Captain N: The Game Master

Season 4




Saturday, December 19, 1992, 4:00 AM

"This is my room." Mark said.
Andres looked at the poster behind the door. "Uh,...Mark?"
"What?" Mark asked. "It's perfectly normal for a nineteen-year-old American boy to have a poster of MacDuff chopping off MacBeth's head hanging on a wall in his room."
"Is that a Nike swish in MacBeth's hair?" Nick asked.
"Yeah." Mark said. "Anyway, here's my Nintendo."
Kevin smiled. "Cool! I can't wait to see what the games look like on this world!"
So, the others watched as Kevin tried out some of Mark's games.

"Well," Kevin said afterwards, "the Super Mario Bros. games seem to be identical to the ones on my world. But other series have definite differences. The CastleVania series, for instance, has a capital 'V', whereas my Castlevania games have a lowercase 'v'. Also, the storyline for the game called CastleVania III: Dracula's Curse is slightly different than the game I'm used to."
"Yeah, Dracula isn't in the game." Mike Vincent said. "Instead, it's a generic vampire called 'The Count'."
"The music seems to be the same, though." Kevin continued. "Also, Mega Man is blue here?!"
Mandi nodded, smiling. "Yep! The blue bomber!"
"So, no green bomber." Kevin concluded. "And what's with this Dr. Light?"
Mandi grinned. "He's sometimes called Dr. Right. Translation goof."
"Well, at least the music seems the same." Kevin finished.

"And this is my computer." Mark said, walking into the dining room.
The others followed him.
Mark took the plastic dust protector off the keyboard and laid it on the dining room table. He turned on the computer and monitor.
The computer booted up. When Windows For Workgroups 3.11 started, all of them except for Mike Rohm and Matt smiled.
Mark's Windows desktop was the Season 1 cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Geordi LaForge said "All systems ready, Captain."
"Aw, geez." Matt said.
Mark sat in his chair. He double-clicked on File Manager and went to the c:\captainn directory.
Kevin noticed the comics directory. "I wanna ask you about the comics."
"Yeah?" Mark asked.
"They take place in another universe, right?"
Mark nodded. "Uh-huh."
"Well, that means that the other Videoland is...out there somewhere."
Mark smiled. "You might someday meet them, Kevin."
Kevin smiled. "Awesome!"
"Anyway, I got a lot of stuff here." Mark said. "The page, of course, all of the Season 4 episodes and drafts, some Season 5 episode drafts, the movie I'm writing, independent fanfics, screens captures, comic book scans, video box scans, - "
Lana laughed. "We saw those!"
Kevin picked up a piece of paper from the table that the scanner was on.
"What's this?" he asked.
Matt snatched it away. "Nothing important."
"It's a drawing Matt did of a character he's introducing in Season 5. In case your universe does continue to follow the fanfic we write here, it would be best that you don't know what's to come." Mark smiled. "It'll spoil the surprises!"
Stacey laughed. "Like, good point!"
"I can copy the independent fanfics for you." Mark said. "Like Mandi's excellent Mega Man--The Series!"
Kevin smiled. "Yeah, that'd be great!"
"We'll do that later." Mark said. "Right now, I wanna introduce you to emulation."
"Emulation?" Mike Vincent asked.
"People have written software programs called emulators." Mark explained. "What they do is they make your PC mimic another computer system, such as a video game console. This allows you to play video games on your PC!"
"Awesome!" Kevin said again.
"The data in the game cartridges are dumped into files called ROMs." Mark went on. "Just run the emulator and load up a ROM. A gamepad would help, though. Otherwise, you'd have to use the keyboard, which is really only good for computer games like DOOM and Duke." Mark picked up his gamepad. "This is my Gravis PC GamePad. I got it when I bought MKII for fifteen bucks."
"It looks like a Super Nintendo controller." Lana observed.
Mark nodded. "Uh-huh." He placed it in his lap.
Mark exited File Manager and exited Windows.
At the C:\> prompt, he typed in cd\games\nes and hit Enter.
"When you play Gameboy games on the PC, they're on a big screen, so you can actually see what you're doing." Mark faced Mandi. "And I still say it's better than playing the real Gameboy."
Mandi shrugged.
"Right now, though, we're gonna play NES games." Mark said.
He typed in nesticle and hit Enter.
Stacey smiled. "Nesticle?"
Mark laughed. "Yeah, from Bloodlust Software."
"These guys rule." Mike Vincent said.
Mark stood up and handed Kevin the GamePad. "Go for it."
"All right!" Kevin sat down in Mark's chair.
Lana smiled. "Nice mouse cursor." she said, noticing the bloody, severed hand.
Kevin chose File, then Load .ROM. He picked CASTLE1 from the list.
The first CastleVania started.
"Hit Escape to get rid of the menu." Mark said.
Kevin did.
When Kevin pressed the round blue button to start the game, the familiar 'Intro' tune came on as Simon walked up to the gate of the castle. Then Stage 01 started, and 'Vampire Killer' rang out from the computer speakers.
Kevin, Lana, Stacey, Mike Vincent, Mark, Nick, and Andres sang along with the game.
"Wait 'til ya hear it with lyrics!" Mark said.
"Lyrics?!" Lana asked, surprised.
"Is that Simon?!" Kevin asked, looking at the screen.
"He looks so different!" Lana remarked. "No backpack! No blue fur coat or goggles!"
"He actually looks cool!" Mike Vincent said.

