I could’ve sworn I posted this already, but I guess it didn’t go through. It really pisses me off because I wrote this whole thing about… You know what, fuck it. I’m too lazy to try and rewrite that shit. Here’s the Prologue.
In a world where video games were becoming more and more complex, ironically, there were still plenty of people who were willing to pay money for two-dimensional pixelated ‘Indie’ side-scrollers. There were also cheapskates who would rather play free fan-made continuations of console and hand-held games that just never made it onto the PC.
Michael Cinagra was one of those people.
“Fucking bullshit! How the fuck is this goddamn turtle so fucking fast?!”
After playing the game almost non-stop for 27 hours, his emotional state was reasonably unstable. Of course, it didn’t help that “Cachimon Eternal” was designed to be… Fairly challenging, especially compared to the original and official Cachimon game series. What it lacked in fancy graphics and online capabilities, it more than made up for in seemingly endless storylines, puzzles, side quests, battles and most importantly, ‘Yokai’ or ‘Akuma’ to collect. Though translated into the mainstream English version: ‘Demons’.
It was a game about obsessive-compulsively hunting down, capturing and training demonic monstrosities, in the hopes of ultimately using those demonic slaves to defeat other Tamers. Although it was designed for children, and the creatures were mostly cute little mutated animals and anthropomorphic furniture, the backstory was far darker.
Some of the adorable little kitten demons were actual cats that were sacrificed in some ancient ritual. For that matter, there were humanoid baby ghosts, that were the souls of unborn ‘human’ children. Aside from that, there were no longer any ‘normal’ animals in Cachimon, only plants and seemingly microorganisms or other unseen, conventional lifeforms. Thus, in order to survive in the wild, it was shown in the original Manga that the Cachimon did in fact have their own ecosystem. There were carnivores and herbivores, while even the plant-eaters might be consuming the various sentient Nature Element organisms.
It was also shown in the Anime adaptation more than a few times, that the main characters were eating ‘meat’. Unless that belonged to humans, it was definitely some form of Cachimon. Much was left to the imagination. And while children are often naive enough to take things at face value, adults who grew up playing the games, tended to understand the more mature undertones.
A good example was the game that Michael was currently playing. Rather than the beautiful, scenic cities and countrysides of the official games, this one took place mainly in a crumbling metropolis called Eternal City. It was beautiful once, but like so many places in reality, it was eventually ruined by crime, pollution, terrorism, war, famine, plagues and pretty much every other human or natural disaster imaginable. Thus, that ancient and enormous city was split into a dozen or so pieces, and the Player runs around, trying to fix it. There are evil cults, terrorists, rapists, smugglers, slavers, drug addicts and extremely dangerous Demons that the Player actually ends up killing, rather than just beating them in a Catchimon Match.
The core gameplay was relatively untouched though. Just far more tactically and strategically challenging. It was an RPG in the sense that the Cachimon would have levels and statistics that incrementally grew higher as they defeated more enemies, gaining quantifiable experience. On the other hand, the Player would be limited in their ability to control their Demons, unless they defeated the various Tamer Masters scattered across the current Country of Terra Demonica. Of course, it was also childishly called ‘Cachimon World’ in the English translations of the Japanese Anime.
Canonically, Terra Demonica was more technologically advanced than the Earth that Michael lived on… In a lot of ways, it was more culturally evolved as well, in the sense that they hadn’t had any major wars in centuries. The closest thing would be the occasional cults that sprung up, worshipping various ‘Divine’ Demons. Beings powerful enough to alter the fabric of reality on a whim… Which the Player in the story would eventually be able to capture and collect, just that it would require a lot more time and effort than usual. That was a big part of the end-game after all.
However, the fan-made Cachimon game that Michael was playing, didn’t have any Divine Demons available to capture. They were there as events or quest bosses, but in order to make the game more challenging, the current version hadn’t gotten that far yet.
For that matter, Michael was already at level-65 and still couldn’t access a lot of the ‘more powerful’ creatures in the game. A lot of which, most people wouldn’t even bother with in the official games, since there were far more powerful Demons out there. With much greater potentials… Dragons, behemoths, sinister mechanical monstrosities and insidious pseudo-legendary Demons. All of which were often used by the enemies, while Michael struggled with a team full of cute, adorable little mutated puppies and kittens.
It was no wonder that even the slowest Demons were still able to out maneuver his useless team. Still, he made it so far with an iron will and unbreakable determination!
“Fuck this shit! I quit! I don’t care anymore! I’m gonna jerk off and go to sleep!” The half-naked man shouted as he exited the game. He was very well-practiced by now, since he had made it a habit of saving continuously, even before some random trashmob challenged him. If things were going badly, he would quit and retry until he won. He also had to have open several windows on his browser in order to keep track of the Elemental Strengths and Weaknesses, along with various other data.
Honestly, the only reason he managed to beat most of the challenging Bosses and Master Tamers was… Through suicidal and unreasonable tactics. Sometimes he would create a full team that had instant-kill moves, with low probabilities, and then just keep reloading and retrying until they finally worked enough to beat the whole enemy team. Generally though, he relied on at least half a team to directly counter specific enemies, then a Robotic Tiger that could self-destruct and a Banshee Parrot that would issue a death-cry… Killing everything on the field, including the ghostly bird.
Fortunately, death wasn’t very permanent for ‘tamed’ Demons, and though it was expensive, Michael always had a huge stock of resurrection potions. After battles, even the ‘dead’ Demons would come back to life and start healing to full health as time passed. Since it was a very ‘old school’ game though, time depended on steps and various other factors, rather than the actual time that passed.
So long as the Tamer survives, the Demons are functionally immortal. Hence why so many of them choose to follow humans, especially young children. Under most circumstances, the stronger Cachimon were either ageless or lived much longer than their Tamers, so they would be passed down through a family line for generations. Acting as a guardian ‘deity’ of sorts, though they were rarely anywhere near the power of the Divine Demons.
In fact, the Nine Elemental Deities had each created their own Planes of Existence within the game series. Aside from the synthetic human-made monstrosities that occasionally popped up, most of the Demons originated from those ‘eight’ magical worlds. While the most powerful Cachimon of them all, Eternity, supposedly created the planet itself or perhaps the entire universe. Compared to the creatures that could be caught and interacted with, Eternity was simply too abstruse and godlike for human comprehension.
After all, who could truly fathom God?
Except perhaps… An author. One who was suffering from writer’s block for a while now, and was easily addicted to binge reading, watching and gaming.
There was one phrase in the ancient Eternal Scriptures that stood out among all the others: “The meaning of life is entertainment.”
It was the only sentence that wasn’t simply gibberish. And it was practically Michael Cinagra’s motto. Of course, everyone has a limit. A breaking point.
“Fuck… I really should go the fuck to sleep…”
Michael was 26 years old. Fairly young for a human lifespan, but he had been awake for 40 hours straight. This wasn’t the longest he had ever stayed awake, however, that didn’t really matter.
When he tried to stand up out of his chair, he tripped over a hole in one of the floor tiles and blacked out before he even hit the ground…
Yes, this is going to be one of ‘those’ stories. After playing his 200th total hour of Cachimon Eternal, in less than 2 weeks, he definitely had this coming.