Choose your own adventure in this RPG-esque epic that lets the readers vote on its outcome.
Stop, in the Name of the Law!
Sirens: *siren noises*
Render: Aw, dammit! It’s the cops!
Fuzz McCoppo: I have you surrounded. Put your hands up and back away from the precarious mountain!
Rivers: No, you don’t understand! We have to climb this mountain.
Fuzz McCoppo: Yeah, yeah, that’s what they all say.
Render: Huh? Really?
Fuzz McCoppo: You betcha.
Render: Every single person you arrest says “we have to climb this mountain.”
Fuzz McCoppo: Arrest? Goodness boy, who said anything about an arrest? I’m here to make sure you don’t get yourselves killed!
Fuzz McCoppo: Just what business do you have climbing this here mountain, exactly?
Rivers: Oh boy! It’s exposition time!
Render: I think I’ll let our narrator explain. I’m not really sure what we’re doing, actually.
Fifa Diprovo 4: At the top of this mountain is the headquarters of the Narrators United Doom Squad, a group of superpowerful TGoL narrators gone rogue. They’re working to accumulate as much power as they can, and as soon as they do…everything will be under their control. Everything. Not a single action will ever take place that isn’t dictated by their narrations.
Rivers: Actually, that’s good news, isn’t it? That means they haven’t taken over already. I was kind of afraid that they had, seeing as we’ve been hunting them since last February.
Fifa Diprovo 4: That’s correct, Rivers. They haven’t taken over yet, but they will soon. You need to climb this mountain and kill them all before they can.
Fuzz McCoppo: Well, that seems like a noble effort, doesn’t it? I guess I shouldn’t stop you…in fact, I think I should be joining you.
Fifa Diprovo 4: I’m not finished yet!
Fifa Diprovo 4: You need to climb this mountain, kill the NUDS and save the world…
Fifa Diprovo 4: …and you need to do it all before the end of this episode.
Rivers: What?! Why!!
Fifa Diprovo 4: You’ll find out soon enough.
Rivers: Oh God…oh God…. This is bad.
Render: Well, that adds a nice sense of urgency to everything.
Enrique: Can we climb the mountain now?
Fifa Diprovo 4: So the foursome—Captain Thomas “7-Eye” Render VI of Trelenodora; Rivers of the Fusion Powers; Glorious Lord Enrique, Grand Master Barbarian Mage; and Fuzz McCoppo, a small-town police officer—picked their way up the mountain carefully, using the strategy guide they’d stolen months ago to tell them where it was safe to walk.
Fuzz McCoppo: Stolen, eh now? What’s this about a stolen strategy guide?
Fifa Diprovo 4: I mean, purchased. The guide worked like a charm, and, much sooner than they expected, the party reached the summit of Mt. Rockslide.
Enrique: That was it? Laaaaaaaame.
Rivers: I’m just glad we didn’t get killed!
???: lol, r u sure u didnt??
Enrique: What?! No! We already killed you. TWICE!!!
TorturedTrunks_5: yeah, OK, sure u did
Fifa Diprovo 4: In fact, they hadn’t. Our heroes hadn’t killed any of the TorturedTrunkses—a group of half-starfish/half-man creatures they’d encountered in recent episodes—at all, and they’d know that if they’d listen to me for once in their lives.
Fifa Diprovo 4: I’m starting to see why the Doom Squad turned rogue….
Render: Ugggh. There’s no time for you to be a turncoat; we have to get rid of these things NOW.
TorturedTrunks_3: lol id like 2 c u try
TorturedTrunks_2: ya! and you still owe me a grlfriend u fag. i dint give u tht guide 4 no thing
Render: Fifa, we’re listening now. How can we kill these things if every time we slice them up, they just regenerate?
Fifa Diprovo 4: Well, obviously, Enrique could use his magic to–
Render: Wow, that fast?
Render: OK! Let’s move on, then.
Rivers: Just like that?! These guys have been a major part of the plot for MONTHS, and we’re just going to end that whole storyline, just like that?
Render: We have to defeat the goddamn NUDS by the END of this episode! We don’t have time to waste on sidequests!
Render: Every line we take up on dialogue or stupid little battles is another line taken away from our epic fight scene at the end of the episode. Every time we say anything, the end battle becomes that much less exciting.
Render: OH LOOK! There’s the entrance to the NUDS HQ. Let’s go inside. Right now.
Fifa Diprovo 4: The foursome burst into the fortress, unhindered by any guards or booby traps, or anything like that.
Render: Now you’re talking. Oh shit, I started another line. Is there some way I can forward the plot before hitting the “enter” key? Let’s see…. Uhh…the party moved on ahead…through the fortress…until they came across the NUDS!
Rivers: That was pretty good! Maybe YOU should be a narrator. Render: Hmm…can I just piggyback on your line? Looks like I can! OK, good. RIVERS, STOP USING UP LINES FOR NO REASON. Rivers: You got it!
Neo-Narrator: So. Render. Rivers. Enrique. We meet again.