After Kevin and the others had played emulated games for a while, Mark went back into Windows.
He double-clicked on WinDAT and loaded DANCINWI.WAV.
"Oh, no." Mike Rohm said.
Mark hit the space bar, and Billy Idol's 'Dancing With Myself' came on.
"No!!!" Matt screamed.
Kevin and Lana joined hands, as did Mike Vincent and Stacey.
Mark stood up and faced Mandi, smiling. "Wanna dance?"
Mandi smiled. "Sure."
They joined hands.
The six of them started dancing.

On the floors of Tokyo,
Down in London town's a go-go,
With the record selection
And the mirror's reflection,
I'm a-dancing with myself.

Oh, when there's no one else in sight
In the crowded, lonely night,
Well, I wait so long for my love vibration,
And I'm dancing with myself.

"C'mon, Matt, dance!" Mark said.
"No, Mark." Matt replied. "I'm not gonna dance. It's not because I can't. It's because I won't."
So, Kevin danced with Lana, Mike danced with Stacey, and Mark danced with Mandi.

If I looked all over the world,
And there's every type of girl,
But your empty eyes seem to pass me by
And leave me dancing with myself.

So let's sink another drink,
'Cause it'll give me time to think.
If I had a chance, I'd ask one to dance,
And I'd be dancing with myself.

Oh, oh, oh, dancing with myself.
Oh, oh, oh, dancing with myself.
Well, there's nothing to lose,
And there's nothing to prove,
And I'm dancing with myself.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

After the song was over, Mark exited WinDAT, exited Windows, and turned off the computer and monitor. He placed the plastic dust protector back over the keyboard.
"Hey, let's go to school." Mark said.
"What?!" Matt asked.
"We can have some fun and surf the 'Net!" Mark said.
"Oh, okay." Matt said.

So, they all went to Central Florida Community College.
They walked up the stairs and walked into Building 2.
Matt stopped and faced the N Teamsters. "Hey, we have an equivalent to Mother Brain here. His name is Tony Gil. He's the computer teacher."
Kevin grinned. "Want us to fry him?!"
Lana looked at him. "Kevin, what are you saying?!"
Kevin looked at her. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding!"
Mark smiled. "Hey, Matt, I know something we could do! Remember your logos.sys file at home?"
Matt grinned. "Oh, yeah!"
Mike Vincent smiled. "What?"
"It's actually a bitmap file." Matt explained. "It tells your computer what to display when you shut it down in Windows 95. All you have to do is open it up in a program like Paint to edit it."
"Eck. Get Deluxe Paint." Mandi recommended.
"I personally use Paintshop Pro." Matt said. "Anyway, I changed it on my computer at home, so I get a different message when my computer shuts down."
"Let's go change it." Mike Rohm said with a smile.
They all went inside Gil's classroom.

