The "CHANGES" Miniseries
"THE GAME MASTERS OF NORTHRIDGE"
Friday, June 12, 1992, 11:55 AM
"Not again!" Lana yelled. "That's the fifth string I've broke!" "Calm down, Lana." Kevin said, his voice suggesting that he thought Lana was freaking out, which she was. "I'll put on another one for ya!" "No." Lana said, shaking her head. She sighed in frustration and put her bass down on its stand, then looked up at Kevin. "Kevin, we've been at this for three hours. It's almost noon. Time to eat lunch. We'll try this again in the evening, okay?" Kevin smiled and nodded. "Okay." Kevin shut off the amplifier, and the two of them left the room, which was the same room that Kevin always gave Lana dance lessons in. Every time they entered this room, they were reminded of the first time Kevin had taught Lana how to dance, and how Duke had run in chasing the robocat Dr. Wily had built to lure Kevin into Bayouland. Kevin had been giving Lana guitar lessons today at her request. At breakfast she told him she wanted to pick up a new hobby - maybe an instrument. Kevin suggested a bass guitar, Lana agreed, they went out to a music store and bought one, and he began to teach her. She was pretty awful, actually. "Don't worry," Kevin said as they walked down the corridor, "you'll get the hang of it." Lana nodded, but she wasn't very certain about that. Just then, Simon walked by. "Phew! Great, you're finally done! Another five minutes and I would've lost what little hearing I have left!" Lana lowered her head, sighing. "Gee, Simon, you're a fountain of encouragement, aren't you?" Kevin asked.
"Mike!" Dr. Wily's voice boomed over the intercom. Mike Vincent was standing in his room in Skull Castle, throwing darts. He stopped in frustration. Nobody interrupts him when he's playing a game! If they did, they would get their ass kicked. "What?" he asked calmly. "Come to my lab at once." the evil scientist ordered. Mike sighed loudly, threw down his darts, and left his room.
"What?" Mike asked, walking into the lab. Dr. Wily walked up to him. "I have a plan on how to get rid of the N Team forever!" "Oh?" Mike asked. He didn't like the sound of this. "You're going to call Captain N and tell him that you wanna leave me and join the N Team. But you're scared to leave the castle, because you're convinced you'll be killed by my robots while trying to escape. You'll ask Captain N and the N Team to come here to rescue you. When they get here, I'll have a little welcoming party for them!" Dr. Wily laughed the classic mad scientist laugh. "Sounds like a plan." Mike commented. Dr. Wily nodded. "Call him." They both went over to a control panel, and Mike called the Palace of Power. Instantly, an image of Lana appeared on the monitor. "This is Princess Lana. We're having lunch right now. If you have something important to say, please leave us a message. If you don't, then don't waste our tape on it." "Charming woman." Wily said sarcastically.
At the Palace, Kevin and Lana were walking down a corridor, with Lana on Kevin's left. "Maybe we can play at a party sometime." Kevin suggested. They walked into the Conference room. Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Simon were sitting at the table. Gameboy and Duke were standing off to the right. Mega Man had a remote control in his left hand. "What's going on?" Lana asked. Mega Man turned to face them. "We received a message during lunch. It's from Mike." "Calling to say he's gonna kick our ass?" Kevin asked. Mega Man shook his head. "No. I think you better watch this." Kevin and Lana went and sat at the table, with Lana on Kevin's left. They turned and faced the viewscreen. Lana nodded. Mega Man rewound the tape to the beginning and played it. The screen was black for a moment, then Mike appeared. "Kevin, I don't wanna work for Dr. Wily anymore. I wanna join the N Team." "Huh?!" Kevin and Lana asked at the same time. "But I'm afraid to leave Skull Castle." Mike continued. "I'm sure Wily's robots will kill me before I make it out! Please come and get me out, you guys!" Mike then slapped his right cheek with his left hand three times in rapid succession. He then paused for a moment, then did three more slaps quickly. The message ended, and Mega Man stopped the tape. Lana looked at Kevin. He had a worried look on his face. "What's wrong, Kevin?" Kevin turned to face her. "It's a trap." "What do you mean?" Lana asked. "How do you know?" "He signaled me with that slapping sign he did. When we were little, we used to steal video games every so often. I would swipe 'em off the shelf, while Mike would stand guard by the counter. He'd signal me like that when the store owner or an employee would come by." "You stole?!" Lana asked, shocked. Kevin laughed. "Yeah, well, kids will be kids! And we never once got caught!" "So, what do you think is going on?" Lana asked, changing the subject. "Dr. Wily's probably trying to lure us to Skull Castle to destroy us. Mike warned us about it. Now we gotta figure out what to do." "You can bet Dr. Wily's preparing his robots for battle. We should expect some serious opposition." Mega Man said. Kevin nodded.
