The "CHANGES" Miniseries
"THE ULTIMATE GAME MASTER"
Saturday, October 19, 1991, 10:00 PM
Everyone laughed as they watched the viewscreen. Mother Brain, King Hippo, and the Eggplant Wizard were being chased through the cellar of Baseball World. "Well, looks like Mother Brain is batting a thousand in that game!" Kevin said, laughing. "So did we, good buddy. So did we." Bo said, and they did a high-five. Lana continued laughing as she pressed some buttons. "There." "What did you do?" Kevin asked, still smiling. "I just sealed every warp zone leading into and out of the cellar. So now they won't be able to get out!" Lana said cheerfully. Kevin smiled brightly. "Hey, you know what that means?! We've won! The N Team's defeated Mother Brain!" Lana gasped, standing up and facing Kevin. "That's right!" "I always knew we would win!" Simon added. "We should have a feast and celebrate!" Mega Man added. "Oh, we'd be honored if you'd join us, Mr. Jackson!" Lana exclaimed, facing the Baseball player. "I'd like to, but Bo knows time, and it's about time I got back to Baseball World for practice." So, after shaking hands with everyone, Bo went back to his own world. Afterwards, the N Team got everything ready for a celebration.
Later that evening, Kevin, Lana, Simon, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Gameboy were all gathered in the corridor near the front doors of the Palace. They were dressed up in nice clothes. Outside, there was a huge crowd gathered, with more people arriving every second. Lana held out her left hand to Kevin. "Ready?" Kevin nodded. "You bet!" He took Lana's left hand in his right. All of them started walking to the front door. "This is a great idea, Lana - inviting everyone in Videoland to the celebration!" Kevin said. "Well, it seemed appropriate." Lana said. "Besides, what better way to celebrate Videoland's freedom than with a big party?!" "You won't hear any argument from me!" Kevin answered. "Simon, are you sure everything's ready?" Lana asked, looking to her right at the white-wigged vampire hunter. "Fret not, Your Loveliness. The food and refreshments are on the tables in the banquet hall, the band is setting up their instruments, and your message announcing Videoland's freedom has been broadcast to every video world." "I know that, Simon. I took care of that myself. I wanted to make sure people actually knew there was a party." Lana came back. Kevin laughed at that, and Simon frowned at the Game Master's laugh. The N Team walked outside. They were overcome at the sight of all the people gathered outside. Everyone started cheering at the N Team. "Man! From the looks of it, there are people standing all around for miles!!!" Kevin yelled. Lana smiled. "Yeah, and that's not even one percent of the population of Videoland!" Kevin's mouth hung open. Lana started to wave at the crowd, then looked at the rest of the N Team and frowned. "Wave, you guys!" They all waved at the crowd, which caused them to cheer even louder. The sound was deafening. Finally, after about a minute, they quieted down low enough for Lana to speak: "Welcome, one and all, to our victory celebration! Please, come in and enjoy the party!" Kevin whispered in her ear, then Lana added: "Single-file, please!" Kevin laughed, looking at her. "That's so we don't get squashed!" The N Team let the guests enter the Palace. Lana watched them go in, then looked at Kevin worriedly. "I hope we have enough room!" Kevin listened to her, then looked straight ahead. "Billy!" Bayou Billy, the hero of a game Kevin could never beat at home, was standing a few feet away with his pet alligator, Loafer. Kevin ran to him. "Howya doin', Kevin?" Billy asked, shaking Kevin's hand. "Just great." Kevin said, smiling. He was happy to see his old friend. Kevin remembered how Billy had helped him out when Duke had run off into Bayouland. "Sorry we're so late gettin' here." Billy said. "We had trouble findin' a place to park!" He was pointing over his right shoulder with his thumb to indicate the huge traffic jam in the streets. "Yeah, I know what you mean!" Kevin said, smiling. "We're worried about the Palace becoming overcrowded!" "Well, I'll see you inside." Billy said. He looked at his alligator. "Loafer's hungry!" Kevin nodded. Billy and Loafer walked past him and went into the Palace. "Hi, sis!" came a voice. Lana looked in the direction it came from, then smiled. "Lyle!" She ran over and hugged her brother, who was the Keeper of the Sacred Square on Tetris. "I'm so glad you could come!" she said. "Wouldn't have missed it!" Lyle responded, smiling. Lana turned in her friends' direction. "C'mon, let's get this party started!" Kevin nodded happily. "I'm for that!"
