Exhibit 19.16

A Retroactive Running Journal of an Attempt to Beat Streets of Rage 2 on Saturday

0:01 - Ryan and I haven't even started the game and already my hand hurts from all of the high-fiving. Ryan is a married high school history teacher. I am a guy who still owns a Sega.

0:02 - We choose Hard rather than Hardest. Ryan would like it pointed out that we have beaten it on Hardest and were so excited we took pictures of the television screen. I would like it pointed out that we totally did beat it on Hardest and will prove it if questioned. So, um, feel free to question. I took the framed pictures to work with me today just in case there's any questioning.

0:03 - As always, Ryan chooses Skate while I go with Axel. Axel is the game's most balanced character with his power, stamina, etc. all rated three stars. Skate is the game's most dated character with his power, stamina, etc. all rated Jean-Michel Basquiat.

0:09 - I consider telling Ryan the story of how I bought this Sega from our friend Chris's ex-girlfriend's little brother but realize that's pretty much the entire story.

0:12 - We breeze through the early levels while wondering if some of the hoodlums we're beating up ever really had a chance at a normal life. I mean, if your name was Stonta what choice would you have except to walk back and forth across an alley holding a knife?

0:13 - We barely even need these turkeys that someone is leaving under street signs to refill our health.

0:14 - Just so we're clear in case you haven't played this game, these streets are full of rage. Rage and Butterballs.

0:17 - Skate's best move is roller skating over to an enemy, jumping on the enemy's back, and punching the enemy's head. Skate's worst move is wearing a yellow tanktop after Labor Day.

0:20 - We've lost our first lives after some poor turkey management. It's not looking good. Ryan has a look on his face like I just told him that Alexander Hamilton is my favorite president.

0:30 - I unwisely mention how I once tried to talk Ryan into using a character other than Skate when we were struggling to beat the game on Hardest. This conversation nearly ended our friendship back when we played this game a lot. We've come a long way since 2006.

0:31 - Ryan hasn't smiled in ten minutes.

0:33 - Things are going a little better since we've gotten past the swamp monster and the kick boxers.

0:34 - We get very lucky on the beach level. High five! The only thing that can stop us now is the Sega freezing. There's at least a thirty percent chance that won't happen.

0:45 - We've spent the last fifteen minutes or so discussing how the bad guy--Mr. X--was able to acquire such a diverse collection of henchmen. Do the jet pack guys hang out with the professional wrestlers after work? Where did he get a monster and does the monster get paid in turkeys? How is it that he has both ninjas and fat guys who breath fire?

0:46 - We both agree that instead of kidnapping Jean-Michel Basquiat's older brother--Randy Basquiat--Mr. X would be better served putting his considerable freak management skills to work by starting a circus or an all-night Arby's.

0:47 - So, um, is there an all-night Arby's? Because I could go for some curly fries served to me by a shirtless guy swinging a lead pipe right about now. It'd be like going to an Arby's in the afternoon only there wouldn't be a line.

0:50 - Justin comes over, sees what we're doing, and looks a little worried about us when he realizes how much we're talking to ourselves. We tell him that we once beat the game on Hardest and have proof if he questions us. He declines to question us.

0:52 - Things are going okay or at least better than they were. Still, beating the game seems unlikely as we're out of continues and we still have to make it through the bad guy's lair.

0:53 - We forgot about the robots. We also have to make it through the robots. So just to recap, the bad guy is spending his time kidnapping 18-year-olds rather than using his army of robots and ninjas to some greater purpose like conquering Spain or opening an all-night Arby's.

0:57 - This conversation has happened at least ten times tonight:

Ryan: Get your turkey.
Me: No.
Ryan: Get your turkey.
Me: Not yet.
Ryan: Dude, get it.
Me: I know what I'm doing.
Ryan: You won't make it.
Me: Your mom won't make it.

1:00 - Axel's best move is punching people in the face. Axel's worst move is punching Skate in the face "on accident."

1:01 - So we've surprised ourselves by making it to Mr. X. He rewards us by shooting us with a machine gun. Which makes us wonder why he didn't give poor Stonta a machine gun back in the first level in order to end this thing before it escalated to Fire-Breathing-Fat-Guys level. Instead poor Stonta took some punches to the face, was kicked by a kid wearing roller skates, and was eventually stabbed with his own knife (which I believe is what Stonta means in Russian).

1:05 - We did it! Where's the camera?

1:06 - Justin is now refusing to question or fist bump us.

7:04 - Final conversation:

Ryan: Remember how we beat Streets of Rage earlier?
Me: Do you think Arby's is open yet?
Justin: I don't think you guys ever did beat it on Hardest.
Our Friend Chris's Ex-Girlfriend's Little Brother: Do you want to buy my Dreamcast?
Me: Probably.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, ball sack that was fun. If you would have listened to me about getting the turkeys earlier we may not have been in such a predicament later in the game. Those butterballs are delicious - at least that's what your mom said last night.