Game Studs: Original Concept

June 14, 2009 at 12:07 am (Game Studs) (, )

*Author’s Note:  Originally, I wrote out the concept for Game Studs with the intnet of following instances that happened to me while I worked at Game Crazy, with characters being identical, names included.  However, the concept evolved when I developed it for TV on Duck U, thus why the episodes following this original differs so greatly.

 

Game Studs

 

By Topher Pranger

Based off his experiences at Game Crazy

 

Premise and Setting:  The series follows the exploits of the newer employee at a video game store called Crazy Stop.  The entire series takes place within the store or the parking lot in front of it.  Every episode deals with one or two problems that video game store employees must deal with on a daily basis.

 

Characters:

 

Topher:  Optimistic about life.  Worked hard to get his job, but realizes that it was a mixed blessing at best.  Still holds out hope for customers and the job.  Loves Nintendo to death and thinks that it’s awesome no matter what they do.  Basically still labeled as the new guy.

 

Ben:  Pessimistic and aggravated about everything.  Hates customers, hates his job, hates everything.  Lots of rage but has tons of experience.  Neurotic at times.

 

Amy:  She is the token female of the store but has the most experience than everyone there, their boss included.  She’s pretty indifferent about everything in general and knows the store and the customers like the back of her hand.

 

Steve:  The boss of the store.  He used to work in a much larger store and expects the current store to be capable of making more money despite the lack of customers.  He’s very into rap and thinks that he is capable of rapping himself.  Hypocritical and a douche in general.

 

Episode Overview:

 

Episode 1:  Welcome to Crazy Stop:  Introduction to the characters.  Typical weekend afternoon shift with an unhappy customer, the boss complaining relentlessly, and the new guy still learning the ropes.

 

Episode 2:  Children Who Have No Lives:  Ben and Topher begin discussing games in general and keep getting interrupted by customers who think they know what they’re talking about, despite the fact that they don’t.

 

Episode 3:  Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stupid Woman:  After being told by his boss to up the store’s number of memberships, Topher ends up selling a kid a membership, only to encounter his angry mother after he is unable to give her a refund.

 

Episode 4:  The Morning Shift:  Follows Topher on a typical morning shift where the store is absolutely dead.  After finishing his daily tasks he finds himself hallucinating that the video game characters are coming to life and harassing him.

 

Episode 5:  Upgrades for Them; Headaches for Us:  Topher finally gets the hang of the computer system, only to have corporate send down a memo announcing a complete change to the computer system.  It’s a benefit to Corporate, but makes the job increasingly difficult for the store.

 

Episode 6:  Good Luck Clocking Out:  After an already stressful morning shift, Topher keeps finding himself getting pulled back to work for hours and hours, finally resulting in him staying the entire day at work without overtime benefits.

 

Episode 7:  Pleasing the Company Reps:  The representative from Nintendo makes an appearance one day during Topher’s shift, making him become ecstatic.  Unfortunately, luck would have it that both the Sony and Microsoft reps show up at the same time.  Now the staff must keep the reps from killing each other and find ways to compromise to their liking about how the store is set up.

 

Episode 8:  The New Release That Released Hell:  A popular game is finally coming out after being delayed for months and now the customers are ready to get it.  The only problem is the employees weren’t aware of it being released as it randomly shows up one day, much to their horror.

 

Episode 9:  This is Why You’re the New Guy:  Topher does his best to prove that he is no longer the new guy but as a result, nearly gets himself fired by making numerous large mistakes all within a single day.

 

 

Episode 1:  Welcome to Crazy Stop

 

Setting:  Inside a video game store.  Behind the counter are four employees, Ben, Amy, Steve, (the boss), and Topher, (the new guy).  The store has about four or five customers in it wandering aimlessly, playing the game demos, or looking at random things.  Steve is currently talking to Topher off to the side, Amy is talking to a customer, and Ben is staring blankly into space with boredom.

 

Steve:  (To Topher).  And that is basically how to receive a package into the system.

 

Topher:  (Looking at a small notepad that he’s holding, very confused).  Um…what, what was the step after sorting the games into alphabetical order?

 

Steve:  Just watch Ben or Amy do it once or twice; that should teach you well enough how to git ‘er done.

