From CH Staff on
Adam's games are old, old, unreasonably old school.
By Adam Conover
INT. OFFICE BY THE COUCHES - NIGHT OWEN and KEVIN sit on the couches, controllers in hand. They're playing Balloon Fight. Adam plops down next to them. ADAM What are you guys doing? OWEN Just playing some retro games. KEVIN Yeah, kind of an All Nighter ritual. ADAM This is retro to you? I guess I'm a little older than you guys. Check this out. He goes to grab a box. OWEN What's that, an Atari 2600? ADAM Pfft, no way man, we're going old-school. He lifts a huge cube out of the box, and drops it onto the coffee table with a heavy CLANG. It looks like a Pong machine made out of cast iron. ADAM This is my original Skaris One-Bit. I picked it up last time I was at my parents house. This thing is a classic. OWEN Okay, well, fire it up. Adam pours gasoline from a mini-gas can into a spout on top of the Skaris, and pulls a rip-cord like it's a lawnmower. The Skaris sputters but the engine doesn't turn over. KEVIN Uh, Adam, when is this thing from? ADAM (still pulling) 1972. KEVIN You were born in 1983. ADAM Yeah, but my grandpa found it in a dumpster and fixed it up for me. I used to play this thing for hours. (pulling) THERE we go! The engine finally growls to life. BRUM-RUM-RUM-RUM-RUM! Adam takes two giant alligator clamps and plugs them into the TV. Sparks fly and the lights in the room flicker and dim. As Kevin and Owen look around with concern, Adam tosses two heavy jagged metal controllers -- just slabs of metal with huge joysticks projecting from them -- into their laps, knocking the wind out of them. OWEN (catching his breath) UGH! These are enormous! ADAM Yeah, and so responsive, right? Okay, this game is epic. It's called The Rime of God-King Gilgamesh. You voyage across the land of Uruk on the back of the Bull of Heaven, searching for the your love, the fallen goddess Ishtar. KEVIN Sounds cool. They turn to look at the game. On screen, two huge WHITE SQUARES sit next to each other as BLARING ONE-BIT MUSIC plays. Owen covers his ears. OWEN Gah! KEVIN Okay, what do I do now? ADAM It's up to you. This game is totally open-world. Kevin pushes the joystick up. The left square, which was in the middle, is now at the top of the screen. Nothing else changes. KEVIN What's the framerate -- two? ADAM Impressive for the time, right? This game was actually banned for how violent it is. On screen, a dot moves slowly from the right square to the left square. The left square turns red. BREEEEEEEEP. KEVIN This game sucks. ADAM Okay, well it also has text adventures. Adam pops open the front of the Skaris. Inside is a black waxy tube that looks like an Edison phonograph cylinder. He slots a new tube in and turns the machine back on. The screen is filled with just the word "CAVE" in giant, super-pixelated text. ADAM Man, the descriptions are so lush. They really put you there. OWEN What now? ADAM Just enter a compass direction. Owen pushes up on the joystick. Giant letters cycle through on the screen in alphabetical order. It takes a long time. When he finally gets to "N" he presses the button. After a long moment, the screen is filled with the word "HOUSE." ADAM Okay, now we need to vent the steam valves. OWEN Which button is that? ADAM Not in the game. On the Skaris. If we don't vent the steam valves it'll explode. Adam pops up some flaps on the valves on the Skaris and piping hot steam escapes, burning Adam's hand. ADAM Ouch! Fuck. OWEN Yeah, I don't think these games really hold up dude. ADAM Okay, you like Goldeneye, right? He starts replacing the Edison cylinder with a new game. KEVIN There's a Skaris game based on the movie? Even better. The book. He flips the game on. A WHITE SQUARE appears, and starts flashing, to another BLARING one-bit chip beat. Adam pulls out a paperback copy of Goldeneye. ADAM You count the number of flashes, then you read that page of the book! (reading the book) Oh, man, proximity mine! OWEN Can we at least turn the music down? ADAM No way, the soundtrack is the best part! This awesome ska-punk band in Cleveland covered it. He holds up a CD by "SKAris" - "One-Bit Symphonies" In the background, the Skaris is getting hotter and hotter and starting to shake. KEVIN We gotta go man. See you later. Adam is wearing an enormously heavy metal visor that threatens to pull his head to the ground. ADAM But I haven't even showed you the peripherals yet! Behind him the Skaris shudders and starts beeping. ADAM Oh shi -- The Skaris EXPLODES. END.