Game Market 1983 - Chapter 31
Despite being a high priest with a relatively low defense, Katrina was a major contribution to the battles for having the ability to heal allies. Losing her at stage 15 was akin to forfeiting any further opportunity to turn the tables over in future stages.
Having lost such an important unit, Mr. Shigeru fell into a panicked state, and totally lost his cool, which resulted in his defeat against the black dragon at stage 18.
“D-Damn it… is this my limit…”
This event lasted from 9 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening, and, of the 100 players, only 11 players — including me — remained, most were tackling stage 20. Much to my surprise, a sole female player persevered amongst the ranks of the surviving players.
“Ahh~ how ruthless. There are now only 11 players left who are still in the game. Ah-! I stand corrected… Two players met their ‘Game Overs’ just as I said that! Now it has come down to 9 people!! This is a crucial moment, everyone~!!”
Mr. Junpei, who had met ‘Game Over’ at the 19th stage, was now focusing his full attention on boosting the morale of the remaining players. The game grew difficult for me as well; so much so that I almost let out a curse when I began stage 21.
‘Even though it’s a level I designed myself, this is still rather extreme.’
On the front line, facing the boss was the main protagonist, who had a high critical striking power, and a knight that served as the tank. Behind them was Katrina, who acted as the last line of defense, playing her role to keep the team away from the grasps of death itself.
Archers whose ‘eyesight range’ were leveled up served as long-range snipers in an area ten squares from the front line to assist in the crew, and characters whose levels were high enough helped the hero’s party to take care of the enemy cannon fodder.
“Exactly when will this game end? Based on the data from the 100 players, we predicted that stage 20 would be the final stage. But right now, we’re already past 23!
“The time is far past 9 p.m, but not a single player has left yet, and they are all watching the gameplay with much anticipation. The Demon King has finally shown himself at stage 24!! And the number of the players left is five, two of whom haven’t gotten a single character killed!
“They are, respectively, Mintendo’s employee, the Korean, Kang Junhyuk, and the beautiful gamer Ms. Yuki. One of them will definitely see the game to its end~!!”
At stage 21… The Demon King is defeated. This stage was even harder than the final stage, stage 25. The reason for that was…
“Ah!! Finally!! The Demon King is defeated!! Player Satoshi has defeated the Demon King for the first time with his team~!!”
The moment the defeat of the Demon King was announced, the audience all flocked over to Mr. Satoshi. Additionally, much to the surprise of the celebrating spectators who thought that there actually was an end to this game, a miraculous thing happened. At that moment, a message window popped up on the screen along with the prophecy of the Nether God.
“Ne-Nether God? Is this really happening? Oh dear!!!”
As the surroundings quieted down, the Nether God that had been unleashed from the body of the Demon King dealt fatal damage to all of the characters.
Mr. Satoshi had immediately lost his entire team without having a clue as to what had just happened. Subsequently, from one magic spell of the Nether God, a red “GAME OVER” notice popped up on the screen.
Boom!! Mr. Satoshi who had just gotten hit behind his head by the level’s design threw his game pad onto the ground. Thanks to his sacrifice, other players knew to let their characters stand far away from the Demon King just before it died.
I also used the optimal distance to position my two archers to defeat the Demon King so I didn’t lose even one character from the Nether God.
The Nether God who had inflicted damage onto the hero’s team left a prophecy as he faded away, and the plot of the Dragon Emblem was heading towards its climax.
“Phew… I’m tired…”
Only 2 people, Ms. Yuki and I, had passed through stage 23 safely. But Ms. Yuki had also lost one archer, mage, and tank in the process, so before challenging the 24th stage, she prepared herself for the worst that is to come.
The event host also made the screen bigger by broadcasting the gameplay using a giant projector so the gamers who were eliminated could view it better. The video quality was awful, but the players said that it was better than nothing, letting out a fantastic cheer.
“Now~ we are almost finished. Mr. Kang and Ms. Yuki, You two are the only ones remaining from the 100, this places a huge pressure on you guys.”
“Go~!! Show us the destruction of this game!!”
Along with the cheers from various places, I met Ms. Yuki’s sight and nodded my head, and I challenged stage 24. The Nether God arc spanned stages 24 and 25. Despite it being only two stages, given the loss of Ms. Yuki’s key fighting force, she was under immense pressure from the enemy, and she was fighting a difficult battle.
On the contrary, with the maxed archers I used to to deal with the last stage, I easily brushed off the incoming wave of enemies. In the end, Mr. Yuki only had one archer unit left; she had to concede after the enemy started pouring in from the hole in her defense.
“Ah… Ms. Yuki has fallen at stage 24. She is understandably letting out the tears of her soul. Who does the developer of this game think he is to make tears fall out of a beautiful woman~!!?”
That, is he saying that for me to hear…? I smirked at the silly analysis of Junpei, and I focused my attention back on the game. At that moment, Ms. Yuki who had finished retouching her makeup came over to me.
“You must persevere till the end…”
I calmly stopped the advancing enemies one by one until only the black Demon King was left. After that, I led the characters in the hero’s team, who were fully maxed out, to surround the Nether God, and I started attacking from all sides. All the spectators were letting out cold sweat watching my each and every move. At the last stage of 25… The Nether God attempted to use a clone of himself against the hero just when he tried to finish it once and for all.
At that moment, Katrina, whom Mr Shigeru had adored so much, and Mariah, the mage, stood in front of the Nether God, and the game paused. I beamed within my mind as one message popped up.
–Katrina and Mariah… who will you sacrifice to protect the hero–
“Fuck!! No way!!”
“Argghhh!!! This fucking developer’s a son of a dog!!!”
The players who were gathered inside the event were frantic. Yes… It was necessary to sacrifice one female character no matter what, to clear this game. The most skillful cleric who was in charge of healing her allies and the most powerful mage… A system that only allowed advancement to stage 25 with a sacrifice of one of these beauties, and I was the only player that could currently challenge stage 25.
“Kurgghhh… Now~!!!! This is truly a nefarious story!! A choice between the best cleric and the best mage… We have to choose now. Everyone~!! What kind of a developer would force an option like this. Really, whoever made this game is a damned bastard~!!”
The ultimatum that I had implemented was receiving all kinds of hate and criticism from the players. But the swearing was oddly very pleasant to hear… It represented how much the players had resonated with the two characters who had gone through many tribulations with the hero and how reluctant they were to give up either one.
Facing the ultimatum, an interesting thing happened inside the event venue. A vote was opened for who would be sacrificed between the two. As the players were discussing amongst themselves, I took that time to get a drink for myself, taking a rest. Then, Mr. Shige approached me, and he said.
“Save Katrina. Please Junhyuk. You can’t let her die… I’m telling you, you definitely need a healer in the last stage?”
“Mr. Shige… this is just a game. Why are you being so serious…?”
Mr. Shige, as if his emotions were truly unchained, had tears glistening in his eyes, and he was begging me. At this moment, Junpei also smoothly approached me, opened his mouth, and he said, “A true man should have a future with the sexy mage. Why bother with healing or peeling? Just dominate everything with her magic~ I’m voting for Mariah, Junhyuk.”
“Haha, is that so?”
“Ah, I’m telling you to save Katrina!!!”
“It’s Mariah that should be saved!!!”
All hell has broken loose. At that moment, Ms. Yuki who had played by my side until the last moment, approached me as well.
“Junhyuk…? Is it okay if I call you Junhyuk?”
“Yes, call me however you please~”
“From what I think, the next stage should be the final stage; you should save a character who is useful in combat, so you can clear it.”
The auditorium quieted in response to her words. That’s right. The important thing was to clear the game. These players who had watched my gameplay of Dragon Emblem would definitely be able to clear the game the next time around. In response, the players in the auditorium cheered for me, and they let me make the final choice.
“While the players have voted with a ratio of 52:48 to sacrifice Mariah, we have decided to let Mr. Kang, the last surviving player, make this decision. If I had it my way, I would sacrifice a character with a dangling penis, but it’s too bad that wasn’t an option that was presented to us… Now~!! Mr. Kang, please choose~!! Who will you sacrifice~?!”
After taking a cautious gulp, and looking one last time at the players around me, I selected Katrina to be sacrificed in the end. The atmosphere called for a more calm and reserved lady than a sexy one, so I picked her, after much contemplation, aiming to give the most respect to the players present.
As Mr. Shige let out a desolate wail, Katrina had perished from taking the attack of the Nether God to save the hero. The hero hugged the corpse of Katrina, and he gained the Champion of Light buff, before the confrontation against the Demon King began.
The fun thing here was that the ending changes depending on which character was selected as the sacrifice. If I had sacrificed Mariah instead, the hero would have turned into a Champion of Thunder and Lightning instead. What if both of them were dead by stage 24? Then there would be no buffs given to the hero. Accordingly, beating the final stage would become that much harder, and, even if one was lucky enough to clear the game, no ending animations would be displayed.
“Woah… The hero is raging mad. He has a tremendous attack power. “
As the hero exuded a blue aura around his body, unleashing a sword aura move, the players started exclaiming in excitement. The combined elements of special moves, transformations, and combination attacks had the peculiar effect of driving men of this era crazy… No… Actually, the men of the 21st century were no different from them either…