Captain N: The Game Master



Saturday, June 5, 1993, 8:00 AM

It was a nice morning in Northridge, California.
At Northridge High School, a lot of people were gathered for this year's graduation ceremony.
A stage and a lot of chairs had been placed on the football field, and a sound system was in place. Near the front center of the stage was a podium with a microphone.
In the bleachers, family and friends of the graduates-to-be were seated, waiting for the ceremony to begin.
"This is it!" Cheryl said. "Our son's graduating!" She was crying happily.
Ned smiled and put his right arm around her.
Rick was video taping the football field with his camera. Lana, Romeo, Julius, Simon, and Kristen were also in attendance.
Lana looked at the vampire hunter. "Glad you could join us, Simon!"
"Wouldn't have missed it!" Simon said. He pulled his mirror out of his coat and looked at his reflection. "An opportunity to see myself in real-life! I look a different sort of way!"
Lana smiled and shook her head.
"It's about to start!" Kristen said.
They all watched.
The graduating class walked from behind the stage to the rows of chairs. The ROTC had formed two lines, and the class walked between them. Then they had to walk between some guys that were holding swords in the air. All this was done to some nifty music courtesy of the school marching band. Finally, they reached the chairs.
"Do you see him?" Cheryl asked.
Ned was looking through binoculars. "Not yet."
The class sat down.
The school Principal walked onto the stage and up to the podium. He then proceeded to give a short speech about how he's so proud of the graduates, and how they all should be. Then various teachers and other faculty members spoke. Then the Valedictorian and Salutatorian gave their speeches.
Finally, Mrs. Grould, the Chemistry teacher, walked up to the podium.
"Now, will the graduating class please rise?" Mrs. Grould asked.
They all stood up.
"As I call your name, please come forward and receive your diploma." she said.
Mike looked at Kevin with a smile. "This is it, man. We're finally graduating."
Kevin smiled back at him.
"Stacey Anderson." Mrs. Grould called.
Stacey walked up to Mrs. Grould, who handed her her diploma and shook her hand. Then Stacey went to the Principal and shook his hand. Then Stacey returned to her friends.
Stacey grinned as she showed off her diploma to Kevin and Mike. "Check it out, dudes!"
Kevin and Mike smiled at her and slapped her high-fives.
"Kevin Keene!" Mrs. Grould eventually called.
Kevin's parents and Rick filmed him as he went up to Mrs. Grould. They shouted cheers at him.
Mrs. Grould handed Kevin his diploma and shook his hand.
Then Kevin walked up to the Principal.
"Congratulations, Kevin!" the Principal said.
Kevin was grinning. "Thank you, Mr. Stevens!"
Kevin returned to the others. Stacey and Mike slapped him high-fives.
"And last, but certainly not least, Michael Vincent!" Mrs. Grould called.
Mike and Stacey cheered him on as he went up to get his diploma.
Then Mike looked at the audience and flexed. Everyone laughed.
"Of course, I look better!" Simon claimed.
Mike went over and shook the Principal's hand.
"Great turnaround, Mike!" Mr. Stevens said. "Glad to see you're not beating anyone up anymore!"
Mike laughed, then returned to the others.
"Way to go, Mikey!" Kevin said in a manly voice.
He and Stacey slapped high-fives with Mike.
Mr. Stevens walked up to the podium. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the Northridge High School graduating class of 1993!"
The entire audience stood up and gave a massive cheer and applause.
The graduates were cheering also. They took off their hats and threw them in the air.
Kevin and Stacey hugged and kissed.
Then Mike and Kevin put their hands on each other's shoulders and shook each other hard. "Yeah!!!"
"How 'bout it?!" Mike asked Kevin, grinning. "We've graduated high school! We're free men!"
"And I still don't have my driver's license!" Kevin added with an equally big grin.
The two of them burst out laughing.
Now the audience was filling the football field.
"Do you see him?!" Cheryl asked her husband.
"No, not yet!" Ned responded, shaking his head.
Suddenly, Lana pointed. "There he is!"
Kevin and Stacey were kissing again. Lana went up to them, pulled Stacey away from Kevin, and kissed her boyfriend on the lips.
"Congratulations, Kevin!" Lana said proudly.
"Thanks!" Kevin replied.
Then Kevin, Mike, and Stacey's relatives arrived, and hugs and congratulations went all around.
"C'mon, guys, let's celebrate!" Ned said.
Then they heard thunder, and it started to pour.

The red convertible drove through the street. It was still raining, but the roof was down nonetheless.
Lana was driving. Kevin, Mike, and Stacey were sitting on top of the back seat. The three graduates were yelling and having fun.
Lana pulled into the parking lot of Pete's Pizza Shack. They all got out of the car.

Kevin, Mike, Stacey, their relatives, and Kristen walked inside the Pizza Shack. Stacey's dad turned on the lights.
"So, what do you guys want?" Pete asked, heading towards the kitchen.
"Three large pepperoni pizzas!" Stacey said.
They all took their seats at a large table.
"So, what are you guys planning on doing now?" Cheryl asked.
"Gonna join us in college?" Rick asked, smiling.
"Actually," Kevin said, "I think we'll just hang out at home most of the time."
"And in the video arcades!" Mike added.
"And the mall!" Stacey chimed in.
Kevin and Mike stared at her.
"Hey, yeah, the arcade in the mall!" Kevin said.
"Cool!" Mike agreed.
Stacey shook her head. "Guys, that's not what I - " She broke off and dismissed it with a wave of her right hand. "Forget it. You guys are, like, dense!"
Some water went down the wrong way as Mike chuckled while taking a sip of his drink.
Stacey pointed at Mike with her right index finger. "Watch it, butt-munch!"
Stacey's mom looked at Lana. "Oh, Lana, I heard you got your driver's license this Tuesday! Congratulations!"
Lana smiled. "Thanks, Mrs. A! Now I just need a car."
Mike smiled. "Hey, you can borrow mine!"
"Thanks, Mike!" Lana said in appreciation.
"And we have something else to celebrate, guys!" Lana said. "It's Kristen's birthday!"
"Hey, happy 21st!" Kevin said.
They all applauded for her. Lana kissed Kristen on her right cheek. The hairstylist blushed.
"Hey, Stacey, can you please plug in the arcade machines?" Rick asked.
Stacey grinned, standing up. "Oker-dokers and chicken chokers!"
Stacey ran around, plugging in all the arcade machines and flipping switches, then returned to her seat.
Pete came by with three trays. "All right, guys! Three fresh-baked large pepperoni pizzas!" He carefully set them down on the table, one at a time.
"Thanks, dad." Stacey said.
"Thanks, Pete!" everyone else said.
Pete Anderson sat down at the table. "Well, this place is supposed to be closed today, so I guess I can join you!"
They all enjoyed their pizzas.

Kevin, Lana, Mike, Stacey, Rick, Romeo, Julius, Kristen, Simon, Ned, and Cheryl all walked into the school gym through the front doors.
They walked around slowly, looking all over.
"Wow." Kevin said. "Hard to believe this is the same building we were hiding from Wily's 'bots in back in 1990."
"It is, man." Rick assured him. "And tonight, it's where the graduation party will be!"
Kevin smiled.
"Let's go to Videoland and relax for a while." Mike said, taking out a warp zone opener.
"Good idea!" Romeo said. "I need to run and work off that pizza!"
Mike opened a warp to their house in Megaland.
Lana turned to Kristen. "Coming, Kristen?"
Kristen smiled and nodded. "Sure!"
They all went into the warp, one at a time.
Just then, one of the front doors opened. Kristen's mom walked in - just in time to see her daughter step into the warp.
"Kristen?" she asked.
The warp closed.
"What the hell is going on?"

"My first day as a free man!" Kevin exclaimed happily, walking into the N Team's house in Megaland, holding his diploma up high in both hands.
The others followed him in through the front door.
How does it feel, Kev?!" Mike asked him.
"Awesome!!!" Kevin screamed.
"Yeah!!!" Mike agreed.
"All right, guys, remember, the graduation party's in the gym at seven." Cheryl said with a smile.
"We'll totally be there!" Stacey said with a grin.

Lana was sitting in her bedroom, playing Street Fighter II for the Super Nintendo.
The door chimed.
"Come in." Lana said.
The door rose, and Kristen walked into the room. The door closed behind her.
Lana looked at Kristen briefly before returning her eyes to the screen. "Hey, Kristen. Care for a game?"
Kristen smiled. "Maybe. Right now, though, I'd like to talk to you about something."
Lana paused the game and gave Kristen her full attention. "Something on your mind, Kristy?"
"Yeah, I, uh,...I wanna talk about us."
Lana stood up and walked over to her. "What about us?"
"I - " Kristen began. "I wanna know how you feel about me."
"Well, I...I like you." Lana said. "You're a great friend. You've...helped me and...cared for me when I needed it the most." She smiled. "You're one of my dearest friends."
"I'm glad you think of me so highly." Kristen said. "But is that all you think of me as?"
Lana sighed. "Kristen, we've been through this already. I have a boyfriend."
Kristen nodded. "Yes, you do."
"Kristen, what are you trying to say?"
Kristen gazed at her. "I love you."
Lana gazed at her. "I know."
They grabbed hold of each other. Their lips met in a clash. This kiss was unlike any other they'd shared up to this point, however. Kristen slipped her tongue into Lana's mouth. Lana moaned softly and returned the favor. As their tongues continued their dance, they forgot everything around them and lost themselves in the moment.

The Videoland Club was gathered at the table in the Conference room. Kristen was with them. A video camera was recording them, saving the information directly to the house's computer system.
Rick was sitting at the head of the table. In front of him was his laptop.
Rick looked at his watch. "This meeting of the Videoland Club is called to order on Saturday, June 5th, 1993, at 10 AM. First, let's welcome our newest member - Kristen!"
Everyone applauded for Kristen as she shook Rick's right hand.
"Next, I wanna show you guys something I created."
Rick opened up a CD case and took out a CD-ROM. He held it up in his right hand for everyone to see.
"What is it?" Lana asked.
"I present the Videoland Club CD-ROM." Rick said. "It has all of our meetings, records, and other files on it. Everything. This CD will be a backup, just in case something ever happens to the house's computer."
"Great idea, Rick!" Kevin said.
"Like, very good with the noggin, dude!" Stacey added.
"Thanks." Rick said with a smile. He put the CD back in the case.
"Hey, you know what would be great for the Club to cover?" Romeo brought up. "The 1st Annual Robot Tournament!"
"Hey, yeah, I heard about that!" Rick said. "People from all over Megaland are designing and building robots and entering them in the tournament!"
"It begins at noon." Romeo said.
Rick nodded. "We'll be there!"

The warp opened in the school gym, and Kevin, Lana, Stacey, and Kristen exited it. The warp closed behind them.
Then one of the front double doors opened, and Kristen's mom walked inside.
Kevin, Lana, Stacey, and Kristen started.
"Mom, hi!" Kristen said with a forced smile. "Guys, this is my mother, Carol. Um, what are you doing here?"
"Waiting for you to show up." her mom replied in a tone they didn't like. "Just what is this about?"
"Uh, what do you mean?" Kevin asked nervously.
"Don't take me for a fool!" Carol replied. "What was that blue circle? Yeah, that's right, I saw you leave, and I heard you come in."
Lana stepped forward. "You're better off not knowing."
"You're better off telling me. I demand to know!"
"Let's just say it's a kind of magic." Lana said, trying to end the conversation.
"That's not good enough!!!" Carol screamed.
"It's gonna have to be." Lana said. She heard a ring. "Excuse me."
Lana walked a few feet away and answered her new cellular phone.
"Hello?" she asked.
"Hey, baby." the voice on the other end replied.
Lana frowned. "Who is this?"
"You've forgotten. I'm so disappointed. I hope I didn't damage your face too bad."
Then Lana recognized him. "Anubis?"
"The one and only - most likely." he answered with a laugh.
"How'd you get this number?" Lana asked.
"That doesn't matter." Anubis said. "I just called to say hi."
"Right. Where are you?" Lana asked, turning on the warp zone opener.
"Still in Indy. I'll give you the address."
"Please do." Lana said, bringing up a map of Indianapolis on the small screen.
After Lana got the address and entered in the coordinates, she hung up.
Lana rejoined the others.
"Who was on the phone?" Kevin asked.
"Anubis." Lana answered in surprise.
"Anubis?" Stacey asked. "You mean that asshole that killed his brother?"
Lana sighed. "The one and only. I don't know how he got my number. Look, I gotta go to Indianapolis and find out what he wants."
"Indianapolis?" Carol asked. "But that's in Indiana. How will you get there?"
Lana held up the warp zone opener. "Magic. Guys, see to it she doesn't tell anyone."
Kevin, Stacey, and Kristen nodded.
Lana walked out the front double doors. She walked down the steps of the gym, checked to make sure no one was around, and opened a warp. She stepped into it.

Lana exited the warp and found herself standing in the driveway of a beautiful two-story house.
She walked up to the front door and rang the bell.
The door opened. Anubis was standing there. He looked pretty much the same as Lana remembered him from nearly a year ago - except her was wearing what looked like a very expensive leather jacket. He wore a neon blue star pin on his right shoulder.
Anubis smiled. "Hey, Lana."
Lana placed her hands on Anubis' shoulders and pushed him into the room.
"What are you doing?" Anubis asked, slightly panicked.
Lana backhanded Anubis with her left hand, knocking him down to the floor.
He stood up. "What was that for?!" he yelled.
"For murdering your brother - with my weapon no less." Lana replied angrily. "I couldn't do it with others around, but we're alone now."
"I killed my brother." Anubis said. "It's no different than you killing your father."
Lana didn't expect to hear that. "How do you know about that?"
"Once again, it doesn't matter." Anubis said. "The point is killing is killing. Your intentions make no difference. The end result is the same."
"You're completely wrong." Lana said. "There's a big difference. I killed to save a life. You killed to avenge your brother, Dorian, long after he'd died." She drew her Zapper. "This gun was used to kill two people. One was murder, the other wasn't. Guess which one was." She holstered her Zapper. "You have to live every single day with the fact that you committed one of the ugliest acts a human being is capable of." She shook her head. "I don't see how you can live with it. As for me, I don't have a guilty conscience. I try to be a good person, and the reward I got for making the right decision is the best a person can receive: the continued life of a dear friend, and his eternal gratitude and love."
Anubis clapped his hands slowly. "Wonderful. Wonderful. You rehearse that?"
Lana raised her left hand again.
Anubis held up his hands in front of him. "No, please!"
Lana lowered her hand, and Anubis lowered his hands.
Lana looked around at the place. "So,'d you afford to buy a place like this? You used to live in an apartment."
Anubis smiled. "My current employers pay me handsomely."
"I assume they wouldn't have hired you if you had a criminal record attached to your resume."
"I wouldn't be too sure about that."
"Who do you work for?" Lana asked.
"What's it to you?" Anubis asked her.
"Just curious."
"Fine." Anubis said. "Come with me."

