an insert credit dream
by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh
06282003

 



Some civilization -- Babylonian, I think -- which lived in a giant onion-shaped island, with sides that curled up and separated everyone living there from the outside world. Although right in the midst of a bunch of other kingdoms, they had no idea of anything outside the island. After a few tries, the key civilization succeeded in surviving until all of the rival parties on the island were disintegrated. Complex and interesting native music played, as the Babylonian king cast a huge hadoken-style fireball and blew holes in the onion-sides of the island, letting light stream in.

It seemed this was some kind of odd game that I was playing in a place which was a cross between the Insert Credit Fortress, as such, and a prep school dorm. There was a dingy cafeteria and there were older adults in charge. I had trouble getting food to cook correctly, and to find anywhere decent to sleep.

Anyway. Once the remaining webwork of the onion-sides collapsed, there was a flyover of all of the surrounding kingdoms -- which were all jammed pretty close together. Princesses were leaning out of several towers, waving. Then I saw The Jetsons. And then Fred Flintstone, dressed as Iori Yagami.

I turned and pointed him out to other members of the Insert Credit crew, who were in what was now a sort of ride with me. They weren't particularly interested. They had something they wanted to get to, once the ride was over.

So, we all got off and proceeded to walk down a long, carpeted stairway (with rubberized edges to each step, bolted down with large aluminum caps). I inadvertently made eye contact with an asian fellow with a microphone and a camera crew. I think it was the hat that I was wearing which caught the guy's attention. (Not sure what the significance really was of this hat, aside from the fact that it was given to me shortly beforehand.)

He asked me a question, to which I replied in the affirmative. I stopped, as it seemed he wanted some kind of an interview, dealing with the event we were attending. Everyone else in the Insert Credit crew had gone on ahead by this point; they weren't paying attention to my absence. I figured that I'd be able to catch up with them eventually, if I could remember where they were off to.

The fellow filmed me for about three seconds, before he became distracted. I was a bit disappointed, as I intended to give him a wholly unexpected impression about the kinds of people who were attending this event.

Bored, I began executing complicated martial arts moves, up and down the stairwell, often using the bannister as a tool. The reporter fellow eventually wandered off, leaving me alone there.

At about that time, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. The boss at Insert Credit -- ex-Sega of America honcho Peter Moore -- was in the midst of a private meeting (in a very public lounge area, through which traffic was continuously flowing) with someone from SNK. A really powerful Star Wars game was being demonstrated, on Neo-Geo hardware.

Thing is, as impressive as it was, at the end of every level there were still stylized character portraits with cheesy Engrish quotes written underneath. A Jedi would be saying something like "That's the last time you mess with the force, dweebenheimer!"

They didn't seem to mind me watching (if they noticed me at all), so I hung around. After the Star Wars demo ended, a full-motion animated version of Ulala appeared, to boogie along to the Talking Heads' song "I Zimbra". She kept pawing at her private areas.

A bunch of text and a mostly-indecipherable Japanese voiceover elucidated the start of some facts about Ulala, including that she has a last name which was eliminated before the first game went into production. It was in kanji, though, so I couldn't read it.

I think this was a trailer for either a new Space Channel 5 game, or an animated movie based upon the games. It was difficult to tell -- especially since after only a few moments of this, I happened to wake up.

Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh.