Game Market 1983 - Chapter 4
I started off light.
-Beep. Beep. BeepBeep.
However, as time went on, my fingers moved as if they were dancing. The score of 500,500 was already easily surpassed, but the problem was from 800,000 onwards. At this point, the boss and the damned clients were rapidly moving about as if they were intentionally evading the main character. However, I can’t give up here.
I’m now at 850,000. I just had to get 50,000 more points to break into first place!!
-BeepBeeeeBeep. BeepBeepBeep. BeepBeep. BeepBeeeeBeep. BeepBeepBeep.
Have I ever focused on a game as much as now in my life? I was dying with curiosity to know what would happen if I got 1st place on this out-of-the-world game that gave you money in real life. Next to the 1st place ranking on the leaderboard was a picture of a crown, but the seemingly trivial crown had me going crazy with the desire to obtain it.
No way. Absolutely not. Let’s not think of inconsequential thoughts. From this point on, a small mistake will be Game Over for me. I must move him like a machine and earn points!!
-BeepBeep. BEEP! BEEPBEEPBEEP!!
Current score 890,000. Great!! Almost there!!
I focused my whole attention on the game like crazy while forgetting to even blink. It’s been a long while since I lost all feeling in my fingers, but I can’t give up here. If I stop, I will have to start from the beginning!!
This son of a bitch boss!! Where the hell are you!!!
This psycho of a buyer, you’re not arriving on time!! ARGHHHH!!
I cleared it… Yes I did it.
A score of 902,000… Yes, I’m in first place!! But, I can’t be satisfied here. I’ll take this all the way and get the maximum score of 999,999!!
After I overtook first place, my fingers didn’t stop. I’m now at the point where I forget to breathe. I didn’t even know if I’m hitting the right buttons. At that moment, when every digit place showed a 9…
“Hm? It’s saying cleared?”
There was such a thing as clearing a game on a Game & Watch? Whatever~
I pressed my body onto the sofa and let out a long sigh.
“I cleared it. It’s over…”
I heard the playful sound effects of the Game & Watch and took a glance at the screen to see that fireworks were being fired in the black and white display. Haha. Looking at it like this really made it feel as if the game was over; however, if the game is cleared, does that mean the salary isn’t coming in anymore? Now that I think about it, I haven’t thought about this at all!?
“Uh… 200 billion Won is enough to last me a lifetime and have plenty left over…”
Adding 100,000 more to that would make no difference. Anyways, the satisfaction from clearing this game is enough. As I looked at the display screen with a content smile, suddenly something weird happened.
That was right. The black and white LCD display that indicated the stop animation technology was completely switched to a color display.
“What is this? Is there something more left?”
Suddenly, a box of text appeared on top of the pure white screen.
[Please choose a year that you want to travel to]
The words of the arcade shop owner came into my mind as I saw the words.
“Young man… if you could go back in time, what period would you like to be in?”
Could the meaning of that conversation possibly be referring to this?
I quickly changed the blinking year text that was displayed on the screen. The very first year was 1983. That was when the fall of Atari began to start. It was ironic that in the year 83, the downfall of Atari, that was the leading figure of the era, marked the birth of a new hope in Japan at the same time; Mintendo invented a new family in the gaming world.
The intriguing thing was, every time I moved the dates around, the display introduced various important figures in the gaming world corresponding to the dates. There was a developer there that was still enthusiastically making games today, and there were also various figures who passed away.
From the list, I searched for Niseko Gunpei, the inventor of the Game & Watch in my hands. At that moment, as I unconsciously thought of how the Mintendo 3GS worked and touched the bottom screen, a screen filled with basic information about him came up.
“To think that it has touch recognition. The device itself turned into the latest model altogether?”
While I was using my fingers to scroll through the information page on the bottom, I discovered something interesting. That was the agenda of him in 1983. His every schedule was closely recorded along with the time in every city he went to, so if I were to go to this era this information would work as a navigator.
“If I were to use this correctly, then would I be able to meet some incredible figures?”
In actuality, if I could go back in time, then going to the Super-Family era – where the game industry was a little more secure – would have been good; however, wanting to experience the renaissance of gaming, I pressed the confirmation button to 1983 just like I told the old man.
[What country would you like to go to? Please speak into the microphone in the bottom of the screen]
I followed the instructions of the text and closely examined the bottom of the device, and I saw the small hole. Today’s gamers might not know this, but once upon a time, there was a period where mics were on the family controllers.
Although there were almost no games that utilized the mic from the family controller, I distinctly remembered that there was such a function.
After a moment, I put my mouth on the mic of the Game & Watch and tried *huff* blowing on it.
[I could not recognize what you were saying.]