Anubis led Lana down into the basement.
He turned on the light. "Viola."
"The...Warp Zone Shifter." Lana said. She walked down the stairs.
Anubis followed her.
Lana examined it, then looked at Anubis. "How'd you get it?"
"Well, when I returned to the warehouse last July 4th, the cops were still there. They demanded to know what was going on. Of course, I couldn't tell them, so I shot and killed them all. Every single one of them."
Lana was outraged. "Was that really necessary?!!!"
"I thought it was." Anubis answered. "Bob, the guy that invented the Shifter, was scared shitless, but he made me a job offer, which I accepted."
"What do you do?" Lana asked.
"Observe what?"
The control panel beeped.
Lana looked at the small screen. "You have an incoming transmission." Lana told Anubis. "It's from - "
"The Star Bright Project. I know." Anubis said. "I'll get it soon enough."
"What's that?" Lana asked. "Is that where you work?"
"None of your business." Anubis replied.
Lana drew her Zapper and pointed it at Anubis, quickly walking over to him. "Listen to me, you son of a bitch, you know something, and you're not telling me! How do you know my father's dead?! I never told you! What's the Star Bright Project?! What are you doing with this Warp Zone Shifter?! Who's in charge?!"
Anubis had backed away from Lana, and now his back was to a crate. He had nowhere to go.
"You're not thinking of using that, are you?" Anubis half-joked.
"Answer my questions!" Lana demanded.
"And what if I don't? Are you gonna kill me?"
"How do you know these things about me?!" Lana yelled. "Answer me!!!"
"Go to Hell!" Anubis yelled at her.
Lana shook her head, gritting her teeth. "I don't believe in Hell, so I'll just say - " She brought her left leg up and kneed Anubis in the balls. "Fuck you!"
Anubis fell down to the cement floor, groaning and grabbing his crotch.
Lana turned and fired her Zapper at the shell of the Warp Zone Shifter, damaging some vital components.
Lana ran up the stairs and out of the basement.
Anubis slowly got to his feet. "Damn, that girl can fight!" He staggered over to the Warp Zone Shifter to answer the transmission. He pressed a button on the control panel. "Yeah, I'm here."
"You disappoint me, Runes." the male voice on the other end of the transmission said. "You know no one is to know of our work."
"Yeah, man, sorry 'bout that." Anubis said. "I won't do it again."
"You're damn right, you won't." the voice said. "Sorry I gotta do this, man. You were a great employee. You realize we were prepared for something like this."
"Oh, man, no!" Anubis yelled.

Lana was walking down the driveway when the entire house was destroyed in a series of explosions.
The Princess, startled, hit the pavement.
After a while, she turned around and got up. "Anubis!"
The house was nearly gone by now.
Lana stared at it for a few moments. She turned to walk away when a piece of paper carried by the explosion from the house came down in front of her. "Huh?"
She reached up with her left hand to touch it. She let out a yell. The paper was pretty hot.
Slowly, though, Lana was able to hold the paper in both hands. She looked at it closely. "What in Videoland?" she whispered.
Lana took out the warp zone opener, looked around, and opened a warp. She stepped into it.

The Videoland Club was seated at the table in the Conference room, as before.
"All right, everybody set on how the tournament will be recorded?" Rick asked.
Mega Man nodded. "Affirmative. I've called the TV station. They're having cameras set up to record every event."
Rick nodded. "Good. All right, anything else before we end the meeting and head over to the arena?"
"I'd like to bring up something." Lana said. "This doesn't have anything to do with the Club, but I think it's important."
"What is it, Lana?" Rick asked.
"When I went to Indiana to see what Anubis wanted, he showed me the Warp Zone Shifter in the basement. The one that brought him to Videoland last June. He seemed to be working for something called the Star Bright Project. He said he 'observes'. He also seemed to know stuff about me, like my cellular number and my father dying. I drew my Zapper and demanded answers. He wouldn't give them."
The others were all looking at Lana.
She knew what they were thinking. "No, I didn't kill him. And I probably wouldn't have. I was just angry." Lana laughed. "So I hit him in the balls and left."
Kevin, Mike, Rick, Stacey, Kristen, Romeo, and Julius laughed.
Lana's smile faded. "Then, when I was outside, his house blew up."
The others stopped laughing, shocked.
"He's dead." Lana added pointlessly.
"Do you know who did it?" Kid Icarus asked.
"If I had to guess, I'd say his employers." Lana said. "He received a transmission from them shortly before I left."
"Do you know what this Star Bright Project is?" Mike asked.
"No." Lana answered. She took out the burnt piece of paper. "However, when I was leaving, I found this."
"Like, what is it?" Stacey asked.
"It's mostly burnt, but it looks like a FAX from his employers." Lana looked at the paper closely. "I can make out a few words: 'Anubis Runes', 'hereby in charge', 'report to work', 'New Mexico', 'Star Bright Project', 'access code is', 'let no one know'. That's all I can make out."
A smile formed on Stacey's lips. "I can make out a lot more than you can."
Lana opened her mouth to comment on that, but then decided not to.
Rick extended his right arm. "Can I see that?"
Lana handed the paper to him.
Rick looked it over. "What do you think this means?"
Lana shrugged, shaking her head. "I dunno."
"Kevin?" Rick asked.
Kevin shook his head. "Not me."
"I have no clue." Stacey replied.
Mike opened his mouth to comment on that.
"Shut up!" Stacey said firmly, stopping him.
Mike grinned.
"Anyone?" Rick asked.
"Well, I was born in New Mexico." Kristen put in. "I lived there until my nineteenth birthday, when me and my parents moved to Northridge, so I'm pretty familiar with the area. But I've never heard of the Star Bright Project."
Rick sighed. "Well,...maybe we'll find out...someday. I'll seal this in a helium-filled glass case to preserve it." He checked his watch. "Meeting ends at 11:30 AM."

The arena was packed. People from all over Megaland, and some from other video worlds, had come to watch the tournament.
The N Teamsters took their seats.
"I can't wait to see what the robots do!" Lana said excitedly.
"Is Kristen coming?" Kevin asked.
"Yeah, she just had to drop by her house for a bit." Lana answered. "She'll be along shortly."
"I hope so. She wouldn't wanna miss this!" Kevin said with a smile.

On Earth, in Northridge, Kristen was sitting at her PC, looking at the Videoland Club CD-ROM.
She looked at her digital watch on her left wrist. "Shit, the tournament's about to start!"
She got up, took out her warp zone opener, opened a warp, and went into it.
She had forgotten to take the CD with her.
Just then, her mother walked into the room. "Kristen, where are you?"
She walked over to her daughter's computer and looked at the screen.
"Well, well, what have we here?" She sat down and began looking at the program.

Kristen warped into the arena. "Am I late?"
"Not at all, but it's gonna start soon." Lana smiled. "I saved you a seat."
"Thanks." Kristen sat down to Lana's left.
"Do you know who's sponsoring this tournament?" Simon asked.
"Some guy named Mr. X." Rick said.
"What are the eventsicus?" Kid Icarus asked.
"A bunch of stuff." Rick said. "It's to test the robots' durability."
"Do they fight?" Kevin asked hopefully.
Rick grinned. "Uh-huh."
Kevin and Mike stood up and did a high-five. "Yes!"
"We get to see 'em kick ass!" Mike said happily.
They sat back down.


The audience watched as the first two robots entered the arena. The announcer announced the names of the robots and their creators. The robots competed in breaking things and different fighting techniques.
As each round progressed, more and more incredible robots showed what they could do. Actually, it was the inventors that showed what they could do!

Finally, a break was called.
"This is so exciting!" Lana said.
"I wonder what the final event is gonna be." Mike said.
"It's probably, like, a secret, because, ya know, no one's said anything." Stacey explained.
"Thank you, O' Wise One." Mike said.
"How long of a break before the final event?" Kristen asked.
"About fifteen minutes." Lana said.
Kristen stood up. "Great. I'll be right back."

Kristen warped into her bedroom.
"Mom!" she yelled in surprise. "What are you doing?!"
Kristen's mother was sitting at the computer, looking at the screen. "Oh, just reading up on your friends. Princess Lana Deschain, born June 23, 1974. Simon Belmont, born September 1, 1958. Kid Icarus, born September 21, 1982. Doctor Thomas Xavier Right, born April 15, 1939. Link Chance, born May 9, 1974. Princess Zelda Harkinian, born May 9, 1973."
Kristen walked up to her and looked at the screen.
"Amazing." Carol said. "Another universe."
"That doesn't belong to you!" Kristen said. She went over and ejected the CD, then put it back in its sleeve. "Never pry into my personal belongings again."
Carol stood up. "I am your mother! I have every right to know who you're hanging around with!"
"Don't touch my stuff without asking." Kristen said firmly. "Now get out of my room."
Her mother stared at her for a moment, then turned and walked out of the bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Kristen shut down her PC and warped back to Megaland.

"Everything okay?" Lana asked.
"I dunno." Kristen said. She sat back down and handed Rick the CD case. "Sorry, Rick, I left the CD at home."
"You left a CD-ROM full of info on Videoland on Earth?!" Kevin asked in disbelief.
"Yeah." Kristen said. "I just...forgot. I'm sorry. My mom was reading it. I took it from her, we argued a bit about my right to privacy, and I sent her out of my room. I'm really sorry if this causes any harm."
"We'll discuss it later." Rick said. "The final event is about to start."
Soon, the robot finalists entered the arena for the final event. There were eight of them.
The lights dimmed.
"What's going on?" Simon asked in a whisper.
"I dunno." Stacey whispered back.
Just then, the mysterious Mr. X appeared, standing in the center of the arena.
The short man had white hair and a white mustache and beard. He was wearing a cloak that was purple on the outside and red on the inside.
"That must be Mr. X." Romeo whispered.
"Ladies and gentlemen,...I wish to thank you all for coming to see the final event of my 1st Annual Robot Tournament." Mr. X said. "As you know, I have kept the final event of the tournament a secret. This event will test the strength, skill, and intelligence of each of these fine robots. In fact, it will also test the strength and skill of each one of you. That may seem strange, but I'm sure you will understand when I explain that the final test for these robots is to help me conquer the world!"
Gasps and murmurs sounded throughout the arena.
"What?!" Lana asked in disbelief.
"He's nuts!" Kevin yelled.
Mr. X took out a remote control and reprogrammed the eight robots.
"Please excuse me and my robots as we teleport out of here, but we have a lot of work to do." Mr. X said. "But don't worry, you'll see me again soon - real soon!"
And with that, Mr. X and the eight robots teleported out.
Panic filled the arena.
The entire N Team and Kristen stood up.
"What do we do?!" Lana asked.
"Guys!" a voice called.
They looked to their left.
It was Dr. Li Shiroshi, Gameboy's creator. She ran up to them. Dr. Right was right behind her.
"Dr. Right, how do we stop this madman?!" Kristen asked.
"Kristen, I want you to go to Earth, where it's safe." Lana told her. "We'll handle it."
"Lana, I wanna help!" Kristen protested.
"Go!" the Princess ordered. "I...I don't wanna see you get hurt."
Kristen nodded, then opened a warp and went back to Earth.
"To my lab, quickly!" Dr. Right said. "We've got to figure out what to do!"

Kristen warped back to her bedroom, hoping Lana and the others would be all right.
Lana, especially.
She picked up the phone to call a friend and chat to pass the time.
Then she realized that someone was already using the phone. She kept quiet and listened.
"Yes, I was wondering if I could come to work today." her mother said.
"Why?" a man asked.
"To create a video game."
"You wanna come in on a Saturday just to create a game?"
"It's a personal project." Carol said.
"All right." her boss said. "What's the game gonna be about, just out of curiosity?"
"Oh, it'll be neat! And no matter if you win or lose, the entire universe will be destroyed."
Kristen jolted.
"Uh,...okay." her boss replied. "It's your game, Carol."
"I'll be there in a half hour." she said, and hung up.
Her boss did as well.
Kristen nervously slammed down the phone. "Holy Shit!"
She opened a warp.

