Best Non-Boss Enemies (NES) #10-#7

Game designers usually pull out all the stops when creating the next big bad boss. But not enough credit is given when a truly awe-inspiring regular comes into the fray, for better or for worse.   Goomba was the first of these baddies most of us encountered.  The following may not be the hardest non-boss enemies you’ll ever meet, but they are ten that have won a soft place in our hearts.

#10  METROID  (Metroid)

Just when you thought getting rid of your ice gun for the wave beam was a radical idea, along comes the title character, who apparently sustains its life force by sucking yours through your spacesuit. With a hull rivaling that of a Klingon Bird of Prey, it takes five missiles to off this parasite. But in a miraculous display of inefficient natural selection, it can be frozen solid (albeit for only a few seconds) with a spray of ice water. Without it, getting past the metroids is tougher than Mother Brain herself.

#9  THE DRAGON  (Shadowgate)

I was never as frightened by him as the narrator insisted I was (FEAR GRIPS YOU AS YOU ENTER THIS HOT ROOM!!), but I had to hand it to the dragon. Hiding in the darkness, he practically begged novice adventurers to steal his booty. So much as flinch and a wave of flames engulfed the room. He was the only character that couldn’t be defeated, and even the shield was only strong enough to withstand a few fiery gusts. Whenever I got stuck in Shadowgate, I’d always come back to this room, persistent in a plan to off the beast. I bow to thee, fine dragon.

#8  THE MOUTHS  (Willow)

The land where Willow resides is certainly strange and magical, so believe me I was psyched when I came across a plantation of footballs! Running through the field proved fatal, and a valuable lesson was learned; the land of Willow has no room for secular pleasures, something I should have learned earlier after putting the moves on Sorsha and getting bitch-slapped. Who knew that transforming into a slimey monster was the only way to have some fun?

#7  MEN CARRYING GLASS  (Back to the Future)

Just like the movie, Marty is constantly tormented by crazy civillians, hula hoopin’ broads, and swarms of bees. But these two men are innocently doing synchronized mime in the middle of the street.  Watch out for that oil slick fellas!  Apparently, they don’t seem to appreciate my attempt to run through their dance and throw them off beat.

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment!

Survivor Archives: Fiction 59

I won’t be creating a Survivor page for season six as not all of the challenges would translate well (e.g. caption contest) to this blog.   But now would seem the appropriate time to post the two other 59-word stories I have done in the past.   The first was completed for season six, and the other I did while as a judge, just for fun.

Arthur was a rock.

Metaphorically? No, Arthur was a pussy. The other rocks said so. He strove to rise above the label. But it was no use.

Tuesday, a man took Arthur. Soon, he adorned a lady’s finger. For the next fifty years, Arthur would hone his sense of irony, helping one man gain what he hoped to lose.


One day, a young black man with a checkered past decided to conquer his demons. Taking two steps forward, he began his journey on the straight and narrow. Sadly, his path was frequently blocked by his white peers. But with support from his extended family, he marched on. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he found salvation. Checkmate.

Spooky judged both and wound giving me a score of 4 on both.  So that now makes me four for four on scores of four.  Wherefore?  I want more!


The second one is clever but more or less a huge groaner.  I’m still quite proud of the first one.

Survivor X, Challenge 1: Fiction 59

Week one was an optional week for the contestants in order for everyone to get their feet wet and get to know their teammates.  22 out of 24 contestants showed up to play, including all eight on my team, Nibbish & His Vogons.

This week’s challenge is almost always the first challenge as it is short and accessible.  Very simply, write an entire story in exactly 59 words.  Scoring is on a 1 to 5 scale.  Here’s what I put out:

Jackie finished her lunch, said goodbye to her friends, and went outside to wait.

“Hey Jacqueline!” she heard behind her. “Are you expecting someone?”

Jackie hated that name. Looking up at the shrill voice, she replied sternly, “Yes, my mother is coming to pick me up. I’m taking her out to lunch.”

The nurse sighed and walked back inside.

And now for the judge’s comments.

Spooky: Hey, we have some layers here. Spoiler alert (oops, I forgot that was a team name, but I mean this): a little deception goes a LONG way with me, and Jackie has some going on here. I also get a sense of who she is just from the way she hates her proper name. I can’t tell if Jackie is a mental patient or if she’s just a deceptive nurse, but I’m sure this is interesting either way. 4

DK: Simple, but effective, without a “Gotcha” or anything, and the two lunches thing suggests a depth of conflict at the same time as the story itself is complete and satisfying. 4


So, a good start.  I was kind of expecting these scores, and I got them.

I actually wrote this in my head while I was driving to work.  When I got home, I typed it up, and it was 58 words.  I found a place to add an adjective I think, and it was done.  The last couple of times I did this challenge, my original story was 20 to 30 words longer and I had to really pare it down.

Next week is a team challenge, and with the group of guys I got around me, I’m pretty excited about it.