9:00 or so PM. I was just exiting the movie theater (We'd caught Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within for the nth time) with Adam when I spotted it. A Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 machine, inexplicably loaded with four credits and abandoned in the middle of a Versus match. Being the 2d Fighter-junkie I am, I glanced around to ensure no one had dibs on the game before heading over. Sure enough, the machine was good to go, with a nice 70 seconds left on the clock. I grabbed a joystick and called Adam over, giving the active character a couple of experimental punches to see what kind of speed she had.

By the time the match was up, I had been floored. I landed not a single hit on Adam, who beat me with a hideous grin affixed to his face. Shocked, I glanced down to see what kind of horrendous things he was doing to the machine's controls to beat me so handily. And then I saw it.

Adam was merely pressing all of the buttons at once, extremely quickly.

I was stunned. All of my m4d l337 5k1ll5 were rendered absolutely worthless by this one random tactic. Incensed, I punched the start button again, determined to try with a set of familiar characters.

It happened again.

Now I was disbelieving. Adam stepped back from the machine, ready to go, but I stopped him. This madness had worked at defeating a human, true. But would it succeed at beating the game itself?

It did. Match after match went by, and now I was trading places with Adam when his arm got sore. We were beaten a couple of times, using the opportunity to switch to characters more receptive to this kind of treatment (ie, those with big guns). The new characters prevailed. Fifteen minutes after we began, we had beaten the game in it's entirety doing nothing more than randomly hitting the buttons.

The ending to the game was rather disappointing, but I've tried the technique many times since at that particular arcade game, and it has never failed me. Of course, it's also a good way to get your ass kicked at the arcade, so now I have to avoid the game entirely, because I just can't concentrate on beating my opponent with skill bearing the knowledge that victory is just a few cheap button-mashes away.