The N Team, Dr. Right, and Dr. Shiroshi were standing around a metal table in Dr. Right's main lab.
The viewscreen was on, and it was tuned to VNN, the Videoland News Network. The N Teamsters and the two doctors were watching the broadcast rapt attention.
"This is Cathy Bennett, reporting live from Capital City. Minutes ago, Mr. X, the sponsor of the 1st Annual Robot Tournament, reprogrammed the eight robot finalists and is now attempting to conquer Megaland! I am standing in the center of the arena where this occurred. Let's go live to our camera crews and see what's happening."
The viewscreen image changed to show different parts of Megaland. The eight robots were shown one at a time, causing massive destruction, along with a bunch of other smaller robots. Buildings were being destroyed. People were being killed. The police 'bots were nearly powerless to do anything about it.
The image changed back to Cathy. "The intensity of this situation is escalating. So far, forty people have been declared dead, five-hundred wounded, and damages estimated at 300,000,000 credits. Dr. Thomas Right and Dr. Li Shiroshi are reportedly working with the N Team at this very moment to combat this threat. We will have uninterrupted live coverage for as long as this situation continues."
Dr. Right turned off the channel.
"All right, this emergency meeting is now called to order." Princess Lana said.
Kristen warped in. "Guys!"
They all looked at her.
"Kristen, I told you to go home." Lana said. "We just started a meeting."
"We've got bigger problems." Kristen said. "I just overheard my mom on the phone saying she's gonna create a video game where the entire universe is destroyed!"
Everyone gasped.
"Wait a minute." Rick said. "Official game or personal project?"
"Duh." Kristen answered.
"Oh." Rick said, then laughed. "Right. Well, then, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Official overrides personal."
"Besides, there's no real proof that the events in every game created on Earth will occur in Videoland." Lana pointed out. "That umbilical cord theory of mine is just that: a theory. It could all just be coincidence." She shrugged. "Or - or maybe people with ESP on Earth receive messages from Videoland in their dreams and then come up with ideas for games based on them."
"Yeah, but what if you're wrong?" Kristen asked. "Should we really take that risk?"
They all thought for a moment, looking at each other.
"Okay," Lana said, "I'll go to Earth with you and talk with your mom."
"No." Kristen said, then smiled. "I had handle it."
She and Lana laughed.
"Okay, it's up to you." Lana said. "We'll just stop Mr. X."
"Well, I think I'll stick around for a while." Kristen said. "I wanna hear how you're gonna kick his ass."
Everyone laughed.
Suddenly, Mr. X's image appeared on the viewscreen. "I hope I'm interrupting something!"
Mega Man walked up to the large viewscreen. "Mr. X! Why?!" he asked angrily.
"It's time to tell you the truth." Mr. X addressed everyone. "I have been manipulating that fool, Dr. Wily, from the beginning. But now I no longer need Dr. Wily's help." He looked at the green robot. "Come and face my power, Mega Man!"
"We'll stop you!" Mega Man said.
Mr. X chuckled. "I'd like to see you face my 'bots!"
The transmission ended.
"Okay." Kevin said. "Time for a plan."
"We're not familiar with this guy." Lana said. "Who knows what kinds of tricks he has up his sleeves. I think we'll need help."
Dr. Shiroshi nodded. "Who do you have in mind?"
"Link and Zelda."
"But they're not all that familiar with robots." she responded.
"They're good fighters." Lana told her. "And they're our allies."
"All right, Princess."
Lana went up to the control panel and called North Castle.
Soon, Princess Zelda's face appeared on the viewscreen.
"Lana, hi!" Zelda greeted with a smile.
"Hi, Zelda." Lana said, returning the smile to her friend. "Listen, we're at Dr. Right's lab. Can you and Link come here right away?"
Zelda nodded. "Sure, Lana. Hyrule out."
The transmission ended.
Soon, a warp opened, and Link and Zelda exited it. The warp closed.
"Hey, guys, what's up?" Link asked.
"Okay, here's what happened." Kevin said. "Bad guy named Mr. X takes over the eight robot finalists of his own tournament; wants to conquer the world; we gotta stop him."
"All right, what's the plan?" Link asked.
"I wanted you here before we formed one." Lana said. "Docs, any ideas?"
"A ton." Dr. Right said with a smile.
The N Team, Link, Zelda, Kristen, and the two doctors gathered around the metal table again.
Dr. Right looked at Mega Man. "First off, I'm gonna tweak your Mega Buster to give it a bit more firing power."
Mega Man nodded. "Good."
Dr. Right went to work. "When I created it for you on September 11th of last year to replace your old blaster, I was only vaguely familiar with the technology. Now, I'll be able to improve on it."
"Mega cool!" Mega Man said.
"Also, me and Dr. Shiroshi have been working on some new inventions lately." Dr. Right said with a smile. "Li?"
Li nodded, smiling. "We started on these a month ago. Laboring long and hard, Dr. Right and I were able to design two new transformation circuits for use with Rush." Her smile faded. "However, they were stolen. Once Mega Man finds these power adapters, he will be able to call Rush to his side, and, together, they will become more powerful than ever!" Dr. Shiroshi took a remote control out of her right labcoat pocket and pressed a button. A hologram appeared in the center of the metal table. "Rush can transform into body armor and give Mega Man an extra punch. Charge up the armor to make a really big hit! The armor can be used to break through cracked stone walls!" She looked at Mega Man. "A warning, though: Because of the size of the armor, you can't use other weapon systems or slide while wearing it." She looked at the remote control and pressed another button. The hologram changed. "Rush can also transform into a jet pack to help launch Mega Man into the sky! Firing the turbo thrusters will send Mega Man soaring into the sky." She looked at Mega Man again. "Another little warning: The turbo thrusters can only keep you in the air for a short time before they overheat and drop you back down to the ground." She turned the hologram off and looked at everyone. "Any questions or comments?"
"Duh, yeah, can I have one?!" Julius asked with a grin.
Li smiled. "Sorry, Julius."
"There, done." Dr. Right said with a smile. He put his tools away. "Like always, you can charge up your shots to make them more powerful."
"Mega thanks, Dr. Right!" Mega Man said.
"But, for this mission, you'll need a little more help." Li Shiroshi said. "Dr. Right and I have been hard at work to create a remote controlled attack bird named Beat. But Beat's four new circuit plates are missing!"
"I'm not sure where they are." Dr. Right said. "If you're able to find and collect the B, E, A, and T circuit plates, teleport them back to the lab for final assembly."
"Once Dr. Right and I have completed Beat, he'll be ready to swoop to your rescue on command." Li said. "Whistle, and he'll soar down from the clouds. Beat will automatically attack any enemy near you and shred them to tin foil with his razor-sharp talons!"
"Can't wait to see that!" Mike said with a huge grin.
"In addition to Rush's enhancements and Beat, I've created a new robot that may be off some help." Dr. Right said. "Eddie!"
Everyone was curious about this. A red robot with tall legs walked up to the group.
"This is Eddie?" Simon asked.
"Eddie is my latest invention." Dr. Right said proudly. "I built him yesterday. He's kind of a cybernetic suitcase." Dr. Right chuckled. "The first in a line of Flip-Top models. Eddie, say hi to everyone!"
"Hi to everyone!" Eddie said in a friendly voice.
The others laughed.
"Hey, what's up, Eddie?!" Mike asked.
"The ceiling." Eddie replied.
Everyone laughed again.
"He's adorable." Lana said.
Stacey kneeled down and rubbed Eddie. "And so cute!"
"Thought you might like a little cybernetic support." Dr. Right said to Mega Man. "Flip-Top will teleport down with a power-up item from time to time."
"Great!" Mega Man said.
"And, of course, there's the usual power-ups you'll pick up along the way - energy pellets, weapon capsules, energy tanks, and 1-Ups." Dr. Right finished.
"I guess we're ready, then." Kevin said.
A whistle sounded.
Suddenly, Proto Man teleported into the room. Mega Girl had teleported in to his right.
"Aren't you forgetting us?" Proto Man asked with a smile.
"You guys wanna come?" Mega Man asked.
"Yeah!" Mega Girl said, nodding and smiling. "We're gonna help you kick robotic butt!"
Lana laughed. "You're welcome to come along, Blues and Roll!"
"Are we ready to go?" Link asked.
"Almost." Lana said, looking at Link and Zelda. "I want you two to join the N Team."
Everyone was taken by surprise at this.
"Us? Join the N Team?" Zelda asked. "Why?"
"As honorary members." Lana said. "You'd still live on Hyrule, of course, but I'd like us to be a team." She paused momentarily. "To tell you the truth, I've been thinking about this since the two of you helped us during the Second Videoland War. Wadaya say?"
"We'd be honored!" Zelda said with a smile.
"Yeah. Can we go now?" Link asked.
"Welcome to the N Team, then, Link Chance and Zelda Harkinian! Welcome!" Lana said with delight.
"You'll go soon." Dr. Right said. "First, let me give you the names of the robots that were stolen and reprogrammed."
"Robot Masters now." Rick said pointedly.
Kevin looked at him. "New game?"
Rick nodded. "You can bet on it! Mega Man 6!"
Kevin smiled. "I'll have to buy it when we get home!"
Dr. Right had gone to his computer, and now came back with a datapad. "Plant Man, Wind Man, Flame Man, Tomahawk Man, Yamato Man, Knight Man, Centaur Man, and Blizzard Man."
"Is it just me, or are these Robot Master names getting sillier and sillier?" Kevin asked.
Dr. Right handed Kevin the datapad. "Here are the coordinates for the sections of Megaland they've taken over."
"So, now we're going, right?" Link asked impatiently.
"Just a bit of helpful advice." Dr. Right said. "Each Robot Master may be vulnerable to a certain type of weapon. If a Robot Master seems too hard to defeat using your normal weapons, you may need to acquire a special weapon to defeat him. If your special weapon runs out of energy, pick up a weapon capsule while the special weapon is active, and it will recharge the weapon. It is not necessary to collect the four Beat circuit plates to defeat Mr. X, but it will sure help! Mr. X has also stolen an Energy Balancer we were working on yesterday. If you should find it, the Energy Balancer, or Energy Economizer if you want, will automatically recharge your lowest weapon energy level each time you pick up a weapon capsule. That's it; I'm done."
Link stared at him.
Dr. Right laughed. "Yes, yes, Link, now you can go!"
"Good luck!" Li said.
The N Team, Kristen, Proto Man, and Mega Girl teleported out of the lab.

They warped to the room that housed the Warp Zone Shifter in the N Team's house.
Lana looked at Kristen. "Time for you to go."
Kristen looked at her for a moment, then leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips. "Be careful, love."
Lana nodded without comment.
Kristen opened a warp to Earth and went into it. The warp closed.
"Okay," Kevin said, "let's decide where each of us is going. There's sixteen of us, so two per Robot Master. Me and Link will take on Plant Man."
"Lana and I will take Knight Man." Zelda said.
"Duh, me and Romeo will score a touchdown on Flame Man!" Julius said, tossing his football in his right hand.
"Me and Kid Icarus have Wind Man." Mega Man said.
"Me and Duke shall handle Blizzard Man." Gameboy said, beeping.
"Like, me and Mega Girl will totally kick Centaur Man's ass!" Stacey said.
"Me and Mike will confront Tomahawk Man." Rick said.
"That leaves Yamato Man for me and Simon." Proto Man said.
"That settles it, then." Kevin said. "Each group take a warp zone opener. Once you destroy your Robot Master, report to Dr. Right's lab."
So, the battle to save Megaland had begun.

Kevin and Link warped into Plant Man's domain.
"What's this place called?" Link asked.
"The Forgotten Area." Kevin answered.
"Heh, no kidding. Looks like no one's been here in quite a while!"
It was a forest. A very deep, thick forest. There was grass growing all over the place. It covered a lot of the equipment and buildings that had been built there.
Kevin and Link started off. They were ankle high in grass. They came across a flying robot with a propeller. Leaves from the trees fell down on them. Kevin zapped the robot, and they continued along.

Mega Man and Kid Icarus teleported into Wind Man's stronghold.
"So, this is the Mechanical Tower." Mega Man said. "I always wondered what it looks like."
It looked pretty ordinary. They were high in the sky. The tower was a metallic structure, mostly red with some yellow.
Mega Man walked forward, and Kid Icarus followed him, flying close behind.
They entered into a building that had no door, and they saw the first robot.
"That looks like a panda bearicus." Kid Icarus said.
The mechanical bear started firing at them. Mega Man returned fire and destroyed it. They went on their way.
They came to another bear guarding a ladder. Mega Man hit that one also.
They climbed up the ladder.
Waiting for them at the top was a purple robot on wheels. It zoomed toward them.
Kid Icarus drew an arrow and fired. It bounced off the robot, who kept approaching.
"Oh-no-icus! My arrows don't affect them!"
Mega Man fired at the robot and destroyed it.
They went across the room. Mega Man jumped and climbed up the ladder. Kid Icarus just flew up.
In the next room, they went up another ladder. Waiting at the top was another panda bear, which Mega Man took care of. They climbed up yet another ladder.

Romeo and Julius arrived in Flame Man's fiery lair. It was an oil field. They started walking forward.
Romeo jumped down a large step and landed in something. "Huh?" He looked down. His feet were ankle-deep in oil. He turned around. "Julius, look - "
Just then, Julius slipped. He started yelling, trying to keep his balance. Finally, though, he landed on his big butt.
"Out." Romeo finished. He helped Julius get to his feet, which wasn't an easy task!
Julius rubbed his sore butt. "Ooh, that hurt!"
"We'll have to be careful with the oil on the floor. It's slippery!" Romeo said.
They climbed up another step. A Metool was waiting for them. Romeo took out his remote control and waited. When it lifted its helmet to fire, Romeo fired first. The Metool was destroyed. It left an extra life.
"Cool!" Romeo said. He reached for it.
Julius stopped him. "Duh, why do you get it?!"
"Because I destroyed the Met!" Romeo said.
"Duh,...okay." Julius decided.
Romeo took the extra life.
They continued on their way.

Rick and Mike warped into Tomahawk Man's territory. It was in the desert. There were some canyons to their left, and there was a bunch of fencing.
"This is the Restricted Area." Rick said.
"No kidding." Mike replied.
"Let's go."
They started walking, avoiding all of the cacti.
"Shit, man, it's so hot!" Mike said, wiping his forehead.
Rick was wiping his own forehead. "I know, man. Listen, it'll probably get cooler once we get underground."
They came across a green robot wearing a green cowboy hat and holding a gun. It started firing at them. Mike and Rick dodged, then Mike drew his Zapper and returned fire, destroying the robot.
"This place ain't so tough." Mike said. He picked up the robot's cowboy hat and tried it on.
Rick smiled and shook his head.

Proto Man and Simon teleported into Yamato Man's stage.
They seemed to be high in the air, since there was a mountain to their left. They could even see buildings. They were standing on an orange floor.
"The Impregnable Fortress." Proto Man identified.
The two of them started forward.
"What's that, a golden raccoon?" Simon asked.
"Proto Man shook his head. "This Mr. X is weird!" He fired at it and destroyed it.

Princess Zelda and Princess Lana warped into Knight Man's area.
"The Capital of Science." Lana observed.
They were standing outside on a green floor. Ahead of them was a drop. So, the two Princesses went and jumped.
Waiting at the bottom was a robot on wheels, which Lana took care of with her Zapper. Then they went down another drop.
Now they were underground. There were a whole bunch of pipes criss-crossing each other. Ahead of them was a robot that fired from its top. Lana fired at it. Every time she fired at the body, the robot's green head would rise up.
"That's it!" Lana said. "I have to fire at the head!"
So, she did, and the robot was destroyed. They continued onward.

Mega Girl and Stacey teleported into Centaur Man's domain.
"The Ancient City!" Mega Girl said in wonder.
"Like, duh!" Stacey said.
They were standing on a floor, but there was water all around them.
"Like, I hope you can swim, Roll!" Stacey said.
Mega Girl nodded.
They jumped into the water. Suddenly, a robot flew toward them. Mega Girl was about to fire at it, but it exploded on its own.
"Good thing we were far enough away!" Mega Girl said.
When they got out of the water, a flying robotic duck with a propeller dropped two robotic fish near them, then flew away. Then the fish exploded.
"That sure was dumb!" Stacey said.
They jumped into the water again, and another robot came by and exploded. And then another.
They jumped over a pit. Another robot came by and exploded. Then another duck flew by and dropped two more fish, which exploded.
Stacey groaned. "This is getting annoying!"

Gameboy and Duke warped into Blizzard Man's icy domain.
Duke's teeth immediately started chattering.
"This place is identified as the Frozen Island." Gameboy said, then beeped. "Estimate: 1.5 hours until circuits freeze and 2.0 hours until death of canine lifeform."
Duke gulped.
"Ready to proceed? Begin."
Gameboy and Duke moved past the green fence they were in front of. They could see a mountain to their left.
They found a small robodog that sucked in the cold air and turned it into snowballs, then hurled them at the two heroes.
Duke got a snowball in the face and shook it off.
Gameboy materialized a fist out of his screen and pounded the robot dog. It was destroyed.
They jumped onto a platform that only lasted three seconds before exploding. Fortunately, they were across the pit by then.
Gameboy destroyed a small flying robot, and they went under some ice blocks.
They encountered two robodogs while crossing over some ice. Duke slipped and fell. Gameboy flew overhead and destroyed the two robodogs.
Gameboy then landed and helped Duke to his feet. "Are you injured?"
Duke shook his head, whimpering.
"Then we shall proceed."
Duke whimpered more loudly and followed him.

Kevin and Link came across a kind of mechanical frog in the grass. Link shot a beam from his sword and took care of it.
The two heroes soon made their way into the building. It was easy, because there was no door.
They climbed up a ladder, Kevin going first and Link following.
There was a big purple robot waiting for them in the room at the top. It was able to fly using thrusters. Kevin and Link fired at it and made their way across the room. There was another ladder there. They climbed up.
There was a mounted gun at the top that started firing at them. Also, there was a small robot with a propeller that looked like a flying video camera. Kevin handled the gun, while Link handled the camera. They continued onward.

