Bottles of something called Romulan Ale (according to the label, at least) were strewn across the floor, while the song “I’m Glad You’re Dead” played faintly. The place smelled of booze and tears.
What a great work environment, she thought sarcastically.
When the ad told her she could make fun of things while on a spaceship, she had immediately hopped at the opportunity. After all, it might make an interesting entry on her resume. So far, this was interesting, but not in the way she wanted or expected. If this was going to be her workspace, she was kind of worried (but hopefully prepared) about what her coworker would be like.
Her coworker stumbled out from behind a door, and, once again, she wasn’t quite prepared for what she saw. He wore a red mask with large, black highlights around the eyes. Over the mask, he wore, oddly enough, glasses. He wore a wrinkled red shirt with black shoulders, and no pants, just underwear.
“Who are you?” he asked, his speech a bit slurred.
Sylvia, who was a bit shocked by the sight, quickly regained her composure and responded, “My name is Sylvia Ann Sylvia. I’m responding to the ad.”
The strangely dressed person seemed confused. “Ad? What ad?”
Sylvia, prepared for this (well, not this exactly), took out the ad. “’Wanted: Person with a sense of humor who can make fun of bad stories on a spaceship. Pay can be negotiated. Ask for Dorkpool.’” She read. “Are you Dorkpool?”
This seemed to jog the drunken cosplayer’s memory. “Oh…right. I am. Sorry, kind of forgot about that. The ad, I mean. Been kind of busy,” he said.
“…stuff. Anyway, come on,” he said, walking.
“Where?” she inquired.
“The kitchen. I need coffee,” Dorkpool said.
When they got to the “kitchen” (which was mainly a room with a TV, some cabinets, a table and chair, and some weird looking device that was somewhat similar to an ice dispenser on a refrigerator), Dorkpool went to a cabinet, took out a cup that said, “Multiverse’s Okayest Riffer,” put it under the weird device, and said, “Coffee.” Even stranger, the cup filled with coffee. Sylvia decided nothing that could happen should surprised or shock her anymore.
“You want anything?” he asked.
A job? She thought. “No, thank you,” she said. Dorkpool shrugged, and sat down at the table.
“Take a seat,” he said. She did so.
“So, why do you want this job?” he asked.
“Well, I enjoy making jokes and making people laugh. People always laughed at my name, so I figured I could make jokes and have people laugh at that instead.” She responded. “And,” she added, “being on a spaceship sounded pretty cool,”
“Well, you’re not wrong. But are you any good at making people laugh?”
“I’m a good comedian,”
Dorkpool shook his head. “Being a comedian and being a Riffer are two different things. Some people can Riff well, but suck at being a normal comedian, and vice versa,”
“Perhaps I could prove it to you,” she suggested.
Dorkpool nodded, got up, and started looking through cabinets.
“Let’s see… ‘Round 2,’ no. ‘BEN Drowned,’ not yet. ‘Lavender Town Syndrome,’ no. Ah! Here we are!” Dorkpool said.
“What’d you find?” she asked.
Dorkpool put a small stack of papers on the table. The top page read, “Mega Man 2: The Ladder To Hell.”
“This,” Dorkpool proclaimed, gesturing to the papers.
“And this is…?”
Dorkpool: Ah, Mega Man, I know very, very little about you.
Sylvia: What are you doing?
Dorkpool: What do you mean?
Sylvia: Why are you randomly talking about Mega Man?
Dorkpool: Oh! This is the pre-Riff talk.
Sylvia: Oh. And this is…?
Dorkpool: -sigh- Just follow my lead.
Dorkpool: Anyway, Mega Man. I don’t know much about him.
Sylvia: Neither do I.
Dorkpool: Lovely. However, I do know there’s a story about him called “Mega Man 2: The Ladder To Hell,” and that it’s on the Trollpasta Wiki, and it’s not an intentional Trollpasta. So, it’s fair game. I’ve actually been sitting on this one for a bit, waiting for the right time to Riff it. And that time is now. So, without further ado, let’s neglect our children and Riff this bitch!
My parents and I walked down the cemetary in the middle of the cold rain.
Dorkpool: (Narrator): We probably should’ve brought an umbrella.
Everything was gray, not a bit of color to surround any area around us.
