The Katonian Press: Gamer Travels Back In Time To Warn Herself Not To Play Darkest of Days

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Gamer Travels Back In Time To Warn Herself Not To Play Darkest of Days

Darkest of DaysGamer Angela Boseman had just returned home from her local big box retailer with a copy of 8monkey Lab’s Darkest of Days with the hopes of enjoying a little first-person shooter fun.  Normally she would check the reviews or play the demo, but this time she just picked up the title on a whim.  She had gotten a message from a random stranger on Xbox Live telling her to check it out since it was “the closest thing to ‘Quantum Leap: The Video Game’ she’d ever get to play”.  Her purchasing decision was clouded by a need for a good FPS fix and an amorous desire dating back to her teen years for Scott Bakula.

As she pulled the jewel case from the shopping bag and prepared to rip away its plastic wrapping with her teeth, the hair on the back of her neck suddenly stood on end.  The air felt unusually dry and electrified, like the moment before a lightning strike.  She became aware of a snapping, tearing sound, growing ever louder, seemingly coming from nowhere and everywhere at once.  The smell of ozone hung in the air.  Suddenly, with a flash of light and low resounding boom that she felt more than actually heard, a shimmering sphere appeared in the middle of her living room.  It was glassy and perfect, like the impossibly still surface of a cold, clear lake.  She was frozen in awe and shock, and totally unprepared for what came next.  A figure emerged from the sphere.

“Angela!” it called to her, in a voice that was strangely familiar.  “I have come from the future with a grave warning:  Do not, under any circumstances, play Darkest of Days!”


Angela was barely able to compose herself, her mind at a loss to explain what she was experiencing.  “Who… who are you?” she managed to squeak out.

“I am you,” said the stranger, “and you are about to make a very big mistake.”  The woman did indeed bear a strong resemblance to Angela, though the years had clearly not been kind to her.  Her once supple, youthful face had been ravaged by time and hard living, wrinkles furrowing across a mournful expression that had long ago forgotten joy.  Her hair was thin and gray now, with little sign of its former luster.  “Do not play that game,” she said forcefully.

“What, this?” Angela asked incredulously, “Why, is it going to red-ring my Xbox or something?”

“Worse!” exclaimed Future Angela, “The consequences are even more dire than having to wait on a repair from Microsoft.  The game will ruin you.  I am a living testament of that.”  Future Angela made a sweeping gesture over her body to accent her point.  “It commits the gravest sin a game can commit against a gamer…”

“It charges you for Avatar clothing?” quipped Angela.

“No!” Future Angela bellowed angrily.  “It’s a complete and total waste of your time!

Angela looked again at the game in her hands.  It couldn’t be that bad, she thought to herself.  The whole situation was crazy.  Maybe she was hallucinating.  Maybe it was bad beans in her Chipotle burrito.

“Okay, just wait a minute,” she rebuked.  “How can I believe you? This is all a little too much to process.”

“Just trust me,” insisted Future Angela. “I am you.  We’re the same person.”

“So you said, and yea you look a little like me, if I had been ridden hard and put away wet. But there’s no way for me to be sure.”

“Fine,” said Future Angela, “I’ll prove it to you.”  She thought for a moment.  “In addition to that game, you bought a bunch of batteries.  You already have rechargeable battery packs for your game controllers, so you intended those for…”

“Okay, so maybe you are me”, interrupted Angela quickly.  “But c’mon, even if it’s not great, I can at least get some easy achievements.”

“Really?  You think so?”  Future Angela walked over to her younger self and clapped her firmly on the shoulders.  “You don’t.  You’ll play for over an hour and a half and get nothing.”

“Nothing?” Angela was incredulous.

“Nothing. Zero. Zilch.  Not a single damn achievement in over an hour of play.  For Halo’s sake, you can get 10 Gamerscore just for going into a menu in Madden, and The Beatles: Rock Band will hook you up with a fiver just calibrating!”

Angela was starting to regret her purchase.  But she really didn’t feel like hopping in the car and going back to the store to return it.  So maybe she’d have to work a bit for her Gamerscore, at least she’d get to shoot stuff.

“You still aren’t convinced, are you?”  Future Angela rolled her eyes.  “You fight in the Civil War using a machine gun and no one notices.  Not even your enemies.  You can shoot them, and they’ll stand there and do nothing. ‘Why does my stomach suddenly hurt? Must be this awful hardtack we Rebel soldiers have to eat. I couldn’t possibly have been shot while twiddling my thumbs here on a battlefield!'”