About twenty minutes later, they walked out, laughing.
"Careful." Matt said suddenly. "He might be around."
"Boy, that sure was fun, formatting all the hard drives!" Mike Rohm yelled.
"And going to all those newsgroups!" Matt added. "Dr. Gil sure would get mad if he found out we were in newsgroups!"
"!" Mark yelled.
Everyone looked at Mark.
Mark shrugged with a smile.
"Let's go to the library and have fun surfin' the 'Net." Matt suggested.

They all went into Cletus Poser's office. Cletus was Matt's boss.
Matt sat down in front of Cletus' computer, and Mark sat in the chair to his right.
Matt double-clicked on Netscape Communicator. Then he went to his "The Transformers: The Movie" site at:

"This used to be the location of my Captain N site." Mark said. "Then I gave it to Matt when I moved off of GeoCities."
"I put up this site to try and get Transformers: The Movie back in print, as well as to get its soundtrack CD back in music stores." Matt said.
"Oh, man, that was a cool film!" Kevin said.
"Could you guys sign the petition?" Matt asked.
"Sure!" Kevin said.
"I've never seen the movie." Lana said.
"Who cares?! Lie!" Matt told her.
So, everyone except for Mark and Matt, who had already signed, signed the petition now.
Then they viewed Matt's Dreambook and read all of the comments.
"Imm-hmm." Mark said.
"Imm-hmm." Matt added.
"Imm-hmm, imm-hmm, imm-hmm." they both said.
"Imm-hmm." Matt said.
"Imm-hmm." Mark echoed.
"Imm-hmm, imm-hmm, imm-hmm." they both said again.
Then they both started moving their arms, doing a little dancing motion in their seats. "Imm-hmm, imm-hmm. Imm-hmm, imm-hmm, imm-hmm."
The others were all looking at them now.
Then Mark and Matt started doing wild movements, snapping their fingers as they sang "Imm-hmm, imm-hmm! Imm-hmm, imm-hmm, imm-hmm!"
Then they stopped. They turned around.
Everyone was staring at them strangely.
"What's your problem?" Mark asked.
Matt held up his right index finger. "Mark, they, uh, the, well, uh, - " Matt began sputtering nonsense as he tried to vocalize his thought.
Finally, he gave up, and he and Mark just nodded at each other and said "Riiigggghhhhhtttt!"
Everyone else just watched them silently.
"So, Mark, you do your whole site with Notepad, huh?" Kevin asked, moving on to another subject.
Mark nodded. "Yep!"
"I guess you're, like, really good at HTML, huh?" Stacey asked.
"I don't know everything." Mark admitted. "But, yeah, I'd say I'm pretty good."
"My boss, Cletus." Matt said. "I told him he's not allowed to do HTML anymore."
"Why not?" Andres asked.
"Mark, I told you how Cletus does HTML, haven't I?" Matt asked.
Mark nodded. "Yeah."
Matt smiled. "Begin table, end table, begin row, end table, end row, begin cell, end row, end table, begin cell, end table, end table, begin table, end row, end cell, begin cell, end row, begin table. I won't even go into where he puts the actual data."
"Well, I personally don't use any type of HTML editor." Mandi said. "They drive me batty. My work makes me use Front Page 98, which is annoying as hell, but it has some nifty features." She smiled. "But if your boss is having problems like that, he should use something like Netscape Composer."
"He did that with Composer!" Matt said.
"Oh." Mandi said, then laughed. "Oops."
"Well, let's go back to your house, Mark." Matt said, standing up.
Mark stood up, too. "Okay."
They all walked out of the office.
"We gotta stop by Wal-Mart and get a bunch of disks, so I can copy games, fan art, fanfics, and other stuff for you." Mark said.
Kevin nodded. "Cool."