Sylvia: Great, someone used the “Noir” filter.
My mom and dad were crying, I was just speechless. We continued to walk through the somber graveyard, until we stopped. We stopped at a stone. It was a gravestone of course, but we all fell silent at it. This was what it spelled.
Dorkpool: (Gravestone): I O U.
Here lies Brandon Eriks.
A great son and brother.
Sylvia: He was so great a son and brother that neither his parents or brother could afford to put “Rest In Peace” on his grave.
Yes, that is my brother,
Dorkpool: (Narrator): Well, was my brother.
and he is no longer with us. He took his own life, which my family and I can't understand why. He was 26 years old, lived in a small house (which he rented), and he never really seemed to have any problems. Or, maybe he did, and we just didn't realize it.
Sylvia: (Narrator): Maybe his constant mentioning of alcoholism, drug abuse, and FNAF obsession meant something.
My mom kneeled down and said a prayer, my dad and I just remained silent. It was just 30 seconds of silence. The only sounds were the rainfall and my mother's wimpering.
Dorkpool: So it wasn’t silence then.
After that time, my mother made the sign of the cross and we walked away.
Sylvia: (Mother): Stay in hell, ghost child!
We both got into the car and drove to his house, where there were items he left us in his will.
When we got there, there was the key under the mat, so we opened the door and entered. For mom and dad, it appeared to be a sum of money he invested and some other miscellaneous items.
Dorkpool: (Narrator): They were kind of annoyed when they got a large collection of Happy Meal toys.
For me, he left me his NES and his games. I accepted it, but still wondered why mom and dad got everything when all I got was the NES. I didn't mind though, because I LOVED Nintendo. I was a Nintendo nut.
Sylvia: (Narrator): Nintendo is my God. I worship Nintendo.
When we acquired everything, we got in the car and drove home. When we arrived, I went up to my room to hook up the NES, I knew that my brother would want me to play it and have fun.
Dorkpool: Because who needs mourning when you have Nintendo?
I plugged in the console and immediately opened the box of games. When I opened it, I was disappointed. In the entire box was only one cartridge.
Sylvia: (Narrator): I killed my brother for only one cartridge? What a rip off.
When I took the cartridge however, my disappointment turned into joy. It was a copy of Mega Man 2, in mint condition! I was a Nintendo nut, but my all time favorite video game series was Mega Man. I played Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Mega Man: Battle Network. I loved them all!
Dorkpool: (Narrator): Mega Man is love, Mega Man is life.
And now, I'm playing the original Mega Man 2! This was so awesome! But one thing confused me a bit, this game was in MINT condition, it doesn't look like it has been played once. Also, the NES looks kind of new as well. One thing occurred to me however.
Sylvia: (Narrator): I might have left the stove on.
If Brandon were to get an NES, why didn't he play the games? I soon brushed this off and put in the cartridge, waiting for the epicness that was Mega Man 2.
Dorkpool: The glory of Mega Man overrules legitimate questions.
When I turned on the console, I was immediately greeted with the soothing melody of the intro, giving a little backstory of Mega Man and how he has to stop Dr. Wily. Soon, the screen was going up the building, music building up. And, boom!
Sylvia: Mega Man 2 directed by Michael Bay.
Awesome music plays with Mega Man standing on the building. I selected normal mode to start the game, and with that, Mega Man got acquired his helmet and teleported off the screen. I then hit Start and was brought to the boss menu. I know a lot of people decide to beat Metal Man first to get the Metal Blades, but I decided to do my own boss order. So the first boss I decided to fight, Wood Man.
I selected Wood Man, his boss intro played, and I was teleported to his forest stage. I walked along the stage, shooting up Bubble Bats and Robbits. When I came up to the parts with the Hot Dogs (Giant fire-breathing robot dogs), I played it careful, but eventually defeated them.
Sylvia: (Narrator): I ate them to celebrate my victory.
I then got up to the part with the platforms, where I had to avoid the Pipis and Monkings. I shot them and got back on the terrain. Then the strangest thing happened to me.
Dorkpool: (Narrator): I suddenly became a woman.
When you get back on the terrain, there will be a dead end with a ladder there that you have to go down. I was deciding to screw around, so I jumped before the ladder and hit the wall.