Lana got her laser rifle from her closet. She checked it to make sure that it was fully charged, then handed it to Simon. "Here, Simon, use this." Simon nodded. "Thanks." They walked out of her room and into the corridor, where the rest of the N Team stood, waiting. "Kid Icarus, Gameboy, Duke, you three look after the Palace while we're gone." Lana ordered. "Aye-aye, Your Highnicus." the archer replied, saluting with his right hand. "Compliance." Gameboy responded. Duke barked in agreement. The others went to the warp to Megaland. Lana opened the door, and Kevin jumped through, followed by Lana, Mega Man, and Simon.
The four of them exited the warp and ended up right outside Skull Castle. They all looked up at the tall building. "How do we get in?" Lana asked. "Same way I do in the games." Kevin said, looking at her. He drew his Zapper. "We fight our way in!" Lana drew her Zapper. Simon got the rifle ready. The four N Team members then walked up to the castle. Some small robots attacked them, but Mega Man took care of them all. Eventually, they came to a door. Mega Man touched it, it opened, and they walked inside.
"Perfect!" Dr. Wily said as he watched the N Team enter the castle on a monitor. "They're heading right into my trap!" Mike was standing right behind the evil scientist. He was secretly rooting for the N Team.
They were walking down a long corridor, with Mega Man in the lead. All that attacked them were some Mets and Bladers. Mega Man shot them all, so the others wouldn't have to waste their power. They were saving it for the Robot Masters they were sure they were gonna meet soon. Mega Man did collect all the energy crystals he could, however, so they could be used later to power up the others' weapons when they ran out of juice. Simon put them all in his backpack.
The N Team members walked up to a door. Mega Man touched it, it went up, and they went inside. They found themselves in a long corridor. They started to walk forward, when a Robot Master came out of an adjacent corridor and took them by surprise. "Bomb Man!" Mega Man yelled. The two of them immediately began to fight. While that was going on, Guts Man came into the corridor. "Guts Man!" Simon yelled. Another Robot Master followed. "Cuts Man!" Lana added. Elec Man followed. "Oh, man!" Kevin yelled, not realizing his joke. Mega Man defeated Bomb Man, taking only a few hits himself. Kevin turned to the others. "I'll handle Elec Man. Simon, Guts Man. Lana, Cuts Man." "Right!" the Princess and the vampire hunter agreed, nodding. Kevin and Elec Man immediately went at it. Lana and Cuts Man fought each other. Simon and Guts Man were trading shots also. Just then, Ice Man and Fire Man walked in on the fight. "Great!" Mega Man groaned, and began fighting both Robot Masters at once. Lana was dodging Cuts Man's blade simply by running and ducking. She didn't want to waste her power on her Power Pad. Every time she moved, and knew she had a good opportunity, she began firing at the Robot Master repeatedly. Kevin was using his Power Pad to dodge Elec Man's blasts. He was firing at the Robot Master when he was hit by one of the robot's electric blasts. "Aaaahhh!" Kevin yelled, falling to the floor. Lana defeated Cuts Man. Kevin was backing away from Elec Man, who was walking up to him slowly and ready to kill the Game Master. Elec Man was defeated by a laser blast. Kevin looked up and smiled. "Thanks!" "No problem!" Lana said cheerfully, and helped Kevin to his feet. The two of them looked at Mega Man, who was still doing battle with Ice Man and Fire Man. With one shot each, the teenagers defeated the Robot Masters. Kevin, Lana, and Mega Man looked at Simon as he defeated Guts Man. When the four of them were all together again, Kevin, Lana, and Simon used some of the energy crystals Mega Man had collected to bring their weapons back up to full power. Kevin looked at Mega Man. "Where to, Mega Man?" Mega Man looked towards the end of the corridor. "Over there. I think we turn right." So, they all headed in that direction. When they turned right, two more Robot Masters were waiting for them. "Metal Man!" Mega Man yelled. "Wood Man!" Simon added. Mega Man and Metal Man started fighting, while Simon handled Wood Man. Two more Robot Masters walked into the corridor. "Flash Man!" Kevin yelled. "Crash Man!" Lana rhymed. The two friends looked at each other and smiled. The Robot Masters came at them, and Lana fought Crash Man, while Kevin fought Flash Man. Mega Man was hit by one of Metal Man's metal discs. Simon stopped fighting Wood Man to help the little robot. He pulled Mega Man to his feet while shooting at Metal Man. Wood Man used the opportunity to fire at Lana. Lana saw the attack coming and fired at Wood Man, destroying him. She then turned back to fight Crash Man. Meanwhile, Simon and Mega Man had worked together to defeat Metal Man. Kevin and Lana had defeated the two robots they were fighting. They and Simon brought their weapons back up to full power using the energy crystals. Heat Man and Air Man came into the corridor. Simon fought Heat Man, while Mega Man handled Air Man. Bubble Man and Quick Man walked in on the battle. "I'll handle Quick Man." Kevin told Lana. Lana nodded. "Right. I'll handle Bubble Man." The two teenagers began to fight the Robot Masters. "Aaahhhh, my hair!" Simon yelled as he ducked down, frantically patting out the fire with his left hand. He pulled out his mirror and looked at his reflection. His hair was now flat and had black burn marks in it. "That does it!" he yelled angrily, standing up straight. With a fury, he fired at and defeated Heat Man. Mega Man defeated Air Man, and then assisted Lana with Bubble Man. Lana got in the final, destructive shot. She turned to Mega Man. "Thanks!" Mega Man nodded, and then he, Lana, and Simon watched as Kevin defeated Quick Man. When the four of them regrouped, Kevin, Lana, and Simon repowered their weapons. Kevin looked at Mega Man and asked: "Okay, where do we go now?" Mega Man looked down the corridor. There was a door at the end. "I think that door leads to Wily's lab." Kevin smiled. "Then let's go knock and see if anybody's home!" The four of them walked up to the door. Mega Man touched it, it opened, and they went into the room. The door closed behind them. Kevin and Lana turned to look at it for a moment, frightened. Then they turned back to face Dr. Wily and Mike. "So, you've made it this far, huh?" Dr. Wily asked. "All to rescue Mike?" "We know it's a trick, Wily! Mike let us know!" Kevin revealed to the evil scientist. Dr. Wily looked to his left to face Mike. "You traitor!" he yelled angrily, standing up. He pulled a laser gun out of his right lab coat pocket and was about to fire at Mike. A laser beam knocked the gun out of his hand. Dr. Wily turned in the direction it came from and saw Kevin pointing his Zapper at him. "How would you like to go for a third round?" the evil scientist asked. The N Team members heard a door open. They turned to see Top Man walk in. "Great!" Kevin said. "I've never played this game back home, and I've only fought these guys once here!" The Game Master went up and started to do battle with the Robot Master. Then, Shadow Man walked into the lab, followed by Magnet Man, Gemini Man, Hard Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, and Needle Man. "Great!" Mega Man yelled sarcastically. "More of Dr. Wily's newest Robot Masters!" "And all at once!" Lana added, frightened. "I'll handle Shadow Man and Spark Man." Mega Man said. "Princess, Hard Man and Snake Man. Simon, Needle Man - " "And I'll handle Magnet Man and Gemini Man." Lana, Simon, and Mega Man turned. "That is, if you want my help." Mike added. Lana smiled, then nodded. Mike walked over to them. Mega Man, Lana, and Simon ran into battle, and Mike drew his Zapper and joined them. Mega Man was the first to defeat his chosen Robot Masters. Lana used up the last of her power, but had only defeated Hard Man. Mega Man ran over and started shooting the Search Snakes Snake Man was sending at Lana, and then he defeated the Robot Master. Simon hadn't defeated Needle Man before he ran out of power. Mega Man ran over and defeated the Robot Master. Mike had defeated Magnet Man and Gemini Man, then ran over to Kevin, who was still fighting Top Man. "Need some help?" Mike asked, smiling. Kevin smiled. "Sure!" Kevin ran out of power, and Mike defeated the Robot Master for him. "Thanks!" Kevin said sincerely. Mike smiled at him. They all regrouped, and Kevin, Lana, Simon, and Mike used the last of the energy crystals to repower their weapons. Then Kevin looked over Mike's shoulder and saw Dr. Wily grab his laser gun off the floor and point it at Mike. "Mike, look out!" Kevin pushed Mike down to the floor, landing on top of him. The beam flew over them. Mike rolled out from underneath Kevin, then turned and shot Dr. Wily. The scientist fell to the floor, unconscious. Mike got up and ran over to a machine. Kevin and Lana recognized it. It was Dr. Wily's new Warp Zone Shifter. "I'm outta here!" Mike yelled. He activated the machine and opened the doors of the chamber that he had appeared in when he was brought to Videoland. A swirling blue warp appeared. Mike ran through it. For a long moment, everybody just stood where they were, watching the warp. "Close it." Kevin told Mega Man. "We don't want anyone from the other side coming through." "Aye-aye, Captain N." Mega Man said, and walked over to the control panel. "And check the coordinates for the warp." Kevin added. "I wanna know where he went." "Roger." Mega Man added. He closed the warp, then he read the map on the screen on the panel. "According to this, he warped back into his bedroom." "So, what do we do?" Lana asked. Kevin thought for a moment. He looked over at Dr. Wily, still lying unconscious on the lab floor. Then he turned to face Simon. "Simon, tie him up. We don't want him to escape." "Yeah, right, like he'll really try with me watching him!" Simon laughed. "Simon," Lana said, shaking her head, "this is no time for boasting. Shut up and do what he says." Simon nodded and placed Lana's laser rifle on the control panel. He then went over to Dr. Wily. He knelt down on the floor next to the scientist and pulled a rope out of his backpack. While Simon was tying Dr. Wily up, Kevin looked at Lana. "I'm going after him." "What?!" Lana asked, even though she had a feeling that's what Kevin was planning. "Kevin, your memory will be erased!" "I don't think so, Lana." Kevin said, shaking his head. "Remember back in 1989 when I suggested we go back to my world? You replied 'some other time'. In fact, you didn't mention the memory erasure until - " "All right, all right, I lied!" Lana admitted. "Why?" Kevin asked. "I wanted you to stay with me!" Lana said. "Kevin, I'm sorry! I just didn't want you to ever leave, and I thought by telling you you'd forget everything, - " " - I'd stay." Kevin finished. Lana nodded. "Yeah. I'm really sorry I lied to you." Kevin smiled. "I forgive you. Now, I have to go back." Lana nodded. "Right. If Mike tells anyone about Videoland, who knows what will happen?!" Simon rejoined them, smiling. "All tied up!" Kevin nodded, smiling. "Good job, Simon!" He looked back at Lana. "Well,...here I go." Then the two of them hugged. "Good luck, Kevin!" Lana cried. The two of them stared at each other for a moment, and then kissed. "Oh, please!" Simon said, turning away in annoyance. They let go of each other. Kevin turned to face Mega Man. "Open the warp." He started to walk towards the chamber. Lana walked up and placed her left hand on his left shoulder. "Kevin, wait." Kevin stopped and turned around to face her. Lana turned to face Mega Man. "Mega Man, contact Princess Zelda on