I'll admit, I've had a good run. Done pretty much everything I wanted, accomplished almost everything I set out to do. I fought my way to the top of the criminal hierarchy of two cities, saved the world from unspeakably evil magical and technological conspiracies, went to six Super Bowls, and unified ancient China under three different dynasties. It's a legacy any man would be proud of, yet it is one that raises an obvious question: Who will carry on my PlayStation 2 adventures after I'm gone?

I know, I know, I'm still young. It's a bit premature to be thinking of my own mortality. But seeing so much pointless death does something to you. Especially if you've ever died and forgotten to save after narrowly defeating Ultima Weapon, wasting hours of back-breaking, finger-numbing toil. You start thinking about how death comes to everyone eventually. You think about how, even after finding every last hidden package in Vice City, there's still so much left to do. And you realize that nothing, not even the original Xenogears, lasts forever.

Which brings us back to the question: Who will carry on my legacy? I live alone, never having taken a wife. How could I have? My life of polygon-based adventures has left me no time for anyone else. A marriage takes work, and no woman could have my full attention. And that is not likely to change, considering that Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater was just announced last week.

But even if I don't last forever, my accomplishments will. I refuse to believe that everything I've built on the bones of a thousand Iron Fist Tournament fighters, on the shattered hulks of a thousand giant robots, on the ruins of three separate Metal Gear bases will one day disappear. No, if I believed that, I'd stop playing right now. Or at least right after getting the Tracer Tong/New Dark Age ending on Deus Ex, which shouldn't take more than an hour, even if I don't check GameFAQs to see where the damn Reactor Purge switch is hidden.

Yes, I may pass from the world without a successor, but I will not go into that good night unaccomplished. My five full memory cards of Complete and 100 Percent Finished game saves will ensure that.

There is still hope that I will find a woman and, with her, sire an heir to continue my work. But I'm not getting any younger. I first noticed it in little ways, such as my loss of appreciation for the Mario titles. When I grew apart from Nintendo and its cartoon games, it was part of the maturation process, a sign of my readiness for a more sophisticated, grown-up gaming system. Someday, the PlayStation 2 will no longer be enough for me, and I'll put it aside and go on to other systems without regret—especially since Sony's next system will probably be backwards-compatible with older games, as the PS2 was with PS1 titles. When I do, I will be one step closer to that Final Level we all eventually reach.

Even without a clear heir, there are ways for me to leave my mark on the next generation. I can be a mentor, serving as a master to some worthy apprentice. If nothing else, I could always pass on my wisdom as that fatherly guy behind the trade-in counter of the local game store. But whatever form my legacy takes, I firmly believe that someone will continue my work in some fashion. If there's one thing I learned from Parappa The Rapper, it's that you gotta believe.