Video-Game Character Wondering Why Heartless God Always Chooses 'Continue'

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Vol 37 Issue 26

Area Love Knows Only Court-Ordered Bounds

COLUMBUS, OH–The passionate love felt by Columbus resident Jonathan Duffy for Ohio State University graduate student Danielle Graves can be stopped by no force outside the ruling of Fifth Circuit Court Judge Harlan Jameson, Duffy said Monday. "Wild horses cannot drag me away from the 100-yard perimeter I've carefully measured around her property," said Duffy, finishing a collage of photos of Graves walking to and from classes, watering her lawn, and ducking behind neighbors' houses. "No court-appointed psychiatrist can medicate away the love a man feels for his spirit bride."

Non-Alcoholic Beer Inventor Unveils New Non-Adhesive Glue

ST. LOUIS–Hot on the heels of his successful line of non-curative medicines, non-alcoholic-beer inventor Thomas O'Doul unveiled "Elmer's Slick," a glue that looks and feels like ordinary white glue but has no adhesive properties. "Say goodbye to your fingers getting all stuck together, just because you want to glue things," O'Doul said at a press conference Monday. "With Elmer's Slick, you can enjoy gluing without all the messy adhesiveness." O'Doul said he next plans to develop a flame-retardant gasoline and the world's first gelatinous construction lumber.

Few Animals Harmed In Making Of Film

HOLLYWOOD, CA–Producers of the upcoming Sony Pictures historical epic Genghis Khan assured animal-rights activists Monday that "practically no animals were harmed in the making of the film." "The Humane Society and SPCA will be pleased to know that, of the 1,600-plus horses used in Khan's climactic battle sequence, almost none were injured," executive producer David Shell said. "And of those, only a small handful sustained injuries that could be categorized as, you know, serious." Shell noted that the albino Siberian tiger used as the beloved pet of Genghis Khan's enemy "probably would have eventually been beheaded in nature, anyway."

With Friends Like These...

Until recently, I never really believed much in the generation gap. I figured, if you're young at heart (and I like to think that my heart is 19 years old, blonde, and gorgeous!), a person's age means little. But, after getting to know my downstairs neighbors, I'm starting to see why the old fogies get a little frustrated with young people: They can be pretty "out there" sometimes!

Honoring The King of Pop

On Sept. 7, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, and other superstars will gather at Madison Square Garden for a concert paying tribute to Michael Jackson. What is planned for the event?

The Missile-Defense Standoff

The U.S. and Russia are clashing over the Bush Administration's plans to develop a missile-defense system, which would defy 1972's ABM Treaty. What do you think?
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Video-Game Character Wondering Why Heartless God Always Chooses 'Continue'

ORANGEBURG, SC–Solid Snake, tactical-espionage expert and star of PlayStation's "Metal Gear Solid," questioned the nature of the universe Monday when, moments after his 11th death in two hours, a cruel God forced him to "Continue" his earthly toil and suffering.

Solid Snake lies dead on the ground once again.

"Is this all there is?" asked Snake, hiding in a storage locker while two masked guards searched for him in the hold of a cargo ship. "Is this why I was created? To suffer? Will I ever escape this endless loop of grueling labor followed by violent death?"

Snake was then discovered by the guards and cut down in a hail of gunfire.

Snake, who has been fatally shot 2,143 times in the past six months, said he does not know why God deems it necessary for him to endlessly repeat his mission, which involves sneaking aboard a hijacked military ship and discovering who stole the walking nuclear-equipped battle tank known as Metal Gear Ray.

"Why will the Lord not grant me my final rest?" asked a reincarnated Snake, crawling underneath a lifeboat on the ship's weather deck. "Certainly there must be a greater purpose for me than to kill dozens and eventually be killed myself."

Added Snake: "As Goethe said, 'Man must strive, and in striving he must err.'"

Pitching himself over the ship's railing to avoid a trio of patrol guards, Snake pondered the notion of self-determination, wondering aloud whether he had any control over his own destiny. Before he could draw any conclusions, however, he lost his grip, falling into the sea and drowning.

"The Koran asks, 'Shall not the Lord of all the Earth do right?'" said Snake, rematerializing under the lifeboat. "But scholars have often argued whether the question is an assertion of belief or a refutation of faith in absolute goodness on the part of the Creator. As for myself, all I know is, I'm tired of the constant pain, death, and destruction."

Snake was then shot in the head by an undetected guard, falling into a pool of his own blood before reappearing in the ship's afterdeck, where his mission began.

God, moments before determining Solid Snake's fate.

"I often wonder, as many video-game characters do, whether God forces me to Continue to punish me for my sins," Snake said. "After all, I've deserted the American military, killed hundreds of guards, and betrayed my would-be lover, Meryl Silverburgh, by submitting to torture in the alternate ending to the first installment of 'Metal Gear Solid.' But sometimes, like when I suicidally attack dozens of armed guards with only my bare hands, it seems that God is putting me through hell merely to amuse Himself. It just doesn't make sense."

According to Rev. Paul Flessing of Yale University's Divinity School, Snake's theosophical quandary is far from uncommon.

"We all wrestle with the Big Questions about the will of God and one's place in Creation," Flessing said. "But the important thing is to have faith and try to find meaning in one's life–or lives, as the case may be. We must remember the trials of Job, whose faith God continually tested. It seems Snake is going through something very much like that, with this constant pattern of 'Continues.' The purpose will become clear to him in the end."

Sidling along a companionway toward the ship's lounge, Snake considered his ultimate fate.

"What awaits me at the end of my lives' journeys?" Snake asked. "Is there a Paradise on the other side? Or will it all end in a full-motion video sequence that hints at a forthcoming sequel?"

The hallway then filled with nerve gas, fatally asphyxiating Snake.

God, also known as Orangeburg 11-year-old Brandon MacElwee, offered no comment on His greater plan for Snake, saying He was "too busy trying to get to the part with the knife-throwing Russian girl."

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