Instead of just normally hitting a wall and getting back on the ground however, Mega Man went into the wall, shot out from the other side of the screen, and went INTO the terrain pallete. I was dumbfounded when this happened, but I tried to find a way out. Mega Man could still move and jump, but now when I pressed the B button, he would raise his Mega-Buster and making the shooting noises, but nothing would come out.
Sylvia: I’m sure there are pills one can take to fix that.
I just jumped around like an idiot for a while until I accidentally hit Down on the D-Pad. This caused Mega Man to go down a ladder, but there was no ladder there. Curiosity overtook me and I went down the ladder. Right as Mega Man climbed down, he disappeared from the screen with the dying sound playing. I then respawned, but I was just wondering what the fuck just happened.
That was when it occurred to me, did I discover a new glitch?
Dorkpool: No, Slender Man’s just screwing around again. Speaking of which, Slender Man, stop trolling people with dead siblings.
I went past the platform part and went to the wall, I jumped against it, but nothing happened. I knew something had to happen, so I continued to jump against the wall. Finally, after about 6 minutes, I was in the wall. Mega Man was now walking backwards, so I just continued jumping to the right and eventually got the glitch to work again. Mega Man was absorbed by the wall and shot out from the other side into the terrain. I went over to where the ladder was supposed to be, Mega Man climbed down it, and the dying sound was heard as he disappeared. This was awesome.
Sylvia: (Narrator): I broke the game! So cool.
Not only was I playing the original Mega Man 2, but I also found a new glitch in the game. Due to there being an invisible ladder where Mega Man will die when climbing down, I decided to call this "The Ladder to Hell" glitch.
Dorkpool: (Narrator): I’m not very good at naming things.
That is when I decided I must capture this on video, so I got my camcorder and turned it on. Unfortunately, it was almost dead, so I had to make the most of it. I respawned, got the platform part over with and started jumping against the wall. I turned on my camcorder and started taping it. Although it did take me a while, I was able to pull off the glitch. Mega Man shot into the terrain and I walked down the Ladder to Hell.
Sylvia: Does the Ladder to Hell lead to the Highway to Hell?
Causing Mega Man to die. Once I pulled off the glitch, my camcorder died, but I was able to save the footage before it died. I will upload it later.
Well, since I used up my 3 lives, I guess it was now off to the title screen, but no. Instead, I was greeted with the strangest screen I have ever seen.
Dorkpool: Can’t be stranger than anything on 4chan.
At first, the screen was dark for about 10 seconds. Then, in the middle, a Mega Man head appeared, looking like like how the 1-ups looked in the game. Except this one had no helmet, had red hair, and instead of the smiling face a 1-up face would have, it had a stern face, an emotionless face.
Sylvia: Mega Man played by Kristen Stewart.
What disturbed me the most was its eyes, they were blank white with no pupils or anything. For 20 seconds, it just stared at me with those eyes. I felt a wave of uneasiness flow through me, I felt intimidated by this...face. At the same time, I had another feeling.
Dorkpool: (Narrator): And I was hooked on this feeling.
I felt a presence, a presence from the face, a presence I know I've felt before. After those 20 seconds, the face then changed from an emotionless look, to an evil and terrifying smile. Bold text came on for about 3 seconds. I was able to read the text. It read:
"Thanks for the help Buffy!"
Buffy, I swear to God I've heard that name before.
Sylvia: Most Joss Whedon fans have.
Where have I heard it though? What was happening with this game? What the hell was that thing? I had questions, questions which I know could not be answered. So I just decided to shake off that experience and continue with the game. Any gamer would turn the game off at that point, but I thought it was just a hidden screen Capcom put in for hackers, like the hidden screen for Sonic CD.
Dorkpool: So we’ve got a story that rips off “Sonic.exe” referencing Sonic in it. I feel like this should cause some sort of black hole of crappy cliché.
When I got back to the boss menu, I picked Metal Man, as I had had enough of Wood Man's theme for one sitting.
I selected Metal Man, the boss intro played and I was teleported to the Industrial stage. I ran across the tread floors and continued on with the stage. This was when I noticed something, the enemies were gone. Not one enemy was in sight. I continued on with the stage and eventually got to the boss door. I enetered the boss door to walk into the area before the boss, which acted as a checkpoint.
