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Monday, July 16, 2012

NES Replay: 720

720 Title Screen
Developer: Atari
Publisher: Atari
Released: 1989
Wait, Is The Guy On The Title Screen Naked: Yes
In NES Replay, we go through each NES game from A-Z to see if they're any good. Today: 720.

720 is very boring. Here's a story based on it instead.

I awake in a barren hellscape. I am all alone, inexplicably attached to a skateboard.

Nothing is around me for miles, and yet I have a smile plastered to my face. Did I wish for this? Was this what I wanted all along? Only me and my skateboard know.

I roll forward and see a blue patch in front of me. Is that water? I fall into it accidentally. It must be. I stand next to the water and accidentally fall in again. Then again. Perhaps I need this water to feel alive. Perhaps I am just clumsy.

I skate around and see another survivor. She is horribly mutated, and periodically flings a frisbee to no one in particular. She does not acknowledge my presence. I would not expect her to. Ghosts do not speak to one another.
720 Screenshot
Those horrible, dead eyes.

After a fashion, strange letters appear above my head. I squint to read them and discover, to my alarm, that they say "Skate or Die." I realize, with a start, that while my soul may be dead, my body is very much alive.

I scramble around, desperately doing tricks in an attempt to stave off my imminent demise, when I see a horde of insects approach me. Suddenly, they knock me to the ground, and I see no more, nothing but the blackness of eternal sleep, and my consciousness ebbs beyond the veil of time.

I awake with a start, in the same place as before. I curse my rotten luck at having been trapped here. What was once a boon has become a curse, and the desolate streets begin to drain my very soul.

Again I meander throughout the city streets, only interrupted by cars driven by no one that speed past in a frenzy, going nowhere. Again, I am threatened to "Skate or Die," and again, I am killed.

Once again, I awaken, but my breath comes in quick rasps. Death becomes no easier when it happens frequently.

I finally find a gentleman who will speak to me, yet all he offers is a temporary respite from my plight. He allows me to roll down a long ramp. I take him up on the offer, and he gives me money at the conclusion of it. This must be the new economy of my world: Tricks for money. I smile at the irony that the world's oldest profession has so much in common with the newest one.

I find another location with a half-pipe, which I have no idea how to use, and another that has a slalom course that it difficult to control. I leave those locations, flush with cash, looking for a new challenge.

Suddenly, I am startled again by the ominous threat: Skate or Die. I scramble for an exit, a new location to ply my skills. I find a map that directs me to a new place of tricks and speed my way there.

I cannot find it.

I search high and low, my pulse quickening. There are no exits from this world, save the one created for me by the rampaging insects that will carry me to my doom.

In the distance, I spy them, bearing down on me. I have had a good run, and one less person in this world shall not make a difference. I raise my arms, breathe deeply and welcome my impending demise. Then, I see no more.

720 Screenshot 2
The sweet embrace of death.
Final Rating:


Next week: 8 Eyes