Life in a Game! by Enemy Crab Productions

3.31.2009

With This Herring

By Kent Steichman
Investigative Reporter

So, in case you haven't been out in awhile, it seems we're being invaded by aliens. Again. So, naturally, heroes of all shapes and sizes will be out and about fighting our would-be insectoid overlords, but why, I find myself wondering, do half of them seem to be heading into battle with nothing more than pistols and knives?

Granted, it's pretty reasonable for this to be the case with quite a few heroes, like your standard "brash youth who's rescuing his sister from the aliens" or the run-of-the-mill "cowboy cop that just got taken off the case."

But when the world's top marines and soldiers are being sent to fight a 20 foot scaled monstrosity that just stomped its way through France armed only with their sidearms and a Swiss army knife, I think there's something wrong there.

So, with this question in mind, I snuck across Ravenholm to the nearest resistance station, and asked one of the older guys who used to be in the military.

Why, I asked, were the world's soldiers always being sent into battle so ill equipped?

He just smiled and shook his head. "Well," he said as his radio crackled with status reports intermixed with frantic screaming, "We did used to send them out with the top of the line equipment, state of the art armor, and full fire support. Problem was, everyone we sent out like that just got slaughtered anyway."

That didn't make any sense, I protested, and he just shrugged. "Check the old intro sequences some time. It never fails, soldiers go out decked out in power armor and get creamed, but one lone soldier heading out with just a pistol and the shirt on his back wins every time."

He added, "Besides, they usually find some sort of alien weapon or vehicle that's miles ahead of what we would've given them anyway. It's just cheaper to send'em out with nothing and let them figure things out on their own. That way, if they do get pasted, at least you're not losing some million dollar power armor."

He sat up and adjusted the radio, listening to it for a moment before he continued. "Hell, I remember one guy, forget the name, he was stationed up on Mars. Whole installation gets taken over by demons or something, and he kicked their asses." He thought for a moment, "The chainsaw and the BFG probably helped, though."

I wanted to ask him a few more questions, but some explosions outside interrupted us. "Damn," he said, picking up a rocket launcher. "One of those damn walkers again. Where's that guy with the goatee when you need him?" he muttered as he ran out the door. I took the opportunity to get myself out of there, and maybe once these guys are dealt with, I'll see if I can get an interview with whatever space marine fought them off.

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3.22.2009

On the Edge of Extinction

By Kent Steichman
Investigative Reporter

Scientists from around the world have been baffled by the ongoing depopulation of several once-prominent species that take residence in the wildernesses all around the world. While the Dalmascan Wolf, the Cornerian Goblin, and various other wild animals once littered the terrain, now they've become incredibly scarce, with no readily discernable reason.

With the scientific community was at a loss for finding the explaination, I took it upon myself to look into what happened to these majestic creatures. First, I made my way to the Dream City, to see if anyone knew what caused the Goblins there to be put on the endangered species list back in '87. Aside from welcoming me to the city, repeatedly, and talking about some Light Warriors and orbs, nobody was any real help.

Since that was getting me nowhere, I called up some of the contacts I have in the scientific community. Dr. Light refused to answer my calls, but Professor Oak in Palette Town said one possibility was climate change. He added the local Pokemon populations hadn't changed much, though every once in awhile he'd find several concussed Rattatas when out on his morning walks.

For some reason, though, that explanation didn't really fit for me. After all, it seemed to happen in relatively isolated areas, and as I looked into it, the depopulations seemed to happen around other big events in the area. For example, the Dalmascan Wolves were nearly wiped out shortly after the new regent from the Archadian Empire took over the capital at Rabanastre.

I headed to the desert city to see if I could find anyone there that might know something. So, I asked around, starting with some of the soldiers stationed around the city. They said they had no idea what had happened to the Estersand's beasts, because, well, they didn't care. "What's a few wolves to you, mate?" they'd ask from behind those masks.

Honestly, I think they're just irritable because, well, they're wearing full plate mail in a desert, but I suppose they don't have much choice.