When they got to the elevator, Matt pressed the button.
They all got inside.
Matt and Mark did their ritual sliding thing, ending up against the back wall of the elevator.
Then Matt stood up straight and gave Mark two thumbs-up, grinning. Mark mimiced it.
Mandi raised an eyebrow. "Care to fill the rest of us in?"
"We do that every time we walk into the elevator." Matt said. "Usually when I've got the munchies, and we go down to the student lounge. Mark's finally got it right. Before, he would always slam up against the back wall, and the whole elevator would shake!"

At Wal-Mart, they were all in the Home Electronics department.
Mark, Mandi, and Matt were buying a whole bunch of computer disks.
Kevin shook his head. "What has music come to?" He was by the CDs.
"What do you mean?" Lana asked.
"A bunch of Rap and some new crap called Alternative." Kevin said in disgust.
"Like, I'm sure it's not all bad, Kevy." Stacey comforted him.
"Stacey, there's a group called The Butthole Surfers." Kevin said.
Stacey took the CD from his right hand and looked at the front cover. She then put it back on the rack. "Whatever!"
"And Wal-Mart modifies CDs to delete profanity." Andres complained. "And what the hell? I can't find any Rammstein! Screw this store! Wal-Mart's based on Nazi-esqe Christian principles! This is censorship, man!"
Just then, a Wal-Mart employee walked up to him. "Sir, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
Andres faced him. "That's right, you better be afraid."
"Escort this gentleman out." the employee told two much larger and muscular employees.
One man grabbed Andres' arms, the other grabbed his feet, and the two of them carrying a cursing Andres out of the store.
"How dare you lay hands on the German Devil?!" Andres yelled.
There was a moment of complete silence following Andres' removal.
"I hope music doesn't sink this low on our Earth!" Mike Vincent said, continuing the earlier conversation as if nothing had happened.
"'90s music sucks." Mark said.
"Especially the CD covers." Mandi agreed. "But there's still some good stuff coming out. Amy Grant, Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On' from 'Titanic', - "
"I stand corrected." Mark said. "Most '90s music sucks. Anyway, I think we've got enough disks for everything. Let's go home."
"All right, but I wanna rent 'That Thing You Do!' from Act 1 Video on the ride back." Matt said.
Mark nodded. "Fine."

"Now, you people are gonna see this damn movie!" Matt said, inserting the tape into Mark's VCR.
He pressed the Play button.
"Screw the previews." Matt said, pressing the Fast Forward button.
He pressed the Play button again when the movie started.
Suddenly, the picture became distorted, then went out altogether.
Then, a strange sound came from the VCR.
Matt quickly hit the Eject button.
The tape ejected, but when Matt tried to pull it out of the VCR, he couldn't.
"Sounds like the VCR ate the tape." Mike Vincent said with a smile.
"Nooo!!!" Matt screamed.
He pulled as hard as he could and yanked the tape out. When it came out, he fell backward and landed on his butt on the floor.
Mike Rohm laughed.
Matt looked at the broken tape. "God damn it!"
Lana laughed. "You and your silly superstitions! You actually believe that a supernatural diety is responsible for what happened to the tape!"
Matt turned around and stared at Lana. "I'm very pissed right now. Do not talk to me while I'm pissed, or I will hurt you."
Mark clapped his hands together, standing up. "Let's have lunch!"
Mandi stood up, too. "Cool. What are we having?"
"Pizza!" Mark said.
Kevin stood up. "Great! Is it the Captain N Special?"
"Uh," Mark said.
They all walked into the kitchen, where Rick was still sitting at the table, working on the warp zone opener.
"Hey, Rick. How's it goin', buddy?" Kevin asked.
Rick's eyes were purple. "Sleep! Need sleep!" he growled.
Kevin looked away. "Whoa."

They were all eating a large Tombstone Supreme Pizza at the dining room table.
Rick ran into the dining room, holding the opener in his left hand. "It's done! I fixed it!"
Lana beamed. "All right! We can go home!" She looked at Mark. "Uh, not that this visit wasn't enjoyable!" she said apologetically. "You were a wonderful host!"
Mark smiled.
Kevin smiled. "Hey, before we leave, ya know that dork, Victor, that lied to you about us?"
Mark nodded.
Mike Vincent grinned. "Let's kick his ass."