The whole N Team was sitting at a long table, with Lana at the head. Lyle was also sitting there, and even Duke was lying underneath the table by Kevin and Lana's feet, enjoying a huge bowl of dog food. Then Princess Zelda of Hyrule came walking toward them, with Link right behind her. Both were carrying plates of food. "Lana!" Zelda called. Lana looked up at her and stood up, smiling. "Zelda!" Link put his plate down, as did Zelda. Lana hugged the Ruler of Hyrule. "Oh, I can't believe it! Videoland is finally free!" "Yes, it's great, isn't it?!" Zelda commented. Link pulled a chair for Zelda. "Why, thank you, Link." Zelda said, and sat down. "Anything for you, Your Highness." Link said, smiling, and then took the seat between her and Lyle. Lana had been polite and waited for her guests to sit down, then sat herself. "All right, bring on the ale!" Simon announced, smiling. "Forget that!" Kevin responded. "Yeah, Simon," Lana added, "alcohol is bad for you!" Kevin opened up a carton that was on the table. "Let's have something healthy - orange juice!" Everyone raised their glasses. Kevin got up and served everyone, beginning with Lana and ending with himself. After Kevin had taken his seat and put the carton back on the table, Lana stood up with her glass in her left hand. "Now I ask you all to stand up and raise your glasses in a toast to the hero of the hour." Everyone at the table stood up, and Lana continued: "We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. He has taught us to work together as a team, and he has brought us out of a number of tight spots before. So here's to a very special friend of mine: Kevin Keene, otherwise known as Captain N: The Game Master!" Everyone at the table cheered for Kevin. Lana then tapped her glass against Kevin's. She leaned forward and kissed him on his right cheek. "You're a real hero, Kevin." she said softly. Kevin smiled. After everyone had tapped their glasses with everyone else, they all sat back down and drank their drinks. During the course of the meal (everyone had something different, since they got it from a buffet line), they talked with each other. "So, Kevin," Link asked, "how'd ya do it?" "Actually, it was Lana that did it." Kevin said. He, Lana, and the rest of the N Team explained the entire event, beginning with them playing Baseball and ending with Lana sealing all of the warp zones into and out of the cellar of Baseball World, trapping Mother Brain, King Hippo, and the Eggplant Wizard inside. They didn't leave out a single detail. "That's some story!" Link said when they were finished. "Yeah," Lyle added, "I wish my life could be as exciting!" Kevin laughed. "Nothing much happen since the last time we visited Tetris?" Lyle shook his head. "Nope, things have been pretty quiet." Kevin nodded. Lana stood up, again holding her glass of orange juice in her left hand. "Now I'd like to propose another toast." Everyone at the table stood up again. "To my father, King Charles of Videoland. May he someday return home safely." "To King Charles!" everyone else said, and they all tapped their glasses with each other again. When they had all sat back down again, Zelda brought up a question: "So, Captain N, what are you planning on doing now that Mother Brain has been defeated?" The question took Kevin by surprise. "Uh, I dunno. I...haven't really thought about it, to tell you the truth." And that was true: he really hadn't thought about what he was going to do now. "Well, are you planning on going home, staying in Videoland, what?" she asked. Kevin opened his mouth to respond, but found that he had nothing to say. What could he say? "Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that the Ultimate Warp Zone hasn't opened up yet?" Lana brought up. Just then, a voice announced: "And here they are: The Blockheads!" Everyone in the room started cheering. The Blockheads were the best band on Tetris. They were on stage with their instruments, which were block-shaped, of course. They started to play 'Block Party', which went to the tune of 'Rock Around The Clock'. The N Team recognized it from the first time they saw The Blockheads perform on Tetris. Kevin was only vaguely aware that it was being played, however. He was still thinking about what he was going to do now. Kevin was startled out of this state when Lana suddenly grabbed his right arm and pulled him up on his feet. "C'mon, let's dance!" Kevin and Lana went out onto the dance floor and danced. Link turned towards Zelda and held out his left hand. "May I have this dance, Princess?" Zelda giggled. "Of course, Link." He took her right hand in his left, and they got up and went and danced.