Neo-Narrator: And you brought along a police officer. Cute. Too much of a pussy to fight me, so you’re gonna try to arrest me, instead?
Fuzz McCoppo: Actually, boys, that’s not at all–
Neo-Narrator: I really don’t give a shit. Guys, take care of this bastard.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Neo-Narrator’s cohorts, Narrator and Bloodeater Narrator, started toward Fuzz McCoppo, but they didn’t get very far.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Anyone who knows Fuzz McCoppo—which includes absolutely no one in this story, because he was only just introduced—knows that Fuzz McCoppo isn’t the type to just rush into danger. Fuzz McCoppo always has a plan.
Fifa Diprovo 4: And Fuzz McCoppo wasn’t about to disappoint today. Not with the fate of the world at stake.
Fifa Diprovo 4: So, as the two rogue narrators approached Fuzz, he let out a whistle, and his junior officer dropped down from the ceiling and on top of the two henchmen, squashing them dead.
Officer Large Stone Wall: *squash*
Officer Large Stone Wall: Gooooooooooooooooootttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt yoooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
Rivers: Large Stone Wall! We haven’t seen you in–
Officer Large Stone Wall: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee foooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.
Officer Large Stone Wall: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllll haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavveeeeeeeeeeeeee ooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeee mooooooooooooooooooooooooreeeeeeeeeeeee toooooooooooooo kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllllllll.
Neo-Narrator: Only one more? Surely you jest! You guys aren’t the only ones who can have a gang, you know.
Liaunde: That’s right, you tell them! They thought they could take you down, but there’s one thing they didn’t count on….
Liaunde: The bitch is back.
Jordan: And so is her boyfriend! Oh baby, I’m so glad to be with you again, I wrote a song about it:
Jordan: Liaunde, my baby, my precious.
The one thing in this world that matters.
To touch your hair, to hold your hand–
Render: Oh, for the love of….
Fifa Diprovo 4: Render swiftly cut down both Jordan and Liaunde, before the emo fool could cause us any more pain.
Render: Really, Neo-Narrator? Really? THAT’s your gang?
Neo-Narrator: No, they were the decoy. My real gang is behind you.
Rivers: We’re so dead!
Pirate: Arrrrrrr, ye mean they WERE behind him! Luckily, WE were behind THEM!
Pirate: And we cut them down while ye were speakin’.
Neo-Narrator: …damn. You bastard.
Rivers: Pirate! I remember you! You were the best. And, you have great timing, showing up out of nowhere like that to save us.
Render: Yes, thanks for that. You saved us from being killed by…from being killed by….
Render: …who IS this mangled mess on the floor?
Render: Dugo and Najen? Eww. I’m glad THEY didn’t kill us.
Fifa Diprovo 4: And so the stage was set for the epic final battle. Neo-Narrator was there, with absolutely no one else on his side. And against him? Render, Rivers, Enrique, Fuzz McCoppo, Officer Large Stone Wall, and Pirate.
Fifa Diprovo 4: It looks like this story’s going to have a happy ending, folks.
???: Not if WE have anything to say about it!!!!!
Rivers: Wait, what was that about an ending?! This story can’t end yet!
Streebmore: Quick, my protégé! You get the cop!!! And I’ll get Enrique. OH YES!! OH YES I WILL!!
Streebless: OH YES HE WILL! YOU ARE ALL GOING DOWN!!!! THE STREEBS ARE GONNA TAKE YOU OUT!!!
Streebmore: This is what you all get for treating us like JOKES for the whole story!!!
Streebless: And just forgetting about us, just like that?! YOU WILL PAY!!!!! YOU SO WILL PAY!!! AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHH!
Fifa Diprovo 4: Before Fuzz McCoppo had a chance to react (or to enact the great plan he was preparing), the halfling Streebless dove right at his face, clawing, biting, scratching. Fuzz was hit with such great momentum that the two went flying straight out the door and tumbling down Mt. Rockslide.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Meanwhile, Streebmore made a similar move on Enrique, and Enrique almost met the same fate as his new police officer friend.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Almost.
Fifa Diprovo 4: For, you see, for all this time…something…
Fifa Diprovo 4: …was hiding in Enrique’s pants.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Or, should I say…someone….
Fifa Diprovo 4: And that someone just made his presence known.
Spoonlad: Oh, my sexy hero Enrique! I won’t let him get you! Not after all we’ve been through together! Not after all the times you’ve saved this world’s many lands from destruction! This time someone’s going to save you, and that someone is ME!
Fifa Diprovo 4: And so the animated spoon dove straight out of Enrique’s pants, just in time to meet Streebmore in mid-air, blocking the halfling from latching onto the sexy hero’s face.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Streebmore and Spoonlad both fell to the ground in a heap, and slapped each other into unconsciousness.
Render: There. THERE. Are we DONE with the cameos now? NOW can we kill this guy?
Pirate: Aye aye, Captain!
Rivers: Yeah, it’s time!
Enrique: WHAT IN THE HELL WAS HE DOING IN MY PANTS?!?!?!
Enrique: NO SPOONS ALLOWED! NO SPOONS ARE ALLOWED IN MY PANTS!!!!!