 

Topher:  (Scribbles in his notepad).  “Git ‘er done”…check.

 

Steve:  Any more questions?

 

Topher:  Nope, I think I’m good for the day.

 

Steve:  Okay.  Listen up everyone.  I’m taking off for the day.  If you need to get a hold of me call the cell.  Remember guys, I wanna see those numbers boosted. I’m out.  (Puts on his shades and walks out).

 

Topher:  (Looking quite sad as he holds his pathetic notepad).  Um…what was his cell number?

 

Customer 1:  (Walks up to Topher).  ‘Scuse me; do you have that new samurai game for PS2?

 

Topher:  (Hurriedly puts his notepad away).  Which one?

 

Customer 1:  You know, that one with the samurai who’s trying to fight for his honor back, the one with all the hacking and slashing?

 

Topher:  Um…(Looks over to Ben).  Hey Ben, do we have that new samurai game?

 

Ben:  (Staring blankly while he scans his forehead with the item scanner).  Don’t know.  Look it up in the computer.

 

Topher:  How do I do that again?

 

Ben:  You’re kidding me.  Come here.  (Topher walks over to the computer).  Okay, let’s see if you can do this.

 

Topher:  Let’s see…Steve told me to use control F5 and…(Types something into the computer), crap, what did I just do?

 

Ben:  You crashed the computer.

 

Topher:  How?

 

Ben:  You overloaded its memory.

 

Topher:  But that’s how Steve trained me to do it.

 

Ben:  And that would be why you failed.  Here, this is what you’re supposed to do.  (Types something).  There, now search.

 

Topher:  Okay, so “samurai”, and search.  (Looks at the screen).  Okay, there are 98 new release titles for PS2 that have the keyword “samurai” in their title.  Can you remember the exact title?

 

Customer 1:  What?  No man!  What kind of game store is this where you don’t even know the names of your own games?

 

Ben:  To be fair he is the new guy.

 

Topher:  I’ve been here for almost a week now, alright.

 

Ben:  Have you even worked a shift by yourself yet?

 

Topher:  No.

 

Ben:  Then you have got a ways to go new guy.

 

Topher:  Amy, do you know what game this guy is talking about?

 

Amy:  (Walks over to the group assembling at the computer).  Which one?

 

Topher:  Tell her what game you’re looking for.

 

Customer 1:  That new samurai game for PS2.  The one with-

 

Amy:  With trying to gain redemption for honor?

 

Customer 1:  Yeah, that one!

 

Amy:  You just described half of the titles on Playstation.

 

Customer 1:  Oh.

 

Amy:  I think I know the one you want.  Follow me.  (Leads the customer away as she helps him find the game).

 

Topher:  How does she always know what they’re talking about?

 

Ben:  She’s been here for over 2 years.  She’s good at what she does.

 

Topher:  So why didn’t you know what game he was talking about?  You’ve been here for at least half that long.

 

Ben:  Hey, I knew what that guy was talking about.  Hah, of course I knew exactly what he wanted, but he didn’t know what he wanted.  Who the hell wants a samurai game for PS2?  Idiots Topher, that’s who.  I was saving himself from himself by forcing him to rethink what he wanted and you destroyed my plan.  My God Topher, what have you done?

 

Topher:  I had no idea that it was that complex.  I thought you were just lazy.

 

Ben:  That, too.

 

Amy:  (Walks over holding a game).  This is the one he was talking about.

 

Topher:  (Amy hands him the game and he looks at it).  This is the game he was talking about?  Does he know this game sucks?

 

Ben:  (Turns to the customer).  Do you know this game sucks?

 

Customer 1:  I heard good things about it.

 

Ben:  Well you heard wrong.

 

Customer 1:  Oh well, I’m here now, I might as well buy it.

 

Amy:  Go ahead Topher; this is a good chance to practice making a transaction on the computer.

 

Topher:  Sure.  (Nervously looks down at the computer).  Control…F2…?  No, no…

 

Customer 1:  C’mon man, I’ve got places to go.

 

Ben:  He’s new, alright?

 

Topher:  (Begins very, very slowly typing commands into the computer, mumbling to himself as he goes along.  Finally he picks up the game and scans it).  Okay, and scan the game and…crap, what’d I do?