"What do we do-icus?" Kid Icarus asked.
They were in an empty room. There were two fans in the floor. Across the room, very high up, was a ladder, and a flying robot was guarding it.
"We'll have to let the wind from the fans push us up." Mega Man said.
"But my wings! And I'm so lighticus, I'll hit the ceiling!" Kid Icarus cried.
Mega Man grabbed hold of his waist from behind him. "I'll hold you down!"
"Okayicus!" Kid Icarus flew over the first fan. They were lifted up into the air.
The flying robot started firing red balls at them.
Kid Icarus nervously dodged them. "Oh, boyicus!"
"You're doing fine. Now fly to the next fan." Mega Man said.
Kid Icarus did. Mega Man fired at the flying robot, destroying it. The two heroes grabbed hold of the ladder.
Mega Man smiled. "See? Your head never touched the ceiling!"
Kid Icarus laughed.
They climbed up.

After going through some more oil and defeating some more Mets, Romeo and Julius jumped over a pit. A small flying orange robot started dropping fire near them. It landed on an oil barrel.
"Let's get outta here!" Romeo cried.
They jumped onto some ledges. Romeo looked down. There were spikes underneath. Worse, another one of those robots dropping some fire down there. It touched the oil, immediately spreading the flame. Romeo shielded his eyes.
"Duh, I'm getting hot!" Julius said, wiping his forehead with his right arm.
"I wonder why." Romeo mumbled.

The young dude slapped leather.
His opponent did the same.
Mike's eyes narrowed.
So did the 'bot's.
There were beads of sweat on Mike's forehead.
The robot started spurting oil.
The tension was as thick as Julius' skull.
"Draw." Mike said.
Before the robot could, Mike did, and shot it. The robot was destroyed.
Mike blew on his Zapper, then twirled it and put it back in its holster.
Rick walked up to him. "You really get into this, don't you?"
Mike looked at him.
"I mean, did you have some kind of childhood fantasy of being a cowboy?"
Mike shrugged. "I reckon."
They jumped down the long drop and ended up underground.
There, waiting for them, was another cowbot.
"Just you and me, pilgrim." Mike said.
Rick shook his head. "Here we go again."

After destroying some more raccoons that were launching large balls at them, Proto Man and Simon climbed up a ladder.
At the top was a robot that was spinning spears and sending them at the two heroes.
They dodged the spears.
"Those things will ruin my hair!" Simon cried. "Do something!"
Proto Man sighed and fired at the robot, but his shot bounced off. "I can't hit him while he's twirling the spears! This is gonna be tricky!"
Proto Man repeatedly fired at the robot, and he and Simon dodged the spears. Finally, it was destroyed.
When they climbed up the next ladder, they found a robobee. It dropped a bomb.
Fortunately, it didn't land near Proto Man or Simon.

Stacey and Mega Girl were by a waterfall. A robot exploded.
"We have to hop these platforms to pass the waterfall." Mega Girl said.
Stacey shook her head fearfully. "Uh-uh!"
"Fraidy cat!" Mega Girl teased.
"Meow." Stacey whimpered.
Mega Girl laughed. "C'mon!"
Mega Girl started hopping the platforms. Stacey took a deep breath and followed her.
"Just don't look down, and you'll be fine!" Mega Girl called back.
Naturally, Stacey looked down.
"Yikes!" she cried.
In addition to hopping platforms, they had to avoid ducks, fishes, and exploding robots.

After destroying a few more guns and cameras, Kevin and Link came to a long drop. So, they jumped down.
When they hit the gold floor at the bottom, they saw a cute red robot with eyes.
"Eddie!" Kevin said with a smile.
Eddie flipped his top open, and out came a 1-Up.
Link caught it. "Thanks, Eddie!"
"No problem, guys!" Eddie said, and he teleported out.
"What a nice guy." Kevin said with a smile.
When Kevin and Link climbed down the next ladder, they found out it didn't go down all the way. So, they let go and dropped to the floor at the bottom.
The room was dark. But then a giant robot appeared. It was orange and on wheels.
"Whoa, a robo-ape!" Kevin said. "You ready, Link?!"
Link nodded. "Ready! Let's blast 'im!"
The two of them started firing at the robot.
Suddenly, it launched its left fist out at them. It hit Link, who was knocked backwards.
Link yelled and landed on his butt.
"Link!" Kevin yelled.
They watched as the fist reattached itself to the robot's arm.
Kevin helped Link to his feet. "We'll have to be careful about that!"
They continued battling the robot.

Mega Man and Kid Icarus were outside again. After taking care of some minor robots and grabbing some energy refills, they came to some long drops, and the only way across was to ride the air from the fans, but they safely made it.
At one point, there were spikes above them, and they had to ride the air, but they made it past the spikes unharmed.
Then Kid Icarus flew Mega Man up to some platforms, where the robot snagged some energy pellets that Mega Man couldn't.
They rode a fan up to a ladder and climbed up.

After jumping across a lot more fire and defeating some more 'bots, Romeo and Julius climbed up a ladder.
Waiting for them in the next room were two green guns, mounted on the walls and pipes.
Romeo was dodging the fire. "I don't have enough time to aim! Use your football, Julius!"
Julius reached back with his arm, then brought it forward and launched his football. It hit the gun on the wall and electrified it. The gun exploded.
They ran to the other side of the room. Julius picked up his football. He jumped and threw the ball at the gun mounted on the pipe. It, too, was destroyed.
Julius got his football, then the two of them jumped, grabbed hold of the ladder, and climbed up.
At the top was a small robot that fired whenever it opened its top. Romeo found that when he fired at it, it converted into a platform. Ahead of them was a large puddle of oil.
"We could use this platform to cross over the oil." Romeo reasoned. "But we can't both fit."
"Duh, let's run across it!" Julius suggested.
"Brilliant, dude!" Romeo said sarcastically. "And then one of those fire robots will show up, and we'll be deep-fried jocks!"
Julius considered that. "I didn't bring any barbecue sauce!"
Romeo slapped his right hand on his face, then removed it. "Grab hold of me!"
Julius did.
"Hold on tight!" Romeo pressed the Up button on his remote control.
They went up into the air. They turned sideways, and Romeo pressed Right. They zipped past the oil and landed on a barrel.
Julius held his head. He was very dizzy.
The two of them jumped over a pit and continued on their way.

Mike and Rick had made their way deeper underground.
"You're right, it is cooler down here." Mike said.
Mike destroyed a red robot that was moving back and forth over a small area of ground using jet thrusters.
They arrived at a Met dispenser. It ejected a Met, which started firing at them.
Mike destroyed the Metool. "Get the dispenser. That's what counts."
"Right." Rick took his Super Scope in his hands and fired upwards at the glass dome.
Soon, it shattered, and the dispenser was destroyed.
"Whoo! Yeah!" Rick said.
They soon met some robots on wheels that were ready to drill into them, but Mike and Rick were able to destroy them.
They came to a ladder with a single Met guarding it. Mike destroyed the Metool, and they climbed up the ladder.
At the top was Eddie.
"Hey, Ed-man!" Mike said with a smile.
"Eddie thought you might need this!" the cute red robot said, and ejected a weapon tank.
Rick caught it and gave Eddie a thumbs-up. "Thanks, Eddie!"
Eddie teleported out.
"That little guy's so cute!" Rick said.

Lana destroyed one of those drilling robots on wheels. Then she and Zelda came to a bunch of spikes on chains.
"Reminds me of Super Mario Bros. 3." Lana commented.
Zelda looked at her. "What?"
Lana shook her head. "I'll explain later. We've gotta time this right, or we'll know what pincushions feel like!"
"Thank you for putting my mind at ease, Lana." Zelda said sarcastically.
The two of them ran and ducked at the right places, and they managed to pass the rising and falling spikes unharmed.
They jumped over a small bed of spikes, and Lana destroyed a robotic cannon. They climbed up the ladder.
They were in a room with torches lining the wall.
"How technological." Lana muttered.
They looked down a short drop. The floor had moving wheels on it, which would make walking difficult. There was also a jumping skull robot, which Lana destroyed.
Lana and Zelda jumped onto the wheels and made their way towards the ladder. They climbed up.
They were in an empty room, but there were spikes on the floor. The only way across was to jump on wheels and climb ladders. They made it through just fine and climbed up another ladder.

Finally, Mega Girl and Stacey landed on a dry floor. Stacey knelt down and kissed it lovingly. Mega Girl giggled.
When Stacey got to her feet, they continued onward.
After another duck and an exploding robot, they came to a long drop.
"Take a deep breath!" Mega Girl told her.
Stacey whimpered.
The two of them each took a deep breath, then they jumped into the water.
Waiting at the bottom were two robofishes. Mega Girl destroyed both of them.
They swam over some spikes, then jumped down another long drop.
Mega Girl blasted another robofish and a cannon mounted on the floor. They swam past some spikes.
It went like this for quite a while, just blasting cannons and robofishes and avoiding spikes.

After Kevin and Link trashed the ape-like robot, they made their way out of the room, which led out into the forest. Somehow, it felt refreshing after that last confrontation.
They came to some springs. There were two ledges in the air. The first had energy pellets. The second had weapon energy.
"I need those." Kevin said. He pressed the Up button on his Power Pad, but nothing happened. He looked down at it. "Drat, I'm out of power!" He looked at the springs. "Oh, boy. I'm gonna hate this!"
Kevin hopped onto the springs. They kept launching him into the air whenever he landed on them. Not very high, though. Kevin made his way to the ledge with the weapon energy and jumped a few times until he was thrown up high enough. He yelled. He landed on the ledge and got the weapon energy to recharge his Power Pad.
Kevin jumped down to the ground past the springs, then turned and smiled. "Your turn, Link!"
Link bounced and complained, but he was able to make his way to the end of the springs and join Kevin.
They turned and stepped into the grass, taking care of another frog and propeller 'bot.

In the next room, Mega Man was able to get an energy refill and an extra life. They climbed up the next ladder.
At the top were two more mechanical panda bears. They was easily destroyed.
In the next room was a big flying purple robot like the one Kevin and Link encountered. Mega Man and Kid Icarus had to dodge to make sure the robot didn't land on them. Then Mega Man turned and fired rapidly, destroying it. Mega Man jumped down the next drop, and Kid Icarus flew down.
At the bottom were two more robots on wheels. Kid Icarus grabbed hold of Mega Man's arms and pulled him into the air. Mega Man fired at them. Then the two heroes flew down the next drop.
At the bottom, Mega Man took care of another panda bear. He groaned. "This is getting mega repetitive!"

At the top of the next ladder, Rick and Mike found themselves outside.
The sun was in front of them, ready to set, and the sky was colored red by it.
Rick and Mike looked up. There was a ladder. Rick pressed Up on his Power Pad. He soared into the air, grabbed hold of the bottom rung, and began to climb. Mike did the same.
About halfway up the ladder, they saw spikes to their left and right.
"Wuh-oh." Mike said with a laugh.
When they got to the top, they found they had to hop platforms that were constantly moving up and down.
"Let's take it slow." Mike said, looking down at the spikes. "I don't wanna know what a pin cushion feels like."

The two Princesses faced more robots and spikes on their journey, but they passed them all unharmed.
They climbed up a ladder. Eddie was waiting there, and he flipped open his top. Out came an extra life.
Zelda caught it. "Thank you, Eddie." she said with a smile.
"Anything for you, Your Highnesses!" Eddie said with a smile. He teleported out.
Zelda looked at Lana. "He is so adorable!"
They went across the room and climbed up another ladder.
They were outside now. Lana zapped a red robot that was pacing back and forth. Suddenly, it started jumping and following them around, trying to land on them. Lana and Zelda screamed. Finally, though, the robot was destroyed.
"It must've destroyed itself." Lana said.
She and Zelda jumped over some beds of spikes and encountered another one of those robots, which they were better able to handle this time.

Finally, Mega Girl and Stacey jumped down. They ended up in a room where the water was above them, and it was constantly falling and rising.
The two of them got on their knees and took much-needed breaths of air.
Stacey was breathing heavily. "Oh,,...I...needed that!"
Mega Girl smiled. "Looks like the laws of physics were tossed completely out the window."
"I was afraid I was gonna, like, suffer brain damage!"
"You can't damage something that's not there."
Stacey frowned at her.
"Sorry, that was mean." Mega Girl apologized.
They got to their feet, but tried to keep their heads below the water. They jumped over a pit. Some kind of robot with shoes was jumping and coming toward them.
Mega Girl was gonna blast it, but she didn't have to. The robot jumped into the pit and was gone.
"Geez, that was stupid of him!" Stacey said.
They came to another one of those robots soon. It fired at them, but Stacey and Mega Girl were able to dodge, and Mega Girl fired at it and destroyed it.
They had to jump over a bunch of spikes.
"This is gonna be tricky!" Mega Girl said.
"Like, the other stuff wasn't?!" Stacey asked.
They each took a deep breath, crouched down, then jumped as if their lives depended on it - which they did.
They just barely made it to the other side. Mega Girl destroyed a robot that was waiting for them.
Once they jumped over a small pit of spikes, the water above them was turned off.
"Yes!" Stacey said happily.

Kevin and Link made their way out of the grass and onto some more springs. There was a propeller robot there, which Link took care of.
Kevin looked up. "Uh-oh! Better not jump, Link!"
"Why not?" Link asked.
Kevin pointed upwards.
Link looked.
"Spikes." Kevin said. "If we hit them, we'll have to start this stage over again, or from the halfway point, if we've already reached it."
So, they walked across the springs.
"Shortly afterwards, they came across an old friend - the giant robot.
"Not again!" Link yelled.

The Princesses jumped down a long drop.
They were in a red room. Lana destroyed a small robot that came down from the ceiling. Then they jumped down another long drop.
They were in another room.
"More wheels." Zelda said. "Simple."
The Ruler of Hyrule went to step on one. Suddenly, though, she found her head hitting the ceiling! Then her feet hit the floor. Then her head hit the ceiling again.
"Oh, shit!" Zelda yelled. "Lana, what's going on?!"
Lana laughed. "Trampolines! This'll be fun!" She ran forward and joined Zelda in the bouncing.
There were small trampolines on both the floor and ceiling, so the two Princesses kept bouncing up and down at a fast speed.
"Whee! Whee!" Lana said happily.
"You have a stupid idea of fun, Deschain!" Zelda yelled.
"Lighten up, Harkinian!" Lana joked back.
They made their way across, dodging the robots. Finally, they landed on the solid floor.
Lana looked at Zelda. "There, that wasn't so bad, was it?"
Zelda had to hold her head.

In the next room, Mega Girl destroyed two robots that fired at them whenever their tops opened up.
The two girls climbed up a ladder.
Waiting at the top was Eddie. He gave Mega Girl an energy refill.
"Thanks, Eddie!" Mega Girl said.
"Eddie happy you're all right!" Eddie said, then teleported out.
"He's so cute!" Mega Girl said.
"Totally!" Stacey agreed.
They went across the room and climbed up the ladder.

