Video game characters live interesting lives. It doesn't matter what character you want to trade places with, chances are the things you do are going to be infinitely more interesting than your normal 9-to-5 day job and nagging girlfriend. I decided to put that theory to the test and see what it would be like to live a day in the shoes of some video game character. Unfortunately it's impossible to actually trade places with the Bionic Commando or that guy from Gears of War, so instead I have to simulate what it would be like.
Below you will find a minute-by-minute account of what it would be like to be a video game character. In this episode I've decided to grab the led pipe and brass knuckles and become a real life beat-em-up brawler. We're talking about the kind of character you would see in Final Fight, Streets of Rage or Tuff E Nuff. Okay, maybe not Tuff E Nuff, it's not like anybody played that game in the first place. And why would they, it's called Tuff E Nuff, it's as if it's spelled by an illiterate chimp. Regardless of what hero I am, this is a day in the life of a beat-em-up brawler!
8:00 A.M. - I wake up at eight in the morning, like I always do. It's a habit, no matter what I've been doing the night before; I always seem to wake up at eight in the morning. I guess it's how my brain works. After getting out of bed I double check the 20XX calendar that my stripper girlfriend bought for me at the brand new Calendar City location, located kitty corner from Mike's Machetes and Scented Candles. Sometimes I wish that she would have been more specific about the year, but I guess her thinking was that this 20XX calendar would hold me for almost a hundred years. I see her logic, but I'm not sure I want to see the same group of dogs in the same group of adorable poses for the next hundred years. I need a shower.
8:15 A.M. - After getting out of the shower I notice that my stripper girlfriend is nowhere to be found. She should be here, I mean she works at night and usually gets in pretty late. I immediately think the worst: She's clearly been taken by a group called the Mad Gear and I need to do something about it. I'm seething with anger; I can barely contain my hostility. I know that there's only one thing I can do, I need to put my clothes on and start beating up random people until somebody tells me where she is. Even though I have secretly started to grow tired of her constant whining and nagging, I know that I would hate to lose her. I must get her back, even though I can't think of her name right now.
8:45 A.M. - After spending the last half hour trying to think up her name, I have decided to give her father a call. I know he's busy; he's an ex-bodybuilder who somehow got himself elected as Mayor of Metro City. How does that work? Who voted for this guy? I can understand becoming an ex-bodybuilder town selectman or something, you can usually win those because nobody is running against you, but Mayor? It's not like he's qualified, when asked what he was going to do about city taxes his only reply was, "BEAT THEM UP!!!" Seriously, that's also how he answered questions about the garbage dump, water works and keeping kids in school. Heck, I'm pretty sure his entire slogan was "VOTE FOR ME OR I'LL BEAT YOU UP!!!" On second thought, I guess maybe that had something to do with him getting elected.
9:00 A.M. - Okay, I just got off the phone with my stripper girlfriend's dad, who is ready to put down everything he's been working on (something about a bank bailout that doesn't sound at all important or interesting) and join me in this fight to save his stripper daughter. I told him that I'll be there in a moment, but first I need to call a few of her friends and make sure she didn't just spend the night elsewhere. I mean, wouldn't it be stupid of us to beat up half of the city only to learn that she spent the night with Candy. My therapist tells me that sometimes I over react and start taking out my anger on people that don't deserve it. I really should change that, but there's no time for that now because I need to call up her friends.
9:30 A.M. - Well, that was fruitless. None of her friends have seen her since yesterday, which is certainly not keeping my mind from racing. I'm on the phone right now with my therapist, who is doing his best to calm me down. It's not working. He says I should take some deep breaths and play this out in my head. That's good advice, but I'm more interested in finding my stripper girlfriend! Who needs this new age crap? My stripper girlfriend is gone and I feel like beating some people up over it. Upon hearing me say that my therapist tells me that if I really am going to infiltrate the Mad Gear headquarters, then maybe I should take the car and just drive down there. I opt against that advice, because with this traffic it's just as fast to walk there, all while beating up everybody that gets in my way. Besides, the Mayor will be here any second, he's been beating up fools all the way from his office to my house. He'll definitely be in the mood for what I'm about to do.
10:30 A.M. - I'm still waiting for the Mayor to show up. All the time I think about the terrible things that this unruly gang is probably doing to my stripper girlfriend. They could be keeping her locked up in a glass cage or making her listen to a marathon of Kenny G's holiday albums. Oh the horror!
11:25 A.M. - The Mayor finally showed up, I tried to explain that taking the subway would be easier, but he wasn't having any of that. He simple stormed through the house and grunted for me to go with him. Again I wonder how this guy could become the Mayor of Metro City; you would think that the voters in this city would be smarter. Regardless, I have no choice but to go with him. He suggests we start in the slums, I don't know why since that's all the way across town and we're going to have to take my car to get there.