 

Amy:  (Looks at the screen).  You crashed the system.

 

Topher:  Ah man, how do I keep doing that?

 

Ben:  Steve trained you.

 

Amy:  Yeah, Steve doesn’t know what he’s doing.  It’s alright, just restart the computer and try again.

 

Customer 1:  Jeez, this is taking too long.

 

Ben:  Hey man, just be patient.  New guy.

 

Topher:  (Slowly types things in and scans the game again).  Okay, and your total is…fifty bucks.

 

Customer 1:  What?  Fifty bucks, for this piece of crap game?  That is a rip off dude.

 

Topher:  I’m sorry, I don’t set the prices.

 

Customer 1:  Man, I’ll find it cheaper somewhere else.

 

Ben:  Good luck with that.  (Customer 1 walks out in a huff).

 

Amy:  Meh, don’t worry about that guy.  (Steve walks back in the door).

 

Steve:  Was that a customer leaving empty-handed just now?

 

Ben:  Didn’t you go home?

 

Steve:  I forgot my cell.  Why’d he leave?   That’s a sale walking out the door.  That’s profit lost.

 

Topher:  Well, I tried to sell him a game and the computer crashed and-

 

Amy:  Topher handled his first transaction well.

 

Steve:  (Gets a big grin on his face).  Oh?  Did you use the tips I gave you?

 

Topher:  I used a few, yes.

 

Steve:  Well then I guess there was nothing we could do for that guy then.  Keep up the good work.  We should give you a nick name.

 

Ben:  Newb.

 

Topher:  I’m fine with “new guy” for now.

 

Steve:  Nah, you’re a hard worker with something to prove.  I’ll call you “Top Gun”.  Besides, you kinda look like Tom Cruise.

 

Topher:  (Smiles, kinda).  Well I don’t really know about that.

 

Amy:  I like it.  It’s a good nick name.

 

Topher:  (Becomes very serious).  I fly through the danger zone baby.

 

Steve:  Haha, then Top Gun it is.  I’m out again!  Remember guys, git ‘er done.  (Leaves).

 

Topher:  Does he know that he forgot his cell again?

 

Ben:  It’s Steve.  He doesn’t know anything.

 

Amy:  (Pats Topher on the shoulder).  A good rule of thumb: if Steve told you something, it’s wrong.

 

Topher:  Crap.  Then this past week has been wasted.

 

Amy:  You still got paid though.

 

Ben:  Stick with us.  We’ll teach you how it’s done right.

 

Topher:  No worries then.

 

Ben:  (Mumbles off to himself).  Top Gun is a stupid name…

 

Topher:  Hey!

 

End of Episode 1

 

 

Episode 2:  Children Who Have No Lives

 

Setting:  The Crazy Stop game store.  Only Topher and Ben are working today and the store is rather slow with only two kids walking around, basically doing nothing but wasting time.  Ben is twirling his nametag around while Topher is pricing games and putting them back up on the wall.

 

Topher:  So, best game ever?

 

Ben:  Has to be Final Fantasy 7.

 

Topher:  Typical.  That game is overrated.

 

Ben:  Oh yeah?  What game were you thinking?

 

Topher:  Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  Hands down best game ever.

 

Ben:  Oh, and that’s not a little bit over-loved?

 

Topher:  It is the best game ever.

 

Ben:  I’ll give you that, but it’s too bad Nintendo hasn’t come out with anything good since that.

 

Topher:  (Puts down his price gun).  Surely you jest?

 

Ben:  Nah, Nintendo sucks now.

 

Topher: I won’t hear of it!  They still release great games, all the time!

 

Ben:  Oh right, name one.

 

Topher:  Metroid Prime.

 

Ben:  Not a fan.  (One of the kids walks over and starts listening to the conversation).

 

Topher:  Regardless, one of the best games ever.

 

Ben:  They’re nothing but kiddy games now.

 

Kid 1:  Yeah, kiddy games.

 

Ben:  (Looks down at the kid and then back to the conversation).  Anyway, they’ve gotten themselves stuck with childish games and a kiddy label.

 

Topher:  Oh brother.  There are dozens of excellent mature-type games for the Cube.

 

Ben:  Such as?