After Kevin and Link had taken care of the ape-like robot again, made their way across some more springs, and blasted some more 'bots, they came to a drop.
They looked down. There was a marsh below. Suddenly, a mechanical fish came out, soaring into the air. It then went back down into the marsh.
Kevin and Link jumped back a bit. "Whoa!"
They waited until the fish came back up, then went back down again, and then they jumped over the pit.
Soon, they came to some more springs.
"This is gonna be tricky." Kevin said. "We have to use the springs to jump over the pit when the fish isn't up."
"Plus, we have to deal with that!" Link said. He fired his sword at the gun robot a short distance from them. It was destroyed.
Soon, they came to a hovering platform. They jumped onto it. The next one was closed.
"What do we do?" Link asked.
Kevin shrugged, then drew his Zapper. "I'll try firing at it." He did, and the platform opened up. "Yes!"
They jumped onto it. After doing this a few more times, they came to a lot more marsh.
They jumped onto hovering platforms to cross the pits.
"Nice flowers." Link noticed.
Kevin looked at the purple flowers in the trees. There were glowing yellow energy pellets in the center.
"Mechanical." Kevin told him.
Soon, they came to springs and very long pits filled with marsh. There were also gun robots and fishes.
"This just doesn't get any easier, does it?" Link asked.
Kevin laughed. "We'll use my Power Pad!"

After dodging some more bombs dropped by robobees, Proto Man and Simon came to a long drop. They jumped down.
They came to a walking robot, which Proto Man destroyed.
They came to another drop and jumped down.
Proto Man and Simon crawled through a small tunnel.
When they crawled out the other end, they jumped down to the floor.
They had to jump over some spikes.
Then they came to two more raccoons. Proto Man destroyed them.
There were two ladders. One leading up, and one leading down.
"Which way do we go?" Proto Man asked.
"Let's flip for it!" Simon said, reaching into his coat.
He pulled out a golden coin with his face on it. Above his face were the words "MY HERO".
Proto Man shook his head. "Oh-no, not the two-headed coin! Kevin told me about that the day after I arrived!"
Simon groaned and put the coin back into his coat.
"Just tell me which way." Proto Man said.
Simon thought for a moment. "Down."
Proto Man nodded. "Fine." He turned away. "We'll go up."
Simon frowned. "Hey!" Then he reluctantly followed him.

Lana stopped short.
Zelda stopped also. "What is it?" she asked her friend.
"That block." Lana said, pointing at it. "It looks so crumpled, it could be blasted away." She drew her Zapper.
"But, Lana, the door is just up ahead!" Zelda said, pointing.
Lana nodded. "I know. Call it a hunch." She blasted the stone away and went down the drop.
Zelda shrugged and followed.
"Nice going, Lana!" Zelda said. "You led us to a dead end!"
Lana blasted a stone and smiled at her. "Keep your mouth shut unless you've explored all the options, Zelda!"
They jumped down, and Lana destroyed a robot. Lana destroyed another stone, giving them room to jump over a bed of spikes.
"Another door?" Zelda asked in confusion.
"The last was probably a fake." Lana told her. She went up and touched it.
The door went up, and they stepped into a pinkish-red corridor. Some of the pipes were exposed.
"Knight Man sure doesn't keep this place up very well." Zelda observed.
"Let's go to the landlord and complain." Lana said. She touched the door at the other end of the corridor.
They stepped into the chamber. It went dark, and a Robot Master came down from the ceiling. Then the lights came back on again.
There were windows in the chamber, and on the walls hung medieval-style banners.
"Halt!" Knight Man ordered. "Who dares to challenge the mighty Knight Man?!"
Lana smiled. "I'm afraid you haven't been following housing codes. We're gonna have to shut this building down...not to mention you!"
"Fools! Thou shalt most certainly die!" Knight Man yelled.
"Whatever you say, master of mace ball." Zelda said.
He attacked them with his ball and chain and defended himself with his shield. Zelda, however, was accustomed to this type of fighting, and she had soon destroyed Knight Man with her arrows.
Lana grinned at her. "Nice going!"
"Thanks!" Zelda said, returning the grin.
They stared at each other and hugged. Lana placed her hands on Zelda's shoulders. They gazed into each other's inviting eyes.
"I want to lick your pointy ears." Lana said, breathing heavily.
Lana stuck out her long wet tongue and caressed Zelda right ear with it, licking it slowly.
"Later." Zelda pulled away. "First, let's defeat Mr. X."
They picked up the items and warped back to Dr. Right's lab.

"You've got the Knight Chain!" Li exclaimed at Lana.
"Yeah, Knight Man went nighty-night!" Lana joked.
"And here are the Beat A-Parts." Zelda said, handing them to Li.
Li smiled. "I underestimated your abilities, Princess. I'm sorry."
Zelda dismissed it with a smile and a wave of her hand.

Stacey and Mega Girl found themselves outside again. They breathed in the clean air.
They had to take in big breaths soon, because they had to go underwater for a bit. Plus, they had to contend with some very annoying robots that kept swimming after them.
When they were out of the water again, they had to hop some more platforms to cross another waterfall.
"Don't look down, don't look down, don't look down,..." Stacey kept repeating to herself along the way. She looked down. "You just had to look, didn't ya, Stace?!"
When they made it past the waterfall, they climbed up a ladder. They had to hop some more platforms, and dodge some falling robots, to get to the next ladder. They climbed up.

After crossing the last pit, Kevin and Link landed by a yellow door.
"Finally!" Kevin said. He touched the door with his left hand.
It opened, they went in, and it closed behind them.
They found themselves in a green corridor. At the end of it was another yellow door. So, Link opened it, they went through it, and it closed behind them.
The chamber grew dark. Then a robot came down from the ceiling, and the lights came back on.
"Plant Man?" Kevin asked.
"That's right." the Robot Master answered. "This is my domain. You are not welcome here."
"We're making ourselves welcome!" Link said.
"Sorry we have to destroy you." Kevin said. "You were a great robot!"
Plant Man attacked. He was a high jumper. He sent out circles of flowers at Kevin and Link, but the two heroes were able to dodge them.
"I guess he's a flower fancier!" Link joked.
Kevin laughed.
Finally, Link landed the destructive blow, and Plant Man exploded.
Two items appeared where Plant Man had stood.
Kevin picked them up. "This must be the Plant Barrier. It seems to function like the Skull Shield and Star Crash. And cool, we got the Rush Jet adapter!"
"Great!" Link said.
Kevin took out his warp zone opener.

The two of them warped into Dr. Right's lab.
"Plant Man is pushing up daisies!" Kevin joked.
"And you found the Rush Jet adapter! Way to go!" Dr. Li Shiroshi praised.
"I wonder how the others are doing." Kevin said.

They flew using some more fans, and Mega Man destroyed the panda that was waiting for them. More fans, another panda, then they climbed up a ladder.
At the top was a yellow door. Mega Man touched it with his right hand. It opened, they went in, and it closed behind them. They went through the orange and yellow corridor, opened the other door, and went into the chamber. The door closed behind them.
The chamber went dark. Then a Robot Master dropped down from the ceiling - Wind Man. The chamber lights came back on again.
"Careful," Mega Man whispered to Kid Icarus, "this guy is a master of wind."
"No shiticus." the archer replied.
Wind Man sent fans at them, which they were mostly able to dodge. Kid Icarus feared they might slice his wings off!
Mega Man fired at the Robot Master. "You suck, Wind Man!"
"That's right!" Wind Man responded. He sucked them to him like a vacuum cleaner.
This was especially a problem for Kid Icarus.
But, eventually, Mega Man landed enough hits, and Wind Man was destroyed. He left a weapon in his place.
"The Wind Storm!" Mega Man said happily.
He picked it up, and they teleported out.

They teleported into Dr. Right's lab.
"We blew off Wind Man!" Mega Man said.
Kevin gave them a thumbs-up with his right hand. "Way to go, guys!"

In the next room, Proto Man and Simon were presented with a gap in the floor that had spikes in it. Across the room was a ladder. There was a robot sliding back and forth on the ceiling.
Proto Man and Simon walked up to the gap.
Proto Man looked at Simon. "Think you can use that whip of yours to get us across?"
Simon smiled. "Certainly!"
Simon uncoiled his whip and sent it across the room, where it wrapped around the lowest rung of the ladder.
Simon and Proto Man climbed up the whip and then swung across the bed of spikes.
They grabbed hold of the rung, and Simon coiled his whip and put it back at his side.
Then the two of them climbed up the ladder.
Waiting at the top was one of those spear-throwing robots they had encountered earlier. Proto Man took care of him.

At the top of the ladder, Stacey and Mega Girl encountered a huge waterfall, plus a huge green robot that sent ice cubes sliding at them.
Stacey lost her balance. "Whoa!" She fell on her butt.
Mega Girl turned her attention to the robot. It was also sending out homing missiles that followed them around.
As Stacey repeatedly got up and fell, Mega Girl fought the robot. Finally, it was destroyed.
Mega Girl turned and helped Stacey to her feet.
"Thanks, Roll." Stacey said.
Mega Girl smiled. "Don't mention it!"

Gameboy and Duke hopped some exploding platforms. Then they had to make their way through some ice blocks. There were some platforms blocking their way, so Gameboy touched them, then they had to get out of the way before the platforms exploded.
They jumped down a long drop. They encountered one of those robots that flew back and forth using jet thrusters. Gameboy took care of it.
They encountered some small robots that spun around in 360 degrees on the ice, and three more jet thruster robots.
They climbed down a ladder.
At the bottom was another ice-making robot, like the one Mega Girl and Stacey had encountered. This time, it was Duke that fell. Gameboy destroyed the robot and helped the canine to his feet.
"Are you injured?" Gameboy asked again.
This time, Duke nodded, even though he was all right.
"Accomplishment of mission objective is of highest priority. We shall proceed."
Duke whimpered again.

Proto Man and Simon came to a point where they could either jump down or jump across.
"Forget it! I'm not picking this time!" Simon said angrily.
"Screw it." Proto Man said. "We're going straight ahead."
So, they jumped and landed on some wheels. They had to keep walking to prevent themselves from going backwards. They also had to destroy some robots on springs.
Finally, they came to a door. Proto Man touched it, it went up, and they went in. They went through the red, brown, and green corridor. Simon opened the second door, and they went through it into the chamber.
Once the Robot Master had come the from the ceiling, and the lights had come back on, the three stared at each other.
"Yamato Man." Proto Man said. "Master of spear."
"Yeah, and I'm gonna show ya how good I am with it, too!" Yamato Man said.
He twirled his spear and fired.
Simon dodged. Proto Man, however, fought, and he defeated Yamato Man.
Simon went and picked up the weapon. "The Yamato Spear!"
Proto Man picked up something else. "Woo-hoo! The Beat E-Parts!"
"Well, the word 'impregnable' has two meanings." Simon said. "'Can't be taken by force' and 'capable of becoming pregnant'. And since we can safely eliminate the first definition - "
"Shut up, Simon!" Proto Man yelled.
Simon touched Proto Man, and the red robot activated his teleporter.

They teleported into Dr. Right's lab.
Simon twirled the Yamato Spear. "We certainly beat Yamato Man!" He laughed.
Proto Man walked up to Dr. Right. "The Beat E-Parts, Dr. Right!"
Dr. Right took them. "Splendid! Thank you, Blues!"
Proto Man turned and walked away. "I'm gonna go around the nearby city and see if I can find the Energy Economizer."
He teleported out.

Stacey and Mega Girl came to a ladder leading down. But, across a pit, was a floor and a door.
"Like, which way?" Stacey asked.
Mega Girl thought for a moment. "Mmmm...that way." she said, pointing at the door.
Stacey sighed. "I was afraid you were gonna say that!"
They jumped. Mega Girl landed on the floor. Stacey wasn't so lucky. She missed and fell. Luckily, she was able to grab hold of the floor.
Stacey screamed. "Roll, help!!!"
Mega Girl turned around. "Stacey! Grab hold of my hand!"
Stacey grabbed hold of the robot's left hand with her right. Mega Girl pulled Stacey up onto the floor.
"Thank you, Roll!" Stacey said, getting to her feet. "I was almost swimmin' with the fishies!"
Mega Girl smiled. "Would you rather go back across and go down the ladder?"
Stacey laughed. "Yeah, right! Let's go!"
Mega Girl turned around and touched the door. It slid up, and they stepped into a blue corridor. They started walking to the other end.
"So, like, what's this Centaur Man a master of?" Stacey asked.
"His ability is unknown." Mega Girl said.
"Greeeeeaaaaat!" Stacey said sarcastically.
They reached the other end of the corridor. Stacey pressed her right hand against the door. It slid up. They stepped into the chamber.
After the lights came back on, Stacey and Mega Girl looked at the Robot Master.
Stacey gasped. "Horse Head!"
"No, you idiot, I'm Centaur Man!" the Robot Master said.
"But, you've got four legs." Stacey said.
"Oh, shut up and fight!" Centaur Man said.
"Somebody's in a hurry to get killed!" Stacey said.
Mostly it was Mega Girl who fought Centaur Man. He kept charging at her and firing from arm cannons.
Then, he disappeared.
"Huh?!" Stacey and Mega Girl asked simultaneously.
"Like, where's he go?" Stacey asked.
Centaur Man appeared in back of them and started firing again.
The girls yelled and turned around, dodging the fire.
"Great, he's got a teleporter!" Stacey said.
"Guess we know his ability now." Mega Girl reasoned.
Soon, Mega Girl was struck. She fell to the floor.
Stacey gasped.
"No one can defeat the mighty Centaur Man!" the Robot Master said in triumph, leveling an arm canon at Stacey.
"Like, fuck you, you horse's ass!" Stacey said. She drew her boomerang and threw it at Centaur Man.
One hit was all it took. Centaur Man was destroyed.
Stacey helped Mega Girl to her feet. "Like, you okay?"
Mega Girl nodded. "Yeah, thanks."
They got the items the Robot Master had left behind.
"The Centaur Flash!" Mega Girl said happily.
They teleported out.

Mega Girl and Stacey arrived in Dr. Right's lab.
"Centaur Man is as gone as people who believed in that myth!" Mega Girl said with a smile.
"I am never going through that again!" Stacey said.
Kevin smiled. "Troubles?"
Stacey didn't answer him. She walked up to Dr. Right. "Like, here's your damn Beat T-Parts! I am sick of water! I'm gonna go relax!" She started to walk off.
"Where are you going?" Lana asked.
"California Games."

After climbing down a ladder, Gameboy and Duke encountered a submarine floating in the water. It was slowly rising and falling, and it was armed with robot guards firing small cannons. There were also spikes in the water and on the icy ceiling. In short, they had to jump to avoid the spikes while dodging the robots' fire at the same time. Not an easy task.
Then they had to hop some exploding platforms. After that, they climbed up a ladder into another room.
There they had to climb up another ladder, walk across two exploding platforms, and climb up yet another ladder.
They found themselves outside - and up against another ice-making robot.
Duke fell again. Gameboy destroyed the robot and helped Duke to his feet.
"Are you injured?" Gameboy asked yet again.
Duke waved his front right leg in dismissal, and they continued onward.