12:05 P.M. - The Mayor informs me that fighting five dozen gang members has taken a lot out of him and that he's hungry, instead of hitting up the local KFC or Taco Time, the Mayor decides to kick over a garbage can and eat a full Thanksgiving dinner. It was the strangest thing, apparently somebody had cooked a full-sized turkey just moments earlier, but for whatever reason they decided to dump it in the garbage can. I'm not sure how the Mayor knew it was there, but hats off to the guy for thinking of that. This is the first relaxing moment I've had all day, it's nice to just be able to sit around and take a breather from time to time.
12:45 P. M. - We've only been at this for a little over an hour and I'm starting to get tired, I try my hardest to convince the Mayor to take a car or a subway or something ... anything, just so I can sit down and take a breather. He wants to keep going, even if that means taking longer. His plan, from what I can gather, is to beat up the entire city and send a message. At this point I'm not even sure he knows what the message is, but I reckon it's something along the lines of: "You take my daughter and I'm going to beat up everybody in the city." He's not exactly a deep thinker, if you catch my drift. We've decided to enter this ugly rundown building in the slums and see if anybody has seen my stripper girlfriend.
1:00 P.M. - Nobody has seen my stripper girlfriend, but that hasn't stopped us from stepping into a whole heap of trouble. Apparently what we thought was a rundown building is actually a cover for some sort of fight club. I would tell you more, but rule number one is ... oh never mind. The whole thing is run by this guy named Sodom. Well, that's what the Mayor keeps calling him, yet his nametag reads: Katana. Have things gotten so bad in Metro City that even the thugs are starting to censor their names?
1:24 P.M. - Just my luck! So I FINALLY am able to convince Mr. Won't Take Public Transportation to take the subway and what happens? We get into a raucous street fight ... ON THE FLIPPING SUBWAY! How the hell does that even happen? Worse yet, the subway crashes half way between stations. We end up footing it the rest of the way, which is only made worse by the fact that we are still fighting these blasted gang members. C'mon, we're in the middle of a subway tunnel, why would any gang members want to fight us down here. The Mayor mentions that he's hungry, but I opt against raiding another trash can for lunch.
1:45 P.M. - We finally make it to the end of the line and head back up out of the subway. Yet more fighting ensues.
2:05 P.M. - While getting a quick bite to eat at the 7/11 on First and Washington, the Mayor noticed an unattended blue car. He moseyed over the car and decided that the correct course of action was to beat it up. I'm not kidding. There in front of me was the Mayor of Metro City using his fists to flatten this small blue Japanese made car. And again I wonder how this guy was ever elected. When he was done bashing the car up he walked away with a satisfied look, unfortunately the guy who owned it was a few seconds too late. We left the 7/11 with the sounds of that poor young man and his destroyed car. I worry that the sound of him crying and yelling will never leave my head. The Mayor really needs to come to grips and take a few anger management classes.
2:15 P.M. - I try to talk to the Mayor about what just happened back there. I tell him that I can't get the thoughts of that guy out of my mind, his annoying voice yelling out "OH! MY CAR!!" How does this not trouble him, I ask the Mayor. Why would somebody even do that? He looks at me with contempt, I know that he's serious about getting his stripper daughter back, but I still don't understand why he would beat up somebody's car.
2:30 P.M. - We decide to cut through the city park on our way to the Uptown District. I'm starting to notice something odd about all of the people we come in contact with; they all kind of look the same. For example, back in the subway the two of us took on this crazy looking Andre the Giant-type wearing bright pink pants. Yet here we are, miles away from the subway, and I swear to you that I'm looking at the guy's twin brother. Only instead of wearing pink, he's wearing bright green pants. They are the same pants, mind you; they are just a different color. This happened with another guy, too. We fought these two big fat guys that kind of look like the dude in that Borat movie, and now there are two more of them. In total I think we've only seen four or five different guys, yet they are constantly repeating with different colored outfits. Is this my mind playing tricks on me? I haven't been beaten up that badly, have I?
2:55 P.M. - Up ahead of us is a big night club with a huge bouncer at the door. I suggest we skip past it and keep on the road to save my stripper girlfriend. As usual Mr. Stubborn doesn't listen to me and charges right into the club, it makes absolutely no sense to me but I follow. I wish I hadn't. The moment I enter the club, I am jumped by five guys, all wearing exactly the same clothing. As I take them down one at a time I notice that the Mayor has been knocked out and is being dragged downstairs. I know I need to do something quick, but I don't know what. Perhaps I should go and rescue him, but I keep getting attacked off screen by the same looking guy over and over.