It was as if I was seeing the voice system in a smartphone. I smirked and answered, “Japan.”
[What city in Japan would you like to be in?]
A city… The headquarters of Mintendo was located in Kyoto, but I couldn’t just brazenly charge into the headquarters even if I were to go to this period, could I? I had to think of someway to connect myself to them…
Then there was only one option. Let’s meet with the future executive of Mintendo by “Accident”. After taking my thinking that far, I freely answered the Game & Watch’s question.
[You set the settings to Tokyo, Japan 1983. What is your age in that time period?]
In the 1980s, Mintendo’s influence on the game industry was undisputably the highest, but, as the 90s passed by, they had to face fierce competition with Sensony’s Gear Station device. To wade through this problem, it would be best if I was younger? However, setting the age to be too young could possibly grab me by the ankles.
“21 years old, just discharged from the military.”
[Your age is set to 21 years, Japanese age. Do you agree?”]
[What is your occupation?]
No matter how big of a storm I stir up, due of Atari Shock, there wouldn’t be anyone to support me. First of all, let’s use Mintendo to network.
“A Korean, job hunting, student.”
[Please choose 2 foreign languages to learn.]
I wouldn’t have any problems living in Japan with this, right?
[Your profile is complete. Now, you will be living in 1983 as a Korean student living in Tokyo with all your current knowledge. Do you agree with the above? If you have any questions, you can ask them through the mic]
What? Wait, what should I do? Am I really traveling to the year 1983?
I was in a dilemma between the blinking YES and NO signs. At least I was not married, so there was no family to take care of; however, I thought of my parents living out in the countryside, and it was difficult to easily press the YES button.
“If I were to go to 1983, what would happen to the current me?”
[The current time would be frozen until you come back from the past. You will be faced with a choice, then.]
“A choice? What would I have to choose between?”
[You would have to choose between living the life of you that came back from the time travel to the past and the current you.]
‘Indeed, if I lived as a 23 year old in 1983 and came to the current time of 2015, my age would be 55 by the time I got back; I would be extremely old!!’
I felt a sense of dizziness and rested my temple onto my hands. What should I do? After contemplating for awhile, with the Game & Watch in front of me, I picked up my cell phone and dialed my mother. A brief ringing tone was followed by the warm voice of my mother.
“Junhyuk, is this you?”
Hearing my mother call my name with such a welcoming reaction choked me.
“You’re living well?”
“Of course~ I would be living very well if your father would stop his drinking habits.”
“Does father still drink a lot?”
“What’s the point of saying that, only my mouth would hurt.”
“He hasn’t changed.”
“But what’s the occasion? My son is calling me?”
“Actually, I quit the company last week.”
“What? Why? Was there a problem?”
“Hmm… I just wanted to try something new. I don’t know if it’s gonna go well, but I’m going to go on vacation for awhile.”
“A vacation is good. Yes, you’re 34 now, I believe you made a good decision.”
“Thank you. Mother. Ah~ If you check your account later there should be some money in there. I put in a lot this from my severance pay.”
“Really? You should have just kept it and use it for your vacation?”
“No it’s fine. Maybe because I’ve been working in the company for 15 years, they gave me quite a bit of severance pay so I think it would be enough.”
“Ok, thanks. We’re already grateful for the monthly allowance you send. Son~ Be careful on your trip and stop by home after you come back~ I’ll make something delicious…”
“It would be even better if you brought along a daughter-in-law when you come back~”
“Haha. I’ll try.”
“Alright… Have a safe trip my son…”
The warm voice of my mother that seemed to know everything caused a strand of a tear to fall. If I talked anymore, she would find out about my unstable voice, so I told her to take care of herself and ended the call.
I calmed myself down for a moment and gathered my thoughts. I would decide on my choices after I came back from the time travels then. What would the difference be after I came back from the past to the current me? what would I accomplish before coming back…?
I used my smartphone to send my mother a corresponding amount to what a severance pay would be. If I sent her too much money, she would be worried instead so I send her an ‘enough’ amount and I finally put my hand near the confirmation button of the Game & Watch.
‘Yes!! Let’s try this out. Going to the hottest moment in gaming history… A period where cell phones didn’t exist, much less smartphones, but a shining moment nonetheless. I will take a somewhat long vacation to that period…”
“Mother, father. Take care of your health while I’m away.”
After those words, I clicked the confirmation button of the Game & Watch and my view turned blindingly white. After a while, everything in my living room turned into 2D pixels; this caused a sensation as if I were in a Retro game.
“Wow… this is miraculous?”
However, this view lasted for only a moment before the blocks of pixels came flying towards me like bricks. At first, I was able to avoid one or two through certain means, but after the count kept increasing, there was no space to dodge.