Mark knocked on the front door of Victor's mobile home, which was only a short distance from Mark's house.
The door opened, and Victor came out. He was wearing sneakers, shorts, a basketball jersey, and a cap on backwards.
"Hey, Victor, remember me?" Mark asked with a smile.
Victor smiled. "Ah. Mark, my diligent colleage. What brings you by?"
"Remember when you lied to me about Captain N?"
"Uh, I never lied to you." Victor claimed.
"Yes, you have, Victor. And now it's payback time!"
Mark stepped to his right, and Kevin and Mike Vincent came forward.
"Lie about us, huh?!" Kevin asked.
"What the hell?!" Victor asked.
"Die, squirt!" Mike Vincent yelled. He grabbed Victor by his jersey and pulled him forward.
The others all watched as Kevin, Mike, and Andres beat the crap out of Victor for lying about Captain N.
"Release me, you fiends!" Victor cried. "I was telling the truth about the Phoenix Saga! And the Silver Series!" Victor started screaming in agony.
Finally, Mike Vincent slammed Victor's bruised, broken body down on the ground.
"You didn't kill him, did you?" Lana asked.
"Nah." Mike assured her.
"Well, I guess we, like, better get going!" Stacey said.
"Okay. You've got all the disks, right, Rick?" Mark asked.
"Yep." Rick said, holding up the white plastic bag in his right hand.
"I guess this is it, then." Andres said. "See ya, guys."
Kevin smiled. "Hey, this might be kinda a wacky idea, would you guys like to come with us?"
"What?" Nick asked.
"To Videoland?!" Mark asked.
"Yeah." Kevin said.
"Guys, they're not going anywhere!" Matt said. "I told you, these are actors! This has all been a lie!"
"That's right!" Mike Rohm said.
The two disbelievers did a high-five.
"Ah, still the skeptics." Lana said with a smile. She took the warp zone opener out of her front left jeans pocket. "Then how do you explain this?!"
She pressed a button. A swirling blue warp opened up.
Lana looked at them with a smile. "Well?"
"Cheap special effects!" Mike Rohm yelled.
"It's a clear rip-off from Sliders!" Matt added.
"I believe you!" Mark told Lana.
"Me, too!" Mandi agreed. She gazed at the warp. "It looks like magic!"
"Well, it is." Lana said, then shrugged and smiled. "Kind of."
They all went into the warp.

They all exited the warp and found themselves standing in front of the N Team's house in Megaland.
The N Teamsters smiled, glad to be home, while their friends from Earth were all looking around in amazement.
"Cool!" Mark said, looking at his hands and arms.
"Wild!" Mandi added.
Matt was looking at his arms, then he whacked Mark in the back of the head. "Why didn't you tell me this was real!"
Mark smiled, shrugged, and shook his head.
Just then, the front door of the house opened, and the rest of the N Team came outside.
"Where have you guys mega been?!" Mega Man asked.
"We've been worried sickicus!" Kid Icarus added.
Kevin laughed. "It's a long story, guys!"
"Well, we're just glad you're all right!" Romeo said.
Matt walked over to Gameboy. "Shall we play a game?" he asked the game computer in a near-perfect imitation of his voice.
Gameboy beeped happily. "I am programmed to play games!"
Simon walked over to Matt. "Hey, who are you?" the vampire hunter demanded.
Matt looked at him and smiled. "Oh, you didn't know? Yo' ass better call somebody!"
"Duh, who are these guys?" Julius asked, just now noticing the extra people.
"These are our new friends." Lana said with a smile. "These are Mark Moore, Mandi Paugh, Matt Slater, Mike Rohm, Nicholas Pinto, and Andres Thalheimer. Guys, meet the rest of the N Team: Mega Man, Kid Icarus, Simon Belmont, Romeo Roberts, Julius Jones, Gameboy, and Duke!"
Mark and his friends grinned.
Mark leaned over to Mandi. "I told you they speak English in Videoland!" he whispered in her right ear.
"Translation utility I tell you." Mandi smiled and stuck out her tongue. "Besides, this is your Videoland." She walked over to Mega Man. "We finally meet!"
Mega Man grinned. "Are you a fan of mine?"
Mandi smiled. "Kinda. Hmm, these aren't the same people that I dream of, but maybe that means the ones I know are out there somewhere, too!"
Suddenly, another warp opened on the lawn, and a blonde girl came out.
"Hi, guys!" she said.
Lana smiled. "Hey, Kristen!"
"Kristen?" Mark asked. He walked up to her and swept her up in a big hug.
"Do I know you?" Kristen asked.
"No, but I know you!" Mark said, grinning. "I created you! Kinda."
Kristen looked at the others.
Lana laughed. "We'll explain later."

