My initial foray into Tennis Kingdom having been thwarted by roving tennis rapists, I took some time to lick my wounds before venturing out into the wilderness again. Clearly, I had a lot of practicing to do before I could even consider taking down the Evil Tennis King. In my heart, I wasn’t even sure why I was trying to take him down. For all I knew, he was just taking his rightful turn at the rotational constitutional throne of Tennis Kingdom. Why should I, STEV, do the bidding of “a” deposed Tennis King? I had no stake in this battle!
But enough. I am the prophesied one. Heroes do not doubt, and doubt of any kind can be ended in action alone. It was time to prepare a battle plan. As I sat in my home, concocting my strategy, I remembered the words of a particular Chicago yuppie who was kind enough to offer me advice when I walked into his home uninvited:
EUREKA. If I couldn’t beat them with my talent, I’d simply outspend them. If years of Nike commercials have taught me anything, it’s that talent is just a paycheck away. I’d just scare those tennis rapists away with flashy clothes! While my losses far exceeded my wins, I’d amassed some cash – “a” Tennis King had been kind enough to give me cab fare every time I Iost.
It would have probably been more helpful if he’d given me full access to the Tennis Kingdom treasury. He HAD asked me to save his kingdom, after all… but hey, haggling wasn’t an option. It was time to hit the shops.
No, he couldn’t. As any RPG player worth his salt knows, “E” stands for equipped. I already had all this junk. While I’d amassed a princely sum of $9,200 Tennis Coronas, it looked like my plan to spend my way to the top wasn’t getting off the ground in Chicago. I’d have to venture out and find another shop.
I commenced the arduous trek east from Chicago, fending off every feral scumbag in a polo shirt that dared to stand in my way (actual record: 5-8), into what I assume was the desolate remains of the Appalachian Mountains.
Before long, I stumbled across a humble settlement. What could this be? Baltimore? Philadelphia? What horrible fate had befallen the Eastern Seaboard in the tennispocalypse?
Dear God, no. How could this be? I’d somehow crossed what was once the Atlantic Ocean and made my way to the city of lights, only to find it occupied by a race of tennis playing cro-mags. Or… was this a Pangaea situation? Had the whole world become unstuck in time, transplanting modern towns into a pre-divide land mass? WHAT TRICKERY WAS THIS, EVIL TENNIS KING?
But the time for questions had passed. I was in too deep, and the only way out was through. It was time to see what was left of Paris. Paris was quite larger than Chicago, spanning several screens – perhaps it had been spared the full wrath of the Evil Tennis King. It had no less than 10 houses. I prayed that its inhabitants would be more helpful than the residents of Chicago.
I sought to save them, but they spoke in riddles….
and pointless declarative statements. Clearly something was rotten in the former France. That being said, at least two Parisian zombies offered some useful information.
This disturbingly ecstatic gentleman divulged the location of a tennis court. While I was perplexed as to why you would need a tennis court in a land where they can seemingly materialize out of thin air, I was certain I would have to explore this.
But I didn’t come to Paris to chat. I came to Paris to shop. What did the local pro shop have to offer?
This inventory looked suspiciously familiar… oh God, could it be that “E” didn’t mean “equipped,” but…
My conscience forbids me from reiterating the stream of expletives that sprung forth from my mouth upon discovering that I’d spent four hours of my life fighting off the tennis hordes with grade “F” gear. IS THIS ENTIRE KINGDOM CONSPIRING AGAINST ME?
Putting my rage at the world aside, I ponied up the cash for some “D” ranked gear, confident that this would only help my quest. I then put my controller down and took a rest, vowing to return again. I would not be broken by this clumsy user interface! Because, after all, as a lobotomized Parisian once told me…
NEXT TIME: WESTWARD, HO!