Angela made a face. “Well, at least you get to shoot stuff.”

“Ugh!” Future Angel was losing patience. “Yea, sometimes.  But then there’s the glowing guys that aren’t supposed to die.  You have to throw green balls at them.”

“Green balls?”

“Look, I don’t fucking know.  What I do know is that throwing balls at people is weird and isn’t fun.  Unless it’s dodgeball, which even in the context of the American Civil War would still have made more sense than this anachronistic nightmare of a title.  And don’t get me started on the turrets.”  Future Angela pantomimes putting a gun to her head and pulling the trigger.

Angela was quickly running out of reasons to doubt her supposed future self.

“Is the voice acting any good?” she asked, grasping at straws.

“If English is your second language… sure.”

Angela resigned herself to the truth.  She had bought a bad game.  But other than wasting some money, how could it be that much of a calamity?

“Suppose I believe you that it’s a horrible game,” she started. “What’s the big deal?  I mean, clearly you lived to a ripe old age and even saw the invention of time travel.”

“Did I?” asked Future Angela, narrowing her eyes.  “I don’t think you understand.  I don’t come from decades into your future. I came here to warn you when I couldn’t take it any more.  I came here after my will to live had diminished and my spirit was nearly broke.  I came here after only playing the game for four hours.”

Angela’s mouth fell open and her copy of Darkest of Days dropped to the floor, not clattering about but simply coming to rest, as if weighing far more than a simple game should.  Before her stood the vision of herself utterly wrecked by a truly awful game.

“The receipt is still in the bag!” she exclaimed, running over to where she had set it on a counter. “It’s not too late, I can return it tonight!”  Angela’s future self smiled at her.

“I knew you’d make the right decision,” she beamed.  “I must go now so as to not alter your timeline any further.  But with any luck, I will soon cease to exist.”

As Future Angela stepped backward toward the spherical portal from whence she had appeared, her younger self stopped her.  “Thank you,” said Angela. “For everything.  But I’m confused, if you only come from a few hours in the future, how did you manage to travel through time?”

“Someone from my future decided to pay me a visit,” she explained.  “I wanged him on the head and stole his time travel dealy.”

“But why were you visited, then?” asked Angela over the ever growing noise of the time portal, which had begun to crackle and hiss as Future Angela approached it.

“Because,” answered her future self, slipping into the portal, her voice fading as if being heard from a great distance.  “He didn’t want me to give you this.”  Her arm trailed her as she disappeared into the glassy surface, and in her outstretched hand she bore a familiar shape.  With a great noise like the gears of the cosmos grinding together followed by an almost comical “pop!”, the time portal and Angela of the future disappeared.  But she had left behind a gift for her present self.

Angela knelt down and picked up the jewel case laying there on the floor.  Upon it was a title as if from a dream.

“Halo: Reach.”

kato
witfits [at] gmail [dot] com
katonian press-related stories

43 Responses to The Katonian Press: Gamer Travels Back In Time To Warn Herself Not To Play Darkest of Days

  1. IcyTreats says:

    HOLY SHIT. that was the most epic ending. EVAR.

    • IcyTreats says:

      Where’s my future person who gives me Reach…
      *sits in a corner, cutting wrists*

      • IcyTreats says:

        Nice job on the whole article, btw.
        *sorry about the triple post..and FIRST!!!11!*

      • You know sitting in a corner cutting wrists can be bad for your health…

        • IcyTreats says:

          Not if you use plastic knives. Mom won’t let me use normal ones. :P

        • xLAS3RP01NT3Rx says:

          You still scored a triple post.

        • IcyTreats says:

          :D

  2. All I can say is that I would gladly buy one of your books, This is the best story yet!

    • Kato says:

      If I ever write one (and believe me, I’ve wanted to since I was about 8) I’ll hold you to that.

      • IcyTreats says:

        Trust me, you have to write one, because your articles are GOOD. This is coming from one..erm..’writer’ to another :)

  3. Cleansing Aura says:

    Damn my future self! The selfish bastard hasn’t brought me my copy of reach yet! Or even L4D2! Come on – could having it a few weeks early really screw up the space-time whatty-majig?

  4. Absolute Edge says:

    Kudos to you Kato, a very well written piece. Loved the ending as well ^-^

    • Kato says:

      *taking a bow*

      I thought it was about time someone gave “Angela” a happy ending….

  5. Mr Viper says:

    I would go back in time to force myself to play Okami sooner.

