The consoles change but the game remains the same.
By Patrick Cassels
TEXT: THE WIRE, EVIL VS. SLIGHTLY LESS EVIL, PRESS START A character selection screen. TEXT: CHOOSE YOUR CHARACTER! There are so many characters that each square is tiny and impossible to read. The cursor picks one. ZIGGY, the show's lamest character, pops up. TEXT: YOU CHOSE ZIGGY! (beat) PROBABLY ON ACCIDENT. CHOOSE AGAIN. Cursor picks a different character. DET. MCNULTY pops up. CARD: LEVEL 1 INT. POLICE STATION - REGULAR GAMEPLAY CLOSE on an issue of the Baltimore Sun (a la Paperboy). Headline reads, "Crime and Drugs Rampant in Baltimore; Mayor: 'Our Crab Cakes Still Rock, Though'" McNulty, with his partner BUNK, reads the paper. MCNULTY: I want to clean up Baltimore, Bunk. BUNK: You'll need the right tools! TEXT: MENU > EQUIPMENT > GUN/WARRANT/WHISKEY The cursor selects "whiskey." McNulty triumphantly holds up the whiskey. BUNK: Were... were you even listening to me? LT. DANIELS enters. DANIELS: Be careful! The city won't waste resources on this case. Also want to see my abs? I'm surprisingly ripped. TEXT: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?: GET DRUNK/SEE DANIELS'S ABS/ASK "WHAT THE F*#K DID I DO?"/FIGHT SYSTEM Cursor selects FIGHT SYSTEM and we go into BATTLE MODE! Daniels and McNulty stand at one side of the screen. TEXT: YOU HAVE ATTACKED THE SYSTEM... Two dozen scary BUREAUCRATS ("the system") enter on the opposite side. TEXT: ...GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Corrupt senator CLAY DAVIS steps out. TEXT: SENATOR CLAY DAVIS USED BRIBE. Davis hands money to everyone in his team. They turn around. TEXT BOX: THE SYSTEM LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. CLAY DAVIS: Sheeeeee- Beat. CLAY DAVIS: -eeeeeet! TEXT: MENU > MCNULTY > ATTACK > GIVE A F**K McNulty sends an RPG like energy wave ("giving a f**k") toward the enemy. It bounces back and harms McNulty and Daniels. TEXT: IT WASN'T YOUR TURN TO GIVE A F**K. THE SYSTEM WINS. IT ALWAYS WINS. CHOOSE NEXT STAGE: THE BOAT/ANYWHERE ELSE The cursor quickly picks "Anywhere Else." TEXT: TOUGH SHIT, MCNULTY. YOU PISSED OF THE WRONG PEOPLE. CUT TO McNulty freezing his ass off on a police boat. INT. CRACK HOUSE - ITEM SHOP TRANSACTION MEDIUM on OMAR, badass, and BODIE, drug dealer. A chip tune "Farmer in the Dell" plays. BODIE: Hi! I'm Bodie. Would you like to buy something? A sad-looking cardboard drug dealer menu pops up. TEXT: FOR SALE: CRACK/CRACK/MANA POTION/ALL OUR DRUG MONEY Cursor picks "ALL OUR DRUG MONEY." BUZZ SFX. BODIE: Sorry, you can't have that. In fact I should probably shoot you for asking, motherf**ker. Omar points out a sawed-off shotgun at Bodie. Cursor picks "Drug Money" again. SUCCESS SFX! TEXT: YOU, AHEM, "FOUND" $10,000 INT. CLEAN KITCHEN (FORMER CRIME SCENE) - POINT AND CLICK There are animations of Bunk and McNulty's faces at the bottom. Cursor clicks on a window, the floor, and fridge to "INVESTIGATE" them. BUNK WORD BUBBLE: F**K. MCNULTY WORD BUBBLE: F**K. BUNK WORD BUBBLE: MOTHERF**KER. TEXT: CRIME SOLVED! MOST MEMORABLE SCENE BONUS 1000! CARD: LEVEL 2 EXT. SHIPPING PORT - REGULAR GAMEPLAY McNulty enters. FRANK SOBOTKA approaches him. FRANK SOBOTKA: Let me explain in detail how shipping works. TEXT: MENU > INVENTORY > WARP WHISTLE McNulty plays the warp