Sylvia: (Narrator): And a bathroom.
But as I continued to fight Metal Man, Mega Man paused in the middle of the room, the level theme went silent. The sounds of the charging and firing of a charge shot were heard, then the dying noise that the bosses made as they exploded was heard.
Dorkpool: As I’ve never played any of the Mega Man games, I’m going to assume the sound was a “SPROING.”
When it appeared to be over, I walked into the boss room, the floors were no longer moving and Metal Man was nowhere in sight. However, there was a square sprite in the middle of the room. I walked over to the sprite and touched it. Upon doing so, a screen popped up. It was the same dark screen with that same face, except the text was different.
Sylvia: (Text): Get rekt, newb.
"You're too late Sap!" It read.
There it is again. That familiar presence, that familiar name. What does it all mean? Also, if it was this thing that killed Metal Man, why did he do it? What did this thing want from me?
Dorkpool: (Narrator): Who was phone?
Sylvia: (Narrator): What color is my underwear?
Dorkpool: (Narrator): What is love?
As I progressed through this game, my questions started getting more and more abundant. I feel like if these questions are going to be answered, I will have to keep playing. When the screen disappeared, Mega Man teleported out of the stage.
Sylvia: (Narrator): And into a wall.
As always, I was given the optiom to Continue or get a Password. I chose Continue to get back to the boss screen. When I got there, there was no music and I couldn't move the cursor. I heard charging noises for a Buster, and then a sound that I can only describe as sounding like the sound effect to PK Thunder in Mother 1 (Earthbound Zero), except the sound lasted for about 8 seconds.
Dorkpool: (Narrator): And yes, I counted.
A screen then flashed showing the remaining 7 robot masters exploding and dying. The screen then faded and cut to a black screen of text verses, it said:
"Please! I give up! Don't hurt me!"
"You are one of them, one of the last things that he would care about. Now get up!"
"GET UP YOU OLD FUCK!"
Sylvia: Didn’t Paramount say the same thing to Leonard Nimoy to get him to be in Star Trek Into Darkness?
I was shocked when this screen popped up, my mouth was gaping open. I knew that one of the voices was that thing that killed everything, but what was that other voice. Was that Dr. Wily? "One of the last things he would care about." Was that referring to me? What the hell is going on in this game!?
Then, the symbol for the Wily levels appeared in the middle of the screen, so I selected them reluctantly and started the levels. I was terrified at this point, but I still continued. Instead of the cutscene where it showed Wily in his UFO flying to his castle, it just teleported Mega Man to the last level, the cave. I walked through the cave level, avoiding the red drops from the ceiling that would cause damage. The lack of music and all of the experiences leading up to this gave me an incredibly uneasy feeling.
Sylvia: (Narrator): The feeling of indigestion.
When I finally got to the boss door checkpoint, I walked through the door leading to the boss and prepared for a fight. When I entered the boss room where the fight would take place, I felt my heart stop a bit. In the middle of the room, was the full sprite of that thing that was tormenting me the whole game. It looked just like Mega Man, except its armor was dark instead of blue, and it still had its terrifying facial features.
Dorkpool: Oh, so it had Donald Trump’s face.
Next to him was Dr. Wily, he was on his hands and knees begging for mercy like when you beat him. Wily kept begging and begging until I saw the evil Mega Man shake his head in disappointment. He then raised and charged his buster. Then screen went black as I heard the same PK Thunder sound from earlier, but at the same time, I heard what I believed was an 8-bit scream.
Sylvia: You know, 8-Bit Scream sounds like a band.
Dorkpool: Yeah, it actually kind of does. Weird.
The screen switched back, Dr. Wily was gone. The evil Mega Man turned to Mega Man, raised his buster and began charging. I tried moving, hitting every button rapidly, I was terrified beyond anything and I was panicking. I couldn't move, and then, he fired his buster. A huge blast of red, hellish looking beams hit Mega Man, more 8-bit screaming was heard as Mega Man's sprite dissolved in the beams. When there were no other characters on the screen except for "it".
Dorkpool: So only Tim Curry was left?
