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This is Captain Gamer, superhero and columnist. On the side, he works at a five star restaurant called the Pixel Palace, substituting for the regular bartender Dominic when needed. There, Captain can meet his old video game friends when they come in to have a drink. Sometimes, they share stories and even secrets. For as we all know, what the bartender hears is confidential... isn't it?

-

So I'm sitting there tending bar when I start hearing this rumbling noise. Sort of a thumping, and it was getting louder. I look outside and whatever's coming is casting a huge shadow. And then I see it: A huge ball of animals, trees, people, cars, buildings, whatever isn't nailed into the ground. And that stuff too. It's just bowling its way down the street.

I'm about to toss off my civilian clothes, but then the ball just stops. It turns into the parking lot and, well, parks. And then it hits me. Oh! That's just a Katamari. The door opens and seemingly nobody walks in. But sure enough, the Prince of All Cosmos himself hops onto the counter and asks for a shot of White Russian.

Now, the Prince is a little guy. And I mean little. He tells me to leave the bottle, and the bottle is taller than he is. Of course I tell him, "That's your body weight in alcohol. I'm sure you can hold your stuff, but not that much. Something the matter?"

He takes his sweet time on the drink, understandably, and seems to loosen himself up. Finally he says, rather softly, "I wish I had it all together." If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, you know?

So I say to him, "Sounds rough. Care to talk about it?"

He just gives a shrug and says, "Not much to say. I'm trying to get it all together and there's no way of telling whether what I'm picking up is good enough."

So I ask him, "Well, do you like what you're picking up? Is it working for you?"

"I... suppose. It gets the job done. I guess progress is progress, but I always feel like I can do better."

I have a feeling we're getting into the meat of it, so I ask, "What's better than progress?"

"Perfection," he says, rather quickly. And he's really firm on that one. "I'm under a lot of pressure from my father."

And there it is. I was expecting that sort of thing, to be honest. Nearly all of the younger characters come in here stressing out over parental pressure. Unless they don't have parents. Which, now that I think about it, may constitute the majority.

So I ask him, "So your dad just tells you to get it together and leaves it at that?"

The Prince says back, "I do have a set of instructions..."

"Instructions?" I say back to him, "Well, there's your problem. I mean, I don't claim to have any stake or authority in the royalty of the cosmos, but you're not going to get it together if you're doing it just to appease your father."

I'm wondering if I'm overstepping my bounds, but the Prince takes a moment to think on that so I figure I'm on the right track here.

And he just says, "I've never thought about it that way... But my father is just trying to raise me and teach me responsibility. He tells me what to do for my own sake."

"Mhm, mhm." I know that all too well. I mean, nobody figures out all of the facts of life by just trial and error. Parents have to say what's what up to some point. And I'm sure he's aware that so I go into it, I say, "There's a difference between being raised and just doing what you're told. And I'd say that knowing the difference is a big part of getting it together."

And I get this look back, kind of confused. Not a 'this goes against everything I know' kind of confused, an actual 'What are you talking about?' sort. The way he says "...really?" only furthers that.  I got the impression that I was veering off the mark, but I just had to follow through.

"Absolutely," I tell him, "And stop me if I stop making sense. But if you're not out there getting it together, and instead in here wishing you could get it together, something is not in the right place. I mean, do you want to get it all together?"

And the Prince says, "Of course! It's very important!"

And I say, "Great! Then focus on that. At least give it a try. I wouldn't be telling you this if it didn't work for myself, all right?" And I didn't make that up, just to be clear. I'm a big basket case myself. First to admit.

The Prince, bless him, he just got crammed with all this information so he naturally asks, "So how do I do that?"

So I tell him, "That's not for me to say. I know I just lectured you all this time, but this is where you figure it out for yourself. Otherwise you're going from doing what your dad tells you to doing what I tell you and that's no better. For all we know, your dad's way could be the way that's suited for you. But you have to be doing that for you. You are your own ends."

And in hindsight, I probably should have noticed that he's looking completely lost at this point. But I have this full head of steam, and I figure if I'm off the mark at any point he'll say so. Either way, he's waiting for me to get to the point. So...

"I guess what I'm trying to say is that yeah, your dad wants you to get it together and he has his instructions, but I'm thinking they're more like suggestions. You don't need your dad's permission to get it together. Once you feel like you've got it together, he'll see that and I'm pretty sure that's all he wants. One way or another."

And I just have to shut up at that point. Because I know I dominated the whole thing. But parental overbearing... it's such a hot topic with me. And it's timely. I figure now I've had it out and can be more concise about it in the future. Whether or not I got to the Prince, he was thinking about something.

