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Videogames: The Untold Stories

The Escapist Staff | 23 Jul 2010 16:20
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In this week's issue of The Escapist, we examine how all games are role playing games, if you just look at them the right way. Early videogames didn't provide much of a story or background for your actions, so we've filled in a few of the blanks and revealed the true stories behind some classic games. You'll have to figure out what they are for yourselves, but you should be able to piece together enough clues from the tales.

After you've read through these, be sure to add your own!

Mud caked Spike's face, now cracking in the high noon sun. His calves stung from holding a crouched position for hours. He had not moved since sunrise, his eyes peeled on the horizon. Ahead of him was the fortress, formidable and unassuming. Beyond that were fields of waist-high grass and a few sparse trees.

The camp had been alerted to intruders earlier that week. Animal rights activists, always on the prowl for a lost cause, were planning on breaking into the fortress' secret lab and releasing the ducks. To the activists, the ducks were innocent victims, used and abused by the country's greatest minds. But to Spike, and the other soldiers stationed around the periphery, they were death incarnate. Death, on the wings of a duck.

The ducks were being used to test a deadly bioagent. He didn't know what kind it was or what it was for; it wasn't his job to know those kinds of things. All he knew was that if any of these ducks made it to a water source, mankind as he knew it was doomed. His briefing had been very clear in his mission: kill them all.

He had been issued a dog from the K9 unit. It was all jowl and ears. The dog was well-trained, clearly intelligent - Spike had been told that it was "very special," but so far he had been unimpressed. Of course, he hadn't seen the pup in action yet. The pup sat diligently by his side, ears perking slightly.

And then he heard it - the unmistakable quacking of an adult duck. Strike that. Ducks. There was more than one. He shouldered his rifle, steadying his sights slightly above the grassline. The first green headed bird flew out of the grass, heading towards the south. He shot, and reloaded. The dog bounded from Spike's side and into the brush, emerging with the still-shuddering corpse in his mouth.

He shot, reloaded, and shot again. The dog collected the carcasses, dropping them into a pile by Spike's feet. The ducks were coming faster now, alarmed and frightened by the shots ringing from all directions. They took to the sky in groups, haphazardly changing directions as their brethren fell to the ground. There were far too many of them. Spike was a sure and steady shot, but even he hadn't been prepared for the sheer number of the birds. A few of them got away, and Spike could only hope that the soldiers stationed further down the line. Each time Spike aimed and missed a shot, the dog seemed to grin. The very idea of a grinning dog sounded ridiculous in Spike's head, but there it was. Spike became increasingly frustrated with each missed shot, which only lead to even more free birds. There was no doubt in his mind now. The dog was definitely mocking him.

Spike knew what he had to do. He couldn't let a mangy dog ruin an entire mission. It would be his hide if they failed, and he didn't really want to be responsible for the destruction of all mankind. Slowly, he turned the gun towards the dog's mocking face. The gun was cocked and loaded. He pulled the trigger. The bullet should have gone straight through its head; it was a perfect, point-blank shot. But the dog remained standing, its grin growing ever wider. Spike suddenly realized the extent of the lab's dangerous experiments. The birds, the dog, the soldiers. They were all part of one giant experiment. And he was failing. The grinning dog would be the last thing he saw.

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