Sunday, October 20, 1991, 7:00 AM
Early the next morning, just as the sun was rising, Lana came into the living room and saw Kevin sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. Both Kevin and Lana were wearing their normal clothes again. Kevin wasn't wearing his belt, though, because there was no danger. Duke was standing there looking at him. The canine had a worried look on his face. Duke went over to Lana and started making sad, worried moans. Lana squatted down and stroked him. "Yeah, I know, Duke. I'll go talk to him, okay?" Duke nodded. Lana stood up and looked at Kevin, but still speaking to Duke: "Go help yourself to something in the fridge." Duke walked off towards the kitchen. "Kevin?" Lana asked with concern in her voice, taking a step forward. Kevin looked up and turned around to face her. He sighed and shook his head. "I don't know what to do, Lana." "Do you wanna talk about it?" Kevin nodded. Lana went over and sat next to Kevin, on his right. Kevin looked at her. "I mean, I miss my friends, and my parents, but...I would miss you guys, too. Especially you, Lana." Lana smiled gently. "I would miss you, too, Kevin. We all would. Maybe even Simon!" Kevin laughed, and Lana joined in. After they stopped, Lana placed her left hand on Kevin's right shoulder. "Take all the time you need to think this over, Kevin. It is a big decision, after all." "Yeah." Kevin agreed. "I mean, if I go through that warp zone, my memory will be wiped. I'll forget everything about my trip to Videoland." Lana's facial expression turned from one of concern to one of sadness. Kevin continued: "The last thing I'll remember is playing my video games and my mom telling me to clean up my room. I'll probably look in the mirror and freak out when I find out how much I've aged!" Lana thought for a moment before responding. "It's your decision, Kevin."
In Megaland, Dr. Wily was in his lab deep inside Skull Castle. Dr. Wily was working on a machine, his latest invention. He smiled as he finished the final modifications. "Finally! It's finished!" He put his tools on a nearby table, then went over to a control panel and pressed a button. "Guts Man, Elec Man, report to my lab." Soon, the two Robot Masters walked in. "You called for us, Dr. Wily?" Guts Man asked. Dr. Wily pointed to a spot directly in front of a closed chamber, which was a part of his invention. "Stand right there in front of that chamber." Guts Man gave a salute with his right hand. "Yes, sir!" Guts Man and Elec Man went and stood in front of the chamber, with Guts Man on Elec Man's right. Dr. Wily nodded and went over to the control panel of his invention. "Uh, what are you gonna do, Dr. Wily?" Guts Man asked. "Some time ago, I created a Warp Zone Shifter to try and send the N Team into the Earthquake Warp Zone. But something went wrong. Someone had reconfigured it, and it sent me into the Landfill Warp Zone. I returned to California Games after the N Team had left, and brought my Warp Zone Shifter back to Megaland - or what was left of it anyway. It was a good thing I had saved the plans for it. It has taken me a lot of work, but I have finally been able to reconstruct it, and improve on it! I am going to use it to bring someone from Earth to Videoland - one of Captain N's greatest enemies. After he is warped here, I will open the chamber. I want you two here just in case he decides to give us any trouble. Understand?" Guts Man and Elec Man nodded. "All right." Dr. Wily said, and sat in the chair in front of the control panel. "I have to collect the energy needed to operate the machine first."
On Earth, it was a quiet, peaceful morning in Kevin Keene's hometown of Northridge, California. In the Vincent household, Mike Vincent was sitting on a chair in his bedroom playing video games - Punch-Out, as a matter of fact. Mike Vincent was eighteen years old now. He was fifteen, just like Kevin, when Kevin had disappeared in 1989. Mike and Kevin used to be best friends. They hung out together, camped out in Kevin's backyard, and even snuck into a sleepover party of a girl from school. But then Mike turned into a bully, and began beating up on everyone at school - especially Kevin. When Kevin had disappeared, he and Mike were still enemies. Mike was now wearing blue jeans, sneakers, a black shirt, and a Northridge High jacket. He was wearing a black bandanna tied around his right leg to show that he was cool. Mike had just beaten the crap out of Glass Joe, and went on to Round 2.
