Max Payne versus Solid Snake 2

The Screamsheet's first rematch.These two video game stars have faced off against each other before, so they really need no introduction here. Max Payne is the hard-nosed action noir hero with bullet time and an attitude, and Solid Snake is the angsty super soldier.

Round One:
I woke up in a white room, my head pounding from the tapdance of bourbon and gin that went on the night before. The sunlight reached down from the sky and belted my across the face, making it hard for my shattered nerves to distinguish anything. One thing caught my eye: a Desert Eagle calling out for my hand. It sat mounted on the wall, in a case that read, “In case of fight, break glass.” I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I suddenly longed to hold the 50 caliber piece of whupass.

The attack came from behind me. I heard the firing of a .45 and instinctively dove for the Desert Eagle. Time slowed down around me as I twisted away from the burning kiss of lead. My hand broke clear through the glass and seized my savior, but I was too slow. A bullet hit my shoulder, getting a little to friendly with my insides.

As I hit the floor, my aim went straight for the one door in the room. The truth cut into me like a surgeon using rusty tools. The man shooting at me was Solid Snake, the same person who I had killed a few weeks ago.

Then I realized what was happening. It should have been obvious before. The crappy narrative, the poor characterization, Snake’s unexplained resurrection. I was back on the Screamsheet’s fights page. Funny as hell, it was the worst thing I could think of. Round One goes to Solid Snake.

Round Two:
“Colonel, can you hear me?”

“Snake? Snake, is that you?”

“You sound surprised to hear from me.”

“Well, you did die on that minefield…”

“Have a little faith in me Colonel. I always have a few continues left.”

“Of course. But Snake, why are you trying to kill Max Payne?”

“I’m not sure, but I know that there must be a seemingly contrived reason that actually makes perfect sense.”

“Like some geek posting a poll on his web page?”

“Don’t make me come after you next, Roy.”

Max Payne staggers to his feet while Snake speaks into his codec. Unfortunately for Snake, the world around him isn’t actually on pause. Max lines up a shot and hits Snake clear in the chest. Snake goes down in a pool of blood as Mei Ling screams into the codec for him to get up. Round Two goes to Max Payne.

Round Three:
And then it was over. The man known as Solid Snake lay before me again, lying face down in a pool of blood. It all played out for me perfectly like a cut scene in a video game. I even felt better rendered as I tucked the gun away in my jacket and headed out the door and back to the real world. Too bad that I hadn’t read the rules on the page; only two rounds had passed.

I turned around to see Snake get up, red smeared across his chest, surprise etched out on my face like a splash page on a graphic novel. Before I could grab for my gun, he was upon me, tearing into me with his hands and feet, following the endless repetition of punch punch kick. I never stood a chance.

When I came to, he had left. There was nothing left except for a bottle of painkillers laid just outside of my reach and an empty bottle of ketchup. I reached down and felt the pool of “blood” that Snake had left. I had fallen for the oldest trick in the book. Snake probably felt sorry for me and left me alive after that one.

It was a dark and stormy night when I left the building, painkillers coursing through my body and my rumpled jacket pulled tight around me, shielding me from the filth on the outside. I had learned two things today: always count the rounds that you’ve been fighting, and never trust condiments.

Round Three and the match go to Solid Snake.

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