Hyrule." Mega Man nodded. "Okay." Kevin had no idea why Lana wanted to talk with Zelda right now. A few seconds later, Princess Zelda appeared on a monitor, with Link standing to her left. "Lana, hi!" Zelda greeted cheerfully. Lana smiled. "Hi, Zelda!" "What can I do for you?" Zelda asked. "Need us to slay some monsters for you?!" Link joked. Lana laughed and shook her head. "No. Actually, I need to ask you a big favor." "Name it." Zelda said. "I need you to take over for me as Ruler of Videoland." This took everybody by surprise. "What?!" Zelda asked. "Just temporarily." Lana added to eliminate any misunderstandings. "For what reason?" Zelda asked. "I'm taking a little trip." Lana answered, then shook her head. "I don't know when I'll be back." Zelda smiled and nodded. "All right." Lana smiled. "Great! Tie up whatever unfinished business you have on Hyrule and appoint a temporary ruler. Then report to the Palace." Zelda nodded. "Understood." "I still would rather slay monsters!" Link complained. Lana laughed. "Report to the Palace for guard duty. You can help Kid Icarus, Duke, and Gameboy." "Great!" Link said happily, then nodded. "Good luck, you two!" "Good luck!" Zelda repeated, nodding also. "Thanks!" Lana said. Zelda smiled once more, then ended the transmission. Kevin looked at Simon. "Stay here and look after Dr. Wily, Simon." Simon nodded. "Good luck." Kevin nodded. Lana turned to face Kevin. "Where do you think we should arrive, Kevin?" Kevin thought for a moment, then walked over to the control panel. "I'm setting the coordinates for about ten miles away from my house." He turned to face Lana, smiling. "So I can give you a little tour." Lana smiled. Kevin turned to face Mega Man. "Open the warp at the same coordinates at 8:30 PM a week from next Monday. We'll be waiting." Mega Man nodded. "Why so long?" Lana asked. Kevin turned to face her and smiled. "Hey, this isn't all business! I wanna have some fun, too!" Lana grinned, then turned to face Mega Man. "Open the warp, Mega Man." "Yes, Your Highness." "It's just Lana for a while." she reminded him. "Yes, Lana." Mega Man corrected. Kevin and Lana looked at the chamber and saw the warp open. Kevin looked at Lana. "Ready?" he asked, nodding. Lana looked to her right to face Kevin. "Ready." They joined hands. The two of them looked over their shoulders at their friends one last time, then they looked straight ahead and ran through the warp.
They exited the warp as they had so many others. It closed behind them. At first, Kevin didn't recognize the difference. Lana did, however. She felt like screaming, but held it in. Because Kevin had lived on Earth for fifteen years, he was so used to what he now saw, that at first he didn't think anything of it. After a few moments, however, he realized what had changed. They were no longer animated. Kevin looked at his hands, then his arms, then his jeans, and finally his sneakers. He looked just the way he did before he came to Videoland, except now he was a few years older. The two of them were, as people on Earth say, 'live-action'. Lana was busy looking at herself. She was still amazed, and the initial shock still hadn't worn off yet. She looked up at Kevin. That made her even more amazed. He was so handsome. Kevin was looking at Lana. She was absolutely breathtaking. They stared at each other for a long moment. Finally, Kevin managed to speak. "Welcome to Earth. I'm Kevin Keene." "I'm in love." Lana said, then blushed. "Uh, I mean, I'm Lana." They both laughed. Kevin shook his head in amazement. "Wow, you look fantastic!" Lana shook her head as well. "You, too!" And then they kissed. It felt different this time. It was a lot better. More enjoyable. After fifteen seconds, they let go of each other. Kevin and Lana looked at their surroundings. Lana looked at Kevin. "An alley?" Kevin nodded. "Yeah, I didn't want anyone to see the warp." Lana nodded. "So, where to?"