Mike and Rick had made it safely across the spikes. Rick used the weapon tank to recharge his Power Pad.
They jumped down a long drop, going back underground.
At the bottom, Mike destroyed a green robot on wheels, and then he and Rick jumped down another drop.
They met one of those huge purple flying robots, which Rick destroyed with a few blasts from his Super Scope.
They came to another Met dispenser. Mike handled the Mets, while Rick destroyed the dispenser.
Soon, they came to a ledge, which was on the other side of the pit. They could either go over the ledge, or underneath it. Either way, they would be facing robots.
"Which way do we go?" Mike asked.
Rick thought for a moment. "Let's take the high path first. If that doesn't lead us to Tomahawk Man, we'll come back and take the bottom path."
Mike nodded.
They jumped onto a step in front of the ledge, then onto the ledge itself. Mike destroyed some red robots that were walking on the ceiling using suction cups. They climbed up a ladder.
When they arrived at the top, they saw a cracked stone block.
Rick pointed at it. "Mike, that could be a hidden passage or something. Let's blast it and see what's behind it!"
"Good idea." Mike said.
Mike and Rick both fired with their weapons at the stone block. Soon, it was destroyed.
Rick and Mike leaped across the spikes and entered a previously hidden room.
They looked around the room.
"This place is empty!" Mike said.
"Man, what a waste of power!" Rick said.
Suddenly, a whistle sounded.
Proto Man teleported into the room. "Hi, guys!"
"Proto Man. What are you doing here?" Mike asked.
"After me and Simon beat Yamato Man, I went all over the city looking for the Energy Balancer." Proto Man held out the small gray object in his left hand. "And I finally found it!"
Mike took it. "Cool! Thanks!"
Proto Man nodded with a smile, then teleported out.
"C'mon," Rick said after a moment's silence, "let's go back the way we came."

There were more occasions where Romeo's remote control came in handy for flying over fire. They were even in a room with three guns! They met some green robots that shot out flames, which Romeo was able to destroy. Finally, after defeating one more of those green robots, they came to a door.
"This is it!" Romeo said. He placed his hand on the door.
It opened, they went in, and it closed. At the other end of the silver corridor, Julius opened the second door. They went through it and entered the chamber.
The door closed, and the chamber went dark.
A Robot Master came down from the ceiling, and the lights came back on.
"Flame Man." Romeo said. "Master of flame."
"That's me." Flame Man said. "Who are you bozos?"
"Duh, you can't call us that!" Julius cried angrily.
"Oh, yeah?" Flame Man shot a fireball at them.
Romeo dodged it and returned fire. Flame Man took a hit.
Flame Man shot into the floor. Flames rose all across the room. Romeo and Julius yelled as they jumped to avoid getting burned.
Julius threw his football at Flame Man. It hit the Robot Master and electrified him. Flame Man exploded, sending fire all across the room. Luckily, Romeo and Julius didn't get burned.
Romeo picked up one of the two items that were left in Flame Man's place. "The Fire Blast!"
Julius picked up the other item. "And the Rush Power Adapter!"
They warped away.

Romeo and Julius warped into Dr. Right's lab.
"Flame Man is extinguished!" Romeo said happily.
Li Shiroshi ran forward. "The Rush Power Adapter! Great!"

Mike and Rick backtracked, then used their Power Pads to go under the ledge, rather than over.
After destroying some robots, they climbed up another ladder.
At the top, they walked into a room where the floor was covered with spikes. At the other end of the room was a door.
"All right, almost there!" Rick said.
They used their Power Pads to jump over the spikes and landed in front of the door.
Rick opened the door, and they stepped into the green and blue corridor. They walked to the door at the other end.
Mike opened the door, and they walked into the chamber. The door closed behind them.
The lights went out, the Robot Master came down from the ceiling, and the lights came back on again.
"This is the Restricted Area." Tomahawk Man said. "You two are trespassing!"
Rick smiled. "Maybe, master of tomahawk, but tough shit. We're stayin'!"
"C'mon, Rick," Mike said in his western accent, "let's show this dude the trail."
Mike and Rick opened fire on the Robot Master.
Tomahawk Man returned fire.
After a long battle, Tomahawk Man was destroyed.
"Yee-hah!" Mike yelled in triumph. He picked up the Silver Tomahawk.
Rick picked up some other objects. "Hey, all right!"
They warped out of the Restricted Area.

Rick and Mike warped into Dr. Right's lab.
"Tomahawk Man has hit the trail!" Mike said happily.
Kevin smiled at him.
Rick walked up to Dr. Right. "Here are the Beat B-Parts, Dr. Right!"
Dr. Right took them. "Great!"

Gameboy and Duke had to hop some exploding platforms across pits and land on icy surfaces. The snow on Duke's hair didn't help any.
They came to the door. Gameboy opened it, and they walked into a green corridor. They slid across the icy floor to the other door, which Duke opened.
After the lights came back on in the chamber, they saw the Robot Master.
"Identity confirmed: opponent is stolen robot. Designation: Blizzard Man. Specialty: master of snow." Gameboy stated.
"No crap." Blizzard Man said.
Snowflakes fell as the three of them battled. Blizzard Man was on skis. His method of attack was rolling up into a ball and launching himself at Duke and Gameboy at full speed. Duke became more dizzy than he ever had previously in his life. Gameboy was finally able to defeat Blizzard Man, though.
Gameboy picked up the weapon left behind. "Blizzard Attack." he identified. He opened up a warp using his warp zone opener. "Mission accomplished. We may go."
Duke didn't waste any time getting into that warp.

Gameboy and Duke warped into Dr. Right's lab.
"Mission accomplished." Gameboy stated. "Blizzard Man has been snowed over."
"That's the last one!" Kevin said with a smile.
Suddenly, Mr. X's face appeared on the main viewscreen.
Mike grinned. "Pissed yet? Wanna give up and turn yourself in?"
"Never!" Mr. X said. "Come to my fortress! I am sending you the coordinates right now. I'll be waiting with my best defenses. Trying taking me on at my headquarters!"
Then the transmission ended.
"I have the coordinates." Li Shiroshi confirmed.
"Well, what're we waiting for?" Mike asked. "Let's go kick his ass!"

The entire N Team (including Stacey, who had decided she did not want to be on California Games today), Proto Man, Mega Girl, Dr. Right, and Dr. Li Shiroshi teleported to the outside of Mr. X's fortress.
Mr. X's castle was very strange. There was a giant X on top of it.
"Nooo, he's not egotistical." Rick said.
It was nighttime in this part of Megaland, so it was dark. They could see the moon in the sky. They were all standing on a silver platform. Many buildings could be seen to their left.
Slowly, the group started forward.
Mega Man blasted three cannons mounted on the floor. They all climbed up a ladder.
Mega Girl fired down a robot that was moving back and forth on a platform. They all jumped onto the platform, and then climbed up another ladder.
Proto Man destroyed a flying robot that was firing red balls at them.
"How do we get across?" Romeo asked.
"We'll have to fly." Mega Man said. "I guess now is the best time to try this! Rush Jet!"
Immediately, Mega Man was clad in red and white, and he had thrusters mounted on his back.
"Whoa, cool!" Mike said.
Kevin gave Mega Man a thumbs-up. "Lookin' good, Mega Man!"
Mega Man grinned. "Thanks. I hope this thing's mega powerful enough to hold all of us! Everybody hold on tight!"
Once they had all done so, Mega Man lifted them into the air. They went up the ladder. In the room above, there were more of those same robots, which Mega Girl took care of. They flew up another ladder.
This went on for quite a while. The group would land whenever the thrusters overheated, then they would take off again, firing at more robots along the way and avoiding the spikes.
Finally, they were able to land on a floor again. The robot siblings handled all of the robots, flying, hopping, and ground-based, so the rest of the group could conserve their power for the big battles ahead.
And they would be quite big...

As the group slowly descended into the castle, Mega Man and Proto Man destroyed two guns. They all came to a door.
Julius pressed it, and it slid up. The group entered a blue corridor. They walked to the end of it.
"Well, let's see what's behind Door # 1!" Kevin said with a smile. He opened the door.
The group entered a chamber. No lights went out this time.
In the chamber was a kind of metal track that connected in a weird pattern. Two robotic squares moved back and forth along the track. The group members had to dodge whenever the squares came near one of them.
The robotic trio fired at the squares.
"Aim for the centers!" Mega Man said. "That's the only place where they're vulnerable!"
Soon, one of the squares was destroyed. The other soon followed.
"I guess the hits registered on them both." Proto Man said.
Mega Man nodded. "Grab hold, everyone. We're gonna teleport into the next section of the castle."
They did, and off they went.

They found themselves in a corridor with windows. Looking to their left, they could see the stars.
The robotic trio handled all the Metools and other minor robots.
Soon, they came to a bridge. As soon as they stepped on it, they felt it start to give way.
Kevin yelled. "That's our cue to run!"
The group hurriedly made their way across the bridge.
Then they had to fly above a large bed of spikes.
After encountering numerous more Mets and other robots, jumping and flying across pits, and falling through some gaps in the floor and climbing back out again, they arrived at another door.
Lana opened the door, and they stepped into a pink and green corridor. Rick opened the next door.
In the chamber, boulders started falling.
"I'll hold these off!" Proto Man said. "You two hit that machine that's stomping on the wall and causing the quakes!"
Mega Man and Mega Girl nodded and opened fire.
The entire group felt dizzy by the shaking, dodging boulders, and dodging fire from the machine, but it was all over as soon as the machine on the wall was destroyed.
"Everybody okay?" Mike asked.
The rest of the group acknowledged that they were.
"Cool." Mike said. "Let's hit it!"

Teleporting deeper into the castle, the group found themselves in a room with two ladders leading up.
They climbed up the second one, then climbed up the second one in the next room as well.
They encountered more robots they had seen before. They had to hop on platforms that lowered when stepped on. They had to avoid spike-covered ceilings. They had to climb up ladders while being shot at. They had to fly through narrow gaps in the walls. But somehow, through it all, they made it to the door.
Proto Man opened it, and they walked into a green corridor. Simon opened the next door.
In the chamber, they found a huge tank with arms, and it was controlled by a Metool!
"A Met!" Mike said. "A freakin' Met!"
"Let's nuke it!" Lana said, drawing her Zapper.
Kevin grinned. "I like your attitude."
Kevin, Lana, and Mike helped Mega Man, Proto Man, and Mega Girl take out the tank. They had to concentrate their fire on the top portion.
That accomplished, they moved onward.

They were now in the deepest part of Mr. X's castle. The group found itself in a room. To the left and right, there were spikes on the floor. To the right, just as the spikes started, was a ladder. They climbed up onto a platform. Kevin snagged a weapon refill. Each of them jumped onto a small platform, then jumped up and grabbed the last rung of the ladder. They climbed up.
In the next room were two guns. Mega Man and Proto Man took them out. They all climbed up a ladder.
Simon looked up. "Yikes!"
They all looked up. The ceiling was completely covered with spikes.
"We'll have to jump low." Kevin said.
"No problem for me-icus!" Kid Icarus said with a laugh.
They made it to the next ladder and climbed up.
Mega Man, Proto Man, and Mega Girl took out the three guns in the next room.
Then they ran into a problem. There was a block blocking their path.
"What do we do now?" Lana asked, worriedly.
"Duh, I'll take care of it!" Julius said, walking forward. He rammed his right fist into the block, then let out a loud yell and clutched his fist with his left hand. "Metal! Ow, that hurt!"
Mega Man thought for a moment. "He's got the right idea, though. Time to see what this Power Arm does. Power Arm!"
Mega Man was instantly clad in red and white again. This time, however, his shoulders and hands were "muscular".
Stacey smiled. "Hey, there, stud!"
Mega Man smiled.
"What are those shoulder plate thingies?" Mike asked, then smiled. "They look like Rush's feet!"
Dr. Right grinned. "They are, Mike!"
Mega Man charged up to full power. He began to glow. He rammed his right fist into the block and shattered it.
"Wow!" Kevin said.
"This is mega fun!" Mega Man said. He then shattered the next block in their path.
Lana snagged the weapon refill that had been concealed by the second block.
"Hey, don't I get one?" Mike complained.
Kevin and Lana gave him a teasing smile.
With the way cleared, the group proceeded onward.
Proto Man destroyed the next gun, then Mega Man destroyed the next block.
"It's so small!" Mike said, gazing at the tiny weapon refill. He snatched it up. "Oh, well, better than nothin', I guess."
After some more guns were destroyed, they came to a machine in the floor that sent up robobirds. Proto Man destroyed then as the group jumped over the machine.
They continued like this for a while. Then they climbed up a ladder.
In the next room was a gun. Mega Girl destroyed it, and Mike picked up another small weapon refill.
He looked down at his power meter. "Rising slowly but steady."
They climbed up the next ladder.
Proto Man quickly blasted one of those thruster robots, then another one.
Mike grabbed the small weapon refill left by the first.
The group members had to form a human ladder to reach the real ladder. Kevin chose to hold Lana. The Princess stood on his shoulders, and he held onto her legs. He got even more excited when Stacey climbed up on his back.
Shaking off this feeling, he let Lana pull him up as she climbed up the ladder.
The next corridor was filled with only exploding robots, so they didn't have to use their weapons. Just stay a safe distance away. They then jumped down a long drop. The next room was empty, so they jumped down another long drop.
The next corridor was more birds and guns. Then they came to a door.
"I think this is it!" Kevin said. He opened the door, and they stepped into a silver corridor.
Mega Man opened the next door, and they stepped into a chamber. The door closed behind them.
There was a giant machine in the room, hanging from the center of the ceiling by a chain. It swung back and forth at them. The machine had two large eyes that seemed to be following the group.
Suddenly, two large purple fireballs came out of the machine. They landed on the floor. One fireball rolled away from the group. The other came towards it.
"Look out!" Kevin yelled.
The group dodged the fireball.
Rick pointed at the man sitting in the machine behind the protective glass, who was working the controls. "I think we found our man!"
Kevin drew his Zapper. "Let's take his toy out!"
Lana drew her Zapper as well.
Mike drew his Zapper. "Aw, man, here I am, in a position to kick this guy's ass, and I've only got half power!" He shrugged. "Oh, well."
The three teenagers joined the three robots in firing at the machine.
"Oh, no, you guys aren't hogging all the fun!" Li Shiroshi said, drawing her laser gun and joining in the battle.
And it was quite a battle. They had to dodge all the purple fireballs that kept coming out of the machine, and they had to fire. And with the machine swinging back and forth, it was a lot more difficult.
Finally, they were able to destroy the machine! All that remained was Mr. X sitting in his chair. He hovered away from them.
"Game's over, Mr. X!" Lana said, pointing her Zapper at him. "Surrender to the N Team!"
Mr. X ignored her. "My scheme for world domination has failed!" he yelled instead. "But I still have enough power to destroy you!"
And with that, Mr. X pulled off his cloak and mask.
The group was shocked!
"Dr. Wily!" Li yelled.
"I thought those pants and shoes looked familiar!" Mega Man said, angry with himself for not seeing the deception earlier.
And with that, Dr. Wily's chair hovered into his saucer, which was waiting for him, and he flew off.
Kevin shook his head. "I don't believe this!"
"Duh, he's getting away!" Julius yelled.
"He must be heading for Skull Castle! Let's go!" Mega Man said.
And so, the group teleported.