Mandi walked over to Mega Man, who was sitting by a computer in the Communications room.
"How's it going?" she asked.
Mega Man turned to face her. "These stories are mega great, Mandi!" he said with a smile.
She smiled back. "Hmm, well, I figure they're a bit off from your universe, but glad you like them anyway!" She paused, then asked "What do you think of your alternate you?"
"Sounds pretty cool." Mega Man said. "But, I dunno if I could get used to that."
Kevin, Lana, Stacey, and Mike Vincent walked into the room.
"So, what should we play at our concert tonight?" Kevin was asking.
"I figure we could play - " Mike began.
"Actually," Mandi spoke up, "if you don't mind, there's a little piece I taught myself on the keyboard, if I could play that."
They looked at each other.
"Hey, like, sure!" Stacey agreed.

The Megaland concert hall was packed, and there were tons of people standing outside, watching on monitors.
Captain N & The Video Game Masters had become a Videoland sensation.
Seated in the first row were the rest of the N Team, all except two of their new friends, and Kristen. Even Dr. Right, Mega Girl, and Proto Man had come to hear the band perform.
Just then, Mark walked up onto the stage.
The audience hushed.
Mark turned on Kevin's microphone. "Good evening. My name is Mark Moore. I am honored to introduce Captain N & The Video Game Masters! Tonight, performing on keyboard, will be my friend and fellow dimensional Slider, er, warper, Mandi Paugh!"
The audience began cheering and applauding.
Mark walked off the stage, and the band members walked on.
Kevin, Lana, Mike, and Mandi were dressed in black sneakers, black pants, black shirts, and black leather jackets - the usual band attire.
Kevin looked at Mandi and smiled. "Hey, how 'bout we give you guys your own warp zone openers? That way, you can come visit us whenever you want!"
Mandi grinned. "Thanks! Now I can find the universe that I dream of!"
"Say the opening speech for us?" Lana asked with a smile.
They turned on their microphones.
Mandi pulled hers closer to herself so that it would pick up her voice.
"Evening." she greeted, paused sufficently, then continued: "Tonight, the universe just got a little smaller. Another world has touched this one, and the two have been brought together. I'd like to start off with a little piece from a totally different world that is touching mine. It's Break Man's tune that reached our world as part of Mega Man 3. Dedicated to Dr. Li-er, Dr. Right and his favorite creations: Rock, Roll, and Blues!"
Dr. Right, Mega Man, Mega Girl, and Proto Man exchanged confused glances.
The scientist smiled. "Hey, I like that! Would you three mind if I call you that from now on?"
Mega Man shrugged, smiling. "Sure!"
"Okay!" Mega Girl said, smiling also.
"Blues." Proto Man repeated, then shrugged and smiled. "Why not?"
Mandi pushed the mic back into place and poised her hands over the keyboard. "Rock on!"
Music flowed from the instrument. At first, the notes emulated a simple human whistle, light and flowing. Then, a piano accompaniment joined the whistle, melodious and free.
The tune went on for about three minutes, becoming very active and lively towards the middle before finally slowing down at the end to fade away with a single note that hung in the air.
All four band members, as well as the entire audience, were moved to tears.
Then the audience stood up and gave a deafening cheer and applause.
Dr. Right, Mega Man, Mega Girl, and Proto Man especially loved the tune.


Copyright 1998, 1999 by Mark Moore and Mandi Paugh