 

Topher:  Resident Evil 4, for one.  Possibly the new best game ever.

 

Ben:  Came out on PS2, not a good enough argument.

 

Kid 1:  Yeah, not good enough.

 

Ben:  (Looks down at the kid this time).  Is there something I can help you with?

 

Kid 1:  Nah.  I’m fine.

 

Ben:  (Turns back to Topher).  Even if I will agree with you that RE4 was awesome, it’s too late to save the system’s image.

 

Topher:  No way!  The Cube got a bad reputation for being family oriented, every game comes out and people just think that it’s all about kiddy games.  Let me tell you, a bunch of the games that are kiddy games that sell well come out on all systems.  Nintendo just has really good exclusive games that everyone can enjoy regardless of age.  Can you even name any kid oriented exclusive games for other systems?

 

Ben:  No.

 

Topher:  Of course not, because they all suck.  Xbox and PS2 get tons of games for kids all the time, all of which suck.

 

Kid 1:  Yeah, suck.

 

Ben:  I thought you were on my side of this.

 

Kid 1:  He had a good argument.

 

Ben:  Hey, either buy something or get out of my store.

 

Kid 1:  I’m just waiting for my mom to get here with my money.

 

Ben:  If she has to give it to you then it’s not really your money, or else you’d already have it.

 

Kid 1:  That’s a stupid argument.

 

Ben:  Get, get, go on.  (The kid walks over to the corner and looks at random things).  There, dealt with him.

 

Kid 2:  (Walks up).  What a dork, huh?

 

Topher:  Nah, just young and impressionable.

 

Ben:  So yes, a dork.

 

Topher:  Can I help you find anything?

 

Kid 2:  Nope, I’m good.

 

Ben:  So, on the subject, worst games ever?

 

Topher:  Hmm…

 

Ben:  And I mean large titles that some people think are great, not some obscure game that no one played.

 

Topher:  I’d have to say-

 

Kid 2:  Halo was a terrible game.

 

Topher:  Actually I have to agree.

 

Ben:  Well of course you would.

 

Topher:  The game just-

 

Kid 2:  The game, although groundbreaking to the first-person shooter genre of gaming, was a decent game at best.  It gets waaaay too much credit for what it was: a game with poor graphics and a weak plotline.

 

Topher:  Okay, I think I can argue for myself, thanks.

 

Kid 2:  Furthermore, the sequel was worse than the original in that-

 

Ben:  Okay, heard enough.  Out of my store.

 

Kid 2:  This isn’t your store.

 

Ben:  I’ve been here the longest of the two people working here; it’s my store.  Out with you.

 

Kid 2:  Jerk…  (Walks off to the other side of the store).

 

Ben:  Hey, hey.  I heard that.  (Turns back to Topher).  Little punk kids.  Always wanting Yu-Gi-Oh cards.  (Begins impersonating high-voiced kids).  “Excuse me, oh, do you have any Yu-Gi-Oh cards?  I was looking for Yu-Gi-Oh cards.  My, my blue eyes, dragon knight and um-“

 

Guy:  (Middle-aged guy, has to be in his late-thirties, walks up to Ben).  Excuse me, it’s called a “Blue-eyes White Dragon.”

 

Ben:  Oh, my bad.

 

Guy:  Yu-Gi-Oh is a pretty complicated show.  Did you know that they decided to release a new series that takes place after the first series?

 

Ben:  (Already extremely bored with the guy, just indifferently humoring him).  No, I had no idea.

 

Guy:  I also heard that Yu-Gi isn’t in this one.

 

Ben:  Uh-huh.

 

Guy:  Do you think that they’ll be able to pull off a new series of Yu-Gi-Oh without Yu-Gi?

 

Ben:  I don’t know.

 

Topher:  Actually, the word Yu-Gi-Oh means “King of Games” and…I shouldn’t know that…

 

Guy:  I was even more excited about the movie…

 

(Time passes).

 

Guy:  And I thought I had lost the match!  Good thing I had the Blue-eyes on the top of my deck, or I’d have been a goner!

 

Ben:  (Now with his face smashed against the glass counter.  Topher has gone back to pricing things, having escaped from the conversation).  You don’t say…

 

Guy:  Well I’d better get going.  It was good talking with you guys.  (Walks out, finally).