They appeared in front of Skull Castle.
"Let the final battle begin!" Proto Man yelled.
The group started forward at a run. Mega Man destroyed the Mets and blocks in their way. They had to avoid the fire dropped by the robots, and they had to fly up to a platform and jump down a long drop.
Mega Girl took care of the guns and the other robots they met. The group had to avoid a lot of spikes again.
They had to deal with fans at some points.
"Whee! This is so cool!" Lana yelled in enjoyment while being lifted into the air.
Zelda shook her head and looked at Kevin. "Your girlfriend has a weird sense of fun."
Kevin smiled at her, then looked back at Lana.
The group started on the fans. Eventually, they all got the hang of it. Even Zelda! Though she didn't have fun in the least.
At one point, there was a very long drop in which they had to dodge deadly spikes while they fell. Zelda thought she would faint.
When they arrived in the next room, Mega Girl destroyed a robot firing a gun at them.
Soon, they had to fly down using Mega Man while dodging spikes. It was very tricky.
On the way down into the next corridor, Mike picked up a big weapon refill. "Yes!"
At the end of the corridor was a door. Dr. Right opened it. They went through a green corridor. Then Mega Girl opened the next door.
They stepped into the chamber. A giant robotic dinosaur was standing there. Stacey shrieked.
"Okay, guys, take it easy. It's just a dinosaur." Kevin said.
It started spitting fireballs at them, which they dodged.
Kevin, Lana, Mike, Rock, Roll, Blues, and Li opened fire on it, but their shots did no good.
"Huh?" Li asked.
A door in the dinosaur's stomach opened, and a green hovering platform came out.
"That's it!" Kevin realized. He hopped on the next platform that came out. "Aim for the head!"
The rest of them got on platforms. When they rose to meet the dragon face to face, they opened fire on it with no mercy.
Finally, the dragon was destroyed. Unfortunately, the platforms vanished at that moment. The heroes yelled as they were dropped on the floor and landed on their butts.

The next level below started off with a frozen corridor. There was ice all over the floor, walls, and ceiling.
"Dr. Wily must've, like, not paid his heating bill or something." Stacey reasoned.
"What's scary is she believes that." Lana whispered to Kevin.
He laughed.
The group made it through the corridor, then climbed up a ladder.
The next room was empty except for a bed of spikes almost completely covering the floor.
"How do we get across?" Simon asked.
Suddenly, blocks materialized in the air.
"That's how!" Kevin said with a smile.
They had to time it perfectly, for the blocks disappeared and reappeared somewhere else every few seconds.
Then they had to crawl through a small space to reach the ladder. They all made it safely, and they climbed up.
The next corridor was just spikes on the ceiling and those robots that would start following you around if you shot at them. They jumped down a long drop, and Kevin snagged a weapon refill. Then they jumped down another long drop.
Next corridor was more spikes and those same robots. Finally, they came to a door. Lana opened it, and they stepped into a pink corridor. Stacey opened the next door.
In the chamber, they found a three-wheeled tank that fired shots and bubbles at them.
They fired at the tank and soon destroyed it.
Mike looked at himself, all wet from the bubbles. "Well,...that sure was interesting."
Stacey was sad. "Too bad you had to destroy it! I love bubbles!"
"That's why your head's so full of them." Lana said quietly with a smile.

The next level of the castle was underwater.
In a panic, the group swam for the surface and coughed.
Stacey groaned. "Oh, shit! Not again!"
"C'mon, guys, deep breath!" Mega Girl said. She went underwater, and the rest of the group followed, Stacey reluctantly.
They had to avoid robofishes, spikes, and the fans that tried to blow them into them. Kevin, Lana, and Mike picked up a lot of weapon refills. If they hadn't been underwater, Mike would've grinned.
Finally, they climbed up a ladder and entered a dry room.
After taking deep breathes, they realized guns were firing at them. Mega Man, Proto Man, and Mega Girl destroyed all three of them. Then they formed a human ladder again, with Kevin holding Stacey this time, and Lana climbing up his back, to reach the real ladder, then they climbed up.
They looked at the glass booth.
"Teleporting hatch." Lana said. "Should we go through it?"
"Do we have a choice?" Kevin asked her.
He went through, and the rest of the group followed.

The group found itself on a platform. To the left were three teleporting hatches, stacked vertically. The same to the right. There were two more teleporting hatches below the platform they were standing on.
"Eight teleporting hatches - " Li started.
" - for eight Robot Masters." Dr. Right finished for her.
They were all silent for a moment.
Finally, Kevin spoke. "Okay, this is what we'll do. Eight of us will each take one of the eight weapons we've collected, and we'll hope it works on whatever Robot Master is waiting."
Lana smiled. "Umm,...what are the chances of that happening?"
"Pretty slim." Proto Man said. He grinned. "40,320 to be exact."
Mike grinned. "Precisely!"
"You calculated that?" Lana asked Mike in surprise.
Mike laughed. "No."
"Why can't we all, like, go in all the hatches together, so that we'll have all the weapons?" Stacey asked.
"Too crowded maybe?" Kevin suggested.
"Hmm, that's a thought." the valley girl decided.
"Simon, pass out the weapons." Kevin said.
Simon reached into his backpack and pulled out the Master Weapons one at a time. To Proto Man he gave the Silver Tomahawk. To Gameboy he gave the Fire Blast. To Kevin he gave the Blizzard Attack. To Romeo he gave the Wind Storm. To Lana he gave the Yamato Spear. To Mega Girl he gave the Knight Chain. To Mega Man he gave the Centaur Flash. To Rick he gave the Plant Barrier.
"All right, team, let's do it to it!" Kevin said with a smile.
They each picked a teleporting hatch.

Proto Man teleported into a chamber. Yamato Man came down from the ceiling.
"Okay, time to see what this does. Silver Tomahawk!"
Instantly, Proto Man was clad a reddish-brown and a dirty white.
As Yamato Man attacked, Proto Man let loose the Silver Tomahawk. He felt this strange, because he was used to firing only his own blaster. He got the hang of it, though, and Yamato Man was defeated.

Gameboy found himself in Blizzard Man's chamber, and the Robot Master was ready to do battle.
"Fire Blast." the game computer commanded.
Gameboy found himself a reddish-brown and dirty white. He found he had to be in close range to Blizzard Man for the Fire Blast to score a hit. Victory was easy for the computer programmed to play games.

Kevin got Plant Man.
"Hmm,...I've never used a Master Weapon before." he said to himself. He hooked up the weapon to his Zapper. "Blizzard Attack!"
Kevin drew his Zapper and found it had changed colors to a light blue and snow white. He fired. Snowflakes came out of his Zapper.
"Cool!" Kevin said with a smile.
Victory was soon his.

Romeo was in Flame Man's chamber.
He hooked up the Wind Storm to his Remote Control.
"Uh,...Wind Storm?" he asked.
The Remote Control turned grey and white.
When Romeo fired, a cyclone was sent out at Flame Man. The Robot Master could not survive very many more of those.

Lana encountered Knight Man. She hooked up the Yamato Spear to her Zapper.
"Here goes nothin'!" she said. "Yamato Spear!"
She fired repeatedly. The Yamato Spear went through Knight Man's shield, hitting him, and the Robot Master soon exploded.

Mega Girl was up against Centaur Man again. This time, however, she knew what his attack would be, and she was prepared for it.
"Knight Chain!" she yelled.
She instantly found herself clad in blue and grey.
Mega Girl fired at the odd horse-like robot until he was no more.

Mega Man was in Wind Man's chamber.
"Centaur Flash!" he yelled.
Mega Man found himself colored green, but also white.
He made short work of Wind Man.

Rick faced Tomahawk Man. He hooked up the Plant Barrier to his Super Scope.
"Just you 'n' me, Pilgrim!" Rick said in a Western drawl, then he slapped his left hand on his forehead and shook his head. "I can't believe I just said that."
Rick fought Tomahawk Man with his dark pink and white Super Scope. Pretty soon, the Robot Master was sent to the proverbial Boot Hill.

They were all warped or teleported back into the hatch room.
They found that on the platform they had originally teleported onto, there was now a new hatch.
"That wasn't there before." Lana said.
"No," Kevin agreed, "it wasn't."
So, naturally, they all stepped into it.

They teleported into a small space with a long drop. They all jumped down it.
They found themselves in a corridor with a Met dispenser, which Mega Man and Proto Man took care of.
They moved on until they reached a door. And in front of the door stood...
"Eddie!" they all said in unison.
"Eddie thought you might need this." he said, and gave them an energy refill.
Mega Man, who needed it the most, took it. "Mega thanks, Eddie!"
"Good luck, guys!" Eddie said. "Kick Wily's butt for me!"
They all laughed.
"We will, Eddie!" Romeo said.
"Count on it!" Mike added.
And with that, Eddie teleported off.
"He's so cute!" they all said in unison.
Kevin opened the gate, and they stepped into a light blue corridor. They walked to the end of it.
"This is it." Kevin said. "The final battle. Mega Man, will you do the honors?"
"You got it, Captain N!"
Kevin, Mike, and Lana drew their Zappers. Li drew her laser gun.
Kevin nodded. Mega Man slammed his right fist into the door, and it went up.
The group walked into a dark chamber. There was a huge weird machine waiting there. It had a huge skull on the front, and it shot out blue and white circles of energy at them. It also jumped and shook the floor when it landed.
"Wily's in there. I know it!" Kevin said.
They started firing. Soon, they had destroyed part of the machine. After the top had blown off, they could clearly see Dr. Wily operating the controls. They continued firing.
Eventually, the machine was destroyed. Dr. Wily disappeared.
"Huh?" Rick asked.
"Where'd he go-icus?" Kid Icarus asked.
Dr. Wily appeared in a smaller machine that shot out circles of energy in four different directions. The good guys started firing again, but Dr. Wily would disappear and reappear in another part of the room every few seconds.
"Teleportation?" Rick asked.
"Or just moving around in the dark." Kevin reasoned.
"How do we do this?" Li asked.
Kevin thought for a moment. "He appears both high and low. Me, Mike, and Lana are almost out of power. Mega Man and Romeo, you're the only ones of us that can fly. It's up to you!"
Mega Man and Romeo nodded. "Right!"
"Rush Jet!" Mega Man called.
Romeo pressed the Up button on his Remote Control, and Mega Man activated his thrusters.
The two of them went into the air and fired whenever they saw Wily. They had to land every so often, of course. So, then they fired from the ground.
Pretty soon, Wily's machine exploded. The evil scientist leapt out of it and landed on the floor.
He immediately began to beg the group for mercy. "Please! Please don't hurt me! Mercy, please!!!"
"Shut up, dumbass!" Mike said, annoyed.

Kristen parked her car on the street in front of the office building where her mom worked.
She got out of her car, went into the building, and took an elevator up to the twelfth floor.

Kevin and Link were busy tying up Dr. Wily with some rope. They had him sit down against a wall.
"That should hold him!" Link said with a smile.
Stacey was copying all of the information in Dr. Wily's computer systems to chips.
"Doney-bunny!" Stacey announced as she removed the last chip from the slot.
Lana smiled. "Good! Let's go home and copy it into our computers!"
Suddenly, the ropes Dr. Wily was tied up in broke, and the scientist got to his feet.
Everyone turned and faced him.
"Wily!" Kevin yelled.
"Good-bye, Nothing Team!" Dr. Wily said with a grin. He went over to a keypad and typed in a code. A door slid open. Dr. Wily raised his eyebrows a few times. Then he exited out the door, and it slid closed.
"How'd he get loose?!" Mike asked.
Link noticed something on the floor near where Dr. Wily was sitting. He walked over and picked it up. It was a pocket knife.
"Damn!" Link yelled.
"Not the first time he mega got away!" Mega Man pointed out.
Suddenly, an alarm sounded.
"Never mind him!" Kevin yelled. "Let's get out of here!" He took a remote control out of his front right jeans pocket and summoned the Warp Wagon.
Soon, it was hovering outside the Castle. Kevin drew his Zapper and fired at all the glass windows. They shattered.
"C'mon!" Kevin yelled.
The entire group crowded into the Warp Wagon, and Kevin flew away from the castle.
When they were a safe distance away, the castle blew sky-high.

Kristen arrived on the twelfth floor of the office building. She walked down a corridor.

Kevin parked the Warp Wagon on the front lawn of the N Team's house. Everybody got out.
Lana walked over to Mike's convertible. "I wanna go see how Kristen's doing."

Kristen arrived at her mother's office. She stood out in the corridor and peered into the room.
Her mother was sitting at a computer, typing away.
Kristen slowly walked into the room. "Mom?"
Carol stood up, turned around, and faced her daughter. "Kristen, what are you doing here?"
Kristen stepped forward. "I came to stop you from doing this."
Carol shook her head. "Doing what?"
"I heard you on the phone." Kristen said.
Her mother frowned.
"You wanna destroy Videoland."
"That's right."
"And all the people in it."
"Why? What have they done to you?" Kristen asked.
"It's not what they've done to me. It's what they are." her mother replied. "They're evil!"
"Evil?!" Kristen asked, surprised. "How so?!"
"They weren't born in our universe. They're unnatural!"
One universe is just as natural as any other, mom." Kristen said. "Those people are as natural as us."
"No, they're not!" Carol yelled. "They're servants of Satan!"
"And I'm a small elephant." Kristen replied.

The warp opened in the alley. Mike's convertible came out. Lana was driving. Mike sat in the passenger seat. Zelda was in the back seat.
"So, where to?" Zelda asked.
"Kristen once told me that her mother works for a small game business." Lana said. "We might try looking there."
"Know the address?" Mike asked.
"I know the name. I can look it up in the phone book." Lana said.
Mike nodded.
"Hey, Lana, can I drive?" Zelda asked.
"Uh, I dunno, Zelda." Lana said. "Mike?"
"Well,...okay." Mike agreed. "But I'm comin' with ya to make sure you don't wreck my car."
"Great!" Zelda said, excited.
Mike hopped into the back seat. Lana moved to the passenger side. Zelda hopped into the driver's seat.
Zelda looked at all of her options. Finally, she turned the key. The engine started.
"Wow!" Zelda said. She put the car into drive and pressed her right foot against a pedal.
Nothing happened.
"Uh, that's the brake, Zelda." Lana pointed out.
"Oh. Heehee." The Princess of Hyrule stepped on the accelerator, and they took off.

"Mom, just because someone is other than what you're used to doesn't mean they're evil!" Kristen said.
"They were not created by God!" Carol said. "God does not work digitally!"
"They're not digital, mom! They're flesh and blood, just like us!"
"They are the work of the demon master of the world below!" her mother said. "And I have been chosen by God to save the Earth from these soulless minions of Lucifer! I am the Earth's new Savior!"
"You're full of shit." Kristen responded.