The damn thing looked at me with those empty eyes. The screen started to fade to black, only to reappear showing the thing as a detailed 8-bit image, like how Mega Man looked in the cutscenes of his later games. The image showed the head, shoulders and torso of the thing. Its smile was filled with sharp teeth, red hair was all messy, and the eyes were still empty white that pierced the soul.
Sylvia: And the veil.
A text box suddenly appeared on the top, while a response feature with letters to use was at the bottom, so I guess I was going to talk to this thing? Dear God, why?
Dorkpool: (Narrator): Can’t this game tell I’m anti-social and have trouble talking with people? I mean, I get excited over finding a glitch. Clearly, I don’t get out much.
What did I get myself into? Well, here is the conversation.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Oh what, I can't play with my favorite Buffy?"
Sylvia: Please stop playing with Sarah Michelle Gellar.
"Why do you keep calling me those names?"
"You honestly don't remember? Typical."
"Who are you!?"
Dorkpool: (Evilish Mega Man): I’m Batman.
"Hm, and here I was thinking we were brothers, Aaron."
Brothers? What? How did it know my name? Was this thing...Brandon? No, impossible! There is no way!
"Of course, Sap. You were always a bit slow, Buffy."
Sylvia: No shit.
I remember now. "Buffy" was what I called him as a toddler, since I couldn't pronounce brother. I was never really as smart as him and was never the most athletic, so he called me "Sap". Dear God, this thing, this demon, is my brother.
"Brandon? Why are you doing this to me?"
Dorkpool: Oh, hey, look, it’s what people tell me on a daily basis.
"You were always the favorite one. You always took Mom and Dad's attention. When it was my birthday, they forgot about it to watch your stupid school play. When I had my High School graduation, they were off getting you prepared for some stupid end of the year dance for your school. What really broke me, was when they didn't even show up to my college graduation to watch your championship track meet. They were never there for me because you were the golden boy. It was because of you why I suffered years of depression.
Sylvia: Hate to burst your bubble, but it’s your parents who you should be pissed at.
Then, I remembered how much you liked Nintendo, so, I got you these gifts, and did a little something to them."
I was speechless, all of these years I caused my brother so much pain. While I just happily continued life without caring. I had no idea what to say at this point, so I ended up asking a stupid question.
Dorkpool: So you did what you’ve been doing throughout this story. Right.
"What did you do to this game?"
"I know you can't resist the good old glitches in games, so I made one, only for you to bring out the demon which you created."
"You hacked it?"
"A little something more than that, complicated to explain."
Sylvia: (Brandon): It involves a Satanic deal, a buttplug, and four gallons of tequila.
"Brandon, I'm so sorry."
"...You're sorry. You make my life Hell, and you're sorry!? You ruin me! You kill me!
Dorkpool: (Aaron): SILENCE! I kill you!
And you're FUCKING sorry!? You little shit! You don't deserve to live. Do you have any idea of the pain you've caused me? The torment!? You ruined my life, it is because of you why I am dead. You killed me, you caused Mom and Dad's unhappiness! Just do us a favor, and KILL YOURSELF!"
I didn't respond, I was too busy crying. He was right, about everything.
"Well, it seems like I got to you. Just think it over, all of the damage you've done. I hope you suffer like I did. Now, good-bye Aaron, see you in Hell."
Sylvia: (Brandon): I’ll be right next to the fountains of fire and the cities of the damned..
The image of Brandon then changed to show him holding the Mega Buster up to his head. It charged up, then the screen went black. The thundrous shooting noise booming through my speakers, nearly giving me a heart attack.
It has been 2 weeks since then. I can't take it anymore. I don't deserve to live. I killed my brother, ruined my family forever, what kind of non-human fuck does that?
Dorkpool: The Jackson family, sort of.
I am preparing my noose right as I write this. I can't live life anymore. Mom, Dad, I'm sorry for what I've done, for killing Brandon, for doing so much harm. I hope you can forgive me. Brandon, please forgive me. I never meant it, but now I'm going to Hell like I deserve to. Good-bye everybody.
Sylvia: See ya around!
Dorkpool: Bye bye!
Sylvia: Have a nice trip!
Dorkpool: (Aaron): P.S.: I think I left the stove on. Could you guys turn it off? I won’t be able to.
Dorkpool: So, how do you want to do this?