ENRIQUE: I WILL NOT HAVE THIS!!! THAT IS IT!
Fifa Diprovo 4: What happened next was the grandest explosion any of our heroes had ever encountered in any of their adventures. The NUDS HQ was torn asunder, and, indeed, the whole of the already-precarious Mr. Rockslide came tumbling down. It was several minutes before the smoke cleared….
Fifa Diprovo 4: But when it did…Render, Rivers, and Enrique were still standing.
Neo-Narrator: You son of a bitch! I’m still standing, too, you bastard!
Neo-Narrator: I will not have this biased narration!
Neo-Narrator: Don’t think you’re the only one who can narrate things, Fifa! Don’t you think that for a second!
Neo-Narrator: Try THIS on for size: And then, two large singing seabears appeared, tackling Rivers and Enrique to the ground and holding them there in great big bear hugs.
Neo-Narrator: Leaving just the great and heroic Neo-Narrator, and the puny Render.
Neo-Narrator: Leaving only us for the final showdown.
Neo-Narrator: This time…you’re mine, bastard!
???: No he’s not! He’s mine!
Render: What the…?
QM Girl: You can’t just come into our story and kill my boyfriend!
QM Girl: I love him, and I’m not going to let you do this!
Neo-Narrator: AND THEN QM GIRL WENT THE HELL AWAY.
Neo-Narrator: AND NO OTHER CAMEOS SHOWED UP TO HELP RENDER.
Jonathan the Minotaur: Aww shoot…I was really hoping I could make an appearance, too.
Neo-Narrator: That’s just too goddamn bad.
Neo-Narrator: Bastard bastard bastard!
Neo-Narrator: Shit sonofabitch BASTARD!
Neo-Narrator: AUUUUUUUGH BAAAAAAAAAAAASTARDDDDDDDDDDD!
Render: …no way.
Neo-Narrator: WAY, BASTARD!
Fifa Diprovo 4: For those of you having trouble keeping up, a shocking plot twist just took place.
Fifa Diprovo 4: It turns out that Neo-Narrator isn’t just an evil narrator…
Fifa Diprovo 4: …he’s also somebody we know.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Barin. The original main character of The Gates of Life. The man this entire story was supposed to be about.
Render: That doesn’t make any sense at all. I’m sure I’ve seen Barin and Neo-Narrator together at the same time.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Shut up. I’m being climactic.
Fifa Diprovo 4: As I was saying…the man this story was supposed to be about, before a new writer took over and turned everything on its side.
Fifa Diprovo 4: All this time, from Render’s initial attack on Barin, to Barin’s joining up with Render, to the war with Genericus, to the saga of the Streebs, to February of 2008, Barin was working hard to develop the power of narration. He was keeping Render in sight, studying his strengths and weaknesses, and learning all he could before the time was right. He finally achieved his narration powers in February and formed the NUDS, because he thought, in so doing, he could finally rid the story of Render and his friends.
Fifa Diprovo 4: And return things to the way they used to be.
Fifa Diprovo 4: And, thus, that is what The Gates of Life has been about for all these years, up until today:
Fifa Diprovo 4: One man taking another man’s place in life, and that other man’s pursuit of revenge.
Fifa Diprovo 4: Everything—EVERYTHING—that has taken place in this story has been leading up to this final encounter.
Render: It has? What the hell?
Fifa Diprovo 4: Who will win this battle?
Fifa Diprovo 4: Who will be—once and for all—the hero of The Gates of Life?
Fifa Diprovo 4: Will it be Barin? Will things be set right?
Fifa Diprovo 4: Or will it be Render, the usurper?
Fifa Diprovo 4: I think we’ll let the gates decide that one.
Everyone: *hushed silence*
Render: I don’t think so.
Render: Not this time.
Fifa Diprovo 4: While I was giving my monologue, Render quickly slipped his sword out of his scabbard and ran Barin through.
Fifa Diprovo 4: And with that, Barin was no more.
Fifa Diprovo 4: And the story belonged to Render forever.
Rivers: I KNEW IT!!
Rivers: I FREAKING KNEW IT!
Rivers: I called it! I said the story would be over as soon a we got rid of the NUDS.
Rivers: And I was 100% correct, and now we’re all out of jobs. Great.
Narrator: As usual, Rivers, you’re definitely not 100% correct.
Narrator: I’d say about 50% this time.
Narrator: The story was always going to end this month…if you didn’t manage to kill the NUDS now, you never would have, and Barin would forever be the hero of TGoL.
Render: Why would that matter? If the story’s over, then there’s no story for him OR me to be the hero of.
Narrator: Not necessarily….
Narrator: What I mean to say, is that this story of Render vs. Barin is over.
Narrator: And, what’s more, The Gates of Life, as we know it, is finished.
Narrator: But The Gates of Life, itself, isn’t finished.
Render: Oh no?
Narrator: Oh, no.
Narrator: This is only the end…of the first season of The Gates of Life.
Narrator: Tune in next month for the start of The Gates of Life: Season Two!