 

Topher:  (Begins laughing).  Oh my God!  That guy had to be almost forty!

 

Ben:  He, he wouldn’t stop talking.  (Imitating the guy).  Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh this, Yu-Gi-Oh that, do you think Yu-Gi-Oh would, my God!  I want to kill that man.  No, I must kill that man, and everyone that heard him talk, including you and me.

 

Topher:  That’s harsh but fair.

 

Ben:  I can’t speak with another stupid kid today.  Not a one.

 

Kid 3:  (Walks up).  Excuse me but do you guys sell Yu-Gi-Oh cards here?

 

Ben:  (Turns around and stares at the kid completely deadpan).  Get out of my store.

 

End of Episode 2

 

 

Episode 3:  Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stupid Woman

 

Setting:  Crazy Stop.  Topher and Steve are working together this time.  Only one kid is in the store and he’s looking intently at the used games.  Steve is coaching Topher while Topher goes about putting price stickers on games that have just been traded in.  Side note:  all cursing will be replaced with video game-related noises.

 

Steve:  My boss has been calling with complaints about the store.

 

Topher:  I’m sorry to hear that.  Anything I can do?

 

Steve:  Yeah, you need to be selling more memberships.

 

Topher:  I just don’t like pushing the membership on other people, though.

 

Steve:  You don’t have to push it, just offer it.  You know, the store I used to work at in Washington was the busiest store in the company.  I’d have to sell at least 15 memberships every day and my boss wasn’t anywhere near as understanding as I am.

 

Topher:  But we can’t sell memberships to people who don’t exist.

 

Steve:  I know that, just try harder.

 

Topher:  Okay.  (Kid walks up to the counter).  You all set to go?

 

Kid:  Yes.

 

Topher:  Alright, let me help you down here at the register.  (Walks over to the register, the kid hands him a game).  Ooh, good choice in games.

 

Kid:  Thanks.

 

Steve:  Don’t forget what we talked about…

 

Topher:  Oh, right.  (Rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath and turns to the kid).  Do you know about our membership?  Saves you ten percent on used game purchases.  Costs twenty bucks and lasts for a year, plus you get a free magazine subscription.

 

Kid:  That sounds cool.  Sure, I’ll take it!

 

Topher:  (Baffled).  Wha?  You actually want to buy a membership card?

 

Kid:  Yeah!

 

Topher:  (Steve smiles at Topher as Topher begins smiling himself).  Well okay then.  (Reaches under the counter and grabs a card and a magazine).  So this will be twenty dollars in addition to the purchase of the game.

 

Kid:  Okay.

 

Topher:  And the card is non-refundable, so once I finish the transaction there is no way to return it.

 

Kid:  Alright.

 

Topher:  Okay, so I need to do two transactions, the first for the card.  That’ll be twenty bucks.  (Kid hands him a twenty).  And you’re sure you want this?

 

Kid:  Yes.

 

Topher:  Positive?

 

Kid:  Yes.

 

Topher:  Alright then.  (Presses the finish transaction button).  The deed is done.  Okay, here’s your card and magazine.  And now I’ll need another fourteen dollars for the game.

 

Kid:  What?

 

Topher:  The..the game.  The game that you want costs fourteen dollars.  I know the price tag says more but you just saved ten percent, so it’s only fourteen dollars.

 

Kid:  But I only had twenty.

 

Topher:  Oh.  Well…sorry?

 

Kid:  I’ll just have to return this then.  (Hands him back the card and magazine).

 

Topher:  I can’t return that.  I told you that it’s non-refundable.

 

Kid:  Oh, that’s okay.  I just need my money back.

 

Topher:  But…I can’t do that, I just told you that.  The system doesn’t allow returns of memberships.  There is no option in the computer.

 

Steve:  (Comes over and stares down at the kid).  Sorry bud, you agreed to the membership, he asked you more than once and you agreed.  Nothing we can do.

 

Kid:  Oh.  Okay, I’ll be back with my mom.  (Walks out).

 

Topher:  Oh crap.

 

(Amy walks in, ready for her shift).

 

Steve:  Alright, Amy’s here.  You’re an hour late.