Sylvia: What do you mean?
Dorkpool: The review part. Do you want to summarize the good points or bad points?
Sylvia: Hmmm…good points.
Dorkpool: Alrighty then. I’ll go first. This story sucks. It borrows quite a bit from “Sonic.exe” and uses quite a few haunted game pasta clichés, and there was no reason why Aaron should be blamed. Brandon never said that Aaron begged for his parents’ attention, or tried to push Brandon out of the spotlight. It was all his parents doing. So the fact that Aaron is the one getting hurt by Brandon is kind of baffling. Maybe if Aaron died, their parents would be sad and hurt, which Brandon might’ve wanted. I don’t know. Also, Aaron seems kind of heartless. He seems way too ok with playing with his dead brother’s old game. It might have been left to him in the will, but wouldn’t he still feel a little bad playing it? Just saying. Actually, speaking of Brandon and the game, how did he get in the game? He was called a demon, but that doesn’t really explain much of anything. Is the demon composed of Brandon’s anger, and somehow haunted the game? Or is Brandon extremely intelligent, and was able to upload some an artificial intelligence that acts like him in a game? Even ignoring all of this, Brandon’s plan is kind of flawed. So, let’s go over his plan: die, somehow get in an NES game, leave his NES system and games to his brother, wait for his brother to play the game, scare him, and then guilt him into suicide. Flaw number one: what if Aaron doesn’t play that game? Yes, I know, Aaron is a big fan of Mega Man, but what if he decided not to play the game due to mourning? Would Brandon just stay there for a while? Does he feel the passage of time while the game isn’t being played? Ignoring that, there’s also the second flaw: what if Aaron uses logic? As was previously stated, none of this was Aaron’s fault. He didn’t ask for his parents to obsess over him; his parents just decided to. So what if Aaron said that, and decided not to kill himself? Then Brandon would just be a pissed…whatever inside a game for all eternity. Good going, dude. There’s also the spelling errors throughout the story, which do get in the way of enjoyment.
Sylvia: The story’s not all bad though. The whole concept of an angry dead brother who haunts games does have merit, since it could be used to tell a good and emotional story. Maybe if Aaron were a bit more of a prick, Brandon was a bit more likable, and their parents a bit more neglectful of Brandon, this story would work a bit better. Rather than focusing on the haunting, focus on the characters and their relationships. Maybe have the glitches remind Aaron of events from his life in which Brandon was hurt. Things like that could make a decent story. As it is though, it’s not very good.
Dorkpool: But that’s what we think. What do you guys think? Was the story good? Was the Riff good? Do you miss Mirror? Do you wish we’d be haunted by a dead sibling who is wrongly mad at us? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
“Well?” Sylvia asked.
“Well what?” Dorkpool inquired.
“Did I get the job?”
Dorkpool thought for a minute. Then responded, “Yes, you did. Welcome aboard!”
“No, thank you. After Indo and Mirror left, I need someone around. Should I show you where your quarters are?” Dorkpool said, getting up.
However, something weighed on Sylvia’s mind. “Who are Mirror and Indo?”
Dorkpool sighed, and sat back down. “Let me tell you about my ex-girlfriend and my close friend,” he said.
Dorkpool told her about the two. About how he and Indo had dated. About Mirror, his alternate universe self who also Riffed with him. About the adventures they shared, and their fights against El Catrin, and Zorax, and Jeff the Killer, and Vorix. And, finally, he revealed what happened to them.
“Indo broke up with me,” he said. “I’m not quite sure why. She just left, and sent a video saying that she needed some time alone, and that she didn’t want me to talk to her for a while.
“I didn’t take it very well, going straight to the drink. Apparently, I’m not much fun to be around when I’m drunk, since Mirror left due to the fact that I was, in his words, ‘getting harder to deal with.’ He went back to his universe.
“So, pissed off, alone, and not quite sober, I decided to show Mirror and Indo that I didn’t need them, and sent out that ad. And now you’re here,” Dorkpool said.
“I am,” she responded.
Dorkpool wasn’t quite sure how exactly to respond, and Sylvia wasn’t quite sure what to say. The silence hung over them like a heavy blanket, until Sylvia, tired of it, asked, “So, how much are you paying, anyway?”