The True Story of 80's Videogame Character Excess
The 80's. Synth-pop. Neon spandex. Emilio Estevez. Yep, they were very, very rotten times. In fact, with bad music everywhere and cheesy movies melting the minds of everyone within a 5 mile radius, a perfect opportunity was born for a new form of electronic entertainment. A perfect opportunity for videogames.
|In his day, Pacman was known to consume more than just power pellets. |
Games started off simple enough, consisting of just a few lines and dots that would provide hours of entertainment. But as the times changed, so did the expectations, and new themes and ideas needed to be brought in. The first big change was a character named Pac-Man, who ushered in a videogame revolution.
Jonathan Pac-Man, now 59 and living alone in Nebraska with his dog, was the first star. "It was insane. One minute I'm just some unemployed circle-shaped actor, the next I'm a huge videogame star. Let me tell you, when you skyrocket to fame like that, there's no place to go but down. Wakka-Wakka-Wakka. Oops, sorry. I still find myself saying that every little while."
But the downward spiral hadn't begun yet. Pac-Man would party every night, spending his money on whatever was the big fad at the time. "I remember this one time, me and Q-Bert, we were all coked up and we were listening to Flock of Seagulls while shooting a gun into this broken down car. Ah man...it was crazy times."
As the 80's continued on, characters popped up all over the place. Donkey Kong, Mario, Link, Zelda all soon appeared on the scene. Nightly parties were being held all around Hollywood, filled to the brim with drugs and prostitutes and illegal gambling. And with sales of games going up and up, the parties got more and more expensive.
Link shakes his head. "God, did we party. I mean, you know how Motley Crue was always in the news for partying? We made them look like nuns. We had drugs that no one ever did. We'd actually invent drugs that night, take them all, and then make a new drug creation the very next night. How else do you think Dr. Mario got a PhD? He just used it to make drugs!"
"This one time," Mario remembers, "I woke up in King Hippo's house, covered in vomit and watching an episode of Sanford and Son in black and white on a TV that was hanging from a tire swing. And I didn't even think twice about it. That was a normal occurrence for me!"
Ms. Pac-Man, an observer to the scene, was the only one who didn't partake in the excess. "It was sick to see these fine men throwing themselves away with all the drugs and bad music. I mean, Donkey Kong would get in a fight every night. Him and James Caan would always be punching each other."
It all finally reached a massive end in 1987, when a transvestite hooker found Frogger dead of a heroin overdose in a cheap Las Vegas motel.
"I think Frogger's death shook us all up out of our destructive patterns," Donkey Kong says between bites of his lunch. "We finally seen where we were headed, and I for one didn't like it all. I quickly stopped taking drugs after that, and I definitely stopped hanging out at cheap motels with transvestite hookers."
As the decade came to an end, the drugs were gone and the parties were nowhere to be found. Mario found religion, a
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