 

Amy:  I told you before Steve, you can’t schedule me for 1 because my flight lessons end at 1.  There is no possible way for me to get here instantly after they end.

 

Steve:  Well just get here earlier.  I however am going to clock off now that you’re here.  You guys need anything, call the cell.  Peace.  (Gives the peace sign and walks out the door).

 

Amy:  So, anything fun and exciting happen today?

 

Topher:  Nope.  Got a motivational speech from Steve about his Washington store, then I sold a kid a membership and he tried to return it.  That’s about it.

 

Amy:  Sounds like a hoot.

 

(The kid comes back in with his mother.  She looks pissed).

 

Amy:  Hello.  What can I do for you?

 

Mother:  Yeah, my kid just came in and bought this and he needs his money back.

 

Amy:  Oh, this must have been the customer you were talking about Topher.

 

Topher:  (Genuinely apologetic).  Yeah, I’m sorry but we already explained to your son that the memberships can’t be returned.  The system won’t allow it.  There’s nothing we can do about it.

 

Mother:  What?  That’s bull(sound of Mario jumping).  My kid bought this here and he can get a refund here!

 

Amy:  Ma’am, I’m sorry but we have already explained to him that he can’t return it.

 

Mother:  Who sold him this?

 

Topher:  (Raises his hand).  That would be me, ma’am.

 

Mother:  Who the (sound of Mario collecting a coin) do you think you are?!  You’re a (sound of Mario spitting a fireball) con artist!  Taking advantage of a ten year old boy!

 

Topher:  (Worriedly unsure of how to respond to this).  I, I didn’t take advantage of him, I just offered him the membership and he accepted.

 

Mother:  You tricked him!  He obviously didn’t want it and you pushed it on him!

 

Topher:  (Still remaining very calm).  No, I asked him multiple times and explained that it couldn’t be returned and he still wanted it.

 

Mother:  You’re just a smooth talker!  You (sound of Link swinging his sword) conned my son, that’s what you did!

 

Topher:  (Becoming really offended).  Hey, I didn’t con anyone here.  You’re taking my personal character into question and I don’t appreciate that.

 

Mother:  Well I’m sorry but you’ve got a (Sound of Koopa shell being stepped on) terrible character if you’d take advantage a ten year old boy.  I’m (sound of Mario gaining a power-up) pissed.

 

Amy:  Ma’am, could you please not use language like that?

 

Mother:  I will say whatever the (sound of Mario breaking a brick) I want!  Young man, how old are you?

 

Topher:  (Now pissed).  I’m 18.

 

Mother:  You need to grow up and grow some (sound of Link getting a heart) balls and just reach in that register and give me my kid’s money back!

 

Topher:  What?!  No, you’re not making any sense at all.  If I was to grow up and get some balls then I wouldn’t give in and give you the money back.  Do you realize how stupid you sound?  You’re angrily attacking me, the new guy, the guy who can barely finish a transaction on the computer without it crashing, to somehow magically refund a non-refundable item in our system.  Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

 

Mother:  Well I want the (sound of Mario riding a flagpole) money back!

 

Amy:  Ma’am, I’m sorry, we can’t refund it.

 

Kid:  Don’t talk to my mother that way!

 

Mother:  (Turns to the kid).  You watch your mouth!  (Turns back to Topher and Amy).  I want my money back and I’m not leaving here until I get it!

 

Topher:  Let me call my manager.  (Picks up the phone and dials).  Hey Steve.  Yeah, this is Topher.  Hey, you remember the kid who wanted a refund?  His mother is here and is demanding the refund.

 

Steve:  (From the phone).  Tell her we can’t give the refund.

 

Topher:  I told her.  You tell her.

 

Steve:  I’d just be telling her we can’t do it.

 

Topher:  She doesn’t want to hear it from me, how soon can you get down here?

 

Steve:  (Sigh).  I’ll be down there in half an hour.  (Click).

 

Topher:  Okay, my manager will be here in half and hour to help you out personally.

 

Mother:  Fine, I’ll go wait outside the front of your store and wait for him then and I’ll tell everyone that comes by not to shop here until he shows up!  (Storms out with her kid).