Back in Videoland, Dr. Wily was getting ready to power up the machine. He pressed a series of buttons. At the Megaland Power Plant, a lot of the power that was being produced was being sent to Skull Castle. "Wonderful!" Dr. Wily said, smiling. "All of Megaland's power is being fed into the energy tanks! The Warp Zone Shifter will have enough power to operate in thirty seconds!" So, after thirty seconds, after the four energy meters on the control panel were all the way up, Dr. Wily returned the plant's power distribution to normal as to not raise any suspicions. "All right, step two: locating subject and setting coordinates." Dr. Wily said. He soon had the fix he needed and set the Warp Zone Shifter to open the warp zone right where he wanted. "And now - opening warp zone." Dr. Wily pressed a series of buttons.
Mike had gotten past the first circuit by now - without losing a single match. He was just about to go on to the next circuit when the game picture disappeared and was replaced by static. Then the static disappeared and was replaced by total blackness. "What the hell?" Mike wondered. Suddenly, a huge blast of cartoon-like energy shot out of the screen at him. He stood up, dropping his video game controller on the floor and knocking his chair over, and backed away from the television set as quickly as he could. But the energy grabbed him and pulled him through, screaming.
The next thing Mike saw was a swirling blue light. He landed on a hard surface. Then everything was pitch black. He stood up. "Done." Dr. Wily said. "The transport is completed." He turned to Guts Man and Elec Man. "Get ready. I'm going to open the chamber now." The two Robot Masters nodded. Mike had stopped screaming. He had noticed that it was dark. He had absolutely no idea where he was or how he got there. He was just about to start feeling his way around when whatever he was in opened. He raised his left arm to shield his eyes from the intense light. His eyes had become accustomed to the dark. What he saw when he lowered his arm freaked him out. Mike began to scream again. "Cartoons!!! I'm surrounded by cartoons!!!" "Quiet down!" Dr. Wily said, annoyed. Mike looked at his hands and legs. "What the hell is goin' on here?!!!" Guts Man and Elec Man each took a step forward. "What are those things?!!!" Mike screamed. Dr. Wily quickly got up and held his hand in front of the two Robot Masters. "No! Don't do anything yet!" Guts Man and Elec Man obeyed. "Wh - what is - wh - where - " Mike kept yelling. "Quiet down and have a seat!" Dr. Wily said. "And I'll explain everything to you!" Mike calmed down a bit. "Where am I?" Mike asked, crossing his arms. Dr. Wily motioned to a chair with his hand. Mike looked uncertainly at it for a moment, then went over and sat in it. Dr. Wily sat in the chair across from him, which was the one he was sitting in when he was operating the Warp Zone Shifter. "Now," Mike asked again, "where am I?" "You're in a place called Videoland." Dr. Wily explained. "It is a universe where video game characters live." Mike laughed. "Yeah, right!" Dr. Wily nodded. "Yeah, right! I'm Dr. Wily, and this is Guts Man and Elec Man." He indicated the two Robot Masters, who were watching the exchange with great interest. "Uh, how do you do?" Guts Man asked conversationally. "Charmed." Elec Man said. Mike looked at them and spoke to Dr. Wily: "You're not kidding, are you?" "No." Dr. Wily said, shaking his head. Mike turned back to face the evil scientist. It made sense: video game characters are cartoons. "How did I get here?" Mike asked. Dr. Wily pointed at his invention. "I used my Warp Zone Shifter." Mike looked at it for a moment, then looked back at Dr. Wily. "Why?" "I have a job for you." "What kind of job?" "I know your name is Mike Vincent, and that you are good at video games." "The best." Mike said. "So what's the job?" "You used to know a person named Kevin Keene." Dr. Wily said. The statement had surprised Mike. Where did that come from? he thought. "What about him?" Mike asked. "I want you to destroy him." Wily said. "What?! He disappeared in 1989!" Mike yelled, surprised. "You mean he's here?!" Dr. Wily nodded. "Yes. He was brought here by the Ultimate Warp Zone to free Videoland from Mother Brain." "From Metroid?" Mike asked. Dr. Wily nodded again. "Yes, and he succeeded in that. Actually, I'm kind of glad he did! With Mother Brain out of the way, I can finally do things my way! I'm going to conquer Videoland! But first, I need to get rid of Captain N." "Captain N?" Mike asked, confused. "That's his nickname here." Wily answered. "So all this time when the entire town thought Keene had been kidnapped or ran away from home, he was really in another dimension!" Mike said in realization. Dr. Wily nodded. "That's right. So, how 'bout it?" Mike had already made up his mind. He enjoyed beating up on Kevin, but he definitely wasn't a murderer. He decided to play along, however. He loved the thought of going up against Kevin in a 'real-life' video game. "Well, how are we gonna pull this off? I mean, there's gotta be lots of cops around." "Authorities, yes." Wily nodded. "But don't worry, I know how to take care of them." Mike smiled evilly. "Sounds cool." "Don't worry," Wily said. "I'll supply you with everything you need." Bingo! Mike thought. "If you help me with this, I'll send you back home." "Back home?" Mike asked. "Why would I wanna go back home and go to school when I can live in a place where I can do anything I want and blow away the cops when they come after me?!" Mike thought he sounded convincing. So did Wily, apparently. Dr. Wily smiled. "All right, then how about this: after we conquer Videoland, I'll give you any video worlds you want to rule over? Except for Megaland - that's mine!" Mike smiled again - happily, not evilly. "That's icing on the cake, and the cake is me killin' Keene." "So it's a deal?" Wily asked, not understanding. Mike nodded. "You bet!" He had the fingers on his left hand crossed behind his back.