As I walked around the city, I noticed one of the vendors seemed to have an overabundance of wolf pelts, and I asked the merchant where he'd gotten his merchandise. After I slipped him a few gil, he told me he got most of the pelts from a young man named Vaan.

"It was right around that big party at the palace," he told me, "It was like something just possessed the poor lad. I mean, he used to just kill rats here and there down in the sewers, but one day, he just started hunting down the wolves outside the city, chasing'em down and whackin' 'em left and right."

He said Vaan had been a "good guy" before then, but of course the boy had some issues. His parents had both died years before, and his brother was killed during the war with Arcades. My informant speculated that the new governor's installation might have just pushed him over the edge.

"But hey, these pelts sell pretty well, so I ain't complaining," he added. I asked him how he could be so cavalier about the possible extinction of the local wildlife, and he said, "Eh, there's always a few more laying about," then asked if I wanted to buy some potions.

I tried tracking down this "Vaan," but nobody knew where he was. I doubt, though, that he's responsible for the other sets of endangered animals, unless he really gets around. And has a time machine. It may forever remain a mystery what's plaguing the creatures of the world.

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3.11.2009

Those Who Hunt Monsters

By Kent Steichman
Investigative Reporter

For many of us here, dying is just a fact of life. So long as it doesn't come at the hands of a major villain during a cutscene, most of us are back up on our feet with a quick Phoenix Down, or a trip to the inn, or a good old fashioned green mushroom.

This is something most of us take for granted, of course, but what about those who might see it as a curse? Sure, it helps us get on with whatever quest we're on, but what if you were the object of the quest? Think about it, if every day some ragtag bunch of adventurers came down to pry your rare sword from your cold dead hands, it would get old, wouldn't it?

So, to find out what it's like, I set off for Vana'diel. Journeying to the Dragon's Aery, I eventually found the notorious Fafnir. He was, well, less than pleased to see me.

"Is it that time again already?" the beast groaned as I approached, before looking at me critically. "Where's everyone else? You don't look like a hunting party. Hell, you don't even have a sword!"

He didn't seem to get it at first, but after explaining for a little while, I finally got it into his head that I wasn't there to kill him. I guess he doesn't have a subscription. Once I convinced him that I wasn't a threat (and more importantly, he didn't have to eat me), I asked him what it was like, being such a sought after boss.

"Well, it's not all bright sunny days," he said matter-of-factly. "Sure, I get plenty of time to myself, and I meet lots of interesting people, but they all want to kill me, and most of them do."

He waved a claw absently, "Sure, I can usually take down one or two of the stragglers, but it's gotten damned hard to wipe the little blighters out. They're persistent, anyway."

I asked him why he was so, ahem, popular. "Oh, it's this sword I've got. Called the Ridill. Those guys are nuts over it." I took a good look at Fafnir. I had to ask, just what did a 30 foot long dragon, without any hands to speak of, need a sword for?

"Bugger if I know," he said, rolling his eyes. "I know I can't use the thing, and believe me, I've tried. It won't fit in my claws, it's too small for my tail to wrap around it, and if I hold it in my mouth, I can't talk and I get all kinds of nasty cuts in there."

He paused, then gave a bitter chuckle, "Hell, sometimes I don't even have the thing. I try to tell the little bastards, tell'em they're wasting their time, but they don't listen. And then, once I'm dead and they get nothing out of the deal, they have the nerve to yell at me, as if it's my fault."

Fafnir sighed. "I don't even know where the thing comes from. I just respawn, and hey, there it is. Sometimes, I think, what if I set up a shop, just sell the things? But I only ever have one at a time, so that just won't work."

At this point, the doors opened, and a group of adventurers came in, staring down the dragon. "Oh, you'd better get going," Fafnir told me. "This is probably going to get ugly," he added with a bit of resignation as I filed out past the warriors, "Especially when they find out all they're getting today is a Dragon Talon."

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