I am Laughing in the Face of Death
Since the dawn of time, mankind has feared two things: death and illicit nighttime racing. While recent breakthroughs in gaming technology have allowed us to overcome our fear of the latter, the former still remains imprinted in our minds like the neuroimplants evil republicans will use to monitor our thoughts in a dark dystopian future. The worst thing about death is that it's impossible to understand. Contemplating an eternity of nonexistence is like trying to find actual gaming content in an issue of Gamepro, except even fewer people are insane enough to attempt it.
How can I laugh in the face of death, you may ask? Well, it's simple; if I don't laugh I'll cry. Or at least that's what I tell the captain of the debate team when he catches me giggling at his graphic descriptions of animal testing.
Am I the only person who thinks terminal cancer patients are total pussies? They have all of their lives to prepare for death, yet when it finally appears on the horizon, it's time to throw the mother of all self-pitying hissy fits. Well, fuck that. I got all the existential dread out of my system with spooky album covers. When I go out, it's going to be in blaze of glory and, hopefully, bloodshed. What follows is a fictional account of the ideal way I would like to die. Look for a special cameo by Lowtax as my ethnic sidekick!
My Ideal Death, by Jed
Sometimes Lowtax does this thing where he slicks back his hair and pretends to be Squaresoft producer Hironobu Sakaguchi. It's mostly so I can practice what I'm going to say to the guy if I ever run into his bad RPG making ass at a sushi bar or ultraviolent schoolgirl tentacle rape porn outlet store somewhere. "That's my dead mother over there." said Lowtax, (italics added to denote Lowtax's shitty fake Japanese accent -ed) pointing to a homeless woman sleeping in the corner of the subway car, "Fortunately, the knowledge that her spirit has returned to the planet as part of the lifestream eases my pain."
"Wow, really?" I said, "Shit, it must suck to be her. What with there being no lifestream and all. What with death actually being a macroverse of terror where we're tortured constantly by our own weaknesses and bad memories until, in a final irony, our soul actually decides to kill itself in some excruciatingly painful way." I then proceeded to writhe around on the floor for a few minutes, simulating my soul being ripped asunder while screaming, "Clive Barker, you were riiiiiiiiiiight!!!".
I'm not sure what happened next. Lowtax turned around and his eyes were missing, and I instantly knew that somehow, in some fucked-up way, he was Hironobu Sakaguchi. The subway car seemed to be elongating, the metallic ceiling stretching to infinity as he struck out at me with hands that weren't actually hands, but talons of nameless rage. Suddenly I was in the lifestream, getting my ass kicked by the spirits of all the Arabs I had killed in WWIII. Then I was even farther than that. Beyond the "atoms" and "molecules" of my "5th" grade science "class", beyond anything tangible to the human imagination. I was face-to-face with Gaiea, the spirit of our planet, feeling all those seconds and minutes of pent-up anger towards Arab spirits melt away in the presence of her vast beauty. The warmth emanating from her glowing form told me that I had finally found my place in the universe.
Then I woke up in an alleyway somewhere in downtown Boston, my face covered with blood and cartilage mix. I had 3 broken ribs and to top it off some dickhead with a cell phone thought it'd be really "funny" to call an ambulance. Paramedics in Boston don't actually administer medical aid; they just follow you around until you pay them to go away. It's a union thing or something.
Having somehow survived Mr. Sakaguchi's attempt to kill me by momentarily assuming control of my friend's body, I was fairly sure I wasn't going to die that day. By the time I found Lowtax again I was feeling pretty cocky, and come noontime I was already picking fights with tough, manly-looking women on the bus. After a few hours Lowtax had it developed into a system. I would stand at the back of the bus and he would stand sort of in front of me and tough, manly-looking women would pay for fights. The amount depended on a few things. If they actually were a man it was a few bucks extra, and any handicapped people would have to put up at least double. No matter how badly you want to beat up a handicapped guy, you can always tell that he's willing to go at least twice as far. Those motherfuckers will spend hours dragging their paralyzed asses up flights of stairs just for the self-empowering thrill of attempted success against all odds. Handicapped people are a lot like goths except that instead of showing they're pissed off at the world by wearing makeup and writing shitty poetry, these guys do it by developing incredible upper body strength and kicking ass at extreme sports.
By evening I had already made a small fortune in the amateur bus fighting circuit. The first thing I did was pay off the paramedics, who were still following me around and occasionally standing in my way when I wanted to walk somewhere. I was about to grab my mattress full of blood-stained 20 dollar bills and go home when Lowtax told me that some handicapped guy was willing to pay $300 for a fight. I was like "Fuck that, I'm retired. Tell him it isn't gonna happen unless he pays twice that much, and an extra $100 for every appendage he's either missing or can't feel." Much to my surprise, this person agreed. It wasn't until the fight began that I realized I was actually up against Christopher Reeve and a few steak knives that someone had taped onto the armrests of his state-of-the-art tongue-controlled wheelchair. After taking a slowly rotating sawed-off pool cue to the chest I was able to connect with a right cross, causing him to spit out blood and a small black object. I thought it was the wheelchair controls and put it in my mouth but it was just a Jolly Rancher. By the time I realized my fatal error it was already too late and Christopher Reeve had backed up onto my leg. I felt bones give way under the pressure of several hundred pounds of tongue recognition hardware and underdeveloped muscle and lost consciousness.
When I came to Reeve had already started his 2 mph victory lap around the bus. The crowd was on my side, though, and I staggered to my feet. My leg was broken but I was still pretty sure that I could win. All I had to do was find the Eye of the Tiger. Then I remembered that was just in some Resident Evil puzzle. Suffice to say, I won the fight but eventually died from blood loss.
Okay, so that probably isn't anything like how I'm actually going to die. In real life Hironobu Sakaguchi could kick my ass and Christopher Reeve could probably hire somebody to kick my ass for him. The upside, of course, is that my real life apathy continues to help me cheat death by making me too lazy to venture into the hazard-filled world outside of my room. At this rate, I'll probably end up living forever. Hooray!
The Make a Princess Foundation
Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons here with a brand new Hentai Game Review! This week it looks like we're baking up a batch of princess with "Princess Maker 2".
If you're particularly masochistic you can explore the small RPG portions of the game in search of fame and fortune. These are wholly inept with about two frames of animation for walking, none for combat, and a menagerie of monsters that makes the color-coded rainbow coalition of the original Diablo look like a photobook by the Darwin Society. We meet again mantis creature! I see you still have not learned from your mistakes! I also see one use of "magic" will kill you with no explanation other than text telling me how much damage you suffered. Occasionally you will face townsfolk in a combat version of the "sprite theater" that is every bit as clumsy and laughable as it sounds. Think old Final Fantasy style with only two options ("magic" or "attack"), no strategy, no risk (you can't die in these fights), and absolutely no fun.
I'm not doing these because I like to stare at the pretty words on the glowing box thing, believe me. I suffer for YOU!