife.

“Mine,” said the Man. “It was my arcade. That is, until, the lease expired, and I couldn’t pay for it, so I took out a loan and decided to make the most realistic gaming experience ever, one in which you get sucked into the game, but it only worked when a person played the game long enough so that it glitched. It worked on me, I can tell you. Just recently. In fact, I popped in almost the same time you did. I was hoping it would work on some other, so I could have some company besides all these buffoons that want to fight all the time.”

“Like a — like a Virtual Arcade,” said Wife. “I love those! I can’t believe I’m experiencing Virtual Reality! This is an Escapist’s dream!”

Meanwhile, the little boy popped in some quarters, and the machine glitched, and so, the little boy, being very inexperienced, got stuck in Virtual Purgatory too. Just silicon hell. And he said, “Hello. My name’s Jimmy.”

“Ugh,” said Wife.

“My friends will be coming.”

Said the Man, “How do you know they’ll search the place? They could just ditch you. All friends aren’t all good friends.”

“My friends will be coming.” He smiled.

J J J

At the very end, she found two big red buttons. On a regular NES controller: one labeled A, the other labeled B. Which to push? . . She pushed both of them!

But we’ll never see what happens, because there is no conclusion, and there is no sequel. . Don’t get mad. It was fun while it lasted, right? So is Life. That’s philosophy, you know.

Chapter 15: Game’s End: getting a life. (Not an extra life. A real one.)

A Fistful of Quarters

I think I’m that kid in the pajamas. I remember doing that exact same thing, and screaming over my new Nintendo 64. “This is so 3D!” Everyone heard me after soccer practice. All my neighbors.

If you have no friends, or very few of them, a videogame is a virtual playmate.

It’s good for you.

I remember what this dork said to me one time when I explained him the wonders of Final Fantasy, he said, “Is it a shooter? Can you shoot things?”

Thinking now. . When I grow up, I’m gonna sing my baby those Mario songs. “Da, da-da-da. Da, da da, da-da, da.” And a Zelda lullabye..

Boy, I’ve had many great adventures with my Wii, but we’ve never really got anywhere. I’ve actually gotten quite fat;

“What?! We’re playing a game. I thought this was real life!!!!” my baby screams.

(People crave a break from reality.)

Says a very sad, little girl, says Wife, the Housewife, “Videogames make life worth living. It’s all there is.”

L

What’s a game, boy, if you never lose?

Game Over.

Play again? Y/N

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