The world is spinning…or at least the camera is. As it rotates, we take in all the sights and sounds of Metro’s Entertainin’, Crazy, Classic Arcade, better known as MECCA. Enthusiastic children’s hollers can be heard over the din of the beeps, chimes and whistles emitting from arcade cabinets and pinball games. Teenagers can be spotted giving their buddies a hard time, and a few are fixing their hair, aware of the rumor that sometimes girls show up here. The camera stops turning, finding and zooming in on a man wearing a black overcoat, his back to us as he finagles with a token machine. As the camera catches up to him, he turns. The dour visage of “All Business” Alex Bruder greets us, four MECCA tokens briefly in his right hand before he pockets them. He starts walking about the grounds, nonplussed by his surroundings.
“”Metro’ Vito Valentino is an arrogant, brash, hypocrite, and those are his best qualities. Given my well documented dislike for the man, you may find yourself wondering what brings the Real World’s Champion to his home away from home?”
“A man can only work out so much, review so much tape. If you want to know your opponent, a professional needs to get inside their head. And while there are any number of words you could use to describe good ol’ ‘Metro’, such as loud, obnoxious, and self-aggrandizing, I’m a professional. It’s easy to see why he likes this place so much. With all of the flashing lights and its overwhelming wall of sound, it must be like looking in a mirror for Vito.”
Alex pauses, still ambling about the premises.
“It’s clear that like Vito, this place is well taken care of. He put the work in; I’ll give him that much. And in the ring, I know he’s a fighter, and strong as an ox.”
Lost in thought, Alex stops, standing in place
“He’s wily too. Sure, he comes off about as subtle as a brick to the face, but twice now we’ve wrestled, and both times he’s taken me off my game. In the second round of the championship tournament, he appealed to my sense of fair play. He wanted a clean match, and he got it. I still locked in the Cobra Clutch and knocked his dopey ass out, but he set the terms of the bout. And a few weeks back, in a meaningless tag match, he jumped me from behind, rang my bell, illegally used the ropes for leverage, and pinned me in the middle of the ring. It wasn’t precisely the way I drew it up.”
Craning a neck, Alex seems to spot what he’s looking for, a cabinet for House of the Dead. He drops a token in and starts the game, but doesn’t bother picking up the light gun. Various screams and scratching sounds blare from the speakers, as Thomas Rogan takes damage on screen.
“This is your big moment, Vito. You’ve been running your mouth like your life depended on it, calling me a coward because I’ve moved past you. I looked for other challenges. But that didn’t work for good ol’ ‘Metro’.”
In the game, Thomas Rogan dies. Bruder drops in another token, continuing the game, but otherwise ignoring it.
“You wouldn’t shut up about it, and you got me in a tag match. But you overplayed your hand. That was a cute trick pushing off the ropes, but you should have saved it for when it mattered. It won’t work again.”
Poor unattended Rogan falls to the undead again. Bruder drops in a third token, and then opens his overcoat, revealing the ten pounds of gold around his waist.
“So now you have what you want, a shot at my Real World’s Championship at In Your Haunted House. The last time I wrestled at the Gund Arena, a packed house saw me win this title, and this time they’ll see me retain it. I’m sending you to the back of the line, son.”
For the third time, the continue screen counts down next to Alex. He holds his last token in his hand, before pocketing it with a wry smile.
“No more continues, Vito. No more extra lives. I’m done playing with you.”
Alex walks off screen, as it centers on the dwindling countdown. As it ends, and after a map shows that we’ve never left the first scene, the game text changes.