"CHOOSE YOUR PHILOSOPHER...
a low voice boomed behind me.
Slowly turning in awe, a monolithic slab of electronic glory towered above my feeble presence. While age upon age of human kind's effort sat smugly molded and powerfully transcendental, it gently beckoned me as I reached in my pockets. Vicious, it was what had not been; it was the future in a shell; it was waiting to burst at the brush of an eyelash. It repeated to me what it had imparted to thousands of others that approached it:
"BEHOLD, THE THRONE OF THE FILOSOPHER-KINGS!"
Kneeling before the blinding monument in excitement, I withdrew my offerings. Like the ancient Greeks placing coins into the eyes of the dead for passage across river Styx, I reverently placed a pair of quarters into the slots... of the brand new arcade game, Filosophy Phighters!
This game was so popular. In this gilded age of wretched home consoles, the former prestige of arcade gaming had fallen. Nothing except uninspired shooters that lacked game play content and relied on solely stunning graphics had filled the empty heart of my local arcade for years! These mindless games were nothing more than sharp flashes; they were replaced nearly monthly by the operator in hopes of making a quick buck off quarter laden youths. All the classics like Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga had been removed. It was a downfall that tugged the heart strings of a generation... Until...
Some had heralded Filosopher Phighters the savior of arcade gaming. Without a doubt, it restored my hope for a opulent future of arcade gaming.
I stared into the reflection of the glass separating reality from fiction. Determined, haunted eyes met. There was no way I was going to let this fifty cents go to waste!
Commandeering my avatar, Aristotle, I swiftly hobbled across the screen and entered combat with Jacque Rousseau.
HUH! HA! HUAH!
Aristotle delivered the Golden Mean of Destruction to Rousseau twice before he countered with a quick kick to my cartoonishly inflated head. As the battle raged on, I knew it was going to be a close struggle; our profoundness bars slowly dwindled side by side. I was almost finished when Rousseau tried to use his most deadly attack: Forced to be Free! However, I knew it was coming. Frantically jamming the array of buttons on the machine, I set a Shield of Rhetoric just in time. Rousseau unleashed his attack only to have it blocked!
Rousseau dropped like a fat kid in dodgeball. It was over.
ARISTOTLE WINS... PHINISH HIM!
This was my big chance to logically disprove and mock my opponent! Once again, I slammed a mish mash of arcade buttons in a hurried attempt.
The backlit screen darkened. Aristotle loomed before Rousseau's staggering body. Leaning forward, he boomed:
"FORCED TO BE FREE? I'LL FORCE YOU TO EAT MY FIST!!!
The phights continued. I fought my way up the Tower of Ghenji laying the filosophical smackdown on Westerner thinkers. Each victory brought me one step closer the ultimate prize: a seat on the Throne of Filosopher-Kings.
Time scattered sideways through my mind as the glassy mirror separating myself slowly faded and I was absorbed entirely into the game. I was so engrossed, I failed to noticed a small crowd of people had gathered into a semi circle over both of my shoulders. They cheered me on as I bashed Burke and clobbered Kant.
Sometimes during a phight, I noticed my opponents mocking me. For example...
Aquinas: I'M GOING TO PREACH YOU A LITTLE LESSON!
Socrates: I'LL SOC YOUR TES... TICLES, FOOL!
Nietzsche: AND THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA- YOUR ASS IS MINE!
I made quick work of them all. All too soon I had reached the top of the tower, bloodied and weary. The final showdown was imminent... Who would my last opponent be?
Out of the shadows stepped a woman carrying a handful of cheese triangles. It was the feared Ayn Rand!
"I WILL SHOW YOU THE RUGGEDLY INDIVIDUALISTIC OBJECTIVE POWER OF MY CHEESE TRIANGLES!!!
A flurry of cheese triangles pelted Aristotle. He frantically waved his tired arms around trying to fend off the devilish little three sided polygons. Nothing could stop them, though. Rand laughed maniacally as my character was ruthlessly defeated. My profound bar was depleted and I had not even touched hers.
"RAND WINS... PHLAWLESS VICTORY!"
No! I was so close to becoming the Filosopher-King. Alas, I had run out of quarters and had nothing left to continue with. Nodding grimly, I vowed one day I would return victorious.