3:05 P.M. - Okay, this is really starting to piss me off. All this drama could have been avoided hours ago if we just took my car, we could have drove right to the Uptown District and taken on Mad Gear on their home turf. Yet here we are hours later and we're not even close, and dammit I still need to find where they stuck the Mayor. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Oh, and worst of all, I'm missing Dr. Phil. I hate missing Dr. Phil. I get stabby when I miss my daily Phil pill! Now where is this guy ...
3:10 P.M. - Oh, here he is. He's in a cold basement tied up with a stick of lit TNT right next to him. TNT? Who the hell blows up their own house? Isn't that going to destroy the foundation and, I don't know, alert the cops? And ew, that's also really freakin' gross. I mean, who is going to come down here and clean up all of the bits and pieces of the Mayor. Seriously, who does something like that? While asking myself that I realize that I don't have much time, so I throw my trusty knife at the TNT and defuse the situation ... literally.
3:30 P.M. - After saving the Mayor's life he agrees that we should do things my way, so we've decided to take a taxi to the Uptown District, which just so happens to be where Belger and his Mad Gear gang is keeping my stripper girlfriend captive. We cannot let evil like that live in this city, we need to stamp it out and make sure it never comes back again. Speaking of evil, how on earth can this cab driver expect us to pay $30 to go five miles? That's highway robbery I tell you, highway robbery!
3:45 P.M. - So here we are, standing in front of the Mad Gear offices. You would think that the police could do something about this gang, it's not like they hide in the darkness or anything. I mean, we must have run into five or six hundred Mad Gear groupies just walking over here, so why can't the cops do something about this? I pose this question to the Mayor who just looks at me like I'm speaking another language. I start to quiz him on other political topics, like property taxes, illegal immigration and homeland security. He hadn't heard of any of that. I ask him what he does all day as Mayor, he doesn't answer me.
4:00 P.M. - So we had a choice, we could take the stairs or the elevator. I suggested the stairs, but the Mayor said it would be "safer" to take the elevator. Boy was he wrong, there are these guys jumping down on top of us, it's really a violent scene we're witnessing here. Worse yet, there's this guy who shows up from time to time and throws grenades at us. Seriously, who throws grenades in an elevator? Why not just explode some TNT in your basement while you're at it ... oh, that's right THEY ALREADY DID THAT!! If you're not smarter than a fifth grader you shouldn't be one of the wealthiest people in the city, I suggest to the Mayor that he makes that a law and he just looks at me blankly.
4:20 P.M. - After surviving the longest elevator ride of all time the Mayor and I exit into what appears to be the top floor of this enormous skyscraper. The two of us have come all this way and we're ready to rumble. I mean, we're like Patrick Swayze in Road House, only a little more beat up and without any witty one-liners. Heck, the Mayor has barely said a thing to me since I saved him from becoming a million little pieces. We know what we have to do, we're going to rush into the room and kick the snot out of this Belger fellow. This guy is going down.
4:21 P.M. - We bust through the door and discover, much to our surprise, that this Belger fellow is actually a wheelchair-bound millionaire who is more than a little surprised to see us. He sits there smoking his cigar while we walk over to his large table, but he doesn't know anything about my stripper girlfriend's whereabouts. I don't believe him, so I take a swing at the poor bastard. There's not much that he can do, so he sits there and lets me hit him. After he takes a few moments to assess the damage I caused to his face, he buzzes in back up. We're ready for it to be another Andre the Giant-like dude, but instead it's ... my stripper girlfriend??
4:24 P.M. - My stripper girlfriend takes me over to the side and asks me what I'm doing there. She's livid, yelling and screaming at me for beating up so many people on my way to rescue her. She tells me that she wasn't captured by Mad Gear or anything like that, but instead has been working as a health care professional that waits on Mr. Belger. She tells me that this rich old guy's health is starting to go and that he had to bring on more help, so she answered the help wanted ad in the local paper. She says that she wanted to tell me, but she wanted it to be a big surprise. I'm flabbergasted, for the first time today I don't know what to say. So I just stand there and watch the Mayor throw Belger out the window. We all look down as Belger completes his final business transaction, merging with 1st Street.
4:26 P.M. - My stripper/health care worker girlfriend explains to her dad what was going on, despite throwing an innocent man out the window the best he can muster is a shocked, "OH!" I lean over and remind him that at least he got to beat up a car. We all laugh and decide to head back home. It's been a long day ... and I have a Dr. Phil episode recorded on my DVR. Life is going to be good.