It Was A Regular Night
It was a regular night, you know? Busy, but
not too crowded. Command & Conquer was sitting in the booth at the back, as
usual, telling old war stories to anyone whod buy him a beer. Krush, Kill
n Destroy was there too, getting smashed on Castlemaine.
Elsewhere, the robotic exoskeleton crowd was celebrating Mech
Warrior 2s birthday over cocktails. Warcraft II
and Age Of Empires were playing darts, and there was a bunch of
balding old graphical adventures desperately trying to chat up Tomb Raider
by the jukebox. LBA sat on his own in a corner, waiting for LBA
Most of my regulars were sitting at the bar. Doom II
had been at the hard stuff all afternoon, and was well out of it. He spent most of the
night slumped forward with his head on his hands. I only saw him move once, when he sat up
and turned to Duke Nukem 3D, on the next stool.
"Youre my best mate, you are," he slurred,
slapping Duke on the back. "Shure, weve had our differenshes in
the past, but as sprite-based gameshve gotta stick together, right? These poly
polygonal fools think theyre so smart
" he turned round
to glare at Quake, sitting at a table with Syndicate Wars and
some space combat game I didnt recognise "
think theyre so
smart," he repeated, bitterly, as they tried to ignore him, "but true 3Ds
just a fad, innit mate? Just a fad, right? Well be played again soon enough. Shure
" And then again he fell forward onto the bar once more.
Duke just grunted, and got back
to his tequilas.
The flight sims turned up around nine, clustered together as
usual, babbling earnestly about angles of attack and electronic countermeasures.
"Crk. Six pints of lagar, over," said EF2000.
"Crk. And two packets of cheese and onion crisps,
over," added Flying Corps.
Then it happened.
Total Annihilation came in first,
blathering into his mobile phone as he strode towards the bar.
tell Dave its sorted," he was saying.
"The extra mission discs are on their way, and the sequels in the bag." He
elbowed the flight sims out of the way, snapped his fingers to get my attention, and
continued to chatter into his phone. "Yeah, thats right were talking
MEGA dosh, babe."
I was just about to ask what he wanted to drink, when everyone in
the bar fell suddenly quiet. The only sound was Total Annihilation, still talking. "So weve got a half million units ready to shift
fourth quarter," he continued, words echoing in the now hushed room. The he noticed
"Hey," he began, turning round, "whats
" but he broke off, as the crowd parted to reveal Dark Reign
standing in the doorway, his breath heaving, a futuristic pistol in his hand and a twisted
look on his face.
"Gotta go," Total Annihilation whispered quickly into his mobile. "Ciao!" He slipped the phone
into his jacket pocket.
"You swine," croaked Dark Reign.
"Two years Im in development, then you come out the sae time as me, with all
your fancy explosions and la-di-dah polygons, and suddenly no-ones interested in MY
revolutionary brand of real-time strategic combat. I couldve been " he
choked up for a moment, then recovered. "I couldve been the next bloody Red
Alert. But, no, youve got to come along and ruin everything. Well, I
wont stand for it. I wasnt stand for it, you hear!"
After that, its a bit of a blur. Dark Reign
fired, I think, but missed and hit Civilisation instead. Total Annihilation ordered everyone around him to adopt a roaming fire-at-will attack pattern, and
stood on the bar to get a better line of site. Civ II, I noticed, dashed
over to avenge his precurser, but ran into a pissed-up Mech Warrior: Mercenaries
and spilled his pint. So of course the whole robotic exoskeleton crew whirred into action,
and things went from bad to worse
Last thing I remember, before F1GP2 laid me
out with a chair leg, X-Wing had TIE Fighter by the throat,
and was yelling, "Gouraud shade this, you bastard!"
Like I said: just a regular night.