 

Topher:  Why is she so pissed?  She acts like I should have been able to pull Steve out of my pocket or like the “like I give a damn” fairy could magically return her money is she yelled loud enough.

 

Amy:  (Laughs).  Yeah, I was about ready to kick her in the face if she talked back about you any more.  You handled that well.  Good job.

 

Topher:  I know, I just feel guilty regardless.  I’m gonna go sit down in the back for a bit.  (Walks off to the back of the store and sits down).

 

(Time passes and Steve’s voice can be heard coming through the door with the woman’s trailing beside him).

 

Steve:  I’m sorry this all had to happen like this.

 

Mother:  That’s okay.

 

(Topher looks out from the back).

 

Steve:  (Reaches into the register, grabs a twenty and gives it to the woman).  Here ya go.  Hope this doesn’t effect your business with our store.  We really don’t want to lose you as a customer.

 

Topher:  (To himself).  What?!

 

Mother:  Oh that’s alright, I don’t think we’ll be back at this store though.  (Walks out).

 

Steve:  There. Gave her a refund and erased her account.  I’m out.  (Leaves again).

 

Topher:  (Walks out from the back looking extremely pissed).  He gave her money back?

 

Amy:  You okay?

 

Topher:  HE GAVE THE MONEY BACK!  (Flips out).  THAT (sound of Mario dying and getting a game over as Topher rants about Steve)!

 

End of Episode 3

 

 

Episode 4:  The Morning Shift

 

Setting:  The Crazy Stop game store.  It is the morning and the store is completely dead.  The only person there is Topher, and he is pacing back and forth with his notepad.

 

Topher:  (Checking things off as he goes).  Okay, this is my first shift alone, gotta make sure it’s going well.  Deposited money at bank?  Check.  Counted the till?  Check.  Filled holes in game wall?  (Looks up at it).  Check.  Trade-ins, done.  New releases, out.  Used game wall alphabetized.  I’m already done with all my jobs for the day.  (Puts his notepad away).  What time is it?  (Looks at the clock).  It’s only 10:30?  I got everything done and we’ve only been open for half an hour?!  Well now what do I do?  (Sits and watches a person walk by the front door).  Is this a…?  (The person continues on).  Nah.  Guess not.  (Another person walks by).  How ‘bout this one…?  (They also pass by).  Ah, darn it.  I need something to do.  (Looks around).  Nothing to do. I guess I could play some game demos?  (Walks over to the Cube demo).  Hmm…the new Madden, eh?  (Picks up the controller).  But…I hate sports games.  Dang it. (Drops the controller).  Could play the PS2 demo…?  (Walks over to it).  Aha!  Need For Speed…(starts playing it), sucks apparently.  Xbox?  (Walks over to it).  Don’t fail me now…(Looks at the screen).  What?!  Path of Neo?!  Forget you Microsoft, you have failed to redeem yourself in mine eyes!  (Walks back to the counter, crosses his arms, and leans back with a huff).  Well shoot, there is nothing to do.  (The phone rings).  Holy crap I’ll get it!  (Dives over the counter and picks up the phone).  Hello, thank you for calling the Crazy Stop game store, this is Topher speaking!

 

Steve:  (From the phone).  Hey, it’s Steve.

 

Topher:  (Thoroughly disappointed).  Oh.  Hey Steve, what’s up?

 

Steve:  Just checkin’ on ya.  How’s the store going?

 

Topher:  Going just fine.  It’s pretty slow, though.

 

Steve:  You remember to go to the bank?

 

Topher:  Yes.

 

Steve:  Count the till?

 

Topher:  Yep.

 

Steve:  Did you-

 

Topher:  Did the trade-ins, put out the new releases, alphabetized the used games, everything’s done.

 

Steve:  Did you…take out the garbage?

 

Topher:  (Looks down at the trash can.  It is mildly filled.  He gets excited).  Oh my God no!  I forgot!  Gotta go Steve.

 

Steve:  Remember, sell, sell, se-  (Topher hangs up).