whistle. TEXT: YOU HAVE SKIPPED LEVEL 2 AND MISSED NOTHING IMPORTANT CARD: LEVEL 3 INT. CONSTRUCTION SITE - BATTLE MODE STRINGER and MARLO, two kingpins, fight. TEXT: MARLO SUMMONED OMAR AND BROTHER MOUZONE. Omar and the uptight hit man MOUZONE join Marlo, their guns drawn at Stringer. OMAR: Oh, indeed! MOUZONE: Greetings and salutations. OMAR: (beat; then, to Mouzone) ...Shut up, man. TEXT: MENU > STRINGER > JOBS A JOB MENU (a la Final Fantasy V) opens. Cursor scrolls through various avatars of Stringer in random jobs (including DARK WIZARD). Cursor selects LEGITIMATE BUSINESSMAN. TEXT: MENU > EQUIP > 9MM/MAC-9/ROCKET LAUNCHER/NECKTIE Cursor first tries to equip the weapons but they are inactive. BUZZ SFX. Finally, cursor equips the necktie. STRINGER: Shit. Omar and Mouzone shoot Stringer. EXT. BROKEN DOWN BALTIMORE NEIGHBORHOOD - CHASE SCENE BUBBLES, a junkie, runs from several POLICE OFFICERS. The game pauses and the MAIN MENU (distinct from gameplay and battle menus) opens. TEXT: SETTINGS > DRUG LEGALITY > ILLEGAL/HAMSTERDAM MODE Cursor selects "Hamsterdam Mode" and returns to gameplay. The cops stop chasing Bubbles. Bubbles walks to a legit store labeled CRACK FOR SALE. TEXT BOX: BUBBLES RECEIVED SOME OF THAT WMD! 10 ADDICTION, -1000 EVERYTHING ELSE IN HIS LIFE CARD: LEVEL 4 EXT. ABANDONED NEIGHBORHOOD - MINI GAME McNulty enters. PARTLOW, a gangster, scurries in like a pixie. PARTLOW: I'VE HIDDEN BODIES IN THESE ABANDONED BUILDINGS. CAN YOU FIND ENOUGH TO CONVINCE THE CITY TO INVESTIGATE? GO! A timer appears. McNulty runs around. Each time he finds a body there's a pleasant SFX and a "BAD PUBLICITY" meter rises. He finds A LOT of bodies and the meter fills up. TEXT: CRIME SPREE MODE UNLOCKED! INT. CITY HALL - REGULAR GAMEPLAY TOMMY CARCETTI, a politician, approaches a door labeled "MAYOR'S OFFICE." He tries to open it. BUZZ SFX. It's locked. TEXT: SORRY. YOU AREN'T MAYOR YET. MINI-GAME. Carcetti stands at the bottom of a line graph. At the top is CITY HALL. TEXT: TAP "A" TO MAKE EMPTY CAMPAIGN PROMISES. He rides up the line graph as the player rapidly taps A. As he hits certain points, empty promises appear on the graph: -I'LL REDUCE CRIME IN BALTIMORE. -I'LL REFORM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. -I'M NOT ACTUALLY IRISH. Carcetti reaches the top. The door opens. Carcetti throws on a sash and sits behind the mayor's desk. TEXT: YOU HAVE ACHIEVED A POSITION OF POWER! TEXT: MENU > DISCARD ITEM > MORALITY CARD: LEVEL 5 - FINAL LEVEL (JUST WHEN PEOPLE WERE STARTING TO GET INTO IT IT, TOO) INT. BODEGA - BATTLE MODE McNulty fights Marlo, Snoop and Davis. MARLO: I run Baltimore now! DAVIS: I'll never go to jail! SNOOP: [Unintelligible] TEXT: MENU > MCNULTY > ITEM > WHISKEY McNulty takes out his whiskey and drinks. TEXT: MCNULTY DRANK WHISKEY. IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE! McNulty passes out. TEXT BOX: ON HIM. Omar enters. TEXT: OMAR JOINED MCNULTY'S PARTY. TEXT: MENU > OMAR > ATTACK > SHOTGUN > MARLO Marlo steps forward to shoot. KENARD, a kid, enters. TEXT: A SMALL, HARMLESS CHILD HAS JOINED THE BATTLE. Kenard SHOOTS OMAR IN THE HEAD. TEXT: ...AND KILLED OMAR. MY BAD. FINAL TEXT: NOTHING HAS CHANGED. THE BAD GUYS WILL NOT BE PUNISHED. (beat) YOU'VE WON! The remaining characters do a victory dance. END.