He just says, "One way or another, huh?" and looks about. Turns around, looks out the window, suddenly bursts out, "That's it!" Can't lie, I'm just vibrating, eager to know what he came up with. He says, "If I can't use a large real scorpion to make Scorpio, I'll use him!"

And I'm just, "Wait... what?" and I just look to where the Prince is pointing. Who should be passing by, but Mortal Kombat's Scorpion. Scorpion happens to take a look inside and notices the Prince eyeing him. He just runs for it.

The Prince flips me some coin for the drink and says, "Thank you!" before rushing out, grabbing his Katamari, and rolling after Scorpion.

And I'm still there trying to make sense of it. I just eventually had to admit that he was talking about his Katamari the whole time. The "it" he was trying to get together was the Katamari. Not his life. At least it didn't get as awkward at it possibly could have.

The rest of the shift is pretty uneventful, but I'm still playing that whole thing over in my head. Just something to mull over to pass the time when things get quiet. Which, when you're in this location, doesn't last long. Again I'm sitting there tending bar when all of a sudden, there's no roof anymore.

To clarify, the roof had just been lifted up like a lid. and yes, there was a lot of property damage. Walls splitting, decorations falling, and I'm pretty sure everything on the second floor just fell to the back wall. I look up at what's lifting the roof, and I just think, "Oh, god." Well, I'm not far off. It was the King of the Cosmos. The very father I'd been talking about earlier.

He asks me if I'm Captain, and I just nod. When you're staring up at a celestial being who could crush you in the cleft of his chin, words suddenly aren't your strong point.

He says to me, "I wanted to thank you. My son has been doubting himself a lot lately. Whatever you said really helped him. He's still a whiny little pig, but less so. It may have something to do with the fact that I, his primary parental figure and role model, rarely give him positive reinforcement. I am fairly certain this is actually not the case. But I'll keep it in mind."

I give him back an encouraging nod. Baby steps and all. And then... There's just this silence. I think the King thought he had more to say, but wasn't coming up with anything. But I wasn't going to bring that up.

Then he does come up with something: "I'm not going to give you anything."

To which I shake my head in agreement. Again, awestruck.

"Good." More silence. "Bye."

And then he drops the roof. Huge crashes everywhere. I look around to see what needs sweeping up, and... the place is clean. Good as new. As if the roof hadn't been torn off moments ago. Maybe even nicer than before. Nobody really questions it, myself included. After all, this is the King of all Cosmos we're dealing with. But hey, it's great about the Prince. I can't say I fully understand everything that happened, even now, but it sounds like things are on the up-and-up with him.

-

You see a lot of strange things as a bartender. You see a lot of strange things at the Pixel Palace. So, I see a lot of strange things as a bartender at the Pixel Palace. And that's no lie. Swear to it.
Video Game Confessions featuring Captain Gamer: The Prince of All Cosmos

Based off of Doug Walker's "Video Game Confessions" series at That Guy with the Glasses.

thatguywiththeglasses.com/vide…

A series in which I take my own crack at the Video Game Confessions formula with Captain Gamer as the bartender. My style gives video game characters more relatable issues with generally positive outcomes. However, don't count out the occasional zany and tongue-in-cheek moments that the original is known for!

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:iconviper-x27:
Viper-X27 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
I can't get that image of Scorpion being chased by a Katamari out of my head. Somebody should draw that. It was hilarious. :laughing:
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:iconcaptain-gamer:
Captain-Gamer Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That's my goal, to get a following and spawn such fan art. It's a work in progress. I tried to work in a "GET AWAY FROM HERE!" joke, but it just never sounded natural.
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:icontriplestar100:
triplestar100 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I must say that out of the whole pack of your VGCs, this one had by far the funniest punchlines to its script! the good ol' misreading of meanings was pulled off so damn well on this one, and the ending had me rolling! you've actually left unscathed after meeting K.O.A.C., huh... I'm still feeling the bruises in my neck from my encounter with him, and that was years ago! all in all, another solid tale to add to the repertoir. keep up the great work!

PS: before I forget, here's an idea for the next one= Mai Shiranui of Fatal Fury & King Of Fighters fame! she's officially SNK-Playmore's resident sex symbol, men want her & women want to be like her, tho some women hate her but it's to be expected, I guess... yet the one man her heart desires, the one man she'd love to do all the things men wish they could do with- and to- her, fellow FF & KOF fighter Andy Bogard, only treats her as a kinda-sorta younger sibling & that has had her highly frustrated. more info on her on the SNK Wiki if needed. so, how bout it, Captain?
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:iconcaptain-gamer:
Captain-Gamer Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good to see I was able to leave the episode up to interpretation! Your feedback is always appreciated.

And your idea is certainly taken into consideration. I'm rolling a list of ideas at the moment, but there can't be too many.
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