 

Topher:  I completely forgot to dump the trash.  (Picks it up).  Doesn’t really need to be dumped, but… (Skips out the door.  Comes back in within seconds with an empty trash can).  Well, that was briefly entertaining.  And now I am bored again.  When’s Ben come in?  (Checks the schedule).  Ah, 1, I figured as much.  And what time is it now?!  (Looks at the clock).  10:32?!  Ah dang it all to heck!  (Kicks the trash can).  I…am…BORED!  (Begins staring blankly at a Mario game cover off in the distance.  Camera cuts back to Topher, then to the game cover.  The Mario comes to life and begins speaking to Topher).

 

Mario:  At least you’re not always having to save a princess who’s always getting herself caught.

 

Topher:  This is true.

 

Mario:  I don’t even get any thanks for it.  “Oh, a kiss?  On the cheek?  Why thank you!  It’s not like I risked my life for you or anything.”  If I’m really lucky, maybe I get a cake.  (Crosses his arms).  Damn woman.

 

Topher:  I’m sorry to hear that.  You always looked like you were having so much fun.

 

Mario:  You call fighting turtles and fire-breathing dinosaurs fun?  The only saving grace is that I’m constantly tripping on shrooms.

 

Topher:  What about all the racing and partying and sports playing you do?

 

Mario:  Duh.  All to impress chicks.  (Sarcastically).  “Oh, you like tennis?  Oh it just so happens that I play tennis.  You like baseball players?  I’m great at that game.  You like fast cars?  I’ve totally got one.”  (Throws his hands up).  Bah.  Women.

 

Topher: Too true.

 

Link:  (From another game cover).  Hey, at least you get a kiss now and then.  I’ve saved countless worlds, had tons of girls want me, none of them I can actually date.  All because I’m the “hero of time” or the “hero of the winds” or some BS like that.  I’m the “tough guy” but yet I’m too tough I guess to date.  Screw them.

 

Topher:  Well…maybe they’re turned off by your constant silence?

 

Link:  What?!  Oh forget that!  Women want me to talk, then maybe they should shut up first!  I’d talk, sure I’d talk, if I could get a word in edgewise!  I’m a great listener, but do I get any credit for that?  No!  (Turns to Mario).  On a side note, fighting skeletons and wart hogs is so much harder than having to fight off turtles and mushrooms.  Although I can relate with the giant fire-breathing lizards.

 

Mario:  Oh whatever!

 

Link:  And you don’t have to carry around a bunch of crap with you wherever you go!  I’m constantly weighted down by swords, shields, dungeon maps, keys, bows, giant hammers, glass bottles, pointless instruments…who the hell has ever heard of an ocarina?!  (Imitates Mario’s voice).  “Look at me, it’s sooo hard to carry around stars and sunshine and rainbows wherever I go.”  You dainty sissy-man.

 

Mario:  Hey!  I already explained that I do all that to impress women!  They happen to like all that dainty flowery crap!

 

Topher:  To be fair, only some do, not all.

 

Mario:  Quiet you!

 

Master Chief:  Hey, could I say a few words here?

 

(It goes silent.  Topher gets up, walks over to the Halo case, and flips it around, then walks back).

 

Master Chief:  Ahhh….

 

Topher:  Now where were we?

 

Link:  I was in the middle of explaining why this candy apple here was a joke.

 

Mario:  How dare you!  I made this industry what it is!

 

Link:  Your time is over gramps!

 

Mario:  At least I didn’t look like some cartoon penis in my last game!

 

Link:  Oh my God, one time, that was one time!

 

Mario:  You nearly destroyed your entire franchise in one foul swoop!

 

Link:  That’s it!  I demand a Smash match for my honor!

 

Mario:  I accept!  (The two game boxes dance and wiggle trying to fight each other).

 

Topher:  Guys!  Settle down!  I’ll go put Smash Bros in the Cube.

 

(Cuts to a match of Super Smash Bros Melee between Mario and Link).

 

Mario:  Ha!  Take this!

 

Link:  No!  You take this!

 

(Third character, Roy, comes into the screen with the name Toph).

 

Topher:  I have you both!  (Smashes them out of the screen).

 

Link and Mario:  NOOOOO~

 

(Camera zooms back out and Topher is holding a GameCube controller and laughing.  Ben walks in).

 

Ben:  What’s got you so happy?

 

Topher:  I have gone crazy with boredom.

 

Ben:  Yeah that happens here frequently during the morning shift.

 

End of Episode 4

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