  6. Poopie McGhee says:

    Future Angel was losing patience… you mean the Angel of last week? lol… This is a true story… My hair is now grey…lol

    In all seriousness— Fuck it, i’m going to sleep…
    When’s reach coming?… I saw some screenshots

    • Poopie McGhee says:

      Very well written too, I must add…

      Also, what are you trying to say? I liked the game (for the most part- fuck the zeppelin mission)…

  7. Leeumm says:

    My God. Go write a book, Kato. That was epic.

    • Kato says:

      Clearly there is a market for books about time-traveling gamers. I’ll see if Random House is willing to give me an advance. :)

      (Thank you for the compliment)

  8. IcyTreats says:

    Oh and is DoD really that bad/random?

    • bs angel says:

      I’m hoping to kick out a review later this week (next week at the latest). It will pretty much just say what this article said though. And it will be 20 million times less entertaining too. Go me!

      • IcyTreats says:

        Nah, don’t worry, I’m sure it wont be as boring as you say it is.
        *thinks of possibilities*
        Zzzzzzz…:P

        I was thinking of downloading the demo. But then I realized the genius of Youtube.

        • Aciil says:

          If only you had written this sooner, I wouldent have bought this and experienced this myself
          :(

  9. bs angel says:

    So. Fucking. Funny.

    This is my new favorite Katonian Press! It’s like you live in my brain or something. O_o

    • Kato says:

      I don’t live in there, I just have a vacation house. Medulla-front property, nice view of the Cerebellum. If you ever find yourself sneezing for no reason that just me going out for a stroll.

      • Mr Viper says:

        Be careful, I heard some well-off guy is planning to buy the entire Prefrontal Cortex.

        • IcyTreats says:

          Nah, the guy who’s got the Cerebrum won’t stand for it, he’s got a lot of political power.

  10. Felipe 058 says:

    Truly a spectacular story, Kato! That is an excellent twist ending, and I applaud you on your superb narrative skills. This is certainly one of the very best you have ever written.

  11. BigCountry1369 says:

    Effin’ Awesome Kato

    You have Reach already Angel??

    *Queue jealousy*

    =P

  12. TJ Fadness says:

    I love you Kato.

    It’s been said before, but: Write a book.

  13. pittofdoom says:

    You don’t need to write a book, Kato, because there are plenty of good novelists out there. You need to write a screenplay; Hollywood could use someone who doesn’t just remake a remake of a remake.

  14. You made one mistake in this story, you made it sound so epically horrible, now my curiosity is killing me to play it. Its like you see someone smell something and say”holy shit this stinks”, but you can’t stop yourself from smelling it anyway to confirm. Same thing, but instead of a pile of hot wet poo, its a aroma pleasant game.

    • tjfadness says:

      Download the demo. I did that a while ago. It was pretty much just as described.

    • bs angel says:

      Let me guess, you’ve watched 2 Girls, 1 Cup, haven’t you? ;)

      • Poopie McGhee says:

        I have :Shudders:..

      • I couldn’t help myself. Even after watching all the reaction vids on youtube.

  15. DethPwn says:

    Nice one, Kato.

    On a more personal and dire note: EA, Activision, Infinity Ward, Bungie, Epic, Valve, Insomniac, Naughty Dog, SOMEBODY:

    Quantum Leap game.

    NOW, DAMMNIT!!!!!

  16. L3377MA573R says:

    Very well written. Love the ending, although I doubt it will be much of a happy ending after Angela gets the living shit banned out of her.

    • Poopie McGhee says:

      Unless she plays it on a 2nd 360 and has NO XBL on it…

      • IcyTreats says:

        They’ll still ban her.

        I can imagine..

        Shishka walking..he suddenly stops and says:
        “My Reach ban senses are tingling…”

      • What would they ban if it has no net on the whole 360?

  17. HellCat says:

    I thought it looked ok actually. Though Yaahtzee said it was shit. What do u think Angel? seeing as you have it.

    Nice job Kato. And nice sexual refernce with the batteries. I guess you tried to slip it in.

  18. VicariousShaner says:

    I remember when my future self warned me about buying a bad game. the game was superman 64 and i then said thank you and he left. 5 seconds later he came back and told me i shouldnt use my money to buy extreme bratz horses racing instead, although he remarked that he thought the sequel looked pretty good. a more futuristic self then arrived and slapped him. And thats how i managed to buy darkest of days. Strangely no future self came… (plays game, coughs, writes will, makes comment on random website, spontaneously combusts.)

  19. Spartan-201 says:

    Holy MW2, what an epic ending. Well done, Kato, well done.

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