"Zelda, look out!" Lana yelled.
Zelda made a sharp right to avoid a head-on collision with another car. It scraped some paint off the right side of Mike's car.
Mike looked at the damage. "My car! You scratched my car!"

Kristen looked at the computer screen. "So, this is how you plan to destroy Videoland, huh? With a game?"
"Of course. How else?" Carol asked.
Kristen stepped towards the computer.
"Uh!" Carol pulled out a gun and pointed it at her.
Kristen looked at her in shock. "You...would kill me?"
"Kristen, please,...step away."

Zelda brought Mike's convertible to a screeching halt in front of the office building.
They all got out of the car.
"I am never letting you drive my car again!" Mike told Zelda.
The three of them ran into the building.

"Mom, please...don't do this." Kristen pleaded. "You - you used to be such a nice person. I've always loved you."
"What has to be done has to be done." her mother replied. She pressed a few buttons on the keyboard.
"What did you do?" Kristen asked.
"The game's compiling." Carol said. "Soon, it'll be copied onto a blank cartridge, and then...bye-bye Videoland!"

Lana, Zelda, and Mike exited the elevator and ran down the corridor.

"You're mad." Kristen said.
"No, actually, I'm quite happy." her mother said with a smile.
"Kristen!" Lana called. She, Zelda, and Mike had just entered the room.
"You!" Carol yelled, pointing her gun at Lana. "You're one of them! One of the soulless minions of Lucifer!"
Mike drew his Zapper and fired at Carol. She dodged the blast and returned fire. Mike dodged the bullet.
Mike, Lana, Zelda, and Kristen got behind some chairs for cover. Carol got behind her desk.
"Kristen, are you all right?" Lana asked.
"Lana, she's compiling the game. We gotta stop it!" Kristen said.
Lana thought for a moment, then yelled: "There's no proof that creating a new game here has any effect on Videoland, you know! In fact, now that I think about it, it seems highly improbable, because that means humans would have control over a universe! There's no reason to do this!"
Carol stood up. "Getting rid of you is reason enough!" She fired at the chairs.
The humans behind them dodged the shot.
"Apparently, talking won't work." Lana said.
"What made you come to that conclusion?" Mike asked.
"Mike, Zelda, you keep her distracted. Kristen, you and I have a date with a PC."
They nodded. Lana and Kristen made their way to the desk.
Mike stood up. "Hey, how many dead babies does it take to screw in a light bulb?! Five! Get it?!"
He was answered with another shot from Carol.
Mike ducked down behind the chairs.
Zelda frowned at him. "You know, that was really stupid!" She took out her bow and drew an arrow. "You don't joke; you fight!"
So, Mike and Zelda fired at Carol, and she returned fire to them.
Meanwhile, Lana and Kristen had reached the desk.
"Okay, how do we stop this thing?" Lana asked.
"Simple. Boot the computer and format the hard drive." Kristen did a roundhouse kick and smashed the computer system with her foot.
The computer system fell to the floor. Sparks flew everywhere.
Carol spun around and faced them. "Nooo!!!"
Lana looked at Kristen and smiled. "Boot. Heh."
Kristen smiled back at her. "Format. Heh. Yeah, I'd say it's formatted, wouldn't you?"
"I'd say it's Track 0 bad if you ask me." Lana replied with a smile.
"You'll pay for that!" Carol yelled. She fired at them.
They dodged, and Lana returned fire. Carol dodged and pressed the trigger again.
But nothing happened.
"Out of bullets, dumbass." Lana said. She started forward.
Kristen stopped her. "No, Lana."
Lana faced her.
"She's my mother. I'll handle her." Kristen shrugged. "Besides, I'm a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do."
Lana nodded. "Go for it."
Kristen stepped forward. Her mother swung at her. Kristen blocked the punch and returned with one of her own, impacting on Carol's face. Lana, Mike, and Zelda watched the two of them fight. Kristen was definitely the more experienced fighter. She punched, kicked, and blocked. Her mother was wearing down under the onslaught.
As they made their way to the back of the room, Carol shoved Kristen back against the glass window.
Kristen looked up at her.
Her mother ran forward, yelling.
Kristen dodged to her right.
Carol hit the window full-force. The glass shattered, and she went through.
Kristen gasped. She turned around and walked towards the ledge. Lana, Mike, and Zelda joined her.
They looked down, and, to their great relief, they saw Carol holding onto the ledge. They all smiled.
"Kristen,...please," her mother pleaded, "help me!"
Kristen didn't think twice. She crouched down and extended her left hand. "Grab hold of my hand! I'll pull you up!"
Carol did. However, when Kristen began to try and pull her mother back up, she was surprised to find that her mother was pulling her down!
"What are you doing?!" Kristen yelled.
"You've ruined my plan!" her mother yelled. "You've interfered with my holy mission and allowed the evil ones to continue to walk among us! You must pay with your life!"
"You're insane!" Kristen yelled.
"Oh, you didn't know?" Mike asked her.
Kristen managed to get her hand from her mother's grip. She stood up straight.
But then, she found herself falling. She landed on her back. Her mother had grabbed hold of her left foot, and was now slowly pulling Kristen towards the edge.
"Mom, no, don't!" Kristen yelled. "Stop this!"
"I can't stop!" her mother yelled. "I won't stop! I cannot shirk my duty to the Lord! I will die, and you will come with me! The Lord will accept my sacrifice of my daughter in atonement for my failing to destroy the evil ones!"
Kristen tried to wiggle her foot loose, but she couldn't.
Lana took hold of Kristen's arms, Zelda took hold on Lana's waist, Mike took hold of Zelda's waist, and the three of them tried to pull Kristen back into the room.
Kristen yelled in pain. "Guys, stop! I'll be torn in half!"
Her friends reluctantly let go of her and watched as she was dragged closer and closer to the edge.
"Believe me, I'm doing you a favor!" Carol continued. "You will not have to live in this wicked world any longer! You will be in heaven with me! I'll make sure God lets you in! I know you, Kristen! I know how you've always trusted me! Trust me now! Let go! Be with me in eternal salvation!"
Kristen gritted her teeth as she tried to hold her position on the floor. "You know nothing about me! You don't know who I am! And I don't know who you are! Do you know I'm in love with Lana?! That's right! Your daughter is in love with a 'soulless minion of Lucifer'!"
Carol was shocked. "You're in love with that...thing?!"
"Her name is Lana Deschain! And yes, I'm in love with her!" Kristen said. "I suppose you're gonna say I'm one of them now, huh?! That I'm evil! Today I learned who my mother really is! A prejudice bigot! You judge and prosecute anything that's different than you, because you think your way is the only way! You refuse to accept anything or anyone that deviates from your rules!" Kristen began kicking forcefully with her left foot, hitting her mother in the face. "And sick...of you!"
Kristen gave one final, powerful kick, and her mom lost her grip. Kristen watched as her mother fell...and fell...and fell. Finally, Carol hit the sidewalk pavement twelve stories down.
Kristen slowly got to her feet. She stood up straight and looked down as people began to gather around the body of her mother, who she had killed.
"Whoa! That's a loooooong drop!" Mike commented.
Lana elbowed him in the ribs. Then she walked up behind Kristen and placed her hands on her shoulders. "Kris. Are you all right?"
Kristen turned around and began to cry. Lana swept her up in a hug.
"We should go down to the street and wait for the police to arrive." Lana advised them. "We're witnesses. Then we'll get out of here."
"Okay," Mike said, "but I'm drivin'!"

That evening, the school gym of Northridge High School was packed with students, relatives, friends, and faculty.
"Like, some party, huh?!" Stacey asked Lana with a smile.
Lana poured herself some fruit punch. "Wonderful! You guys did a great job decorating!"
"Yeah, well, it was a rush job, but I think everything turned out just fine." Kevin agreed with a smile.
Link, Zelda, Simon, and Li walked by.
"So, how do you guys like California so far?" Stacey asked.
"Gnarly!" Link said.
"Totally rad!" Zelda agreed.
Lana and Stacey laughed.
Link, Zelda, Simon, and Li had come for the party. And they were the only ones from Videoland, other than Lana, who had come, for the others might've raised suspicions.
"I'm surprised no one's said anything about our pointed ears yet." Link said, surprised.
"Or the way we're dressed." Zelda added.
Kevin came by, smiling. "Hey, it's the valley!"
Lana downed her punch. "Listen, I gotta go check on something." She put her empty cup down and walked away.

Lana came outside and walked down the steps of the school gym. "I thought I'd find you out here. You know, you're missing a great party."
"I don't feel much like partying." Kristen replied, her back to Lana.
Kristen spun around to face her. "What did you say?!"
"I said you're a liar." Lana repeated. "You wanna party. Otherwise, you wouldn't have come."
Kristen laughed. "True." Then she cried. "Lana!"
Lana hugged her. "Kris, you did what you had to. You were defending your own life, and you had to kill. It's part of your life. It's the reason you're still living! But what's the point of defending your life if you hate yourself for it?"
Kristen looked at her. "I - I guess you're right. What my mother was doing was wrong. All of it. I can kill her, but can I forgive her?"
"You're going to have to decide if you even want to forgive her." Lana answered. She shook her head. "I can't help you with that. I can only offer some advice."
"Which is?"
"Don't dwell on the matter. You've been doing that for the past few hours, and you're driving yourself crazy. Don't become preoccupied with it. Take a break." Lana smiled. "Get on with your life."
Kristen smiled. "Yes, Your Highness."
Lana kissed her on the forehead.
"My, how the roles have reversed!" Kristen said.
The two friends laughed.
Lana nodded towards the gym. "C'mon, let's go inside." She offered her right hand.
Kristen took it, and they walked up the steps together.
"Oh, and Kristen?"
"I love you, too." Lana said.
Kristen grinned. "Really?!"
"As a dear, dear friend." Lana quickly added.
Kristen messed up Lana's hair with her right hand.

"So, everything okay?" Rick asked upon seeing Lana and Kristen.
Lana grinned. "Couldn't be better."
"What are you guys playing tonight?" Kristen asked.
"Tunes from Mega Man 6." Kevin said.
"Mega Man 6?" Kristen asked. "It's not out yet."
"I found a test cartridge in your mom's office." Mike put in with a smile.
"Yeah, and I want it!" Kevin told him.
Mike faced him. "I'll Ro-Shambo you for it."
Lana came between them. "Later, guys! We've got a concert to perform!"
Kevin, Lana, Mike, and Stacey walked onto the stage and set up their instruments. The audience cheered and applauded.
The band members turned on their microphones.
"Way to go, Class of 1993!" Kevin yelled.
They all cheered.
"This first medley's for you!" Kevin said. "1, 2, 3, 4!"
Captain N & The Video Game Masters started off by playing 'Betrayal at the Tournament' (the intro music). That led into 'Contestants' (the stage select screen music). Following that was 'Forgotten Wood' (Plant Man), 'Life in a Mechanical Tower' (Wind Man), 'Fields of Fire' (Flame Man), 'Restricted' (Tomahawk Man), 'Invincible Fortress' (Yamato Man), 'Capital of Science' (Knight Man), 'Ancient Realm' (Centaur Man), and 'Frozen Island' (Blizzard Man). Then they went into 'Final Stretch' (Dr. Wily, Stage 1). They finished with 'Betrayal at the Tournament' - the Japanese version.
The audience gave a massive cheer and applause. The gym vibrated.
The band members walked off the stage.
Link, Zelda, and Kristen walked by, applauding.
"Splendid!" Zelda praised.
"Awesome!" Link added.
"I agree." Kristen said.
"We've got another tune to play." Lana said with a smile. "Something brand-new."
"Well, good luck!" Kristen wished. She placed her hands on Lana's cheeks and kissed her soundly on the lips, then stuck out her tongue and licked Lana's face repeatedly.
Lana smiled and nodded. "Thanks."
The band members walked back on stage. This time, however, Lana did not pick up her guitar. She simply walked up to her microphone and stood there.
"Now for our next tune. I'm sure all of you know the tune 'Vampire Killer'. It's from Stages one through three of the original Castlevania. Well, now you get to hear it with lyrics!" Lana said with a grin. "I wrote them for a dear friend earlier today." She smiled at Kristen.
Kristen smiled back at her.
Kevin looked at the others, then looked forward again. "Let's do it! 1, 2, 3, 4!"
Kevin, Mike, and Stacey started playing a tune that was unrecognizable at first, but then Stacey keyed some notes from 'Vampire Killer' every so often. She also did the background voice, which was given an echo effect by the amplifier:

I wanna know.

I wanna know.

Then Lana did the lead, singing in a very erotic voice:

Good as gold.

I fear
Lies told.
Don't kill.
Good as gold.

Go to Drac since he's waiting to see me.
Just like last time, disarm him with the black magic.
Those who smile at me,
Ruler in the Garden of Destiny,
Cold and Cuddly,
Come again and discover silence.
They let the fake ones love and to send what,
So that the good ones cut deep and the howling is good.

I fear
Lies told.
Don't kill.
Good as gold.

I gotta know.

Go with help to the sane fool or now every.
Don't give up if there's no way up over.
Those who smile at me,
Ruler in the Garden of Blood.
Cold and Cuddly,
Come again and discover silence.
Where are the enemies hiding we wonder.
Stand up now look that the good ones made it clear.

I fear
Lies told.
Don't kill.
Good as gold.

I wanna know.

I wanna know.

They let the fake ones love and to send what,
So that the good ones cut deep and the howling is good.

I fear
Lies told.
Don't kill.
Good as gold.

Then the rest of the instrumental was played, and Stacey ended with:

Go on.

The audience cheered and applauded. The band members walked down from the stage.
Kristen swept Lana up in a big hug. "Yes! That was great! Didn't make much sense, but I don't care!"
"Glad you like it!" Lana said.
"Well,...that certainly was interesting, Your Senselessness." Simon commented.
Lana giggled.
Just then, the CD music came back on, and Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' started playing.
"Wanna dance?" Kevin asked Lana.
"Ummm,..." the Princess thought. She looked at Kristen.
Kristen nodded, smiling. "Go ahead. It's his graduation. He should dance with his girl."
So, Kevin danced with Lana and Link danced with Zelda. Mike and Stacey had even joined hands and started dancing together.

Big wheels keep on turnin'
Carry me home to see my kin
Singin' songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think it's a sin, yes

Simon and Li were standing by the punch bowl.
"Do you, uh, do you - " Simon began nervously.
Li giggled. "I would love to dance with you, Simon!"
Simon smiled. The two of them joined hands and joined in the fun.

Sweet Home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm comin' home to you

They all had a great time fast dancing to the song. Link and Zelda, who hadn't had much practice at it, picked it up really quickly. Simon, having two left feet, constantly stepped on Li's feet, but she didn't mind. Lana, through Kevin's instruction, was pretty good at dancing, and they had a great time. Mike and Stacey tore up the floor with their killer, hip dance moves.

In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth


Copyright 1998 by Mark Moore