Kevin and Lana were eating breakfast together at the kitchen table. They were both having cereal and apple-cinnamon tea. "You know, I don't remember the last time we had breakfast together - just the two of us." Kevin said, smiling. Lana laughed a little. "It's been a while." She was silent for a moment, then she added: "So, what do you feel like doing today?" Kevin shrugged. "I dunno." "Well, maybe we can go to some new video worlds we haven't explored yet." Lana suggested. "Sounds like fun." Kevin said, smiling. "Have you ever been to Skara Brae?" she asked. "That's the world from 'The Bard's Tale', isn't it?" He shook his head. "No, I haven't." "Wanna go this afternoon?" Kevin nodded happily. "You bet!" They finished up their breakfast.
Kevin and Lana were walking through a corridor in the Palace later that morning when a buzzer suddenly came on. It made a loud noise. Along with the buzzer were red lights flashing. The two friends were startled. "There's an emergency call coming in!" Lana yelled. The two of them ran towards the Communications room, Lana leading the way.
When they got there, they found that Mega Man and Simon were already at the control panel, trying to clear up the picture on the viewscreen. Kid Icarus, Gameboy, and Duke were there, too, watching. "Shut that noise off! We're here already!" Lana yelled. Mega Man pressed a button on the control panel and shut the buzzer off. The flashing red lights died down. Lana watched the red lights die down, then looked at the viewscreen. "Do you know who's trying to contact us?" "No." Mega Man said, shaking his head. "But we do know that it's coming from somewhere in Megaland." Kevin sighed. "I bet Wily's up to something again." "I think I've got it." Simon said. The picture on the viewscreen cleared up, and a guy was shown standing there. A guy Kevin knew. "Kevin, you gotta help me!" the guy yelled. "Mike Vincent?!" Kevin asked, surprised. "Kevin!" Mike replied happily. "How were you able to call me from home?!" Mike shook his head. "I'm not home, I'm here in Videoland in Megaland! Dr. Wily used some kind of Warp Zone Shifter to suck me through my TV screen! I don't know why he wants me, but I was able to get away from him! They're after me, Kevin! Wily and his robots!" "Mike, - " Kevin started. Mike pressed a button. "I've shut off the electrical forcefield surrounding Skull Castle. You can get here from where you're at. Kevin, come quickly! Please!!!" The image of Mike was suddenly replaced by static as he ended the transmission. Kevin turned to face Lana. "What would Dr. Wily want with Mike?" "I dunno," she answered, "but I wouldn't trust him if I were you. Remember the time Dr. Wily created an android of Mike using your memories in order to get us to come to Castlevania so we could be captured?" Kevin nodded. "Yeah." "Well, Dr. Wily might've done the same thing again." Lana said. "We shouldn't trust him outright. Not until we find out for sure." Kevin nodded. "All right, we'll be careful. Me, you, Simon, and Mega Man will go to Megaland." he said, pointing to each person as he said their name. "Kid, Gameboy, Duke - you guard the Palace." he said, pointing to the archer, computer, and canine, respectively. "Aye-aye, Kevinicus." Kid Icarus said, saluting with his right hand. "Acknowledged." Gameboy responded.